Did you ever wonder what snowshoes were worn in the Bill Monroe song "footprints in the snow"? Almost everyone can appreciate the peaceful beauty of a beautiful snowfall, but not everyone understands the ethereal sensation of floating through a snowy landscape. Don't buy into the myth that the outdoors is closed in the winter. The finest women's snowshoes are your ticket to exploring stunning winter landscapes.
When it comes to snowshoes, you want something that will keep you from slipping and straining as much as possible while also providing adequate lightness and traction. We offer our recommendations:
Best Overall Snowshoe for Women: MSR Lightning Ascent - Women's
This shoe thrives on challenging terrain with hazards, heavy snow, and even ice. But it also works well on more calm terrain. Snowshoes crafted for harsher terrain mostly don't work well on groomed pathways. Their excellent traction causes them to adhere to packed snow, rendering hiking harder. We're pleased to report that the Lightning Ascent is spared from this fate.
This pair of snowshoes is the perfect choice for wilderness hiking or casual strolls, thanks to the DTX Crampons, binding rotation, 360° traction, and heel lifts. The women's version comes in two frame sizes, all of which can take 5" add-on flotation tails. You can boost your weight load by 60 pounds with these incredible shoes.
The model is our best overall snowshoe because of its 360° traction, ability to produce a smooth step, and outstanding bindings – also not forgetting the option for extra flotation tails. Slippage is low, and comfort is not a concern when going up steep barrier-laden terrain, along an ice hill, or over a flat and well-traveled trail. The material has just enough flexibility for a tight fit without squeezing or pinching.
The narrow frame of the Lightning enables smaller frames to maintain a steady stride and pace. The shoe's modest weight helps it stay above the surface. It has a lower surface area, which affects flotation. The bindings likewise spin nearly 90° from the deck. It allows snow on the shoe to fall off the rear, eliminating unnecessary weight and enhancing float.
It's worth looking at the add-on flotation tails if you plan on hauling additional weight or being in especially deep, fresh snow. The shoe's flotation is outstanding on its own, but the addition of the tails is expected to boost it significantly.
There isn't a mountain the Lightning Ascent can't scale thanks to its big toe pick, traction rails, and sharp teeth lining the deck's edge. To optimize strength and bite, the DTX crampon is fashioned from a continuous piece of martensite steel. The Lightning is relatively light, even with a bulky crampon and spiked crossbars.
One of the narrowest shoes is the Lightning. Because of the thin decking, most ladies and people with smaller physiques can move with a normal gait.
Walking on packed snow does not feel awkward or stiff than trekking through virgin landscapes, thanks to the nearly 90° rotation and powerful traction. Walking on level manicured terrain also seems delightfully natural! When you buy this shoe.
This measure is based on bindings. A cage-like toe strap and a supple, easy-to-use heel strap are incorporated in the Lightning. At the end of each strap, little loops are artfully inserted.
When you trek in the same boots all the time, you won't have to tighten the front straps because they stretch beautifully and stay in place once tied. They're easy to put on and take off after you've gone over the earlier fitting of the back strap. You can achieve uniformity on both feet.
The Paragon binding has two straps that loop around the toe and form a little pocket for the front of the foot. The heel strap on the binding is simple to use. When walking downhill, the well-designed toe basket keeps the foot in place.
The Ascent's binding material has a significant amount of stretch. They have a highly secure fit and can suit a huge spectrum of foot sizes. The Paragon Binding is safe, comfy, and flexible.
These are the priciest snowshoes in our comparison. The 5" add-on flotation tails will set you back much more if you buy them. This model, on the other hand, is an investment. If frequent and safe travel in the backcountry is important to you, it is a modest price to pay for years of versatile, lightweight, and technical features.
The Lightning Ascent is one investment that will carry you through everything for years ahead, from crowded trails to advanced climbs. The Lightning Ascent is suitable for all levels of adventurers.
Our Take on MSR Lightning Ascent - Women's
The Lighting Ascent performs admirably and is a wonderful shoe for a wide range of terrain, foot sizes, and skill levels. It's the finest option for navigating backcountry routes, and great on moderate tracks.
