SNOWSHOE MAGAZINE GEAR REVIEW:

Crescent Moon Gold 13 Trail Snowshoes: Grip You Can Count On

Screen Shot 2014-01-10 at 3.31.17 PMI’ve been testing out a pair of Crescent Moon Gold 13 Trail Snowshoes over the last couple of months, and am extremely pleased with them.

Designed for Women

They were designed specifically for women and made to accommodate a woman’s shorter, narrower stride.  This Colorado-based company was actually the first manufacturer out there to design a series of women’s snowshoes and has done a great job with their tear drop shaped tail.  While many snowshoes I’ve tried have felt like giant paddles on my feet, these snowshoes are extremely 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!

Single Pull Loop Bindings

I first used these trail snowshoes while hiking cross-country on a packed trail with my family.  What stood out to me, other than how easy they were to walk in, was how easy they also were to put on.  The single pull loop binding system allows for a single pull adjustment when putting the shoes on, or taking them off.  I remember snowshoes of old that required a friend bending down to help you put your shoes on – and those days are over.  !

snowshoesFabulous Support

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 aligned properly.  This 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.  As mentioned above, I don’t want to be focused on these big paddles attached to my feet while walking.  I need a lightweight pair of snowshoes that allow me to have fun while hiking and playing in the snow.  Winter hiking is hard enough without feet that feel like lead weights under you.

Balancing on waterfallTraction

Finally, I noticed the grip.  And wow, do these snowshoes have grip.  They are uniquely designed in that they have a 3-claw system, with a toe crampon added to the normal heel and ball crampons.  The toe claw actually provided too much grip for my first trip out and I was wishing the shoes offered a tad less traction.  I wasn’t able to run downhill comfortably on the packed trail because my feet wouldn’t slide down the trail at all.  While this kind of traction is awesome when climbing, it makes trail running down a mountain hard on the joints.

Canyon hikingThe 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 I was able to walk across with ease.  Other members in my party (my five-year old 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 snow drifts climbing the canyon walls with no 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 down for me!

The true 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.   I can’t wait to tackle some easy winter ascents and scrambles with these snowshoes now.

Jumping off waterfallMy Recommendation

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.  For those that pursue more adventurous snowshoeing into the wild, I’d recommend the Gold 15 Backcountry Snowshoes by Crescent Moon.

For cross-country trail use I would recommend the Gold 13 shoes that I’ve been testing.  They would work very well for summiting peaks as well and I can think of past trails where I could have used their grip when side stepping 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.

For more information on Crescent Moon Snowshoes, visit their website at Crescent Moon.

Packed trail

This entry was posted in Gear Reviews, Snowshoes by Tanya Koob. Bookmark the permalink.

About Tanya Koob

I am the mom of a spunky 7 year old boy and I live in Calgary, Canada at the doorstep to the fabulous Rocky Mountains. Our family makes it a priority to get out to the mountains most weekends for big adventures from hiking, camping, biking, and paddling in summer to skiing and snowshoeing in winter. I am the author of the blog, Family Adventures in the Canadian Rockies, www.rockiesfamilyadventures.com.

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