If you walk, you can snowshoe. Snowshoeing is, after all, simply walking on snow on look-alike tennis rackets. 

Simply put, snowshoeing is easy, which is what makes it so appealing to such a wide range of individuals. Adults and kids can walk on snow, and in the winter Utah is a recreational playground. There are an unlimited number of snowshoeing opportunities across a good portion of the state—thousands of miles of groomed trails and many more on unpacked, untouched backcountry snow.    

Once a required tool for survival in snow country, snowshoes have become equipment for recreation, fitness and sport. Participants can take a leisurely stroll, a challenging aerobic hike or compete against one another.

Early shoes consisted of a wood frame and rawhide webbing with leather straps to hold the foot to the snowshoe. They were all one basic design: wide, bulky, hard to get on and off, and they made walking a challenge. But they did make it possible to travel over deep snow, which was vital to survival. 

New snowshoes are made of lightweight metal tubing, plastic webbing and easy-in/out bindings. Metal tubing makes it possible to produce snowshoes of many shapes, sizes and colors. Some are designed specifically for men, women or children. Others are made for deep snow, packed snow or running on a harder surfaces. 

Next>>>Snow Walking: Skis for Shoes

Back>>>Read more stories from our December 2012 issue