Are snowshoes worth buying
Snowshoes have been around for thousands of years and for good reason: The principle is simple and was already convincing in the Stone Age. But today snowshoes have been greatly developed with the new technologies and can no longer be compared with the oversized tennis rackets of that time.
Every snowshoe takes part in easy hikes on winter hiking trails. However, those who value performance in the field and ease of use should pay attention to the following points:
The original design was primarily intended to prevent sinking into deep snow, which is why a frame with material stretched in between was very suitable. The frame design is still available today in the form of an aluminum frame with a stretched hood, which offers large contact surfaces in deep snow. However, new demands for off-road suitability, grip and flexibility of the shoe mean that more and more manufacturers are turning to flexible plastic snowshoes.
The loyal companions are available in different sizes, most of which are around 20 cm wide and 50 - 75 cm long. Especially heavy people should pay attention to snowshoes with a large contact surface in soft snow so as not to sink in too far. The softer and deeper the snow and the heavier the person, the bigger the shoe should be. Corresponding weight recommendations for the sizes are stored for many models. When walking on a slope or in firm snow conditions, larger snowshoes have no added value.
- Off-road capability
Snowshoes have long ceased to be a mere increase in area. By cleverly attaching profiles and spikes to the underside of the shoe, the shoe adheres easily even to harder snow surfaces. An additional climbing aid, similar to that of touring skis, now also allows entry into the terrain and now also makes winter ascent of mountains attractive. For even more grip, plastic snowshoes adapt better to the ground and a flexible end of the shoe also allows a natural rolling movement. Overall, this category is dominated by the plastic design, but even frame models with a good profile on the underside rarely let you down with terrain.
- Attachment of the shoe
A solid connection between foot and snowshoe is one of the most important properties of every snowshoe. A loose fit or slipping during use will hold up and frustrate you. The manufacturers have developed various systems to guarantee easy operation and a good grip. Boa® is a fastening system that is becoming more and more popular and ensures a firm fit for different foot shapes in the blink of an eye. Other good systems have multiple sides around the foot and should be easy to use.
Of course, the lighter the better, as long as the stability of the shoe is still guaranteed. Weight saved on the foot is particularly important, however, as 500 g of additional weight on the feet feels like about 5 kg of additional weight in the backpack.
- Notes on snowshoeing
- High-cut waterproof mountaineering boots are best for use with snowshoes
- Length-adjustable poles save strength and help with balance
- Snowshoe hikers should also have experience and equipment appropriate to the terrain in the mountains (route planning, avalanche report, avalanche transceiver equipment)
- Gaiters (sewn into the pants or separately) keep the legs dry even on long hikes in deep snow.
- Since snowshoeing is a sport, you should pay attention to breathable clothing based on the onion principle with a change of shirts
- On ambitious hikes in high alpine terrain, snowshoe hikers like ski tourers have to be aware of the alpine dangers. Therefore, in addition to preparing for the tour, we also recommend studying the avalanche report and the local conditions. Of course, the basic equipment also includes an avalanche transceiver, probe and shovel.
- - Click here for our snowshoes in the Teamalpin shop
- - Backpack packing list (a suggestion that can be expanded at will)
- - Buying advice on avalanche transceivers
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