to top 10 table

Best Snowshoes Reviewed & Rated for Performance

last updated Jan 21, 2019

2018 has seen some great releases in the world of snowshoe gear and utilities from companies such as Evo, Alps, Tuggs, and many others. Picking the right snowshoes for the upcoming winter months is certainly something that shouldn’t be overlooked and you should make sure you know exactly what type of environment you’re going to be up against before making your choice.

When searching for snowshoes you should try to keep in mind whether you’re going to be hiking through roaming hills, deep snow, or any sort of technical terrain in order to optimize your trailing experience to its fullest potential. Either way, we’ve compiled a list of the Top 10 snowshoes currently on the market with plenty of all-terrain options as well as shoes suitable for more experienced hikers so you can make sure you get the best bang for your buck.

In a Hurry? The test winner after 120 hrs of research

icon
 MSR Lightning Ascent
93/100 our score
Compression
95
Fit
90
Size
95
Traction
90
Weight
95
MSR Lightning Ascent
Why is it better?

Freeze-resistant

PosiLock security

360-degree traction

Efficient and durable

All conditions, terrains

Rugged but lightweight

Ergo Televator efficiency

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
 MSR Lightning Ascent
Test Winner: MSR Lightning Ascent
Researched Sources
22
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
15,501
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
120
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
20
Products Evaluated
Last Updated:
Avatar
By AndrewDJ:

The latest update includes the removal of five products for criteria and list reduction reasons, an update of product number 1, and the pros/cons revisions of the other kept products for better information.

Sorting Options
Compression Fit Size Traction Weight By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93
Compression
95%
Fit
90%
Size
95%
Traction
90%
Weight
95%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.01.19)
$299.95
2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92
Compression
95%
Fit
95%
Size
90%
Traction
90%
Weight
90%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.01.19)
$62.39
3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90
Compression
90%
Fit
90%
Size
90%
Traction
90%
Weight
90%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.01.19)
$99.99
4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86
Compression
90%
Fit
90%
Size
90%
Traction
80%
Weight
80%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.01.19)
$74.99
5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85
Compression
85%
Fit
85%
Size
85%
Traction
85%
Weight
85%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.01.19)
$139.95
6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
80
Compression
80%
Fit
80%
Size
80%
Traction
80%
Weight
80%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.01.19)
$199.95
7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
76
Compression
80%
Fit
80%
Size
75%
Traction
75%
Weight
70%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.01.19)
$59.99
8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
76
Compression
90%
Fit
75%
Size
75%
Traction
70%
Weight
70%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.01.19)
$189.94
9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
73
Compression
75%
Fit
75%
Size
75%
Traction
70%
Weight
70%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.01.19)
$69.99
10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
70
Compression
70%
Fit
70%
Size
70%
Traction
70%
Weight
70%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.01.19)
$149.99
In Depth Review Top 10
  • MSR Lightning Ascent
  • Chinook Trekker
  • Alps Adult All Terrain
  • 2018 Winterial
  • MSR Evo 22
  • Crescent Moon Gold 10
  • Enkeeo All Terrain
  • Tubbs Snowshoes FLEX Ridge
  • Wildhorn Sawtooth
  • Atlas Endeavor
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Other Factors to Consider
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources

Top 10 Picks

1. MSR Lightning Ascent

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93
 MSR Lightning Ascent
Compression
95
Fit
90
Size
95
Traction
90
Weight
95
best offer for today
$299.95
Pros:

Freeze-resistant

PosiLock security

360-degree traction

Efficient and durable

All conditions, terrains

Rugged but lightweight

Ergo Televator efficiency

Cons:

Less sturdy

Expensive pricing

Decreased shock absorption

An upgrade of the popular original Ascent, this new model gives you a snow trek that doesn’t weigh you down. Lightweight and technical, the MSR is constructed for various trekking such as back-country activities, terrain that is rugged, and mountaineering. You’ll have stability and security with the 360-degree traction and edge-to-edge grip that can withstand different challenging environments. The ultralight is compatible with modular flotation tails for any needed excess float or varied, unpredictable terrain and conditions. The polyurethane decking provides durability, flotation, and the snow footwear is equipped to handle different body weights, gear loads with maximized maneuverability.

