Do you love the walks on the snow, but tend to get really tired after a mile or two? Especially when the snow is deep? Did you think about ways of being able to walk on the snow, but not sink, for example, like rabbits? What do you think is their secret? Wide paws, of course! So, how do you make your feet wider? Easy, you find the best snowshoes for beginners, not spend a fortune on them, and enjoy the winter walks.
Snowshoeing is actually a winter sport that involves walking, trekking, or running across the snow. Snowshoes, which are designed to fit comfortably over your winter boots, help you walk across the snow without sinking by spreading your weight and therefore allowing you to “float.” Compared to many other sports, snowshoeing is safe, easy, and inexpensive. All you need to get started is a pair of the snowshoes, and you’ll be on your way!
However, with so many different models and brands on the market, finding the perfect snowshoes can actually become a complicated task.
There are different types of snowshoes with different design elements according to whether you plan on taking them on moderate terrain and trails, out in the back country, or even for racing. If you’re a beginner, snowshoes designed for leisurely hiking on flat terrain snowshoes will be your best bet.
In this article, we have reviewed some of the best options when it comes to snowshoes, and included the most important features to keep an eye on if you want to find a pair that suits you completely. After going through these features, you will be able to compare the reviewed products and find the right model for you.
Our Top Picks
|Product Name||Weight||Frame||Specific Features||Price|
|Chinook Trekker||3.9 pounds||Lightweight aluminum||UV resistant polyethylene decking, ratchet bindings, heavy duty aluminum crampons||Check price on Amazon|
|Alps Light Weight||4 pounds||Aluminum alloy||Plastic deck, rigid bindings||Check price on Amazon|
|Tubbs Xplore||3.9 pounds||Lightweight aluminum||Toe cord, quick-pull binding and foot strap||Check price on Amazon|
|MTN Extreme Lightweight||4.8 pounds||Lightweight aluminum||Nytex deck, quick release buckles, and steel crampons||Check price on Amazon|
|Lucky Bums Youth||3.5 pounds||Lightweight aluminum||Metal toe crampon, easy-to-use adjustable bindings||Check price on Amazon|
|Alps Performance||4 pounds||Lightweight aluminum||Unisex sizing, lightweight aluminum frame, Nytex deck, Fast-Loc buckles||Check price on Amazon|
Features to Consider Before Buying
Before purchasing a pair of snowshoes there are some factors that you need to keep in mind. Here are some of the most important features to consider before buying a pair of snowshoes:
The first consideration when buying snowshoes is fit. It’s critical that you buy the right size, which is measured in terms of weight, in order to maximize snow flotation and minimize sinking. The “recommended load” for a pair of snowshoes refers to your total weight, including equipment, gear, and outerwear.
Although many basic snowshoe models are unisex, men’s snowshoes can generally fit wider boots, which may be a consideration.
Kid’s models are unisex, and also sized primarily according to weight. If you have the option to choose between two models that are slightly different sizes, but can both support your weight, choose the smaller one, which will be less cumbersome for basic Snowshoeing.
Bindings are used to securely hold your snow boots inside the snowshoes, and they can be either rotating or fixed. Rotating bindings feature a pivot, which allows more flexibility and a greater range of activities, such as running or climbing hills. Fixed bindings, on the other hand, are not designed to pivot.
They ensure comfort and stability when walking on trails and terrain that is reasonably flat. Because they are designed for walking, it’s easier to walk backwards, and also to step over things, with fixed bindings.
Some considerations when it comes to bindings include ease of use (how easy they are to adjust, fix, or release), fit relative to the size of your winter boots, and temperature resistance.
The straps are usually made of nylon, and clips are generally some sort of plastic or polymer. On beginner or child models, which are simpler and more intuitive, the bindings are very often fixed.
Frames and Decking
The other major components common to all snowshoes are frames, decking, and devices for traction. In general, the frames on snowshoes are made of aluminum, which can be more or less lightweight. Lighter frames tend to be easier to use.
The decking is usually some sort of plastic or synthetic material, which increases flexibility without adding extra weight. Plastic components can be rated to different temperatures, so this is worth checking, particularly if you live somewhere where it gets brutally cold.
Different snowshoe models offer varying degrees of traction in the snow, but even the most basic models will typically have crampons that are located on the bottom of the snowshoes. Crampons increase traction and grip on the snow.
Instep or toe crampons, which are underneath the bindings, are the most basic. Crampons can be made of several different materials, such as aluminum, plastic, or steel.
While all snowshoes have some type of toe crampons, some models also feature additional features for traction such as heel crampons, side rails for side-to-side stability, braking bars, or heel lifts, which decrease strain.
