When choosing snowshoes, it’s important to define how they’ll be used. What is your goal: walking for pleasure or competition? What are the technical elements of the snowshoe that will optimise your walk. All these points are taken into account when purchasing snowshoes.
What sort of ground are you planning on walking on with snowshoes?
Initiation or uneven terrain: Easy conditions and short walks around ski resorts on groomed trails or near the road. No need for a broad snowshoe. The snow has been compacted, so no need to lift your snoewhoe far off the snow. A bonus is that it's easier to walk with small snowshoes. A snowshoe with a narrow waist is ideal for a nature walk. Opt for a snowshoe model that’s fast and easy to adjust.
Short hike: Small up and down sections between flat sections, and rarely steep. For comfortable snowshoeing in these conditions, opt for a model with claws on the front and a very useful heel lift for climbing up hills. Moving away from the trails, the snow is more changeable and sometimes deep. Find a snowshoe adapted to the “weight” of the snow: the heavier the snow, the longer the snowshoe. The dimensions of a snowshoe determine how well it floats on the snow.
Alpine hiking: Climbing at altitude on steep terrain. This is the typical terrain for ski touring. Snowshoe crampons are placed laterally, which is very useful in hard snow when climbing and also when descending. We recommend an articulated binding with a heal lift and claws, as it facilitates walking during long climbs and limits calf muscle fatigue.
Running: The quality of material is very important. Choosing the right equipment doesn’t shave off seconds, but improves performance by 25% to 50%. Choose a lightweight and robust model.
The grid is the part that supports the weight of the walker. Its size is of major importance in terms of floatability and lift on the snow. The lift of the grid will depend on the length and width of the racquet. A racket too broad for the size of the hiker will make walking difficult and tiring. These days, most snowshoe grids are made of hard plastic or are articulated like Symbioz by TSL. Some snowshoe have a wire grid, especially in Canada. Wooden grids are now relegated to car boot sales.
The binding allows the grip between your shoe and the snowshoe. All snowshoes on sale on SnowUniverse adapt to the size of the boot with a sliding system. The fastening system varies depending on the model. Basic models are fastened with a clip strap. More advanced models are fastened with a ratchet-strap system which provides better tightening. More sophisticated systems allow a better hold of the snowshoe, with either a fastening system that either works without taking your gloves off or automatically.
Claws, spikes and blades are essential for good grip on snow. Depending on where you will practice snowshoeing, consider choosing a hardware equipped to match the conditions. There is little need for grip in powder snow but it is paramount on ice.
A good pair of shoes is required when snowshoeing. Conventional snowshoes are adapted to attach to a pair of hiking boots. Ideal footwear is a pair of waterproof shoes with a Gore-tex membrane and a thick sole for good insulation against the cold. Remember, you're going to walk in the cold for a few hours, so foot comfort is paramount to the success of your hike. Some racing snowshoes bind to trainers to allow you to run in the snow.
A pair of hiking poles. True walking aids, these poles give balance on shaky ground. A pair of telescopic (multi-piece) poles can be stored in your backpack once the snowshoeing is done. Alternatively, one-piece hiking poles a lighter.
All our products are guaranteed. Snowshoes, poles and shoes are all guaranteed by the manufacturer. The warranty duration varies depending on the item. Warranty processing is done by us. If problems occur, please use our after-sales service form.
Extend the life of your equipment: all spare parts you need to maintain your snowshoes are available on SnowUniverse. By extending the life of your snowshoes, you save natural resources. Straps, spikes, claws, ratchets, maintain your equipment. If you’re thinking of buying a new model more suited to your needs, you can resell, donate or recycle used snowshoes at a recycling point. A product that no longer serves you can be useful to someone else. Please consider this before making a snowshoe purchase.
Have your snowshoes reached the end of their life? You can return them, and we’ll take care of recycling your equipment in partnership with the waste reprocessing company Tri-Vallée.