The modern versions are made of metal and plastic and feature cleats which prevent you from falling, especially on icy parts of your route. If you are an intense hiker and go out very often, you will want higher quality snowshoes preferably with cleats. Wooden snowshoes look pretty cool, but if you are going up a steep and icy slope, they are almost useless. Hiking or skiing poles are also quite useful when you are going up a slope, because you do not have the mobility as you wood just wearing shoes, so it is easier to wipeout. There is also more physical activity needed to walk in snowshoes as they can be heavy on your feet and your steps are deeper so it takes more effort per step.
Snowshoeing is an excellent way to burn calories, sight-see and just to get out of the house.