For the 50+ Traveler

1
MSR Evo Trail 22-Inch Hiking Snowshoes

Top Pick
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These made-in-the-U.S.A. snowshoes have extremely high reviews and are backed by very enthusiastic owners. They’re made for trail walking, and while they have steel rails and brake bars, they’re light enough to attach to a backpack when you don’t need them (if you’re taking longer hikes, that is). The carbon steel crampons make it possible to safely traverse powder, crust, and even ice.

Buyers note that the Evo Trail 22-Inch Hiking Snowshoes are not fit for heavier snowshoers or those with a lot of gear (they have a weight limit of 180 pounds) or taking on ungroomed snow. If that’s on your agenda, you can invest in a pair of MSR floatation tails that will distribute your weight over an even larger surface, making off-trail snowshoeing possible -- and that much safer. Finally, not all buyers are 100 percent satisfied with how the straps fit or perform in cold weather. That said, the majority of reviews are five stars, and buyers have some amazing stories about their experiences on these snowshoes!

Key Features

  • Steel traction rails and brake bars
  • Carbon steel crampons
  • DuoFit bindings
  • Available in multiple colors

Specifications

  • Brand: MSR
  • Weight (per pair): 3.56 pounds
  • Weight Limit: 180 pounds
  • Shoe Sizes: Men’s 4.5 to 15, Women’s 6 to 15+

Pros

  • Snugness can be adjusted without taking your gloves off
  • Super light
  • Made in the U.S.

Cons

  • Not fit for heavier snowshoers or those with lots of gear
  • Straps may not stay in their holders as intended
  • Require tails if you want to tread on ungroomed snow

2
G2 GO2GETHER Snowshoes Adult Adventure Kit

Honorable Mention
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G2 GO2GETHER’s snowshoes come in two colors (orange and azure) and three sizes (21, 25, and 30 inch), meaning options -- and the potential to accommodate larger snowshoers and those with more gear. The 30-inch snowshoes, the largest size, can handle up to 250 pounds.

These snowshoes have a completely different aesthetic than the MSR Evos. While they look high tech, their high-density polyethylene decking is somehow reminiscent of the sinew pulled taut across centuries -- or maybe even millennia -- old snowshoes, and it’s doing something right. Buyers report these are extremely comfortable, even on very long (think 12+ hour) treks. They have built-in manganese steel crampons for traction on ice and crust, plus a heel lift system that can be engaged to lessen the strain associated with uphill hiking.

Not everyone likes the way the foam-padded ratchet bindings work, and one snowshoer mentioned that her ratchet clip broke, which leaves the straps flapping and suggests that the plastic may not perform well when adjusted out in the cold.

Key Features

  • Available in multiple colors and sizes
  • Foam-padded double ratchet binding
  • Manganese steel crampons

Specifications

  • Brand: G2 GO2GETHER
  • Weight (per pair): 6 pounds
  • Weight Limit: Up to 250 pounds depending on size ordered
  • Shoe Sizes: Up to men’s 15

Pros

  • Come with trekking poles and carry bag
  • Extremely comfortable
  • Unique heel-lift system for uphill trekking

Cons

  • Binding may not attach well to your boots of choice
  • Plastic components might break

3
Chinook Trekker Snowshoes

Also Consider
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Chinook’s Trekker Snowshoes are more basic and far more affordable than the MSR or G2 GO2GETHER options we’ve considered. They’re made of lightweight and freeze-resistant materials and have multiple crampons to keep you safe whether you’re walking across a flat but slick surface or headed up or downhill.

Reviewers call these a great pair of snowshoes for family fun on relatively shallow snow and groomed trails. Note that the latches and straps aren’t the highest quality, and don’t pull on them too hard. These are not the best snowshoes for long or strenuous hikes, especially considering the crampons can bend on rocks and the ratchet strap arrangement messes with some snowshoers’ circulation.

Key Features

  • Aluminum frame
  • UV resistant decking
  • Ratchet-strap closure system

Specifications

  • Brand: Chinook
  • Weight (per pair): 5 pounds
  • Weight Limit: 210 pounds
  • Shoe Sizes: Up to men’s 15

Pros

  • Snugness can be adjusted without taking your gloves off
  • Come with carry bag
  • Affordable option

Cons

  • Fit may need frequent adjustment
  • Plastic components may not stand up to rough handling or regular use
  • Not meant for long or strenuous hikes

4
GV Snowshoes Huron Rawhide Snowshoes

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Maybe you really want a pair of old-fashioned snowshoes but are afraid those found at an antique store are better hung on a wall than out in the snow -- and you’re probably right. Well, word to the wise: Old-fashioned snowshoes are not readily available. But they are still made new, and yes, you can get them on dear Amazon. GV Snowshoes, one maker of old-fashioned snowshoes, does have higher tech options, but they also offer what they call their Traditional lineup, and that includes the Huron Rawhide.

