Sizing Guide | Snowshoes
By Steve Kopitz
If you buy your snowshoes too small, you will sink like a rock, but if you buy them too big, they will feel awkward and be difficult to use. But don’t get discouraged, sizing snowshoes is really very simple. Snowshoes usually come in three set sizes; 8” x 25”, 9” x 30” and 10” by 36” (width x length). Although some models will vary, these are the general sizes. In this article, we will explain all you need to know to fit yourself into the right size snowshoe.
Pick A Type
Snowshoes come in three styles when referring to size; Men’s (or unisex), women’s, and kids. Men’s or unisex snowshoes are designed for heavier individuals with larger feet. Women’s specific snowshoes are an excellent choice for women hikers, as they are designed to for women’s body shape and feet size. This means they will typically be narrower, have smaller bindings, and can be found in sizes as small as 8” x 21”. Kids’ snowshoes are obviously smaller, and usually have more limited features than their adult counterparts.
Know Your Environment
Think about where you will be doing your snowshoeing most. Will there be hills? How deep will the snow be? How dry is the snow? These are all things to consider because the deeper and dryer the snow, the more float, and thus larger the size, you will need. On the same note, if you will be most on trails or in the neighborhood, a smaller snowshoe will be easier to control and will weigh less.
Know Your Weight
First things first, you need to know your weight. This is the most important step, as a snowshoes job is to keep you afloat in the snow, so NO cheating. Once you know your weight, it is important to estimate how much gear you will usually be carrying with you when you are snowshoeing, as this will add extra weight. Individuals who will be carrying backpacks and gear will need a larger snowshoe then those who are only going for a stroll around the block. So be honest with yourself about how much you will weigh with your gear on.
Chart | Weight to Snowshoe Length
Once you have considered this information, use this chart to the proper size for your snowshoes. Remember, you will need to slide the bar up or down depending on how much extra weight you will be carrying as well as other factors discussed above. The chat suggests the recommended length, width is a function of both style of snowshoe and length, but for the most part, the width will be in line with the proper length.