Snowshoeing

01 Overview

Snowshoeing is a recreational activity that offers social, health, and fitness benefits. Participants wear snowshoes in order to walk on the snow, distributing their weight over a larger area to avoid sinking. Injuries tend to occur as a result of the environment rather than the individual.

(see Section 04 - Prevention)
Athlete silhouette
View Common Injuries by clicking the blue dots on the silhouette

Snowshoeing injury is rare and has not been extensively studied.

02 Injury Statistics

Snowshoeing injury has not been extensively studied; the estimated number or frequency of injury in snowshoeing is unknown. From the few available studies, injuries in snowshoeing were caused by environmental conditions rather than the characteristics of the activity or the equipment involved. For example, off-trail snowshoeing may expose participants to potentially dangerous situations such as avalanches, glacier crevasses, or snow immersion situations resulting in suffocation.

Curious about the research on injuries?

03 Risk Factors

There is no clear association between a risk factor and snowshoe-related injury demonstrated in the literature. Environmental conditions and snowshoe equipment are potential risk factors that require further examination.

04 How can I prevent injury?

Some muscle soreness or joint pain is expected when increasing your level of physical activity. It is important to listen to your body for persistent or worsening pain, and to know when to rest. Learn more about how to prevent injuries while snowshoeing.

  • Participant & Parent

    Talk to your organization, club, or school, if applicable, about the prevention strategies below and how they might be incorporated into training and policies.

    Strength Training and Neuromuscular Training Program

    Adopt strength training exercises designed to prevent injuries to the ankle and other body parts. The Oslo Sport Trauma Research Centre has developed exercises that specifically help reduce the risk of injuries. This resource includes videos and PDFs for download.

    Learn more about exercises to help prevent ankle injuries.

    For more exercises, visit http://fittoplay.org/.

    Other Considerations (about this section)

    Education
    AdventureSmart is a national program providing information to keep you safe while participating in outdoor recreational activities.

    Learn more about snowshoeing safety.

    Learn more about backcountry safety.

    Learn more about avalanche safety.

    Sport-related Physicals
    Snowshoeing can be a physically demanding activity and some pre-existing conditions may increase the risk of injury. An annual sport-related physical evaluation ensuring fitness to participate can help to reduce risk of injury. KidsHealth provides information about what sports physicals are, why they may be appropriate and where you may go to get them.

    Learn more about Kids Health Sports Physicals.

  • Coach & Teacher

    Talk to your organization, club, or school about the prevention strategies below and how they might be incorporated into training and policies.

    Strength Training and Neuromuscular Training Program

    Adopt strength training exercises designed to prevent injuries to the ankle and other body parts. The Oslo Sport Trauma Research Centre has developed exercises that specifically help reduce the risk of injuries. This resource includes videos and PDFs for download.

    Learn more about exercises to help prevent ankle injuries.

    For more exercises, visit http://fittoplay.org/.

    Other Considerations (about this section)

    Education
    AdventureSmart is a national program providing information to keep you safe while participating in outdoor recreational activities.

    Learn more about snowshoeing safety.

    Learn more about backcountry safety.

    Learn more about avalanche safety.

    Sport-related Physicals
    Snowshoeing can be a physically demanding activity and some pre-existing conditions may increase the risk of injury. An annual sport-related physical evaluation ensuring fitness to participate can help to reduce risk of injury. KidsHealth provides information about what sports physicals are, why they may be appropriate and where you may go to get them.

    Learn more about Kids Health Sports Physicals.

  • Official & Administrator

    Talk to your organization, club, or school about the prevention strategies below and how they might be incorporated into training and policies.

    Strength Training and Neuromuscular Training Program

    Adopt strength training exercises designed to prevent injuries to the ankle and other body parts. The Oslo Sport Trauma Research Centre has developed exercises that specifically help reduce the risk of injuries. This resource includes videos and PDFs for download.

    Learn more about exercises to help prevent ankle injuries.

    For more exercises, visit http://fittoplay.org/.

    Other Considerations (about this section)

    Education
    AdventureSmart is a national program providing information to keep you safe while participating in outdoor recreational activities.

    Learn more about snowshoeing safety.

    Learn more about backcountry safety.

    Learn more about avalanche safety.

    Sport-related Physicals
    Snowshoeing can be a physically demanding activity and some pre-existing conditions may increase the risk of injury. An annual sport-related physical evaluation ensuring fitness to participate can help to reduce risk of injury. KidsHealth provides information about what sports physicals are, why they may be appropriate and where you may go to get them.

    Learn more about Kids Health Sports Physicals.

  • Health Professional

    The role of health professionals in preventing injuries while snowshoeing has two main components:

    1. Providing ongoing education to participants, parents, and teachers on effective injury prevention programs such as balance and resistance training; and
    2. Ensuring that injured participants are completely healed and fit-to-perform before returning to snowshoeing to prevent re-injury or chronic injury.

    Strength Training and Neuromuscular Training Program

    Adopt strength training exercises designed to prevent injuries to the ankle and other body parts. The Oslo Sport Trauma Research Centre has developed exercises that specifically help reduce the risk of injuries. This resource includes videos and PDFs for download.

    Learn more about exercises to help prevent ankle injuries.

    For more exercises, visit http://fittoplay.org/.

    Other Considerations (about this section)

    Education
    AdventureSmart is a national program providing information to keep you safe while participating in outdoor recreational activities.

    Learn more about snowshoeing safety.

    Learn more about backcountry safety.

    Learn more about avalanche safety.

    Sport-related Physicals
    Snowshoeing can be a physically demanding activity and some pre-existing conditions may increase the risk of injury. An annual sport-related physical evaluation ensuring fitness to participate can help to reduce risk of injury. The American Academy of Pediatrics provides information about preparticipation physical evaluation.

    Learn more about Preparticipation Physical Evaluation.