Home tools Buyer's Guides from tech enthusiast who loves technology and clever solutions for better living.
Best Snowshoes 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]Last Updated December 1, 2018
Best Snowshoes of 2018
Before you spend your money on snowshoes, start by familiarizing yourself with the various types. There are dozens of choices for an snowshoes these days. These are composed of modern styling with modern technology to match it. Here are some good examples.
Here are the customer reviews of some of the best snowshoes of 2018. Whether you’re looking to upgrade your comfort, style, or accessibility, we have picks to fit a variety of needs and budgets.
Test Results and Ratings
Why did this snowshoes win the first place?
I don’t know anything about other models from this brand, but I am fully satisfied with this product. The product is very strong. Its material is stable and doesn’t crack. I was completely satisfied with the price. Its counterparts in this price range are way worse. I really enjoy the design. It is compact, comfortable and reliable. And it looks amazing!
№2 – Enkeeo All Terrain Snowshoes Lightweight Aluminum Alloy with Carry Bag and Adjustable Ratchet Bindings
Why did this snowshoes come in second place?
This is a pretty decent product that perfectly fitted the interior of our office. I really liked it. It is amazing in every aspect. It did even exceed my expectations for a bit, considering the affordable price. I recommend you to consider buying this model, it definitely worth its money. Seems that the material is good. It has a very beautiful color but I don’t really like the texture.
Why did this snowshoes take third place?
This price is appropriate since the product is very well built. I hope that the good reputation of the manufacturer will guarantee a long-term work. I liked the design. We’ve been using it for 2 months and it still looks like brand new. It doesn’t squeaks nor bents. Looks great in my apartment.
Snowshoes Buyer’s Guide
Recreational snowshoes are going to be the most popular model of snowshoes as these are the most widely used and adapt in many different situations and terrain. When you get a recreational snowshoe you get a less aggressive snowshoe that works well for flat or light rolling terrain like golf courses, packed trails and just walking around in lighter snow cover.
Recreational snowshoes are great for walking the dog and a lot of people keep them in there cars in case of a snow emergency. Recreational snowshoes work best on harder packed snow but you can occasionally break your own path if you need to get through some deeper snow or rougher terrain. Equipped with moderate crampons, the metal attachment on the bottom that grips the snow, you can still dig in and get a great grip on most all icy terrain. Recreational snowshoes are typically geared towards entry level to intermediate snowshoe enthusiasts and are available at great prices.
Generally beefed up all throughout backcountry snowshoes are the Megatron of snowshoes. These snowshoes are going to allow you to break your own trail and explore deeper more rough terrain without issue. Backcountry snowshoes are really the SUV of snowshoes; you can be comfortable on a packed down trail at your favorite state park or golf course and then take the shoes over to the backcountry and be at home in the deeper snow and more adverse terrain.
Built with beefier bindings and larger crampons backcountry snowshoes are built like tanks to not only perform but to actually last through many uses. If you stay only on the packed down path and don’t stray it’d probably be best to stay with recreational snowshoes but if you like to make your own path or live in a part of the world that gets hit with harsh winters take the step up to backcountry snowshoes.
Running snowshoes or fitness snowshoes are built for speed and easy control. Typically more streamline and lighter weight these snowshoes are able to be used on harder packed terrain at higher speeds. Built with training, running and even winter marathons in mind these snowshoes are definitely performance minded.
Bindings offered on this style of snowshoes are smaller and offer a tighter adjustment so you can snuggly wrap them around athletic shoes. These snowshoes having a smaller, lightweight design and athletic shoe binding wrap make them absolutely great for racing and training but are not suggested for backcountry or adverse terrain. Hard packed trails and tracks are where these snowshoes will excel.
Snowshoeing as a sport does not require as much gear as many other sports making it easier for more people to get involved. You will need good winter gear like a good ski jacket, ski pants, gloves and a hat but there are also a few snowshoe accessories that will greatly increase your fun and safety while snowshoeing. These accessories include snowshoe poles, boot gaiters, flotation tails and carrying cases.
