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A review of my snowshoes is not completely unrelated to Lady MacBeth–I wear them every day when I walk her–but it is probably the very definition of a peripheral subject. My snowshoes are extremely important to me because they are not just for recreation. Out here on the north coast of Labrador they are my one-and-only means of transportation.

I did a lot of research before I bought my snowshoes. My height and weight, type of terrain, snow conditions, budget etc. are all factors. I determined I needed 30-inch rolling terrain shoes with floating bindings for around $200. 

I found several options in popular brands such as MSR, Atlas, Tubbs, McKinley and Louis Garneau. Unfortunately, finding a supplier who would ship them affordably to the edge of the world also turned out to be a major issue for me. I investigated numerous online retailers, as well as the manufacturers themselves, but they would either not ship to Postville at all or the shipping cost was prohibitive.

Then I stumbled upon an Amazon list of the best snowshoes for the 2017-2018 season. It listed a model from Yukon Charlies as the top buy. This was the first I had seen of the brand so I was skeptical. Yukon Charlies is a manufacturer in Colorado and after I little research I concluded they were legit. Unfortunately, I had the same problem, neither the company nor the initial online sellers I found would ship here or it was just too expensive. Amazon wanted almost as much for the shipping ($164) as the snowshoes themselves cost.

Then I found Costco. Costco was offering the Yukon Charlies Elite Spin model for $199CA. They matched my requirements and shipping was free. 

It took a while, but they finally arrived before the snow got too deep. If I’m being honest, I was a little disappointed when I took them out of the box. The tightening system on the binding and the heel strap seemed cheap and I found them a bit awkward to put on. 

When I got them out on the snow, however, they were fantastic. They’re so light and the pivot is so smooth, the walking motion is as natural as not wearing snowshoes at all on flat terrain. They have toe and heel crampons and a heel lift that make going up steep inclines a breeze. Going down a steep incline in fresh snow, I can almost use them like skies if I lean back a little. And they are great on everything from deep, fresh powder to hard-packed snowmobile trails to bare sea ice.

We have copious amounts of snow. When I’m out on the land, I’m walking approximately five feet above ground level. This is evidenced by holes in the snow created by people having trail-side fires. Without the snowshoes I have sunk up to my hips, but with my Elite Spins, I float on the surface despite my 23o pounds.

As for the bindings, I quickly got used to putting them on and taking them off. They’re not nearly as cumbersome as I initially anticipated. Plus, I’ve had the shoes for approximately six weeks, walking three to five kilometres every single day on sometimes tough terrain, and they are holding up very well. They are made of some  kind of synthetic material which is lightweight and looks cheap, but is actually exceptionally tough.

I give them three-and-a-half out of four paws.