Read more

PosiLock
The attachment is freeze-resistant to help any footwear you are wearing to avoid any unnecessary freeze-related issues. It also provides a secure fit to keep your footwear from detaching from the snow footwear The decking the PosiLock is attached to gives it lightweight durability.

Ergo Televator
It’s a lift bar at the heel to help improve your efficiency while going uphill. This will decrease any fatigue and increase traction. The Ergo Televator flips up very easily giving you extra help and support on steep hills.

Cost and Value
The lightweight construction that improves traction, movement, and ability in any environment, terrain, and conditions make these costly but worth it. The advanced features give greater fit, security, and enhance your snow trekking skills. Skipping on these because of the cost is like skipping out on a quality climb.

2. Chinook Trekker

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92
 Chinook Trekker
Compression
95
Fit
95
Size
90
Traction
90
Weight
90
best offer for today
$62.39
Pros:

Lightweight built

Quick release straps

UV resistant decking

Maneuverable traction

Different sizing options

Carrying bag and accessories

Cons:

Only two straps

Bendable aluminum teeth

Widely considered the best beginner as well as budget snow footwear on the market, the Chinook Trekkers are tried and true in the world of snow foot apparel and offer a reliable kit and carrying bag suitable for all ages and skill levels.

Read more

UV Resistant Decking
The Chinook Trekkers may look like just ordinary snow foot apparel, but include a couple of features that may not be noticed right away. In addition to their heavy-duty build, the Chinook Trekkers also come standard with UV protection, making sure to protect your gear on the trails.

Crampons Made from Aluminum
One thing that you should always look for when purchasing a new pair of snow footwear is, of course, the quality of traction, and the Chinook Trekkers are no exception to this rule. The Trekkers include aluminum heel crampons allowing for fantastic traction and rotation for great control when you're trekking down the slopes.

Cost and Value
Coming in a variety of sizes and even including a carrying bag and other various accessories, the Chinook Trekkers are a great budget model capable of competing with even the most expensive options on the market. I personally think if you're looking for a cheap and reliable pair of snowshoes, these are the ones you should shoot for.

3. Alps Adult All Terrain

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90
 Alps Adult All Terrain
Compression
90
Fit
90
Size
90
Traction
90
Weight
90
best offer for today
$99.99
Pros:

Adults and children

Valuable accessories

Fantastic terrain assistance

Comfortable bindings, lacings

Lightweight, durable materials

Cons:

Hard trail limitations

Quickly becoming a popular option in the snow footwear world ALPS brings yet another pair of budget snowshoes suitable for all skill levels. With the inclusion of a pair of anti-shock poles, tote bag, and a number of other features, the ALPS All Terrain's are an attractive pair for buyers looking for everyday wear or just a quality pair to go vacationing with.

Read more

Lacing Technology
Quality lacings allow for circulation and security when on the trails; ALPS Fast-Loc buckles allow for putting your footwear on and taking them off quick and easy without a sacrifice in protection, a system every foot apparel should feature.

Lightweight Frame Technology
ALPS lightweight 6000 series features Easton aluminum tubing for the frames and Nytex material for the decking making for a perfect on the go shoe for attacking any type of slope at any time.

Cost and Value
With the inclusion of a snowshoeing pole and tote bag, the ALPS All Terrain foot apparel compete very well and come quite close in terms of the features they offer for a budget price. If you're looking for a very comfortable snowshoe with optimized traction control, you may want to consider purchasing these over the Chinook Trekkers.