Snowshoe poles serve a very important purpose while snowshoeing. By using snowshoe poles you stabilize your upper body which is great for building confidence. The poles will give you more balance and increased stability in all conditions including more difficult terrain. The usage of poles will alleviate some pressure felt by your ankles, knees and feet. For those looking for a workout poles work great to involve the upper body meaning you get a lower and upper body workout just by incorporating poles.
For increased float for a powder day or a trip to some new terrain you will need some powder tails. Powder tails act as an extension to your snowshoes that can be easily added to increase the size of the shoe. This gives you added float in deeper and softer snow and will allow you to carry a larger pack/weight if necessary.
Getting Started Snowshoeing
Now that you know all you need to know to confidently purchase snowshoes you can get some and get out there! The beautiful thing about snowshoeing is you don’t need to go to a specific snowshoe area like skiers need to go to a ski hill. You can go around the neighborhood, the park or anywhere with snow. Getting started on a level and easy to navigate terrain is the best and then gradually add more diverse terrain as your level of confidence increases.
So what can you do when you go snowshoeing? Anything! You can walk the dog, take photographs, get the mail, walk to the store, hike, camp or any combination or activity you like. Snowshoeing can often time enable another one of your hobbies like marathons, running, photography, etc. Have something you like to do in the summer, get involved in the winter with the help of snowshoes!
Traction and Flotation
When choosing snowshoes, you want to select a traction system that is designed for the surface conditions you expect to encounter *most* of the time (unconsolidated powder, packed trails, ice and rock) and a size that provides the right amount of decking surface area or flotation to prevent you from sinking into the snow.
The frames of the Lightning snowshoes have crampon teeth cut into them, providing a lightweight but aggressive alternative to heavier snowshoe traction systems.
There are two main types of snowshoe frames: aluminum and composite. “Composite tends to be more compact and better for packed snow or icy conditions,” said Dan Fischer, a buyer on the DICK’S Sporting Goods lodge team. “Aluminum-framed shoes tend to float better in deep powder, but tails can be attached to composite shoes to assist in floating.”
Snowshoes secure to your boots with bindings, which usually consist of a platform and nylon straps that go over the foot and around the heel. Make sure the binding is comfortable.What Type of Footware:You don’t need special footwear to go snowshoeing. Most snowshoe bindings are built to accept a variety of footwear styles, from hiking boots to snowboard boots. A few are made specifically for running shoes, while others are made for plastic mountaineering boots.
Size and Flotation
The length of the snowshoe depends on the weight of the individual. The most common size for adults is 25”, 30” or 36”. You will also need to keep gear weight in mind. So reference the manufacturers weight and size guides for the best fit.
Flotation is the surface area of the snowshoe, which will again depend on weight as well as snow conditions. You will sink more in powdery snow than packed snow so more surface area may be needed.
They are generally made with aluminium and synthetic materials. You can have a solid aluminum base or a thick synthetic material base, which we find is a bit quieter.
Longer snowshoes are better for open terrain and powdery snow while short, wide snowshoes are better for maneuvering through treed areas.
There are many different types of bindings, and a lot of it comes down to personal preference. Most have a pivot on the ball of the foot for easy, natural strides. Hard plastic bindings need to be completely replaced if they break, but rubber strap style bindings can be replaced easily at any time. We always bring a few extra straps on the trail with us.
Articulation describes the range of movement for your binding. The less it moves, the more maneuverability you have. A full-rotation system drops the snowshoe when the foot is lifted, removing excess snow and reducing the weight. This gives you less to lift and will reduce fatigue. If you are not looking to race, but still want some maneuverability, you may want to look into a hybrid system.
There are two types of crampons on a snowshoe; toe crampons and heel crampons. Toe crampons are located on the ball of the foot to help with steep climbing. Heel crampons are located on the heel of the snowshoe to help with descents and general traction.
Durable and Strong MSR Shift Snowshoes
You can also find more inspiration and trail suggestions in my story for Calgary’s Child:
Snowshoeing: Family-friendly, Affordable, and Easy!
