What Size Snowshoes Should I Get: Selection Chart


Whether you are planning your next winter adventure or exercise, it is always essential to have the appropriate outfit for the occasion. Having the right snowshoe for you will make the journey easier and more comfortable. You might be questioning what size snowshoes you should get?

The size of snowshoe you should get will depend on personal weight, age, weight of your gear, terrain, and amount of snow. The size of your shoe is a small factor, what really matters is getting a snowshoe the right size to keep you from sinking into the snow.

Most people wait all year long for winter to come. Winter has various holidays that reunite friends and families. Snowshoeing is one of the top activities that families and friends plan on doing during the holidays when it snows. To find out how to pick the exact size snowshoe for you, read the chart below.

Snowshoes

Snowshoes are not the same as regular boots that you wear to walk in the snow. A snowshoe is a specific type of footwear.

The purpose of snowshoes is to distribute your weight plus the gear weight evenly; this helps you remain above the snow without sinking.

Snowshoes are excellent for various winter activities, such as hiking, trail walking, snowshoeing, and even running. This footwear will keep you warm and balanced while avoiding injuries. It is crucial to get the proper snowshoe size for you, considering the type of activity you will be doing.

What size snowshoes to get?

The top factor to consider to get the right size snowshoes for you is your weight and the weight of your gear load. If you are a light-weighted person, you will require less surface area to keep yourself suspended near the snow surface.

You will need a larger snowshoe size if you are heavier because you will need to cover more surface area to keep yourself balanced in the snow.

Here’s a chart as a reference to getting the proper snowshoe sizing:

Fully Loaded Weight20-23 in24-27 in30 in36 in
80 – 100 lbRightOkay  
120 – 140 lbRightRightOkay 
160 – 180 lbOkayRightRight 
200 – 220 lb OkayRightOkay
240 – 260 lb  OkayRight
280 – 300 lb   Right

There is a different chart for smaller sizing regarding children in correspondence with their weight.

Women can refer to the sizing chart above the same as men; the only difference will be in style for women’s snowshoes. Those are designed to be thinner, smaller in width, elaborated with narrower bindings for more arch support, and crampons and traction rails to be placed to fit smaller feet.

Can snowshoes be too big?

Yes, and this can be a problem for any snow activity that you wish to do. The issue with buying a snowshoe that fits you big or large is that it will not attach appropriately to your feet, making you feel clumsy and unstable. It will be very uncomfortable, and you will struggle to walk and overcome obstacles.

Also, having a size that is too big can make you go deep in the snow, and you’ll need more strength to be pulling your foot out every step you take. This is why you must know your weight plus the weight of the gear you’ll be using to avoid getting a snowshoe that fits you too big.

What happens if your snowshoes are too small?

Getting a snowshoe that is small on you is even worse than getting one too big, and the reason is that it will not let you walk at all. If the snowshoe is too small for you, it will not provide enough surface area coverage to keep you suspended near the snow. 

Not having enough surface coverage will cause you to sink more profoundly than you would if you had the appropriate sizing. It is also as uncomfortable and painful to walk with small snowshoes as it is for regular tight shoes.

So do consider what you need to do to get the correct sizing for you if you’re looking to enjoy your upcoming winter’s activities.

Types of snowshoes

As I have mentioned throughout this article, it is important to buy your snowshoe based on the type of activity you’ll be doing. You may ask yourself, why do I need to have the activity planned before buying footwear, or can’t I just buy one pair and use it for all my winter activities?

We can find different kinds of snowshoes explicitly designed for certain activities or sports. Also, depending on the sport or activity, additional accessories can also be added to optimize the experience. If you are hiking, trail walking, snowshoeing, or running, you’ll need a specific snowshoe.

Do you know your terrain?

It is not the same running on a flat surface vs. hiking going uphill. The terrain is also an essential reference for snowshoes. Here are some terrains details and snowshoe information:

Snowshoes for Trails and Flat terrain

General-purpose snowshoes are great for these types of terrain. They provide you with enough traction to get up the icy slope or occasional steep. This snowshoe is mainly for gentle terrain, usually for walking or making short trails. General-purpose snowshoes are:

  • Great for beginners
  • Excellent for established flat terrain or trails.
  • Ideal for snowshoeing.
  • Great price and not many additional accessories are required.

Snowshoes for Mountain or Hills terrain

To walk appropriately and stick to the ground without sliding, you need special snowshoes for mountain or hills terrain. These snowshoes have sharp crampons under the toes and secure traction under the heels. Hills and mountain snowshoes are:

  • Great for intermediate to advanced
  • Fantastic for slippery surfaces since they have aggressive traction.
  • Tend to be more lightweight than other snowshoes.
  • Ideal for hiking.
  • It can be a little expensive due to the additional accessories that you have to add on. In-store you might buy a whole package that includes the necessary wear and accessories.

Running Snowshoes

If you will be running, it only makes sense that the footwear you’ll be using is comfortable, secure, and lightweight. Running Snowshoes will make you move fast in the snow. Because they are lightweight, they have less flotation than other types of snowshoes. They are:

  • Best for training during winter times.
  • They were created with an asymmetrical shape and smaller footprint to block you from kicking yourself while running.
  • Suitable for long runs on flat surfaces.

Conclusion

This article is a snowshoe guide to help you enjoy the best winter experience with suitable footwear. Having fun and spending time doing recreational activities is more enjoyable when you are prepared and comfortable.

So, while you’re planning your next friendship getaway or a family vacation, take out a notebook or phone and note the necessary details for the winter activities.

List the activities you would like to do, search for nearby shops to buy winter outfits and gear, and use this article as a guide to purchasing the right size of snowshoe for you and your loved ones. You can be almost sure that you will have a great time creating fantastic memories while being warm and comfortable.

Robert Sampson

I'm Robert Sampson and I live in Colorado where I spend a lot of time in the backyard with my family either grilling, playing games and sports, or working on a project to make our backyard a better place to be.

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