How to Fit Snowshoes

Knowing how to fit snowshoes before you head out to the stores can save you a lot of time and aggravation. It's important to make sure that your snowshoes fit appropriately. Otherwise you could end up stuck in the snow and not enjoying your experience. If you're new to snowshoeing, this could end your participation in an activity you might have otherwise loved!

Although you can essentially snowshoe with any type of shoe that you have, a waterproof pair of boots is best. These may be hiking boots or snow boots, but anything which will keep snow out of your shoes and your feet dry is a good thing. Since you don't have to buy new boots to snowshoe (although you certainly may), bring the shoes you plan on snowshoeing in with you when you purchase your snowshoes.

There are different styles of snowshoes: those for recreation, backcountry, racing, kids' snowshoes and even some just for women. Determine which type of snowshoeing you'll primarily do. You can always cross over, but the shape of your snowshoes is dependent on your primary use.

The size of your snowshoes will be determined by your weight and what you plan on doing with them. Snowshoes generally range between 20" and 36". The heavier you are, the longer your snowshoes will need to be for optimum movement.

If you'll be racing or doing a lot of snowshoeing on steep hills or wet snow, look for shorter snowshoes in your weight range. These are easier to maneuver. If you'll be snowshoeing on powder, find snowshoes in the longer range of your weight category.

When you try your snowshoes on, wear those boots you brought with you to make sure they'll work together. Put the ball of your foot into the snowshoe first, then follow with your heel. Strap yourself in, making the snowshoes snug, but not too tight. You don't want your boots to slip around either.

Try walking around in the snowshoes for a couple of minutes. This may feel awkward, but not uncomfortable. Is your feet are slipping or the snowshoe bindings feel too tight, fiddle with the straps or try a new pair.

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