Snow Striders

Forget those oversized, tennis-racket shoes. Today’s snowshoers wear high-tech gear to walk — and even run — through the Valley’s white stuff

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A young woman scales a snow-covered hillsideIf you can walk you can snowshoe, but be sure to match your shoes to the type of terrain you plan to traverse

Photograph by Jakub Cejpek/Shutterstock

Choosing a snowshoe

Walking in snowshoes is easy. Choosing them — and figuring out how to fasten the complicated bindings — is the hard part. Gone are the tennis racket-size, cumbersome contraptions of yesteryear. Here are a few basic types:

Recreational snowshoes: These are what most rental places carry. They are inexpensive and a good way to break into the sport. A good pair will cost you $100 or more. Beware of cheapo types.

Mountaineering snowshoes: Sharp crampons — which can really dig into steep, slippery slopes — and sturdy bindings ensure they won’t break halfway to your alpine destination. Expect to pay $150 and up.

Running (aka aerobic) snowshoes: Lighter and shorter than the other types, with a teardrop shape, these are also more expensive: about $200 and up.

Some models have step-in bindings, which means no fumbling with straps; however, you have to buy the boot that matches the bindings (from $100-$250 for the whole lot). If you want more support, you can use ski poles or adjustable backcountry poles, too, although they’re not necessary.

Read on for a list of snowshoeing sites in the Hudson Valley


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