If you’re the sort of person who enjoys spending time outside hiking, running, or otherwise being active, a pair of the best snowshoes on the market can make that possible no matter what the weather gets like. You can get a great workout or enjoy the outdoors without worrying about getting stuck in a big snowdrift.
Most people have winter clothing already ready to go for when things get chilly and the snow starts to fall. That means a pair of the best snowshoes for men or women is all you need to enjoy the outdoors however you like even when winter comes.
That sounds simple, but for those who are new to snowshoes, it can be challenging to choose the perfect pair of snowshoes. You may not know what to look for when browsing various shoes and wonder if you’re making the right decision. That’s why we wanted to offer reviews of the best 10 snowshoes for 2020.
We’ll also share information about what to know when picking out snowshoes so you can be sure the shoes you pick fit your needs. By the time you’re done reading, you’ll be ready to purchase a pair of snowshoes and be ready for when winter begins.
Table of Contents
- 1 The Best Snowhoes in 2020
- 2 MSR Evo Trail Hiking Snowshoes
- 3 ALPS Adult All-Terrain Snowshoes Set
- 4 ENKEEO All-Terrain Snowshoes
- 5 MSR Women’s Revo Trail Hiking Snowshoes
- 6 MSR Tyker Kids’ Snowshoes
- 7 Winterial Mammoth Snowshoes
- 8 MSR Evo Ascent Snowshoe
- 9 G2 GO2GETHER Snowshoes Kit Adventure Adult
- 10 Chinook 80006 Trekker Snowshoes
- 11 MSR Revo Trail Hiking Snowshoes
- 12 Choosing the Perfect Pair of Snowshoes
- 13 Reasons to Use Snowshoes
- 14 Different Types of Snowshoes
- 15 How to Size Snowshoes
- 16 What to Know About Snowshoe Decking and Frames
- 17 Choosing the Perfect Snowshoe Bindings
- 18 All About Snowshoe Traction Devices
- 19 Proper Footwear for Snowshoeing
- 20 Getting Started with Snowshoeing
The Best Snowhoes in 2020
|MSR Evo Trail Hiking Snowshoes||22 Inches||180 Pounds||Check on Amazon!|
|ALPS Adult All-Terrain Snowshoes Set||14, 17, 22, 25, 27, or 30 Inches||80 to 250 Pounds||Check on Amazon!|
|ENKEEO All-Terrain Snowshoes||18, 21, 25, or 30 Inches||80 to 210 Pounds||Check on Amazon!|
|MSR Women’s Revo Trail Hiking Snowshoes||22 Inches||180 Pounds||Check on Amazon!|
|MSR Tyker Kids’ Snowshoes||17 Inches||90 Pounds||Check on Amazon!|
|Arctix Men’s Snow Sports Cargo Pants||25 Inches||240 Pounds||Check on Amazon!|
|MSR Evo Ascent Snowshoe||22 Inches||250 Pounds||Check on Amazon!|
|G2 GO2GETHER Snowshoes Kit Adventure Adult||21, 25, or 30 Inches||150 to 250 Pounds||Check on Amazon!|
|Chinook 80006 Trekker Snowshoes||30 Inches||250 Pounds||Check on Amazon!|
|MSR Revo Trail Hiking Snowshoes||22 or 25 Inches||220 Pounds||Check on Amazon!|
MSR Evo Trail Hiking Snowshoes
Those who are looking for reliable, versatile, and cheap snowshoes will find exactly that in the MSR Evo Trail Hiking Snowshoes. They feature a frame and deck created of a single piece of plastic along with simple to use bindings. The reason these are so versatile is that they have a somewhat aggressive traction system and include add-on tails for better flotation with a heavy pack or deep snow.
The price is great on these best snowshoes, but they are also ideal for many applications including advanced steep terrain as well as beginner trails. For everything besides advanced backcountry and technical conditions, these snowshoes are an excellent choice.
Since the design of this snowshoe is a bit untraditional, you may wonder how well they work. However, these shoes work just as well on fresh snow as they do on packed snow. The only frame size available is 22, which is best on packed snow and in off-trail environments with easy or moderate terrain. However, the added tails make steeper terrain a possibility.
