User Review: MSR Denali Ascent
If your type of snow hike involves gentle terrain then any of the normal type shoes will suffice... Tubbs, Atlas etc.
Where the MSR Denalis shine is in the steeps. They will kick steps and hold your foot as you step up much much better than the others. The televator heels actually do work and make you feel like you're cheating when you look at your buddies with "normal" shoes. Durability...I have hammered my Denalis for several years and have confidence in them. Traversing the steeps... something you can actually attempt with these shoes. Descending...I think i'ts the many bottom cross bars that make going down easier.
In a nutshell, I wont go on a hard snowshoe hike without my Denalis or at least my Denali Classics (pawn shop).
You can also carry the flotation tails for fresh snow conditions. They may be noisier in hard snow...so what!!