How to Choose a Snowshoe

What is your gender.

Choosing the proper snowshoe for your gender can be an important part of your purchase decision. Men and women are shaped differently and walk differently. A women's specific snowshoe should include a narrower frame shape to accommodate a woman's narrow stance. Women's snowshoes are designed slightly narrower than men's to allow a comfortable stride while hiking.

What is your main intended use.

Consider what type of terrain you will snowshoe on. If you plan to venture into the back country you should have a snowshoe with aggressive traction in a larger size that will give you proper flotation in deep snow. If you plan to stay on packed trails,  flotation is less important ease-of-use and comfort allowing you to use a smaller snowshoe.

What is your total weight with gear.

If you are planning on heading out to the wilderness off trail you should be sure to select a snowshoe that is the right size for your weight. Remember to add 10lb. - 20lb to your weight depending on how much your winter clothing and boots weigh.  Also consider whether your are carrying a pack and add that as well. Having a snowshoe that is too small will cause you to sink deeply into soft snow and ruining your outdoor experience. 

Wood VS Aluminum

This is a personal choice, some people love the new aluminum snowshoes, others not so much.  The aluminum snowshoes require very little maintenance whereas the traditional wood snowshoes need to maintained on a regular basis.

However, if you enjoy hiking through the bush with the quiet serenity that winter offers, then you need to be on a set of traditional wood snowshoes.