Best Hiking Snowshoes: Types, Uses, and Product Recommendations

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Article Categories: Gear | Hiking Tips
Article Tags: Snowshoes | Winter Hiking

If you’re looking for the best snowshoes for any situation, then look no further: we’ve compiled the highest-rated snowshoes for any and all circumstances and needs!

Whether you’re looking for the best hiking snowshoes or the best mountain-climbing snowshoes, you’ll find them here.

 

How To Identify Good Snowshoes

If you’re new to the snow hiking field, you may not actually know what to look for in good snowshoes. Generally, there are a few key traits you want to focus on to identify if snowshoes are not only of good quality but also if they are good for your needs. We highly recommend reading our article on snowshoe types and sizing before continuing on.

  • Weight. The situation you want snowshoes for will determine the exact weight you want (lighter for faster and heavier for slower/more comfortable) but generally, snowshoes should be between 3 and 4 and a half pounds. In general, the lighter a snowshoe is, the better, but more weight can give you more stability.
  • Size. You want a size that fits you, the same as any other shoe. With snowshoes, most are 22 or 25 inches, but there are even larger and smaller sizes. Figure out your sizing before dropping hundreds on a pair of snowshoes. Snowshoe size is affected by both your shoe size and your body weight. Before choosing a snowshoe – read our snowshoe sizing guide.
  • Traction. The quality of traction you want will vary heavily depending on the circumstances. If you’re mountain hiking, you’ll probably want much better traction than running flat trails.
  • Material. Most snowshoes are steel or aluminum, with polypropelene plastic. Materials will affect durability and weight. Do some research and see which you would prefer.
  • Bindings. Snowshoes typically have fixed bindings or full rotation bindings. Fixed bindings are better for flat terrain while full rotation is better for mountainous trails.

 

Snowshoes Cheat Sheet

Read our chart to find the best snowshoes by use case. We highlight the best fore kids and youth, the best for running, the best for mountains, and the best all around snowshoes.

Snowshoes Best For Material Price
MSR Lightning Ascent Generalists; can handle almost any situation, but won’t perform like other specific snowshoes Aluminum $349.95
MSR Evo Trail Beginner; rolling terrain Martensitic steel & polypropylene $149.95
MSR Revo Explore Mountain trails Martensite steel & polypropylene $249.95
MSR Evo Ascent Backcountry and rolling terrain Aluminum $209.95
Atlas Helium Trail Trail hiking and flat terrain Aluminum $149.95
Atlas Helium MTN Generalist snowshoes for mountain hiking Aluminum $229.95
Tubbs Flex ALP Backcountry; uneven and sidehill terrain Torsion Deck™ $259.95
Tubbs Flex STP Beginners; casual trails Torsion Deck™ $109.95
Tubbs Flex VRT Advanced backcountry; exploration Torsion Deck™ $279.95
Atlas Montane Backcountry; heavy powder and ice Aluminum $279.95
TSL Symbioz Hyperflex Phoenix Mountains of varying intensity and condition quality Aluminum $249.95
TSL Symbioz Hyperflex Racing Racing Recycled plastic $289.95
TSL Symbioz Elite Mountain hiking, but generalist and adaptable Composite $199.95
Atlas Run Racing Composite $269.95
MSR Shift Youth Preteens and youths; generalist Polypropylene $109.95
Tubbs Snowflakes Toddlers and little ones; generalist Plastic $44.95
Northern Lites Backcountry Lightweight backcountry exploration; most terrains, built for lightweight comfortable exploration Aluminum $269.00
Crescent Moon Big Sky 32 Long backcountry exploration; endurance snow hiking Aluminum $239.95
Crescent Moon EVA Comfortable and casual hikes EVA foam $179.00

 

Best Budget Snowshoes

MSR Evo Trail

MSR Evo Trail 22-Inch Hiking SnowshoesIf you looked at the Lightning Ascent’s price tag and winced, fear not. There are cheaper options, especially if you’re just starting out, and the MSR Evo Trail is the best among them. They’re on the lighter side with bindings and traction built for rolling terrain.

The Evo Trails might not be top-of-the-line like some of the other snowshoes on this list, but they are great for their price tag, making them an excellent first pair for beginner snow hikers.

