To accommodate some undeniable anatomical differences between women and men, women's snowshoes incorporate some specific design features:
- On average, women are lighter and need less floatation for various snowpack conditions. As a result, women's snowshoes are smaller, with less total surface area.
- Men's thighbones tend to drop almost vertically from the hips to the knees, while women's thighbones curve inward. As a result, women's knees and legs are closer together, causing narrower strides. Women's snowshoes often have a thinner and more tapered design, so that the snowshoes clear each another during strides. The tapered shape eliminates the need to adopt an unnatural gait, and helps avoid strain injuries.
- Bindings on women's snowshoes have a narrower design to fit women's footwear.
- Women are more likely to have arches that pronate, so bindings are engineered to provide more arch support.
- The angle, placement and size of toe and heel crampons, and traction rails suit smaller feet and a narrower stride pattern.
To read about the basics of snowshoe design and construction, read Choosing Snowshoes.
If possible, take your boots into the store, try on different models, and walk around in them to find the snowshoes that are your perfect fit.