One of the great things about snowshoes is that they tend to be fairly uniform in size, when it comes to the size of your foot, anyway. Even people with especially wide feet should have little trouble finding a pair of snowshoes that fits their extra wide shoes or boots. But one thing that you do need to get right when buying a pair of snowshoes is getting a size big enough to accommodate your weight. Depending on how much you weigh, you will want to pay attention to sizing snowshoes to fit your weight.
Sizing SnowshoesWhat you need to know for properly sizing snowshoes.
- Your Weight – First, you need to establish how much you weigh, which you should hopefully have a good idea of. Snowshoes allow you to walk across the snow by spreading your weight over a large enough space that the snow can support it. But if there’s too much weight over too small an area, the snow wont hold it, and you’ll sink.
- Extra Weight – You also need to think about any extra weight that you will be carrying. If you’re heading in to the backcountry, for instance, you will likely be taking along a backpack, and so you will need to add the weight of the backpack to your weight, and will need to take that larger amount of weight in to account when buying a pair of snowshoes.
Best SnowshoesA few of the better snowshoes across a range of maximum weights.
- MSR Evo 22 Snowshoes - The MSR Evos are a great snowshoe to have for a little recreational snowshoeing. They will hold up to 180 pounds, which is likely enough for most people, and for those who need a little more capacity, you can get optional tails, which will boost that capacity up to 250 pounds. What's great about the Evos, however, has nothing to do with sizing. They're a plastic snowshoe, plastic being both cheaper than the aluminum and nylon snowshoes, and also lighter. At just 3 pounds 7 ounces, or 1.55 kilograms, these are a respectably lightweight pair of snowshoes.
- MSR Lightning Ascent Snowshoes - The Lightning Ascents are more of a serious snowshoe, perfectly capable of heading off the beaten trail and in to the mountains. They come in three different sizes, the small, medium and large having a maximum weight of 180 pounds, 22o pounds and 280 pounds, respectively. Like the Evos above, you can also get optional tails for the Lightning Ascents, which will add 50 or 60 pounds of capacity. So a great snowshoe with a few different sizes to choose from if you plan to head in to the backcountry. They also come in a women's version.
- Atlas Run Snowshoes - The Atlas Run snowshoes have a maximum weight of 190 pounds, but the main reason they're on here is that these aren't recreational snowshoes or backcountry snowshoes, they're running snowshoes. So with these, the maximum weight isn't the most important thing, it's the design of the snowshoes, which makes them suitable for running in. When running, you're likely going to be sticking to fairly established trails, where a big part of the reason you're wearing snowshoes is for traction, more than not sinking in to banks of snow. So something else to consider when shopping for snowshoes.