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Old 06.02.2018, 11:23
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Snowshoe sizing help needed please...

As per title, I want to buy a pair of snowshoes. I have seen a top-rated pair online for a very good price which are the MSR Lightning Ascent for around 200chf. https://www.msrgear.com/ie/snowshoes...cent-snowshoes

I want a shoe and size that will be fine for general all-terrain use when hiking on snowshoe trails within Switzerland. I have done online research and for my combined weight of 71KG + 10KG clothing and rucksack, lets say 85KG as a worst-case estimate, I see 25" length snowshoes recommended as a general average. However, a 30" option is also available.

Can those who know about this stuff please give me some sizing pointers?
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Old 06.02.2018, 11:43
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Re: Snowshoe sizing help needed please...

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As per title, I want to buy a pair of snowshoes. I have seen a top-rated pair online for a very good price which are the MSR Lightning Ascent for around 200chf. https://www.msrgear.com/ie/snowshoes...cent-snowshoes

I want a shoe and size that will be fine for general all-terrain use when hiking on snowshoe trails within Switzerland. I have done online research and for my combined weight of 71KG + 10KG clothing and rucksack, lets say 85KG as a worst-case estimate, I see 25" length snowshoes recommended as a general average. However, a 30" option is also available.

Can those who know about this stuff please give me some sizing pointers?
(Caution, outdated knowledge - I've only used modern snowshoes a couple of times, but I have spent a fair bit of time on traditional snowshoes in Canada's north)

Generally speaking, you're in an alpine area. You'll probably also be in wooded areas to get to the deeper snow. Smaller is better.

If you were in Canada's arctic, or Siberia, where you would be crossing areas with dry drifts, then larger would be better.

If the 25 and 30 are the same width, then it's a minor issue. Smaller shoes sink in more, so you'll burn more calories crossing dry drifts, but wider shoes tend to give you leg cramps (all of the time).
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Old 06.02.2018, 11:55
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Re: Snowshoe sizing help needed please...

I recently bought that model (from Bergzeit) - I'm about the same weight, 170cm tall and got the 22" size. I figured I'd rather sink a bit more in soft stuff but avoid extra weight and clumsiness the rest of the time when it's hard or powder and the shoe-area isn't so relevant.

For me they're ideal - have only used them a couple of times but I'm very happy with them.

- easy to put on while still feeling very well attached
- very stable on softish rough snow (e.g. chewed up tracks)
- pretty good on crusty stuff, they sink evenly and not much
- the toe-picks are surprisingly effective climbing hard banks
- the small ones easily lift out of powder on top of crud

No way would I go for the 30", unless you're really tall with a wide stance.
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Old 06.02.2018, 12:02
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Re: Snowshoe sizing help needed please...

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As per title, I want to buy a pair of snowshoes. I have seen a top-rated pair online for a very good price which are the MSR Lightning Ascent for around 200chf. https://www.msrgear.com/ie/snowshoes...cent-snowshoes
I appreciate you didn't ask for any recommendations apart from shoe size but anyway:

Sometimes, in some mixed terrain, you'll be taking the snow shoes on and off a few times on a hike.

The straps on the ones to which you linked are a complete pain to do up, or undo with thick gloves and/or cold hands.

The ones with a snowboard binding ratchet style ankle and toe straps are far superior for this task.

On a long or big trip (backcountry hiking with a snowboard, for example), where every gram of weight starts making a difference, (and for which those shoes appear to have been designed), then having less features is a compromise you'd be willing to make, otherwise I'd go with something a bit easier to put on.
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Old 06.02.2018, 12:52
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Re: Snowshoe sizing help needed please...

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(Caution, outdated knowledge - I've only used modern snowshoes a couple of times, but I have spent a fair bit of time on traditional snowshoes in Canada's north)

Generally speaking, you're in an alpine area. You'll probably also be in wooded areas to get to the deeper snow. Smaller is better.

If you were in Canada's arctic, or Siberia, where you would be crossing areas with dry drifts, then larger would be better.

