If you are a trekker, hiker, or an outdoor enthusiast, you know how you can never resist staying indoors for too long, right? Especially during that cold winter season, when you would love to get out there and have fun in the snow. But, do you have a problem with deep snow? Are you looking for a way to stay on top, no matter how deep the snow is? We have a solution for you and it’s known as the best snowshoes the market has to offer.
Hikers may widen their options and consider traveling along snow-covered trails, backpackers can travel to backcountry huts and snowboarders can come out and ski. Snowshoeing is more than just traveling as it offers a safe and secured way of traveling under the snowy condition, that is, you must have efficient gear with you. However, if you’ve never tried it, how do you know which is the best snowshoe model for you?
Snowshoes come in many sizes and styles. They change a lot depending on the activity they were designed for. That’s why we came up with this article, to serve as a guide to those who are new to the sport, or for those looking to buy a new pair and want to take a good look at recommended models. We will guide you through the relevant features and the best models, and by the end of this read, you will be ready to buy the best ones for you.
Our top picks
|Product Name||Weight||Dimensions||Best Use||Price|
|Chinook Trekker||4.6 lb||18.9 x 7.5 in||Forest and snow hikes||Check price on Amazon|
|Alps Performance||6 lb||27.5 x 10.4 in||Extreme snow walks or hikes||Check price on Amazon|
|MSR Lightning Ascent||5.3 lb||29 x 9 in||Multipurpose for all winter activities||Check price on Amazon|
|MSR Evo 22||4 lb||23 x 9 in||Trail-walking||Check price on Amazon|
|Tubbs Frontier||3.5 lb||27 x 10 in||Uphill and downhill walks||Check price on Amazon|
|New MTN Youth OP||18 lb||29 x 8.24 in||Hiking and aerobic activities||Check price on Amazon|
|Tubbs Wilderness||5.6 lb||18 x 15 in||Walking, hiking||Check price on Amazon|
|MSR Revo Explore||5.3 lb||27 x 8 in||Winter walks, short hikes||Check price on Amazon|
|Lucky Bums Youth||3 lb||19 x 7 in||Trekking and hiking||Check price on Amazon|
Features to Consider Before Buying
Let us help you choose the best snowshoes for your winter activities! With a wide selection of snowshoes on the market, all built with different features. There are a few factors that we’d have to consider when it comes to choosing the right snowshoes for ourselves.
To evaluate, those factors that we’ll need to consider would include the traction, comfort and ease of releasing, floatation, and whether it is able to secure the foot to allow ease of walking and climbing with great efficiency.
Types of Snowshoes
There are 3 main categories of snowshoes:
Snowshoes that are designed for running should be suitable for beginners as they are flat. The flat snowshoes are not suitable for hiking on steep trails or difficult terrain as it consists of different features.
Generally, you’ll find the flat snowshoes narrower in width. Flat snowshoes are suitable for recreational activities that are less extreme and require less flotation. If you’re the type that is only looking for a pair of snowshoes for its comfort and ease of release for your laid back activities during the winter season, we suggest you for this type of flat terrain snowshoes.
Hikers will need a much more efficient pair of snowshoes, one that is equipped with the best features to withstand aggressive conditions. Hikers will need to go through difficult or steep terrains at times, so they will need a pair of rolling-terrain snowshoes that are perfect for hiking.
It is suitable for winter backpackers and hikers who would make use of its sturdy features. This type of snowshoes is suitable for heavy-duty use as it is durable, able to withstand extreme weather conditions with an extra secure grip of aggressive crampons. It usually comes with flotation tails and wide frames.
Mountaineers would be looking for Mountain Terrain Snowshoes, which are designed for steep terrains under icy conditions. Its crampons are built for great climbing functionality as it consists of crampons and bindings that are made for climbing.
You can expect its features to be aggressively designed, durable and mostly lightweight. It should be easy to walk on with its good quality decking and frames that are made to last.
