Welcome to our big snowshoe test 2021. Here we present all the snowshoes we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.
We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best snowshoes for you. You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should be aware of when buying snowshoes.
- 1 Weekly newsletter with the best personal finance tips
- 2 The most important facts
- 3 The Best Snowshoe: Our Picks
- 4 Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying snowshoes
- 4.1 Who are snowshoes suitable for?
- 4.2 Which snowshoes are right for me?
- 4.3 What size snowshoes should I buy?
- 4.4 How much do snowshoes cost?
- 4.5 What alternatives are there to snowshoes?
- 4.6 How do I put on snowshoes correctly ?
- 4.7 How do I plan my snowshoe tour?
- 4.8 What makes the ideal equipment ?
- 5 Decision: What types of snowshoes are there and which is right for you?
- 6 Buying criteria: These are the factors you can use to compare and rate snowshoes
- 7 Facts worth knowing about snowshoes
The most important facts
- Nowadays, snowshoes are no longer just seen as a tool for hiking in the snow, but as a piece of winter sports equipment. For those who are less interested in speeding down the slopes and prefer to enjoy beautiful winter landscapes, snowshoeing is just the thing.
- With snowshoes, even some Alpine peaks can be hiked without much mountaineering experience. Offers for guided hikes with snowshoes are often the order of the day in some alpine ski resorts.
- Snowshoeing can be practised as a recreational sport all the way up to a high-performance sport. It requires virtually no previous experience to learn how to snowshoe. Depending on the design, snowshoeing is an endurance sport and is also suitable for steeper terrain.
The Best Snowshoe: Our Picks
Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying snowshoes
Who are snowshoes suitable for?
Most Alpine peaks can be reached in winter with snowshoes just as easily as with skis, sledges or snowboards. In the French Alps, for example, snowshoeing has been a popular sport for years.
Which snowshoes are right for me?
Narrow snowshoes are recommended to make walking more comfortable and less tiring. In addition, it is advantageous on long tours if the binding of the snowshoes allows a sideways tilting movement so that the ankles are less strained.
Experience has shown that easy-to-use quick-release fasteners on the binding are easier to handle than eyelets, buckles or straps.
To ease the strain on your calf muscles, you should consider buying a snowshoe with a stable climbing aid. The size of the front teeth should be adapted to the planned tour.
What size snowshoes should I buy?
On the other hand, it is important to have increased mobility when touring in steep terrain, which is the case with smaller snowshoes.
When choosing a snowshoe size, you should consider your weight including equipment.
How much do snowshoes cost?
In addition to the poorer workmanship of cheap snowshoes, another disadvantage is the limited freedom of movement. Cheap snowshoes usually don't have an axle around which the foot can turn when climbing, which can make the ascent in deep snow an ordeal.
A good snowshoe should also have iron spikes on the edge, which prevents you from slipping on icy ground. You can buy snowshoes for as little as 50 euros on the internet, but it's better to go for better-known suppliers like Tubbs, who already have a certain amount of experience.
For around 180 euros you can get very good snowshoes that will last for several winter seasons. There is almost no upper price limit, top models can cost up to 550 euros.
When buying snowshoes, it's better to go for well-known suppliers who already have a certain amount of experience than to buy the cheapest snowshoes possible.
What alternatives are there to snowshoes?
Special Nordic Snowshoeing routes are offered in many winter sports regions. However, routes with low gradients and a low degree of difficulty must be available for this. This is because a smooth course of movement is essential for Nordic snowshoeing. Normally, there are prepared winter hiking trails for this.
The "Futura" model for Nordic Snowshoeing and snowshoe racing was developed specifically for this winter sport. With telescopic or special Gipron snowshoe walking poles, it is therefore the ideal sport for Nordic walkers in winter.
How do I put on snowshoes correctly ?
When everything is mounted, it is best to walk a few steps at the starting point and then stop again briefly after 10 minutes to check that everything is tight.
How do I plan my snowshoe tour?
What makes the ideal equipment ?
For snowshoeing, snowshoes alone are not enough! Sturdy hiking boots to get into the bindings of the snowshoes are required. The shoes should therefore fit firmly on the feet and be ankle-high. They do not necessarily have to be special winter shoes, but for snowshoe hikes in difficult terrain and heavy weather, winter shoes are strongly recommended.
|Poles with plates||Hiking poles with plate attachments make hiking in high snow easier, relieve the knees and ensure a healthy posture of the entire musculoskeletal system. Important here: the length of the hiking poles must be adjusted to the height of the user.|
|Windproof winter clothing||Windproof and insulating winter clothing helps the body to maintain its own temperature as best as possible and not to cool down during snow hikes.|
|Hat||Hats or headbands protect the head from the cold common on snow hikes, but also from moisture or wind.|
|Gloves||Gloves protect fingers and palms from cold, wet and wind. Gloves that allow you to move your fingers easily are ideal for snowshoeing. This makes it easy to put on the snowshoes and to guide the hiking poles well.|
|Warm drinks||If you are planning a hike, be sure to take drinks with you! It is easy to break a sweat on a snowshoe hike and it is important to replenish your body's lost fluids with drinks. If you are setting out on a half-day or day hike on a cold day, it is advisable to take hot tea in a warming thermos flask.|
|Emergency equipment||in the unlikely event of minor injuries, you should have a plaster and wound disinfection with you. It is also important to have a heating foil to prevent the casualty from getting cold in the event of major complications, as well as a headlamp for illumination in case you cannot finish the hike before nightfall.|
|Waterproof shoes||mountain boots or hiking boots not only protect the feet from the cold and wet but also the ankles from uneven ground.|
Decision: What types of snowshoes are there and which is right for you?
