Snowshoes are specialized outdoor gear for walking over snow. Their large footprint spreads the user’s weight out and allows them to travel largely on top of rather than through snow. Adjustable bindings attach them to appropriate winter footwear.
In the past, snowshoes were essential equipment for anyone dependent on travel in deep and frequent snowfall, such as fur trappers. They retain that role in areas where motorized vehicles cannot reach or are inconvenient to use. However, their greatest contemporary use is for recreation.
Snowshoeing is easy to learn and in appropriate conditions is a relatively safe and inexpensive recreational activity. However, doing so in icy, steep terrain requires both advanced skill and mountaineering-style pivoting-crampon snowshoes.