In order to determine the level of flotation on the snow, choosing the shoe size is crucial. The weight of the wearer will have to be taken into consideration. A heavy person may need a pair of snowshoes that has a wide surface area.
As a suggestion, aluminum-frame snowshoes are available in different sizes and composite snowshoes offer additional gears for you to add on to help you stay afloat on the snow-covered terrain.
Snowy conditions vary from light, dry to heavy snowfalls. Consider a durable and larger size Snowshoes to help you stay afloat under snowy conditions. If you’re going on a trip along the steep and icy terrain, do consider smaller snowshoes for sufficient amount of flotation. Also, smaller ones tend to provide better comfort.
Snowshoes that are large in size may be harder to handle, so if you’re hiking on difficult or steep terrain, smaller size snowshoes may be more suitable. However, the larger ones are the ones that will allow you to walk better in snowy conditions.
Frames and Decking
Frames used to be made of wood and are in the form of large oval shapes. However, these days, it’s easy to find snowshoes that feature lightweight designs, strong aluminium or steel frames and synthetic decking.
For those who are going skiing during the daytime, a pair of snowshoes with UV resistant polyethylene or durable synthetic decking would be ideal. These materials are usually made of nylon rubber to make it lightweight and to provide good support.
Some of the snowshoes do come with additional modular flotation tails in which you can add on to your snowshoes for extra flotation.
You can find many different types of bindings, but they may not be compatible with your boots. Sometimes, the size of your boots can be too big or too small for it, and it may be difficult to be securely fastened.
When it comes to shopping for this feature, you must focus on finding the type that is most compatible to your boots as it is necessary for your support and comfort. Snowshoe bindings are important for secured grip.
There are two types of snowshoe bindings: rotating bindings and fixed bindings. Most of the bindings use nylon straps with plastic clips to tighten the snowshoe. As a buying tip, bindings that come with leather straps loosens easily, which causes your feet to slip out easily, so it is best to go for nylon straps.
- Rotating Bindings - It is attached to the decking of the snowshoes. It allows smooth walks, up and downhill. This type of binding offers more flexibility and versatility. It is most suitable for walking, running and racing.
- Fixed Bindings – These bindings are more heavy-duty rubber, and they do not pivot much. It helps reduce drag when you lift the flotation tail of the snowshoe after each step. Fixed bindings make it easier for difficult terrain and trails as it brings the tails of the snowshoes up when walking. Its design makes it comfortable for walking.
Crampons and Traction
The system is found in the bottom of the snowshoes, under the foot. Most of the crampons in the market are made of plastic, steel or aluminum. They are designed to manage the snow-covered terrain and to provide good support for the wearer. Some crampons are designed with aggressive features to withstand extreme weather conditions or difficult terrain.
Traction supports your foot movement, so it is important to select the type of snowshoes with traction systems that are compatible with your type of activity.
As a suggestion, we have a list of reviews of the products that we think may be suitable for your winter Snowshoeing experiences. These products are popular for its good quality and special features that may be efficient for your snow adventures. Have a read at these reviews below and see if you may be able to find the right type of snowshoe for yourself.
Top Products on Today’s Market
The following section will take a close look at the top models out there. Each model is analyzed based on its features, pros, cons and other factors. It is important that you place close attention on each one, as they are different and suit different activities, some might be better for you, and some won’t.
Price: $45 – $120
Weight: 4.6 lb
Dimensions: 18.9 x 7.5 in
Specific features: UV resistant polyethylene decking, easy-to-use dual ratchet binding, includes carry bag, heavy aluminum crampons
Best use: Forest and snow hikes
Description: The Chinook Trekker Snowshoes, feature a lightweight design with strong aluminum frame. It promotes an ergonomic design; ensuring users will be able to enjoy its ease and comfort for walking.
The product comes with a carry bag with backpack straps, side handles; mesh ventilation and Velcro pole carriers. It also features a UV resistant polyethylene decking, ratchet bindings that are easy to use and heel straps with quick release buckles.
It is best used for hiking through trails and forests during the winter season, as the snowshoes will be able to provide great traction and comfort.
A great thing about these snowshoes is the fact that they come with their own carry bag, that way you can easily store them and take them anywhere. Also, once you are done using them, you just put them back there on their own, without risking wetting other items or clothing that you may have in other bags.
- The quick release straps make them really easy to clip in
- They come with their own carry bag
- They lack traction if you are sidestepping across a slope
Related: The BAFX Hiking Poles are a great addition to theses snowshoes. It’s very hard to walk on the snow only with the snowshoes; hence why having the trekking poles is always a massive help.
Price: $60 – $90
Weight: 6 lb
Dimensions: 27.5 x 10.4 in
Specific features: Lacing system holds off feet securely, includes a carrying Tote bag and a pair of Anti-Shock snow poles
Best use: Extreme snow walks or hikes
Description: The lightweight Alps Performance Snowshoes feature shoe frames that are made of lightweight 6000 series Easton aluminum tubing and the decks are made of durable, lightweight Nytex material, which guarantee good durability and quality.
Furthermore, they also come with molded bindings around the boot to cradle and pad the arch and ball of the foot, so there won’t be pressure points. You won’t have to worry about it slipping out as it holds your feet securely and easily with its Fast-Loc buckles to make donning and doffing quick and simple.
Also worth mentioning is that you can feel free to bring this pair of snowshoes with you on extreme weather conditions as its features would be able to withstand extreme weathers, especially with its sturdy alloy frames that are made with 6061 alloy material and its long lasting heavy duty usage feature, the plastic deck that is made of TPU-85 plastic material.
- The Fast-Loc buckles make it really easy to put them on and secure them
- Their traction is excellent
- Include Snow Poles
- Too long, which makes them hard to use in already traced trails
Related: The BAFX Hiking Poles Replacement Discs are a good idea to buy with these snowshoes. Since the shoes include snow poles, having replacement discs is always a good idea.
Price: $200 – $300
Weight: 5.3 lb
Dimensions: 26 x 9 in
Specific features: 360 degrees traction frames deliver edge to edge grip, two-piece independently conforming AT bindings create a secure and resistant attachment, ergo Televators reduce fatigue and increase traction on steep slopes
Best use: Multipurpose for all winter activities
Description: The MSR Lightning Ascent Snowshoes feature 360-degree Traction frames that are able to deliver edge-to-edge grip and split teeth of Torsion 2 crampons for a better distribution of forces for continuous contact. They also feature a two-piece, independently conforming AT bindings that create a more secure and freeze-resistant attachment.
Also, they come with add-on modular flotation tails that allow the maneuverability of a smaller, primary snowshoe with added, on-demand flotation of optional. The Ergo Televators will increase traction when stepping on steeps as it features an ergonomic design that engages with a pole grip. The Televators will also help when it comes tor educing effort and fatigue.
These shoes are probably some of the best in the market, and it’s really easy to walk on them, so you won’t get tired, fatigue or put too much effort. Plus, walking or hiking on steep slopes, whether upwards or downwards, will be a simpler task than with other models.
- Traction is probably the best
- They give great stability and reduce the effort put into walking
- Great durability
Related: The MSR Snowshoe Maintenance Kit is a must with any MSR pair. Since you are paying quite a lot of money for them, you might as well give them good maintenance to extend their lifespan.
Price: $100 – $140
Weight: 4 lb
Dimensions: 23 x 9 in
Specific features: Unibody traction, steel traction rails, modular flotation tails
Best use: Trail-walking
Description: The MSR Evo 22 Snowshoes are a favorite among Snowshoers, with their legendary dependability built for the trail. They feature great stability and control, weather –resistant DuoFit binding that delivers on rolling terrain. Also, the unibody traction with steel traction trails and brake bars molded directly into snowshoe decks to provide a secure and lasting grip.
