Snowshoe Size Chart – Fitting and Sizing guide

This post was last updated on December 10th, 2021 at 10:56 pm

Winter snow is falling down. For most of us, it’s the time for sitting by the fire at home with our loved ones. There are also activities that you can do to appreciate the beauty of winter. One of them is walking on snow, or “snowshoeing”. It is the new trend as a winter exercise to stay in shape.  Don’t worry! This snowshoe size chart will help you choose the right fit for you!

The best thing about snowshoeing is that it’s not only fun but a great workout and social activity as well. The activity is inexpensive, you just need appropriate attire, some poles, and a snowshoe.

Snowshoe length is an important choice for people interested in snowshoeing. Choosing the perfect one can be a tasking job for beginners. 

Snowshoe Size Chart Table of Content:

How To Find Your Snowshoe Size?

Your snowshoe size will be perfect if snowshoes feel comfortable and you can move around easily without them getting stuck in deep snow.  It’s also worth it to get proper snow safety gear so you feel safe.

Snowshoes are available in different snow sizes. It is important to choose snowshoes according to your needs and the snow conditions you want to walk on. Here is a helpful snow size chart that will help you make the right choice for the perfect fit!

Step 1. Fully Loaded Weight Must Be Determined. 

To snowshoe size, weight is proportional. If you can snowshoe with heavy equipment like skis and poles then snowshoe length should be heavier.

Step 2. Check The Snowshoe Size Chart.

Body Weight with Gear Weight20”- 23”24”- 27”30”- 34”36”+
80 lb.(≈36.29 kg)OptimalWorstWorstWorst
100 lb.(≈45.36 kg)OptimalGoodWorstWorst
120 lb.(≈54.43 kg)OptimalGoodWorstWorst
140 lb.(≈63.50 kg)OptimalOptimalWorstWorst
160 lb.(≈72.57 kg)GoodOptimalGoodWorst
180 lb.(≈81.65 kg)GoodOptimalOptimalWorst
200 lb.(≈90.72 kg)WorstGoodOptimalGood
220 lb.(≈99.79 kg)WorstGoodOptimalOptimal
240 lb.(≈108.86 kg)WorstWorstOptimalOptimal
260 lb.(≈117.93 kg)WorstWorstGoodOptimal
280 lb.(≈127.01 kg)WorstWorstWorstOptimal
300 lb.(≈136.08 kg)WorstWorstWorstOptimal
320 lb.(145.15 kg)WorstWorstWorstOptimal

What Are The Features to Consider in Choosing Snowshoes?

There are a few things to consider when choosing your first snowshoes. You need a snowshoe that is the right length. It should provide good traction on snow. It should be comfortable to wear and has a convenient binding system.

Length of Snowshoes

Snowshoes’ length varies from 26 inches (65 cm) – 44 inches (110 cm). Beginners should consider buying snowshoes with a 30-inch span.

Snowshoes’ length determines snow safety, snowshoe’s weight, and snowshoer’s maneuverability. For example, at 26 in, they are relatively short, making them ideal for backpacking in mild weather. 

Snowshoers with shorter snowshoes tend to sink easily in the snow because they do not have as much surface area. Longer snowshoes help people carry snow easier. Extra weight increases the chance of sinking into the snow.

Crampon and Traction

Crampons are the traction system that grips the snow and ice for better stability when walking on snow. Snowshoes with good crampon systems are crucial when walking on snow because they can vary from powdery to hard-packed or frozen. 

A good snowshoe will have an aluminum crampon that is sharp and will cut into the snow. It will also have traction on the bottom of the snowshoe. 

Traction in snowshoes is a way of describing how effective a snowshoe is at gripping the snow beneath the person’s feet. The more traction a snowshoe has, the more secure a person will feel on the surface. If a snowshoe does not have enough traction, it can become difficult to walk with stability.

How to determine if the snowshoe has superior traction? If you can’t feel it when you walk on ice with your snowshoes, then it has superior traction.

Binding System

A snowshoe is a type of hiking shoe that has developed from a regular walking shoe. When walking in deep snow or climbing uphill slopes, it is important for you to make sure your snowshoes stay on. Binding should be easy-to-use but keep your feet securely attached to snowshoes.

In a snowshoe binding system, there are straps where you can adjust and it is easy to use.

