What to Wear Snowshoeing

What to Wear Snowshoeing

Always wear suitable boots and moisture-wicking clothing layers for snowshoeing.

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Footwear

You should match your snowshoeing style, whether it’s walking, backpacking, climbing or running. For most of us:

  • Insulated, waterproof boots are best. They have thick soles, rubber/leather uppers and insulation.
  • Leather hiking boots work well, too, especially if they are waterproof.
  • Wool or synthetic socks with wicking liners promote warm, dry feet.
  • Gaiters keep snow out of your boots. For deep powder, consider a knee-high style with waterproof/breathable lowers.

One exception to the above: Trail-running snowshoes should be worn with lightweight running shoes or cross-trainers.

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Clothing

Layer your clothing so it can be adjusted to your activity level and the weather. Avoid cotton.

  • Base layer: Synthetics and wool retain warmth even when wet. Wear long underwear that wicks away moisture, insulates well and dries quickly. Choose from microlight, lightweight or midweight versions based on the temperature and your activity level. A zippered top lets you adjust body heat as you stop and go.
  • Insulating layer: Polyester fleece makes a good insulating mid-layer since it retains heat when wet and breathes as you exercise.
  • Outer layer: A waterproof, breathable shell jacket and pants keep you dry and fend off wind.

Hat, Gloves and Accessories

Keep your head and hands covered to prevent loss of body heat and to protect from sunburn.

  • A wool or synthetic hat, headband or balaclava retains heat; a wide-brimmed hat or a ball cap can shade your eyes on sunny days.
  • Waterproof ski gloves or mittens are a must to keep your hands dry and warm. On cold days, combine shells with fleece mittens or gloves. In milder conditions, glove liners may be all you need.
  • Sunglasses and sunscreen will protect you from burning UV rays which are especially intense when reflected off of snow.


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