The Top 10 Snowshoes Reviewed
Snowshoeing is a recreational activity that involves walking, running, or climbing through snow conditions that would otherwise make the path difficult to traverse.
A snowshoe is a special apparatus that goes on over one’s normal winter shoe to allow snow walking without sinking in or slipping on deep and/or slippery snow covering.
Snowshoes allow one to enjoy hiking in otherwise tedious conditions. They allow one to go running, or even race in snow. Snowshoes allow people to safely reach otherwise unreachable locations in a wintery environment—for practical reasons or just for recreational exploration.
Price Guide & Amazon Rating
Atlas Elektra Rendezvous
Tubb’s Flex Ridge
MSR EVO 22
Dark Blue, Mineral, Red
Louis Garneau HG Men’s Transition
Tubb’s Men’s Flex Alp 24
Crescent Moon Gold 10
Apple Red, Lollypop Blue
How Do I Snowshoe – Beginners Guide?
The first thing you need to do to begin snowshoeing is assess where you’re most likely to be doing the sport, then you can choose specific snowshoes and accompanying gear.
If you’re a beginner, you should probably stay on relatively tame trails and therefore your technical requirements in a snowshoe are not that high.
Generally, you need to look at the accompanying chart or list that accompanies snowshoe listings to see what length of snowshoe you need for your weight. Keep in mind that you may weigh more with a pack on your back.
Also, the snow conditions make some difference. If you’re going into powdery dry snow, you will sink much more easily (so you really need to be sure the shoe can float your total weight). If you’re going into slushy or icy-topped snow, you’ll especially need traction.
Most snowshoers like to have trekking poles with snow baskets (traction-creating structures at the pole bottom), and these are particularly recommended for beginners.
While as a beginner you should avoid steep inclines, if you end up on any inclines, there are basic techniques. To climb, be sure to dig the front of the snowshoe (and the traction elements at the bottom) into the snow before you. To descend, walk heel first and lean back.
Types of Snowshoe
A trail is a prepared or already used path, so normally a trail should be an easier snowshoe journey. Generally, the inclines are lower and you may go at whatever pace you wish.
Consequently, snowshoes for trail walking don’t have to be the absolute best. Therefore, beginners (who also may not have the most advanced snowshoes) certainly should start on trails.
That said, trails vary, so if you really are a beginner, you should still make sure it’s a manageable trail and that you at least have decent snowshoes for beginners.
Backcountry is potentially uncharted territory—the terrain might be steeper and the snow could be deeper.
This is where the technical demands of snowshoes are highest: great traction, flotation (ability to keep the foot from sinking), foot-shoe connection, sturdiness, and comfortable stride are critical in backcountry. Generally, backcountry is for more advanced snowshoers.
This is probably a less common use of snowshoes. However, if you’re looking to get optimal speed in the snow, traction and flotation are all the more important.
Also, more than ever, the weight of the snowshoe comes into play—a heavy shoe might be sturdy and have great traction, but it will slow a runner’s time.