Top 10 🥇 Best Snowshoes of 2021

Options considered: 40
Country: CA Flag Canada
Last updated: March 2021
Ranking criteria: value for money, customer reviews, popularity, brand trustworthiness

Bottom Line



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Top 10

More information on the best options.
Table: Best snowshoes
Rank snowshoes
1 Chinook
About: Light weight and strong aluminum frame features an ergonomic design to ensure co... Show more
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2 Wildhorn Outfitters
About: NEW AND IMPROVED FOR 2019 - You spoke, we listened. Based on feedback from our 2... Show more
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3 Gpeng
About: Sizes & Weight Capacity: 14 Inches:30 - 70 lbs | DESIGN: Ergonomic and streamlin... Show more
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4 Yukon
About: Our Classic Sherpa snowshoe Series is back with a new design and updated element... Show more
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5 GV Snowshoes
About: Frame made from Appalachian White Ash | Rawhide laces | Binding sold separately ... Show more
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6 Chinook
About: Light weight and strong aluminum frame features an ergonomic design to ensure co... Show more
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7 Gpeng
About: Sizes & Weight Capacity: 14 Inches:30 - 70 lbs / 14 - 31 kg; 21 Inches: 70 - 160... Show more
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8 Gpeng
About: Sizes & Weight Capacity: 14 Inches:30 - 70 lbs / 14 - 31 kg; 21 Inches: 70 - 160... Show more
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9 Chinook
About: Light weight and strong aluminum frame features an ergonomic design to ensure co... Show more
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10 Yukon
About: Our Classic Sherpa snowshoe Series is back with a new design and updated element... Show more
View product on amazon


Our Ranking Criteria

In short, we do the research for you. You probably don't have time to read through reviews of top 40 products. We go through reviews for you, and try to paint a decent picture of your best options. We rank the products based on 4 weighted criteria:
  • customer reviews [30%] - how customers rated this product? Literally, the higher, the better.
  • popularity [30%] - how many people seem to buy this product compared to other options.
  • brand trustworthiness [15%] - the more other high-rated products by this brand, the more trustworthy we consider the vendor
  • value for money [25%] - adjust the above for price. If there is a better option for lower price, product is ranked higher.

What about the price?

Price only accounts for 25% of the score because price is a tricky thing. It boils down to your individual preference - do you want to go higher-end or budget?

Ideally, we try to recommend better-featured items that have a lower price and high customer score, but in most cases you can't espace the fact that extra features/quality cost extra money.

Please take a look at the price chart for snowshoes to see the best picks in each budget.

In a nutshell: 3 most popular options

What are snowshoes?

A snowshoe is a footwear whose purpose is to aid walking over snow. They work through the process of floatation which distributes weight over the snowshoes to avoid sinking.

A snow shoe is a racket-like device which is attached to the sole of a boot and used for walking on the snow. You can walk around or go on tour in the snow with your snowshoes.

What are the types of snowshoes?

Snowshoes have been designed for both males and females in different models. The main types are however recreational, backcountry, and race snowshoes.

Recreational snowshoes:

 These are very common types of snowshoes. They are used for leisure e.g. walk out with your dog. They work well in different terrain and in walking on snows. You can easily find them in people’s cars and homes.

Backcountry snowshoes:

These are good if you want to leave your comfort zone. They allow you breakthrough different terrain and explore. They are a very versatile type of snowshoes. You can use them both on deeper backcountry snow and even harsh winters.

Running snowshoes:

These are very speedy and can be easily controlled. They are streamlined and light. They are good for harder packed terrain and running marathons because of their speed. They have good bindings that will help your boots sit well. They are go-to shoes for athletes.

Are snowshoes unisex?

Most snowshoes are made for both genders. However, not all are unisex. Women's snowshoes are often narrow than men’s and they have different size ranges including small feet. Generally, there are snowshoes for men, women, and children.

What brand of snowshoes are best?

Different snowshoes brands are known to be efficient for specific terrains. Overall, MSR EVO Ascent is said to be the best in Canada. Others include:

  • For kids- Airhead
  • For casual outings- GV snowshoes
  • For athletes- Yukon
  • For carrying heavyweight, easy and comfortable walking- Chinook
  • Light terrain- Gpeng

What are the parts of snowshoes?

Your snowshoe is made up of the front, main part, and back. The front is called the tip, the main part is the deck and the back is called the tail. The frame is the outer shape of the snowshoe which comes as composite or Aluminium. They determine the size.

 The binding is the lacing of the shoe. It allows your foot to stay. It straps your foot to the deck (the main part). They are often made of leather, nylon, plastic, and more.

The heel lift is not present in every snowshoe but helps the feet relax as one goes uphill. It can be locked or hidden while on a flat surface.

The heel lift is good for mountaineering or hill climbing as they ease your heel while you go uphill.

Are there special boots for snowshoes?

Snowshoes need a good boot to complement them. Fortunately, snowshoes are built in such a way that they allow for a variety of boots. Although, insulated winter boots are well recommended because of their thick soles. If you have waterproof hiking boots too, you are good to go. Make sure you put on wool socks and hold an extra one in case you get soaked.

Are there special snowshoes for beginners?

If you are a first-timer in snowshoeing, your safety is very important as you go on a snow tour with your snowshoes. Do not panic, there are comfortable snowshoes available for you which will keep you stable all through your first experience.  The rule of thumb is that beginners should opt for flat terrain snowshoes. The flat terrain snowshoes offer large decks which are the most ideal because they are well designed to aid walking on flat terrain and rolling ones. If you’re not an expert in snowshoeing, do not go for small snowshoes.

What is the importance of snowshoes?