Advanced snowshoes that are built for more intense conditions, or for steep terrain, will have stronger and more prominent traction devices.
To improve your stability while walking through the snow, walking or skiing poles are recommended. Beside helping you stay on your feet and not fall down after each step in the deep snow, poles can also be used to check if there are some deep holes covered with snow.
And, you can also use them to check if the ice is thick enough and safe to walk on, in case you need to cross a frozen river or a lake.
Now, some manufacturers offer their snowshoes together with poles as a package, and if you find such deals, make sure the poles are durable enough and build to support your weight. Be careful because many manufacturers include the poles for the price of snowshoes, but offer models that are low quality and tend to get broken quite quickly.
Top Products on Today’s Market
Below, we review six of the best snowshoe models for beginners. With a range of different sizes and features available, you will be sure to find a pair that will be perfect for getting started with Snowshoeing.
Price: $48 – $100
Weight: 3.9 pounds
Dimensions: 18.9 x 7.5 inches
Specific features: Lightweight aluminum frame, UV resistant polyethylene decking, ratchet bindings, heavy duty aluminum crampons; Includes mesh carry bag that features backpack straps, handles, and Velcro pole carriers
Best use: Winter hiking
Description: The Chinook Trekker Snowshoes come in five different sizes, all featuring freeze-resistant ratchet bindings that stay flexible up to -40 degrees Fahrenheit, as well as UV resistant polyethylene decking.
These light, comfortable snowshoes are great for snowshoeing on packed snow, and flat to moderate terrains that are ideally rock-free. The convenient heel straps and quick release buckles stay in place securely, but also make it easy to quickly remove or fasten these snowshoes.
The smallest available size has a recommended load of 59-90 pounds, which is ideal for a child; the largest size, 36, has a recommended load of 250-300 pounds.
The frame is made of lightweight aluminum, and these snowshoes have heavy duty aluminum crampons, as well as heel crampons for traction.
The Trekker snowshoes are amazing because you can walk easily thanks to their ergonomic design which provides comfort. You also get a carry bag with them, with ventilation and side handles.
- Ergonomic design
- UV resistant
- It might be difficult to choose size
Related: The Cascade Mountain Tech Trekking Poles will make walking in these snowshoes easier, as they will give you more stability. And, the fact that they are lightweight and collapsible, makes it easy to carry them in a backpack when you are not using them.
Price: Approx. $45
Weight: 4 pounds
Dimensions: 7 x 17 inches
Specific features: Aluminum alloy frames, plastic deck, rigid bindings
Best use: Moderate Snowshoeing
Description: The Alps Light Weight Snowshoes are unisex, easy to use, and affordable, making them ideal for kids (though they will also work for light teens and adults), who are just getting started with Snowshoeing.
The simple design features snowboard-style bindings are easy to put on and take off. A tradeoff of the light, simple design is that these snowshoes have somewhat less flotation than other models. The bindings are fixed, making them less flexible.
These snowshoes are great, however, on packed snow and trails, and their intuitive design is perfect for children. What makes these snow shoes amazing and durable is the TPU-85 plastic material that makes them withstand extreme conditions.
When you walk with them through snow, you will feel like floating instead of just trekking. They are great for kids because they won’t slip in them, but also because the shoes are lightweight and would not slow them down.
- Great for kids
- Not flexible
Related: Check out the MST Snowshoe Bag that you can use for storing your snowshoes. It is designed to handle deep snow and cold, and is quite durable and completely capable of keeping your snowshoes in place, and safe.
Price: Approx. $110
Weight: 3.9 pounds
Dimensions: 8 x 25 inches
Specific features: Fit-Step™ aluminum frame, toe cord, quick-pull binding and foot strap
Best use: Backtracking in snow
Description: The Tubbs Xplore Snowshoes are a men’s beginner model that has ergonomic design features, a steel toe, crampons that offer great traction, and easy-to-use QuickPull bindings.
The carefully designed aluminum Fit-Step™ frame reduces strain on the joints including the hip, ankle, and knee. Unlike some of the more basic beginner’s models, these snowshoes, which have both front and rear braking teeth, can handle hills with ease.
They perform best on packed snow, and have features such as a pivoting toe stop, rotating toe cord, and Control Wings™ to keep your foot aligned while out on the trails.
If you are into winter sports and need great shoes to get you Snowshoeing then try out this model. It is very lightweight and provides you with great friction. They are also easy to remove and put on due to their buckle push.
