Snow shoe recommendations for newbie

Discussion in 'Hardgoods: Skis, Bindings, Poles, and More' started by surfsnowgirl, Nov 7, 2018.

  1. surfsnowgirl

    surfsnowgirl Instructor, newbie Subaru driver and winter lover Skier

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    I've wanted to try this for years and now that we have a condo on a mountain I don't want to wait another minute. Well I have to wait until the snow flies but not much longer than that.

    I just want buy a pair for me and my guy for us to mess around with this winter. I want to start very small because we've never done this before and I want to get rolling with little investment. Once we determine we like it we can spend some time exploring different styles, pairs, whatever and get the "perfect snow shoes".

    If we were to buy I don't even know what to look for.

    What kind of shoes do we wear when using them, what do we look for in buying them.

    What I'm looking for is Mr. Right Now not Mr. Right. We just want something to get started and we'll figure out the rest along the way.

    Any words of advice would be dandy. Does anyone have any for sale they aren't using or maybe they have a new pair and have some old ones sitting around the house, etc or maybe know of a listing for sale somewhere.

    Thanks
     
  2. Jilly

    Jilly Lead Cougar Skier

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    Tubbs.....
     
  3. Thread Starter
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    surfsnowgirl

    surfsnowgirl Instructor, newbie Subaru driver and winter lover Skier

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    Is that a brand or a store?
     
  4. GregK

    GregK Getting on the lift Skier

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    I’m by no means an expert but did a bit of research in buying a pair for a birthday present this year for my GF. She’s not a big skier but loves to hike so she spent the last 2 trips out West hiking and snowshoeing while I skied.

    Like skis, the main thing to consider is where and how you will use them. There are models with larger spikes underneath geared towards icy mountain climbing or thinner, lighter models for running in the snow and models for trail/flat ground use. Some companies have women’s models that are smaller and slightly different shape and other models are unisex. All will have a few sizes in each model based on a user weight range.

    Here’s the link to a Canadian site which answers most of your questions and what I used to help guide my purchase.

    https://www.mec.ca/en/explore/how-to-choose-snowshoes
     
  5. MarkP

    MarkP Getting off the lift Skier

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    For starting out, I doubt you can beat the deal from Costco. Snowshoes, poles and travel bag, for a killer price.
    I haven't personally tried them.
    upload_2018-11-7_21-2-56.png
     
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  6. Thread Starter
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    surfsnowgirl

    surfsnowgirl Instructor, newbie Subaru driver and winter lover Skier

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    Thanks i will check out that site. We have a trailside condo in southern vermont. Skiing is first priority so the snow shoes are merely to screw around with doing some gentle walking out our front door or around the mountain. Nothing big or strenuous.
     
  7. Thread Starter
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    surfsnowgirl

    surfsnowgirl Instructor, newbie Subaru driver and winter lover Skier

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    Thanks i will check out that site. We have a trailside condo in southern vermont. Skiing is first priority so the snow shoes are merely to screw around with doing some gentle walking out our front door or around the mountain. Nothing big or strenuous.
     
  8. headybrew

    headybrew surrender to the flow Skier

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    Similar to GregK I did some research before I bought mine and I believe he is correct that terrain is the biggest factor. If you are on trails that get snowmobile or heavy ski and snowshoeing traffic a smaller shoe will be lighter, smaller, and still stop you from post holing. If you want to go off trail into meadows or rolling hills you would need something bigger with more "float" especially if you are in powder country but I recall from other posts you're somewhere on the East coast.

    If you plan on using the snowshoes to climb elevation a pair with heel risers is almost a must. Craigslist can have lightly used snowshoes for sale after people go out a few times and realize that snowshoeing isn't for them.

    Tubbs is a brand, I ended up buying a pair of giant MSR shoes because I am using them in deep untouched Colorado powder and have liked them so far.
     
  9. Thread Starter
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    surfsnowgirl

    surfsnowgirl Instructor, newbie Subaru driver and winter lover Skier

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    Thanks. Southern vermont, londonderry is where the snow shoeing will happen, at least to start. Not big powder, nothing deep, really just putzing around.

    I'm sure this is my reading ahead of me but what kind of shoes does one wear with snow shoes.
     
  10. Thread Starter
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    surfsnowgirl

    surfsnowgirl Instructor, newbie Subaru driver and winter lover Skier

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    Something like this is what i had in mind. Something cheap to f%^ck around in to get started
     
  11. CalG

    CalG Out on the slopes Skier

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    If you need snow shoes at all, You need BIG ones. Bear Paws at minimum. If you are only "sidewalk sno shoeing" Just get a set of crampons.

    When your dog won't run in front of you as you move along with snow shoes, you have it right.

    Anecdote. Years ago, on a night walk with my daughter and her "creature". I fell off my snow shoes. The snow was over waist deep! It took me 10 minutes to get back on top! ;-) Love it!
     
  12. Eric267

    Eric267 Gettin after it Skier

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    Ive got a pair of these tubbs for when people come to visit. They are super easy to put on and take off, lightweight, durable, and user friendly for beginners.
    https://www.the-house.com/tu0flxe24...Vj5R-Ch1eXwlsEAQYCSABEgLBwvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds
    I personally use an Easton 30in for myself as my daily when the snow is deep but sometimes use the tubbs if it's icy or rocky/low tide. The plastic is super durible and flexes when you step on rocks unlike a traditional aluminum with webbing under foot which can puncture. The toe pick and back blade are gnarly and grab on to bulletproof ice with ease.

    Would definitely recommend to a beginner.