4. 2018 Winterial

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86
 2018 Winterial
Compression
90
Fit
90
Size
90
Traction
80
Weight
80
best offer for today
$74.99
Pros:

Color variety

Kids and adults

Ultra-flex plastic

Terrain adaptable

Control and traction

Lightweight built, bindings

Cons:

Snow sinkage

Difficult strap adjustability

Another great pair of all-terrain snow foot apparel suitable for experts and beginners alike. The 2018 Winterial Snowshoes are great for backcountry, recreational, and even for use on more technical trails for more experienced snowshoers. Also coming in a variety of colors and sizes this footwear is a great all-in-one option with a cheaper price tag.

Read more

Aluminum Heel Teeth
Functionality is one of the major strengths this foot apparel possesses allowing a variety of trails and hills to be climbed as mentioned above. The aluminum teeth on the bottom of the 2018 Winterial snowshoes allow for increased traction and grip in the snow and in comparison to the MSR Ascents they are a real competitor.

Comfort
Comfort is a major focus and selling point for Winterial as they attempt to optimize every footwear for maximum comfort, and this snowshoe is no exception. The sleek design and included anti-shock poles allow for the best possible experience whether you're traveling long or short distances.

Cost and Value
For the rather minimal price tag for a pair that would last you quite a while, the 2018 Winterial's are a great option for seasoned hikers and offer a great value with the included poles and features. Seven colors are also available as well as kids sizes allowing you to tailor your experience to its greatest potential.

5. MSR Evo 22

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85
 MSR Evo 22
Compression
85
Fit
85
Size
85
Traction
85
Weight
85
best offer for today
$139.95
Pros:

Affordable price

Add-on flotation

Reliable construction

All terrains adaptable

Comfortable, durable bindings

Cons:

Loud decking noise

Another entry from MSR makes the list and this time it’s their latest model of innovative snow footwear and comes in at an inexpensive “middle of the road” price tag that's perfect for beginners looking for a more high-end snowshoe or regulars looking for something reliable that can be worn often. They are molded and have widespread appeal among all skill levels and are known to be quite versatile.

Read more

Semi-aggressive traction control
Like almost all of MSR’s snow footwear, versatility is one of their selling points, and the Evo 22’s with their optional add on tails for increased flotation allow for these shoes to carry quite a heavy load without sinking too deep into the snow while also maintaining traction on beginner level trails and rolling hills.

Duofit bindings
Delivering a freeze-proof, glove-friendly, and secure binding the Evo 22s are able to accommodate a large range of footwear and while also being able to slip on and off with ease. In addition to the versatility of the bindings, they also are well built and durable in a variety of conditions.

Cost and Value
You can never go wrong with a pair of MSR snowshoes as currently, they offer the best snowshoes there are on the market. In terms of the Evo 22’s at a relatively low price, they're a great snowshoe for all terrains skill levels in addition to great traction and not to mention comfort due to the spikes being on the underside of the shoe.

6. Crescent Moon Gold 10

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
80
 Crescent Moon Gold 10
Compression
80
Fit
80
Size
80
Traction
80
Weight
80
best offer for today
$199.95
Pros:

All trails adaptable

Adjustable bindings

American produced

Quality flotation built

Plenty of bottom claws

Great control, handling

Cons:

Two color options

Average performing traction

Crescent Moon does things a little different compared to a couple of the other companies on this list but in a quite a good way. Crescent Moon specializes in making snow footwear and as a result makes sure all of their products are produced and manufactured in the United States making the build quality amazing. The Gold 10’s are a great all around snow foot apparel and albeit a bit pricer you get a lifetime warranty tacked on along with your pair when you purchase them.

Read more

Terrain handling
Although the Gold 10’s may not be as grippy as the MSR Lightning Ascent listed at the number one spot on this list, they are able to attack a much wider variety of trails making them a great option for all skill levels with the addition of an optional climbing bar as well for climbing steep hills.

Adjustable SPL bindings
Unlike some of the others on this list, the Moon 10’s allow for adjustable bindings to fit virtually any footwear size rather than just picking a particular size and hoping for the best. The SPL bindings wrap all the way around your foot provide great support and making sure you stay put when roaming the trails.

