Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 25

Thread: Snowshoe advice

  1. #1
    Member Maria's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Westchester, NY
    Posts
    35

    Snowshoe advice

    Hi there -

    Now that the winter sales are here, I'm looking to invest in some snowshoes. I was more of a xc skier and downhiller before, but I'm beginning to explore winter hiking too and obviously need them. Tried out a Redfeather pair last weekend but the binding was this strappy kind and didn't hold my feet in place straight on the snowshoe and it was hard to walk regularly. Not fun. None of my friends could figure out how to use it correctly either so I just returned that one.

    And suggestions on favorites? Or advice on the best types of binding? There seem to be all kinds out there.

    Thanks! Maria

  2. #2
    Senior Member erugs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Manchester, NH
    Posts
    2,439
    Welcome to the world of snowshoeing. I have had several pair of Tubbs (upgrading to a more aggressive model) and they've held up well, but I also bought a spare pair made by Atlas (from an EMS store when they were selling off some older rental equipment). I think you're doing the right thing by trying them out and seeing how they feel to put on/take off. The mistake I made was by thinking of just cost, not what I was going to be doing with them -- but on the other hand, I was a novice and had no idea how much I'd do with them, what amount of weight I'd carry (who, me? sleep outside in winter? i don't think so - well maybe, definitely!). I've heard really good things about MSRs -- have asked people I meet on the trail because a friend is getting ready to upgrade from older Sherpas and is considering those.
    Last edited by erugs; 02-12-2008 at 11:02 AM.
    Ellen

    Volunteer Maintainer: East Pond Trail

    "Through winter-time we call on spring/And through the spring on summer call/And when abounding hedges ring/Declare that winter's best of all/And after that there's nothing good/Because the spring-time has not come... William Butler Yeats

  3. #3
    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Bedford, MA; Avatar: eggs anyone?
    Posts
    10,691
    I'm happy with a pair of MSR Denali Ascents. Light, reasonably rugged, great grip.

    Doug
    Last edited by DougPaul; 02-12-2008 at 01:00 PM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member dug's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Xanadu
    Posts
    1,947
    Err on the smaller side if you have a choice. You will hear how you need 25", 30" snowshoes based on your weights. Unless you are going to be walking in a field, go with the smaller size if possible. Mountain trails are tough to maneuver with some of these monsters that some salespeople seem to recommend.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Chip's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Here and there Avatar: Ice Ice Baby...
    Posts
    4,732
    This is also the time of year owners start having problems with their shoes. After looking into how different shoes are made, if I was buying a pair today I'd but Atlas BC 24's or Atlas 10/30's (depending on floatation needs). I like the way the binding is attached and the heel lifts.
    Dead Last > Did Not Finish > Did Not Start

    * ALL STANDARD DISCLAIMERS APPLY: IIRC. YRMV. IMHO. FWIW. HYOH. NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, ARE MADE
    THAT INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS POST IS ACCURATE, RELIABLE OR APPROPRIATE FOR ANY PARTICULAR SITUATION.

  6. #6
    Senior Member erugs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Manchester, NH
    Posts
    2,439
    Dug's right about not getting a pair that is too large. When I made my last change I had the choice of same length shoe but with a binding that pivoted, thereby making climbing easier than the model with a lesser binding that just twisted. I'm also wary about the model of snowshoe that require a specific boot and another brand that is less expensive but has been known to bend. I've learned the lesson more than a few times to buy right-enough quality the first time around as much as possible.
    Ellen

    Volunteer Maintainer: East Pond Trail

    "Through winter-time we call on spring/And through the spring on summer call/And when abounding hedges ring/Declare that winter's best of all/And after that there's nothing good/Because the spring-time has not come... William Butler Yeats

  7. #7
    Senior Member MadRiver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Thornton, NH
    Posts
    1,699
    I bought a pair of Tubbs 30Ē a few years ago on sale for $104.00 and to be honest they are way too big unless I am breaking trail. I borrowed a pair of my sisterís Redfeathers 25Ē for most of my winter hikes this season but broke the front crampon doing some 4Ks. Go with a smaller shoe but make certain the crampon is aggressive enough for larger peaks. Iím doing the Hancocks on Saturday with a group and I have no choice but to use the Tubbs. However, with the storm coming on Tuesday/Wednesday I might be breaking trail anyway.
    What do you mean he don't eat no meat? Ok, I'll do lamb.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Dugan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Caboodle tries to help with calculus
    Posts
    976
    I just bought a pair of women's MSR Lightning Ascents. In the past I've also had Atlas & Tubbs, as well as wooden. So far, the MSR's are my favorite. I've used them only on dog walking, they haven't seen the mountains yet. I chose these for several reasons:

    1. No cloth in bindings (the Atlas & Tubbs that I've seen have nylon straps). This is because I've had the straps get wet, then freeze. Essentially, this means the straps are no longer adjustable. I'm either stuck with them off, or stuck with them on.
    2. Light weight and narrow width (the lightest and narrowest I could find). In the past few years, snowshoeing has increasingly bothered my arthritis, to the point that I'm now reluctant to head out for more than 5-7 miles. In tests of about a mile, so far I'm finding no pain with the MSR's. With all other shoes I've worn this winter (3 pairs), I've had significant discomfort within 1/2 mile.
    3. Ease of bindings. I can manage them with one hand, mittened. Nice for mid-hike gear changes.

