The Best Snowshoes of 2016
Four snowshoes to help you rise above the powder, summit fast, and blaze snowy trails
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This year's best snowshoes offer more float and less weight to make it easier than ever to head for the hills.
Best For: Deep Powder
Designed in Norway, the Rangr has about 50 percent more float than any other shoe we tested. Credit the 11-inch-wide molded-plastic deck, which is reminiscent of the wood and gut snowshoes trappers used to wear. “On mellow grades in deep snow, they’re the best shoe you can buy,” said one tester. The simple webbing-and-plastic binding is easy to use and extremely durable, but on steep inclines we wanted a heel crampon for better purchase. 4.9 lbs
Tubbs Boundary Peak
Best For: All Conditions
Named in honor of one of Maine’s tallest mountains, the aluminum-frame Boundary Peak looks antique, with its denim-textured flexible deck and leather patches. But it’s loaded with cutting-edge innovations, including a binding you can release with one hand, a pull-to-lock heel strap, and a rotating toe piece that sheds snow. The toe and heel crampons are aggressive but not overkill. 4.5 lbs
Best For: Big Objectives
The Access is light enough for full-on expedition days but offers the stability required for sketchy, exposed trails. A flexing frame kept testers’ feet in contact with the ground, and the redesigned binding, which lets the tail drop with each step, didn’t kick up snow. Claw points are filed flat enough that we didn’t feel unbalanced even when the powder was sparse, and the blunt crampons were plenty aggressive for a midwinter summit of Mount Marcy, New York’s highest peak. The heel risers did an admirable job of keeping our calves from cramping. 4 lbs
TSL Symbioz Racing
Best For: Running
The 11-ounce Symbioz is the bendiest snowshoe we tested, flexing to match the terrain for full contact with the snow. Four studs in the base boost footing on hardpack, and a matrix of molded traction bars under the ball of your foot and around the perimeter of the shoe give you even more grip, with negligible added weight. (The Symbioz is at least a pound lighter than every other shoe on this page.) The toe binding fits sneakers and low-profile boots but is supportive enough to keep your foot stable. “I ran on packed trails like it was pavement,” said one tester. 1.4 lbs