Cost and Value
The big price tag comes in due to the U.S. manufacturing of this product, but for many, that's exactly what they want. Durability has been a huge factor in whether or not a snow foot apparel is bought and for many this fits their needs perfectly. If you're looking for a great all-round American made snow foot apparel, then this is exactly what you're looking for.

7. Enkeeo All Terrain

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
76
 Enkeeo All Terrain
Compression
80
Fit
80
Size
75
Traction
75
Weight
70
best offer for today
$59.99
Pros:

Kids and adults

Perfect for beginners

Great affordable price

Strong crampon traction

Lightweight, durable aluminum

Adjustable heel straps, bindings

Cons:

Heel piece freezes

Traction climbing issues

Here’s yet another great pair of all-terrain snow footwear at an extremely affordable price for anyone interested in snowshoeing. The Enkeeo All Terrains come in four sizes and feature a simple but effective design supporting up to 210 pounds allowing you to carry a large load out on the trails.

Read more

Aluminum build
Without any sacrifice in weight, this snow footwear comes with a completely metal build making them really reliable and resistant to constant wear. The overall strength of these shoes, thanks to the aluminum build, support up the 210 pounds as mentioned above allowing you to travel long distances with a lot a lot of supplies without any worry of your snowshoes failing on you.

PE Decking
The PE Decking on this pair is great for all snowy scenarios providing you with great flotation in deep snow and aluminum crampons for a reliable and stable bite into the snow. However, traction when trekking downhill is a little iffy so that should be taken into account when considering this footwear.

Cost and Value
All in all, this is a great pair of all-around snow foot apparel for beginner and intermediate snowshoes alike. Coupled with their cheap price they provide a nice package for mild trail-blazing but when attacking more technical terrain with rolling hills you should consider putting up a little more money for better traction.

8. Tubbs Snowshoes FLEX Ridge

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
76
 Tubbs Snowshoes FLEX Ridge
Compression
90
Fit
75
Size
75
Traction
70
Weight
70
best offer for today
$189.94
Pros:

Easy to use

Travel-friendly

Boa Closure system

Simple and attractive

Traction for every trail

Versatility, trail handling

FLEX Ridge technology

Cons:

Very high cost

Esoteric trail handling

Boa Closure systems have become quite popular amongst snowboard bindings and are now making their way to the snowshoeing market. The Tubbs FLEX Ridge feature a dual cable system that allows for ease-of use when slipping on your footwear and on the flipside great mobility as a result.

Read more

Boa Closure system
With a couple cranks of the boa dial you’ll be ready to hit the trails in seconds making these the easiest to use and one of the best bindings on the market. They allow for great mobility as they don’t have as much as a clunky underfoot as other snowshoes on the market may have and make sure to keep your feet nice and tight so they don’t slip off.

FLEX Ridge
Tubbs also integrated their new FLEX Ridge technology that allows these shoes to travel over many different terrains while also offering a very flexible and lightweight build.

Cost and Value
An amazing amount of technology went into them and ultimately they're probably the most fun snowshoes to use due to their integrated FLEX Ridge, lightweight build, and ease of use. The only downside really to these snowshoes is their ability to handle technical terrain and its expensive price tag, but personally, I believe these snowshoes are extremely underrated and worth trying out.

9. Wildhorn Sawtooth

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
73
 Wildhorn Sawtooth
Compression
75
Fit
75
Size
75
Traction
70
Weight
70
best offer for today
$69.99
Pros:

Easy, quick put-on

Heel plate trekking

Strong crampon traction

Great material construction

Cons:

Small toe cut-out

Heel straps degrade

The Wildhorn Sawtooth snow footwear just hit the market and for their low price there a steal! Everything that you could want when going snowshoeing is included in this all in one package. Included is great all-around traction, build quality, and adjustable bindings, making this another great and cheap option for getting into snowshoeing.

Read more

Fully adjustable bindings
Coming in two 21 and 27 inch sizes these also feature adjustable bindings for a much better fit when out on the trails. The simplicity present in these comes quite close to the ease of use of the Tubbs FLEX Ridge but instead feature ratchet style buckling and with no lacing compared to other similar footwear on the market, great for keeping you secure when hitting the trails.

