The snowshoe is slightly larger than the cottontail. It derives its name from the soles of its large feet which are well-furred, particularly in winter, enabling the hare to run on soft snow within sinking. The snowshoe hare is extremely fast and agile, reaching speeds of 30 mph and jumping 12 feet in a single bound. The large feet enable it to walk and run on top of soft, deep snow.
For more information, see http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/mammals/snowshoehare.html