There are many winter sports to go out in the snow. Snowshoeing is simple, easy to access and very fun! If you also want to explore the well-trodden path and venture out of the way, you will need a pair of snowshoes and, optionally, a pair of walking sticks.
With snowshoeing, you can spend more time in nature and can burn around 400 calories per hour, forming bigger muscles and putting less impact on your joints. To discover what the best snowshoes are, you should learn more about the different types available, their characteristics and other important considerations as well.
How do snowshoes work?
Snowshoes work by distributing their weight on snow and provide more traction to walk than winter boots alone. All snowshoes have 3 characteristics in common, namely, a frame and a platform that floats on the snow and shapes the shoe, a tie that holds the foot to the shoe and the crampons at the bottom for traction. It is the variation of these characteristics combined with the total weight of the snowshoe that makes one racquet more appropriate than another for different types of terrain or snow.
Cover: The cover is the part of the racket that gives it floatation. Decks with a larger area have more flotation and, therefore, remain on the snow better than smaller decks, especially in loose powder conditions. In general, the heavier snowshoers will want a larger platform size to support them and their teams. However, snowshoes with a smaller platform are easier to maneuver and can adapt better in compacted snow conditions.
Fixings: The links are the following common characteristic. Despite the most innovative designs, everyone does a basic job. They have straps to attach any type of footwear to the small platform with hinges and align the foot above the main traction of the snowshoe.
You want them to be comfortable and easy to put on and take off, especially if you have gloves on. Another important aspect is its ability to not freeze or harden when temperatures are low.
Traction: While traction devices are a common feature in all snowshoes, their location and aggressiveness will vary depending on the type of terrain for which it was designed.
For example, minimal traction is required for recreational walking on flat snow, but more traction is needed for hikers who want to climb mountains or deal with icy conditions. Going uphill and downhill requires more than body strength and a good pair of shoes.
Heel elevations of the flip-flop are not a common feature. However, they make a dramatic difference when they ride snowshoeing uphill or on steeper terrain. They do this by changing the angle of their foot in relation to the snowshoe, which makes going uphill feel more natural. In addition, they increase traction by keeping your weight distributed evenly across the snowshoe.
How many types of rackets are there?
There are snowshoes for work, training, off-road, accumulated snow conditions, racing or training, etc. There are some different guidelines that you should follow when buying a pair of snowshoes. A good pair of snowshoes will cost between $ 90 and $ 300 and even more.
One of the first considerations when buying a pair of snowshoes is to know if he will do it mostly on the track or off the track. Path means that the snow is packed, so a smaller racket with good crampon and good traction is best. Off-track means you will have to deal with a lot of snow, so the more snow there is, the larger your snowshoe will need.
As a general rule, the higher the person is, the bigger the snowshoe should be. You can think of a ship. The bigger the boat, the more weight you can put on it. So, to understand the flotation, you should know that it is about how wide and long the snowshoe is. So, if you are in a region where there is a lot of powder snow, you will need a really big snowshoe. The same happens when you take equipment.
Another thing to consider when buying a pair of snowshoes is the type of terrain. Where will you be snowshoeing? If you are a snowshoe on flat ground, then a good snowshoe that is as light as possible with a decent-sized crampon is your best option.
If you are going to be a bit more extreme in the mountains, you will need much more traction, so you are looking for a snowshoe with the best possible bindings to have the most control over your snowshoe, as well as the best traction to avoid the slip when climbing or going downhill.
Snowshoes come in unisex versions, men and women. The specific models for women are narrow width and can accommodate a smaller shoe size. Men tend to walk with their toes pointed, while women tend to walk with their toes pointed inward.
To make walking easier for women, women’s rackets tend to be narrower in the tail. That said, let’s see which are the best rackets for each category of rackets. This information will definitely teach you how to choose snowshoes in relation to your needs.
Better for easy walks
Tubbs Snowshoes – FLEX Ridge Snowshoes presents the type of tie that allows you to put them on and remove them easily. They come with an integrated heel strap that creates exceptional precision and handles up to 155 lbs.
Recommended for easy walks, this is the racket that will not take you far, but will be comfortable every step of the way.
Better for steep routes
TSL snowshoes: the Symbioz Elite snowshoes have the kind of traction that will not let you down. Climbing the mountain can be more rewarding than ever if you have these snowshoes in the form of an hourglass. It can weigh between 150 to 300 pounds. To enjoy your unlimited grip. Its design is so ingenious that it returns some energy reducing muscle fatigue.
They come together in 4 places, which makes them comfortable and durable at the same time. Putting them and removing them will not be a hassle, even if they have so many links.
The best for trips of several days.
Atlas Snowshoes – Company Treeline Snowshoe is the best for multi-day trips because it is light and resistant at the same time. The goal is to focus on the user experience, since he or she is taking a trip for several days, so their manufacturers added a heel lift bar. This is intended to minimize the tension of the calf and muscles.
The lightweight suspension system is all you need to break the road more easily. The icy slopes are also not a problem since the crampons have a deep bite.
Best for beginners
Trek Snowshoe, Universal – Yukon Charlie 80-4002 is considered the best for beginners. It can be easily used in confused terrains and powdered snow thanks to its universality. It is a unisex snowshoe, ideal for any type of terrain. It has an integrated heel that ensures less fatigue and tension in the calf.
Thanks to its ratchet fixation, it is suitable for multiple shoe sizes.
Better for heavy loads
Tubbs Boundary Peak Snowshoe is ideal for those of you who want to carry weight. It comes with amazing features, such as the rotation of the toes and the rotation limiter that work best when it comes to obstacles and kicking the snow. The steeper inclinations are easier to tackle thanks to the ActiveLift heel lifter of this racquet.
According to its manufacturer, it was designed for both utility and grace, but it is more recommended for its useful side.
Better for daily use
MSR Lightning Explore Snowshoe makes trekking a breeze. This is because it is lightweight and offers unparalleled stability. The edge-to-edge grip is ensured by 360-degree traction frames and pivot crampons. Its ergonomic design makes fatigue seem like a bad memory, especially during long days of walking.
The leg to the outside or the leg of the foot are no longer relevant to this model because the links can be adjusted independently bilaterally. In other words, there are no versions for men or women for this model.
Best for all purposes
Atlas Snowshoe Company – Endeavor Snowshoe comes with a stainless steel crampon that attaches to frozen ground. As for its solid platform, it is highly efficient in case of soft snow. It is also ideal for ice tours and has a heel lift bar.
This model is part of the field collection and is considered a pioneer.
The best for mountaineering.
MSR Revo Explore Snowshoe offers an unforgettable experience when climbing thanks to its traction. While the links are not too complicated or do not have advanced technology, they are good enough to reduce the launch. The heel lift bars are an addition that reduces calf tension, which are called Ergo TVs.
What makes this snowshoe better for mountaineering are the aggressive perimeter teeth of the extraction platform and the Pivot crampon.
Better to run
Atlas Snow Run Snowshoe is a unisex snowshoe that makes it easy to run through the snow. The penetration of the crampons is deeper for this model and the foot articulates naturally. The fixings are light, but safe at the same time.
As for its versatility, it is known that it also works well for hiking. Users praise the durability of this racquet even after running 100 miles and show no signs of normal wear.
The best for the general exercise.
Atlas Fitness Snowshoe allows a variety of movements and a smooth step. Its components are light and elegant, so you can move more easily through the snow. In addition to being functional, this racquet is also comfortable.
The tubular aluminum V-frame does wonders when it comes to trekking. After all, snowshoeing is an aerobic activity and should be treated that way.
Better for cross training
The Crescent Moon Composite Kilo Run snowshoe set comes with a stable platform. This feature is given by the carbon fiber frames that are flexible.
This snowshoe weighs very little and does not give you headaches when it comes to fixings. In fact, the union consists of a single tension loop, spring-loaded cam buckles.
Better to climb
Easton Mountain Products: Artica Trail lightweight ergonomic snowshoes are your best choice when it comes to climbing. The plastic accessories contribute to the flexibility of the frame, so that the angle of the road is no longer important because the platform remains firmly attached to the slopes.
