As for the Yupi Skishoes ($179) and Karhu Meta Sweeper Skis ($299; compatible with Salomon boots), they represent an effort by a few companies to broaden the snow-sport market. In other words, an effort to offer a product in the hope people will figure they need them. I wore the Sweepers at a winter demo a year ago, and confess I couldn't quite see the point. They were neither as agile and all-terrain friendly as snowshoes, nor as efficient for fast travel as XC skis. I expect the same is true for the Skishoes. Plus, both require at least modest ski-travel skills, while snowshoes really require none. But certainly, they work, and in the right conditions do seem to offer more speed than snowshoes while requiring less skill than skis.
So I have to come down on the side of snowshoes. Try some Redfeather Backcountry 10X36 snowshoes ($279) - light, tough and versatile.
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