Snowshoeing is a popular recreational activity for all ages and ability levels. To go snowshoeing, you need to wear snowshoes that are right for your weight, the snow conditions, the weather, and the terrain.
It can be confusing to pick the proper shoe to wear snowshoeing because of the plethora of options. Let’s find out what type of shoes you can wear with snowshoes.
What type of shoes can you wear with snowshoes?
Snowshoes can adjust to fit most types of boots and shoes. But you should wear shoes or boots that keep your feet dry and warm. Most people wear winter boots with thick soles that are insulated and waterproof. You can also wear rubber or leather uppers, or sturdy leather hiking boots with snowshoes.
You can wear any type of shoes or boots for snowshoeing whether new or old as long as they are waterproof, light, and keep your feet warm. Old shoes can also work if they are cozy as they are usually stretched out and can fit in more socks. They will flex more in the cold.
The most common type of shoe people wear for snowshoeing are winter boots, hiking boots, and alpinism boots. While winter boots can be enough for occasional use, it might be heavy and stiff which will make you feel uncomfortable in the long run.
Hiking boots are generally preferred over other boots since they are insulated and warm. They also keep your feet dry. Alpinism boots are not the most comfortable choice but they do protect from the cold.
Do you need special shoes for snowshoeing?
To a certain level, yes. The bindings for snowshoes are not designed for a specific type of boot or model, unlike snowboarding and skiing. The bindings enable the user to choose from a variety of footwear to be paired with the snowshoe.
There are indeed no specific shoes built for snowshoeing but the shoes needed for snowshoeing require certain features. These features are essential when it comes to snowshoeing. They need to be waterproof and well insulated to keep your feet warm and dry.
You can pair snow boots, hiking boots, running shoes, and other similar shoes with your snowshoes. But not all of these are waterproof and appropriate for snowshoeing. It’s more about the features of the model rather than the type itself.
Do you need insulated boots for snowshoeing?
Insulation is one of the main features you should note when you’re looking for boots for snowshoeing. You need a well-insulated shoe to keep you warm. However, make sure not to pick boots that have too much insulation.
Boots that use 200 grams of synthetic insulation should be ideal for snowshoeing. This is a moderate level of insulation. It won’t overheat too much but offers the warmth you need. Any more than that will just make your feet wet and sweaty while snowshoeing.
Heavy-duty winter boots with high insulation levels are for snowmobiling or ice fishing in highly cold temperatures.
Many people stay warm without wearing insulated boots. We’ll discuss that next!
How do I keep my feet warm in non-insulated boots? – Keep your feet warm while snowshoeing
The socks around your feet should be as thick as possible. Make sure the socks cover most of your skin surface by picking a sock that has a higher sock shaft.
Thick wool socks with a long sock shaft to keep your feet warm. Doubling up your socks is also a way to keep your feet warm and dry. Either wear two thin socks or a thick sock with a liner.
Another thing you can do is put some plastic wrap between the upper and your upper foot and toes. Cold air will not reach your toes if you do this properly.
Use disposable shower caps:
Disposable shower caps are great items to keep rain and snow out of your boots. Slip them over your sock and this will protect the inside of your shoe from rain.
These are one-time inserts that provide heat for around 6 hours. They are similar to insoles and keep your toes warm. They can be placed above or below your feet.
Place duct tape over the uppers of your shoes. All you need is a full circle that includes the sole and shoe fabric. This is a good addition, along with the disposable shower caps.
Can you wear any boots with snowshoes?
You can wear almost any boots with snowshoes because the bindings are adjustable to fit most shoe types. The most common boots worn with the snowshoes are winter boots. Other boots can be worn as well such as hiking boots but they need to be waterproof, insulated, and appropriate for snowshoeing.
The best type of boots to wear with snowshoes are well-insulated winter hiking boots. Next is summer hiking boots. Old-fashioned winter boots are worn by many but they do not offer proper ankle and foot support.
