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Why Snowshoe Poles Are a Winter Mountaineering Important + Our Prime 3 Picks

In the event you’ve ever been snowshoeing with out poles, you probably discovered areas that have been tough to navigate. Snowshoe poles could make it simpler to get via difficult winter terrain, stopping you from needing to show again prematurely.

Purchasing for snowshoe poles for the primary time is usually a little difficult because you’re going to seek out every kind of various poles designed for climbing or trekking. How are you aware which of them are one of the best for snowshoeing? We’ll decipher all that on this submit.

Maintain studying to be taught why you want snowshoe poles and which of them you should purchase this winter! On the finish, we’ll additionally reply some steadily requested questions.

Snowshoe Poles

Why Purchase Snowshoe Poles

In the event you’re on a slippery slope that poses a excessive fall potential, one of the simplest ways to avoid wasting your self is with a snowshoe pole. Snowshoe poles enable you keep balanced, stopping you from beginning to fall within the first place.

Snowshoe poles additionally take among the load off your knees and provide the further push you want for each step you’re taking. This reduces fatigue and permits you to cowl bigger floor. Snowshoe poles are particularly useful when climbing uphill.

Snowshoe Poles Issues

Trekking Poles vs. Snowshoe Poles vs. Ski Poles

Snowshoes are generally known as trekking poles, and most snowshoers and producers use these phrases interchangeably.

The vital takeaway is that some trekking poles usually are not designed for use within the snow, so it’s good to take note of the trekking pole’s supposed use earlier than buying.

What units snowshoeing poles other than different kinds of trekking poles is that they need to have a small basket an inch or two above the tip. These baskets are known as snow baskets.

Different kinds of trekking poles don’t include snowshoe baskets, however most trekking poles have the choice to vary out the trekking basket for a snow basket.

Ski poles, however, usually are not versatile like trekking or snowshoeing poles. They’ve a agency grip for shock absorption and are made in one-piece or two-piece shafts as an alternative of three-piece shafts. They’re additionally longer than snowshoeing poles.

Folding vs. Mounted-Size vs. Telescoping Poles


Mounted-length snowshoeing poles are just one size and might’t be adjusted. They’re sturdy and add power to your pole, making them wonderful selections for snowshoers. Nevertheless, they lack the adjustability most trekkers and snowshoers desire.


Three-sectioned telescope poles are the most well-liked snowshoe poles available on the market, and so they’re comparatively cheap. They’ll normally be adjusted between 12 and 16 inches. These are additionally the strongest and most sturdy sort of snowshoeing pole.

Telescoping Poles

The most important difficulty with telescoping poles is they don’t seem to be as compact as folding poles. The minimal packed dimension is longer than some other part of the pole, which means it’s not straightforward to pack them in a backpack.


Folding trekking poles are new to the market. They’re light-weight and compact, however they lack sturdiness, which is usually a actual drawback for snowshoers. These trekking poles are finest for climbers and hikers sporting gentle backpacks in gentle situations.

Many folding-style poles additionally function one part of telescoping pole, so you may modify the pole size however not in addition to a three-section telescoping pole. These can normally be adjusted between six and eight inches.


Though many snowshoeing poles are adjustable, they arrive in numerous size ranges. You need your snowshoeing pole to have a 90-degree bend at your elbow when the pole’s ideas are on the bottom.

Comply with this chart as a common guideline for choosing the right snowshoeing pole primarily based in your top:

Top Pole Size
60 inches or much less 39 inches
61 to 67 inches 43 inches
68 to 71 inches 47 inches
72 inches+ 51 inches


Mounted-length snowshoeing poles are usually lighter than adjustable ones since they’re working with fewer components. In the event you’re the one particular person utilizing your snowshoeing poles and know you gained’t want to regulate them any time quickly, selecting a set size is usually a nice possibility if it’s good to journey ultralightweight.

On common, snowshoeing poles weigh between 15 and 20 ounces.


As talked about above, the largest piece of a snowshoeing pole setting it other than different trekking poles is its basket. A snowshoeing basket needs to be at the least two inches in diameter. These snowshoeing baskets are designed to work with most trekking poles.


One other time period you will note when purchasing for snowshoe poles is ideas. Suggestions go on the tip of your snowshoe pole and affect how your poles work on completely different terrain varieties. These are a couple of kinds of ideas you need to learn about:

Rubber Suggestions

These are the ideas you see most steadily. Rubber ideas are versatile and provide further stability and grip on slippery terrain. Rubber ideas soak up shock higher than metallic ideas, and so they’re quiet.

Carbide Suggestions

Carbide ideas are extremely sturdy and supply wonderful grip when climbing via ice, rocks, and grime. The caveat is they’ll poke holes simply in materials, so it’s good to train warning when storing them.

Boot Suggestions

These are also referred to as health trekking pole ideas, that are steadily utilized by Nordic walkers. They’re made out of premium rubber, which is tender and sturdy to be used on sidewalks, roads, and pavement.

Rubber Ft

Rubber toes are helpful on exhausting surfaces reminiscent of paved roads and rocky terrain. They’re designed to enhance your stability whereas transferring at a sooner tempo.


The grips are what you maintain onto when utilizing snowshoe poles. You need your palms to be comfy, so take note of the supplies and form of the grips.

Grip Supplies

Snowshoe pole grips are made out of cork, rubber, or foam. Cork is essentially the most comfy as a result of it’s moisture-wicking. It molds to the hand over time and is an outstanding shock absorber.