This is the kind of trail you will often find yourself on with kids
At what age can children start snowshoeing
There is no set age that children will be ready for snowshoeing. Basically, as soon as they can walk, they can snowshoe. BUT, you’ll want to start on packed trails. Children 3+ should be able to handle some light powder. By the age of 4-5, children should be able to tromp around in a field of fluffy snow and even help break trail for short sections. Kids 6+ will probably enjoy helping with trail breaking and eagerly take up the challenge.
Always bring a sled!
Take your normal summer hiking distance and chop it in half (maybe even more than half.) In summer, my child can easily hike 1km. In winter, I’d start with km.
Use a Chariot with ski attachment or a ski pulk and hike on wider groomed trails (this is where ski trails actually work in your favour) – just stay off the ski tracks I beg! Bring a Strider ski bike for preschoolers and let them ski out. They can snowshoe up the trail while you carry the bike (just strap it on to your backpack) and then ski out. It’s a LOT of fun. And Brett at
Run Bikes YYC can hook you up with skis for your Strider bike.
Chariots with ski attachments are great for the little ones
Ski Pulks are cozy and our preferred method of getting a single child into the backcountry
Carrying the Strider and a sled into the backcountry (both got used this day)
Beginner’s Guide to Snowshoeing in the Canadian Rockies guide book from Andrew Nugara
5. Hike where you can’t go in summer! Here’s your chance to hike up a creek that is full of water in summer, hike across a beautiful lake that you’d have to hike around in summer, and explore those secret places off the beaten path. (Just make sure the water is frozen before you go hiking across a lake or up a creek!)
Bow Lake, Icefields Parkway (hike across the lake rather than following the trail)
Mosquito Creek, Icefields Parkway (follow the creek rather than the hiking trail)
Johnson Lake or Lake Minnewanka, Banff NP (hike across the lake rather than following the trail)
Snowshoe equipment has undergone radical changes from the traditional wood and rawhide lace style to lightweight aluminum-frame, plastic and synthetic models. The technology and bindings are easy to use.
Snowshoes are simple to size because they are dependent upon weight. While there are different styles (ie. recreational/ aerobic fitness/ backpacking), basic recreational snowshoes are best for first-timers.
Renting snowshoes is a great way to begin. Scenic Caves Nordic Centre offers a wide selection of sizes. Rentals do not include footwear.
Footwear is very important. Wear your favourite comfortable waterproofed hiking boots/winter boots. Rubber is not recommended, nor is tight footwear. Your toes will stay warmer if they have room to wiggle
Wool socks (or wool/silk/synthetic blend) are highly recommended. Never wear cotton.
If you are snowshoeing in deep snow, wear ‘gators’ to keep the snow out of your boots. They’re fabric leg coverings worn below the knee and over the lower leg and footwear.
Some beginner basics
Remember to keep your eyes scanning several steps ahead of you, in order to avoid obstacles.
Get comfortable on flat terrain. Don’t get fatigued by using an exaggerated ‘straddle gait’ stride.
When going up hills, dig, or ‘kick step’ your metal cleats into the snow.
Do not walk backwards. Instead turn around and walk in a semi-circle. It’s better to take a number of small turns with small steps than big turns with a few steps.
When going downhill, keep your knees slightly bent so your muscles absorb impact (instead of your joints). Land forcefully and take big strides. Try not to land on the tail of your snowshoes or lean backwards, which can lead to slipping.
When ‘breaking trail’ (going through heavy new fallen show), ‘stamping’ and pausing for a moment after each step before putting full weight on the foot, is a good method.
Snowshoeing in the French Alps
The French Alps Half-day full day and week-long snowshoeing expeditions, including the Tour du Mont Blanc and multi-day adventures in the Ecrins and Mercantour national parks.
Book a Snowshoeing Day Trip or Multi-Day Snowshoeing Holiday
Escape the frenzy of the resorts and strike out on a wilderness adventure amongst jagged peaks and tumbling glaciers.Half-day full day and week long expeditions including the Tour du Mont Blanc and multi-day adventures in the Ecrins and Mercantour national parks. Our snowshoeing partners use fully qualified and experienced mountain guides so you can have fun whilst staying safe.
A brief history of snowshoeing
Snowshoes were first used by the ancestors of Native Americans over 4000 years ago to help them cover ground on fresh snow. They were essentially refined pieces of wood, but the basic design has changed little to this day.
