Snowshoes are used for walking in snow. They distribute body weight evenly across the large foot surface and thus keep you from sinking deep in the snow. Back in the old days, snowshoes were a means of survival. They were used by North American Indians and Eskimos to traverse snow-covered areas and later became work shoes for many people working in snowy places. Today, snowshoes are used for recreation. In fact, snowshoeing has become a recreational activity and sport, much like skiing. But in order to properly snowshoe, it is important that you know exactly how to wear snowshoes. Here’s how to do it.
- Wear your snow boots. Snowshoe is not a shoe in itself. In structure, it is like the binding you use for skiing. So you don’t wear it on its own; you should wear your snow boots before putting on the snowshoe. Remember to wear a sturdy and highly durable pair of snow boots to ensure easy and comfortable glide.
- Place the snowshoes on a level surface. Before putting on the snowshoes, you must first set them on a level surface, particularly in an area where there is thin snow, so you can easily position your feet and strap them down. Make sure the snowshoes are placed side by side. Also, take note that some snowshoes are right- and left-specific.
- Position your foot on the snowshoe. After setting down the snowshoes, you can begin positioning one foot at a time on the snowshoes. Your toe should be placed at the front third opening of the webbing, the ball at the opposite side of this opening, and the heel at the middle third section.
- Strap down your foot. The process of buckling the snowshoes differs according to the snowshoe type. And there are a number of snowshoe types. Traditional snowshoes are easier to put on. You just position your foot at the center of the snowshoe, and then wrap the strap across your feet. This will secure your toes. Next, pull your heel strap and wrap it around your heel. You should be able to lift your heel as you walk. Modern snowshoes have more complicated strapping mechanisms, but the principle stays the same. You need to wrap the strap around your heel and adjust the strap to tighten it. Some are made with special buckling system to tighten the strap.
- Try walking with the snowshoes on. Walking with snowshoes on can be a little hard at first, but over time, you will get used to the feel of the snowshoe and will be able to walk as normally as you would with an ordinary shoe. To walk, gently lift one foot, with its back edge slightly close to the front edge of the other foot. As you lift your foot, learn to slightly jerk it to throw off the gathered snow at the front edge of your snowshoe.
When snowshoeing, remember to wear your most comfortable snow clothes. It is especially important to put on layered clothing for added protection. Also, wear a good pair of socks, gloves, and hat.