If it’s going to be your first time snowshoeing, then you probably have quite a few questions. One of the most common questions we get is, “What should I wear snowshoeing?”. Well, we are here to make sure that by the time you’re finished reading our guide, that question has been thoroughly answered.
Snowshoeing is some of the most fun you can have in the winter, and is a great method of transportation, so we don’t want your excitement to be dampened because of something so easy to fix as proper attire.
Whereas with winter activities likes snowboarding and skiing that require very specific boots made for the sports, snowshoeing does not have specific requirements. However, there are some general guidelines to follow.
You can go ahead and get yourself a solid pair of snowshoeing boots, which will make sure that you have everything you need. However, if you already have boots and/or hiking shoes with roomy toe boxes capable of accommodating thick socks then you’re probably in good shape. We like making sure our snowshoes are on pretty tight, and if you’re the same way you’ll want to opt for rigid boots with some substantial insulation.
If you plan on running in your snowshoes or using lower-cut shoes/boots then you absolutely need to use a gaiter which will cover the tops of your footwear to keep snow from coming inside.
Now, let’s say that your footwear doesn’t have as much insulation as you’d like. What’s there to do? Well, in our experience the most effective method of keeping our feet warm has always been heated socks. These socks are almost always battery powered and you can turn them on and off as you’d like. If your feet get too hot, simply turn the socks off!
Depending on the model, they can run up to a whopping 14 hours which is likely much longer than you’ll be snowshoeing for. Now you’ll never have to worry about icy toes again!
These behave the same way as heated socks, and typically last as long per charge as well. We love heated jackets because they’re just so versatile. If you don’t feel like wearing a coat or jacket over these layers then you don’t have to and can still keep warm. This offers full range of motion so you can maintain your balance and move around without feeling restricted in any way. We personally love wearing these under hardshell jackets to keep warm and dry in any situation.
As we just mentioned, hardshell jackets are also crucial to keeping warm and dry. As they’re both waterproof and windproof, you’ll never have to worry about moisture or cold drafts coming inside. Some come with insulation and some do not, but we recommend using heated jackets or other base layers underneath.
Layering is the most effective way to keeping safe and comfortable in cold weather. If you get too hot, you can simply remove one and put it in your backpack. If you get too cold, simply add another layer back on. If you don’t layer, you’ll basically be left with no choice but to be too hot or too cold.
Now that we’ve covered the upper part of the body and our feet, we’re left with the legs. How do we keep them warm and dry while snowshoeing? Once again, we recommend layering with base layers like long johns or even some athletic tights like Under Armor. To ensure maximum movement while remaining dry, layer over these with some rain pants.
Rain pants are a great alternative to something like snowboarding pants as they’re usually less thick and more affordable. While they don’t insulate quite as much, you probably won’t need it anywhere as the muscles in your legs will be working away and producing quite a bit of body heat.
These pants are waterproof and windproof, often made from a durable nylon with a PU coating to keep all moisture out.
You may want to add some goggles to your pack, just in case it gets too windy or begins to snow. These are the perfect way to ensure you have a clear view of where you’re going. They will keep the wind and snow out of your eyes, making sure that your goggles stay free of fog as well. For this purpose, you can simply grab a $20 pair of ski goggles. They’re inexpensive but will last you a long time, and are quite comfortable!
If you don’t bring along gloves while snowshoeing, you may just have a bad time. While snowshoeing, it’s not like you’re going to be able to keep your hands in your pockets the entire time. You need your hands to hold onto snowshoeing poles or to help you keep your balance while traversing through the snow.
Grab yourself a pair of gloves that come with a grip so you can keep steady hold of the poles, and have enough dexterity that you don’t feel like you’re wearing oven mitts. To add an extra layer of warmth, keep some hand warmers with you at all times. We realize these aren’t necessarily something you can wear, but they are super handy to have and will keep your fingers from turning into ice sickles.
Now that you know all the best articles of clothing to wear while snowshoeing, do you feel ready to head out on your first adventure? We highly recommend you include each one of these pieces of clothing and don’t leave anything out.
Layering is crucial to staying warm and comfortable as well, and it’s always better to have too many than not enough. You can always take off clothing but you can’t add on what you don’t have. Thanks for tuning in, and we’ll see you again shortly! Remember the most important thing is to stay safe and have fun!