Buying Guide for Womens Snowshoes
By Steve Kopitz
When it comes to picking out a pair of snowshoes there are many considerations to picking out the best one in regards to gender, size, ability, etc. Women-specific snowshoes are designed to offer the lady snowshoer the very best equipment to ensure the very best time. Women’s snowshoes are created with a narrower, more contoured frame to fit the natural female stride. The women’s snowshoes will ensure that your foot will stay snug inside the equipment whether you’re interested in recreational, backcountry or race/fitness snowshoeing.
Perhaps the most popular category of snowshoeing is Recreational. Recreational Snowshoes are for the woman looking for moderate exercise or a leisurely walk through the snow. They’re great if you want to bring the dog along or just enjoy the scenery as you break trail. Recreational Snowshoes are best used on flat or rolling terrain. Crampons, which are metal pieces that grab ice and snow, on Recreational Snowshoes are moderate which are good for gripping on icy, snowy terrain. If you’re just starting out or you’re looking for an entry-level snowshoe then Recreational Snowshoes are your best bet.
Mountaineering and Backcountry
If you’re kind of gal that wants to make her own tracks and really tackle the sport of hiking in the snow then Mountaineering and Backcountry Snowshoes are for you. Mountaineering and Backcountry Snowshoes are equipped with larger crampons so you can get a solid, secure grip as you are climbing the summit. The bindings on a Mountaineering and Backcountry Snowshoe tend to be bigger and sturdier to accommodate larger hiking and outdoor boots. If you’re a serious snowshoe-enthusiast and you want to take hit some challenging trails and hikes with varying weather and terrain conditions then Mountaineering and Backcountry Snowshoes is what you’re looking for.
Race and Fitness
Are you an outdoor-enthusiast? Do you go jogging in the cold mornings when others decided to sleep in? When the snows fall and hide your favorite running trails then put on a pair of Race and Fitness Snowshoes and carve your way through the snow. The Race and Fitness Snowshoes are smaller than your average snowshoe and lightweight. They often have different and adjustable crampons to accommodate a variety of trails and snow conditions. You can expect the bindings on the Race and Fitness Snowshoes to cradle your foot and wrap them like an athletic or running shoe would. Race and Fitness Snowshoes are not recommended unless you’re on groomed trail. When you don’t want to stay indoors during the winter months and want better scenery than fluorescent lighting and treadmills at the gym then the Race and Fitness Snowshoes are for you.
Now that you know the type of Snowshoe fits you best, let’s take a look at a few more factors to be aware of prior to purchasing.
Snowshoes are very cost-friendly and are a great investment for a sport you’ll love doing when the snows fall. Generally a quality pair of womens snowshoes will cost around $159.99 and up for a recreational snowshoe with the more fitness and backcountry snowshoes will be more costly heading into the $200s range and higher. Many companies also offer packages which include shoes, poles and snowshoes for a cost-effective way to start snowshoeing.
Check out the sizing guide in our Snowshoe University section and pay the most attention to your weight and shoe size. To ensure that you choose the proper and best snowshoe design for you then you’ll have to be brutally honest on both. Weight will include the equipment you bring along as well. Think about what you intend to bring along and add the weight in respectively remembering that if you don’t bring anything additional you’ll still need to consider the weight of your boots and warm winter clothing.
Buying Second Hand
It’s not recommended purchasing snowshoes second hand because you won’t know the structural sturdiness of the shoe. Someone could have really abused it and then wants to sell it off before buying another pair of snowshoes to wreck. If you opt to purchase second hand make sure to inspect the snowshoes very carefully to ensure there are no defects, chips or weak points. You’ll also want to make sure that they are a women-specific design so you can get the most out of your snowshoeing experience.
Last, but not Least…
Have Fun! Think of all the new adventures you can have going on trails and seeing a world that many don’t have the opportunity to check out. You’ll love the thrill of cruising along on the right pair of snowshoes that fit your lifestyle whether you’re out for a leisurely walk on the trails or hiking in the backcountry.