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September 16, 2022 5 min read 1 Comment

How to decide between the Boost 12, Core 12 EVO, Pin Up 8/10 EVO & Pure 8/10.

Not sure of the differences between our eight bindings?! Here's a little help.

The Fundamentals:

  • Pure 8 and Pure 10 - lightest and cheapest.
  • Pin Up 8 and 10 EVO - brake system is easier and you can't forget to release them for the descent.
  • Core 12 Pro EVO - higher release range and fancier toes than the Pin Ups.
  • Boost 12 - easiest operation of all and brakes always release, even while climbing and in transitions.

The Details:

Let's start with the Boost 12 versus the Core 12 EVO – and the obvious!

The heel towers are identical but - very big but - the Boost 12 brakes aren't on the heels. They are on the toes!

Toe-mounted ski brakes are unusual.

They look a little strange. Weird even. Heel-mounted brakes being the standard, you know. So why depart from standard? Wouldn't you rather just go with the flow and blend in with the crowd. You wouldn't want to be unusual and stick out, would you? That would take a bit of open-mindedness and courage. Who has that? Even if there are advantages, big advantages, to going your own way.

Hagan Boost 12 Binding version of the ATK Front 12 alpine ski touring binding

Boost 12

Here are four big advantages of the Hagan Boost 12 brake system.

  • The HAGAN Boost 12 brakes are always active (in both descend AND climb modes.) Always Active means if the toe of your boot isn't in the toe piece, the brake WILL be deployed. They can't be locked away if the boot isn't in the toe piece. This means you also can't FORGET to release your brake - and realize it when you see your ski heading down a couloir.
  • The brake retraction is done with the same lever, and same motion, as locking the toe for uphill climbing mode. It saves steps, and time, over separately retracting the brake at the heel, then locking the toe piece. The locking and retracting motion is smooth and easy.
  • Toe-mounted brakes don’t interfere with heel release. No worries about friction with the brake pad interfering with smooth and reliable heel release. (The front brakes don't interfere with toe release, either, for that matter.)
  • The Boost 12 bindings are light, because the heel tower doesn't have to beefed up to perform the additional duty of holding the brakes in a retracted position - with an awkward twisting to hold down the brake.  The brakes also don’t need to be beefed up to withstand repetitive “stomping” during heel click in.

The Boost 12 bindings are about 10 grams heavier than the Core 12 EVO. But the convenience of retracting the brakes with a single pull of the toe lever, combined with eliminating the possibility of a ski taking off while climbing or transitioning, may be worth it. Weigh in your mind 10 grams versus loosing a $1000+ ski/binding and walking out! 

How the EVO Automatic Brakes work:

There are also differences in the Boost 12 and Core 12 EVO toe pieces – other than the brakes, obviously. Most of those differences  are the same as those between the Pure 8/10 and the Core 12 EVO toes.


Let's move on to the differences between the Core 12 EVO and the Pure 8/10:

Hagan Core 12 EVO freeride alpine ski touring binding

Core 12 EVO

Hagan Pure 10 alpine ski touring binding

Pure 10

There are differences in both the heel and toe.


  • Brakes: The Pure 10 brakes retract with a simple push pin system. The Core 12 EVO bindings have the even simpler automatic brakes that release automatically in descent mode.
  • There are two risers on the Core 12 EVO and Boost 12 versus one riser on the Pure 10.
    • The Pure 10 has three climbing heights - the middle height is engaged by just flipping the heel flap forward. The flat and high heights are reached by twisting the heel piece.
    • The Core 12 EVO/Boost 12 dual risers are magnetic – a little easier to flip – and enable flat, middle and high climbing positions without twisting the heel back and forth.
  • The Core 12 EVO/Boost 12 length adjustment is 25mm versus 20mm with the Pure 8/10.
  • The Core 12 Pro/Boost 12 have a higher Z-value (DIN) range of 5-12 versus the 5-10 of the Pure 10.
  • Freeride spacers are only compatible with the Core 12 EVO, Pin Up 8/10 and Boost 12 and increase downhill performance to near alpine binding levels, at a fraction of the weight of hybrid bindings like the Shift.
  • All have the Elastic Response System.

If you think you may want to set the release below a DIN 5, then consider the Pure 8. The Pure 8 is identical to the Pure 10 but with a 3-8 DIN range.

Toe: The Core 12 EVO toe piece has a wider mounting plate, snow-block anti-icing system, easy entry toe guides and uphill retention adjustment.

The Pure 8/10 is about 90 grams lighter than the Core 12 EVO.

You have to decide whether the Core 12 EVO's automatic brakes, extra climbing heights, increased adjustment range and toe features are worth the extra weight. Personally, I prefer the Pure 8/10 despite those features of the Core 12 EVO. If you aren’t a weight weenie like me, you may prefer the Core 12 EVO.



Hagan Pin UP 10 Backcountry alpine ski touring binding

Pin Up 10 EVO


  1. The Pin Up EVO binding heels are identical to the Core 12 EVO heels, except with lower release settings. They have the same automatic brakes and dual Magneto heel risers. The heels are a big upgrade to the Pure binding heel units.
  2. The Pin Up EVO toes are identical to the Pure binding toes. They do not have the wider mounting points, adjustable climbing tension, easy in toe stops and springless design of the Core 12 EVO toes.
  3. Weight and Price - both slot in neatly between the Pure and Core 12 EVO bindings.


I don’t think one binding is necessarily better than the other. It depends on your usage, priorities and budget.

  • If you want the lightest weight and lowest price, the Pure 10 is fantastic.
  • If you want the automatic brakes, get the Pin Up 10.
  • If you want automatic brakes, the wider toe mounts and higher release settings, the Core 12 EVO is great.
  • If you want the simplicity of single lever activation and always active brakes so you don't need to worry about losing a ski - ever - get the Boost 12.

One Last Thing:

Hagan bindings are made by ATK in Italy. Until recently, we were the only brand to import ATK bindings into the U.S. Now Black Diamond distributes ATK bindings in the U.S. 

You could buy from Black Diamond.

Why purchase a Hagan version of an ATK binding instead?

  • Support a small business. Hagan USA is a family-run business as is Hagan Austria. Black Diamond is BIG. I wouldn't be surprised if they sell more in an afternoon than we do in a year.
  • Better service. Being small means we provide more personal, responsive service. No bureaucratic hoops to jump through. No struggles just trying to get through a phone system to find someone that will speak to you. The cell phone number at the bottom of our website is my personal cell phone number.
  • Better expertise. We know the bindings very well. We ski them - a lot. Black Diamond reps sell the entire, huge, BD product line. You are lucky if they even ski, much less have any expertise in alpine touring bindings.
  • Price. BD is a big corporation with big corporation expenses and mandated minimum profit margins. This means they charge retailers more for ATK bindings than we charge them for the identical Hagan bindings. And that means retailers have to charge you more for ATK bindings than Hagan bindings.

We appreciate your supporting Hagan and pledge to provide exceptional service and customer care.

1 Response

Justin Barham
Justin Barham

June 02, 2023

Can I use the AL11 to remove the brakes on the Pin Up Evo 10?

I feel like I’ll want brakes at some point so I’d like to have them. And I prefer the twist activated (Evo) over the button.


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