Traditionally, snowshoes were constructed from a single piece of white ash, which was curved into the recognisable shape. With the ends then tied together, the space inside the frame was fitted with a webbing fashioned from animal hide. Today, wood has mostly traded places with the stronger and lighter aluminium, and instead of animal hide ultrastrong copolymer webbing is used. Snowshoe designs have become sophisticated with specialist models aimed at everyone from high altitude mountaineers to snowshoeing runners.
The accessibility, short learning curve and the trend for backcountry exploration has meant snowshoeing has seen a huge jump in popularity in recent years.
Snowshoeing is a key component in bootpacking where you get out of the resort into remote mountain terrain hunting for untracked powder lines to ski. With your snowshoes on and your powder skis or snowboard on your back you can access that epic off-piste terrain, without a ski lift or helicopter in sight.
One the best pair to review in this is the Neos Trekker. This is a very nice pair of frozen shoes which users can feel a great deal of comfort and warm to wear and walk across the snow. Actually, the shoes have been made with long neck to give warm to also the upper part of the legs from the foot. Also, this snowshoes is made perfectly waterproof for great use on the snow.
Chinook Trekker Snowshoes
Another very great pair is the Chinook Trekker Snowshoes. This pair has been designed with a full dedication to walking on the snow. It is light, it is strong, and it is comfortable to wear. Also, the design has been integrated with the heel straps which allows it to stick right with the ice to achieve very good balance for the users. It could prevent slippery to the max especially when you walk down the slope.
The next for the suggestion here is the NEw MTN snowshoes for man. This snowshoes have been made with extremely lightweight frame which allows the users to move easily on the snow. Importantly, it could achieve amazing balance with its footbed design. Additionally, the lacing system of this snowshoes is done great to give the best fit to your feet. The durability of this is also said to be great.
I weigh 170 pounds, but I typically use my snowshoes in the backcountry with a 20-pound pack.
If your answer sounds something like this, you need to consider your total weight with gear. It is important to first determine how much you will typically weigh when you are ready to hit the trail. This includes excessive weight linked to footwear, hydration, a loaded pack, extra clothing, etc. If you will typically weigh an extra 20 pounds when you hit the trail, you will be more likely to sink if you are wearing a snowshoe that only holds your weight.
Fimbulvert Rangr is a Norway design that has proved to be one of the few snowshoes that floats. It has an 11-inch wide plastic deck that is molded. It is made of wood guts and trappers to make it possible to mellow deeply in snow. Its durability is enhanced by the webbing and plastic binding hence, long lasting. It has a weight of 4.lbs and can accommodate any size. This brand is best for a deep powder condition.
TSL Symbioz Racing
The 11-ounce Symbioz is the best for running and also the bendiest snowshoe in the market. It has a four studs in the base that boosts footing especially on hardpack. More grip under the feet is enhanced with a matrix of molded traction bars situated beneath the ball of your foot. Out of all the shoes reviewed here, The Symbioz the lightest. This is the best that offers suppor and stability to your foot.
MSR Evo 2Snowshoe
This brand is made in the USA and Ireland. This pair offers secure and lasting grip since its unibody traction is made of steel rails and brakes that are directly molded into the snowshoe decks. The presence of the duofit bindings delivers freeze-proof and ample accommodation of your feet. This brand is known for its all-conditions adaptability with modular flotation tails that permits maneuverability especially for the smaller packs. The shoes are lighter and weighs lbs oz only.
Lucky Bums Youth Snowshoes
You will certainly get some of the best features that the best snowshoes have in this brand. When it comes to durability, this brand is built to last with the tuff aluminum frame and the adjustable bindings. What about traction and support? You are assured of a consistent solid traction offered by the metal toe crampon. The decking is also known to offer a long lasting durability owing to the material used in its construction-aluminum. Besides, it has a unique feature that increases its mobility and speed; the lifting hinge that engages upon each step to lift the tail. No age nor gender restriction with Lucky Bums Youth Snowshoes provided that the user weighs a maximum of 90 pounds for the 14-inch pair or 120 pounds for the 22-inch model.
