Gear review: Smile Plates

Holes in 3-pin 75mm Nordic boots can get beat up. Here’s a fairly simple and inexpensive fix and/or preventive measure.

Nordic 75mm 3 pin boots are still the standard for backcountry Nordic touring.


There are other boots that may be lighter, faster, warmer,etc. but these old war-horses still provide an amazing combo of weight, versatility, simplicity and ruggedness. They work.

Over time, however, three-pin boots can get beat up. The holes in the duck-bill for locking in the boots to the bindings can get warped. And if you tend to beat on your gear even a little bit (guilty as charged), eventually the boots do not stay in place as easily.

A simple fix, and a good preventative measure in the first place, is the simple addition of Smile Plates

For only $20,and  a small amount of elbow-grease, this simple item rehabs boots quite easily.


Bluebird Day Smile Plates. From ORS Cross Country Skis Direct.

I wish I knew about these plates in the first place as I would have put them on my boots when I first bought them!

Made for a quick and easy project just prior to ski season.


Instructions for Bluebird Day Smile Plates. From ORS Cross Country Skis Direct.

Initial impressions have been good so far.

The boot locks in place with a wonderful sound -SNAP-.

So, if you are still a pin-head and use 75mm Nordic boots for touring, invest $20 and hour of your time. Simple. Effective. Inexpensive.

Bluebird Smile Plates may be bought from ORS Cross Country Skis Direct

Note: I purchased this item with my own funds



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2 years ago

Paul, any idea where to find smile plates these days? They seem to be out of stock everywhere. Thanks!