How To Select Snowshoes

Snowshoeing is a great winter activity.  You can explore your favorite hiking trails, or even walk across a frozen lake like a pro the first time you strap a pair on your feet.  If you are new to the sport, and love the idea of seeing Mother Nature's beauty wrapped in snow, then there are few points to remember when selecting your first pair of snowshoes.

Snowshoeing is, for the most part, a relatively inexpensive winter hobby.  This doesn't mean that you should automatically purchase the cheapest set of snowshoes you can find.  If you want to get a lot of use out of your snowshoes you're going to have to open your wallet a little wider, and spend more cash.  You will actually save money in the long run because you'll be able to reuse the same snowshoes for years to come.

If you have a well insulated, comfortable pair of snow boots, wear them to the store you intend to purchase your snowshoes.  The reason for this is you'll want to know whether or not they will fit easily into the snowshoes you intend to buy.  If they work well together, wonderful.  If not, you may be forced to purchase a new pair of boots designed to be worn with snowshoes.

The next part of selecting your ideal snowshoes is to determine how much weight the snowshoes will have to support.  If you are carrying a heavier pack, choose a larger, broader shoe to help distribute the weight more easily.  If the load is lighter, than a smaller shoe is the more appropriate choice.  Smaller snowshoes also work more effectively over packed snow trails, where as the larger varieties handle powdery snow better.

Now it's time to test the bindings.  They should be firm, but not tight.  They should also be easy to adjust when you are wearing gloves. Bindings come in different colors, and can be padded or insulated.  The type of binding you ultimately choose is a matter of preference.

The last, and maybe best, idea to keep in mind when selecting snowshoes is this:  ask the sale's staff to assist you.  Utilize their expertise and experience.  Ask them as many questions as you need, that is why they are there.  The right sales person can save you a lot of time, and money, and make your next trip out to your favorite hiking trails that much more enjoyable.


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