Furthermore, the DuoFit bindings deliver ample, freeze-proof and glove-friendly security, easily accommodating a wide range of footwear. Basically, putting these on is a very simple task, plus they are quite comfortable, something not very common on snowshoes.
The lightweight nature of these Snowshoes, makes them ideal to be used on trails. They have a great traction, so you already know it’s easy to walk with them, but the lightweight will also help you not get tired, and walk more naturally, without feeling like you have skis on.
The durability is not a concern either, as they are made either in the USA or in Ireland, and they are built to last.
- Excellent traction
- USA made quality
- The straps tend not to stay in place, flapping around a lot
Related: The MSR Flotation Tails are the ideal add-on for these snowshoes. They will add flotation to them improving them even more.
Price: $70 – $160
Weight: 3.5 lb
Dimensions: 27 x 10 in
Specific features: Rotating toe cord design enables the tail to drop and snow to shed off the tail, carbon steel toe
Best use: Uphill and downhill walks
Description: The Tubbs Frontier Snowshoes are innovative and designed to help reduce muscular, skeletal impact on the hip, knee and ankle for the wearer, with their biomechanical aluminum Fit-Step frame.
Their Rotating Toe Cord design, enables the tail to drop and snow to shed off the tail, reducing cardio respiratory strain by 7%. Furthermore, the underfoot pivot point also allows the toe traction teeth to bite deeply into the snow when weighted.
Also worth mentioning is that these snowshoes feature a streamlined 180EZ binding, making it a simple, one-buckle tightening mechanism. It is coupled with an easy-to-use urethane heel strap for efficient, lightweight support.
The coolest feature about this model, is the carbon steel to and heel crampons, which come with breaking teeth. What these teeth do, is increasing the grip and stability of the shoes for when you are walking uphill or downhill, making them the best model for these two purposes.
- Special teeth in toe and heel for uphill and downhill traction
- One-buckle tightening, really easy to use
- The straps seem not to hold securely on people with smaller feet
Related: The Tubbs Napsack is a good item to get with these shoes. Since they don’t include a carrying bag, the knapsack will allow you to store them safely in it.
Price: $70 – $90
Weight: 18 lb
Dimensions: 29 x 8.4 in
Specific features: Shoe frame made of 6000 Easton aluminum, bindings are molded around boot, lacing system holds up securely
Best use: Hiking and winter aerobic activities
Description: The New MTN Youth OP Snowshoes feature shoe frames made of lightweight 6000 series Easton aluminum-tubing, and the decks are made of durable, lightweight Nytex material.
Their bindings are molded around the boot to cradle and pad the arch and ball of the foot, which reduces pressure points. The lacing system holds the wearer’s feet securely. It is able to accommodate users up to 250 lb.
These snowshoes come with a great lacing system that holds your feet very well. Other models tend to have the problem that they fall down or don’t stay in place, but these do. They also come with a Fast-Loc buckle system, so putting them on or taking them off can be done in a matter of seconds.
These come with a free carrying bag plus the snow poles, so it is a complete package with pretty much everything you need to go snow walking. It saves you money too.
- Come with free snow poles and carrying bag
- Very easy to put on and take off
- Very comfortable
- Durability can be a concern
Related: The BAFX Repalcement Tips for hiking poles are a good idea to purchase alongside this kit of shoes and poles. That way you can have spare tips for your poles.
Price: $140 – $200
Weight: 5.6 lb
Dimensions: 18 x 15 in
Specific features: Compact carbon steel teeth on the ball of the feet for better grip, heel crampons help when you descend or traverse on sloped terrain, aluminum frame of 6000-series
Best use: Walking, hiking
Description: The Tubbs Wilderness Snowshoes feature a Tubbs Fit-Step technology that helps reduce the impact on the knee and hips in which the wearer will feel less fatigue. The 180 Pro binding fits snugly around the front of the foot and the heel of the wearer for secure stride.
