Looking for Snowshoes
December 17, 2004 7:42 AM   Subscribe

Snowshoes! I'm looking at getting snowshoes, and I've read this thread but I'm looking for a bit more information. [+]

Are any brands good/bad especially? Is it worth the money to go for the higher-priced shoes for a beginner? Any features that are must-haves or must-avoids? Since I can't rent any in advance, what should I be looking for when I go to try them on/out? I'm mostly looking for something for just tromping around in the woods here for a few hours at a time, nothing high endurance and no climbing or lake-traversing. Any suggestions would be really appreciated.
posted by jessamyn to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Can't help you with recommendations, but Eastern Mountain Sports is having a December sale right now, with a different product on sale each day this month. Snowshoes are all 15% off on 24, 25, and 26 December. Once you figure out what you want, you might want to check and see if they have them!
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 8:16 AM on December 17, 2004

I have the same question! I am trying to decide between Tubbs and Atlas, and informal advice has me leaning towards Tubbs.
posted by picklebird at 8:26 AM on December 17, 2004

And I've the same question! :-) Snowshoeing is awesome. I'm giving up on nordic track skiing.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:39 AM on December 17, 2004

I'll repeat my recommendation from the earlier thread: don't buy until you try. What's good for one person isn't necessarily good for another. I bought an expensive pair of highly rated aluminum/neoprene Tubbs on a friends rave review to replace my old wood-and-gut-and-leather-bought-at-a-yard-sale model, thinking that the new ones would be much better. I sold them. They were, for me, distinctly inferior. Yes they were much ligter, were easier to get on and off and adjust, and weren't going to require the annual maintainence that the old ones do. But they just were all wrong for me and were a drag to use.
posted by TimeFactor at 9:47 AM on December 17, 2004

jessamyn, I snowshoe in the Pacific NorthWest with my MSR snowshoes (the classic type, which can be extended from 22" to 30" with a handy 'fin' attachment) I've been snowshoeing since 1997, had a pair of MSRs since then. The brand is excellent - any trouble, they stand by their product. I'm a heavy user, so I've gone through a few pair already. Wouldn't use anything else ...

... because ...

where in N America do you live? different regions have different type of snow. Here in Vancouver we typically have a very long snow season (up in the mountains) where the snow is wetter and stickier than the snow I knew back East.

essentially, try to purchase snowshoes that are made FOR the environment in which you will use them. Atlas and Tubbs make good powder snowshoes, nice light decking (upper neoprene part) and not overly aggressive crampons (which you may only need when you snowshoe on icy areas)

think also of the terrain on which you will snowshoe - will you go on groomed trails, or venture into the backcountry? Groomed-trail snowshoes need not be as aggressive as backcountry ones.

if you need more info / opinions, pls feel free to contact me backchannel. Snowshoeing is great fun - a wonderful aerobic activity!
posted by seawallrunner at 10:13 AM on December 17, 2004

jessamyn - thinking of trying snoeshowing sometime soon, as well. no idea what to look for, but it looks like Okemo rents snowshoes. Onion River Sports in Montpelier rents them too.
posted by evening at 11:00 AM on December 17, 2004

REI has a good article on how to choose snowshoes.
posted by WestCoaster at 1:07 PM on December 17, 2004

I can not fathom the point in snowshoeing a groomed trail. Completely boggles me.

Thx for the link, WC. That'll help.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:23 PM on December 17, 2004

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