Snowshoe Reviews

See the main "Got Gear" page for general information on footwear, gaitors and socks.

Footwear

Darn Tough Micro Crew Hike Sock PRODUCT REVIEW:
Darn Tough Micro Crew Hike/Trek Sock

Bold designs and bright colors make the new Darn Touch trekking sock not only fabulous to wear, but fun! I admit to a small excitement at putting on my new pair of brightly striped Darn Tough socks before I pull on my snowshoe boots. Constructed with naturally antimicrobial, fine gauge Merino wool, the hike/trek sock helps to wick sweat which keeps your feet dry and feeling fresh. They also breathe. I love these Merino wool socks because they hug your foot in all the right places for comfort and support (seamless™ knitting), keep your feet warm and dry (which is huge while snowshoeing), and with this year’s new colors they add a splash of fun. Performance, fun and a guarantee nobody beats: Unconditionally guaranteed for life: a pair of Darn Tough socks gets worn out, the company will replace them for free, no receipt needed. Just package the socks up and send them back to Darn Tough. Love that guarantee.
MRSP:$20–$24
  • Gatewood (full cushion, boot length)
  • Trail Magic (bottom cushion, boot length)
  • Ribbing above the ankle and arch (no slip)
  • Seamless Knitting (no hot spots & blisters)
  • Lifetime Guarantee
  • Merino Wool

ECCO BioM Hiking Shoe PRODUCT REVIEW:
ECCO BIOM Hike

Because ECCO makes a great shoe we decided to test out this free-moving hiking boot to see if it could cross over into the realm of snowshoeing. Here are the reasons this boot works well. First, the boot is designed specifically to let the foot feel more connected to the ground, or in this case the snowshoe, maximizing the natural role of the foot: this means a quick natural response between user and snowshoe. Second, the rugged rubber outsole provides traction. Traction is a must for a good snowshoe boot because before you get the snowshoe on and after you take it off you’ve got slick slick, icy trails to traverse. And third, the yak leather makes the boot durable and able to handle wet conditions. This is a high quality boot that hits just above the ankle, so perhaps not ideal for deep backcountry snowshoeing, but it holds its own in performance, and if you are going to primarily snowshoe on front country trails this boot becomes an ideal investment — you can use it for your winter snowshoeing and then keep it out during the spring, summer and fall for all weather hiking conditions.
MRSP:$225.00
  • Flexible rounded forefoot – natural walking roll
  • Rugged rubber outsole – grip
  • 3D anatomical foam padding – comfort
  • Lightweight: 570-630g

New Balance Winter 110 PRODUCT REVIEW:
Product: New Balance Winter 110

In an attempt to test some gear for the snowshoer who is racing, trail running, orjust keeping things light, I hooked up with New Balance to test out one of the few running shoes that has been truly winterized - the Winter 110. This shoe is the winter version of the award winning 110 trail. Complete with a cuff that zips up around your ankle to keep snow out of the shoe, and a complete waterproof bootie that surrounds the entire shoe, it proved to be solidly waterproof. I used the shoe in powder, on packed trails and even snowshoeing at night and my feet stayed dry every time. I love the traction on the bottom because before you get the snowshoe on you still want to be stable on the snow - to and from the trail. I wondered about warmth because it is such a light shoe and found that with a thick pair of socks my feet stayed warm. The shoe is part of a collection made specifically for minimalist trail running so it fits the foot well and is extremely light. I highly recommend this shoe for the snowshoer who wants to travel light. New Balance makes a quality product youcan trust and the winter adaptations prove solid.
MRSP:$125.00
  • Booty providing weather shield
  • Sticky rubber outsole
  • Waterproof
  • Plush inner lining
  • Colors for men, women, and unisex

Lowa Couloir GTX PRODUCT REVIEW:
Product: Lowa Couloir GTX®

I’ve been using this boot exclusively for the last month. I’ve taken it into the Utah mountains and cross country to Vermont’s rolling hills. I’ve crashed through snow banks, tracked riverside, and walked icy roadways and have been excited by the traction. Places where I would usually have been insecure on the ice, the Couloir grabbed and the footing was solid. “The combination of soft rubber with proprietary textile that helps act as a shock absorber increases grip by up to 32% over other kinds of material combinations.” -- claim the press release. And I can verify that has been the case. The large lug pattern follows the natural line of foot motion with a minimum of one stud in contact with the ground at all times during the roll-off motion. I’ve also been impressed with how warm and comfortable the boot is. I haven’t had cold feet once and the fleece lining is like pulling your foot into a slipper. The boot repels water – my feet have stayed dry everyday. Nothing but a good experience. It’s an expensive boot, but worth the investment for a quality, long-lasting performance footwear.
MRSP:$290.00
  • Split-leather, Nubuck/Suede and CORDURA® upper
  • GORE-TEX® Partalana wool/polyester blend fleece lining
  • Waterproof
  • Abrasion resistant
  • LOWA’s G3 Sole with Monowrap®
  • PU injection midsole and frame (offers stability and provides maximum grip on snow and ice.)
  • Available for both men and women

