Best Snowshoes For Women
Best Snowshoes For Women
Before I get into the best snowshoes for women, take a careful look at the accompanying photo... That's me, snowshoeing up our driveway in mid-April. Dragging sled-load after sled-load of our belongings up to our house after being away all winter. It took us 2 days to unload the truck. This was NOT a plowable event.
Now, there is a reason I typically leave northern New England for warmer climes during the winter. However, I have to confess to you that I honestly enjoyed this adventure! I hadn't been on snowshoes in about 5 winters, and we were pretty psyched to get home to the snow.
And, it also made me realize how much I really miss it (at least on a gorgeous day like the one in the photo!)
So... let's get back to snowshoes!
Given all the information online these days, It's easier than ever before to choose the best snowshoes for women (and kids... and men). So, I took it upon myself to study up - and after this latest adventure, I'll be getting some new 'shoes myself!
Whether you're looking for racing snowshoes or just recreational snowshoes, we've got some great ones for you to choose from. You'll be surprised, I think, with how light and easy to use that today's styles have become! I'm pretty confident that you will be sure to find the PERFECT snowshoe for your particular needs - and within your budget (I definitely kept that in mind during my research!)
And if these are a gift for the woman in your life, this article will help. All you'll need is the snow!
Well... ok... maybe some jackets, hats and gloves too! :)
This photo, and other personal photos taken by me and/or John... The product images are courtesy of Amazon
What OTHER sport needs nearly ZERO training?
I truly believe that snowshoeing is one of the best activities for nearly anyone.
I've never had much luck with skiing - it's really expensive, and I'm just a novice. Telemark skiing? Uh... tried it and the results just emphasized that there are some things I'm just not cut out for. Twisting my knees around in what feels like pretzel-like contortions is one of them.
But, snowshoeing? That's a different story! I can snowshoe! Yes! Finally... a winter sport that even I can do. So, I also figured it's something that an entire family can do.
This is our "Winter Gear" wall... We had 2 more pair of snowshoes on this wall, but we sold 'em. :)
Best Running Snowshoes for Women
Racing or Running Snowshoes are going to be a little "sleeker" in design, and ideally will compliment your natural stride. If you plan to race in the US, you'll need snowshoes that comply with the US Snowshoe Association standards. For example, the surface of your running snowshoes must be a minimum of 120 square inches. See the US Snowshoe Association site for more info
I had to laugh when I read about these - The vendors definitely have a sense of humor! Besides just talking about how lightweight they are (which is true - under a pound per shoe, so that's a definite plus) - they also mention about how they're handy to have around just in case you need to outrun bear or moose (good luck on either of those... but the good thing is, at least in mid-winter up in New England, the bear are in their dens!)
Anyway, if you or the person you're buying these for weigh between 75 - 190 pounds, you're good to go on these. (BTW: These are running - get it? Little joke "running?" just under $225 - but you do get what you pay for with the quality and slim design. A small price to run like the wind?)
At first glance I wasn't wild about the looks of these, only because the binding seemed convoluted. BUT, I quickly realized that these are actually really GOOD bindings in that they are those "one pull" types - pull on one strap, and they cinch right up. Now, if you are not into racing, or biathlons or multi-sport races (e.g. where you have to hop off skis, onto your snowshoes in a really quick moment), this might not be a big deal.
BUT, from my own experience as a somewhat clumsy show-shoe-putter-on-err-er, these would suit me very well. As far as quality, they are getting 5-stars all around by users who are using these for their daily runs (go off pavement, into the parks or woods). Oh, and these are less than $150!! The comments equal my own opinion about the easy on-easy off. Definitely something to consider.
These are a little unusual looking, aren't they? I'm not used to seeing the long "V" end. BUT, the manufacturer says that you don't lose that ability to stay on top of the snow (I guess they have engineers that design these things!)
And, these are designed for people up to 225 pounds, so they're a little more "built" than they look at first blush. For those of you for whom this may be important, they are made in the USA (in Boulder, CO), and one of the cool things is they have a "snowshoe recycle" program (You can learn more about that at their website).
From what John (my hubby) tells me about his own experiences (he uses snowshoes on his approaches to ice climbs), you need something that can help you "climb" up the slopes - and the manufacturer says that these are really good for hard pack, and the icy terrain you might find on traverses/climbs. Something to consider if you are running at different levels of terrain. Like here in the White Mountains!
These are, essentially, the same as the Gold Series 12 that I mention above only a different color. However, I should add that these are a "one size" model - that is, you can't choose different lengths with this.
