Buying Guide for Kids Snowshoes
By Steve Kopitz
Whether you’re just a beginner at snowshoeing or you’re a seasoned veteran interested in getting your kids snowshoeing, here are a few tips and some information to help get them going.
First off, kids are smaller than adults, sometimes much smaller, so make sure to buy products made from quality materials but also remember that weight is a factor when purchasing a snowshoe. Kids can sometimes grow fast so make sure you have some room for a growing boot. It’s also going to be cold out there so make sure you have your child bundled up nicely before hitting the trails.
Speaking of trails, where are you going to be snowshoeing? There are a variety of snowshoes on the market for different types of skill levels, terrains and intentions. Most Kids Snowshoes will be for recreational use so they will be awesome on flat trails or maybe some rolling terrain. If you intend on hiking a mountain then you’ll want your kids outfitted in a backcountry or mountain snowshoe. There is also fitness and running snowshoes intended for the very active snowshoer who may still want to run and jog in the snow.
When purchasing your Kids Snowshoes:
• Pay attention to the weight: Snowshoes tend to have weight limits or have minimum weight requirements. Also, what clothes is your child wearing? Poles, boots and backpacks will add weight and these need to be factored in too.
• Be aware of Crampons: These are the little metal teeth at the bottom of the snowshoe designed to add traction when traversing the land. Larger crampons are used for very hilly, mountainous terrain as well as backcountry. Small crampons are best for that active, running snowshoer. You’ll probably want to get an average-sized crampon which will be attached to recreational snowshoes and most Kids Snowshoes.
• Buy Quality: Quality doesn’t mean spending your last dime on the very best but name-brands with good materials will help your child enjoy the day. If you opt to rent, bear in mind that most snowshoes for rent are meant to fit a wide variety of individuals and might not provide the best fit for your child. This could shorten the time you spend outdoors and the enjoyment factor of snowshoeing if they are continuously fiddling with their snowshoes.
When purchasing Kids Snowshoes there are some additional items to consider:
• Footwear: What boots will your child be wearing? Or will they even be wearing boots? Most snowshoes will accommodate just about any footwear from your basic sneakers to ski boots. The best footwear will be a lightweight, insulated boot to combat the cold temperatures and the wet snow. A good flex is ideal because of the motion of the foot with each step.
• Poles: Snowshoes may already come with poles but, if they don’t, have your kids head out onto the trails without them and see how they fare. If they enjoy snowshoeing without the poles then there may be no need to purchase them. If the terrain is a bit hilly or they aren’t the most balanced kid on the planet then it may benefit them to have poles.
Have Fun! Enjoy the day and the scenery as you blaze a trail through winter wonderland with your children.