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Because snowshoeing is primarily walking on snow, it is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and get exercise in the winter months. It also makes an inexpensive alternative to skiing that the whole family can enjoy together. The only necessary equipment is a pair of snowshoes.

The following should be considered when buying snowshoes:

  • The length of the snowshoe depends on the weight of the person who will wear them. A 22 pair of shoes will carry someone weighing about 80 to 150 lbs; 26 carries about 120 to 200 lbs; 30 carries about 150 to 220 lbs; and 36 carries about 200 to 280 lbs.
  • The frame of the shoe should be strong, anodized aluminum. The decking should be puncture resistant. Look for decking made from materials such as polyurethane.
  • The underside of the snowshoe should have rugged toe and heel crampons for traction on snow and ice. These can be aluminum, but better models will be stainless steel.
  • It should be easy to adjust the straps. Buckles should be quick release so that they are easy to take on and off. Look for models that allow you buckle up, make adjustments, and unbuckle with gloves on.
  • The snowshoe should have a comfortable toe cup and binding that allows for 270 degrees rotation. This provides a smoother stride and more control on steeper terrain.
  • More expensive models often feature traction lacing that allows better stability and control on steeper downhill slopes.

So get a pair of snowshoes and enjoy a tranquil walk through nature after the next snowfall.
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