Modern snowshoes were introduced in the 1950s and had another spurt of development in the 1970s. These tested the applications of aluminum and plastics for frames and a variety of synthetic and high-tech materials for the rest. Instead of a toe hole and toe cord for binding, metal mechanical bindings are now a part of many designs.
Through the course of the last 60 years, some of the materials have proven to work better than others, and today's snowshoes reflect substantial refinement. Contemporary snowshoes are lightweight and durable.
Snowshoes are made for individuals of any size – from children through adults. Wood-framed snowshoes are still available, and most outfitters have snowshoes of different types and materials for whatever your destination and application might be – casual hiking, backpacking, or climbing.
Snowshoe size, materials, and types of bindings can be determined with the help of experienced professionals. The location where you snowshoe as well as the condition of the snow must be considered. Your preferences also should be considered.
Snowshoeing is an activity for just about anyone, provided, of course, you have access to approximately six inches or more of snow. There are no restrictions on age or skill level. Men, women, and children participate in this activity, which has grown by more than 50 percent during the last decade. It is inexpensive and easy to learn. If you can walk, you can snowshoe! Plus, barring a misstep off a cliff or into a tree, it is a safe, low-impact activity that provides several health benefits.