The Best Snowshoes of 2017
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Over the river and through the woods.
Best For: Deep Snow
Breaking trail in winter is just about the most difficult workout you can do. But that Herculean endeavor is made a bit easier with a platform like the Norwegian Hikr strapped to your foot. The lightweight plastic honeycomb frame helped it float better in powder than any other snowshoe on this page. Plus, it’s 100 percent recyclable. 4.7 lbs
L.L.Bean Green Mountain
Best For: Keeping Forever
Snowshoes have been around for at least 4,000 years. And the original ones looked a lot like the Green Mountain. Sure, it’s a bit unwieldy, but the girth makes it ideal for moving across deep snow in open terrain. Of course, the rugged good looks helped win us over, too, with rawhide decking and a frame made from varnished Michigan white ash. 5.8 lbs
MSR Lightning Ascent
Best For: Sticking to the Ice
Most snowshoes function like crampons: metal spikes provide traction underfoot, and the rest of the frame is left bare. MSR saw this as wasted space, so it serrated the edges of the Lightning Ascent. It looks like a snow saw—and bites like one, too. We had stellar all-over grip and lateral stability on steep, icy traverses. Go with the 25-inch model for general use, or size up or down (it also comes in 30- and 22-inch models) if you’re after stability or speed, respectively. 4 lbs
Best For: Winning Races
Roll up to the Snowshoe National Championships in February and you’ll see dozens of Dions. And for good reason: it’s short (21 inches) and narrow (seven inches), allowing you to run without an awkward stride. The quick-fit bindings never loosened up on us in the middle of a competition, while Teflon-coated aluminum-alloy cleats prevented snow from clumping. Bonus: you can swap those teeth out for more aggressive fangs if the track turns slick. 2.4 lbs