6 tips on how to use your snowshoes properly - title

6 Tips on how to use your snowshoes properly

Discover how to optimise your comfort and your efforts to enjoy your snowshoe hikes to the full!

1/ Adjust your snowshoes properly

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The SH500 snowshoe is a model designed to hike with doing elevation. The fitting is inspired by the snowboard type fitting: we just put our foot in, make a simple adjustment with scratch straps and we have a very good support. 

We recommend it for people up to 80 kgs, both men and women. It will provide great security with both its spikes, its crampons, plus its large rails underneath, which will help to block the snowshoe, especially in hard snow.

The heel lift system is the real innovation of this snowshoe. The ingenuity of this system is that you can activate or deactivate it very easily using your pole. A heel lift allows you to have your foot more or less horizontal when you are going up a slope.

Eric - Product Manager, Matthieu - Snowshoe engineer.

Learn how to use your snowshoes well with Quechua tips

2/ Using a pair of poles

For more balance, we strongly advise you to take a pair of poles with you. Especially if you plan to evolve on relief, some of which can be slightly steeper, or in powder where you risk to sink in a little more. These poles will be of great help to you in managing climbs, descents, slopes and passages of small obstacles (such as possible fences).

The poles must be fitted with winter "baskets", that is to say a large basket, to give you better lift in the snow and therefore help you on your hike.

Learn how to use your snowshoes well with Quechua tips

3/ Adjust your approach to the slopes

In traversing or "side-hilling" situations, that is to say more or less horizontal progression on a slope, it is important to press firmly on the uphill side of the snowshoe when you put it down (posture close to edging in alpine skiing).This technique limits the tendency for the snowshoe to "drive downhill". In other words, when you are crossing a fairly steep slope, remember to press on the side of the snowshoe that is uphill, not downhill, so that it grips into the snow and does not slip down.

6 tips on how to use your snowshoes properly

4/ Using the heel lift

When going uphill, when the slope is significant and the snow is rather hard and holds well under the snowshoes, it is more comfortable to use the heel lift. This equipment, present on some models (such as the SH 500 snowshoe), is derived from ski touring. It allows the slope to be artificially compensated for up to about 10 degrees. The result: you almost feel like you're walking on the flat.


The heel lift is easy to use and can be activated with your pole.

6 tips to use your snowshoes properly

5/ Adapt your posture when the steepness of the slope increases

When the slope is even steeper, it is necessary to place your weight on to the front of the snowshoes, even if that means staying on your tiptoes.When the slope is even steeper, we talk about "creating steps". It will then be appropriate to kick into the snow, not horizontally, but, as in the illustration with the snowshoe pointing down.

Ensure the descent

If it's a gentle descent, you can move freely down or zigzagging. On the other hand, if its is steeper, it is important to go down facing the slope. Parallel snowshoes, never in "snowplough" or "staircase". Placing your weight on the back of the snowshoes, slide them over the snow, or under the snow if it is powder snow. and have confidence in yourself.Place your poles slightly in front of yourself, ready to be planted if needed.

6 tips to use your snowshoes properly

Now that you know how to use your snowshoes on all types of terrain, have a look at our advice on how to dress and put on your footwear to ensure the best comfort for your future outings.
You're now ready to go!If you go off the signposted trails, be sure to take care and find out about the snow conditions in the mountains before leaving. The great snowy spaces are now yours!

Discover snow hiking with Quechua by Decathlon


Quechua communication team

Mountain enthusiast, fan of hiking with or without snowshoes, lover of wide-open spaces, lakes and mountain peaks, occasional climber and part-time surfer.

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