Hoodoo High Lace PRODUCT REVIEW:
Keen – Women’s Hoodoo High Lace Boot/Men compare the Alaska Boot

In the last few years Keen footwear has branched into waterproof footwear with what they call Keen.warm insulation and Keen.dry a waterproof a breathable membrane that lets vapor out without letting water in. And frankly, it works really well. I have tested 2 of Keen’s waterproof boots, the Targhee II and the Hoodoo and both scored very high in meeting the claims of the company. Most impressive to me about the Hoodoo is the warmth. Whether young or old, cold hands and feet seem to always be a popular complaint. When I’m paying good money for a boot I want to know that warm, comfortable feet will be the real pay-off. I tested the Hoodoo in minus-10 degree weather in Island Park Idaho, where it felt too cold to be outside, but prolonged exposure did nothing to chill my feet. The 200 grams of Keen.warm insulation did its job. The faux shearling lining makes the boot comfortable, even cozy and even though it is a tall, lace-up boot it is easy to get on and off. I personally like the colorful accent color on the women’s boot – makes it fun and feminine, but most of all, the boot performs.
MRSP:$140.00
  • Waterproof full-grain leather upper
  • Keen, dry waterproof breathable membrane
  • 200 Gram Keen warm insulation
  • Removable EVA foot bed
  • Torsion stability
  • Non-marking rubber outsole

Keen Targhee PRODUCT REVIEW:
Keen – Targhee – Packed Trail Boot

At first sight these don't appear to be a snowshoe boot, but to the contrary, their new eVent breathable waterproof barrier passes the test. The Targhee turns out to be perfect for days with less snow and packed trails. Still high enough on the ankle to keep out kicked up snow flurries, this easy-to-use boot slips in the bindings without problem, has great heal and toe support, but still allows your foot to breathe. Good traction and ankle support are always great in a boot. Added bonus—you can also use the boot for hiking in the summer – double duty. I've never gone wrong with a Keen shoe.
MRSP:$125.00
  • Removable metatomicalfootbed
  • Dual density compression molded EVA midsole
  • Patented toe protection
  • 4mm multi directional lugs
  • Non marking carbon rubber outsole
  • eVent® breathable waterproof barrier
  • S3 Heel support structure

Kamik Patriot PRODUCT REVIEW:
Kamik Patriot Deep Snow Boot

The Patriot is a great snowshoe boot for the times you'll be venturing into deeper snow. Tall on the leg, but not too tall, it provides great waterproof protection and my feet have stayed wonderfully warm. This boot is rated to 50 below, so even if you're snowshoeing the Arctic it should do the job. Kamik, an international boot manufacturer, uses OutDry technology, which keeps the boot dry from the outside in. The OutDry technology gives Gore-Tex a run for its money with this waterproof, breathable system. The things I've liked best about the boot are the ease at which it goes on and comes off; the warmth, and the waterproof aspect. It just does the job well. The Patriot is made for men and women—the men's last is, predictably, a little chunkier.
MRSP:$129.99
  • Waterproof Full Grain Leather Upper
  • Seam Sealed Waterproof Construction
  • 400B Thinsulate™ Ultra Insulation
  • Moisture Wicking Lining
  • Speed Lacing System
  • Padded Collar & Gusset Tongue
  • Kamik Comfort Footbed
  • Lightweight EVA Midsole
  • Waterproof, Lightweight & Flexible TPU Shell
  • TRIUMPH Rubber Outsole Maximizes Traction
  • Height: 10.5 Inches

Gaiters

Black Diamond Gaiters PRODUCT REVIEW:
Black Diamond Apex Gaiter

I have had experience with many an inferior gaiter, so I am very pleased to be able to present this gaiter to you. The ways this one out shines the others include 1. Strength! This puppy is tough, water proof, and will go the distance. 2. Easy to use, secure buckle at the top, reinforced snap and tough Velcro - Solid attachment. 3. Easy to use. The first time you use these you take time to adjust the strap to your boot and become familiar with the fit, but once it's set it is quick and easy to put on. This gaiter is made with superior materials and you won't spend a lot of time messing with it while putting it on or wearing it. Just what you need in a gaiter.
MRSP:$89.95
  • 3-layer Gortex®
  • Welded hardshell upper
  • High-density, neoprene-coated nylon instep strap
  • Welded double-layer 600d abrasion guard
  • Hook-and-loop front closure/Velcro

Socks

Darn Tough Full Cushion Boot Sock PRODUCT REVIEW:
Darn Tough – Full Cushion Boot Sock

Let me start by saying the full cushion wraps your shin and foot in luxury. These hi-tec socks are so comfortable it can be a beautiful experience just getting dressed. Really. A reinforced heel and toe in conjunction with elastic arch support to hug your foot, well you get the idea. The full cushion also adds to the warmth factor. And since cold feet crash a good snowshoe, cozy feet keep you happy. Can be purchased on-line at www.backcountry.com
MRSP:$22.00
  • Made of Merino Wool (breathable, no-smell)
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • Zero Friction Heel
  • Mid Foot Support
  • Fine Gauge Knitting