When it comes to the best snowshoes for beginners I would have to recommend checking out the Chinook Trekker Snowshoes.
These are lightweight, equipped with the base features needed to get out trekking on the snow, and a reasonable choice for someone just getting into snowshoeing.
For those looking for something a little more advanced but still well-suited for beginners then I’d recommend checking out the MSR 22 Evo snowshoes.
These are also lightweight and offer plenty of traction for hiking in snowy conditions, especially if you’ll be doing so on uneven terrains.
Keep reading for a more in-depth guide.
As a beginner it’s important to have the proper pair of snowshoes so that you feel comfortable and you’re able to move without any pain or pressure spots.
When I first started I searched far and wide for the best snowshoes for beginners and came across quite a few likely options.
The Best Snowshoes for Beginners
Choosing the Right Size of Snowshoes as a Beginner
Snowshoes are available in a wide range of different sizes and varying fit but keep in mind that the sizing doesn’t have anything to do with your normal shoe size.
They’re designed to be able to properly distribute your body weight across the snow so that you don’t sink down when you’re taking a step and because of this your weight, including the amount of gear you’ll be carrying with you, is one of the more important factors when it comes to choosing the right snowshoes.
For example, lighter individuals that aren’t carrying as much gear will be able to use a small pair of snowshoes and heavier individuals carrying a lot of gear will have to go with a bigger, wider pair.
A common mistake is buying snowshoes that aren’t the right size and this can lead to some problems with getting around and can cause falls, pain or other issues in moving around in the snow.
Additional Equipment Needed
For those interested in snowshoeing on a regular basis you’ll quickly find out that it doesn’t require too much additional equipment.
However, there are some different items and gear you could use to make the whole process a lot easier that will also help you keep you dry and warm when you’re out in less than satisfactory weather.
One piece of equipment you’ll want to consider are hiking poles, which help to add stability when you’re tramping across a lot of snow in uneven environments.
Is Snowshoeing Hard?
It’s hard for me to answer this question accurately since it depends on a lot of factors about the individual and a blanket statement couldn’t just cover everyone.
Ultimately, showshoeing offers up good workout and is a great way to get outdoors and enjoy nature even when there’s a lot of snow on the ground.
However, when you’re just getting started you don’t want to bite off more than you can chew in regards to any hikes or trips you’re planning so it’s also a good idea to start out slow and get used to the feeling of the showshoes on your feet.
Try looking for flat areas nearby and once you get some more experience you can start heading out to places that are hilly or offer more difficult terrain.
The reason why it’s a good idea to start off somewhere flat is because the level surface will help you get used to wearing snowshoes and you’re able to learn how to better control them when they’re on.
Also, when you’re walking along a flat surface you’re less likely to fall and even if you do happen to take a tumble it won’t be as bad if you were walking up a steep hill or ravine.
You should also try to get outdoors during different snowfall types and temperatures so you can get experience in walking on packed, firm snow as well as powder, fluffy and light snow.
Like with anything, learning how to snowshoe properly, finding the best pair of snowshoes for beginners and maintaining your balance at all times will take some effort so don’t give up if it doesn’t go your way at first.
With some of the basics out of the way let’s take a look at some options you should consider if you’re just getting started with snowshoeing!
The Best Beginner Snowshoes
The Chinook Trekker Snowshoes
For anyone just starting out it’s the Chinook Trekker snowshoes that I’d recommend.
For starters, they’re lightweight and a suitable choice if you’re looking to get started on a budget.
I don’t believe that there is much of a need to go out and spend a load of cash on snowshoes if you just want to see if you even like the hobby and the lightweight design of the Chinook Trekkers makes them less of a hassle than something big and bulky.
As a beginner I also really liked the quick-release straps that made them easy for me to slip my foot onto and get going without having to fumble with too many straps or buckles and I found that the aluminum frame offered ample support and comfort for those long days out on the snow.
The decking (the spot where you actually stand on) is made from a firm polyethylene material, which only adds to the lightweight design, and there’s even a heel crampon that provides further grip support on easy downhill snow conditions.
Another huge bonus for me is that these come with a dedicated carrying back and this made it a lot easier to toss them into the bag and keep them in my car without having to worry about the sharp crampons scratching the leather or the snowshoe becoming damaged in transit.
One thing you’ll want to keep in mind is the sizing and there are a series of sizes available between 19-inches and 36-inches depending on your foot size and body weight.
For beginners, it’s definitely the Chinook Trekkers that I’d recommend checking out and in my opinion they’re a great choice if you’re just getting started.
Tubbs Men’s Xplore Snowshoe
Another great pair of beginner snowshoes that I stumbled onto are the Tubbs Men’s Xplore snowshoe.
I like these a lot because for me they were quite affordable and I didn’t have to worry about spending too much upfront just to try out a new hobby that I wasn’t sure if I would be interested in.
Another reason why I like them is because of the lightweight aluminum frame that has a rounded and somewhat upturned tail that helps to reduce the level of muscular skeletal impact on my joints, hips and other leg bones that I’m using.
There’s also the rotating toe cord design that I found pretty cool – the design of it helps the tail to shed snow off which means that there’s less snow weighing down my feet when I’m traipsing through the backcountry.
Finally, for beginners this is especially important, the forefoot strap on the binding can be unlocked or tightened with just a single push of the buckle.
This means I don’t have to fiddle around with any straps or bindings when it’s blustery and cold outdoors and I can just simply enjoy the outdoor experience.
As for the design, it’s the heel crampons that really help with a secure grip on snow and I didn’t experience any issues with a range of different outdoor conditions and terrain.
MSR Evo 22 Showshoe
The MSR Evo 22s are another pair of snowshoes that I’d recommend taking a look at if you’re just getting started with this hobby.
MSR is one of my favorite brands for outdoor gear and I had no hesitation trying out the Evo 22’s when I came across them online.
The deck of the Evo 22’s is made from a moulded plastic (the deck is the piece that helps to make the shoes “float” in the snow) and this gives them a fairly lightweight design.
For traction outdoors on the snow there are steel traction rails and brake bars that offer plenty of grip on uneven terrain and make traipsing across the snowy landscape a lot easier than if you just had on a pair of winter hiking boots.
My favorite feature of the Evo 22’s, and one of main reasons I’d recommend them for beginners, is the simple binding system.
For the binding there are two straps across the top that can accommodate a wide range of different boot sizes and the ankle strap offers additional stability and support.
The large binding straps and the oversized tab at the end means that it’s possible to put these on and even adjust them while wearing winter gloves – great to have when it’s too cold out for your sensitive fingers.
Atlas Snowshoe Company 1035 Snowshoe
The Atlas Snowshoe Company 1035 Snowshoe are one of my final recommendations if you’re just wanting to get started without breaking the bank.
These are a pair of lightweight snowshoes, design from aluminum, that are fairly well-suited for nearly all terrains you’ll be venturing out onto as a beginner.
The spring loaded suspension is one of my favorite features and I find that this really helps to make the trekking smooth while offering plenty of maneuverability.
The Wrap bindings are another great feature and thanks to a single-pull adjustment for each wrap it’s possible to find a great fit when you’re trying to strap these onto your boots.
As for comfort, my feet were really thankful for the arch support and padded foam instep that helped a lot at relieving any pressure from uneven terrain.