The deck made of polypropylene may seem like it isn’t durable, but these are actually some of the most durable snowshoes on the market. They have few moving parts, and the polypropylene just keeps working for years and years. These snowshoes also have attachments to add a tail for additional flotation on deep snow days.

Specs:

  • Material: Martensitic steel & polypropylene
  • Weight: 3 lbs. 9.5 oz.
  • Sizes: 22”
  • Price: $149.95

 

See On REI | See On MSR | See On Amazon

 

Tubbs Flex STP

Tubbs Men's STP SnowshoesAnother excellent entry for beginner’s snowshoes, the Tubbs Flex STP snowshoes are affordable, easy-to-use, and comfortable. They have user-friendly fixed bindings and a composite torsion deck for better traction and stability. Because these are fixed bindings, these are not for mountainous terrain, but can be great options for flat running snowshoes.

The Tubbs Flex STPs are a great casual option for beginners or for experts who need a good day-to-day snowshoe. They also have men’s and women’s versions for better sizing and compatibility.

Specs:

  • Material: Torsion Deck™
  • Weight: 1 lb. 14.4 oz. (size 24”)
  • Sizes: 24” — 28”
  • Price: $109.95

 

See Men’s On Amazon | See Women’s On Amazon | See On Tubbs

 

Best All Around Snowshoes

 

MSR Lightning Ascent

MSR Lightning Ascent SnowshoesOf all of the snowshoes listed here, MSR Lightning Ascent is the best generalist. Everything about these snowshoes is designed to be adaptable. They have adjustable bindings to work on flat or elevated trails, a solid aluminum frame with 360-degree traction teeth, and the ability to use heel lifts for the most mountainous terrain.

If you don’t know where your snow hiking may take you and want snowshoes for nearly every terrain, MSR Lightning Ascent is the way to go. They’re jacks of all trades and can handle almost any situation, but they are also masters of none and might not perform as well as other, more specialized boots in their specific situations. They make a solid foundation for a set of snowshoes.

Specs:

  • Material: Aluminum
  • Weight: 4 lbs. 3 oz. (size 25”)
  • Sizes: 22” — 25” — 30”
  • Price: $349.95

 

See On REI | See On MSR | See On Amazon

 

MSR Revo Explore

MSR Revo Explore All-Terrain SnowshoesThe MSR Revo Explore snowshoes are designed for mountain hikers. With modular flotation tails and built-in Televator supports (heel risers), the Revo Explore handles snowy mountain trails superbly. And, thanks to MSR’s HyperLink rotation bindings, your boots will be snug and secure no matter the terrain.

Specs:

  • Material: Martensite steel & polypropylene
  • Weight: 4 lbs. 4 oz. (25” size)
  • Sizes: 22” — 25”
  • Price: $249.95

 

Buy On MSR Gear | See On REI | See On Amazon

 

MSR Evo Ascent

MSR Evo Ascent Snowshoes

The MSR Evo Ascent snowshoes are absolute tanks. If you’re in love with backcountry hiking and going off the beaten path to explore, then these are a must-have. They have plastic decks to handle the toughest blows, their TriFit rotation bindings handle any steepness, and their Televator heel lifts help you climb the toughest mountains.

MSR Evo Ascent snowshoes have an extremely durable construction that’s meant to handle a beating. They’ll take you into the roughest backcountry to let you see the most beautiful sights and the quietest vistas.

Specs:

  • Material: Aluminum
  • Weight: 3 lbs. 15 oz.
  • Sizes: One Size
  • Price: $209.95

 

See On MSR Gear | See On REI | See On Amazon

 

Atlas Helium Trail

Atlas Helium Trail SnowshoesThe first of two snowshoes from Atlas’ Helium Series on this list, the Helium Trails are excellent snowshoes for medium-intensity mountain hikes. With steel crampons and traction rails, they hold traction even when the trail becomes icy, and they are light and comfortable for longer hikes.

With an affordable price tag, the Helium Trail can be a great option for rounding out a snowshoe collection on a budget. These snowshoes have a great value. The only downside we can see is that they have less adoption, and therefore, there are less reviews compared to some of the more popular snowshoes on our list.