The major importance of snowshoes is to help you with floatation in the snow. On a normal day, it's very easy for your feet to sink in the snow. Other benefits include:

  • They help to keep muscle healthy while you go hiking, mountain climbing, snowshoeing and so on.
  • They aid your fitness as movement helps to burns calories.
  • It enhances balance and stability while moving.

All these are the great benefits of snowshoes. They keep you fit and healthy.

What activities are snowshoes used for and their benefits?

Snowshoes are ideal for various recreational activities which include:

  • Sport: this could be running for fitness or snowshoeing.
  • Hike: you can go on recreational hiking and casual walks in your snowshoes.
  • Powder walk: this can include backcountry treks and tough hiking.
  • Walks: A casual walk with your dog, fun walk with friends or family

Benefits of the activities.

  • Less expensive: Unlike most other things one does for leisure like playing golf, painting e.t.c that costs one a lot of money, snowshoeing is inexpensive.
  • Fun: Snowshoeing is an easy way of having fun with your friends and family. You can spend quality time on the trails, laughing, gisting and enjoying the winter.
  • Health purposes: Every sport's basic goal is to keep you fit and proper and snowshoeing is not an exception. You stay healthy, exercising your muscles and engaging your upper body.
  • Easy to learn: Learning is fun when it comes to snowshoeing.  

Where can I go with your snowshoes?

These are not everyday shoes and you can only wear them during winter. Here are places you can rock your snowshoes to during winter in Canada:

  • Cross-country sites
  • Ski resorts
  • Permit areas
  • Snow parks
  • Snow trails
  • National parks
  • Grand resorts
  • National forests
  • State parks
  • Any place where you hike during summer
  • Your neighbourhood

What accessories are needed?

To fully enjoy the use of your snowshoes, here are accessories that you will need to complement it. Most of these accessories often come as a kit so, you are easily set. Although, you can still buy them individually. These accessories include:

  • Snow gaiter: these will keep your boots snow-free and dry. It also keeps you a bit warmer especially if it is the higher gaiter. Gaiters are great for athletes too.
  • Pair of snow poles: help for stability while hiking on adverse terrain.
  • Floating tails: enhance float during powder days. They are often an extension of your snowshoes. With powder tail, you can as well carry extra loads because it supports more weights.
  • Carrying case: if you are buying a kit, it will all come in a carrying case. The case aids the movement of your gear. You can also get a helmet, especially for beginners.

Aluminium vs Composite Snowshoes

Aluminum is the most popular and sorted after snowshoes. They float better in deeper snow powder. Additionally, floating tails can be attached to aid better flow.

Composite Snowshoes on the other hand tend to be better on packed snow or ice.

What size of snowshoes are available?

This depends on your weight and it goes thus:

  • 20-26 inches snowshoes for 180-200 pounds.
  • 25-30 inches snowshoes for 200-220 pounds.
  • 30 and above inches Snowshoes for 220 pounds weight.

In Canada, 25 and 27 inches long snowshoes are popular. These shoes are often 9 and 10 inches wide. These are often used by snowshoes who weigh up to 195 pounds.

Does the snow texture determine my size of snowshoes?

Definitely, the snow texture must be considered to determine your size especially the length. Snow texture can be powdery, icy or sometimes watery.

  • For powdery snow- longer snowshoes to stay floating.
  • For wet snow and packed trails- smaller snowshoes make it less stressful to travel.

Primarily, longer snowshoes aid floatation compared to shorter ones.

What are the types of binding for snowshoes?

These are primarily two types:

  • Fixed rotation binding: This is good for clearing things and walking backwards. They have a secured fit for standing.
  • Free rotation binding: just as the name implies, they are binding that move with the feet naturally. They enhance free foot movement.

What are the types of snowshoe tractions?

Traction is the grips underneath your snowshoes that creates tension. The major types are toe crampons, side rails and heel crampons.

The toe crampons move simultaneously with your feet. They are located underneath the binding.

The side rails provide stability and are located directly underneath the deck.

The heel crampons are underneath the deck. The help to aid stability as you move uphill.

Can one still sink while on snowshoes?

Having given a lot of praises to the efficiency of snowshoes, you might be wondering if it is without fault. The truth is one might still sink while on snowshoes if they are not your size and if you’ve carried too many loads without using floating tails.

Also, using snowshoes doesn’t automatically means you’ll skim on snow without sinking at all. There’s no magic to it. It only reduces deep sinking through floatation.

Are hiking boots better than snow shoes?

Hiking boots are best on solid grounds while snowshoes are best on grounds with plenty of snow ( which is the case in Canada).

Hiking boots give your foot much more protection while walking because of their coverage while you’ll still have used an additional snow boot with your snowshoes.

In summary, hiking boots are best on even grounds while snowshoes are not the best on uneven grounds.

So, you’ll most likely see more hiking boots during the summer and snowshoes during winter.

Do I need to learn how to walk on snowshoes?

If you are a beginner, you’ll have to learn how to go up and down the trail while starting your venture into snowshoeing. There are startups that train beginners. It is good to learn from those. It is very easy to learn and fun for any age. Snowshoeing will keep you healthy and help you explore and tour without spending much money.

How do one clean snowshoes?

At the end of your snowshoeing, it is proper to clean your snowshoes so as to maintain them and keep them in shape.

  • Firstly, wipe the surface with a clean and dry cloth.
  • Deep the rag in a bowl of hot water and detergent, this will help for quick washing of the snowshoe.
  • Take a dry towel to clean up excess water.
  • Hang your snowshoes to dry.
  • Make sure to often inspect the screw, pivots and binding and fix up if they do not work properly.
  • Store in a clean and dry place.

If you maintain it well, your snowshoes should last approximately ten years.

Are snowshoes expensive?

You do not have to worry too much about the price. Most snowshoes cost about 85 Canadian dollars for kids. Then, around 185-300 Canadian dollars for adults.

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