The first type is nylon webbing straps. These straps can be the perfect choice for most beginners as they are lightweight. They tend to be less supportive than other types and will lose shape when they become wet.

The second type is polyurethane straps. These straps are the most common. Polyurethane straps don’t absorb water as much as nylon straps, making them very buoyant and easy to remove. 

The third type is ratchet straps. Ratchet straps are convenient because they can be used to tighten snowshoes to one’s feet. This is helpful because the straps do not loosen, which means that it is possible to tighten the footgear quickly and with minimal effort. The straps also allow people to tighten the snowshoes to the correct size, so it is easier for them to walk.

Note: There are many types of binding systems created by companies from classic to modern snowshoes. The key to choosing the correct one is the type of foot control you have, the type of terrain you are most comfortable with, and your personal preference.

Different Terrain, Different Snowshoes Sizing

Choosing the right snowshoes for the different types of snow terrain makes the hike easier and more enjoyable. Know your terrain and read through on what to consider when buying. 

Snowshoes for Flat Terrain

 For flat terrain snow, choose snowshoes with a maximum of 40-inch span.  If you do a lot of walking in the snow or use wide skis, then snowshoes for steep snow conditions might be a better choice. Snowshoes with a metal frame and a webbing in the front are a good choice for flat terrain.

Snowshoes for Mountain Terrain

For snowshoes for mountain terrain snow, choose snowshoes with a maximum 53-inch span. Because you need to be stable and balanced on steep slopes, boots should be wide enough to provide that support. Maneuverability is less important if you are descending down a steep slope or traversing a hillside.

When in mountain terrain, use aggressive traction patterns. These are designed for trekking over steep, snowy terrain with the intent of ascending steep slopes.

Aggressive traction patterns can be identified by their large, aggressive lugs that are spaced far apart. These lugs are spaced far apart in order to provide maximum grip on a steep slope.

Note: If you are unsure of the type of terrain you will be traveling, it is best to use a pair of snowshoes with a wider base as these will be more effective for the varying terrain.

Snow Conditions and impact on a snowshoe size chart

Easy Snowshoe size chart based on type of snow  

Your WeightPacked SnowSoft SnowSoft and Deep Snow
90-125lbs. / 41-57kg22 in / 56 cm 22 in / 56 cm25 in / 64 cm or
22 in / 56 cm + Tails
125-175lbs. / 57-79kg22 in / 56 cm25 in / 64 cm or
22 in / 56 cm
25 in / 64 cm or
22 in / 56 cm + Tails
175-225lbs. / 79-120kg22 in / 56 cm25 in / 64 cm or
22 in / 56 cm + Tails
30 in / 76 cm + Tails or
22 in / 56 cm + Tails or
25 in / 64 cm + Tails
225lbs.+ / 102kg+22 in / 56 cm or
25 in / 64 cm
22 in / 56 cm + Tails or
25 in / 64 cm + Tails or
30 in / 76 cm + Tails
30 in / 76 cm + Tails or
25 in / 64 cm + Tails

Powder Snow

For a lightweight snowshoe, a shorter 26-inch shoe is recommended. This extra length of a human foot will not help on deep powdery snow surfaces, so being lower to the ground gives you more control. It also removes the weight of the body from your feet, which gives you better control without really missing out on anything.

Hard Packed snow

Snowshoes’ length varies from 30-40 inches are the most suitable snowshoes for walking on hard-packed snow surfaces. They provide the stability you need to navigate hilly terrain with little weight on your snowshoes. They’re also great for winter hiking or backpacking trips where comfort is more important than safety.

A tight or fixed toe cord is good for this type of snow because it can create a better seal to the snow and help the skier produce more power from their feet.

Frozen Surface

If you are walking on frozen ground, then it is best to get heavier snowshoes. These are particularly helpful if there are tree stumps or rocks under the surface. Thinner ice would require lighter, smaller shoes to help prevent them from sinking into the ice.

Conclusion on Snowshoe sizing

Hopefully, this guide will help you choose the appropriate snowshoes for your needs. Before you come to a final decision, read the specs, check the snowshoe size chart and customer reviews. It should give you great traction on the snow and give you comfort when walking in. It should also have a binding system that’s easy to use.

picture by Aaron Huber on Unsplash

Snow Size Chart, Sports, Topics