- Easy to remove
- Not affordable
Related: These snowshoes are frequently purchased with Tubbs Snowshoe Poles because they are very easy to wear and use in harsh, icy conditions.
Price: Approx. $70
Weight: 4.8 pounds
Dimensions: 7 x 30 inches
Specific features: Lightweight aluminum frame, Nytex deck, quick release buckles, and steel crampons
Best use: Trekking through the snow
Description: These stylish blue MTN Extreme Snowshoes come in five different sizes, and are great for women, men, or children who are new to Snowshoeing. The lightweight frames are made of 6000 series Easton aluminum.
Featuring angled, stainless steel crampons for traction and Nytex plastic decks, these snowshoes also have molded bindings, laces, and Fast-Loc buckles. Their versatility and great introductory price make them ideal for anyone who would like to get started with Snowshoeing.
What makes this model suitable for trekking through snow is definitely their light weight. They are also very durable and able to withstand the pressure of the snow
Your feet will be secured because of the lacing system that holds your feet firmly in the snowshoes, and they will enable you to go to those places covered in snow that would be really hard to reach without a pair of snowshoes.
- Easy to maneuver
- Proper size is not easily found
Related: Make sure to check out the MSR Lightning Snowshoe Tails because you will feel much more stable if you are carrying a heavy backpack and walking on deep snow.
Price: $45 – $104
Weight: 3.5 pounds
Dimensions: 7 x 14, 19, to 22 inches
Specific features: Lightweight aluminum frame, metal toe crampon, easy-to-use adjustable bindings
Best use: For kids that like Snowshoeing
Description: If you’re looking for a great pair of children’s snowshoes, look no further than the robust, lightweight Lucky Bums Youth Snowshoes that were designed especially for kids. They have secure bindings are easy to adjust, remove, and put back on. These snowshoes are perfect for treks on packed snow.
Furthermore, the Lucky Bums Youth snowshoes also feature metal toe crampons for traction, as well as a special hinge that increases support and speed. They are considered almost indestructible because of their great design and aluminum frame. They are also very light for trekking through snow and harsh conditions.
Also, you get a handy carry bag with these snowshoes and you can rest assured that your child’s each step in snow will be maneuvered properly. That is because of the shoes’ extremely secure fit.
- Kid friendly
- A bit pricey
Related: Take a look at BAFX Products – 2 Pack Poles because it is not easy to walk without support in deep snow. They are not expensive and they are designed to withstand hard pressure and won’t break that easily.
Price: Approx. $120
Weight: 4 pounds
Dimensions: 11 x 28 inches
Specific features: Unisex sizing, lightweight aluminum frame, Nytex deck, Fast-Loc buckles
Best use: Snow trekking
Description: The ALPS Performance Snowshoes is a package that includes a pair of lightweight snowshoes and a pair of hiking poles. The intuitive unisex design features a strong, lightweight aluminum frame and decks made of Nytex.
The snowshoes also have molded bindings and quick release buckles, as well as a lacing system.
Because these snowshoes so lightweight, they are best for packed snow and trails. (It’s worth noting also that, although unisex sizing is great for beginners, if you are a man and wear unusually heavy boots, then perhaps you may want to look for a gender-specific model.)
Affordable and simple, these are a terrific buy for first-time outdoor enthusiasts who are Snowshoeing for the first time. Rest assured that your feet will be secured properly because of the shoes’ great buckles that hold everything in place. Every fan of winter sports should give this model a try because it is really worth it.
- Great fit
- The buckles might pop off.
Related: The Innolife Waterproof Gaiters might be a good addition to this snowshoe-trekking poles combo as you will make sure that your feet and pants remain dry all the way through your winter hikes.
With the waterproof gaiters, we have reached the end of the article. To sum up, unlike some other high-impact winter sports – which can be risky and expensive – Snowshoeing is very safe, easy, and low impact.
Not only is it great aerobic exercise, it’s also one of the best ways to experience a beautiful winter day outdoors. Therefore, with a pair of snowshoes that are completely suitable for you, there is no reason why you should stop hiking when the winter comes.
In this post, we’ve gone over the most important features that need to be taken in consideration when shopping for snowshoes, and we have included some of the best models of snowshoes for beginners, including models specifically designed for kids, such as the Lucky Bums Youth Snowshoes.
Armed with the knowledge we provided in the “Features to consider” section, you should be able to find at least one model that would suit you or your child’s needs.
Now it is your turn to share. Do you already own a model from our list? If so, feel free to leave a comment in the comments section below. Also, if you think we missed one of the great snowshoes for beginners that’s out there, feel free to let us know. Thanks for reading!