Hiking in winter on a snowy landscape can be very challenging if you do not have the right equipment. A great snowshoe is what you need. Explore and experience the glory of the winter wonderland without sinking into the snow and there are many products perfect for beginners that are reasonably cheap and easy to use.

How to walk in snow shoes?

This is not the simple question it seems. If you are simply doing recreational snowshoeing then walking normally will be standard. The smaller the snowshoe the easier it is to walk in, but there are other techniques depending on the terrain you are snowshoeing on. When going uphill, you will place your feet on the snow with and place the poles in front of you.

When you are walking through very loose, dry and powdery snow, you will kick-step. This plants the crampons into the snow and gives you the best traction when walking uphill. If the snow is hard you will not be able to kick-step and you will have to rely on your crampons or traction devices to ensure that you get the right traction to be able to ascend, this is where you poles will also come in handy.

The moderate slopes will you can activate your Televator which is the bar under your heel to assist you will lifting up your feet as you climb, this will also allow you to ascend longer stretches without getting fatigued. When going downhill you will also keep your poles in front of you as you move forward to help you to stop yourself from falling forward, bend your knees and walk heel first.

Leaning backward works if you are using snowshoes with crampons under the heel, however, if you are using shoes that do not have that you need to keep your body upright and the weight over your shoes. Don’t overswing your leg, as this will cause the tail to flip out in front of you, if the slope is very steep, then lean backward and if you feel yourself slipping then sit down.

When traversing it is very important to keep your balance. Push the uphill side of your snowshoe into the slope you are climbing to make a kind of shelf and keep your weight on this shoe. Your poles will help you to keep your balance here. Remember to use your poles, they provide the balance that you need. Adjust them to be able to give you the balance that you need. Keep your pole straps on so that you do not lose your poles in deep snow.

How to put on a Snow Shoe?

So you have decided to go snowshoeing and you have a brand new pair of shoes. First check if your shoes are universal, or if they have a left and right foot in your other shoes. Once you have determined this, place your foot on the snowshoe ball first, the ball of your foot should be centered in the snowshoe’s snow bindings. For the right balance and to ensure that you will be able to walk properly, you must make sure your foot is not too far forward or backward on the deck.

Lastly, you will need to strap your foot into the snowshoe. Due to this you will first strap your toes, make sure they are not too tightly strapped. Next strap you heels, once you are comfortable with both toe and heel straps you can tighten the instep strap. Make sure your foot feels comfortable and secure before proceeding to the trails.

What kind of Shoes to wear with Snowshoes?

What shoes to wear with snowshoesWhen deciding which shoes to wear with your snowshoes you should consider what type of snowshoeing you will be embarking upon. If you are going to be walking, backpacking, climbing or running there are specific shoes which are better to use in each instance. Generally though when using a shoe for snowshoeing, you will select something that is waterproof, have very thick rubber soles, and either rubber or leather uppers that will insulate your foot and leg from the cold and wet that is associated with snow.

You can also use leather hiking boots as they are usually waterproof, and if you are going to be running in your snowshoes then you can consider wearing trail-running shoes. It is not only the shoes that you should consider though. The socks you wear will also aid in keeping your feet warm and dry. Thick woolen socks are great when wearing snow boots. Another thing to consider is to wear gaiters, these will keep the snow out of your shoes or boots.

How much Snow do you need to Snowshoe?

Generally speaking, if there are less than 4 inches of snow you do not need to wear a snowshoe to be able to walk safely. However, if there are more than 6 inches of snow on the ground it is better to use a snowshoe to ensure you do not sink down into the snow and if you are going to go hiking you should be wearing snowshoes even if the snow is not that deep when you set off.

Officially, you don’t really need snowshoes if its less than 3 or 4 inches of snow, but if there are 6 or more inches on the ground, strapping on the equipment for a long winter’s walk is good exercise and completely gratifying even if the snow isn’t that deep.


When exploring the great outdoors in the snowy winter landscapes is great and when you decide to do so, you need to ensure that you are correctly prepared for the adventure. Snowshoes are an essential item to have when you are tackling a hike where you will be walking over snow, for your safety and enjoyment. The best snowshoes will ensure you are able to traverse even the deepest of snow drifts without getting stuck.

About the Author

Hey, I'm Lilly Harvey. If there's two things I'm passionate about in life, it's shoes and writing!

Combining both my passions with my Fashion Design degree, I've helped create Shoe Adviser to help readers choose the best shoes for them, enjoy!

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