The virtual pivot traction chamber is also important because it guarantees traction and better control. The frames are asymmetrical, which makes these snowshoes easier to use because the position of the legs will be more natural. Quick-Cinch is the name of the links, which speaks for itself.
Except snowshoes that are unisex, all models presented above have versions available for women. These were tested by snowshoe experts who concluded that there are no better options in the market at this time.
However, the experience of each user is different, so do not hesitate to consult the following best buy options that are also currently available in the market. The price was not a criterion for the types of snowshoes previously presented.
Speaking of price, here is a DIY tutorial for snowshoes in case you have no choice but to walk through a snowy forest.
This type uses only simple branches, twigs of rope and fir to get a pair of snowshoes that will take you home safely. Your method could be useful in situations where you are not prepared off the road and there is no other way out than walking.
Instead of panicking, you can look for branches of the right size and do some manual work. Maybe this reminds you that you should carry some rope with you and other essential items wherever you go.
What are the best purchase options?
Several experts in this industry agreed that the Chinook Trekker snowshoes are the best footwear for snow from all points of view. Atlas Elektra is a model that also made this table with its snowshoes for women that got 8 points out of 10 for its floating properties. MSR Lightning Ascent qualified as the safest type of snowshoeing that costs less than $ 300, while MRS Evo scored 9 out of 10 points for flotation, traction, ease of use and safety as well.
Each one has amazing features about which you will find more information below, along with a pair of rackets for children.
- Chinook Trekker snowshoes. With a durable frame and the type of comfort you want, these snowshoes have crampons that can rotate, so you’ll have plenty of flexibility in the snow. Aluminum is one of the best options when it comes to making a product that is light, that lasts a long time and that is resistant. The UV resistant polyethylene cover contributes to its resistance over time. Ideal for medium slopes, you can rely on your heel crampons to provide traction. The ratchet links provided with this snowshoe do not freeze. What more could you want?
- Atlas Snowshoe – Women Elektra 823 Snowshoe. Easy to operate and specially made for the constitution of a woman, this snowshoe is durable and comfortable. The light suspension is an asset that can not be overlooked. Their tails raise a little snow, but when it comes to flotation, it’s really good. It obtained the maximum score for its ease of use, safety and traction as well. The V-frames are specially designed to save the user’s energy, as well as the heel lift bar. The frame is made of 7075 aluminum and the Duratek nylon cover with abrasion finish.
- Tubbs Men Xplore Snowshoes. Suitable for everyday use, Tubbs Xplore comes with an innovative and biomechanical aluminum Fit-Step frame. This sounds as good as it is because it is about reducing the impact on the joints by 10%.
Another feature that is intended to help its user to walk more easily is its rotating tor cable that has a lot to do with removing snow from the tail. In addition, its heel crampons have a remarkable ease of use when going uphill, downhill and uphill as well. Even if your boot does not fit perfectly, the bindings will keep it tight.
- MSR Lightning Climbing snowshoes. With an almost perfect score from all points of view, the MSR Lightning Ascent snow shoe comes with teeth that provide 360-degree traction and fantastic crampons. These characteristics contribute to the distribution of weight, which is why they are very important.
Ergo televisions ensure that the user does not tire too soon and that the fixings offer a secure grip. Deep dust and rugged terrain are the targets of this snowshoe, but they can go through virtually any condition. The frame is made of 7000 series aluminum and the cover material is urethane impregnated nylon.
- Tubbs man alpinist snowshoes. A versatile snowshoe, is designed for the backcountry. Its surface is large, so it guarantees a great flotation and its fixings are easy to use. They have the ultra-precise ActiveFit technology, while their Anaconda 8-point crampon model is basically snow crushing. A little on the heavy side, this racquet can also be used for recreational purposes. The 6000 series aluminum is the material used to manufacture its frames and thermoplastic urethane for its platform. This model is only intended for male use.
- Louis Garneau – Transition 723 running snowshoes. A racket made for running, this ensures a degree of speed that is difficult to achieve when running on snow. Its frame is made of anodized aluminum, which means it is very light. Lightweight is a feature that a snowshoe should have. Except all that, it has the highest resistance to abrasion and comes with a lifetime warranty. Users say that this model can be used on compact trails as well as wet or powder snow.
