How to Screen and Select the Right Snowshoes


Going through deep snow is usually challenging. Using regular snow boots can make you struggle and sink with each step, making you wonder why you didn’t instead decide for a cozy afternoon indoors. However, this article will teach you how to screen and select the right snowshoes.

Meaning of Snowshoes

A snowshoe is footwear designed for walking through the snow. They are made to distribute a person’s weight over a higher area so that the foot doesn’t sink totally into the snow, a term known as flotation. By doing this, you are able you stay over the snow.

A snowshoe is ideal for a range of various winter games, such as hiking, trail walking, running, and backcountry exploring.

See how to snowshoe even if you’re a beginner.

How to Screen and Select the Right Snowshoes

To screen and select the right snowshoes, you should consider these factors:

Know Your Snowshoe Materials

Knowing your snowshoe is vital when deciding what snowshoes to buy. There are three categories of snowshoes; Composite frame, Aluminum frame, and EVA foam.

Aluminum-frame snowshoes are strong and light, and they typically have a supporting decking material that is well attached to the frame. The decking is often designed from coated nylon, plastic, urethane, synthetic rubber, or PVC-coated polyester.

Composite snowshoes contain a strong decking material that makes up the outside frame. In hard-packed snow surface, composite snowshoes are noisier than other snowshoe materials.

The third type, EVA foam snowshoes, are the latest products. Using or Walking with them is greatly quiet; the foam aids in keeping the feet warm and flexes when you stride. The grip area integrated on the bottom does not offer enough traction like the integrated crampon on other shoes. Meanwhile, if you are a dog owner, you have to consider that foam snowshoes might not elicit a yelp when you accidentally touch on your furry companion trail.

Locate Your Fit and Weight

Weight is the fundamental reason for selecting snowshoe size. A snowshoe spec is required to list the whole weight or the total load they can back or support. Be sure to check the specs, and then use the insight to screen and make your selection. Also, endeavor to review your gear weight.

On a general note, the heavier your body, the higher your shoes should be. Aluminum frame snowshoes are often long, up to 36 inches. While Composite frames are more compact, a typical size example is the 8 inch by 22 inches. However, you can include the above size to extend its length and have more flotation.

Read about how to find a shoe that fits.

Consider where you want to go

A snowshoe is made for rolling on flat or mountain surfaces. Thus, the terrain you will go will aid in determining the type of shoe you should purchase. It is vital to consider the kind of terrain and snow you would be crossing. Select bigger snowshoes for powdery, light snow; they will help to keep you afloat. You can move along with smaller, tight shoes for heavy and packed-down snow. Also, for icy and steep conditions, wear smaller snowshoes.

Understand they vary

It is essential to add that snowshoe sizes vary by gender. Women’s snowshoes are mostly narrower and smaller, which aids in preventing stepping on the frame’s insides. Men’s snowshoes are made larger to accumulate heavier weight and more giant boots. You will see children’s snowshoes made for casual play, and in larger sizes of some children’s snowshoes, you will see features of adult snowshoes.

Understand Binding Fundamentals

Snowshoe bindings are divided into two major types, namely, fixed bindings and free-rotation bindings.

Fixed-rotation bindings offer a secure fit suitable for walking backward and clearing obstructions, while Free-rotation bindings move and pivot with your natural foot motion. They both prevent snow pile-up.

Snowshoe Traction Types

Another thing to consider when selecting your snowshoes is to know the different types of snowshoes traction that exists. Snowshoes have cleats or crampons to offer superb traction as you walk. The cleats might be found on other snowshoes parts;

Side Traction Bars: these are found on the decking’s undersides; they offer lateral stability.

Toe Crampons: these are present on the binding’s undersides. They cleat pivot with your feet as you go.

Heel Crampons: these can be found on the cleats that are underneath the decking. They function to keep you steady as you cross downhill.

Want a Lift?

A great feature of snowshoes is the heel lifts, often called climbing bars. You could flip wire bars beneath your heels to aid in reducing Achilles and strain when climbing the steep area.

The Type of Footwear to Wear with Snowshoes

Snowshoes are made to operate with almost all shoes and boots types, some of which are specifically crafted for running shoes. Before buying snowshoes, know the kind of footwear that should be worn with them.

Snowshoe Accessories

Finally, there are some accessories that you should have before you go to select your snowshoes. Snow gaiters are essential; they could aid in keeping the snow out of the boots.

Another strategic accessory is snowshoe poles. They will provide you with more stability to cross hard surface or terrain and equally offer an upper-body workout.

You can purchase snowshoes and snowshoe poles individually and get them together as a kit part. Buying a kit is a simple means to ensure you have all needed for your snow fun and activities. Most kits have an additional travel bag because of an added convenience.

Also, in selecting accessories, know your potential snow size. Consider getting a bigger size if you would be on dry, fluffy snow. At the same time, you can opt for a smaller size if you would be on hard-packed snow.


Nowadays, different types of snowshoe designs exist. The right one for you rests on how firm and deep the snow you tend to walk on, how rocky or steep your regular terrain is, and your weight amount.

Also, read about the ideal shoes for hiking‘.