Stay Fit During Winter With Snowshoes

32 North Snowshoes Ice Cleat

Snowshoes as the name implies are footwears for walking over snow. Snowshoes distribute the weight of a person over a larger area so that the person's foot does not sink completely into the snow.

Traditional snowshoes are made of heavy hardwood frame with leather lacings. Modern high-tech snowshoes are made of light metal such as aluminum and alloy, or even of plastic. These modern snowshoes are raised at the toe for maneuverability and are generally smaller than the traditional snowshoes. Racing snowshoes and gliding snowshoes are just some examples of modern snowshoes used for movement in deep snow.

Snowshoes were used some 6,000 years ago as an earliest form of transportation. But presently they are generally used for recreational sports. Snowshoes are divided into three types: aerobic, recreational and mountaineering. Backpacking or hiking snowshoes, recreational snowshoes, and running or aerobic fitness snowshoes are the more popular snowshoes available on the market. Snowshoe size is specified by the body weight and the type of activities one plans to do.

The Outdoor Industry Foundation reported that in 2004 nearly 4.7 million Americans went snowshoeing. Snowshoeing at present is acknowledged as one of the fastest growing winter recreational sports next to skiing, so snowboarding snowshoe sale has doubled in recent year. The sales of snowshoes is up because people are putting greater emphasis on fitness, outdoor cross training and family recreation. The popularity of back country sporting in recent years, like skiing, snowboarding and ice climbing, is also helping to promote strong snowshoe sales.

Snowshoes for sale vary from shorter, wider shoes to longer, narrow shoes. Materials of these snowshoes are generally lightweight aluminum, rubber and durable plastic. Women's snowshoes and kids snowshoes are of varied shapes. For example, beaver tail snowshoes are shaped like a tennis racket and bear paw snowshoes are oval shaped. These shapes enable the snowshoer to lift up the shoes' weight easily. Cleats are the teeth present at the bottom of the shoes that provide traction and allow for more confident stepping. Kids snowshoes are not limited just to kids; they can be used by anyone weighing less than 80 pounds and of shorter height. Kids snowshoes can also be used by children for off trail hiking, on golf courses, in packed trails, etc.

A low impact workout with a pair of snowshoes provides many health benefits. Snowshoes can be used by folks of all ages who enjoy a winter snowfall while walking, running, jumping, or climbing. Snowshoes are great fun to use in any type of snow conditions.