Tubbs Storm Girls Snowshoes
Just imagine a 6000 series aluminum frame! What more if not durability with this model? This is the best pair for kids owing to the ease of walking it provides. You don’t need to worry about flat and rolling terrain since this brand has a fixed toe cord system that provides efficiency in such terrains. This is achievable given that the snowshoe is kept closer to the foot hence improving the maneuverability. Besides, the presence of the tightening and locking buckle makes it easy for kids to wear and enhances stability too. What about traction? It has the best and kid-friendly crampons that would give your kid a solid and safer traction even on a flat and rolling terrain.
If you’re cold- put a hat on.
Extras: Even though it’s cold out, you still need to keep hydrated, so bring the water bottle with! If you’re going way out there, carry snacks, a compass and map, first aid kit, and flashlight (or headlamp) too. These
Nearly everyone is a little nervous or intimidated when trying out a new sport. Snowshoeing, however, is a sport that you can enjoy your first time out. Before you go on your first trip take a few minutes to become familiar with your snowshoes. We suggest getting acquainted with your new shoes in the warmth of a building and not out in the cold. The most important aspect is to become familiar with the binding. Follow these simple steps to make sure you have the proper fit every time. Put the ball of your foot over the top of the hinge, centered on the snowshoe. Your toes should be hanging over the front of the foot bed. Tighten the front strap first, followed by the heel strap and finish by tightening the strap over your instep. The straps don’t need to be overly tight. Just make sure they are snug. It’s that easy! Now you’re ready for your first adventure.
Technique: The most important thing to remember is to keep your stride natural. Don’t try to modify or exaggerate your gait. Walking or running should feel natural, and in either instance the terrain will dictate your stride. You will have the easiest time learning on gentle, flat, or rolling terrain, but the steeper and deeper the terrain gets, the more challenging and intense your hike or run will get! Another point to remember when beginning snowshoeing is that your snowshoes have a larger “footprint” on the snow than you are probably used to. You might feel awkward for a few hundred yards, but soon your slightly wider stance will feel natural. The solution is to simply concentrate on spreading your feet a bit further apart throughout your stride; this helps you avoid knocking your snowshoe frames together and possibly tripping. The following are some thoughts to keep in mind: remember to lift those knees, think about a wider stance, and avoid dragging or shuffling your feet to prevent the crampons from catching on firm snow.
Using a set of poles when snowshoeing will make all of these things come together, all on their own.
Uphill/Downhill/Traversing: When you maneuver up steep slopes, a good technique involves aggressive use of the front crampons. Get your knees up and dig the front points of the crampons into the snow. Remember, the fastest way to the top is straight up – but a more practical method is to cross the slope diagonally. When you are traveling downhill, avoid leaning backwards onto the tails of the snowshoes whenever possible. Try to keep your weight upright and over the center of the snowshoe, and let the front crampons (located under the ball of your foot) grip the snow to prevent sliding. When you are traversing slopes, stay upright and lean into the hill with each step. Keep your weight forward and your crampons beneath you. Short, even strides, as well as traveling with a set of poles, will help avoid slipping and ensure safety.
Deep Snow: Lift your knees and shorten your stride. Your snowshoes are not designed to completely float above the snow, so you will find that you sink a little bit with each step. If you are traveling most often in deep drifts or light, fluffy powder, you may find that getting the next largest size snowshoe will improve your floatation. When in deep snow it is important to tread lightly and pace yourself.
Intensity: The intensity level of snowshoeing is infinitely variable.
From a slow walk you can increase intensity by going faster, running, using poles, going uphill, and/or by going through deeper and softer snow. The ease with which you can change the intensity level of snowshoeing is one of the keys to its great value in having fun and as a fitness option. At a minimum, snowshoeing will be a bit more intense than walking or running at any given pace or level due to the cold, weight of the snowshoes, resistance of the snow, etc.
Safety: Snowshoeing is an extremely safe sport. It is also one of the only winter-specific sports that do not depend upon sliding or speed.