Specs:

  • Material: Aluminum
  • Weight: 3 lbs. 2 oz. (size 23”)
  • Sizes: 23” —26” — 30”
  • Price: $149.95

 

See On Amazon | See On Atlas

 

Atlas Helium MTN

Atlas Snowshoes Helium MTN 23The second pair of snowshoes from Atlas’ Helium Series, the MTNs are perfect for mountain snow hiking on a budget. They’re more affordable than the MSRs Lightnings (which of course means a small dip in quality) while maintaining competitive quality and durability.

The main draw of the MTNs is their lightweight build and versatility. With adjustable straps and heel lifts and relatively low weight, the MTNs are perfect generalist snowshoes for avid mountain hikers.

Again, the only negative here is that there is a lack of ability to read high volumes of long term reviews for Atlas products.

Specs:

  • Material: Aluminum
  • Weight: 3 lbs. 3 oz. (size 23”)
  • Sizes: 23” — 26” — 30”
  • Price: $229.95

 

See On Atlas | See On REI | See On Amazon

 

Tubbs Flex ALP

Tubbs Flex ALP Backcountry SnowshoeThe Tubbs Flex ALP snowshoes are a great choice if you love hiking uneven terrain in the backcountry. They have 19-degree heel lifts for extra support on climbs, the Flex ALP Torsion Deck™ for uneven terrain, and binding that is easy to get in and out of. Meanwhile, the ALPs’ rotating toe cords pull snow away from your feet and keep your stride clear.

If you want aggressive snowshoes for backcountry snow hiking, the Tubbs Flex ALPs are for you. They’re competitively priced, durably built, and designed to give traction and support.

 

Specs:

  • Material: Torsion Deck™
  • Weight: 4 lbs. 6 oz. (size 25”)
  • Sizes: 25” — 29”
  • Price: $259.95

 

See On Backcountry | See On Tubbs | See On Amazon

 

Tubbs Flex VRT

Tubbs Flex VRT SnowshoeOf the Tubbs in this article, the Flex VRTs are the most advanced snowshoes. They’re more expensive, but they’re highly durable and perfect for any expert who loves backcountry exploration. The advanced full rotation bindings help to evenly distribute tension and weight across your entire foot, mitigating fatigue for longer and more intense hikes.

In addition, the Tubbs binding system is about as easy to use as it gets.

Between the heavy-toothed traction rails and aggressive crampons, the Flex VRTs can take even the worst snow conditions. Plus, they have a 19-degree engageable heel lift for hardcore mountain snow hiking. The Flex VRTs are great for true snow hiking experts who want intense backcountry snowshoes.

Specs:

  • Material: Torsion Deck™
  • Weight: 4 lbs. 5.9 oz. (size 25”)
  • Sizes: 25” — 29”
  • Price: $279.95

 

See On Tubbs | See Men’s On Backcountry | See Women’s On Backcountry

 

Tubbs Mountaineers

Tubbs Mountaineer SnowshoesOne of the heaviest-duty mountain snowshoes on this list (with a massive 36’ size for larger individuals and/or heavier loads), Tubbs Mountaineers are designed to handle any mountain trail you throw at them. They have heavy-duty heel and toe crampons to help you scale or descend the toughest slopes.

The Mountaineers clock in the midrange in pricing at $280 but offer top build quality. Their R2™ Revolution bindings allow you natural foot alignment no matter the slope. If you’re looking for traction and comfort in a solid frame, the Mountaineers are your friends.

Specs:

  • Material: Aluminum
  • Weight: 4 lbs. 14.4 oz. (size 25”)
  • Sizes: 25” — 30” — 36”
  • Price: $279.95

 

See Men’s On REI | See Women’s On REI

 

Atlas Montane

Atlas Montane SnowshoesReturning to Atlas snowshoes, Montane snowshoes are built for backcountry explorers who encounter terrible conditions often. If you deal with deep powder and dangerous ice frequently, the Atlas Montanes are for you. They have a tubular frame to provide greater flotation and comfortable bindings with EVA paddings and webbing straps that provide adjustability and even extra warmth.

Montane snowshoes have toe crampons and heel cleats for the best traction possible, providing grip in the deepest powder and worst ice. With those and the 19-degree heel lift, Montanes will take the worst backcountry in the worst conditions.

