Snowshoes typically come in lengths between 20 and 36 inches, and generally speaking, the heavier you are, the longer your snowshoes will need to be. Width is proportional to length, so snowshoes designed for lighter hikers will be narrower, in order to match their narrower gait. You can find the size for you adding your weight to the weight of any gear you’ll be carrying.

Snowshoes between 20 and 24 inches are ideal for individuals in the 100 to 150-pound range. People weighing between 150 and 200 pounds will do better with shoes between 24 and 30 inches. 30 to 34-inch snowshoes are good for those falling between 200 and 240 pounds, while anything longer will be best for anyone heavier than that.

If you find yourself between sizes, then consider maneuverability and traction; smaller snowshoe will offer more of both. They’re also better for steeper slopes, thick forests, and wet snow. Larger snowshoes, on the other hand, will provide better flotation in powdery, dry snow, so take your priority into consideration if you need to choose between two sizes.

In essence, snowshoes aren’t that hard to pick out. All you need to know is the combined weight of you and your gear, the type of snowshoeing you want to do, and the type of terrain you’ll most likely be traversing, and you should be able to choose a pair of snowshoes in no time. The tips today will help you pick the best pair for you so you can enjoy the fresh powder this winter.