Bigger people need more substantial snowshoes. Choosing the best equipment when you’re heavy can be frustrating, if not downright confusing. Fortunately, snowshoes are uniquely designed to disburse weight evenly, so they are already made to help you out. However, the wrong pair will only make things more difficult as you struggle to pull a larger ‘foot’ out of deep snow.
The upside is that, with proper equipment, you’ll find snowshoeing can help with everything from winter hiking to survival hunting. I’ll explain how snowshoes work and which style is best for heavy people so you can understand what matters most, and use that knowledge to your benefit. No matter what size you are, this winter essential belongs in your emergency equipment cache.
Choosing the Best Snowshoes for a Heavy Person
You might not realize you need different snowshoes for the best results on different types of snow, but having one incredibly durable pair of snowshoes can change everything for heavy people. Even when your style isn’t ideal for the weather or region, it will still work. From traditional wood and hide to high tech new materials, there are a whole lot of snowshoe options.
If you’re new to snowshoeing, then you need to start simply. There are three essential questions you must answer to find the best snowshoes as a heavy person. First, which type will work best for my body? Second, how durable are snowshoes? Finally, what size should I get?
Details like latches and materials vary based on brands and styles. For example, a trail-only snowshoe doesn’t usually have a cleat attachment because you aren’t climbing. However, a lot of these details are up to you. Below is some basic information about each style.
Traditional snowshoes come in numerous shapes and typically begin at the length that modern snowshoes stop. For heavy people, more length means better float on the snow. Hurons, Ojibwes, and Alaskan snowshoes are all wooden snowshoes that will suit a bulky person better. Meanwhile, the bear-paw style tends to be wider, but also shorter, so I don’t recommend them.
Modern snowshoes come in four main styles. Although some people prefer to call these three categories (recreational, climbing, and racing), we’ll break them down into a slightly more diverse array.
The flat terrain snowshoes are for established and maintained trails or areas where there are few elevation changes. They do well on densely packed snow. Rolling terrain snowshoes are for intermediate ground that goes both up and down as you walk, but not steeply. A flat terrain shoe will not handle loosely packed fresh snow as well as other styles.
Mountaineering or backcountry snowshoes can tackle slopes, handle the altitude, and work best for steep climbing. The cleats tend to be longer to give superb grip. Naturally, racing or running snowshoes are built for speed. Unless you intend to sprint or try for cross country racing in your snowshoes, this style usually isn’t ideal for heavy people.
Heavy people, particularly those who plan to carry a lot of equipment, need longer, wider snowshoes than a light person who is the same height and shoe size. Traditional snowshoes are not the only option, but they’re an excellent place to start.
Your style and terrain determine what you need. Ultimately, you’re looking for snowshoes that are extra long, like the traditional styles, or modern variants that are thirty-six inches or so. Always check the weight limit, and don’t forget to factor in the weight of your clothing and gear.
Benefits of Snowshoeing for Heavy People
Snowshoeing for heavy people has hidden benefits you might not expect. You will undoubtedly exert yourself more than small people do, but with that effort, you also get gains. Mainly, you’ll see your stamina and muscle mass rewarded while you walk over those troublesome snowdrifts.
Although snowshoeing can be slow going, the pace doesn’t mean you’re burning fewer calories. Hence, you need to make sure you pack extra, healthy, protein-packed calories anytime you plan to head out with your winter gear. Exhaustion is no joke, especially when it’s freezing outside. Fortunately, it also means you can maintain or gain muscle quickly, and with less time spent than you would typically be walking for equivalent gains.
Additionally, you can help prevent frostbite in your feet. Big people tend to ‘suck it up,’ if you’ll pardon the expression, and simply settle for not having access to some of the things lighter people can use, not so with snowshoes.
Remaining above that snow is vital. When you’re heavy, it means you have more mass, and that also means more blood flow to keep you warm. If you’re heavy and tall, you need snowshoes even more.
By keeping your feet out of the snow, it allows your body to do its job more efficiently. Resultantly, you have less chance of getting frostbitten toes. No one wants to risk losing a toe. Still, in a survival situation, with the possibilities of infection, lack of access to regular services, and medicines always running out, something as small as a toe becomes a much larger concern very quickly.
Protecting your body is always crucial, but we seldom think about it until we’re already at risk. By adding the right high-quality snowshoes to your gear, you could be saving a whole lot more than your dignity. Staying on top of the snow can save your life when you’re surviving a harsh winter.