If the 25 and 30 are the same width, then it's a minor issue. Smaller shoes sink in more, so you'll burn more calories crossing dry drifts, but wider shoes tend to give you leg cramps (all of the time).
Ok useful info, thanks.

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I recently bought that model (from Bergzeit) - I'm about the same weight, 170cm tall and got the 22" size. I figured I'd rather sink a bit more in soft stuff but avoid extra weight and clumsiness the rest of the time when it's hard or powder and the shoe-area isn't so relevant.

For me they're ideal - have only used them a couple of times but I'm very happy with them.

- easy to put on while still feeling very well attached
- very stable on softish rough snow (e.g. chewed up tracks)
- pretty good on crusty stuff, they sink evenly and not much
- the toe-picks are surprisingly effective climbing hard banks
- the small ones easily lift out of powder on top of crud

No way would I go for the 30", unless you're really tall with a wide stance.
Ahh awesome, you got the same shoes I'm talking about! Below Tom1234 said the straps are difficult, have you found them so or do you really think they are easy to take on and off?

I am 177cm by the way, so not too far away from you.

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I appreciate you didn't ask for any recommendations apart from shoe size but anyway:

Sometimes, in some mixed terrain, you'll be taking the snow shoes on and off a few times on a hike.

The straps on the ones to which you linked are a complete pain to do up, or undo with thick gloves and/or cold hands.

The ones with a snowboard binding ratchet style ankle and toe straps are far superior for this task.

On a long or big trip (backcountry hiking with a snowboard, for example), where every gram of weight starts making a difference, (and for which those shoes appear to have been designed), then having less features is a compromise you'd be willing to make, otherwise I'd go with something a bit easier to put on.
Thanks for the feedback but this snowshoe consistently gets ranked top of it's class so I have faith in its quality. If the straps are a little trickier than usual I am sure I will get used to them. https://www.switchbacktravel.com/best-snowshoes

If you have any examples of models though I will check them out.
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Old 06.02.2018, 12:57
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Re: Snowshoe sizing help needed please...

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Thanks for the feedback but this snowshoe consistently gets ranked top of it's class so I have faith in its quality. If the straps are a little trickier than usual I am sure I will get used to them. https://www.switchbacktravel.com/best-snowshoes
You misunderstood me.

I wasn't questioning it's quality at all but just ease of use.

The straps are a lightweight compromise because of the intended use of the snowshoe.
There's no built-in heel step either to take the strain of your achilles tendon in prolonged ascents.
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Old 06.02.2018, 13:05
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Re: Snowshoe sizing help needed please...

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There's no built-in heel step either to take the strain of your achilles tendon in prolonged ascents.
Yes there is - are you looking at the same model?

Edit - and the straps are as easy as I've ever used without being a crampon or snowboard style binding. You just pull them tight and they catch, they're not full buckles or anything nasty like that. Once you get used to the foot positioning, probably 30 seconds per shoe.
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Old 06.02.2018, 13:33
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Re: Snowshoe sizing help needed please...

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You misunderstood me.

I wasn't questioning it's quality at all but just ease of use.

The straps are a lightweight compromise because of the intended use of the snowshoe.
There's no built-in heel step either to take the strain of your achilles tendon in prolonged ascents.
I mean quality in a very loose and general way in the respect of strap ease of use, not that they were built crap.
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Old 06.02.2018, 13:38
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Re: Snowshoe sizing help needed please...

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Yes there is - are you looking at the same model?

Edit - and the straps are as easy as I've ever used without being a crampon or snowboard style binding. You just pull them tight and they catch, they're not full buckles or anything nasty like that. Once you get used to the foot positioning, probably 30 seconds per shoe.
newtoswitz, do you know what the difference is between the 2017 and 2018 versions other than colour?

MSR Lightning Ascent 2017 https://www.bergzeit.ch/msr-herren-l...uhe-silver-22/

MSR Lightning Ascent 2018 https://www.bergzeit.ch/msr-lightnin...obalt-blue-22/

Anything significant other than colour?
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Old 06.02.2018, 14:08
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Re: Snowshoe sizing help needed please...

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Yes there is - are you looking at the same model?
They've got a heel lock - I can see that. I meant a heel lift.

