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Choosing The Best Snowshoes

Updated on April 3, 2013

Snowshoeing For Everyone

Its time to take a refreshing plunge into some deep snow this season!

Snowshoeing is the perfect winter activity for just about everyone. While snowshoeing has been around for thousands of years, advances in technology have now made it into a sport where casual snowshoers can take a hike for pleasure, avid snowshoeing enthusiasts can trek up a mountain for a backcountry adventure and serious athletes can compete in showshoeing events and competitions.

The best way to get started is to grab a pair of snowshoes and just get out and do it. This page reviews some of the best snowshoes on the market so you can see what's out there and what suits your individual needs. Enjoy!


What to Look For in a Pair of Snowshoes

When buying or renting a pair snowshoes, keep in mind the following details:

There are three types of snowshoes available: Aerobic/Fitness, Recreational Hiking, and Hiking/Backpacking.

* Snowshoes with a sleek design are most suitable for runners and cross-trainers. These are tougher than recreational showshoes and as best for active individuals looking for an aerobic/fitness workout when showshoeing.

* Recreational showshoes are more basic in shape and perfect for first timers. They work well on terrain that is not very steep.

* Snowshoes with a strong aluminum frame, durable material for flotation and bindings that support all types of boots are best for areas of high powder and for those with a little more experience interested in hiking or backpacking.

The cost for a pair of snowshoes is generally inexpensive. Look to spend on the low-end around $100 and on the high-end around $300 (sometimes higher depending on the manufacturer).

Purchasing a used pair of snowshoes is not recommended. Frames may be damaged (including chips), bindings may be overstressed and the flotation material may have small holes and rips. You don't get caught in the backcountry with a faulty pair of snowshoes.

Finally, choose according to your size. Usually measured in inches, the length of your snowshoes will depend upon how much you weigh. The most common sizes (excluding kids lengths) are 25 inches, 30 inches and 36 inches.

Snowshoe Benefit # 1

Compared to Other Winter Sports, snowshoeing is inexpensive

The Top Of The Line Snowshoe


All reviews agree that the Atlas 12 series showshoes are the very best. What makes them the bst top of the line showshoes? Great Wrapp Pro bindings for starters. These bindings Feature an indexed tongue and roller-buckle heel strap that allows for a precise custom fit. They are durable and waterproof and have flowtape silicone straps which glide smoothly through low-friction buckles for secure maneuverability.

The suspension on these snowshoes also can't be beat - its spring loaded and has two suspension platforms that suspend your foot so it can move freely, absorbing impact and letting your foot flex naturally side-to-side on traverses and uneven terrain. The active platform of Spring-Loaded Suspension (SLS ) keeps the snowshoe close underfoot for precise maneuvering in technical terrain, while Free-Rotating Suspension (FRS ) provides a comfortable walking platform with minimal resistance. Both SLS and FRS systems enhance traction control, as the flex of the patented suspension provides deeper crampon penetration into the slope, especially on steep or off-angle terrain.


The Best Snowshoes For Athletic Women

Tubbs Snowshoes Women's Frontier Snowshoes
Tubbs Snowshoes Women's Frontier Snowshoes

Designed and biomechanically engineered specifically for the natural stride of women, the Tubbs women's Frontier snowshoes are ideal for users who want to push beyond the boundaries of the entry-level category, but are still looking for good value. The Frontier snowshoes offer better traction and a more supportive binding than the entry-level Tubbs Xplore, giving you the stability and control to confidently navigate uneven terrain. The Frontier is outfitted with a women's-specific 6000 series aluminum body--a strong, lightweight frame that's optimized to accommodate a woman's natural stride. The shoe's QuickStep binding, meanwhile, includes a dual-pull system for easy adjustments and quick entry and exit. And users will love the carbon-steel crampon system, which offers both front and rear braking teeth for improved traction on uphill, downhill, and side-hill terrain. As a result, the budget-friendly Frontier snowshoe excels in packed snow, but also lets the user take on more challenging terrain.


Snowshoe Benefit # 2

It's easy to learn and the risk of injury is minimal.

Links to My Favorite Snowshoe Trails in Colorado

Colorado boasts some of the best snowshoe trails in the United States. Check out these links for some more detailed information at each location

The Best Recreational Snowshoe


The Atlas 10 men's showshoe is featured here but this recreational snowshoe comes in a women's design as well.The Atlas Men's 10 Series Snowshoe features Men's Wrapp Comfort bindings for the ultimate in comfort and ease of use. Building on Atlas' renowned fit platform, the Wrapp Comfort offers easy entry with positive toe location and eliminates pressure points with insulating EVA padding. A single pull on the binding handle snugs the Uniloop strap around instep, toe and heel, and you'll be ready to go with the classic Atlas maneuverability provided by Spring-Loaded™ Suspension. The tempered steel All-Trac toe crampon and Traverse Trac rails add sidehill control and confident strides.


Snowshoe Benefit # 3

Nothing beats time spent in the great outdoors with family and friends, the clean fresh air, out on the trails or tucked into the trees, leaving the noises and stresses of the city behind.

Excellent Snowshoes For Backpacking

MSR Evo Snow Shoes (22-Inch, Navy)
MSR Evo Snow Shoes (22-Inch, Navy)

These may not look like much, but they are some of the top-rated snowshoes around. Their climbing ability is excellent, as well as their ability to "float" the hiker when he is walking on fresh snow. When hiking in alpine conditions with these, your crampons might spend more time in your backpack! Offers the Posilock binding system with pivot crampon, unibody frame with modular floatation, inegrated traction, and televator with pull.


Snowshoeing is a GREAT Workout!

Snowshoeing is a great winter fitness activity to keep cyclists, hikers, marathon runners, endurance racers, or anyone else to stay fit during the winter months. According to Dr. Ray Browning of the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of Colorado's Health Science Center and Vail Mountain Man champion, "Snowshoeing is the best bang-for-your-buck, fat-burning workout in winter, it's an exceptional way to achieve cardiovascular fitness, expend energy and reduce your chance of heart disease; plus it's low cost, easily mastered and fun.".

Find Snowshoes For The Kids - And get the rest of your snowshoe accessories here

Snoeshoe Benefit # 4

You can burn more calories snowshoeing than you can walking, running or cross country skiing at the same pace!

Comments on Snowshoweing? - Let me know you were here!

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    • flicker lm profile image

      flicker lm 6 years ago

      I enjoy snowshoeing in nearby woods. It's so peaceful and quiet. Nice lens!

    • flycatcherrr profile image

      flycatcherrr 6 years ago

      As a Canadian, I practically grew up on snowshoes. Still have the Huron Village-made pair I had as a teen, but they're showing their age and I crave a new pair better designed for snow hiking. Thanks for the info here.

    • RhondaAlbom profile image

      Rhonda Albom 7 years ago from New Zealand

      Great lens. I tried snowshoeing last time I was in Colorado.