- Lucky Bums Snowshoes for young people. Lucky Bums, a model of snowshoes for children, has special fixings that are easy to use for them. You will not have to worry that you can not put on and take off these shoes. In addition, they have all the necessary features, such as sturdiness, light weight, durability, additional mobility thanks to the hinge that lifts the tail and so on. These are reliable snowshoes ideal for trekking and for active children who like to be outdoors in the snow.
- MSR Evo 22 Snowshoes. This is a classic pair of snowshoes that come with modular flotation tails upon request. In other words, they are a pair of customizable snowshoes that can be used for multiple purposes. They adapt to a wide range of footwear and provide a secure and durable grip. They are light to use and, according to some users, you may think that you do not need them, but when you remove them, you will end up buried in the snow.
- Crescent Moon Gold Series 9. These rackets are handmade in America. They are free of materials like PVC, VOC and other chemical products. They come with a 3-claw drive system, which means they can be used on complicated trails.
Easy to cover the terrain, Crescent Moon Gold Series 9 is the type of snowshoe that makes the difference when you have already experienced other snowshoes. For example, its shape is not traditional and that is good because it offers more maneuverability.
- All terrain winter rackets for adults. This pair of snowshoes is unisex and is made of high quality aluminum. Conceived for extreme weather conditions, they are light when they are on foot and also in the backpack. Equipped with 3 straps, its union system adapts to a wide range of winter boots. Most users think that this pair is fantastic, while others complain that the materials are not optimized to resist and maneuver at low temperatures.
What worries people about snowshoeing?
Many people who are beginners in snowshoes have the same questions.
They want to know what is the difference between the left and right snowshoe, what kind of footwear and clothes should be equipped, how to exactly choose the size of the adjustable snowshoes, etc. Therefore, here are some basic principles that you should know before you start snowshoeing.
- First of all, you should know that there is a difference between the left and right snowshoe. For adult and juvenile models equipped with a ratchet or fixed mountings, the fastening buckles should always be facing outwards. The only exception to this rule is present in the bilateral links, which are usually characteristics of the snowshoes for advanced snowshoes.
- Secondly, snowshoes adapt to footwear, so they can not be used without other shoes. A good waterproof walking boot seems to work better with snowshoes. Even so, some experienced runners use their running shoes when buckling snowshoes that facilitate running or cross training. As for clothes, you should keep in mind that snowshoeing is an aerobic activity that will keep you warm. Choose a wick base layer and a waterproof top layer.
- Third, snowshoes work by dispersing the user’s weight in a larger area of the snow. Here is the industry standard: 7 inches x 16 inches for smaller users and equipment up to 100 lbs., 8 inches x 21 inches for user and team up to 150 lbs., 8 inches x 25 inches for user and team up 200 lbs. ., 9 inches x 30 inches for the user and equipment up to 300 lbs., 10 inches x 36 inches for the user and equipment up to 300 lbs. Always go for the size larger than the small one and remember to count your clothes and boots before buying a pair.
- Then, once you have finished with your snowshoes, you should not follow any specific maintenance step. However, you can clean them before storing them and store them in a cool, dry place. They are designed to keep up with strenuous weather conditions, so they are tough enough to not be damaged without special care.
- Poles are a necessity for those who choose to walk on heavier trails. They are not applicable for runners or for recreational walks. When going uphill or downhill, you will feel the need to maintain your balance in some way. This is when the poles are useful. The trekking poles can be adapted to snow, so it is not necessary to buy new ones. However, if you are new to hiking, here you will find a pair that is made of 100% carbon fibers. They come with technical advice, which you can change according to where and when you go.
When will you float in the snow?
Now that you know everything there is to know about snowshoeing, the question is no longer what pair of snowshoes to buy, but when will you start your journey in the snow? Spending time outdoors and moving your body are excellent ways to keep your mind and health in tip-top shape.
Walking with snowshoes is as easy as walking, as well as extras, such as sight, fresh air, tranquility and company. You can express your personality by choosing rackets of different colors and enjoying their characteristics at the same time. You have a complete variety to choose from, so go ahead!