Snowshoes turn snow covered forests, lakes and mountains into a winter wonderland waiting to be explored. When shopping for a pair, start with where you want to go and what you want to do with them: up mountains, on mostly flat terrain, or maybe running. This will help filter between different materials, designs, features and cost. Then use the manufacturers’ size chart to figure out the right length of snowshoe for your weight. Tip: don’t forget to add anything you want to carry.
G2 25 inch
For snowshoeing on mostly flat trails these snowshoes have everything you need: an easy to use binding system, a crampon underfoot for gripping even icy snow, and a carry bag for easy storage and transport.
TSL Highlander Access Unisex
To navigate up, down and across hills, these shoes have crampons and spikes that grab the snow in multiple directions. A heel lift eases calf burn on long climbs. And the rocker shape rolls the shoe for a more natural feeling stride.
TUBBS Wayfinder Women’s Snowshoes
Snowshoes are generally unisex, but smaller women might appreciate the smaller binding and slightly narrower deck, which makes walking feel more natural.
Crescent Moon Eva
Made of soft EVA foam, these shoes don’t make as much noise on snow and ice as the other construction options. Foam is also more insulating than metal or plastic. Yes, to warmer feet! The wildly rockered shape makes for easy striding on flat terrain.
MSR Lightning Explore
The right size snowshoes in most conditions might flounder in fluffy, fresh snow or when carrying a heavy overnight pack. If winter camping is in your plans, instead of owning two pair, buy the Lightening and add the optional “tail.” It easily attaches to these mountain worthy shoes to add 13 centimetres of extra floatation. (Tail sold separately for $84.95)
Garneau Course Boa Arc
Smaller and lighter than the regular sort, specially designed running snowshoes won’t cramp your stride. These ones weigh less than two pounds and are only eight inches wide, ideal for racing or training on packed snow.
A plastic deck, versus the typical metal and fabric, eliminates parts, adding durability. They’re a little clunkier feeling and make more noise, but are nearly indestructible.
Yukon Charlie’s Sherpa Series Snowshoe Kit
Adding poles distributes the load and improves balance to make snowshoeing easier, especially in rugged terrain. Set yourself up with this kit, which includes: a do-it-all snowshoe, an adjustable length pole, and a carrying bag.
GV Snowshoes Modified Bear Paw
Metal, plastic and nylon may make modern snowshoes lighter, grippier and easier, but wood and leather snowshoes have an untouchable heritage aesthetic. And you can store them on the wall and call it art. The crampon less design works fine on flat terrain, after all this style was used for millennia in eastern Canada.
Bring the kids along with a snowshoe built for little people. The micro size deck makes walking easy for little legs, the single-strap binding is simple to use, they’re fairly light and the price won’t hurt as much when they grow out of them in a couple years.
Don’t miss our list of places to go snowshoeing in Canada.
Check out this art made on snowshoes.