The traction system with this snowshoe makes it suited for packed snow, rolling hills, and groomed trails. They will do well in all but the most intense conditions and on most terrain. This shoe has a rotation-pivot crampon for the best range of motion. It also has brake bars on the decking plastic which help resist slipping on rolling terrain.
If you need an easy to use pair of snowshoes, this is an option you shouldn’t ignore. They work well for beginners as well as more experienced snowshoers. The binding straps work well in extremely cold temperature and the traction engages easily.
- Fairly inexpensive snowshoes that can be used in many environments
- Simple to use and ideal for use by beginners
- Reliable shoes that won’t give out on you when it matters most
- Crusty snow can lead to decking that is loud to use
ALPS Adult All-Terrain Snowshoes Set
The Adult All-Terrain Snowshoes from ALPS are ideal for those new to winter walking and hiking and who want to try out snowshoeing before investing in an expensive selection of equipment. One of the standout features of these snowshoes is that they are created to work for both men and women. They feature a simple design, an inexpensive price, and unisex sizing to offer one of the best beginner snowshoes on the market.
The flotation offered by these snowshoes is adequate but could be better when compared to other models on the market. They have less surface area than similar shoes and may not be the best choice for long periods of travel in deep snow. However, the snowshoes do well on packed snow or groomed snow on terrain where flotation isn’t as important.
This snowshoe features a semi-aggressive traction system consisting of two crampon parts. There is one located under the heel of the foot and one under the ball of the foot. These offer limited foot mobility through fixed rotation bindings but are lightweight and designed for beginners. The crampons tend to pick up quite a bit of snow while being used which can drop the traction a bit over time.
Those who are interested in snowshoes that are simple to use, these are one of the best choices. The ratchet system is not complicated, and the frame, binding, and decking are all simple to get used to. Since these are unisex sized, that makes purchasing even easier and eliminates the need to worry about gender-specific design elements.
- Features lightweight and easy to use frames
- Comes with a free carrying tote bag to save money
- Ideal for use on most terrains and in most environments
- The case is not as high quality as may be expected
ENKEEO All-Terrain Snowshoes
Another pair of the best snowshoes for those who want to spend a limited amount and enjoy all-terrain options is the ENKEEO All-Terrain Snowshoes. These shoes come in a variety of different sizes and feature an effective yet simple design. These snowshoes can support individuals of up to 210 pounds at the largest size, which makes it possible for many to carry a heavy loud while out on the trail.
While it might seem that a full metal build would be heavy, it isn’t in this case. These are lightweight, reliable, and can be counted on even during heavy wear. The aluminum build makes the snowshoes for beginners quite strong. The snowshoes can handle a load of 210 pounds while traveling a long distance. There is little to no worry about your shoes giving out on you.
The PE decking on these snowshoes works well in any snowy situation. They have a great deal of flotation in deeper snow along with aluminum crampons that ensure a stable and reliable bit on the snow. The only downfall is that traction can be less sure when going downhill, so paying a bit more attention to your surroundings is important.
All things considered, this pair of men and women’s snowshoes is an ideal choice for a beginner. It can also be used by intermediate hikers and walkers without a problem. It doesn’t hurt that these are inexpensive to be an excellent choice for those on a budget. However, those who are interested in getting involved with rolling hills and technical terrain may want to spend a bit more.
- Constructed of durable but lightweight aluminum
- Inexpensive and designed for use by beginners
- Features adjustable bindings and heel straps
- Some experience the heel piece freezing up
MSR Women’s Revo Trail Hiking Snowshoes
We’ve looked at men’s snowshoes and unisex snowshoes, but it’s well worth considering the top of the line women’s snowshoes on the market. If you are someone who is just getting started with snowshoeing and who wants a pair of durable snowshoes to kick around in, the MSR Women’s Revo Trail Hiking Snowshoes are an optimal choice.
