Snowshoeing is easy and fun. If you can walk, you can snowshoe. With snowshoes, you can walk over snow without sinking in it. With normal shoes, you usually sink. Whether you want to walk and take it easy, or run and exercise, it is many times funnier with snowshoes.
Snowshoes are chosen depending on purpose and user's size. The larger the surface of the snowshoe, the better it keeps you over snow. For hard or solid terrain, you can buy smaller shoes, while thick and powdery snow requires larger shoe. The basic sizes of snowshoes used for leisure activities are: 18/19'' (children), 21-25'' (women) and 25-36'' (men). The flotation numbers cannot necessarily be compared between different manufacturers, and the flotation depends not only on the weight of the user but also on the consistency of snow.
On hilly and slippery terrain, traction system is an important feature of snowshoes. You get traction from spikes and steel crampons on the bottom of the snowshoe. When walking uphill, you reduce fatigue by raising the heel lift bar.
When thinking what kind of snowshoes you should get, consider:
In a nutshell:
The heavier you and your bags are, the larger the snowshoe you need. The softer the snow is, the larger the snowshoe should be. It is hard to say what size you should have based on your foot size, but there is right shoe for everyone for every terrain.
When choosing snowshoe poles, follow the size chart of walking poles. The length of a walking pole should be approximately 0.68 x your length, which is appropriate for harder snow. For softer snow, choose at least 10 cm longer pole. A user of 180 cm should thus have a pole of 125-130 cm. Another general rule for snowshoe poles is: user's length minus 50 cm.
Poles boost the intensity of snowshoeing and help you keep your balance in soft snow. We recommend a telescopic pole with a good spike and a removable basket. With interchangeable baskets, the same poles can be used in a wide variety of conditions, for walking, hiking, skiing and snowshoeing.
Gaiters are useful in snowshoeing. They keep the snow away from your boots, which is a handy feature especially in soft snow.
What are they? Sliding snowshoes combine backcountry skiing and snowshoeing. The skis are wider and shorter than normal backcountry skis. There are fixed skins in the middle of the base.