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Beginners Guide to Snowshoes

Are you going to take a casual walk on fairly flat trails Or are you the type to climb an up-and-down mountain trail Are you thinking of including several days in the backcountry Or are you taking your snowboard to ungroomed slopes Or are you a runner who wants to maintain fitness during the winter Depending on your interests, there is bound to be a snowshoe for you. Below are the three different types of snowshoes.

Recreational
These are “all around” models for anyone who wants to get out and hike on fairly level trails, stroll around a nearby park or head out to the golf course. They are usually entry-level models and offer good value for those getting started. They have easy-to-adjust bindings and their traction systems or crampons are made for gentle to rolling terrain. Sturdier models in this class can handle most terrain except for steep or icy.

Running
These models are smaller and lighter weight than the all-arounders in the recreational class. These shoes allow you to run without having to spread your feet as far apart.

Backcountry
These snowshoes are designed to withstand harsh conditions and terrain. They are made with highly durable materials to handle backcountry abuse. They are designed for the more serious snowshoer who plans on to blazing trails for day hiking, winter summits, backpacking or backcountry snowboarding. These are often fitted with snowboard-type bindings or climbing crampons, these styles are intended for steep ascents and uneven or icy ground.

For more information about choosing the right snowshoe for your activities, read about How To Choose Snowshoes.


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