If you’re just starting out with snowshoes, it can be a bit daunting trying to figure out exactly what you need from a pair of snowshoes. There are a few different kinds of specialized snowshoes, for instance, that are great for certain things, but not ideally suited to the kind of basic trail walking that beginners are typically focused on. The best beginner snowshoes will give you everything that you need to enjoy a simple hike, without costing you a great deal of money.
Best Beginner SnowshoesWhat to look for when you're looking for the best beginner snowshoes.
- Maximum Weight – When buying a pair of snowshoes you don’t need to worry too much about the foot size of the snowshoes, but you do need to worry about their length, and their maximum weight capacity. Longer snowshoes with more surface area will be able to support more weight. If you weigh more than the maximum weight capacity you’ll just sink in to the snow, which isn’t much fun.
- Snowshoe Types – When you’re starting out with snowshoes all you need is a basic hiking snowshoe, without anything too fancy. More specialized snowshoes, like backcountry snowshoes or running snowshoes may work fine, but will likely cost more than your basic pair of hiking snowshoes.
Best Beginner Snowshoes ReviewsSome of the very best beginner snowshoes to choose from.
- Atlas Run Snowshoes - The Atlas Run snowshoes are the ideal pair of snowshoes for beginners that think they might like to transition to running in snowshoes one day. They make a good pair of general hiking snowshoes, though you probably wouldn't want to take them off of established trails. And if you do want to go running, they are light enough, at 2 pounds 11.4 ounces, or 1.23 kilograms, that you wont have any problems. Because they're smaller and intended for running, they do have a maximum weight capacity of 190 pounds.
- MSR Lightning Flash Snowshoes (Women's) - If you think that you might one day like to get off the beaten trail and in to the backcountry, then the Lightning Flash snowshoes are a good choice. They don't have a heel lift bar, which is a useful feature for the backcountry, but they do come in two sizes, a 22 and 25 inch length, the larger carrying a maximum of 280 pounds. Beyond that, what makes these a good pair of snowshoes for transitioning to backcountry travel is MSR's 360 traction system, which is crampons built in to the bottom of the outer frame. You can also add weight to the maximum weight capacity by attaching optional tails, so that you can handle the weight of a heavy backpack when you start venturing off of the established trail.
- MSR Evo 22 Snowshoes - The Evo 22 snowshoes are a fantastic choice for that just want something to go hiking in. They're relatively cheap, and also fairly lightweight, at 3 pounds 7 ounces, or 1.55 kilograms. The only real drawback is that they come in just one size that will carry a maximum of 180 pounds. But for those that want to add to that, there are optional tails that add an additional 70 pounds to that 180 pound capacity.