Specs:

  • Material: Aluminum
  • Weight: 4 lbs. 4 oz. (size 25”)
  • Sizes: 25” — 30” — 35”
  • Price: $249.95

 

See On Atlas | See Women’s On REI | See Men’s On REI

 

TSL Symbioz Hyperflex Phoenix

TSL Snowshoes Symbioz Hyperflex Phoenix SnowshoesKicking off the TSL Symbioz line, the Hyperflex Phoenix snowshoes are great for mountain snow hiking. They support plastic decks and recycled plastic frames to provide extreme durability. They have heavy-duty front and side teeth to provide maximum traction.

The big ticket item with the Phoenixes is their eight interchangeable toe and heel crampons. These allow you to adjust to most conditions and terrains, making the Phoenixes an excellent purchase if you’re looking for mountain snowshoes that will handle almost any trail.

These are smaller profile, meant to allow wearers to mimic the natural gait as much as possible.

Specs:

  • Material: Recycled plastic
  • Weight: 3 lbs. 15.5 oz. (size 20.5”)
  • Sizes: 20.5” — 23.5” — 27”
  • Price: $289.95

 

See On REI | See On Amazon

 

TSL Symbioz Elite

TSL Snowshoes Symbioz Elite SnowshoesRounding out the TSL Symbioz line, we have the Elites. While they are geared towards mountainous terrain, they can handle most snow hikes well, being built for efficiency and comfort. They have composite frames and stainless steel toe and heel crampons for resilience and adaptability.

They have an easy-to-deploy heel lift that is aligned to always stay under your heel, and a padded heel strap to stay comfortable and secure, no matter the trail. And, if you’re a real wilderness explorer, the elites have a special shock absorption system to keep them quiet on the trail.

Specs:

  • Material: Composite
  • Weight: 4 lbs. 1.6 oz. (size 20.5”)
  • Sizes: 20.5” — 23.5” — 27”
  • Price: $279.95

 

See From REI | See On Amazon

 

 

Best Racing And Running Snowshoes

TSL Symbioz Hyperflex Racing

Symbioz Hyperflex Racing SnowshoeThe second snowshoe from TSL Symbioz, the Hyperflex Racing snowshoes are great for, as you would imagine, racing. They are lightweight but durable, and have tough bindings that can be preset for easy entry. They have a hyperflex frame to adjust as you run and keep you comfortable, springy, and grounded, no matter the trail.

These are fixed binding snowshoes, meant for running.

Specs:

  • Material: Composite
  • Weight: 1 lb. 6.4 oz.
  • Sizes: 21.1”
  • Price: $199.95

 

See On Backcountry | See On Amazon

 

Atlas Run

Atlas Run SnowshoesReturning to Atlas again, the Atlas Run snowshoes are a competitive option for racing snow hikers. They’re on the more expensive end, but the Atlas Runs have lightweight aluminum frames and toe and heel crampons to give you the grip you need on snow racing trails while staying light and easy.

They have spring-loaded suspension to give you comfort and rebound on your runs, and the Nytex decking is comfortable and quiet for any run or hike. With a frame designed to stop clipping while running and a build for flotation, the Atlas Runs are a great option if you’re looking to splurge on your running snowshoes.

 

Specs:

  • Material: Aluminum
  • Weight: 2 lbs. 5 oz.
  • Sizes: 22”
  • Price: $269.95

 

Buy On REI | See On Amazon

 

Best Kids Snowshoes

MSR Shift Youth

MSR Shift Youth Snowshoes

The MSR Shift Youth snowshoes are a great option for the preteens of your family snow hiking adventures. They’re affordable but durable, built to last through the years your kids will use them.

They have the same features as MSRs adult shoes but are sized for preteens. You can be sure that your kids will have quality traction with the traction rails and crampons of the MSR Shifts. With these, your whole family will be able to snow hike wherever you please!