This is an easy to use pair of snowshoes for a beginner. The shoes are marked so you can easily see which is for the right foot and which is for the left. The bindings are also made to easily attach by pushing metal teeth through various holes. All you have to do is pull the rubber strap up toward the metal, select a snug hole, and you will be ready to hit the snow. There are four straps with one on the back and three on the toe and arch of the foot.
The crampons for this pair of women’s snowshoes have a large number of external traction teeth. This is what you want to get a good grip when you walk across ice or try to make your way up a steep hill. Sometimes both of those things occur at once and these shoes can handle it. In addition, the bindings are comfortable while staying where you put them. They remain pliable even in very cold temperatures and are simple to use.
These snowshoes are designed to handle most types of terrain from groomed trails to moderate slopes and icy environments. They provide a narrow gait for improved agility and offer excellent traction in all sorts of situations.
- Lightweight and comfort snowshoes for any winter lover
- Offers a great deal of value for the money spent
- Comes with traction and flotation rails for easy hiking
- May not be ideal for winter mountaineering or steep slope use
MSR Tyker Kids’ Snowshoes
Not everyone who wants to traipse through the snow is an adult, which is why children’s snowshoes are an important part of the market. For families who like to snowshoe, having a pair of snowshoes that fit small feet and let kids play in the snow can ensure they enjoy the hobby as much as their parents. These MSR Tyker Kids’ Snowshoes for Children are one of the best options on the market.
These shoes are designed for smaller children who weigh up to 90 pounds. That means older children and teenagers are likely to need to choose a different snowshoe. However, for the younger kids, these shoes have a lot of features that make them stand out. The snowshoes are made to have excellent flotation and traction so walking on the snow is a breeze.
There are child-friendly molded traction bars and steel crampons with these snowshoes. This makes them have a substantial grip and offers the highest level of safety possible for a child walking in the snow. The deck is made of an injection-mold to be durable and withstand even years of abuse in all sorts of snow conditions.
These snowshoes are 6.5 x 17 inches and weigh just over two pounds. They have secure bindings that are kid-friendly and designed to be manipulated by small hands, even in mittens. The snowshoes for children are made to work with a large variety of children’s footwear options. The bindings fit children’s shoe sizes from 7.5 to 13.5 and are made in the United States.
- Designed specifically for the unique needs of children
- Offer great flotation and traction for children up to 90 pounds
- Bindings are secure and easily adjustable even by small hands in mittens
- May not be the best option for older children
Winterial Mammoth Snowshoes
The Winterial Mammoth Snowshoes are created to be advanced in order to meet the needs of an experienced snowshoer. These snowshoes have a square-toed design and a popup terrain heel to make it simple to climb up even the steepest hills. The snowshoes also offer aluminum teeth which are known for offering the best grip in the snow and increasing your amount of traction.
Another perk of these snowshoes is that they are ultra-lightweight. They use a polymer frame that makes the entire pair weight just a bit over five pounds. That means you can quickly and easily maneuver in them and not worry about them taking up too much space when you pack. Beyond the weight, these shoes are also designed to be comfortable. They are made to be used in the mountains for long periods of time.
These snowshoes are 25 x 8 inches and have a capacity of up to 240 pounds, which allows many to carry whatever is needed for a long-term hike or excursion into the woods or mountains. While the deck is made of single form polymer, the crampons are created of coated carbon steel which makes them long-lasting and durable. The poles are anti-lock and made out of aluminum.
Unlike most of the snowshoes on our list, these are for advanced users who want to enjoy extreme situations. These are built to last and can handle whatever you throw at them. If you are ready to step up and take on something new this year, this pair of snowshoes can handle the mountain backcountry in any temperature or conditions.
- Built for mount use with a polymer frame and teeth thread
- Durable but comfortable and includes a heel strap for traction
- Offers aluminum teeth for increased grip and a better level of traction
- Some straps are not as high-quality as others
MSR Evo Ascent Snowshoe
The MSR Evo Ascent Snowshoe is created with a unibody construction using hard plastic. That makes the snowshoes durable and tough but leaves enough flex to allow walking on uneven ground or climbing up steep cliffs. These snowshoes also offer molded-in brake bars and steel traction rails so you can get the best grip and traction no matter how icy a surface might be.
