Hiking is one of the most basic forms of entertainment (all it requires is ground to walk on and feet to walk with), but not all terrains can be hiked/backpacked without extra equipment. Take, for instance, mountainous terrain during the winter months and everyone wants the best snowshoes for beginners.
Walking snowy terrain is know as snowshoeing, and you will want to have the proper footwear if you are going to partake in this adventure.
Best Snowshoes for Beginners
You might ask, who in their right mind would want to go on a walk, in the wilderness, in the dead of winter? Apparently, several people would, in fact, there is a whole industry catering specifically to snowshoeing.
Sure it’s true that the weather is miserable, the days are short, and the overall feelings of winter are somewhat negative. Snowshoeing offers some of the most serene and beautiful landscapes you will ever be lucky enough to witness. So if you like hiking and everything that goes along with it, you should give snowshoeing a try.
But first, you need to get set up with the proper equipment. So I will go through some differents types and styles of snowshoe, so you have an idea of what you need to be looking for.
Types of snowshoes
Not all snowshoes are created equal. The kind of shoe you need to purchase is dependent on the types of terrain you will be trekking.
- Flat Terrain
- Rolling Terrain
- Mountainous Terrain
So make sure you buy the right shoe for your trip
Let’s first talk about the flat terrain snowshoe, since this is an article for beginners. The MSR Denali Classic Snowshoe is an excellent product for first-time snow hikers. Of course, they are perfect for flat terrain, but they can also be used on terrain with gentle hills.
Being that the crampons are made of hardened steel, the shoes themselves are 4 pounds so that it will add some weight to your feet but it’s nothing that you can’t handle I’m sure. But they make up for it by giving you excellent traction (a necessity when snowshoeing).
I think the best asset these have to offer the ability to fit any boot you are wearing, even those giant skiing or snowboarding boot. It is a design that makes these suitable for ski trips.
Should you get these?
The Denali Classic is an excellent product if you think you will enjoy snowshoeing in flat terrain you should get these. The price is very competitive among the other high-quality boots, that is always a plus.
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My opinion is that rolling terrain is the best. It offers a little higher difficulty level, yet doesn’t require that you utilize every ounce of energy in your body.
The Tubbs Flex Alp 24 is ideal for this surface. They are a little lighter than the previous shoe we looked at, which is quite an accomplishment considering the added durability you get from them.
These shoes have a crampon made from Viper 2.0 carbon steel with a jagged tooth construction that helps to maximize traction and responsiveness.
They have a flex tail that helps to reduce heel shock and torsion deck that adapts to the snow that is underneath you, ensuring that you always have sturdy footing.
A major plus (for me) is the look of the shoe. They look like you are wearing bear traps under your feet. These are just a beastly pair of shoes, and I’d buy them based on that alone.
Should you purchase the snowshoes?
I would say yes, if you are going to be on the terrain that these are made for then you will be getting several years of use out of these. They are priced relatively high, but that is expected when purchasing equipment with this high of quality. Plus they can be utilized on mountainous terrain if necessary.
The shoes I am going to recommend for mountainous terrain another product from Tubbs. The Mountaineer 25 Snowshoe is an excellent choice for traveling mountainous terrain in the snow. Made from 6,000 series aluminum, thermoplastic urethane, and carbon steel, they are lightweight and very durable.
They have binding control wings that center around the heel with a padded midfoot gives you a custom fit and eliminates pressure points. My research tells me that this is one of the most comfortable snowshoes on the market today.
What makes the traction on these so good is the anaconda toe crampons made of carbon steel. With eight teeth on the bottom of the shoe to give maximum friction and braking control when going downhill.
The downside to these is that they only carry a maximum load of 200 pounds, including gear. This is unfortunate because if you are walking mountainous terrain, you are likely going to be taking quite a bit of gear so that an average sized man would go over the recommended weight limit almost immediately.
Should you get these?
The Mountaineer 25 is a great snowshoe. The problem comes in when you start packing gear with you. If you are only taking a day’s’ worth of food and some water, these are fine, but if you tend to go on long journeys while snowshoeing, then I don’t think you should purchase these. We consider these to be the best snowshoes for beginners.
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