Menu
Updated January 2023
Header Image
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
Bottom line
Pros
Cons
Best of the Best
Stoic 25in Snowshoes
Stoic
25in Snowshoes
Check Price
Simple Yet Solid
Bottom Line

A solid snowshoe with a durable aluminum frame and no-nonsense features for long-lasting use.

Pros

Light and sturdy aluminum frame. Designed to be durable over many seasons of use. Integrated traction with stainless steel crampons. Molded cinch cord binding with hook-and-loop strap. Built with side rails.

Cons

Rated up to only 200 pounds.

Best Bang for the Buck
TSL Outdoors Symbioz Hyperflex Adjust Snowshoe
TSL Outdoors
Symbioz Hyperflex Adjust Snowshoe
Check Price
Very Flexible
Bottom Line

Our fitness expert appreciates these super-flexible, carbon-reinforced plastic snowshoes that adapt to all sorts of terrain.

Pros

Flexible carbon-reinforced frame adapts to terrain. Ergonomic binding fits any boot and adjusts with the turn of a dial. Bidirectional crampons feature steel teeth for traction in either direction. Lifted heel for steep slopes.

Cons

Some find the crampon placement interferes with natural stride.

Retrospec Drifter Snowshoe for Men & Women
Retrospec
Drifter Snowshoe for Men & Women
Check Price
Bargain Pick
Bottom Line

These affordable snowshoes are built with comfort and strength in mind.

Pros

Made with tough polyethylene decks for better support and lightweight alloy frames for easier control. Has a double-ratchet binding system for quick and secure fastening. Comes with a mesh, vented carrying bag.

Cons

Does not come with poles.

Yukon Charlie's Sherpa Snowshoe Kit
Yukon Charlie's
Sherpa Snowshoe Kit
Check Price
Best for Beginners
Bottom Line

This kit comes with everything beginners need to learn the slopes easily and safely.

Pros

Constructed with high-density polyethylene material for ultra stiffness. Lightweight, anti-slip aluminum heel plate for comfortable trekking and heavy-duty aluminum frame for durability. Includes Quick Click II Ratchet binding and Rapid-Lite Flex heel strap for quick fastening and unfastening. Comes with trekking poles and travel bag.

Cons

Maximum weight recommended is 200 pounds.

WildHorn Outfitters Sawtooth Snowshoes for Men and Women
WildHorn Outfitters
Sawtooth Snowshoes for Men and Women
Check Price
Customer Favorite
Bottom Line

These popular snowshoes combine style and reliability for any snow adventure.

Pros

Built with durable yet lightweight construction. Includes fully adjustable bindings. Made with hard-pack grip teeth and steel incline heel lift riser. Designed with tough spring-loaded clips and heel strap with an auto-locking system.

Cons

Pricier than other options.

HOW WE TESTED

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

52
Models
Considered
178
Consumers
Consulted
8
Hours
Researched
Category cover

Buying guide for Best snowshoes

Snowshoes offer a fun and inexpensive way to explore a snowy landscape, and little skill is required to get started. The different varieties of snowshoes are designed for certain types of terrain, so you should have an idea of where you’ll be trekking before purchasing a pair.

A snowshoe is made up of a frame, decking, binding, and crampons, each of which helps to secure your feet and distribute your weight over a large area so you can “float” on the surface of the snow. Snowshoe varieties include flat, rolling, and mountain snowshoes. Some snowshoes are better and handling certain conditions, like powder, deep drifts, packed trails, and steep ice. The price of snowshoes depends on their size and overall construction

Content Image
Not sure what carrying capacity to choose when buying snowshoes? Add 10 to 25 pounds, or more, to your weight, depending on how much gear you plan to carry with you.

Anatomy of a snowshoe

The construction of a snowshoe is simple at first glance, but it contains a number of important and useful features. After all, there’s a reason they’re still around after thousands of years.

Frame

Modern snowshoes have a rectangular or oblong frame made either of a single piece of aluminum tubing or composite plastic. They’re usually wider at the front, tapering to a narrower point at the back, or tail, of the snowshoe.

Decking

The material filling the space in the frame was traditionally a latticework of rawhide strips. Now it’s usually a panel made of synthetic material. (Some composite models are just a single piece of molded plastic with venting added.)

Bindings

Atop the decking are the bindings that hold the snowshoe on your foot. These can be simple straps or a step-in binding system. Some snowshoers opt for hybrid binding, also known as a fixed binding system, which provides greater control on rough terrain but also offers more comfort when walking.

Crampons

On the bottom of the snowshoe are crampons, which provide traction on rugged terrain so you can go up a hill without sliding back down.

Content Image
Expert Tip
Go easy and start small if it is your first time out. It is best to start with short distances.
BestReviews Fitness Expert

Flotation and articulation

Flotation and articulation are important terms to know when looking for snowshoes to buy.

Flotation is the way a snowshoe spreads out your weight so that you seem to “float” over the snow. The wider the snowshoe, the higher the flotation.

Articulation refers to how much your foot moves in the snowshoe bindings. Most of the snowshoes used for recreational snowshoeing have a full-rotation binding system that allows the tail of the snowshoe to drop away from the heel while you walk, reducing muscle fatigue. Racers and other snowshoers who need more maneuverability and control use a fixed-rotation binding system that limits the distance the tail drops from the foot.

One size doesn’t fit all

At first glance, a snowshoe doesn’t look too complicated. It’s just a frame several inches wider than your foot with webbing in the middle and some simple bindings, right? Well, there are different snowshoes designed for the terrain, the individual user, and even the kind of snow in which they’ll be used.

Terrain

There is a snowshoe designed for every type of terrain out there.

  • Flat: Best for beginners, casual snowshoers, and families, snowshoes for flat terrain are also the easiest to find and usually the lowest priced. They work on level to gently rolling ground, which is what you’d find at a local park or snowshoe center.

  • Rolling: For hikers and backpackers who like to explore off the beaten path, this type of snowshoe has sturdier bindings and longer crampons to take a bigger “bite” on the terrain. These snowshoes can handle tougher challenges. They’re rugged and designed to carry the extra weight of a hiker’s heavy winter rucksack.

  • Mountain: Backcountry snowboarders, mountaineers, and experienced hikers are most likely to purchase ultra-tough snowshoes. Often made of composite material, these work well in icy conditions, on very steep terrain, and in the harsh conditions you’ll find well off the trail. There are even specialty snowshoes made for running on snowy or icy terrain.

Expert tip
I always recommend bringing a friend when you go snowshoeing, both for safety measures and company.
BestReviews Fitness Expert

Users

Gender and age are factors in choosing the right snowshoe for you.

  • Men: Typically, the largest-width snowshoes are designed for men. Even lower-priced, flat-terrain versions are often built to be a little more rugged than necessary to accommodate the heavier weight and larger boots.

  • Women: The bindings on snowshoes designed for women are sized to fit women’s winter footwear. The snowshoe frames are narrower, more contoured, and come in a range of sizes as small as 8 x 21 inches.

  • Children: Snowshoes come in a range of sizes for children – even toddlers. The bindings are adjustable to accommodate growing feet.

Snow conditions

And of course, you want to consider the type of snow you’ll be snowshoeing in.

  • Powder: Light, fluffy snow is the most difficult to traverse in snowshoes. A wider snowshoe works better on this type of snow. If you plan to snowshoe in powder conditions, make sure the length of the snowshoes is appropriate for this type of snow. Consult an expert or the manufacturer’s sizing guide.

  • Deep drifts: Wider snowshoes can also help you walk over and past drifting snow.

  • Packed trail: It’s much easier to maneuver in a narrower snowshoe on packed trails and in brush or forested areas. Walking in wider snowshoes on packed or groomed snow may expend more energy than necessary.

  • Steep ice: Narrower snowshoes with beefier crampons handle treacherous conditions much better than wide snowshoes.