Make sure the type of boot you purchase is waterproof, well-insulated, provides foot and ankle support, and most importantly, comfortable.
Can you wear running shoes with snowshoes?
You can wear running shoes with snowshoes. But you need to make sure that they are suitable for snowshoeing. Many brands provide running shoes specially made for snowshoeing. This is because hiking boots or winter boots can often be too heavy and bulky. Running shoes are ideal for snowshoe running.
Conventional running shoes are lightweight which is why many people prefer it for snowshoe running. Heavy hiking boots or winter boots can tire you out if you’re running for a long time.
However to be appropriate for snowshoeing, running shoes need to be paired with the right snowshoes and accessories.
Can you wear sorels with snowshoes?
You can wear sorels with snowshoes. They are one of the most popular brands for snowshoeing boots. Most of their boots have all the features required for snowshoeing: warmth, waterproofness, and good grip. They provide moderate-level insulation as well.
Sorel boots are highly recommended for snowshoeing. They are affordable too. Some of their boots can even handle temperatures below -100 degrees.
But not all models are appropriate for snowshoeing. Some of their winter boots are too heavy and clunky for snowshoeing. This is why you need to check the model before purchasing.
Can you wear tennis shoes with snowshoes?
Tennis shoes can be paired with snowshoes. However, they have to be made waterproof. This is done by covering or spraying the shoes with water-repellent fabric. Tennis shoes can give a good grip on the tennis court but they are not the same on snow and ice.
Tennis shoes work well on concrete trails but they can be too flexible for snowshoeing. It will give inflexible traction in the wild. They are also not as durable as other shoes made for snowshoeing.
A simple spray with water-repellent fabric might not be enough to protect your feet from the rain.
Can you wear sneakers with snowshoes?
You can wear sneakers with snowshoes but not all of them. Sneakers can easily fit into the bindings of snowshoes. However, they need to be waterproof and made for winter. A large number of sneakers are only worn for a stylish look and are not designed for the cold weather.
Not all sneakers are made to protect you from the cold. You can check out specific models that are made for winter. Sneakers are more for the fashion industry than winter sports. They are similar to running shoes and tennis shoes in many ways. They have rubber and synthetic soles.
Can you wear ski boots with snowshoes?
You can wear ski boots with snowshoes with some considerations. Your ski boots need to fit the snowshoe’s bindings, and they need to have a walk mode. They are not advised to be worn for walking more than necessary. Ski boots are designed for skiing purposes only.
Many skiers wear ski boots with snowshoes to avoid carrying it on their backs and to make the luggage lighter. Ski boots can be used as a temporary replacement.
Ski boots usually have light or medium flex but for snowshoeing, a boot with more flex is recommended. This is because snowshoes often hit rocks or trails.
Can you wear snow boots with snowshoes?
You can wear snow boots with snowshoes. They provide good traction for dealing with ice and snow. This traction is available to other types of non-frozen terrain as well. They can be suited for snowshoeing because they offer all the necessary features required for snowshoeing.
Snow boots provide protection from the cold and keep your feet dry. They can be used in all sorts of conditions such as mud, sleet, and snow. In addition, they give more ankle support. However, it is important to keep in mind that they are bulkier than regular winter boots.
Can you wear muck boots with snowshoes?
You can wear muck boots with snowshoes, but they will not be comfortable. They are made of fairly soft rubber, which might cause discomfort from snowshoe straps. The sole of muck boots can be easily damaged by hard rock or concrete. They are made to be worn in fields and not snowshoeing.
Most muck boots don’t offer insulation and are considered floppy. They won’t get you wet but it is likely to make you sweat and tire you out.
Moreover, they provide less foot and ankle support. They can work fine with snowshoes if it’s only for one-time use. For snowshoeing often, it is better to get appropriate footwear.
Overall, you can wear any type of shoes or boots with snowshoes. The strap enables most shoes and boots to fit. That does not necessarily mean it’s the right choice. They need to include the features required for snowshoeing and also have to be comfortable for the user.