How to Put on Snowshoes

The first time I went snowshoeing was a disaster.

I remember standing in the parking lot at the trailhead trying to cinch up all of the annoying straps on my snowshoes in the freezing cold and thinking, “this is so dumb, my ski’s would already be on my feet and I’d be halfway down the trail by now.”

It’s actually pretty simple to put on snowshoes. Here’s what we do:

how to put on snowshoes

1) If you have a new pair (or new-to-you) pair of snowshoes put your boots on, head to your garage or lay a few towels on your living room floor and practice putting the snowshoes on before you even go outside. You don’t even have to stand up. This way you can figure out how to tighten the straps in a warm, dry place.

2) Okay, so now you’re ready to go outside…The first step is to see if your snowshoes are universal or if you have to put the left snowshoe on your left foot and your right snowshoe on your right foot. Usually there will be a mark somewhere on the snowshoe indicating this.

left snowshoe

3) Once you’ve got that figured out, shake or wipe the snow off your snowshoe’s binding and kick the snow off your boot, this will make it easier to attach your snowshoe to your boot.

clean snow

4) Next, place the ball of your foot centered in the snowshoe’s bindings. You don’t want your foot too far forward on the deck or too far backward.

5) Strap in your toes, heels, and finally tighten the instep strap. Straps should feel snug and just right (not too tight, not too loose).




6) Finally, tuck any excess straps so they are out of the way and go SNOWSHOEING!!!

tuck straps

If you’re looking for more information about snowshoeing this is the 11th  post in our Wednesday snowshoe blog series. You can read our previous posts here and check back for more next Wednesday.

See, it’s simple putting on a pair of snowshoes! What tips do you have for beginning snowshoers?


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User Comments

  1. Pingback: FAQ About Snowshoeing -Just Trails

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  3. David |

    I find the heel binding the hardest one to set, so once I get it set, I tend never to loosen it. To get out of my snowshoes, I loosen the front bindings and step out. To put my snowshoes on, I just put my foot down and move it as far back into the back binding as it will go, hook the front bindings and I am off. Kneeling on one knee helps in this process, but I’m an old man now and maybe younger people don’t need to do this. 😉

    • Rebecca |

      That’s a great point! I usually don’t mess with the heel strap unless it’s my first time in a new pair of snowshoes. Sometimes different boots require a heel adjustment. I like to kneel too and if there’s a lot of snow I cheat and open my trunk and sit in the cargo area of my SUV to put on my snowshoes. Thanks for your comment 🙂

      • Kathy |

        I am so frustrated. My heel strap is the first to come loose, and then the whole shoe comes off. How on earth does that one tiny knob keep the heel strap in place?

        • Rebecca |

          Oh no Kathy! What a bummer. What kind of snowshoes do you have?

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