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Yes there is - are you looking at the same model?

Edit - and the straps are as easy as I've ever used without being a crampon or snowboard style binding. You just pull them tight and they catch, they're not full buckles or anything nasty like that. Once you get used to the foot positioning, probably 30 seconds per shoe.

That's good - the look like buckles from the photo.

I'm not knocking these snow shoes, they get rave reviews (best in class etc), merely pointing out some features that may Richdog may not have known about.
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Old 06.02.2018, 14:56
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Re: Snowshoe sizing help needed please...

The ones on the link look pretty decent ones. Depending what your needs and ability is...

Myself and girlfriend bought a pair of TSL 226 at the weekend in Manor (Basel but assume they have the same deal everywhere) originally 200 CHF down to only 30 CHF

I thought this is an amazing deal and for the level of snow shoe hikes we will be doing think these will be perfectly sufficient
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Old 06.02.2018, 15:47
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Re: Snowshoe sizing help needed please...

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They've got a heel lock - I can see that. I meant a heel lift.

That's good - the look like buckles from the photo.

I'm not knocking these snow shoes, they get rave reviews (best in class etc), merely pointing out some features that may Richdog may not have known about.
It is a heel lift - it's just shaped a bit like a crampon heel lock... unless you're got very short feet I guess.

The straps are stretchy rubber, so they drop over the pin to stay in place.
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Old 06.02.2018, 17:55
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Re: Snowshoe sizing help needed please...

A couple of points. I have the 25" model from a few years ago. They are excellent.

Concerning the straps. Once you have the straps set up for the boots you will be using, you leave the 3 front ones alone. You only undo the back/heel one to get them off.

Yes, the bar on the back is for climbing. I used to do a lot on-piste climbing (on the edge of course) where the teeth on the frame as well as the two front teeth (red in your photos) really help. Once you start to climb the heal lift really helps. If you are doing this it is good to have adjustable poles so you can shorten them if the grade is really steep.

I am surprised that the 25" model is no longer shown (on the MSR USA website). You have a choice of 22" or 30" it seems. Given your size and weight (with gear) you will want the 30". The 25" model does show on some websites (previous model ?). Depending on what you are doing you could use 25" or 30".

As an option, you could go with the 25" model and the 5" floater clip-on you can use if you get into really deep snow. Link: https://www.bergzeit.ch/msr-lightning-tail-001/

There is also a ladies model of 22" (more narrow to adapt to leg placement in stride) if needed for someone else.

It is really difficult to see the difference between the two links you showed. FYI the blue ones are shown on the MSR website as 2017 and not 2018. In a review from outdoorgearlab.com they say this about the blue model (2017) - "The 2016 version of this snowshoe was excellent, and MSR added some beefiness to this latest version with a thicker aluminum frame and DTX steel crampons." That seems to be the difference.

In any event, this is a superb snowshoe.
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Old 07.02.2018, 08:32
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Re: Snowshoe sizing help needed please...

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A couple of points. I have the 25" model from a few years ago. They are excellent.

Concerning the straps. Once you have the straps set up for the boots you will be using, you leave the 3 front ones alone. You only undo the back/heel one to get them off.

Yes, the bar on the back is for climbing. I used to do a lot on-piste climbing (on the edge of course) where the teeth on the frame as well as the two front teeth (red in your photos) really help. Once you start to climb the heal lift really helps. If you are doing this it is good to have adjustable poles so you can shorten them if the grade is really steep.

I am surprised that the 25" model is no longer shown (on the MSR USA website). You have a choice of 22" or 30" it seems. Given your size and weight (with gear) you will want the 30". The 25" model does show on some websites (previous model ?). Depending on what you are doing you could use 25" or 30".

As an option, you could go with the 25" model and the 5" floater clip-on you can use if you get into really deep snow. Link: https://www.bergzeit.ch/msr-lightning-tail-001/

There is also a ladies model of 22" (more narrow to adapt to leg placement in stride) if needed for someone else.