These top snowshoes were created to offer great performance on any kind of snow, but it does best in certain situations. Packed snow and icy crust are especially ideal for use with these snowshoes. However, these are nothing is not versatile for when you are in other environments. With the inclusion of flotation tails, the snowshoes can also be used in fluffy and deep powder snow whenever needed.
This snowshoe is going to be one of the less expensive options you run into, which makes it a top choice for anyone on a strict budget. However, that doesn’t mean these are bad snowshoes. It is only an indication that you get great value when choosing this option. With the versatile traction options and the unibody decking, these shoes can stand up against much more expensive models.
These shoes can easily be used throughout the winter whether on a simple trail with the whole family or on some of the rockier routes in the backcountry. These shoes do well off-trail and provide the needed performance to handle inclines that are covered in ice. Packed snow has no chance against the traction rails and decking, while the flotation rails make them a good option even in deep stretches of snow.
- Lighter than most of the snowshoes on the market
- Rugged and well put together to go the distance and last
- Extendable through tails to handle heavier loads
- Some find bindings are difficult to attach
G2 GO2GETHER Snowshoes Kit Adventure Adult
Those who are new to snowshoeing who prefer to get everything they need in one package, the G2 GO2GETHER Snowshoes Kit makes that a reality. It comes with a pair of snowshoes but also includes a pair of aluminum trekking poles that break down into three pieces. The kit also comes with a travel bag so you can stow everything away and travel wherever you need to go. The poles have a foam handle for comfortable use in the field.
These snowshoes come in a variety of sizes to fit the needs of nearly anyone. The 21-inch version is created for a load of up to 150 pounds, while the 25-inch option can handle loads of 200 pounds, and the 30-inch model can handle 250-pound loads. This snowshoe has a lightweight aluminum frame that offers a stable platform as well as HDPE decking to ensure the best possible flotation when walking on snow.
Other features that make this snowshoe stand out include the double ratcheting binding, which has foam padding to make it comfortable as well as easily adjustable in almost any sort of footwear. It is resistant flexible at temperatures of up to -40 degrees Fahrenheit. There is an excellent eel lift system that helps you go up steep hills with this snowshoe. There are also manganese steel crampons that are durable and useful on any type of terrain.
- Comes with a storage bag and poles for no extra cost
- Attach easily to a wide selection of footwear and provide a secure fit
- Lightweight and durable for a long life
- The large storage bag can be challenging to carry
Chinook 80006 Trekker Snowshoes
For someone on a budget, the Chinook 80006 Trekker Snowshoes are one of the best options out there. These are great snowshoes for beginners or intermediate individuals who want to save a bit of money. The frames are made of aluminum tubing while the rest of the platform is made of polyethylene. These materials will make it easy to stay above the snow even in powder form. The crampons are also made of aluminum which makes them lightweight but less strong than steel.
The foot securing system with this model uses a simple ratchet system. This is the same thing you might be familiar with from rollerblades and several other winter sport systems. This isn’t the most durable and long-lasting system in some cases, but it does the job. It also tends to be one of the simplest options for those who are new to using snowshoes.
These snowshoes by Chinook have both foot and heel crampons to help with steep terrain and icy conditions. However, there is no side rail set like you might see on most of the more expensive models out there. There should be no issue using these snowshoes on some hills and rolling terrain, but the more extreme environments may be too much for this model.
These are a great option for those on a budget who don’t plan to get involved in intense environments. They even come with a carrying bag, which adds value to the package. This makes it even easier to store, travel with, or carry your snowshoes wherever you need to go.
- Budget-friendly price offers a ton of value
- Ratchet system makes foot securing simple
- Comes with a carry bag with Velcro pole carriers
- Doesn’t offer a full-length crampon
MSR Revo Trail Hiking Snowshoes
The MSR Revo Trail Hiking Snowshoes for men are the perfect snowshoe to tackle ice, packed snow, and rolling terrain. The bindings on this model are easy to use and quick to adjust, even for those who are new to using snowshoes. These things combined with the addition of extensive traction show how many features these offers for the price. These may not be the least expensive snowshoes out there, but they aren’t overpriced considered everything they offer you.