  9. #9
    Member Maria's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Westchester, NY
    Posts
    35
    I was wondering about the men/women versions out there - whether it was a marketing ploy or it's better to go with gender specific vs. unisex.

    Thanks for the feedback and MSR does seem like the way to go. I'm not sure if I'll find them on sale, but better to pay for higher quality.

  10. #10
    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Bedford, MA; Avatar: eggs anyone?
    Posts
    10,691
    Quote Originally Posted by Maria
    I was wondering about the men/women versions out there - whether it was a marketing ploy or it's better to go with gender specific vs. unisex.

    Thanks for the feedback and MSR does seem like the way to go. I'm not sure if I'll find them on sale, but better to pay for higher quality.
    Back when I started (in the 1970s) they were just snowshoes and both men and women seemed to use them equally well. The men's/women's versions have come out since then. I believe the women's versions are slightly narrower in the tail.

    I'm not convinced that it makes much difference, but I haven't studied the issue in any detail.

    Size and general shape are much more important--small and narrow is fine on a packed trail. More area (=more flotation) is useful if you will be in deep powder. And shorter and wider is better for climbing steep slopes. There is also the question of how wide are the local packed trails... Since most others in the NE use narrow snowshoes, the trails are narrow trenches and you are essentially forced to use a snowshoe that is narrow.

    Since most NE hiking is on packed trails, a small and narrow snowshoe like the MSR Denali Ascent is a good choice. It also has good built-in metal crampons so it has very good traction on steep packed slopes/trails.

    Doug
    Last edited by DougPaul; 02-12-2008 at 01:15 PM.

  11. #11
    Senior Member erugs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Manchester, NH
    Posts
    2,439
    I can't comment on snowshoe manufacturer's and gender models, but I can't stand it when something is made for women and you can tell because of the color alone! I love Superfeet in my boots and shoes, but the W's model is purple and 'way too narrow for my feet. I don't want a pink backpack and I am not a fan of pale pastel colors so won't buy any colors that manufacturers try to market to me because of my gender if they don't fit my requirements for quality and size. (Forgive my ranting and raving. It must be because I didn't get out to hike last weekend. Either that or I can't control my emotions! )
    Ellen

    Volunteer Maintainer: East Pond Trail

    "Through winter-time we call on spring/And through the spring on summer call/And when abounding hedges ring/Declare that winter's best of all/And after that there's nothing good/Because the spring-time has not come... William Butler Yeats

  12. #12
    Senior Member MadRiver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Thornton, NH
    Posts
    1,699
    Quote Originally Posted by eruggles
    I don't want a pink backpack and I am not a fan of pale pastel colors so won't buy any colors that manufacturers try to market to me because of my gender if they don't fit my requirements for quality and size. (Forgive my ranting and raving. It must be because I didn't get out to hike last weekend. Either that or I can't control my emotions! )
    Having worked in academia for the past 20 odd years most of these colorful items are marketed to college women and not hiking women. Iíve lost count on how many pink North Face vests Iíve seen on campus, yet I have never seen one in the backcountry.
    What do you mean he don't eat no meat? Ok, I'll do lamb.

  13. #13
    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Bedford, MA; Avatar: eggs anyone?
    Posts
    10,691
    Quote Originally Posted by MadRiver
    Having worked in academia for the past 20 odd years most of these colorful items are marketed to college women and not hiking women. Iíve lost count on how many pink North Face vests Iíve seen on campus, yet I have never seen one in the backcountry.
    Nonetheless, it is still a problem that some women's gear is more tailored to fashion than function. The situation is not as bad as it used to be, but one still needs to keep an eye open.

    <pure speculation>
    In the case of snowshoes, it could also be tailoring to average body weights and leg lengths. If this is the case, taller and heavier women should consider men's snowshoes.
    </pure speculation>

    Doug

  14. #14
    Senior Member dug's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Xanadu
    Posts
    1,947
    Quote Originally Posted by MadRiver
    Having worked in academia for the past 20 odd years most of these colorful items are marketed to college women and not hiking women. Iíve lost count on how many pink North Face vests Iíve seen on campus, yet I have never seen one in the backcountry.
    I think you've described North Face in general in the last ten years......

  15. #15
    Senior Member MadRiver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Thornton, NH
    Posts
    1,699
    Quote Originally Posted by dug
    I think you've described North Face in general in the last ten years......
    Case in point.

    http://www1.macys.com/catalog/produc...xx.esn_results
    Last edited by MadRiver; 02-12-2008 at 02:36 PM.
    What do you mean he don't eat no meat? Ok, I'll do lamb.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •