Updated April 18, 2021
Finding the correct footwear for easy navigation in a snow-clad environment can be a tricky affair. This is especially true if you are new to a city or a country that experiences regular snowfall. Worry not! We are here to resolve your conundrum. Scroll through for a thorough guide on how and where to find the best snowshoe for you and your family!
What to look for
Much of the characteristics of what might be the best snowshoe for you are quite intuitive. The first and foremost concern is comfort. You should find yourself footwear that ensures secure fit and durability. Next come factors that amplify utility. Your snowshoe should be made from waterproof material and ensure warm insulation as much as possible. It should also have a sturdy and non-compressible upper, ideally made of rubber or leather, so that your toes are safe from frostbite. Most importantly, the sole should be stiff. This will ensure that most of your energy goes in moving in the snow rather than flexing your feet within the shoe. In addition, use synthetic or wool socks that draw off sweat.
Keeping these points for the ideal snowshoeing experience in mind, here are our top picks for a seamless winter experience!
Manufactured by Atlas Snowshoes, Montane is a state-of-art snowshoe that combines traditional structure with a new design. Its most attractive feature is its binding security, which is pretty much the most important characteristic of a snowshoe. It has a tubular design and registers about 175 inches of flotation. This might be lower than other products on the list, but Montane makes up for it amply with its tremendous binding comfort. Its current price is about $230.
Chinook Trekker 25 is the best pick if you are new to snowshoeing and mountaineering. The Chinook Trekker has its advantages. For example, it boasts a flotation of 205 square inches, which is massive for a shoe of its size. This is much more than other very well-designed snowshoes in the list. It also fulfills the major purpose of any snowshoe, which is to prevent post-holing. Most importantly, however, the Chinook Trekker is extremely cheap ($75), which is its major attraction. The low price makes it the ideal pick for tourists and travelers who are not looking to spend more than a week of their tour hiking in the snow.
In Stock at Amazon from $62
MSR is a reputed name in the snowshoe domain. The USP of their Evo Trail lies in its highly affordable price (only $140) and great traction. With a commendable flotation capability, it provides close competition to the Atlas Montane. The moulded plastic decking might be a turn-off, but it is still a catch at this price. The snowshoes display remarkable versatility within less-extreme conditions. The present design allows you to traverse packed snow to light to moderate powder with equal ease. For an added cost of $50, you can buy additional tails sold separately by MSR. These add 6 inches of length and add extra versatility to your snowshoes. These are quality, lightweight snowshoes perfect for beginners and experts alike.
In Stock at Amazon from $139
Tubbs Mountaineer is one of the best snowshoe recommendations in this list in a lot of aspects. With a magnificent flotation and bomber traction, Tubbs Mountaineer stands out as one of the most technically sound shoes in the market. Mountaineer is available in three sizes, making it fairly convenient to find one that is the most apt for your pack load, and height and weight. The only drawback, if it can be called that, is the price of this product (about $270). But we can assure you that the Mountaineer lives up to its cost and is probably the best investment you are going to make in your footwear.
It might not be the most attractive option on our list, but TSL Symbioz Elite has its advantages. It has great binding comfort, and scores significantly high in traction. It is small in size, making it a great pick for young beginners. It is also precise in walking, with unparalleled shock absorption abilities. However, it scores low on flotation and is significantly pricey ($300). This does diminish its allure somewhat, but not its utility.
In Stock at Amazon from $199
If you go by its design, the Crescent Moon Eva is more of a moccasin equivalent of a snowshoe. It is convenient, stylish and offers a unique take on the concept of a snowshoe. It is made of thick foam, making it light and giving it a springy feel. The flotation and traction abilities are not one of its best provisions. Its USP is its ease of use, with comfortable bindings and bouncy structure. It is also pocket-friendly ($139 – $160). Some users, however, reported to suffer blisters because of low insulation.
In Stock at REI from $139
This is a product that could still use up-gradations in its design, but is very promising nonetheless. We recommend you to jot it down in the back of your mind to come back to it when it has turned into a butterfly from a caterpillar, and it’s indeed going to be a breathtaking butterfly! For now, its low-maintenance and stylish appeal make it ideal for short hikes. The binding is easy to use and comfortable. The cost is $250, which is expected to go down in the future as sales increase.
In Stock at REI from $69
This unique pair of snowshoes receives relatively lesser attention in the snowshoe market than it deserves. They boast polymer decks to give you experience of a cushioned hike. They also shed snow easily. With a cost of $104, they are one of the cheapest picks in our list of recommendations. An easy-to-use Boa closure and EVA padding harness make Louis Garneau Boreal 828 an ideal choice for day hiking. The flotation abilities are also excellent. However, some users reported it to be falling a little behind on the comfort parameter.
Here are some of our top picks in the list of incredible snowshoes for beginners and it’s time you made the most out of them!
Grab your new pair online today.
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Jeremy Alderman is an outdoor enthusiast in Scottsdale, Arizona. He writes on all things camping, hiking, outdoor sports, and travel. His weekends are often filled exploring the desert with his wife Madison and their 3-year-old German Shepherd rescue, Grace. His favorite spot in all of North America is the Oregon Coast.