How to Start Snowshoe Running 101: A Beginners Guide for Trail Runners

How to Start Snowshoe Running 101: A Beginners Guide for Trail Runners

How to Start Snowshoe Running 101: A Beginners Guide for Trail Runners

My Snowshoe Running Story

When I was young my family and I would go for hikes up mountains in the winter with snowshoes. I loved going out and snowshoeing up mountains.

(Okay, maybe I loved butt sliding down the mountains a little bit more…).

Snowshoeing was a different way to step on the ground, and it felt different. When I got a little bit older, I was introduced to the idea of snowshoe running and snowshoe racing. I thought it was sooo cool, and I fell in love snowshoe running.

It was only when I started posting about snowshoe running on my Instagram and my friends and the world started commenting that I realized that many runners have never heard of or considered snowshoe running!

So, the inspiration from my friends and followers is what led me to create this guide to snowshoe running 101. I hope you find all you need to know about running snowshoes, running gear, racing snowshoes, how to get started with snowshoes for running, and the best running snowshoes. 🙂

What is Snowshoe Running?

I’ve been asked this question so many times! I am a huge fan of snowshoe running in the winter. I’ve previously written a post dedicated to this question that explains in detail What is Snowshoe Running?

In brief, snowshoe running is running on snow with snowshoes. It’s running on snowshoes that are specifically made for runners. They are designed to make to help a runner maintain a normal stride.

How to Start Snowshoe Running This Winter

Want to start snowshoe running this winter? Great! To start snowshoe running you first need a pair of snowshoes, sneakers, and warm layers. Snowshoe running is perfect because you don’t need a lot of gear like other winter sports.

Snowshoe Running Gear 101

Below I’ve listed the type of gear I use for snowshoe running. You can also find some of my favorite running gear or gifts for your favorite runner. As a runner you probably have everything you need for snowshoe running, except maybe the snowshoes! So, getting into this endurance sport is low investment, and easy.

Running Shoes

You can wear your regular running shoes or running trainers with your snowshoes. Some people prefer waterproof running shoes or shoes with pre built-in gaiters. I wear regular running shoes and my favorite running gaiters.

You are likely to get wet when you train and race in snowshoes. If not your feet, than your butt or legs from when you kick up snow!!

Best Running Snowshoes

My favorite snowshoes, and the ones I use, are Dion Snowshoes. Dion is also one of the most popular snowshoe running brands. They make their snowshoes lightweight, and easy to take on and off.

Other brands include: Atlas, Redfeather, and Symbioz.

Trail Running in Snowshoes

Snowshoe running is similar to trail running in the sense that you can run on trails and that you’re running, but you can also go off trail and adventure into the unknown. Just please don’t get too lost. 😉

Keep in mind an important difference between running snowshoes and other snowshoes on the market is that running snowshoes are specifically designed to facilitate natural running. They have unique styles, sizes, bindings, and tails (for float on the snow).

For example, if I ran in my regular, clunky hiking snowshoes, my stride would look and feel messed up. The snowshoes would bang against each other and make it easy for me to trip and fall.

Racing Snowshoes

Yes! There are snowshoe races that happen all over the world. There are snowshoe championships, 100 milers, and 5kms. The possibilities are endless.

If you’re planning on racing in snowshoes, you should keep in mind that there are technical regulations about snowshoes, such as length. You’ll also want to check if there are any rules on snowshoe crampon style. (Note: The crampons on the bottom of snowshoes vary, some are very aggressive.)

For example, the World Snowshoe Federation requires snowshoes to have a minimum length of 21 inches (53.34cm) and minimum width of 7 inches (17.78cm).

Women’s Running Snowshoes – Men’s Running Snowshoes

Keep in mind when shopping for snowshoes there may be differences between women’s running snowshoes and men’s running snowshoes.

These differences may include: length, width, and bindings.

What is snowshoe running for trail runners


I hope you give snowshoe running a try this winter. It’s a really fun way to keep training all winter long on your favorite trails.

What do you think about snowshoe running? If you enjoyed reading about How to Start Snowshoe Running 101: A Beginners Guide for Trail Runners you may also enjoy reading about What is Snowshoe Running?

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