Types of Snowshoes

Types of Snowshoes
Snowshoeing is a great way to maintain or improve your fitness level during the winter when the jogging trails are covered underneath 3 feet of snow. But, before you venture out into the cold, there are a few things you should know about your snowshoes. Choosing the right model for your activity can make a pleasant day in the woods even more enjoyable.

Instructions

Difficulty: Easy

Snowshoe Types and Shapes

Things You’ll Need:
  • Snowshoes Sturdy, waterproof footwear Trekking poles (optional)
  • Snowshoes
  • Sturdy, waterproof footwear
  • Trekking poles (optional)
Step 1
Choose the appropriate type of snowshoe, depending on its application--recreational, mountaineering and running.
Step 2
Rent several types of recreational snowshoes before you invest in your own. Recreational snowshoes are the most popular type of snowshoes because they're designed to handle the widest variety of terrain. Recreational snowshoes are the snowshoe of choice for beginning and casual snowshoers.
Step 3
Choose mountaineering snowshoes if you enjoy breaking new trails on soft, deep snow. Mountaineering snowshoes are typically longer and wider than recreational snowshoes and can handle the additional weight of a fully loaded backpack. Mountaineering snowshoes usually have additional features that help with traction on steep and variable terrain.
Step 4
Buy running snowshoes if you intend to use them for running instead of recreational or backcountry walking and hiking. Typically shorter and narrower than other models of snowshoes, they are designed for high-performance exercise. Running snowshoes should not be used for breaking trail in the wilderness.

Snowshoe Sizing

Step 1
Choose a pair of snowshoes that are large enough to support your weight under the type of snow conditions you anticipate exploring. Use smaller, lighter-weight snowshoes on firm trails. Use longer, wider snowshoes in new snow and on trails where you need to break trails.
Step 2
Buy a snowshoe frame that is 8 inches wide and 21 inches long if you weigh between 80 and 150 lbs.
Step 3
Choose a frame that is 8 inches by 25 inches if you weigh between 130 and 180 lbs.
Step 4
Use a snowshoe frame that measures 9 inches by 30 inches if you weigh between 150 and 215 lbs.
Step 5
Select a 10-by-36-inch snowshoe frame if you weigh more than 220 lbs.

Tips & Warnings

 
Buy the appropriate frame type for your activity. Always err to the larger-size snowshoe if you're unsure. Stick with name brand snowshoes.
 
Buy the appropriate frame type for your activity.
 
Always err to the larger-size snowshoe if you're unsure.
 
Stick with name brand snowshoes.
 
Avoid buying snowshoes that are too large. Avoid buying snowshoes that are too small.
 
Avoid buying snowshoes that are too large.
 
Avoid buying snowshoes that are too small.

Article Written By Allen Smith

Allen Smith is an award-winning freelance writer living in Vail, Colo. He writes about health, fitness and outdoor sports. Smith has a master's degree in exercise physiology and an exercise specialist certification with the American College of Sports Medicine at San Diego State University.

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