Why you would use these things instead of touring skis is beyond us. But hey, anything in the name of snowsports innovation, right?
The Black Everest, one of 13 new models from Louis Garneau using a Boa cable closure, finally nails it. The steel lacing, tightened by twisting a glove-friendly, ratcheting knob, snugs a soft plastic frame around your boot for a fit that feels custom.
Fact: walking in snowshoes is a clunky affair. From the wooden rackets worn by Adirondack trappers to modern aluminum-frame models, they're awkwardly large and rigid. Manufacturers know this, of course, and many have responded by designing snowshoes with added flex, which allows for a more natural and comfortable stride.
Traction, bindings, and weight—these are the biggest differentiators. Let’s start with traction. For steep, icy, or rocky terrain, go aggressive with as many underfoot claws in as many locations as you can get, as well as a heel lifter to save your calves on steep climbs.
Our Vermont-based test crew started with a field of more than 30 snowshoes and narrowed them down to these three favorites.
Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Winter Buyer's Guide, including the Atlas Aspect snowshoes.
Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Winter Buyer's Guide, including the Tubbs Wilderness Snowshoe
Which snowshoes have the easiest binding system for gloved hands?ArtPhiladelphia, PA
What are the best snowshoes for deep snow? What are the best goggles for snowshoeing? Jennifer from Helena, Montana Judy from Portland, Oregon
I would like to get my husband a pair of snowshoes for the holidays. I know nothing about them. Can you suggest a few pairs worth looking into? Thank you! KatieMilford, NH
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