I’ve tested out a pair of Crescent Moon Gold 13 Trail Snowshoes and am extremely pleased with them.
First, they were designed specifically for women and made to accommodate a woman’s shorter, narrower stride. This Colorado-based company has done a great job tailoring this snowshoe for women by using their teardrop-shaped tail.
While many snowshoes I’ve tried have felt like giant paddles on my feet, these snowshoes are incredibly comfortable to wear and allow me to walk normally through the snow. I appreciate this because I have enough to focus on when hiking, without staring at my feet for fear I’ll trip over them!
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Easy-to-Use, Supportive Bindings
I first used these trail snowshoes while hiking cross-country on a packed trail with my family. Other than how easy they were to walk in, what stood out to me was how easy they also were to put on my feet.
The single pull loop binding system allows for a single pull adjustment when putting the shoes on or off. I remember snowshoes of old that required a friend bending down to help you put your shoes on – and those days are over!
The second thing that stood out to me was how well the binding secured to my foot and stayed secure without contorting my foot into some weird position. When I raise my foot, the whole snowshoe goes with it and keeps my foot appropriately aligned. This fact is important when traversing or crossing side cut slopes.
Strong and Light
The next thing I love about the Crescent Moon snowshoes is how strong and sturdy they are without weighing a ton (3.9 lbs/pair). As mentioned above, I don’t want to be focused on these big paddles attached to my feet while walking. Instead, I need a lightweight pair of snowshoes that allow me to have fun while hiking and playing in the snow. Winter hiking is strenuous enough without feet that feel like lead weights under you.
Finally, I noticed the grip – wow, do these snowshoes have some. They are uniquely designed in that they have a 3-claw system, with a toe crampon added to the typical heel and ball crampons.
The toe claw actually provided too much grip for my first trip out, and I wished the shoes offered a tad less traction. I couldn’t run downhill comfortably on the packed trail because my feet wouldn’t slide down the trail at all. While this traction is awesome when climbing, it makes trail running down a mountain hard on the joints.
The True Test
Fortunately, I had a recent occasion to really test the snowshoes in terrain that required good traction and sturdy snowshoes. I wore them while canyon hiking and wouldn’t have chosen any other footwear for the adventure. The canyon was filled with crusty wind drifted snow, and I could walk across with ease.
Other members in my party (my son included) kept post-holing in the snow and struggled with deep footprints left behind by other unlucky hikers. I walked on top of everything and even tackled snowdrifts climbing the canyon walls without fear of slipping. When we came to ice in the frozen creek, I walked across with the same confidence one would have while wearing ice cleats or crampons. No falling for me!
The moment where I said, “These snowshoes are awesome,” came after jumping off a small waterfall, landing with complete confidence, and climbing back up to do it again. Now I can’t wait to tackle some easy winter ascents and scrambles with these snowshoes.
To Keep In Mind
I chose this pair of snowshoes because most of the snowshoe trails where I live are fairly groomed and well maintained. I knew I wouldn’t be hiking through waist-deep powder very often or venturing into the backcountry. I’d recommend the Gold 15 Backcountry Snowshoes by Crescent Moon for those who pursue more adventurous snowshoeing into the wild.
For cross-country trail use, though, I would recommend the Gold 13 ‘shoes that I’ve been testing. They would also work very well for summiting peaks, and I can think of past trails where I could have used their grip when sidestepping steep slopes. Just don’t expect to run down the mountain with ease. The grip you have on your way up will not always be your friend on the way down.
Crescent Moon’s Gold 13 snowshoes are recommended for up to 165 lbs (75 kg) or shoe sizes W 6-12.
Have you used Crescent Moon’s Gold 13 snowshoes? Please share your experience with us in the comments below.
This article was first published on January 13, 2014, and most recently updated on December 15, 2021. Crescent Moon provided the snowshoes tested in this review, the model from 2014. Since that time, there have been a few minor updates, with most snowshoe features remaining the same.