If you're looking for a new way to explore the backcoun […]
If you're looking for a new way to explore the backcountry, you may want to give tracker snowshoes a try. They're a hybrid cross-country ski and snowshoe that grips the snow like a ski but glides like a snowshoe. This gives you a lot of speed and grip on steep and icy terrain but still allows you to enjoy the fun of floating through deep snow.
Traction and Grip
If traction is your primary concern, you'll want to look for a model with a sturdy crampon and a grippy traction system. This will include side rails that run length-wise and width-wise, and a metal binding that bites into the bottom of the snow to grip it.
Traction varies significantly by brand and price, but the best traction systems use high-quality aluminum teeth to grip ice and soft snow. They'll also be designed to withstand repeated uses.
Most high-end trail and backcountry snowshoes come with a heel lift, or riser. This single metal bar under your heel can be raised and locked into place to reduce calf fatigue on sustained climbs. While they're useful, we don't find them necessary for most moderate terrain.