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The Best Snowshoes for Winter Hiking

Kick your next winter hiking adventure up a notch with a new pair of snowshoes! Don`t struggle through the snow any longer. Snowshoes enable you to “float” on top of deep snow not to mention groomed trails. Better yet, snowshoes are relatively inexpensive compared to other winter sports. They`re even great for all ages and skill levels.

We`ve rounded up the best snowshoes to help you find the perfect pair. We prioritized comfort, durability, flotation, traction, and ease of use in our reviews!

best snowshoes

Top Picks

Best Overall
MSR Lightning Ascent

Best Budget Option
MSR Evo Trail

Most Versatile
Crescent Moon Eva

Best Overall

MSR Lightning Ascent

MSR Lightning Ascent Snowshoes

The MSR Lightning Ascent is our top choice for the best snowshoes for winter hiking through mountainous terrain. Not only are these snowshoes excellent for users of all skill levels, but they provide reliable traction on even the slipperiest and steepest terrain with enough float to power through deep snow. 

The Lightning Ascent snowshoes are available in both men`s and women`s profiles. The women`s model is slightly narrower. Select from a variety of lengths to tailor your new snowshoes to your intended activities. 

What We Like:

  • Versatile snowshoes with a good balance of flotation and traction.
  • Well-placed steel crampons and heel lifts for easy uphill hiking.
  • Secure and comfortable bindings.
  • Durable for long-term use.

What We Don’t Like:

  • Bindings are not easy to use, especially with gloves on.

Budget Option

MSR Evo Trail

MSR Evo Snowshoes

Snowshoers looking for a model slightly more beginner friendly and affordable than the Lightning Ascent should give the MSR Evo a good hard look. Another top-quality pair of MSR snowshoes, the Evo is designed specifically with beginner users in mind. Not only are they very user friendly, but they perform extremely well on flat or rolling terrain, especially on groomed trails.

Although the MSR Evo is one of the most affordable options on this list, they boast the same durability that all MSR products are known for. Simply put, these snowshoes will last you for years on end. 

What We Like:

  • Affordable price and superior durability.
  • Intuitive bindings.
  • Great traction on snow and ice due to powder-coated steel crampons.
  • Overall comfort, even on long hikes.

What We Don’t Like:

  • Available only in shorter lengths, less effective in deep snow.
  • Lack of heel lifts restrict use to flat and rolling terrain.
  • Not ideal for steep hills.

Most Versatile

Crescent Moon Eva

The Best Snowshoes for Winter Hiking 1

The Crescent Moon EVA Snowshoes are lightweight and durable, designed for easy use on flat to rolling terrain. These snowshoes feature a foam deck for comfort and flotation, along with a simple binding system for quick and secure attachment to your boots.

What We Like:

  • Lightweight design for easy walking.
  • Durable construction for long-lasting use.
  • Foam deck provides comfort and flotation.
  • Simple binding system for quick and secure attachment.

What We Don’t Like:

  • May not provide enough traction for steep or icy terrain.
  • Limited adjustability in binding size.
  • Not suitable for heavy loads or rugged terrain.

Tubbs Xplore

Tubbs Xplore 21 Womens Snowshoes Grey/Pink

The Tubbs Xplore is perfect for those that want something simple, straightforward, and inexpensive.

You get few, if any, bells and whistles with these snowshoes. It does away with the advanced features, like fancy bindings, that many of the best snowshoes have in favor of a classic approach.

The Tubbs Xplore is easy-to-use, lightweight, and comfortable. They`re perfect for exploring groomed trails and other areas without deep snow. Best of all, their low price makes them a good option for those that only go snowshoeing a few times per winter.

What We Like:

  • Affordable price point around $130.
  • Easy to use, durable, and comfortable.
  • Suitable for short winter walks.

What We Don’t Like:

  • Limited hiking options, best for flat, groomed terrain.
  • Limited flotation for deep snow.
  • Limited traction for icy terrain and hills.

Snowshoes Buyer`s Guide

Before you pull the trigger on any of the best snowshoes listed above, it`s important to understand the basics of what makes a good snowshoe a good snowshoe. Here are the most important factors to consider:

Types of Snowshoes

  • Recreational: Suitable for flat and rolling terrain, not for steep or technical terrain.
  • Backcountry: Designed for deep snow, steep terrain, and icy conditions, also good for flat and rolling terrain.
  • Running: Lightweight and small, suitable for flat, groomed terrain, with some advanced racing models available.

Skill Levels

  • Beginner: Designed for flat terrain with easy-to-use bindings and added stability.
  • Intermediate: Best for rolling terrain, with all-around capabilities for various snow conditions.
  • Advanced: Specialized features for backpacking and mountaineering on steep, icy, and challenging terrain.

Sizing & Fit

  • Snowshoe Size: Influences flotation on deep snow.
  • Recommended Load: Takes user and gear weight into account.
  • Expected Conditions: Larger for deep powder, smaller for packed trails.
  • Gender & Age: Women’s models are narrower, children’s models are smaller.
  • Fit: Most fit any size foot, but look for adjustable bindings for extreme sizes.

Frames & Decking

  • Most snowshoes feature aluminum frames and synthetic decking for high performance.
  • Some models offer composite frame and decking options.


  • Two main types: Rotating (floating) bindings pivot under the balls of the feet, best for deep snow; Fixed bindings offer minimal movement and are made from heavy-duty rubber.
  • Compatible with hiking, mountaineering, and snowboard boots.

Traction Systems & Crampons

  • Provide grip on snow and ice, made of cleats or crampons.
  • Cleats are common on flat terrain, crampons on mountaineering models.

Additional Features

  • Heel Lifts: Also called climbing bars, help reduce leg strain on steep hills.
  • Flotation Tails: Add extra length for use in deep powder.
  • Braking Bars: Provide additional traction while climbing steep hills.
Snowshoes in WInter

Enjoy Your New Showshoes!

You now have all the tools to buy the best snowshoes for your needs. Remember that even the best snowshoes won`t get the job done if they aren`t properly sized to your weight, intended use, and expected terrain/conditions.

For more information, check out our winter camping archive!