Also, these have the "single pull" binding which I mentioned earlier as being something that I would personally prefer. Actually - I have to tell you that EVERY review from users is ALMOST enough to get me excited about winter - especially when one of the reviewers - who is a newcomer to the sport - mentioned how the OTHER people in a race who had the same model loved them more than any other model. Ok. I'm sold on this particular model I guess... Now, to tell John that "all I want for Christmas is.." :)
Oh wow! Guess I'll be SNOWSHOEING for a little while longer!! (Imagine my surprise...)
Best RECREATIONAL Snowshoes for Women - For the girls who just wanna have FUN! :)
Ok, now that we're down off our adrenaline high from racing around the mountains and race circuit, allow me to come back to the lovely "stopping by woods on a snowy evening" spot...
Anyway, I really think you will LOVE this selection of some of the best rated recreational snowshoes for women! Actually, even though these were primarily designed with a woman's narrower gait in mind, ANYONE with a narrow gait will like these. Between the MSR models like MSR Evo, or the BARGAIN Redfeather Arrow Snowshoe Kit (which comes with poles), or the Yukon Charlie bargains, you'll find something for your daily and recreational use.
Something that amazes me whenever I look at the new styles out there every year is that even the leisure or casual snowshoes are looking mighty fancy these days! Take these Redfeathers for example. If I waltzed around over at Great Glen Trails (see video below - the trails are only about 10 miles away from my house), I would be proud to snowshoe on the trails at the base of that mighty Mount Washington that would be overseeing my constitutional on a sunny winter day...
And, as every Yankee knows, frugality is important, and at under $200 for the whole kit and caboodle, that's a very good deal!
I added these Yukon Charlies here because they're really economical (just running about $100). But... a(nd I'm not trying to talk you out of anything) these are the types of bindings that drive me nuts. First of all, if it's cold out, and I haven't adjusted them to my boots ahead of time, I need to fiddle with the adjustments. I think I'm getting a little spoiled by the idea of the "one pull" bindings - but look at it this way:
If you are JUST STARTING OUT and aren't even sure you're going to enjoy snowshoeing, and don't want to spend too much, then these are a nice, standard pair that can get you going. And, just so you know, I'm still using shoes where I need to adjust my bindings. If I use my beginner shoes (kind of like these) enough and things go well this winter, I'll consider upgrading.
But for now, this style is fine for the amount of snowshoeing that I do.
Even though my personal shoes aren't MSR (my hubby and I are definite fans of MSR products), these are a little more like the ones I currently use. Again, you aren't getting that one-pull binding - but these aren't for racing, either. MSR is known for its high quality, and you definitely get that with these.
The bindings are a little stronger than the ones I'm using, and to be fair (even though you already know that I love one-pull bindings) I'm going to use them on the same boots pretty much all the time, so I can get used to adjusting these. Especially since they're not going to budge once I'm actually walking in them (in other words, they won't slip like some of the others out there).
They'll fit women's footwear from sizes 5 Â½ - 16, so just about everyone is covered on these. They can handle a load of about 180 pounds, and according to MSR, if you use the "tails" - the optional attachable ends - you can go even heavier (up to 250 pounds).
Now, I don't know about you, but I have no intention of dragging 250 pounds around in the snow. But that's just me.
I get such a kick out of terminology when it comes to sportswear. "All terrain." That's what MSR says about these. What? Now we're the ATVs of snowshoes?
Anyway, the image brings a chuckle to me. And what the heck is a "televator?" We're getting too techie for me... but that's MSR for ya. Always on the cutting edge.
Seriously, these are hefty shoes, with the ability to load 180 pounds (250 w/ tails, as in the above, Evo model). These are pretty serious shoes.
More serious than I am, you can bet on that. I know some alpinists who probably use these. Their "recreation" is my "boot camp" and I'm not ready for that much recreation.
These gals and guys will still out coming off a traverse while I'm back home in front of the fire. Sipping wine or hot chocolate. Know what I'm saying? :) (BTW: For proof of what I'm saying, see the photo below...)
I wasn't kidding about preferring to sit around the fire instead of showshoeing in the dark.
Snowshoeing is Fun and EASY - with a Very Easy Learning Curve! - It's great for exercise and as a family activity!
Living in New England, snowshoeing is extremely popular, and I see people of all ages (including me!) out there. If I can snowshoe (as a relatively un-athletic woman), then anyone can! It reallyis a great way to get outside and breathe in that crisp fresh air!