The manageable and maneuverable nature of modern aluminum-framed snowshoes and the soft forgiving nature of snow combine to make the risk of injury while snowshoeing very low. Snowshoeing involves a natural motion similar to walking, to which the body is accustomed, and is very low impact due to the cushioning of snow. Any wintertime outdoor activity has its risks and snowshoeing is no exception. Take care to avoid the following hazards:
Thin ice: Do not walk over frozen water unless you are sure of its safety.
Even after a long freeze, a body of water may have thin spots. Be careful!
Hidden obstacles: Beware of barbed wire fences, holes, or uneven terrain under the snow. Tread lightly!
Getting lost: You can usually follow your tracks out but beware of storms and wind that can cover them up. Always let someone know where you are & when you expect to return.
Wildlife: Please keep your distance and respect their environment.
The critters out there in winter have a rough time as it is!
Frost bite: Protect all exposed appendages, especially as the temperature drops or the wind increases. Insulated gloves or mittens and thick hiking socks will keep those digits toasty, and a mask or balaclava can keep your nose from growing icicles.
Hypothermia: Staying warm means keeping your body dry? inside of your clothes and out. Dress properly for your time outside. Wearing a damp, sweaty, cotton t-shirt outside in the winter time can be just as chilly as falling in open water. Know your limits, stay hydrated, and bring extra layers on long outings in isolated areas.
Altitude sickness: Higher elevations may have better snow, but bring the risk of altitude sickness. Stay within your limits, keep well hydrated, and ascend gradually.
Avalanches: Familiarize yourself with the terrain and potential dangers
Opening hours: Every day, 8am to 8pm
Redfeather’s Hike and Ice
Tubbs’s Venture and Sojourn : These all-terrain snowshoes are more rugged than recreational models and work well for moderate day hikes both on- and off-trail. They’re equipped to handle steeper terrain, although you’ll want backcountry models if you regularly take on challenging ascents. Hiking snowshoes suffice for the majority of winter day hikers though. Examples of hiking snowshoes include:
Once you’ve narrowed your choices down to what type and size of snowshoe you’ll need, consider the components and features on different models and decide which you need or prefer.
Frames and Decking: While some manufacturers still offer traditional wooden frame snowshoes (Tubbs’s Bear Paw, for example), most snowshoe frames are made from aluminum or plastic materials, with a synthetic decking. Aluminum models are lighter and more durable than wood, and easier to maintain. Plastic models are the lightest of all.
Bindings, which secure your footwear to the snowshoes with adjustable straps, should be easy to use so you can get snowshoes on and off without having to remove gloves or mittens in the cold. Bindings are either pivoting or fixed. Pivoting bindings allow for a more natural gait and an easier time climbing hills or kicking steps. Fixed bindings don’t pivot very much, but make it easier to back up or step over obstacles, since the snowshoe’s tail won’t flop around. Most bindings will work with a wide variety of footwear, however some are designed specifically for larger mountaineering or ski boots, or to snugly fit running shoes. So make sure the bindings will work with your preferred footwear.
Most snowshoes provide some form of cleat, crampons, or traction bar for better grip on steep or icy snow. Heel and toe crampons underfoot allow you to climb or descend steeper slopes by biting into the snow and ice. Traction bars on the underside of the snowshoe decking also help reduce slipping, although they don’t have the same ability to grip as crampons. Mountaineering snowshoes offer the most aggressive traction of all.
Some manufacturers, like MSR, offer removable flotation tails
The Louis Garneau NeoKid 61Snowshoes are perfect for the young adventurer. Made with a polymer molded deck that is light, sturdy, and resistant up to -40°C. V-RAIL kid-friendly crampon system molded into the deck provides maximum traction uphill, traverse and downhill. Easy to adjust bindings. Reflex pivot provides shock absorption and good foot rotation on axle for an efficient stride.
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your Snowshoes wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of Snowshoes
- №1 — Wildhorn Sawtooth Snowshoes For Men and Women. Fully Adjustable Bindings
- №2 — Enkeeo All Terrain Snowshoes Lightweight Aluminum Alloy with Carry Bag and Adjustable Ratchet Bindings
- №3 — ALPS Xtreme Light Weight Adult Snowshoes with Trekking Poles and Carrying Tote