The next-to-perfect traction, comfortable bindings, narrow and light decking, and extra features like heel lifts for difficult hiking are the reasons we chose it.
Best Value for your Money: MSR Evo Trail Snowshoes
The MSR Evo Trail is a highly adaptable shoe that will inspire optimism regardless of the conditions. The easy binding mechanism is simple to operate, and its adjustability assures a secure fit on a variety of footwear. After adding the 6" flotation tails, it performs even better.
The crampons and teethed side rails deliver excellent grip. You can trust these shoes because of their simple binding mechanism, excellent traction, and low pricing. As a result, the Evo was an obvious choice for one of our Best Buy picks.
Because the Evo is a unisex shoe, persons with smaller frames may need to expand their gait, resulting in a less organic stride. This is an excellent shoe to consider if you want to keep it basic, versatile, and shareable with the taller people in your life.
The little plastic frames will pleasantly surprise you. The Evo gives plenty of float for individuals in the proper weight band. The tails work great for people who are a little heavier. On all types of snow, the Evo maintained its own on flotation.
The added flotation tails are especially handy on deep fresh powder. The shoes are around 22", but with the addition of 6" tails, they increase to a substantial 28" in length. The addition of flotation tails can improve an already good float.
The majority of snowshoe decking is not stiff plastic. On easy treks, they'll function, but on flat-packed routes, the hefty traction rails and crampons make these suckers fiercely grip to the snow. The aggressive stick, on the other hand, will come in handy in deeper drifts. On moderately rolling terrain, this shoe is ideal. A big toe pick, a pair of teethed metal side rails, and perpendicularly aligned plastic rails on the decking's bottom are endearing blends for traction.
We felt the decking to be a touch wide because of the unisex aspect of this model. For people with narrower gaits, walking in it may not feel natural. To avoid walking on your toes, point them outward on the front, or toe side, of this shoe. Though the plastic decking float is pretty noisy.
MSR does an excellent job of making the Evo simple to use. However, if the straps aren't fastened enough, they'll come undone some few strides into the hike. So, before you set out on your journey, make sure they are securely fastened.
The tails are quite long and flap around for people with smaller or narrower feet. Once you've figured out the tricks, strapping into and out of these bindings will be a breeze.
The Evo bindings are secure overall, but the rubber straps stiffen in cold weather. The most significant point from the Evo bindings is to tighten the rubber straps more than you believe you need to. The buckle teeth will be forced into the proper angle as a result of this.
One of the more secure binding mechanisms may be found on this hefty snowshoe. To keep properly tucked away, the straps require a fairly tight pull. They're designed to accommodate a variety of boots as unisex shoes, although the longer straps are better suited to bigger and larger people.
This budget-friendly snowshoe is a definite winner in terms of versatility. It's a Best Buy champion in both the women's and men's categories! The Evo is a wonderful investment with a lot of adaptability for everything except the hardest terrain.
Our Take on MSR Evo Trail Snowshoes
In our opinion, the MSR Evo Trail is a great choice because of its straightforward design, customizable bindings, excellent traction, and more-than-adequate buoyancy.
The Evo will safely transport you on any terrain by instilling a sense of comfort and trust. Overall, this Best Buy winner is a great buy for men and women alike.
Best for Icy Packed Terrain: TSL Symbioz Elite - Women's
With eight stainless steel crampons, a large multi-spiked toe crampon, and plastic cleats, the TSL Symbioz Hyperflex Elite gives winning traction on any terrain. The padded straps and fully adjustable bindings and boot pad ensure a comfortable fit.
The snowshoe's binding travels at a wide angle, which makes ascending and descending simpler, but sidestepping and walking backward could be dangerous. The shoe is ideal for slick or icy spring conditions and packed trails. But due to its overall size and lack of buoyancy, the TSL Elite is not suitable for unpacked powder.
While the Elite is ideal for icy or packed terrain, they were never designed to float on fresh snow. Overall, this is a fantastic alternative for those who like to stay on the beaten path rather than go off.
Because of its narrow footprint and lack of longitudinal flexibility, the Symbioz Elite does not do well in this category. Even in its largest size, the Symbioz Elite is small and flexible.
