How Long Should My Snowshoe Poles Be?

We left off of our snowshoe series last week talking about snowshoe poles and if they are really necessary. If you missed that post you can check it out here.

One question that we get a lot is ‘how long should my snowshoe poles be?’

That’s a great question.

Finding the Perfect Snowshoe Pole Length


Unlike regular old cross-country ski poles, snowshoe poles have that added advantage (or disadvantage depending on how you look at it) of being adjustable. This is cool because you can easily share poles between people of different heights and you can adjust your poles based on the terrain.

The best way to select a pole length is to flip the pole upside down, grasp one hand below the basket and then adjust the pole trying to make it so your arm is at a 90-degree angle to the snow. But it’s really a matter of personal preference.

Since I’m a cross-country skier I tend to prefer my snowshoe poles a little bit on the longer side, almost up to my arm pits. But avid snowshoers will tell you that’s too tall.

Most prefer to actually adjust their poles on the trails, shortening them for the climbs and lengthening them for the downhills.


ClimbI think the best thing that a snowshoer can do is simply play around with pole lengths and then go with what works best for you and the terrain.

Do you prefer longer or shorter snowshoe poles? Do you adjust them on the trails for the terrain?

For more in our snowshoe series check out these posts:

* Bonus Content: Should Snowshoeing be an Olympic Sport? 


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