I want to buy snow shoes for my daughter and myself. We are beginners and will mostly use them on flat terrain. We will take a trip to Colorado to use them, but that will be 1-2x/year. I am a bit overwhelmed with all the choices. I read a couple of articles, which helped narrow things down. I would appreciate experts recommendations! Thanks in advance.
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What a fun activity to be getting started with! We totally understand how overwhelming all of the different options can be, we'll do our best to help you narrow down your options. To start, there are three main features and benefits to think about when purchasing snowshoes. It sounds like you have a pretty good handle on the style of snowshoeing that you will be doing (flat terrain), which is a great start.
The binding/pivot point of the snowshoe. The important consideration about the binding is how easy it is to get on and off, not just in ideal conditions when you're in the parking lot and getting ready to go, but also in less than ideal conditions, like far on the trail, caked with snow, trying to get them off with cold hands or thick gloves/mittens.
Traction. Different snowshoes have different 'crampons' or traction built in to the bottom of the snowshoes. More aggressive traction is necessary for steeper or icier conditions.
The size of the deck/length of snowshoe. The more surface area on the deck of the snowshoe, the more flotation you will get. This is important if you are planning on breaking a lot of trail (backcountry) or if you live somewhere with very light, powdery snow.
Here are a couple of options that would be good for beginner snowshoers: