How to Put on Snowshoes

by Contributor

How you put on your snowshoes depends on the type you plan to use. This is due to the many different types of snowshoe bindings. A binding is the piece of the snowshoe that attaches to your regular shoe. They are similar to the bindings used on skis and snowboards.

Learn How to Put on Traditional Snowshoes

Place your booted foot on top of the traditional, wooden frame snowshoe.

Pick up the rawhide lacings and strap them across your boot, then tie them across the back of your boot.

Try a modified "H" traditional lacing. Made of neoprene, these bindings cross your feet so that the sides resemble the letter "H." Place your foot on the snowshoe, then pull each of the three straps snug in turn. Buckle the straps in place to secure your foot to the snowshoe and repeat with the other snowshoe.

Get the most flexibility from traditional rubber bindings. These are made of rubber, with a hole in the center to place your boot. These adapt easily to different boots, but don't provide as much support as other types of bindings.

Try a traditional "A"-shaped binding. These have sides made of hard leather, as well as buckles on each side. Just place your boot onto the snowshoe and buckle the bindings snugly into place.

Learn How to Put on Modern Snowshoes

Try limited rotation bindings. Limited rotation bindings hold the toe of your boot or shoe in place, so that it cannot go below the deck (horizontal part) of the shoe. Just place your boot on the snowshoe and attach the straps across the front.

Opt for free rotation bindings. These allow your toe to go below the decking, which is important when climbing steep mountains. Put these on the same way as limited rotation bindings.

Pick snowshoes that feature easy-to-use wraparound bindings. These typically only require you to place your foot on the snowshoe and pull one strap, which tightens the entire binding around your foot. This is especially useful if you need to readjust your binding while out on the trail in the cold.

Tip

  • Always keep the ends of your snowshoe binding straps on the outside of your feet. This will help prevent you from stepping on the loose ends and tripping while snowshoeing.

Warning

  • Snowshoes do not come with shoes. Instead, they attach to your booted feet. Be sure to wear a pair of soft-sided snow boots or rugged hiking shoes with your snowshoes for the best results.