"While wider snowshoes are best for drifts and powder, narrow snowshoes are easier to move around in. If you need maneuverability more than flotation, pick the smallest width snowshoe that will support the weight of you and your equipment."
STAFF
BestReviews

Accessories

Poles

A good set of poles can help you balance as you trek over uneven terrain. If you get a set with interchangeable baskets, you can use your poles for hiking in summer and snowshoeing in winter.

Snowboots

Few things will ruin your good time in a winter wonderland like cold, wet feet. A good pair of snow boots should not only keep your feet dry, but they should also be comfortable enough to walk in.

Sunscreen

While you may think sunscreen is just for summer, sunlight reflecting off of brilliantly white snow can give you an unpleasant sunburn on your face. Add a good facial sunscreen to your gear, and remember to reapply when you're out on a long trek.

Snowshoe prices

  • Lower-end snowshoes for flat terrain range from $60 to about $100.

  • Snowshoes for rolling terrain can range from $80 to nearly $300.

  • Specialty snowshoes for mountainous terrain can run well over $300.

  • Children’s snowshoes range from $20 (toddler and low-end models) to $90.

Content Image
Casual snowshoeing doesn’t require an aggressive crampon system, like deep crampons or side-rail traction. Save your money for accessories.

Tips

  • Practice getting in and out of the bindings at home. This will give you a chance to adjust the snowshoes to your feet without struggling with them in the snow at the trailhead. This is also a good time to adjust your walking poles to size.
  • Make sure the bindings are comfortable and that you can move around freely. Whether in the store or at home, strap on (or step into) the snowshoes, adjust the bindings, and walk around. This will tell you whether the bindings are too loose or uncomfortably tight. If the bindings are too loose, the snowshoe will move around too much under your foot and make snowshoeing difficult. If the bindings are too tight, the pressure points can be painful.
Expert tip
Dress in layers since snowshoeing will quickly increase your core temperature and cause you to sweat. I highly recommend wearing windproof pants and a windproof upper body shell.
BestReviews Fitness Expert
  • Dress in layers. Wear a base layer that wicks moisture away from your skin and an outer layer that is water- and wind-resistant. You want to be able to remove or add layers as you heat up and cool down during your trek. And remember to check the weather conditions before heading out.
  • Start with a short trek. Test your snowshoes at a local park, around your neighborhood, or at a snowshoe trail if one is available. You’ll get used to the feel of walking with snowshoes, learn how to place your poles for balance, and discover any issues. Snowshoeing takes more effort than walking (but not as much as cross-country skiing), so the short walk will get you accustomed to the effort and help you gauge your level of fitness.
  • Plan a longer trek. Once you’ve tested out your gear, go out for a few hours or even a full day. Consider going with a group the first few times. You can make new friends and tackle challenging courses you may not want to do by yourself.
  • Use your snowshoes for the appropriate activity. To get the longest life out of your snowshoes, don’t use casual snowshoes on rugged terrain. It could lead to broken bindings or dinged-up aluminum tubing.
  • Wipe down the frame, decking, crampons, and bindings when you’re done. Hang the snowshoes up to dry, but try to keep them away from direct heat sources like space heaters or fireplaces. For long-term storage, place them in a snowshoe bag.

FAQ

Q. Do snowshoes require special shoes?

A. The bindings on snowshoes are adjustable, so they'll fit over almost any footwear. However, you'll want to wear warm, waterproof boots for both comfort and practicality.

Q. Is snowshoeing harder than hiking?

A. Yes. Snowshoeing requires more physical exertion than hiking, so you'll want to plan an easy adventure your first time out on snowshoes. 

Q. Do you need poles for snowshoeing?

A. While poles aren't necessary, they do provide additional balance. When you snowshoe on groomed, well-compacted trails, you may find that you balance just fine without poles. However, when you snowshoe over untouched snow, you might hit patches of powdery snow that cause your foot to sink further than you expect, and poles can prevent you from falling.

Our Top Picks