The Best Women’s Snowshoe Gear of 2012
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Tubbs Wilderness Snowshoe
Testers appreciated the Wilderness’s heel-lift on undulating hikes, and the pivoting binding made for a natural stride that kicked up very little powder. But the best thing about these shoes is how comfortable, pressure-free, and easy to get into they are: adjust the bindings once and it’s instant on or off with a single ratcheting buckle. 4.4 lbs
TAGS: DAY HIKER, EASY BINDING
Merrel Arctic Fox Boots
These waterproof nubuck-and-neoprene boots are insulated in strategic zones (with extra around the toes) to keep your feet toasty while preventing overheating. Reflective metallic insoles—which bounce body heat back toward your feet—and a fleecy lining add to the warmth. They’re only ankle high, but a webbed tongue keeps the snow out.
TAGS: ANKLE-CUT, INSULATED
Atlas Elektra 10 Series
We punished the Elektras on technical terrain, in deep snow, and under big loads. The verdict: they’re the toughest workhorse snowshoes we tested. The -H-shaped row of teeth grab in all directions, making these best-in-class for side-hilling. The easy-adjust bindings are user-friendly and pressure-point-free, with a one-hand pull-release, a padded front, a toe stop for perfect positioning, and an easy-latch Voile-style rear strap. 4.1 lbs
TAGS: AGGRESSIVE CRAMPON, BACKPACKERS
Aku Lioda Suede GTX Boots
The warmest boots here, the Gore-Tex-lined and insulated Liodas have a secret weapon: an extra few hundred grams of PrimaLoft stuffing underfoot. Combine that with a hydrophobic suede upper that’s been sprayed with a thin layer of polyurethane so it never wets out and you’ve got boots worthy of the coldest Wisconsin nights.
TAGS: WATERPROOF, SUPREMELY WARM
Louis Garneau RX Horizon
Easy does it: one pull on the webbing loop and the Horizon’s binding snugs tightly around your boot, whatever its size or shape. The hourglass frame prevents the shoes from clacking against each other when you walk, and an upturned tail keeps them from dragging—and reduces the amount of snow they throw in fresh powder. While the steel crampons bit well on icy paths, they aren’t designed to tackle technical terrain. 3.4 lbs
TAGS: PATH CRUISER, ONE-PULL BINDING
Chaco Belyn Baa
Now you can wear your Chacos all winter. The lace-up, calf-high, water-resistant suede Belyn Baas have a cozy shearling lining and the same supportive footbed you love all summer long. The sole is tweaked for winter traction and snow shedding, making these a favorite for everything from casual snowshoeing to snowy walks to the bar.
TAGS: STYLISH, TECHNICAL SOLE