1. Join the Camping Babble forums today and become an active member of our growing community. Once registered you'll be able to exchange camping photos, stories and experience with other members. If you're still undecided, feel free to take a look around and see what we're all about!

Snowshoes? What type to buy?

Discussion in 'Attire' started by 2sweed, Jan 17, 2016.

  1. 2sweed

    2sweed Natural Camper Staff Member

    I am looking to expand my outdoor experience and been looking at and pricing snowshoes. Some are rounded at the end and some are long and V shaped. Which type is best for short hikes or walks in deep snow?

    I have seen some nice sets with trekking staffs or poles included. This seems like a good deal. Are there any types of poles I sure stay clear of?

    Some people have mentioned to stay away from plastic straps on snowshoes as they break easily. Anyone have enough experience using snowshoes to stear me in the right direction?
  2. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    "Here I Is"

    Snowshoes - the magical mysterious shoe of the north.

    There are all kinds. It all depends on your style. Things one has to consider is height, personal weight, weight that you might be carrying in terms of packs etcetera.

    I've suggested to others that they rent equipment to get a sense of what one likes before purchasing.

    The field is open...


    These are the kind I use (with straps of course)

    images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRRcxZpE2WF0PhKcnrassyGuzayA0eLPO2zW4pLyJDUBO8K7ZOMdg.jpg images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSJgX_HdWg2PN2N0s7Q1v5PIKuUY6euwPx0mvfoT2wj0GKuOoyoYQ.jpg

    There are all kinds of mod shoes one can purchase today. Do your homework - spend a bit of time reading up and figuring out what might be best for you.

    Set a budget and do not buy on the first visit. Look around, check things out come back later - check for the sales. Remember the sales person is there to sell.


    Never thought of using poles - great idea. They are good too when you are toting a sled behind you.
  3. campforums

    campforums Founder Staff Member

    I just use a set of old ski poles (usually they can be found quite cheaply used) and my snowshoes have nylon straps with a buckle. How deep is the snow you plan on trekking through?
  4. I wrote a blog post on snowshoes last December. In it I go over the general classes of snowshoes, their uses and how the price rises with fancy features. Check it out on The Blog at Explore. It's certainly not an exhaustive discussion, but to summarize even further. As Northern Dancer says, determine your style. That's based upon the type of terrain you plan to be traversing - rolling or mountainous. Some snowshoes have features that will help you climb steep slopes more easily, but most people stick to less strenuous terrain. Once you start looking at snowshoes that match your style, you need to look at the weight they can carry and how much the snowshoes themselves weight (you want to minimize the weight on your feet). After that it's good to look at customer reviews to see what people think about different models and, of course, pose further questions here. By the way, if you are a runner, some snowshoes are designed for running.

    The V-shape with long tails add more surface to help hold you up better, but the size, shape and deck structure can vary in ways that allow other shapes to do as well or better. The V-shape is also supposed to be more maneuverable in the deepest snow. I don't have any experience with that style so perhaps Northern Dance can fill us in on that. Some companies make tails that can be added to their snowshoes if you are on particularly fluffy snow and are sinking in too much. The bottom line is to get a size that matches your weight (with pack etc.).


    @2sweed isn't looking at really tough use, so expensive features are not needed. The pair I have (above - bottom view) use a plastic (polyurethane) strap that hasn't been an issue for me although others have said it breaks and can't be fixed. I did find a repair shop that will replace these 'non-replaceable' bindings - in case that issue develops for me. I just use my XC Ski poles. Renting some shoes before buying is a great idea if you can pull it off. Crater Lake National Park, here in Oregon,USA, offers free snowshoe walks with all the gear provided. That's a good way to find out whether you like snowshoeing or not before you get into it.
    Northern Dancer and campforums like this.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page