Do SNOWSHOES Work? | Testing In DEEP SNOW, Bear Paw, Ojibwa Designs

Do SNOWSHOES Work? | Testing In DEEP SNOW, Bear Paw, Ojibwa Designs

Do snowshoes actually work? Real world testing in deep snow of traditional snowshoe styles!

Ok, Ok, this may not exactly be a scientific experiment, but heck, it’s as close as I could get out here. often times I’m asked about snowshoes, which ones are best synthetic versus traditional, the best size to wear, etc.. so i figured, why not just head out onto the lake, stomp around in a couple different styles and see which performs best? So that’s just what I did!

I chose to do this test on the lake, where the snow depths are consistent, unlike within the forest. I began with walking a straight line with my 12 x 60 Ojibwa style shoes, then followed it up by walking another straight line next to it with my Bear Paw style 16 x 30 shoes. I also wanted to show just how much snowshoes help, so I then took them off and walked another straight line without any snowshoes at all…..the verdict….



solotripper says:

Gotta love playing in the snow! What's your favourite snowshoe design?

Ken Tuuri says:

That actually surprised me the bear paws had more floatation

bwillan says:

Rather surprising the that bearpaw snowshoes had more flotation than the objibway's. I have a set of 16×48 Huron pattern snowshoes that I use for fresh powder snow and for trail breaking. I also have a set of 15×32 modifies bearpaws for use around camp and in the bush. Both work well for me and my girth.

NicksNWAdventures says:

I see why those bear paws are so great for in the bush

Steve Bourke says:

I don’t know why I am watching this as I come from Australia but I find it fascinating. We do have snow but I haven’t needed snowshoes as yet.

Quinn The Eskimo says:

I have both types, Bear paws are better in the woods. On potential weak ice Ojibwa could be safer. Thanks

Riverbend Longbows Outdoors says:

👍😊 everyone's out of shape when it comes to snow hiking
Good experiment

M Glennon says:

You are the fu{<in% bomb! I’ll trade you 6 dozen of my hand tied trout flies for a 3rd of that snow. Just hypothermic power rain storms here in the south.
Loved the video. Keep em coming, brother!

Ben Burns says:

Great video comparing the 2 sets of snowshoes and walking without them. It's amazing how much snow is displaced with the snowshoes and it looks like you would get pretty tired, in a short amount of time, without them. This is a great example of a picture being better than words.

Marcel Lafond says:

I have a set of 48" x 16" Hurons which were made in 1958 that my Dad gave me when I was 10 yrs old. I'm 64 now, and still have them. They work great on open ground, lakes, fields, ski-doo trails. I have bear paws too, 14" x 32", and I like them in underbrush as they don't get hung up like the Hurons do. This Christmas, my wife got me some modified Bear paws 10" x 36" and they float as much as the other Bear paws (same surface area I guess) but, legs don't need to spread out as much. So, for underbrush, modified bear paws seem to win over regular ones.

North Woods Rat says:

Thanks for sharing the results of this experiment . This should put to rest any remaining doubts about the effectiveness of snowshoes .

Rob Bullis says:

I prefer the Ojibwa's I have the 12 x 60 and dressed for outside weight about 190-200 lbs. I love them just for the way you do not have to change the width of your stride.

Journeyman 71 says:

Great side to side comparison Harlan. Thanks for taking the time to play in the snow 🙂

Haggard Wilderness says:

Love it man. I have so many different snowshoes. I have three different huron type snowshoes made from aluminum, plastic and traditional wood. We like lots of "backcountry" or "alpine" snowshoes here in the Rockies to walk on steep trails or breaking trails through trees.

That being said, I feel like I need some Traditional Wood Bear Paws after watching this. I have been looking at them but this helped a ton!!! I have been doing a lot of lower valley flat deep snowshoeing and the bearpaws look like the ticket.

Thanks man and keep the videos coming. 1 a day would be nice!!!

Gary Brown says:

I'm outta shape too but people tell me that round is a shape so that makes me feel a little better. Mostly bear paws here in Northern Maine.

Kameron Emery says:

I use "el cheepos", but if I were to invest in some I would go with the Bear Paws. They just look cool, and apparently work. I could have used them last week when I had to check my exterior house vents .Excellent vid, and Thanks!

Bon Pecheur says:

The test say's it all 👍I think the bearspaws would be the better choice for the forest and the other for open country , thank's for the video, Sylvain , Québec

djchinatown says:

I thought snow shoes were way more effective keeping you above the snow since the area was distributed to a larger surface. Still looks like a lot of work walking in snow.

Bob Arnall says:

I have the OJibway, but since I'm already bowlegged I need the Bear Paws. Good video, Thanks

Priscilla Haskin says:

Thanks for the "test". I went for a trip with Lure of the North and we used Bear Paws. They mentioned the others and have the others but we traveled on Bear Paws… Now I see why. Again wonderful demo here.

Josh K says:

I’m in the debate right now of which design to get.. might end up with both, or try the Alaskan style as well

Clifford Wright says:

I have old Ojibway and love them over my newer Sherpas although they are great. Problem most people have is using snowshoes too small. That are made for packed walking trails not for lake or bush hiking with a pack on or pulling a sled. Nice experiment. You got a lot of snow

John says:

I've got a few different designs and each one has it's own best use. Green Mountain style – use with not alot of snow and they are light. Michigan/Hurons – like a Bear Paw with a tail. Lots of flotation but not the easiest to walkin and heavier. Maine – long 60" but lots of flotation and great for trails. OJibway. good on trails and in deep snow. The upturned nose allows the shoe to be slid foward in a traditional x-country type glide, which takes less effort. I used these this past weekend in 30" (measured) of snow. I'm also always using ski poles. Great video, Harlan! Thanks.

Bryan Forsyth says:

Bear paws for me. Most of my deep snow walking is in the bush. Snowshoes are a must.

S L says:

I found this very educational, I have never worn snowshoes, but watching this video, I want snowshoes now, it definitely makes walking easier in the deep snow.

Viktor Ragulin says:

Interesting. Here in Russia we've got snow as deep as in Canada and we use wooden "hunter" type skies that measure 150 to 190 cm in length and are 15 to 20 cm wide. Snow shoes are not as popular, but I would love to get myself a pair of Bear Paws for the deep forest. As always, thanks for the video and stay safe 😉

Путь Во Сваргу • Bushcraft Adventure says:

Awesome footage my friend🌲❄️❄️❄️
The snowshoes are what l was dreaming about in my previous Bushcraft Trip))🤔
Thank you & atb✊🏻🐺

Craig Betts says:

good test to show the difference in deep snow that snowshoes are a must, the last time I did snowshoeing was 40 years ago

Bob Walker says:

If I was just cutting firewood or working in a small space I'd use bear paws. For traveling over distance I'd go with the Ojibwas. I feel like I can get in a better gait with the more narrow shoes. Of course things can change if you have a top crust, or bottom slush etc. Sometimes it's just a matter of what you have on hand.

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