Top Rated Snowshoes for Women...drum roll please...the MSR LIGHTNING ASCENT 25! - These beauties are EVERYTHING you want in a snowshoe and more!
Ok ladies... THIS is the snowshoe you have been waiting for. Highly rated by users, it's lightweight (7 pounds), and very versatile. Perfect for walking trails, trail running, AND hills. MSR consistently receives high marks for their gear - and my husband, who is a rock and ice climber and agrees. You just cannot go wrong with MSR, and these Lightning Ascents are wonderful!
So, when a user can trample through winter fields, navigating downed barbed wire fences and "frozen cow poop" (hey, I didn't say it!!) well... how can you resist THAT? Again, MSR comes through with rugged bindings where your feet will stay put. Now, I have no thoughts of working a farm in the winter, but, I do have a field that I like to tromp around - just to get outside in the snow - and these look like they would do the trick (I do have some rocks that I'd probably hit, so from all accounts, these would hold up in the unstable stuff below the snow crust).
How to Choose the Right Snowshoes for Your Weight
Tubbs Snowshoes for Women - A long-time, very beloved brand in Snowshoes
Whether you're an adult or child, Tubbs Snowshoes have been around for many, many years. There's a good reason for that. They are highly trusted, affordable, and offer a terrific all-around outstanding line. Check out some of these excellent selections that are sure to fit the bill for whatever your activity levels are right for you!
Aside from the color, which I do admit I like... brings a feminine aspect to sweating under my layers of poly-pro. :)
I do like the fact that Tubbs offers a range of sizes. Go a tad shorter if you’re lighter, a tad longer if you’re heavier. The longer ones will help you stay “afloat” a little better. I wouldn’t use these for serious mountaineering, but if you’re hanging out on the flatter or less strenuous trails like I do, you should be fine.
If you look at the close-up of the photo (you can zoom in at the product page), you will notice that these are pretty basic as far as design goes. As I looked at the back heel buckle, I was reminded - once again - why I like one-pull bindings.
Having said that, these look fine for all-around use. I think - for me, anyway - I would not depend on this design in a serious alpine situation.
But, as you’ve read above, I’m not going there anyway.
Another basic classic model from Tubbs - and you have to admit that they appeal to the feminine!
Aside from the attractive design, I was a little concerned by one review that mentioned a potential adjustment issue in the heel - evidently it wasn’t as secure as she’d like it in the woods, but the overall consensus is that these are a pretty sturdy pair, and that they are easy to put on and take off (which is important to me - and if it’s important to me, it’s likely to be important to others as well).
I’m including this “beginners” model for two reasons; one being the price (which is great, especially if you aren’t sure you’re going to get into snowshoeing on a regular basis), and two being that once you get the hang of it - which you will - they are easy to put on and take off.
Some of the reviews aren’t great on this for some reason, so I decided to dig a little deeper. The worst of the offenses appear to be a difficulty in keeping the straps tight.
And, of the reviews that weren’t very good, only one was a verified buyer of the product (in other words, only one of those reviews was written by someone who had actually purchased the product through Amazon).
So my own thoughts are this: If you are new to snowshoeing, and can be patient with yourself as you learn how to use and adjust bindings, and if you are on a budget, by all means give these a look.
But, if you can spend a couple of dollars more, you might want to go with something where the bindings are a little easier.
AND, to be fair to Tubbs, they DO say that these are “entry level” shoes. ‘nuff said.
If I were giving a gift to a friend who had never gone snow shoeing, and had to choose between the “Xplore” model (just above) and this, I’d go with this.
Why? Well, for one thing, it’s a “kit” that comes with the poles. For another thing, it’s “gift-like” looking with its cute bag...
For another thing, it’s under $100... yeah yeah yeah... you get what you pay for!
But seriously, if you look at the closeup of the bindings (there I go with the bindings again), you’ll see that the heel binding doesn’t have a “flapping” end (which I’m always tripping up on when I’m on shoes that have the “tail” dangling), and it’s just enough of a “kit” to get outside with your friends on a snowy day to see if you like it!
Great Glen Outfitters up here in New Hampshire Uses Tubbs Snowshoes - By the way, if you're ever up in the NH White Mountains this is a GREAT Spot!
I'm quite fond of Great Glen Trails and the people who manage it and work there. Actually, some of the management lives right across the street from me (which in rural NH means less than 1/4 mile away). Anyway, this short video shows one of the folks at the outfitter department discussing Tubbs Snowshoes, which is the brand that THEY offer. A trustworthy brand that has been around for a long time.
Kathy Tremblay is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com