It is really difficult to see the difference between the two links you showed. FYI the blue ones are shown on the MSR website as 2017 and not 2018. In a review from outdoorgearlab.com they say this about the blue model (2017) - "The 2016 version of this snowshoe was excellent, and MSR added some beefiness to this latest version with a thicker aluminum frame and DTX steel crampons." That seems to be the difference.

In any event, this is a superb snowshoe.
Thanks for the detailed feedback Verbier. Do you really think I need a 25/30"? WOuld a 22" and additional extensions also be fine?

PS: And to confirm, I assume these reduced ones are the 2016 versions? https://www.bergzeit.ch/msr-herren-l...uhe-silver-22/
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Old 07.02.2018, 08:51
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Re: Snowshoe sizing help needed please...

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PS: And to confirm, I assume these reduced ones are the 2016 versions? https://www.bergzeit.ch/msr-herren-l...uhe-silver-22/
I would guess so - the ones we bought have the narrower less aggressive looking toe-picks per the Bergzeit picture.
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Old 07.02.2018, 09:12
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Re: Snowshoe sizing help needed please...

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Thanks for the detailed feedback Verbier. Do you really think I need a 25/30"? WOuld a 22" and additional extensions also be fine?

PS: And to confirm, I assume these reduced ones are the 2016 versions? https://www.bergzeit.ch/msr-herren-l...uhe-silver-22/
Yes, blue seems to be the 2017 model updated as mentioned.

There is no way I would go with 22" (56cm). Minimum would be 25" (and to be safe with the tails if you are in really deep snow) given your height and weight with pack.

The US website only showed the 22" and 30" but I do not think I looked in the detailed specs. On the EU site they have the 2017 25" model (see link): https://www.msrgear.com/ie/snowshoes...cent-snowshoes

I would ask the website you have seen (link in your post) if they can get you the 25" model since their pricing is good. I know that MSR had a CH importer/distributor at the time. They might have some stock.

Migros seems to be selling the 2016 model at full price. They may have 2017 stock in store though. Link: http://www.sportxx.ch/de/ausruestung...p.461829000000

If you want to go through anything you could go for the 30" model.
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Old 23.02.2018, 15:31
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Re: Snowshoe sizing help needed please...

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I appreciate you didn't ask for any recommendations apart from shoe size but anyway:

Sometimes, in some mixed terrain, you'll be taking the snow shoes on and off a few times on a hike.

The straps on the ones to which you linked are a complete pain to do up, or undo with thick gloves and/or cold hands.

The ones with a snowboard binding ratchet style ankle and toe straps are far superior for this task.

On a long or big trip (backcountry hiking with a snowboard, for example), where every gram of weight starts making a difference, (and for which those shoes appear to have been designed), then having less features is a compromise you'd be willing to make, otherwise I'd go with something a bit easier to put on.
Would you have a recommendation for a less minimal snow shoe?
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Old 23.02.2018, 15:35
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Re: Snowshoe sizing help needed please...

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Would you have a recommendation for a less minimal snow shoe?
I've had mine for a few years now.

I couldn't really give a recommendation as it really depends on what you want to do with them (steep ascents, deep snow, hiking through forests....).

But I bought a spare pair in a sale with conventional buckles and a fabric surface and everyone who visits and wears them asks me "Why do I get to wear the sh*t ones!".
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Old 23.02.2018, 15:57
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Re: Snowshoe sizing help needed please...

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I've had mine for a few years now.

I couldn't really give a recommendation as it really depends on what you want to do with them (steep ascents, deep snow, hiking through forests....).

But I bought a spare pair in a sale with conventional buckles and a fabric surface and everyone who visits and wears them asks me "Why do I get to wear the sh*t ones!".
mainly forests and up hills. not planning on conquering everest. no idea about snow shoes, but i thought the composite ones would be better for me as i could see myself breaking the frame ones before even using it!
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Old 23.02.2018, 16:20
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Re: Snowshoe sizing help needed please...

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mainly forests and up hills. not planning on conquering everest. no idea about snow shoes, but i thought the composite ones would be better for me as i could see myself breaking the frame ones before even using it!
Mine are TSL. They've got quite a range.
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