    If you want to get something more advanced/high quality right off the bat I would recomend these. My mom uses them in the 25 but if your looking to go way out I would go with the 30 for better deep snow performance
    image.jpeg
     
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  13. raytseng

    raytseng Getting off the lift Skier

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    You may want to keep a watch out as black friday rolls around.
    Snowshoes are the kind of random old stock that big sports retailer will decide to discount by 30%/40%/50% (aka backcountry/evo/rei/moosejaw etc)

    About 2 years back I got a msr evo 22 for about $60 @ moosejaw which was probably last years stock at that point.

    I don't know how to snowshoe so only used them maybe 3 times totaling an hour or less when I happened to stay slopeside, but pretty fun.
    I used my regular ski poles since obviously I have those and they are familiar to me; and a fabric laundry bag that I happened to have to keep all that gear together and so the crampons don't damage anything.
     
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  14. Jilly

    Jilly Lead Cougar Skier

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    Well you've seen Eric267's post. That's the manufacturer. I'm not sure what "model" mine are. But to buy, you need to know your weight for sure. They go by length of "shoe" for support on the snow. Love mine and have been using them for about 4 years. Also bought adjustable pole to go with them.

    MEC is our versionf REI. Sorry they don't have a store close to the eastern townships.
     
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  15. Slim

    Slim Getting off the lift Skier

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    What @CalG said:

    If it’s shallow snow or hardpacked, just use regular footwear, with perhaps Yaktrax or such for icy parts. Snowshoes are useful in two situations:

    1: groomed/packed snow trails(DH and XC ski runs/trail). Note, only snowshoe on groomed XC trails if it’s explicitly allowed! If it doesnt say “snowshoeing allowed” stay off! Same for DH Ski runs.
    For this kind of use, smallish, narrow and lightweight is the way to go. Often knows as “running” or “recreational” snowshoes.

    2: For ungroomed backcountry use (exploring in the woods) you want something BIG, with good crampons(spikes/studs on the bottom) and preferably heel lifters.
    These are often called “backcountry” or “mountaineering” snowshoes. FYI My wife has 32” snowshoes, at 150lbs, I have 36” at 180lbs. The charts from most manufacturers are way off for unpacked snow.

    As far as footwear: Anyting warm enough for the weather, and water resistant is good. If you have cheap snowshoes with narrow webbing bindings you will want a more substantial pair of boots to provide pressure distribution on the top of your foot, but higher end ones have a nice cradle.

    Gaiters, either as part of your [ant or separate, are a must.
    Poles are a must for off-trail use. DH skipoles with powder baskets are fine.

    Remember, this is an aerobic activity, unlike DH skiing, and you have zero speed, so if it’s not windy, you don’t need windproofing, and since you don’t fall, you also don’t need waterproof clothing. Do NOT wear your insulated resort DH gear!
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
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  16. Thread Starter
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    surfsnowgirl

    surfsnowgirl Instructor, newbie Subaru driver and winter lover Skier

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    @Slim Thanks. Good points about the clothing. I had no idea what shoes to wear so all that is helpful. Definitely more than sidewalks. Our condo is on mountain so we can walk out the front door and right onto the mountain so I just plan to puts around there. Just on trail, no woods, nothing deep and definitely no backcountry. Mountain is only open Friday-Sunday unless it's a powder day so if it'll just be nice to walk around whenever we feel like when we aren't on skis. We have ski lockers and I plan to keep the snow shoes right in there for easy access. I think an inexpensive basic setup will do us fine to get started and we'll figure out the rest as we go along.
     
  17. Talisman

    Talisman Getting off the lift Team Gathermeister

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    A couple of snow shoe points:

    Most snow shoes are made in China including Tubbs, Atlas and Redfeather. The modern design using aluminum frames, built in crampons and neoprene & nylon deck are pretty generic, but the bindings vary a bit. I typically snowshoe in hiking boots and select bindings that are easy to adjust and release.

    You need the crampons if your travels get you into icy conditions or crusty snow and steep areas.

    Get a set of gaiters that go up to your knees. The gaiters keep snow out of your boots, frozen boot laces and wet/icy pant cuffs.

    If you are going to be snowshoeing near your condo and breaking trail you will want to get longer snowshoes. The shorty snowshoes I see being used on groomed trails are useless in deep snow.

    Logging roads are almost the perfect incline for snowshoeing not too steep for the up.

    Snowshoe uphill on the way out on your adventure. When you turn around it is easy to get back to the car/condo. The return will take 1/2 the time (or less if you are breaking trail).
     
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  18. Wilhelmson

    Wilhelmson Getting off the lift Skier

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    Seems to me that even though you plan on goofing around on trails you might as well get something that will work in deeper snow in case your friends want to hike to a waterfall or something. Nothing like hiking/skiing an unbroken trail under a full moon.
     
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  19. raytseng

    raytseng Getting off the lift Skier

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    as far as footwear, that probably is a whole different question and probably your personal preference of use what you would typically wear in the snow area and is comfortable to you

    but yea you probably should at least get a pair of waterproof hiking shoes or boots. All the hiking shoe brands make mid and lowtop offerings with waterproof models so there's a whole range of options not just full boot. Feet will get colder if you get something that is more a sneaker/trail running shoe versus at least being a full real leather hiker.
     
  20. Talisman

    Talisman Getting off the lift Team Gathermeister

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    This! Still and quiet night, full moon, planets & stars piecing a black sky and the winter scenery washed in moonlight as you walk..

    Err on getting snowshoes too long than too small.
     
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