When you’re tromping about on a typical snowshoe hike, you’ll likely be wearing waterproof hiking boots or insulated winter boots. Those heavy-duty kicks, though, aren’t going to get you very far (literally) when snowshoe running: They’re far too clunky and bulky.
You want lightweight footwear, needless to say, for a dash along snowy roads and trails. Conventional running shoes are indeed ideal for snowshoe running, as long as they’re integrated with the right snowshoes and the right accessories.
The Best Shoes for Snowshoe Running
Typical running or trail shoes are the way to go for snowshoe running: They give you the airiness you need for staying fleetfooted over the snowpack. Keep in mind that you’re inevitably hauling more weight on your feet when snowshoe running and having to step a bit higher to account for your broader “footprint.” The last thing you want to add to the mix is a big boot.
You can’t go wrong with Gore-Tex or otherwise waterproof trail-running shoes for snowshoe running: They’re certainly a great choice. That said, they’re not essential. If you’re wearing proper socks and accessories—which we’ll get to in a second—you don’t need waterproof shoes for snowshoe running: Your everyday running shoes will do just fine.
Snowshoe Running Socks & Accessories
If you choose wool or moisture-wicking Merino wool/synthetic-blend socks for snowshoe running, your feet stand a good chance of staying warm even when the socks get wet (which is somewhat inevitable). Waterproof neoprene socks are another smart option. Socks such as these provide warmth and moisture-management that your running shoes themselves may or may not deliver. Bringing an extra pair or two is always a good idea, so you’ve got a dry backup on hand.
You can further insulate your feet and cut down on how much snow and water get inside your shoes by wearing our Crescent Moon snowshoe booties. Slipping right over your running shoes, these booties provide a layer of waterproofing in the form of 6mm neoprene—and they’re delightfully lightweight.
You can further cut down on snow infiltration by adding some running gaiters to your set up.
Crescent Moon Running Snowshoes
Of course, the most important elements of your snow-running arsenal are the snowshoes themselves. Running snowshoes should be on the small and narrow side: You want a lightweight pair with a slimmed-down profile and spring-loaded bindings. Broad decks, robust crampons, and other features ideal for rough terrain or deep, soft powder aren’t as necessary, as most snowshoe running goes down on groomed or well-packed snow.
At Crescent Moon, we offer two excellent (and well-awarded) choices for running snowshoes. Our Gold 12 snowshoes come in an exaggerated teardrop shape for maximum maneuverability and weigh in at a mere 3.3 pounds per pair thanks to their aluminum construction and foot-formed, spring-loaded race bindings.
Luna running snowshoes benefit from game-changing Crescent Moon foam construction and offer a flexible rocker design modeled directly after running shoes: With each footfall, you load the snowshoes with potential energy that gives extra propulsion upon step-off. Rubber lugs and optional ice cleats deliver the traction you need for whatever trail conditions you run.
Get Hooked on the Joys of Snowshoe Running
Long story short, you can absolutely reach for your favorite, trusty pair of running shoes when you’re looking to bound down some snowy trails this winter. If you’ve never experienced the exhilaration of snowshoe running—particularly when flowing along in a featherweight pair of Crescent Moon snowshoes—you’re in for a treat!