Snowshoes are old and fairly simple aids used for walking in deep snow. Their goal is to reduce the intrusion into deep snow. The principle of operation is that the weight of a person is distributed over a larger area than the feet, so the deterioration is reduced.
They have been used for a long time and were once made of a wooden frame and leather elements in between. Snowshoes have been used for thousands of years, and today’s appearance is due to the North American Indians. Over time their use has spread over the continents and has even developed in a sporting activity.
Expensive snowshoes are great for experienced mountaineers that love being out in the snow. Professional winter climbers or skiers will have a few brands to offer at the top of their minds. Using more affordable equipment bought in large corporate stores has a few advantages. If you are curious are Costco snowshoes any good, read on.
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Types of Snowshoes
You can still find and buy wood and leather snowshoes, but you probably won’t see them in the field. Today we have mostly plastic snowshoes and snowshoes with an aluminum frame. They all have a certain number of teeth from below, which prevent slipping. Some snowshoes can lift the heel, which makes it easier to move uphill.
There are also different types of bindings, from the most common belts with velcro straps or buckles, to bindings similar to those for snowboarding.
It is important that when choosing snowshoes, make sure that they are not too bulky. There are variations in the width and length of the snowshoes. The larger ones fall less into the snow, but they are bulky and sometimes “make” you walk unnaturally, which is not the essence.
The general recommendation is to choose smaller snowshoes so that you can walk normally.
For children and people with a small weight, some larger snowshoes can be problematic, because they will not fall into the snow enough if it is harder and there will be slipping. Conversely, if you are heavy and wear small snowshoes, you will fall into the snow more than you should.
How to Walk in Snowshoes?
Snowshoes should be worn so that they allow you to walk normally, almost as you would walk without them. There is no technique you need to master to walk on snowshoes. You just need to get used to it and catch the rhythm. Do not put your feet in positions that are not natural to you, such as duck or “cowboy” gait.
Just step by step, most normally and in your style. Your heel should be “unlocked”, ie the back of your foot should be separated from the snowshoes when walking.
When walking uphill, lift the heel attachment, which should fit under the heel of your shoes, like with a high heel. Not all snowshoes have this, but the ones they have will reduce your foot fatigue when walking on large hills. To walk downhill you need to be a little more careful, with sticks in front of you and leaning on them.
For strong uphills and downhills, you can also use side walking, which means that you turn the snowshoes normally concerning the path. In time, you will get into it.
Benefits of Walking on Snow
In addition to skiing, skating, and sledding in the winter, you can also try walking. Although it seems ridiculous at first, walking on snow can be a real physical activity. In addition to being an outdoor activity, you can do it in company or alone, and you don’t need much of the equipment.
Walking is an activity in which the body achieves peace and balance. It is most similar to meditation and if you walk alone you can think well about your life and the problems that are currently bothering or worrying you.
What Do You Need to Start?
To walk in the snow, you need a good jacket in which you will not be cold, but not hot after a long walk. Also, you need good ankle boots or boots in which you will be stable, which will not slip, and that fit in your snowshoes. The best insulators are lamb wool, foam materials, and synthetic fibers.
Multi-layered clothing is necessary because it retains heat, and after a walk when you get warm, you can take it off piece by piece and avoid sweating that way. You also need a hat, scarf and gloves, and sunglasses that, in addition to the sun, will prevent the whiteness of the snow from bothering you while you enjoy walking. If you climb on steep landscapes, the poles will not be out of the question.
Find an area where there are no skiers or boarders who will interfere with your walk. Vast meadows, parks, and forests are the best parts for walking. If you want harder exercise and harder walking, choose elevated landscapes and mountains. Walking in deep snow also has a stimulating effect on the muscles and strengthens them. Walking also consumes calories, so we can burn 300 to 500 calories during an hour of walking.
How to Choose Good Shoes for Mountain Climbing
Walking up a mountain trail is much more than recreation. It has a positive effect on your health and its action has a positive impact on the fight against stress and contributes to overall well-being. Hiking is not a costly sport, it does not demand much time, and the gear is quite affordable. This is the reason why it is becoming an increasingly popular sport. Hiking footwear differs based on the complexity of the trip we do. And as many different activities as there are different models on the market and in our closets.
There is no single rule for choosing shoes. Generally speaking, you simply need to take the time to pick the type and size, because footwear is indeed essential for the safety and pleasure of nature. Shoes must protect us from injuries, and give a feeling of support to the legs and body, cushion the blows and make any ascent or walk better, simpler, and easier.
Low or High?
When hitting shops, you should already determine whether you need low or high footwear. Low hiking shoes are especially suitable for walking on dry, undemanding terrain. This depends on factors of our health and resilience. If we do not have ankle problems and have experience walking on different types of terrain.
Hiking in low shoes can be more comfortable and easier. If you can afford it, then it is best to buy both low and high-end shoes. If you can’t or don’t want to buy both low and high shoes, then we suggest you buy high ones, since they are more suitable for most walkers and hikers. High shoes are indeed a bit heavier and bulkier, but in them, the protection is better, especially around the ankle, which is most exposed when walking.
High shoes are almost necessary equipment for more demanding terrains and higher mountains where we are exposed to wet rocks and snow, etc.
Before You Buy Your Next Pair of Snowshoes to Go Uphill
Learning about the basic differences and types of models is a great way to start preparing for your next investment. Even though it may not seem like a big deal, and if you are considering an affordable model with no information on the quality, or production there are a few things you should know.
Before buying anything it is a good strategy to prepare:
- Determine your budget
- Check out for sales in your general area or online (this depends on how urgent you need them)
- Check out the model for online revisions
It can be tricky to catch a good deal and find the right fit and decent socks to prevent those annoying blisters before you break in the shoes.
Cheap vs Expensive Snowshoes
When it comes to buying equipment for any type of sport, like with footwear, there are upper and lower budget ranges for similar products. Some that are on the cheaper end will not serve the purpose, and may even put your health at risk. But there are also those products that are great for beginners to get to know how the equipment works. As you progress in the sport and with the equipment, you can advance to the advanced products or even the ones that expert use. It depends entirely on your personal preference.
Are Costco Snowshoes Any Good?
Costco is known for great deals. There are often snowshoes (that come with a bag and hiking poles) for under $100. According to users of the product, at Costco, you can get 3 different sizes of snowshoes- small, medium, and large. Depending on your weight primarily, as well as the size of your shoe.
The frame of this snowshoe is made out of 6061 Aluminum and is fairly heavy. So it may be an additional weight for someone who is planning to engage in different outdoor activities during the winter like- walking, skiing, etc. The combination of aluminum and steel crampons goes light and does not have as much of a grip as other models of snowshoes that are more expensive. This means that the Costco snowshoes are ok to use on flat surfaces or to go down a trail and continue skying. However, going on deeper snow that is more granulated can be a bit challenging.
Another great feature is that they do have a healing grip system. Once you are going uphill, all you need to do is pull it up so your foot is more balanced in the snowshoes. Learn about maintenance and how to keep snow from sticking to your snowshoes.
More experienced hikers love to experiment, and some claim that snowshoes can also be used on mud. If you are interested to learn more about it, make sure to read our opinion on the matter!