Take Good Care of Your Snowshoes
As long as you maintain your snowshoes, they’ll get you where you need to go. Moreover, the right footwear can help prevent serious problems like frozen toes this winter. Whatever your goal, once the white powder coats the ground, you need snowshoes to reach it, and you won’t get there if you let your gear fall apart.
Instead of wasting your money and potentially ending up in a dangerous situation, as a result, follow these simple steps to maintain your snowshoes.
- Inspect-Before you put on snowshoes, you should always inspect them. Look for any damage on the frame, and check the cleats. Next, look at the bindings, deck, and make sure your pivot point is working correctly.
- Wash- Rinsing debris off is essential. Particularly if you’ve walked anywhere there could be road salt or natural salts, you can save a lot of damage with a bit of warm water and a soft cloth. However, please do not use any soaps or detergents on your snowshoes.
- Dry- Snowshoes will always get wet as they warm up. Even if there was nothing to rinse off, you still need to dry your snowshoes completely. I recommend avoiding heat sources. Instead, towel by hand, or place your snowshoes somewhere warm to drip and dry naturally.
- Varnish as Needed- If you have natural snowshoes, you will occasionally need to sand and re-varnish the wood. Do this anytime you see varnish cracking or flaking off the shoe, or when it has worn off from walking.
- Store Properly- Keep your snowshoes off the ground, in a warm, dry location. Make sure you don’t store your gear near any sources of heat like a fireplace. A hook on the wall, just inside the door, is sufficient for most homes.
- Bonus for Wooden Snowshoes- Because of their unique material, you can fill and repair cracks so long as you catch them before they get larger. Moreover, the rawhide needs protection from rodents. Make sure you store this type of snowshoe away from heat sources, dry and covered to prevent animal damage.
Top Five Best Snowshoes for a Heavy Person
After reviewing hundreds of different snowshoes with varying types, styles, and sizes, I’ve come up with a simple list to help you find the best snowshoes for a heavy person. Everyone needs a little help when the snow gets deep, and trying to trudge along in hiking boots is dangerous. With the options on this carefully curated list, you can stride along with confidence regardless of the weather.
1. GV Snowshoes Wide Trail Snowshoe
The GV Snowshoes Wide Trail Snowshoe from Amazon is a substantial forty-two by twelve inch shoe. Made to keep heavy people floating above packed down trail snow, this is the top pick for several reasons. Not the least of which is the incredible load-bearing capability.
On a trail, this snowshoe can handle up to roughly three hundred-seventy-five pounds. However, those planning to hit the powder and go off the beaten path should note that GV only rates these for around two-hundred-eighty pounds. Pack lighter if you plan to wander through fresh snow.
The extra-wide design is recommended for those who do outdoor winter work and carry heavy loads. Heavy people, forestry service workers, and general cold-season enthusiasts will love these supremely durable snowshoes. Trappers and hunters can bring home their game with a pair of GV’s strapped to their feet.
Arguably the largest high-tech snowshoes on the market, you’d be hard-pressed to find larger shoes. Luckily, Rambus ratchet buckles, comfort fit bindings, and an energy saver pivot bar will help you keep them attached and move more freely. Plus, the lightweight aluminum helps reduce fatigue when you’re on the go in these huge snowshoes.
Learn more about GV when you click here.
2. Chinook 80008 Trekker Snowshoes
Ergonomic and brightly colored, Chinook 80008 Trekker Snowshoes from Amazon are easier on your feet and ankles. The green aluminum is lightweight to reduce fatigue. More importantly, it is also easy to see against the snow. In a winter emergency, visibility is vital.
An included carry bag makes it easy to take your snowshoes where they need to be. The versatile side handles and backpack straps give you options. Velcro pole straps allow you to bring along your favorite trekking poles.
These Chinooks can hold two-hundred-fifty to three-hundred pounds easily. Meanwhile, the mesh ventilation helps keep you from overheating as you carry your snowshoes. Better still, it gives the snow somewhere to go if it begins to melt. Unless you’re drinking it, having a bag full of cold water is never your best plan.
The UV resistant polyethylene decking won’t fade quickly or soak up the damage from all that reflecting sunlight. Durable and free rotating aluminum crampons give you good traction on any terrain. Plus, the dual ratchet bindings are easy to use, and the heel straps have quick-release buckles for those times when you need a swift exit from your footwear. Choose Chinook Trekkers by clicking here.