These shoes have a streamlined design that offers efficiency and improved agility by promoting a natural and easy stride. The platform is made of aluminum framing and aggressive tech while the decking is injection molded with reactive flex to ensure the shoe responds well on any surface. The added torsional flex makes for a better level of control when in use. The bindings are freezeproof and created to be used by those wearing gloves.
This shoe comes in 22 and 25-inch lengths to appeal to a wide range of people. The 22-inch model can handle up to 180-pound loads while the larger shoe can hold up to 220 pounds at once. The modular design of this snowshoe means you can use a Revo tail when there is a need for carrying additional weight.
- Lightweight and comfortable snowshoes
- Features flotation tails for deep snow and icy conditions
- Traction rails help with adverse conditions and intense environments
- More expensive than some other options on the market
Choosing the Perfect Pair of Snowshoes
Having a pair of the best snowshoes on the market makes it a cinch to enjoy hiking through the snow right after it falls. If you’ve never experienced this in the past, the good news is that snowshoeing is fairly inexpensive and simple to do. Snowshoes let people make it across the ground covered in the snow without struggling or sinking. This is easier than going through the snow in other shoes.
Snowshoes take your weight and spread it out over a larger and flatter surface than normal. This is what lets you walk, hike, run, or climb in the snow without trouble. Keep in mind that most snowshoe surface area is required for those who are heavier or when the snow is drier and lighter.
Reasons to Use Snowshoes
When you have to travel in the snow, there are two main options. You can snowshoe or you can ski. Skiing works well for flat, downhill sections and skis can float well on deep or soft snow. Snowshoes, on the other hand, make it easier to travel uphill and can easily go over ice.
Without snowshoes of skis, walking through the snow in boots is the main option left to you. This can be frustrating and lead to wet pants and sore legs. However, snowshoes are best in situations where the snow is at least knee-deep. Ankle deep snow travel over a short distance can easily be done with boots.
Different Types of Snowshoes
There are three basic types of snowshoes to choose from, which are built for mountain terrain, flat terrain, and rolling terrain. There are also a few models that are designed for use when climbing, exercising, or trail running.
Flat Terrain Snowshoes
The best snowshoes for beginners are often flat terrain snowshoes. These snowshoes have a design that makes it simple to walk on flat and rolling terrain. Casual snowshoers and families will often find this is the ideal choice. Flat terrain snowshoes feature traction systems that are less aggressive and have bindings that are simple to adjust. Most entry-level snowshoes are this type and they tend to be quite inexpensive.
Rolling Terrain Snowshoes
Rolling terrain snowshoes are most often used by backpackers and hikers. These shoes have a design that allows for hiking on steep and rolling terrain like you might find when off the beaten track. These shoes can be used for everything but very icy or steep environments. The bindings for these shoes are sturdier, which makes this a shoe for a more serious snowshoer than the flat terrain.
Mountain Terrain Snowshoes
These snowshoes are for the most advanced individuals and often used by mountaineers, advanced hikers, and snowboarders in the backcountry. These are designed specifically for seep and icy terrain and targeted to those who want to be able to go anywhere and do anything. These have the most rugged bindings and aggressive traction systems. They are made to handle harsh terrain and conditions.
How to Size Snowshoes
One of the most important things to know is how to size the best snowshoes for women or men. Having the right amount of flotation ensures you can easily walk over the snow without a problem. Heavier people will need a larger surface area than those who weigh less.
Snowshoes with an aluminum frame are often going to come in several sizes, such as 8” x 22”, 9” x 25”, or 10” x 30”. However, composite snowshoes come in a single size. Some of them will also have the option of adding tails to help you stay on top of the snow.
Sizing by Age and Gender
In most cases, men’s snowshoes are designed to accommodate heavier individuals and larger boots. On the other hand, snowshoes for women have a frame that is more contoured and may come in smaller sizes. The bindings are sized differently to fit women’s shoes and boots.
When choosing snowshoes for children, the choice should take into account the age of the child. Smaller sizes are typically designed for casually playing in the snow, while the larger ones may have many of the same features as adult snowshoes.
