Dear hiker, there’s no need to think that the outdoors is closed for the season when the winter snows finally cover the landscapes. You won’t have to worry about sinking or struggling to move through snow-covered terrain with snowshoes. By distributing your weight evenly over a large, flat surface, they accomplish this by providing flotation.
With snow predicted in the forecast, the time will soon come to put on your snowshoes and go on an adventure. Finding the best snowshoes out of all the ones on the market can be difficult for novices. especially since the models that are available right now are more specialized. The massive wooden babiche classics can be skipped. From a technical point of view, snowshoes have come a long way and are now tailored to specific kinds of activities. The options can be overwhelming for newcomers.
Our best snowshoes are ranked by activity in our snowshoe guide, and we explain what you should keep in mind when choosing your snowshoes.
Guide for Kids’ Snowshoe Sizes
If you’re like a lot of people who don’t feel like doing much in the winter, snowshoeing might be a good new hobby for you! Since all you need are snowshoes, it’s easy to do for anyone of any age and relatively inexpensive even kids enjoy trekking through the snow!
However, selecting the right size of snowshoes for your child can initially seem overwhelming. After all, it is determined by the child’s weight rather than their shoe size. Fortunately, choosing snowshoes for your child has never been easier. We hope this makes it easier for you to figure things out because they are not nearly as hard as they sound.
Consider the following three straightforward factors when selecting the appropriate snowshoes:
Know exactly where you want to go: Since snowshoes are typically made for flat, rolling, or mountain terrain, your choice of footwear will depend on where you go.
Estimate the weight of both you and your gear: The total weight (or load) that a snowshoe can support should be listed in its specifications.
Attempt to expect the sort of snow you’ll get across: Consider a larger size if you have a choice and will be skiing powdered, dry snow; You can choose a smaller size if you will be traveling on a snowshoe trail with hard surfaces.
Types of Snowshoes
Walking and hiking snowshoes for trails, mountain snowshoes, and running snowshoes are among the most widely used.
Trail snowshoes: Walking snowshoes are best suited for flat terrain because they are made for packed snow and marked trails. These models are simple to operate and available at a price that is affordable, making them ideal for novices or individuals who occasionally go snowshoeing. Despite being limited, their traction system allows you to climb a few hills.
Mountain snowshoes: designed to give you the most grip possible on rough terrain. They can be worn with warm, technical winter boots and are robust. These are made to be climbed and work well on icy and steep terrain. While the majority of mountain snowshoes have impressive front and back crampons, some models have additional side teeth for an increased bite.
Running snowshoes: In Canada, they are gaining popularity! Running snowshoes are better suited to flat or groomed terrain and provide less flotation. They are primarily made to allow for a swift and fluid stride and are short, narrow, and asymmetrical.
The Health Benefits of Snowshoeing
Seasons are a part of living in the northern hemisphere. The majority of Canada is covered in snow in the early fall and winter months, offering temperatures below freezing. Therefore, those who wish to maintain their health and engage in aerobic exercise are frequently restricted to indoor activities. However, this need not always be the case. Snowshoeing is a great alternative to going to an indoor gym because it is a very easy activity that still gives you a great, full-body workout even in the dead of winter.
Increasing Muscular Endurance and Burning Calories
Snowshoeing is a great anaerobic activity that helps you lose weight and burn a lot of calories while also improving your cardiovascular fitness! Snowshoeing burns about 600 calories per hour on average, according to studies by Snowsports Industries America (SIA). With steeper terrain and a faster pace, this can be increased by up to 1000 calories per hour. As you can see, it is a very effective way to exercise because you can choose your own level of difficulty and have fun at the same time by going at your own pace.
Muscle endurance is greatly enhanced, as are the cardiovascular benefits. The use of trekking poles activates your upper body, including your core, as well as your hamstrings, glutes, and quadriceps. When the snow melts, this will assist you in getting ready for the hiking season.
Is snowshoeing a good activity for the elderly?
Snowshoeing is a great sport that can continue to be a part of your life long after you’ve reached retirement age and are older. You can snowshoe if you can still walk! Snowshoeing is a great alternative for people with knee and hip problems who can’t do activities that have a lot of impacts, like running and skiing, because it’s considered low impact. When you walk, the snow compresses, acting as a huge cushion for your joints. You can continue playing this sport much later in life due to its low impact. Customers in their 70s and 80s buy a lot of our men’s and women’s snowshoes!
Mental Health Benefits
Snowshoeing, as previously stated, has positive effects on mental and physical health as well. It has been demonstrated that snowshoeing improves confidence and mood. Additionally, it eliminates seasonal depression during the winter. Winter Blues, also known as Season Depression (Seasonal Affective Disorder), can occur when the weather is dark and cold. This affects millions of Canadians annually and is brought on by spending long periods of time indoors and not getting enough sunlight from the sun during the short winter days. Your body will increase its production of vitamin D if you leave the house and go outside to the sun. You just require an hour of daylight daily to meet this everyday vitamin D prerequisite. making snowshoeing a significant treatment for seasonal depression.
How do I find the right size of snowshoe?
The right size is directly related to your weight: the heavier you are, the larger your base needs to be.
Narrow snowshoes (about 20 cm wide) are designed for the fluidity of movement (running snowshoes, etc.) and are best used for flat or groomed terrain. Larger snowshoes (about 25 cm wide) provide better flotation for walking in deep snow.
As for length, it depends on you. In fact, the length of a snowshoe is directly related to your weight. The heavier you are, the larger it will need to be in order to keep you above the snow.