Choosing The Right Snowshoes

Choosing the right snowshoes

What is snowshoeing?

Snowshoeing is a great activity to get you and your friends and family outdoors to enjoy the snow! Snowshoes are meant to be worn over your hiking boots to allow you to enjoy hiking in wintry conditions without sinking to your knees or hips in deep snowfalls.

How does snowshoeing work?

A snowshoe provides a base with a wide surface area to disperse you and your gear’s weight. It’s the same reason skis, snowboards, and sleds don’t sink straight through the snow, but your feet do!

How do I choose a snowshoe?

Snowshoes have a few features you’ll want to keep in mind when you decide to purchase a set, whether for your friends, family, or yourself. Here are the most important features to keep in mind.

Firstly: Snowshoes, like normal shoes, come with a right and a left shoe.

Snowshoe sizes
Snowshoe sizes are based on weight. Each pair of snowshoes is designed to support a certain amount of weight. Keep in mind that this is not just the weight of the person wearing them but includes that weight and the weight of whatever gear they may be wearing or carrying. If you are on the fence, it is better to go a size up. If the heel binding is not firmly securing your foot because it is too small, you can install an extended heel strap.

The binding on your snowshoe secures your foot and boot into the snowshoe. Here at Expedition, we have two types of binding, ratchet and quick-set.
      Ratchet binding is the standard binding. You can also find this type of         
      binding on most skis and snowboards. It works by inserting the pull tab
      through the ratchet. Then, you press on the ratchet a few times until the
      binding is tight around your boot. Available on our Explorer Plus and
      Expedition Trail snowshoes.
      With quick-set binding, you set your foot in the shoe, then pull the pull the
      handle from the inside of your foot towards the outside to tighten the binding.
      The handle then clips on to the binding on the outside of the shoe. This
      binding allows for quick and simple tightening and release.
      Available on the Truger Trail, Truger Trail II, and Norske.

Crampons are the spikey bits on the bottom of your snowshoe. These give the shoe better traction in potentially slippery wintery conditions. Expedition has two types of Crampons.
       Expedition’s steel standard aggressive crampons: have a lower profile   
       and are intended for use on trails and lightly rugged terrain.
       Available on the Explorer Plus and Expedition Trail
       Our Aluminum strong deep bite crampons: have a deeper bite and are 
       intended for use in deep snow and very rugged terrain.
       Available on the Truger Trail, Truger Trail II, and Norske.

Heel Lift 
The heel lift is a small metal frame that typically sits under your heel. It is used when traversing up or down steep terrain or while fast trekking. It helps alleviate strain on the calf muscle and keeps the snowshoe flat when taking on steep ascents or descents to maximize the functionality of the shoe. You’ll need a heel lift if you plan on trekking hilly or mountainous terrain. Available on the Truger Trail II.

Snowshoe Frame
The frame is the metal piece that provides support to the entire shoe. Our frames are made from two types of aluminum alloy. 6061 is our standard alloy. 7075 is a lighter and more durable alloy.

Snowshoe kits come with a set of trekking poles included. Poles are not necessary to use your snowshoes but can be helpful. Using a trekking pole with a snow basket will provide greater stability, reduce strain on your knees and back, and increase cardiovascular activity through upper body movements. Our poles have a quick lock system that allows them to be adjusted to the proper height for your use. Trekking poles should typically be adjusted to a height where they just touch the ground if you hold them with your elbows by your sides at a 90 degree angle.