3. Yukon Charlie’s Advanced 1036 Snowshoe Kit
Those seeking a high-quality upgrade will love Yukon Charlie’s Advanced Snowshoe Kit. As a well known and trusted brand, Yukon makes numerous models, but the 1036 Snowshoe Kit is made for heavy people up to three-hundred pounds. This upgraded design is optimized to keep you on the move.
A 6000 aluminum frame is the most torsion ally-rigid frame and strongest of the Yukon line. Intriguingly, despite the name, even beginners can use and appreciate these well-made snowshoes. The user-friendly features and components are intuitive enough for anyone to figure out quickly without needing a manual just to fasten a strap.
Yukons have a rapid-lite flex heel strap, which allows you to get in and out quickly as needed. Likewise, the fast-fit II binding system is straightforward. Whether you need to get out the door now or take off a shoe fast, you’ll be able to get it done. See the Amazon reviews for yourself right here.
4. Outbound Snowshoe Kit
An Outbound Snowshoe Kit from Amazon comes with everything you need to hit the trail. Your poles and shoes fit neatly into the included bag, so you never have to wonder where your gear is when you’re ready to bug out. Whether you want to see a winter wonderland or escape disaster having it all in one easy to transport container.
Maintaining your balance when things are windy and slopes get steep can be a challenge for any snowshoer. The trekking poles in this kit are fully adjustable and pack away easily when you don’t need them. Store the whole kit away when the weather is warm, or toss it in your trunk to hit the slopes without worry.
The high-density polyethylene decking distributes weight well. Moreover, it can take a beating or breakthrough hard snow with ease. Meanwhile, the lightweight aluminum frame can keep up without weighing you down. Plus, these shoes will take two-hundred-sixty pounds like a champ.
A rotating toe cord and double ratchet buckle system are not only precise but quick to put on. Furthermore, you’ll appreciate the overall value of these superb snowshoes and poles as soon as you step out the door. Get the complete kit when you click here.
5. GV Alaskan Synthetic Snowshoes
At ten inches by fifty-six, GV Alaskan Synthetic Snowshoes are among the longest you’ll find. With the classic style and modern materials, these shoes are outstanding for freshly fallen or deeply packed snow. The extra length gives you substantially more contact, which disbursed weight.
The ability to customize with your own choice of crampons and bindings (separate), these snowshoes are incredibly versatile. Moreover, synthetic rawhide is durable and can take the pressure. You can walk for hours or days in shoes like these.
For those who see the value in things made the old way, GV’s upgraded and updated Alaskan style snowshoes have the same look as those worn for centuries, with the best modern parts. You’ll find Alaskans handle deep snow as well, or arguably even better than modern aluminum designs. Alaskans are incredibly stable on varied surfaces. Furthermore, they are also extremely quiet, which is helpful for hunting, trapping, and general sneakiness.
Not only will GV’s hold ninety kilograms easily, but the long, streamlined tail helps you keep moving forward in a straight line. When visibility is low, that feature can be a timesaver that helps you reach your destination more quickly.
A ten-year limited warranty offers peace of mind. Any company that stands behind their products for a decade deserves a spot on our list. To get a reimagined classic when you order from Amazon, click here.
Bonus: GV Huron Traditional Synthetic
Are you looking for another fantastic classic style? I strongly recommend checking out the GV Huron Traditional Synthetic Snowshoes. Although they’re shaped and strung differently from the Alaskans, there’s a lot to be said for any style that has been used successfully for centuries.
These snowshoes are crafted from renewable and unique Appalachian White Ash. The lace-up closure option is nice, but you can also fit these with your own bindings and crampons to suit your preferences. Choose another classic style by clicking here.
Choosing the right snowshoes for a heavy person isn’t all that complicated. With more weight comes a deeper imprint on the snow. Thus, to avoid that problem, you need a larger snowshoe disbursing your mass over a wider area.
Walking in snowshoes can take some getting used to, but it’s worth the effort. More importantly, it requires patience and planning because you will move more slowly. However, the trade-off is staying on top of all that frozen water, which is well worth the effort.
Choose traditional snowshoes or thirty-six-inch modern models in a longer and broader style to get the best effect. With a wider imprint and serious durability, your gear will last, and you can make it through the winter without risking extra frostbite.