Gear Review: Easton Artica Hike Snowshoes

Great snowshoes for beginners

One Colorado tester declares these shoes “perfect for the casual user.” Her in-laws, who enjoy the outdoors but aren’t hardcore, all-the-time adventurers, loved the easy-on bindings. “They don’t require you to twist backward to tighten the heel. Just bend forward, grab the handle at the top—a nylon strap positioned above the arch that links all of the straps—and yank.” Your foot is locked into the binding with little effort and no fuss.

The Articas provided great traction on firm conditions; longer-than-average (3-inch) spikes at the toe and heel create stable footing. But where the hardpack ends, so does the solid performance. The heavy shoes—dense puncture-proof decking and those aggressive cleats add up to extra weight—provide only moderate flotation for their size because the decking tapers on both ends, which limits the surface area that keeps you on top of the white stuff.

Testers of all different sizes and genders reported sinkage in Rocky Mountain powder. Bottom line: Stick to trails.

$259

4 lbs. 15 oz. (25-inch); 21, 25, and 30 inches;

eastonmountainproducts.com