These snowshoes are absolutely gorgeous. They transport me right back to my childhood in Alaska, and while I’d happily hit the frosty trails in any of these snowshoes, naturally, these are my favorites. They’re made with Appalachian white ash and rawhide laces, which will provide a completely different feel than snowshoeing on a firm plastic base.

Reviewers love these snowshoes. One regular snowshoer even reports preferring them over her aluminum pair. That said, they require upkeep since they’re made of natural materials, and you’ll have to buy bindings separately. Also, the weight limit isn’t specified, though at least one 5’ 7” adult reports using them with a backpack and other supplies.

Key Features

  • Traditional aesthetic
  • Rawhide laces
  • White ash frame

Specifications

  • Brand: GV Snowshoes
  • Weight (per pair): 4.5 pounds
  • Weight Limit: Not specified
  • Shoe Sizes: Depends on bindings (sold separately)

Pros

  • Made in Canada
  • 5-year limited warranty
  • High-quality construction

Cons

  • Bindings sold separately
  • Require proper upkeep to keep the wood from splitting
  • More expensive than some other options reviewed

5
Crescent Moon Eva All-Foam Snowshoe

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Snowshoes are funny looking to begin with, and then there are these things. You may not be sure how to respond to them. They don’t have crampons, a ratchet system, or any frame whatsoever. Are they to be taken seriously? Apparently so, considering the accolades they’ve earned.

Crescent Moon claims to make snowshoes that break the mold, making snowshoeing "more accessible, less intimidating, and more enjoyable for everyone." These all-foam snowshoes feature simple hook-and-loop (think Velcro) bindings, rubber lugs and ice spikes for traction, and a cushy base for extra comfort. The foam is also said to help keep your feet warmer while you’re out in the elements, too.

Happy reviewers say they’re easy to put on and care for and that they’re especially quiet, which is welcome if you’re taking to the trails for some peace, solitude, and maybe even wildlife sightings. One reviewer complained that they stiffen up too much in the cold and catch the snow, throwing it up your back. That said, Crescent Moon’s lineup has been recognized by Outside Magazine, Gear Junkie, Snowshoe Magazine, and beyond, and they come with a limited lifetime warranty.

Key Features

  • Frame-free foam construction
  • Simple hook-and-loop bindings
  • Innovative cleat-and-lug traction system

Specifications

  • Brand: Crescent Moon
  • Weight (per pair): Under 4 pounds
  • Weight Limit: Not specified
  • Shoe Size: Not specified

Pros

  • Ultra light and super quiet
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • More comfortable and user friendly than other options

Cons

  • Foam may stiffen up in the cold
  • Design may not appeal to some snowshoers
  • More expensive than some other options reviewed
Related:

If you’re considering purchasing snowshoes, you already know you love the cold and getting outdoors, even when the temps drop. What you might not have been aware of before digging into reviews and product lists, however, is that there are so many variable features to consider as you decide which pair to try. Here, we explore the specs that set Option A apart from Option B to help you quickly home in on the pair of snowshoes that’s best for you.

Materials

The materials your snowshoes are made out of will greatly affect your experience, and whether you’ll need to stick to trails or can take yourself roaming over ungroomed territory. Most modern snowshoes are made with aluminum and steel frames and some plastic or composite elements. These, for the most part, are designed to stand up to the cold and potential impact.

You can still buy wooden snowshoes. These will give you a completely different experience and do require some upkeep. Now there are also foam options thanks to Crescent Moon.

Your snowshoes’ materials will determine not only their durability and feel, but also their weight. If you’re going to be trekking for long hours (with your snowshoes on or attached to a pack), the lighter the better. Lightness can also contribute to quiet, which could seriously augment your snowshoeing experience, especially if you’re after some meditative winter time.

Bindings

How will your snowshoes attach to your boots? Most modern snowshoes leverage ratchet-style bindings, and they’re made of plastic. Depending on how the straps are placed, you’ll get a more or less comfortable fit. Some snowshoes have hook-and-loop (commonly referred to as Velcro) bindings, but these may not be as durable or secure.

Note that if you buy traditional or old-fashioned wooden snowshoes, you’ll likely have to buy bindings to go with them. Companies like GV Snowshoes make modern ratchet bindings that can affix to any traditional snowshoes.

Traction System

Most snowshoes have built-in metal crampons (which look like metal teeth) to keep you safe on slick ice or crust. Traditional snowshoes do not, meaning they simply aren’t safe for hiking in certain conditions -- and climbing in them could be nearly impossible depending on their length, which is why options like the MSR Evo are much better suited to some snowshoers.

There are snowshoes, including the Crescent Moon Eva All-Foam Snowshoe, that are crampon-free but still have a traction system, leveraging cleats and lugs to stay lighter while still keeping you safe when you hit slick spots or take on inclines and descents.

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