Hard Pack Grip Teeth
Each Sawtooth comes standard with two fantastic sets of reinforced and heavy duty crampons for great traction on icy surfaces. In addition, they also feature a steep include heel lift riser providing traction and control when trekking up and down hills, a great and convenient feature perfect for those newer to snowshoeing.

Cost and Value
At an extremely cheap and affordable price, the Wildhorn Sawtooth is the best all-around footwear for snow you can get on the market with no real downside. The build is durable and lightweight while the traction and heel support is great for any type of environment, ultimately providing one of the best experience at a low price.

10. Atlas Endeavor

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
70
 Atlas Endeavor
Compression
70
Fit
70
Size
70
Traction
70
Weight
70
best offer for today
$149.99
Pros:

Easy storage

Made for travel

Long-lasting durability

Extremely comfortable

Easy slip-on/off bindings

Aluminum, composite decking

Cons:

No extreme tails

Easily kicks up snow

With the addition of bindings that lay flat for easy travel when stowing away, the Atlas Endeavor snow footwear are a great lightweight and stealthy pair with added comfort due to the narrow frame, a great feature when going out on a day hiking without the worry of fatigue.

Read more

Walkability
The narrow frame design makes these shoes great for stepping over obstacles and long distance travels. Zero tripping or fumbling is present when using these, because the decks are so small, allowing for long distance travels with ease.

Flexible urethane bindings
As mentioned above these shoes are great for bringing with you on a trailing vacation as they collapse neatly and attach easily to any backpack. In addition, the bindings are extremely comfortable as the straps zig zag across the foot and allow for a lot of flexibility when putting on and taking off when hitting the trails

Cost and Value
Ultimately with the exception of the expensive price tag, the Atlas Endeavors is a great footwear for winter time nomads who are always on the move. The ease of use in terms of its storage is great for snowboarders and skiers and they offer a really nice all in one package.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Compression

The Binding System is an important part of snowshoes, and often one that confuses beginners. Different types of snowshoes are often categorized by their binding, as Mountain or Backcountry snowshoes have stiffer bindings that offer more support, usually with bigger snowshoes. Running snowshoes are designed with light but strong bindings so the wearer can move freely.

Here are the different types of bindings and their materials:

Nylon straps – these are often found on entry-level snowshoes and are lightweight and simple to use. They also offer tons of adjustability, which is their capability to be used with different types of snowshoes. Nylon, however, is less supportive and less durable than other bindings.

Ratchet straps – these are similar to the type of straps you might find on snowboard bindings, so you know that they will keep you strapped in. They offer also offer a high adjustability and are easy to use, making them also a choice for beginner snowshoers.

Rubber straps – these are the most common types of straps and are found on most snowshoes. They can also be used on a range of snowshoes and are durable, especially in freezing conditions. Rubber straps can be found anywhere from Flat Terrain to Mountain Terrain snowshoes.

Boa Closure – this is a new type of strap that’s becoming more popular in the snowshoe industry. It offers a secure fit and is extremely easy to use, but this can mean that they are more expensive. They are generally made for beginner snowshoers.

3 strap vs. 2 strap system – snowshoes also come in a 3-strap or a 2-strap system. The 3-strap is the best as its the most secure and won’t come undone or freeze shut. The 2-strap system might be lighter but it is less secure, though it is still sufficient in keeping your foot in place.

Similar to the frame, the bindings on a snowshoe should be one of the most important features to look for because it is exclusive for each and every snowshoe. Make sure to find a binding that is made of quality materials like the ones listed above.

So, to restate, when buying snowshoes, first look at the bindings, then the frame, then the crampons. Doing so will ensure you prioritize the most important parts of the snowshoe. Try to look for quality materials and avoid cheap materials as durability is the most important aspect of snowshoes.

