The Salomon Highlander bindings are aimed at riders who are looking for a stiffer, all-mountain binding with enough response to give them a quite direct feel.
Like most Salomon bindings, they have the ShadowFit design with a soft heelcup, that is made to wrap tightly around the heel of your boot.
I rode these on quite a few different boards, and they are my easy go-to Salomon binding now.
Features of the 2021 Salomon Highlander Bindings
A stiffer flex, so any movement feels like it goes quickly through to the board.
The soft flexing heelcup is made to wrap tightly around your heel, no matter the brand of boots you wear.
Shadow Lite Strap
Adjustable Toe Ramp
Slide the toe ramp forwards if you have bigger boots, for better support under your toes.
The Universal Disc works with all regular 4×4 boards, as well as with Burton/Endeavour/Signal boards with the Channel. There are spare screws (shorter black ones) that are used when you are setting it up on a channel board.
The Integrated Mounting System is a fairly simple little piece of plastic that keeps all the screws connected to the disc, which is a very handy feature when you are swapping boards and bindings. I am not sure why other brands haven’t included something similar with their bindings.
This is the cable you can see running through the heelcup, that gives it the strength it needs, seeing that the whole lot is flexible.
There is 2.5° of canting (angle) on the footbeds, which is added to get a natural feel, and hopefully make it a little easier on your knees.
MicroMax Strap Adjustments
Adjusting the straps can be done while you are wearing gloves, and lets you change the length at quite small increments to get the right fit.
How The Salomon Highlanders Ride
I have used the Highlanders on a different styles of boards, from the Nitro Squash and Jones Stratos (boards that easily suit a binding like this), to very soft and playful boards like the Bataleon Wallie and Fun.Kink.
I ride with Salomon Launch boots, so as you would expect they work great with Salomon bindings. The soft heelcup wraps perfectly around the boots, and you can see it tighten and remove any gaps as you crank the bindings down.
The toecap splits nicely over the toes of the boot, and I never had any problem with them sliding off.
Although I never bothered, you can adjust the forward lean and highback rotation with the two big screws at the bottom of the highback.
Adjusting the straps is probably one of better features of these (and most other Salomon) bindings. You can loosen the screw with your gloves on, enough that you can slide the strap to a new position. Once it is in the right spot, then you can re-tighten is up again. You can choose a really specific position, and doesn’t limit you to bigger jumps like some other brands with preset holes.
For me, the Highlanders ride really well. I like stiffer flexing bindings in general. They fit my Salomon boots super well, but the main thing is they feel very quick and responsive in all the conditions I rode them in.
The straps are comfortable, I never felt any pressure points through my boots.
Although it would have been a good idea, I never played around with any of the forward lean or rotation, they were bindings that I just quickly set up, and rode with – which is all I really want from a pari of bindings.
Setting The Salomon Highlanders Up
There isn’t anything tricky about setting the Highlanders up on a board, they follow the same pattern of most bindings. Either use a screwdriver your your fingers to pop the footbed up, so you can get access to the disc.
One handy thing that you will notice is the little white plastic on the bottom of the disc that holds the screws in place. Don’t take this off, it makes sure that you won’t accidentally lose and screws, and also keeps them in a nice square so mounting stays easy.
One of the most important things that you can do with mounting any bindings is making sure that you have a centered position on the board, so that you have the same amount of toe and heel extending over the edge of the board.
I wear US 9.5 Salomon bindings, and ride the Medium Highlanders, so I am very close to having the disc centered on the board.
Salomon bindings don’t have heelcup adjustment, which means that you will have to rotate the disc 90 degrees so that you can fine tune the position on the board.
Setting them up on boards with The Channel
If you have a board with the channel, there are a couple of little things you need to do. While the disc is out of the binding, put some pressure on the bottom of the screw and slowly unwind it to release it from the white plastic holder. Keep two of the washers per disc, and put them in the two holes outside holes of the disc. It is important that you swap the silver screws out for the shorter black screws, as the channel doesn’t have that much depth.
You don’t get any toe or heel disc positioning adjustment when mounting them on a Channel board, but that is just how it goes.