Cross-country ski bindings use several systems that can be compliant or not with the ski boots you use. But it is sometimes difficult to understand what works with what when you are not familiar with the equipment. In order to help here is a little summary of the different systems you can find in the industry. It should help you pick the right boots and the right bindings.
The SNS norm is the oldest system that is still running. It is used by Salomon, One Way and Atomic brands (skating). The Pilot was released for Nagano Olympics in 1998. The idea was to provide more kick motion thanks to a second metal rod inserted under the boot. It is ideal for skiers who struggle bringing the ski back under the center of gravity. Moreover, this system offers added stability and guiding abilities to help beginners feel more secure.
The Salomon SNS Pilot are compliant with Salomon skating and classic boots that feature the Pilot sole shown above, the One Way skating and Classic boots and the Atomic skating boots.
This is the main innovation this year. Salomon released a new system of bindings compliant with every other boot brands (Fischer, Rossignol, Alpina, Madshus). Watch out, if you own Salomon Pilot boots, these won't work with this binding. The Prolink system was designed to allow everyone to pick the boots, skis or bindings they prefer. From now on, you can use Salomon boots with Rottefella bindings (NNN norm) or combine Fischer boots with Salomon bindings which wasn't possible since February 1st 2007.
It is a real innovation that shows Salomon's commitment into making great Nordic products. They're taking the lead, trying to develop the sport and making it accessible to the vast majority of skiers, allowing them to pick their equipment easily.
Pro Link bindings are compliant with Rossignol, Fischer, Alpina, Alfa, Atomic Classic, Madshus and Salomon Prolink boots.
It was, until today, the system supported by most brands (Fischer, Rossignol, Alpina, Madshus and Alfa). This system has been around for a while but it really kicked in 2007 when Fischer began to use it. The manufacturer Rottefella is also known for developping great nordic bindings. Its latest and most important innovation was the creation of the NIS plates avoiding the drilling of the skis.