Fit

We all know how hard it can be sometimes to find the perfect pair of shoes that we not only love, but that also fit snugly and comfortably. With so many styles, brands, colors and models, how can one compare hundreds of supposed “size 10s”?

To assess for trueness-to-size, we considered the opinions of thousands of wearers from across the globe to find out the answer to the ultimate question: do these 10s fit like a 10? While some things can give you a hint as to whether they will fit true, small or large; like brand name, shoe type and year of make; we believe that the opinion of buyers cannot be wrong. If they say the shoe doesn’t fit the way it’s supposed to, then you won’t find it in our 10-best list.

You will find that a pair of shoes or boots or sandals that score high on this metric tend to experience a trueness-to-size that was verified by our large community of sampled buyers. Just don’t forget to take into account the factors above to also make sure your favorite pair will fit you perfectly.

Size

Unlike the sizing of regular shows, snowshoes use a diverse sizing that measures not only your shoe size but the size of the frame to provide the best amount of flotation. First, it’s important to know that there’s a difference between Men’s and Women’s snowshoes. Men’s snowshoes tend to be larger and can carry heavier weights, while Women’s snowshoes are narrower and have a more contoured frame design, while their bindings also fit women’s shoe sizes.

The size of your snowshoe depends on the weight you are carrying, which includes your equipment. Here is a guide for size and weight:

20 inches – 85-100 lbs
25 inches – 120-200 lbs
30 inches – 170-250 lbs
36 inches – 220-300 lbs

Again, this measures the length of the snowshoe and approximates it to the weight you will be carrying, including yourself and your equipment, while snowshoeing. If you are planning to snowshoe trails or tightly packed snow, it’s fine to wear a smaller snowshoe than your accommodated weight. However, if you are snowshoeing in powdery or backcountry snow, it’s imperative that you follow this sizing guide to get the best type of snowshoe.

Traction

Now, there’s also Crampons, also known as the Traction. Crampons on snowshoes are most frequently made of steel or metal composites since they offer a strong foundation with a good grip. Aluminum can also be found on lightweight snowshoes, though most crampons feature a two-prong design at the toe made for grip. Some crampons, such as Backcountry snowshoes, include a set of teeth on the underside of the snowshoe, making them better for downhill trekking or icy pitches. When buying snowshoes, make sure your Crampons are made of quality material, such as steel, so you know they’ll be durable and have good traction. If you’re an avid snowshoer who encounters harsher terrain with ice, crampons with spikes underneath can also be an option.

Having a high level of traction is important. Nothing is worse than falling down a hill and embarrassing yourself in front of a crowd. Make sure you check out the product you are about to buy for the type of traction it offers.

That being said, a higher score on this metric means you will get better traction from your snowshoes.

Weight

Knowing the parts of the snowshoe is essential because it allows you to compare the features of each snowshoe with each other. Understanding the following features—Frame Type, Crampons, and Binding System—is crucial when buying snowshoes and for snowshoers.

First, let’s talk about Frame Type. The Frame is the outer part of the snowshoe normally made with a tubular aluminum or any thin, flexible material. Some new designs, however, have started to incorporate plastic frames or flat metal frames.

Tubular Frames are a traditional choice for Frame Type. The design is good for softer surfaces when you don’t need tons of grip. Tubular Frames are often found in Flat Terrain snowshoes while also sometimes in Backcountry models for deeper snow.

Flat Stock Frames are a new design that features a metal frame with serrated edges and rubber decking. This design is often better when climbing in advanced or moderate terrain, as it helps with steep hills or icy pitches.

Plastic Decking is also a new concept, and this lightweight design generally doesn’t include a separate frame. The decking is made of stiff plastic, which makes them slippery on slick surfaces and not ideal for icy pitches. Plastic Decking isn’t the best for flotation, either, and this Frame Type is generally chosen by those who want to save space and money.

There is also a hybrid of Plastic Decking with Partial Tubular Frames, making them lightweight with better flotation, offering both of both worlds.

Expert Interviews & Opinions

Most Important Criteria (According to our experts opinion)
Sort criterias acording to:
Experts Opinion Editors Opinion Users Opinion By Default
Click on a to rate the most important criteria:
1
Compression
Rate This Criteria as Most Important
2
Fit
Rate This Criteria as Most Important
3
Size
Rate This Criteria as Most Important
4
Traction
Rate This Criteria as Most Important
5
Weight
Rate This Criteria as Most Important
Snowshoeing For Beginners

While snowshoes can make for a fun afternoon or full day of exercise and adventure, if you're just starting out, you should be sure to take your time. Even if you're an avid runner, snowshoeing requires more load on hip flexors and hamstrings than running does, as you're constantly lifting your feet higher up for the next step than in running or walking.
Take your time, take breaks, and be sure to hydrate for the best day you can have trekking in your snowshoes.

Poles Or No Poles?

Snowshoeing is a versatile sport, where you can even run if you so desired in your equipment. Poles are really more of a preference than necessity when snowshoeing. If you need a bit of help with balance, pole help wonderfully, but if you feel more hindered with using poles, just leave them at home and see how you fare.

Other Factors to Consider

Durability

A quality product is one that will follow you through the years and work the same way it did on the first day you bought the product. In regard to boots, we assessed durability in a few key ways, analyzing the materials, details, construction methods and brands to deliver to you a simple opinion: will this set of boots do the job and do it again and again? Take a look at each area we evaluated:

The Materials
Which type of materials were the product made from? Are they synthetic or natural? How do they smell out of the box? All of these are critical questions we asked when evaluating the materials of the product. A pair of boots made from fabrics that don’t retain heat? They didn’t make our list!

The Details
Extra buckles, complimentary cases and reinforced fabrics are all good indicators of a manufacturer that is setting you up for long term success with their product. Attention to detail separates the high-quality producers from the cheap ones.

The Brand Name
A reputable brand is a signal of quality and trust. Often, high performers continue to perform and out-endure the competition. While there are always exceptions to the rule, we gave higher marks to manufacturers with solid reputations.

The Construction
You can tell a lot about a pair of boots or shoes by how the zippers behave. Do they pull swiftly and softly, like cutting butter? Or do they jam and snap? What about the sew? If there was threading after a few wears, we considered that a warning sign of a lack of proper construction and durability.

At the end of the day, a durable product gives you the confidence to go out and give it your best, knowing your boots can back you up. Whether you want to take it on-trail or off-trail, boots with a high score on this metric are sure to survive just as long as you.

Bottom Line

In the end, whatever snowshoe you decide to buy all depends on the type of environment you’re going to be in and what you’re looking specifically. If you’re willing to drop a little money for one of the best shoes on the market then the MSR Lightning Ascents are for you. If you’re looking for comfort and ease of use then you should shoot for the Tubbs Flex Ridge. Knowing what you’re up against on the trails is quite important when snowshoeing for the first time; there are plenty of great options on this list and we really hope we helped with making your decision.

Happy trailing!

Frequently Asked Questions

q: What are the three types of snowshoes?
a:

The three types of snowshoes are Flat Terrain, Rolling Terrain, and Mountain Terrain snowshoes. Beginners should stick with Flat Terrain snowshoes while advanced snowshoers can go for Mountain Terrain snowshoes specifically designed for steep terrain.

q: What is Running Snowshoes?
a:

Running Snowshoes are snowshoes specifically designed to be lightweight and narrow so they can be used to run or jog in thick snow. These types of snowshoes should be used only on groomed tracks.

q: What are the most important parts of the snowshoe?
a:

The most important areas of the snowshoe to look at while buying are the Frame Type, the Bindings, and the Crampons.

q: What is a Frame Type?
a:

The outer part of the snowshoe that is usually made of tubular aluminum or a durable steel material.

q: What are the differences between Men’s and Women’s snowshoes?
a:

Men’s snowshoes tend to be larger and heavier while Women’s snowshoes are lighter and narrower, and can also fit the shoe size of women.