But since the Hyperflex is so flexible, your weight isn't uniformly distributed across the entire deck unless your entire foot is flat on the ground. The flexible decking allows for a more natural stride, but negatively impacts floatation.
Traction is provided by crampons on the decking's bottom and the toe, although smaller ridges, cleats, and teeth also play a role. Heavy-duty curved metal crampons are on the underside of the minimum decking.
They are razor-sharp and easily cut through ice and crusty snow. Each stride makes the curve work as a metal hook, grabbing and holding its grip on the snow. The toe crampon is made of stainless steel and is large and jagged. This snowshoe is unquestionably the best in its class, and for a good reason. When climbing steep hills, the hefty toe crampons dig in deep.
The Elite has a very natural-feeling stride because of its curved shape and heel-to-toe flexibility. The Symbioz Elite is slender with toes and, heels. It has the arch of the foot shrinking in. This prevents the user from stumbling or walking strangely to adjust.
Symbioz's most distinguishing feature is its longitudinal flexibility. Every step you take on this snowshoe flexes, making walking feel very natural. The Hyperflex Elite does exactly what it says on the tin. Check out that flex!
Our rating is mainly influenced by the bindings. But other factors such as ascent heels and crampon coverings also influenced the overall score. The Symbioz Elite has a complex binding method that needs additional care during setup. Not only are the toe and ankle straps very adjustable, but the soleplate may also be changed.
Due to all these moving elements, the snowshoe's fit is adaptable. These changes, however, only need to be made once. When on steep climbs, the heel lift is useful. It can be squeezed down or lifted with a pole.
You won't have the confidence to go far into the mountains if you don't feel secure in your bindings. The Symbioz Elite is comfortable, adaptable, and secure. The ratchet system on the toe and ankle straps makes them adjustable. The footbed is also customizable. Place your foot on the plastic plate and slip the binding's heel in until it firmly fits against the heel of your hiking boot.
No matter how far you wander, the bindings fit snugly around your boot, every strap has a home, and they won't unbind on you. The TSLs have an adjustable sole, which is a unique and useful feature.
These snowshoes aren't the most affordable, but they're comparable. The binding and traction performance aren't bad, but the snowshoe as a whole isn't very versatile.
If you are a spring hiker or frequently find yourself in situations where your need for traction trumps your need for floatation, the TSL Elite is probably a good investment.
Our Take on TSL Symbioz Elite
Except for floatation, the TSL Symbioz Hyperflex Elite performed consistently in all of our categories. A snowshoe for a wide range of foot sizes and levels of experience. Although, it's better for compacted snow and ice rather than new deep snow.
The traction is excellent, the stride mechanics are excellent, and the bindings are quite comfortable and safe.
Our Verdict and Criteria
Different styles of snowshoes are suited for diverse kinds of terrain. Therefore, we selected this list based on a variety of criteria.
Even simple flat-land snowshoes require traction. The MSR Lightning Ascent snowshoes were chosen as the best overall snowshoes since they checked all the boxes. The DTX crampon is made of a continuous piece of martensite steel to maximize strength and bite.
Whereas, the Elite performs a good job too. Crampons on the bottom and toe of the decking give traction, although tiny ridges, cleats, and teeth also help.
Many old snowshoes cause the user to flap around. Modern snowshoes have been meticulously engineered to assist in the creation of a more natural gait. Remember that the MSR Lightning performs best in harsher conditions, so take it out in the backcountry to see what it's capable of when you buy it.
Most people may want snowshoes to be easy to use. The Symbioz Elite has a complicated binding system that requires a little more attention during setup. MSR, on the other hand, does a fantastic job of making the Evo easy to use. However, if the straps aren't securely tied, they'll come undone after a few strides.
Bindings and Snug Fitting
Perfect traction, soft bindings, compact and light decking, and extra features such as heel lifts for challenging hikes are just a few reasons why we adore the MSR Lightning.
Value of Women's Snowshoes
Women's snowshoes can cost anywhere from $150 to $350, depending on how steep and snowy the terrain is. The Evo is a great purchase at a $140 list price, with a lot of adjustability for anything, save the most difficult terrain.