Great idea! I absolutely adore snowshoeing and I can’t wait to get started again this winter!
To choose your snowshoes you first need to know how you’ll be using them. There are 3 main kinds:
· Recreational – when you’ll be on relatively easy/flat ground. These are mostly made out of hard molded plastic or aluminum (I have these).
· Backcountry – these are more technical and durable snowshoes for snowshoers who will be on tougher terrain and harder conditions. This is meant for someone who will truly be attacking the sport and will be going long distances, taking day hikes along difficult trails, etc.
· Aerobic/running – these are meant for competitive snowshoeing or cross-training and are meant for packed trails. They’re very light.
You can rent them or you can buy them for $100 to $300 for most pair. I got mine for cheaper off-season on eBay (around $60 including shipping).
In terms of tips for choosing the right ones, here are a few pointers:
· Plastic frames are cheaper than aluminum frames (if you’re getting recreational ones, like me. I have no experience with the other ones). I have aluminum ones that have served me well for 4 years. Wood ones are traditional but break a lot. Look for one with a toe that turns up a bit so that you’ll keep snow buildup to a minimum
· Look for a snowshoe that has crampons (cleats) so that you get better traction especially on ice or packed snow, or when you’re going up or downhill. These are most common in aluminum snowshoes.
· Get snowshoes suited to your weight. Up to 140 pounds, get 8 inches by 21 inches. For up to 175 pounds, get 8 inches by 25 inches. For up to 200 pounds, get 9 inches by 30 inches. For more than that, get 10 inches by 36 inches (I have these).
Answered by sarah
If you're just getting started, you might want to rent a pair before you actually buy them. If you've tried the experience before, then you'll know that you like it and you may be able to identify some of the features that you've liked in snowshoes in previous experiences.
Try to find a place that rents a lot of different brands and features and use it to try out a new pair before you actually buy them. Since they're not cheap, and they'll hopefully last for several years, you want to make sure that you'll be very happy with your purchase before you actually make it.
If you can't find a place that rents the types of snowshoes that you'd actually like to buy, find a very good sporting goods store and talk to one of the people who works there. Make sure that he or she actually snowshoes, or they're only talking theory instead of experience. There's a big difference between the two.
Don't forget to use product review sites online. Some of the comments that customers who have tried the products leave can be absolutely invaluable.
Have fun and good luck!
Answered by freddyboy
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