can you please advise me about the best snow shoe for my purposes. I currently have an average pair that slips both when I am going uphill and downhill. I also rend to sink into the snow. I would like better traction. I am a 55 year old women 5'8", 170 pounds. I do not need fancy features like click release for the calves on the downhills. I just want something that has the best grip so I can move easily and quickly through the trails. Thanks so much!
Thanks for reaching out!
Unfortunately, at this time our inventory is really low on snowshoes. We are hoping to see more stock in some styles in the coming weeks. That said, we'd be more than happy to talk with you about snowshoe features in order to help you make the best decision!
Based on what you're describing, it sounds like you need better traction and flotation out of your snowshoes. Traction will come from crampons and the 'teeth' that bite into the snow and flotation will come from more surface area on the 'deck' of the snowshoe, typically achieved by using a longer snowshoe. You'll want to measure the length of your current snowshoes and make a determination from there as to which length you'll want. Most of the snowshoes we carry are ~21"-25" in the shorter models and ~27"-30" in the longer models. The longer the snowshoe the more flotation you'll have, which means less sinking into the snow. The drawback there is that you have more weight and drag on your feet as you move through the snow with larger snowshoes.
One model that we are hoping to receive a shipment of right after the new year is the MSR Lightning Ascent Snowshoes - Women's. They have lots of traction and come in 22" and 25" lengths. They do come with the 'ascent bars'. Often times, as you add features like better traction you also add features like ascent bars or upgraded bindings to the snowshoe as well.
One other option for you as you wait for new snowshoes to come in stock: you could check in with your local REI store to see which models they have available to rent. It is a great way to try out a different snowshoe style and length to see if it would meet your needs.
Hopefully this helps, thanks!
I completely agree with @REI-JohnJ JohnJ on the MSR snowshoes. They have the best traction that I've used. I do quite a bit of off-trail scrambling and summits, so rely on them to keep me upright and stable in varied terrain. They rarely let me down. And the MSR warranty is great! I sent them in for a small repair and got them back with all new straps and cleats.
Dittos with johnt especially about the MSR warranty. They don't want their stuff ending up in a landfill and are willing to keep fixing things to prevent that outcome.
They also have a fairly broad price range, if you don't want something too "high-end."