In general, there are three types of snowshoe models:
- Wooden frame models
- Aluminium frame models
- Plastic models
In the following, we explain the different types and their respective advantages and disadvantages. In this way, we want to help you find the snowshoes that are best suited to you.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of wooden frame snowshoes?
Wooden frame snowshoes have a leather or rope mesh covering and won't let you sink too deeply in flat, easy terrain. However, wooden frame models quickly reach their limits in hilly terrain of medium difficulty.
What distinguishes aluminium frame models and what are their advantages and disadvantages?
This snowshoe is ideal for easy terrain with slight inclines and declines. However, due to the round aluminium frame and the plastic planking, aluminium frame models already reach their limits in medium terrain.
Particularly when crossing slopes, which often occurs, the necessary grip is lacking. The use of this type of snowshoe is therefore not recommended in alpine areas.
What distinguishes plastic models and what are their advantages and disadvantages?
Plastic snowshoes are suitable for all conditions. Any use is guaranteed in easy, medium to very difficult terrain. Plastic snowshoes are manufactured using 3D CAD design and computer-controlled production, which means that there are hardly any limits to the innovations of snowshoe manufacturers.
According to the runner's weight, area of use and body size, snowshoes are adapted to all conditions. This makes plastic models the right choice, from easy terrain to alpine snowshoe tours.
Buying criteria: These are the factors you can use to compare and rate snowshoes
In the following we will show you which criteria you can use to compare and evaluate snowshoes. This will make it easier for you to get an overview and decide on a suitable and effective device. In summary, these are the following criteria:
- Range of use
- Climbing aid
In the following, you can read about the respective criteria and find out why it makes sense for you to purchase a device based on the criteria or not.
Field of application
There is a suitable snowshoe for you for practically every area of use. Which snowshoe is ideal for which area of use has already been discussed above. If you have no experience with snowshoes, you can sign up for a guided snowshoe tour. If you already have some experience, make sure you follow the signs in the terrain.
Snowshoes are available in a wide variety of designs and materials. Nowadays, however, snowshoes are mostly made of plastic, which is also highly recommended. Unlike wooden snowshoes, these are suitable for all types of terrain.
Choosing the right binding is very important for you. You should think about your priorities. If you are going on a long tour through less demanding terrain, you should opt for maximum comfort. However, if you are going on a strenuous tour in difficult terrain, your safety is more important than comfort.
Most of the time, good snowshoe bindings are simple in design. If the binding consists of only a few parts, only a few parts can break. In addition, the weight is reduced with simple bindings. Before you buy a binding, you should definitely go to a shop and try some on to get an idea.
You should have the same footwear with you that you will wear later on the tour. All MSR bindings come with extra-long straps to accommodate extra-large feet. MSR bindings are also available in men's and women's models. Women's models are usually slightly smaller to ensure optimal support for smaller feet.
A climbing aid is not absolutely necessary as long as you are snowshoeing on gentle slopes. In the Alps or low mountain ranges, however, a climbing aid is extremely useful and absolutely recommended.
With a climbing aid you can save a lot of power and energy when walking uphill, because the heel is positioned higher due to the climbing aid and thus the rolling point is reached more quickly.
An automatic climbing aid is integrated into the Inook snowshoe models. You can activate or deactivate it in seconds without bending down with your poles. Make sure to activate the climbing aid only for ascents and to deactivate it again for flats and descents.
The size of snowshoes you should choose is basically determined by your own body weight and the expected weight of the equipment.
Essentially, the larger the contact surface of the snowshoe, the more buoyancy it gives in the snow. This is particularly helpful in very deep and powdery snow and with luggage. However, large snowshoes can be a hindrance on steeper and alpine terrain.
Facts worth knowing about snowshoes
What to do in case of an accident while snowshoeing ?
- European emergency number: 112
- Mountain rescue Switzerland: 1414
- Mountain rescue Austria: 140
- Mountain Rescue Bavaria: 19222
- Mountain rescue South Tyrol: 118
If an Alpine emergency call is made to one of the emergency numbers shown, the Operations Centre will dispatch appropriate rescue personnel from the local mountain rescue service. If there is no reception on your own network, the Euronotruf 112 usually works anyway. In the higher and more remote areas, however, uninterrupted mobile phone coverage is hardly possible.
A so-called "SOS function" is already standard for many smartphones. However, if such a function is missing, you should switch off the mobile phone and enter the number 112 instead of the PIN code when you switch it back on. This will automatically search for the strongest available radio network within range.
The European Emergency Call can be used in all European countries free of charge, without credit and without a SIM card.
In addition, in an emergency situation, preference is given to an "SOS" call over a telephone call. The Euronotruf thus always has priority.
Alpine distress signal
The Alpine distress signal is used for signalling and communication between the victim and the rescuers and is valid in the entire Alpine region. Winter sports enthusiasts in distress should give a visible or acoustic signal six times at regular intervals within one minute.
After six repetitions, there should be a pause of one minute and then the process should be repeated until rescue arrives. When the signal has arrived, the rescuers shall respond three times at regular intervals in the same manner within one minute.
|visible/visual||forehead/torch, wave jacket, mirror|
If there is a helicopter operation, loose objects should be fixed. In addition, the helicopter must be properly briefed by a person. Do not stop signalling until the rescue appears, because the signals also serve to locate the casualties !
- You should not leave the prescribed route in protected areas and game rest zones.
- In the forest you should make sure that you hike on the marked routes and paths. It is also important to follow the signposts in the area.
- If you encounter game, avoid it and avoid the feeding area to give nature the space it needs.
- If you have a dog, leave it at home or keep it on a lead.
Leave nature as it is and, if possible, only leave tracks in the snow. Take the beautiful impressions home with you and protect nature and the environment!
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