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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If 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