Also, they feature compact carbon steel teeth on the ball of the wearer’s feet so it is able to withstand extreme winter conditions. Its heel crampons will help the wearer descend, or traverse on sloped terrain. The product is lightweight, featuring a 6000-series aluminum frame that swings separately.
Tubbs distinguishes for creating great quality products, and these snowshoes are not an exception. The quality and durability of these is excellent. Not only, but despite the fact that they are particularly lightweight, they still remain very strong, as the 6000-aluminum material that the frame is made of, can take a lot, so you can be certain that they will last long.
- Excellent durability
- Very good traction for traverse or sloped terrains
Related: The Tubbs Snow Poles are a good addition to these snowshoes. With full equipment you will be better prepared to any hike.
Price: $110 – $200
Weight: 5.3 lb
Dimensions: 27 x 8 in
Specific features: Easy entry cradle, two-strap ratchet system, ergo Televators reduce fatigue
Best use: Winter walks, short hikes
Description: Enjoy the comfort through the new Hyperlink bindings that are featured in the MSR Revo Explore Snowshoes, which makes them perfect for tackling all-day and all-mountain explorations.
Their great features include an aggressive traction that comes with a durable, injection-molded plastic-all engineered tapered deck, which is ideal for women. The traction is one of the reasons why these shoes are great for winter walks, as they will keep you steady and on the right path the whole way. Plus, they are comfortable to use, and so they end up being a preferred choice for the said activity.
These snowshoes also feature an easy-entry cradle and a fast two-strap ratchet system that offers an exceptional all-day comfort and efficiency, including a set-it-and-forget-heel strap.
Also, their Modular Floation tails allows the maneuverability of a smaller, primary snowshoe with the added, on-demand flotation of optional, 5-inch tails. The Ergo Televators will help reduce fatigue and increase traction on the steeps, with an ergonomic design that engages with a simple flick of a pole grip!
- Great traction
- Ergo Televators that reduce fatigue considerably
- Great durability
Related: The MSR Snowshoe Bag is the ideal bag to get if you purchase these shoes. That way you can keep them safe as well as transporting them anywhere really easily.
Price: $40 – $110
Weight: 3 lb
Dimensions: 19 x 7 in
Specific features: Lightweight aluminum frame, decking offers a long lasting durability thanks to the metal toe crampon
Best use: Trekking and hiking
Description: The Lucky Bums Youth Snowshoes are man-made, lightweight, and virtually indestructible as they feature an aluminum frame and adjustable kid friendly bindings. The decking offers long lasting durability while the metal toe crampon provides consistent, solid traction in the packed snow. You’ll find this pair of snowshoes easily adjustable and with a secure fit.
The lightweight nature of theses snowshoes makes them ideal to be used by all ages. Not all the models have this ability, since some are a bit heavier and larger, making it very hard for children to use them. However, these come with that advantage: they can be used by the little ones too.
Also, they come with a handy carry bag, so that whenever you are done using them, you can store them in the carry bag on their own and they won’t be wetting other things. Plus, it simplifies the process of storing them or taking them around.
- Can be used by all ages
- Great durability
- Come with their own carry bag
- Not the best traction to go uphill or downhill
Related: The Outad Legging Gaiters are an excellent addition to these and any other snowshoes. Make sure that your ankles don’t get wet or humid with snow, by protecting them with the gaiters.
To conclude, the decision of which snowshoes you should be choosing depends on the type of activity you’ll be going for during the winter season, as different levels of activities require different types of snowshoes. It’s fairly easy to find snowshoes just for leisure activities, but for extreme conditions, we suggest you consider the features of the snowshoes and the amount of flotation you may need for that activity.
That’s why, it can be tricky to find the adequate ones, as there is a wide range of snowshoes on the market, but with this article you are probably now ready to find them. If you take account of the features, and took a good read from all the different modes, you should be ready to make an informed purchase.
We hope that this article gave you enough information and you are now ready to shop. Do you feel like you got enough information? Got more tips you’d like to share? Share it with us today! We’d love to hear from you.