Sizing Based on Load
When someone refers to the recommended load or carrying capacity, that means the weight of the person on the snowshoe along with all of their equipment. Taking into account the load is important to choose the right pair and will have an effect on the size that is right for you.
While there are exceptions, heavier people or those who carry large packs will want to choose a larger snowshoe. Those who are carrying very little gear or who are smaller can choose a smaller pair.
Sizing Based on Conditions and Terrain
A recommended load is based on dry, light snow conditions. However, when on powder snow, bigger snowshoes are needed to keep you on top of the snow when compared to wet and compact snow. Smaller shoes work best for brush, forest, and packed trail, as this makes it easier to maneuver in tight areas.
When on icy or steep terrain, women’s and men’s snowshoes do best when smaller. However, areas with deep drifts in open areas necessitate larger snowshoes. The best plan is to choose the smallest size that will handle the conditions and terrain you plan to spend time in as well as your weight. Smaller snowshoes tend to be the simplest to use.
What to Know About Snowshoe Decking and Frames
Most of the best snowshoes on the market are going to offer a synthetic decking and an aluminum frame. The deckings typically feature Hypalon rubber of nylon as it is responsive while remaining lightweight.
Another choice of snowshoe is one with a hard decking material that is integrated into a composite frame. These snowshoes can have a six-inch tail attached to add flotation potential when walking in deep powder snow.
Choosing the Perfect Snowshoe Bindings
Bindings are what attach the snowshoes onto your boots and typically are made of some sort of platform along with nylon straps that go around the heel and over the foot. There are two types of bindings that are commonly used:
Rotating bindings attach to the decking and pivot at that same point under the balls of your feet. This makes it easy to climb hills and walk in a natural manner. However, bindings have a different level of pivot depending on the model. Some of them attach to a metal rod and can pivot up to 90 degrees or more. This means the end of the snowshoe, or the tail, falls away when you step which gets rid of snow and helps with fatigue.
This rotation also makes it possible to easier steer through deep snow. Unfortunately, these bindings can also be awkward when backing up or climbing over logs.
The other type of binding is a fixed binding that is connected with neoprene or rubber bands and has less potential to pivot. These bindings bring the tails up each time you step for a comfortable walk. This also means the bindings are easier to use when backing up or stepping over things. The main problem with this sort of binding is that they may kick snow up onto your legs.
All About Snowshoe Traction Devices
Your own weight causes some traction when your snowshoes push into the snow, but the top men’s and women’s snowshoes also have crampons or cleats that add additional grip. Most snowshoes created for flat terrain have a moderate amount of traction. Snowshoes made for mountains are going to have more traction to handle icy terrain and steep conditions.
Heel crampons are attached to the decking undersides of the snowshoes. Most of the time, these are in a V formation. This fills up with snow and helps you slow down while descending.
Traction bars or side rails go on the decking undersides to offer lateral stability. These bars also lad to less side-slipping when crossing slopes.
A braking bar is integrated into the underside of a plastic decking snowshoe in order to prevent backsliding and offer better forward traction.
Heel lifts, also referred to as climbing bars or Televators, are wire bails that can be flipped under your heels to reduce calf strain when climbing steep uphill terrain and assist with saving energy on long ascents. This makes it feel as if you are walking up stairs and prevent Achilles strain and calf strain.
Proper Footwear for Snowshoeing
Most of the snowshoe bindings on the market are created to work with all sorts of different footwear from snowboard boots to hiking boots. For snowshoes that are designed for mountaineering or running, the bindings will be made to work well with those specific activities.
As long as you have a pair of warm boots with enough stiffness to offer great ankle support, you can use most snowshoes without a problem.
Getting Started with Snowshoeing
Now that you have an idea of the best snowshoes for women, men, and children from our reviews, you should be able to choose a pair to get you through the winter. The information above will explain what you need to know to ensure the pair you purchase is right for your needs.
Whether you choose one of the snowshoes mentioned or select one based on other factors, there’s nothing quite like enjoying winter with a pair of snowshoes strapped on. Enjoy yourself out there with your new snowshoes!
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