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Snowshoeing

What is a Snowshoe?

Snowshoes have been used in North America for thousands of years for a variety of purposes, and this evolution has provided the present-day user with a wide range of styles to choose from.

Determining your Snowshoe Size

Snowshoe size is determined primarily by body weight and the type of activities you plan on doing.

Types of Snowshoes?

There are two main types of snowshoes.

  1. Backcountry snowshoes
    • Usually more sturdy than recreational snowshoes
    • Price varies between $120 and $230.
  2. Recreational showshoes
    • Price varies between $80 and $140.

Buying Snowshoes?

When buying snowshoes, it is important to find a pair that fits you. If you are just beginning to snowshoe, you should probably rent a variety of different types of snowshoes from ski rental shops. Renting will help you to determine what kind of snowshoes you are most comfortable with.

Common features to take into consideration when buying snowshoes are:

  • Size
    • Shorter wider shoes are more maneuverable but walking is more difficult. Shorter shoes are best for packed powder
    • Longer, narrow shoes are best for open terrain. They are also recommended for light powder.
  • Material
    • Lightweight aluminum.
    • Durable plastic.
  • Women's models
  • Children's models
  • Shape
    • Beaver Tail shoe is shaped like a tennis racket. It allows the user to lift only the toe clear of the snow. The tail of the shoe drags behind supporting much of the shoe's weight. The tail also acts as a rudder to keep the shoe tracking straight. These shoes are best for open terrain. They are not recommended for heavy wooded areas.
    • Bear Paw shoe has an oval shape It allows the user to lift more of the shoe's weight. Bear paw shoes are very maneuverable in tight places.
  • Cleats
    • Cleats are the teeth that are on the bottom of the shoe. They provide provide traction, and allow for more confident stepping.
    • Cleats are an important accessory and come as either a standard feature or can be purchased and attached later.
  • Decking
    • Decking is the material on the surface area of the shoe.
    • The decking keeps you from sinking into the snow.
    • Decking can either be solid or webbed. It is made from a wide range of materials.
  • Bindings
    • Bindings are the connecting system between your boot and the snowshoe.
    • Bindings should provide comfort and security.
    • Proper bindings should hold your foot in securely without causing discomfort.
  • Drag
    • Drag is the amount of snowshoe tail that touches the snow as you walk.

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