Are you familiar with the fact that snowshoeing is far more than a trend? Already more than 3,000 years ago, our ancestors have been using tools made from branches and fur to walk over snow. However, today’s high-tech snowshoes are not only about gaining ground.

Snowshoes are now mostly used for leisure activities – be it while touring with a snowboard, trail running in the snow or classic winter trekking. Here you find an overview of what to consider when purchasing snowshoes and advice for choosing the right footwear.

How snowshoes work:

Snowshoes have a relatively simple design. They distribute the weight of the wearer over a larger surface area so that the foot does not sink in the snow. The same key question applies to choosing snowshoes as to buying new boots – what do you intend to use them for? Think about on what kind of terrain you are planning to use your snowshoes. This will help you determine which design you need: aluminum, composite or – seen less frequently – wood. A specialist retailer can give you advice so that you can make the right choice for the chosen activity.

The right boot in the snowshoes – what to keep in mind?

Once you have found the right snowshoe, make sure you have the right boots as well. Here too, terrain and intended activity are decisive factors. A winter boot for snowshoeing should have a high upper and a sturdy sole. The high upper keeps the snow out, provides more insulation and prevents you from twisting your ankle. It also gives you a better footing in the snow.

The sole should be sturdy enough to allow efficient movement on snow. Snowshoe enthusiasts should ensure that their boots have a deeper, more aggressive tread so that they can still move freely on paths and trails that been cleared when not wearing snowshoes.

Good waterproofing and insulation are paramount – be it additional insulation underfoot, a warm lining or a thermo footbed. For multi-day trips or bad winter weather, gaiters are indispensable.

A special snowshoe compatible heel – meaning a special rubber attachment point - makes sense too. That way the snowshoe can attach more securely and fits most bindings.

At the store – Hanwag Tip:

Snowshoe bindings can vary greatly, so we recommend to take your winter boots with you when you are planning to buy a pair of snowshoes. Try on the snowshoes while wearing thick winter gloves – that is the best proof that they are also easy to handle in the outdoors.

Hanwag models for Snowshoeing: