The Best Snowshoeing Experience: V-Tail Design

I've been snowshoeing probably a dozen times in my life, but my trips have only been possible because of the generosity of my friends. I'd borrow some snowshoes here and there and make the most of the opportunity. This winter finally seemed like a good time to break down and buy my own pair, and I'm glad I did.


All of the snowshoes I've used in the past have had the traditional round tail design, which works well. However, the difference between the round tail design and the v tail design is huge. This story of a past adventure illustrates the difference well:

I remember going to an outdoor school in Jackson Hole, Wyoming when I was in 8th grade and we headed out on snowshoes for several days. The instructors gathered all of us 8th graders and explained a game we would be playing called, "Run and Yell." The game consisted of taking a deep breath right before our instructors yelled, "GO!" After they yelled go, we were supposed to yell as loud as we could and run as far as we could on that one breath. Once we were out of air, we had to stop. The person who covered the most distance on one breath of air won.

The funny part of the game is that we were all on round tail snowshoes. As we all took off from the start line (trying to run as fast as we could) nearly everyone fell down. Kids would fall either because they stepped on the back of their other snowshoe or because the snow that built up on the back of the snowshoes would mess them up. In the end, the person who walked ended up covering the most ground.

The v-tail design on the Redfeather Rainier snowshoes eliminates both of the problems that made winning "Run and Yell" hard. Of course, I had to test the design out and try running in the snow. It was surprisingly easy to run in the snowshoes, even in powdery snow. Needless to say, I had a great time and plan on doing a lot of snowshoeing this winter. I'm happy to finally own my own pair (and I'm sure my friends are pretty okay with my purchase, too)

If it's been a while since you went snowshoeing last, you may want to give it another try with some of the new designs. Many improvements have been made to snowshoes over the years to make you more efficient and more mobile on the snow. I was amazed at how effortless snowshoeing was compared to what I remember from my first trips. There's nothing quite like breaking trail through pristine snow to a place where you can enjoy the scenery and solitude.

One last thing to note is that the size of the snowshoe makes a big difference, so be sure to get the proper size for your weight. Be sure to check out our video that shows how to pick the ">proper length snowshoe. For more information on buying snowshoes check out these Snowshoe Buying Tips.
Andy Hawbaker
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Andy Hawbaker
Andy is a hiker, backpacker, snowboarder and outdoor fanatic. When he isn't exploring the Rocky Mountains, burning marshmallows or scratching his dog behind the ear, he shares his experiences here on the Sierra Trading Post Blog.
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