Bears-paws is the term used by the members of the northern mountain clans to refer to the real-world snowshoe. They are made with bent wood and leather strips and are lashed onto the bottoms of boots. Some members of the clans even have bear-paws made for their horses. Bear-paws are also used beyond the Wall by the Free Folk.
A Dance with Dragons
During the march on Winterfell, Asha Greyjoy sees the northmen putting bear-paws on. At first she jugdes them as queer things but she quickly realizes how useful they are when she sees the northmen easily outpassing Stannis Baratheon's southron knights.