Specs:

  • Material: Polypropylene
  • Footwear size range (Standard): 1 M – 7 M
  • Footwear size range (Metric):32 – 41
  • Load: Up to 125 lbs (57 kg)
  • Weight: 2 lbs. 8 oz.
  • Sizes: One size
  • Price: $109.95

 

Buy On MSR Gear | See On Amazon

 

Tubbs Snowflakes

Tubbs Snowflake Snowshoes - ToddlersIf you’ve got a family with some real youngsters, then you’re looking for Tubbs Snowflakes snowshoes for your toddlers. They’re lightweight and durable to help your children can keep up with your entire family and still take part in the snow hiking fun. They’re accessible and user-friendly, so your little one can figure it out for themselves and really feel like part of the family experience.

They can also just be great for playing out in the backyard.

Specs:

  • Material: Plastic
  • Weight: 1 lb. 5 oz.
  • Sizes: 14”
  • Price: $44.95

 

See On REI

 

Best Deep Powder Snowshoes

Northern Lites Backcountry

Northern Lights Backcountry SnowshoesIf you want the best snowshoes for the backcountry but really want to cut back on the weight, then the Northern Lites Backcountry snowshoes are the perfect choice for you. They’ve got an airplane-grade aluminum frame that supports their ultralight, rip-proof COOLTHANE decking.

These snowshoes have efficient grips, as well, with 19-point cleats with built-in ice guards and nylon-ribbed deck clips rimming the entire shoe to provide 360-degree traction. These snowshoes are wide, but they can take most terrains and conditions well. If you’re looking for lightweight comfort while maintaining high-quality durability, look no further than Northern Lites Backcountry snowshoes.

Specs:

  • Material: Aluminum
  • Weight: 2 lbs. 13 oz.
  • Sizes: 30”
  • Price: $269.00

 

See On Amazon | See On Northern Lites | See On EMS

 

Crescent Moon Backcountry Big Sky 32

Crescent Moon Big Sky 32These snowshoes are for the backcountry snow hikers who want to explore far beyond what most other people go. If you want to push the limits of what the backcountry has to offer, then Crescent Moon Backcountry snowshoes are the way to go.

They come with removable heel lifts for when the terrain demands it, and have wide bindings and frames for larger feet and larger hikers. They have three stainless steel crampons alongside their traversing claws, allowing you to handle most conditions and terrain.

These snowshoes have polymer gel straps to keep them from freezing while maintaining rigidity and secureness. That, plus their terrain-gripping, stainless steel claws, means that the Big Sky 32s will stay snug to your feet and keep your feet snug to the ground in all but the worst terrain. Being middle of the field as far as pricing is concerned (clocking in at the mid-200s), the Big Sky 32s are a great option for any long-range backcountry explorers.

These are heavier snowshoes, clocking in at 5 lbs. per pair, so keep that in mind when you’re looking to purchase. They are, however, teardrop shaped, meaning they have greater maneuverability than your normal snowshoe. If you’re a bigger snow hiker looking for intense backcountry exploration, or need lots of flotation, Crescent Moon Backcountry snowshoes have your back.

Specs:

  • Material: Aluminum
  • Weight: 4 lbs. 15.2 oz.
  • Sizes: 32”
  • Price: $239.99

 

See On Amazon | See On Crescent Moon | See On Backcountry

 

Most Comfortable Snowshoes

Crescent Moon EVA

Crescent Moon EVA SnowshoesCrescent Moon EVA snowshoes round out our list, and for good reason: they’re affordable foam snowshoes for casual snow hikes where comfort matters more than intensity and security. Whether you’re a casual snow hiker or an expert looking for comfy snowshoes, these snowshoes are a great option.

With their foam deck and simple bindings, Crescent Moon EVA snowshoes can handle flat or rolling terrain trails where the snow is packed. For simple hikes, these are your guys. These are ideal for running, or even potentially for hunters trying to be quiet in the snow.

Specs:

  • Material: EVA foam
  • Weight: 3 lbs. 8 oz.
  • Sizes: 24”
  • Price: $179.00

 

See On REI

Max DesMarais
Max DesMarais

Max DesMarais is the founder of Hiking & Fishing. He has a passion for the outdoors and making outdoor education and adventure more accessible. Max is a published author for various outdoor and marketing websites. He is an experienced hiker, backpacker, fly fisherman, trail runner, and spends his free time in the outdoors. These adventures allow him to test gear, learn new skills, and experience new places so that he can educate others. You can read more about him here: hikingandfishing/about