Foam can also be comfy and gives a superb quantity of shock absorption. Nevertheless, foam absorbs sweat, and it’s not as sturdy as cork.

Snowshoe Grips

Rubber is discovered most steadily in finances trekking pole fashions. This materials can also be very helpful for snowshoeing poles as a result of rubber offers extra stability on moist terrains. Nevertheless, rubber grips chafe your palms once you’re not sporting gloves.

Grip Form

Snowshoe pole grips additionally come in numerous shapes, which may alter your pole’s consolation or efficiency. Some poles have a 15-degree tilt the place the pure resting place of the hand suits—that is thought of an ergonomic form.

Different grips are designed to match the hand’s define, whereas different grips are clean. Grip form doesn’t essentially affect efficiency, however it might probably affect consolation. Essentially the most comfy grip boils down to private desire.


Carbon fiber and aluminum are the 2 predominant snowshoeing pole supplies. Aluminum poles are usually heavier and studier, whereas carbon fiber is lighter. Carbon fiber poles tend to crack extra simply, so we advocate aluminum poles for snowshoeing.

Greatest General

MSR DynaLock Discover

MSR DynaLock Explore 3-Section Alumunium Backcountry Poles

The MSR DynaLock Discover poles are versatile snowshoeing poles, outfitted with a clean foam grip. They’ve a mid grip that’s properly positioned for when a hill’s traverse path adjustments.

These poles include winter and summer time baskets, to allow them to be used for summer time mountaineering as properly. Their complete weight is nineteen.52 ounces, which is on the upper finish of the typical weight for these kinds of poles. The additional weight provides to their sturdiness, and they’re designed to go the gap.

Size: 39.5 to 55 inches


  • DynaLock mechanisms provide a full vary of size adjustment
  • No instruments wanted to regulate
  • Aluminum materials


  • Some might imagine they’re too heavy

Price range Possibility

Cascade Mountain Tech

Cascade Mountain Tech Trekking Poles - Aluminum Hiking Walking Sticks with Adjustable Locks Expandable to 54" (Set of 2)

The Cascade Mountain Tech snowshoe poles are straightforward on the finances and include an ergonomic cork grip. The poles weigh solely 10 ounces with out the ideas put in, so these are additionally a superb light-weight selection for the weight-conscious snowshoer.

These snowshoe poles are additionally versatile and include each mud and snow baskets. Additionally they include rubber and boot ideas, so that you’re actually getting a superb worth with these snowshoe poles!

Size: 26 to 54 inches


  • Six coloration schemes to select from
  • Large adjustment vary—even children may use these!
  • Three lock choices to select from


  • Consumers have complained the clamps really feel low cost and free
  • Some consumers report they’re noisy and rattle
  • Collapse simply, which is regarding once you’re counting on them for stability

Greatest Snowshoe/Snow Poles Bundle

Odoland 4-in-1 Snowshoes with Trekking Poles

Odoland 4-in-1 Snowshoes Snow Shoes for Men and Women with Trekking Poles, Carrying Tote Bag and Waterproof Snow Leg Gaiters, Lightweight Snow Shoes Aluminum Alloy, Blue, Size 21''

In the event you’re additionally available in the market for brand spanking new snowshoes, we advocate bundling your snowshoe and snow pole buy collectively. The Odoland 4-in-1 Snowshoes and Snowpoles are available in sizes designed for males, girls, and kids, so you should buy them for the entire household.

The poles are light-weight and solely weigh 11 ounces every. This bundle additionally comes with a number of rubber ideas and baskets. This combo will make steep ascents a lot simpler!

Size: 26 to 53 inches


  • Poles are designed from sturdy aircraft-grade aluminum
  • The polyester strap can safe to the tip of your boots
  • Embody an upgraded wrist strap for straightforward adjustment


  • Some consumers have reported the adjustable poles don’t all the time keep in place
  • There are larger high quality snowshoes you should buy—these are finest for informal use

Snowshoe Poles Continuously Requested Questions

How do I keep my snowshoe poles?

Preserve your snowshoe poles by cleansing out all mud and grime after every snowshoeing journey with a moist towel. Let it dry out and apply lubricant, like grease or oil, on the screws of the pole.

You need to by no means go away your adjustable snowshoe poles prolonged. When not in use, fold it up or modify it to the smallest setting. You also needs to all the time take away baskets and ideas.

By no means use your snowshoeing poles to dig holes or hit snow. It’s not a toy, and utilizing it like one will trigger it to scratch, bend, or break.

Can you employ ski poles as snowshoe poles?

Technically, you may. If you’ll, you’re going to wish to use traverse ski poles just like the Black Diamond Traverse 3 as a result of they’re simpler to regulate for uphill and downhill adventures.

Bear in mind, the largest distinction between snowshoeing and ski poles is that snowshoe poles are designed to go uphill and ski poles are designed to go downhill.

Don’t Overlook Your Snowshoe Poles

Snowshoeing poles are essential for staying secure and well-balanced whereas out on slippery trails. Don’t get caught on an icy hill with out them!

In the event you’re on the lookout for a sturdy set that can final you for winters to come back, the MSR DynaLock Discover is what you need. The opposite two picks are nice selections if it’s good to get monetary savings or additionally want snowshoes.

Do you wish to see different terrific snowshoe-buying choices to go together with your snowshoe poles? Take a look at the 9 Greatest Snowshoes for Winter.



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