the right pair of snowshoes is important. Snowshoes with a tail
are best for open areas and trails where you may be going in straight
lines for medium-long distances. The tail also acts as a
counter-balance, helping to lift the front of the shoe out of the snow.
Snowshoes without a tail are best when maneuverability is a preference.
This type of shoe is often the first choice of forest workers, hunters,
trappers, and many winter campers. Often it is necessary to reach
a compromise and opt for the style of shoe that fits the terrain you
will be traversing most often.
Once you have determined the style, you should next consider frequency
of use, which translates directly to the type of lacings your shoes
should have. Full-hide lacings are made of cowhide from which only
excess fat and hair has been removed.
are exceptionally strong and water resistant and the best choice for
shoes that are intended for prolonged or frequent use in varying snow
conditions. Split hide lacings are made from cowhide that has been
split in two. While slightly less durable and water resistant they
are still quite functional and are a great value for the recreational
snowshoer. Split-hide lacings, however, are not recommended for
extended use in wet snow.
consider the height and weight of the snowshoer. The general rule
is quite simple: the heavier the individual, the larger the surface area
required to support his/her weight on the snow; the taller the
individual, the wider the shoe he/she can wear.