We made of list of things we love to do in the non-snow season which included hiking, going places most others don't bother to go, and being alone outdoors. So we decided to that the only way we could do any of this was with cross-country skis or snowshoes. XC skis were a little out of the question due to the monetary investment they carry.
So snowshoes it was, now to find a place to buy them. We checked out our local outdoor sportshop and found a few upper level brands and models. We were told that the $300 pair would probably be the best ones to start with. While I do not doubt that they were a great pair, I would never spend that much to find out if I was interested in a sport. Also I do not currently have the funds for such an expenditure.
Enter the Yukon Charlie's 8x25" Trail Series Shoe.
I decided that 300 was far too much to spend on a beginner pair. So I checked out my local Dunham's, a discount sporting store that offers beginners a place to get an affordable foothold with midrange gear.
We stumbled across a few pairs by different makers and decided that we approved of the construction of the Yukon Charlie's.
They were reasonable priced at around $90. I can not be happier with them. We got the lady and men's pairs, respectively, and neither of us has had a problem with them.
They have a ratchet style strap-in system, which I have heard bad things about, however, mine have not failed yet. The straps hold steady even on long hauls with deep snow.
The 25" in model holds me above the snow with ease, I am about 5'7" and I hover around 153 pounds, and even with a pack full of camera gear, extra layers and drinks it holds me up.
The deck material looks as though it would be cheap and that it might even crack due to cold conditions, but I have had them out at and around 0 degrees F and they are still going strong.
On the whole the shoes are lightweight, quite durable, and are made of great materials.
BOTTOM LINE: I would purchase these shoes again, even as a second pair I have thought about purchasing the next size up for more powdery days. For the money you cannot beat the Yukon Charlie's Trail Series. You will not be disappointed by any aspect of these.
If you are looking into getting in to the sport/ hobby of snowshoeing, or if you are just looking for a cheaper alternative to the overpriced models and versions I suggest you check out the Yukon Charlie's, they will take you wherever you want to go!
Enjoy the out of doors,
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