Grab your snowshoes...

Grab your snowshoes...

Find out how snowshoes work

Snowshoes help us walk on top of the snow instead of sinking into it. But how do they do it?

Try this:

Stand on a soft bed or pile of pillows (without shoes on). See how far you sink.

Now, place two tennis rackets or a wide board over the bed or pillows. What happens?

You don't sink as far into the pillows or bed because your weight is spread over a larger area. This is exactly how snowshoes work.

Woman wearing old fashioned snowshoes_100391027

Old fashioned snowshoes

How do snowshoes work?

Snow is actually very fragile. It is made up of tiny water crystals that cannot hold much weight, so when you step onto snow, you sink into it. If all your weight is concentrated on a small area, the snow is not strong enough to hold you up.


Snow crystal

Snowshoes are flat and wide. They help you spread you weight over a larger area. This means that there is more snow supporting your body weight, so you don't sink as far into it. This is called "flotation". Snowshoes help you to float over snow!

Child snowshoeing_92239549

Snowshoes in action

Does one pair of snowshoes fit all?

Heavier people will need larger snowshoes as they have a greater weight that they need to distribute over the snow.

Were the designers of snowshoes inspired by nature?

The snowshoe hare was named because it has big feet that act just like snowshoes.

Snowshoe hare_200351500-001

Snowshoe hare - check out the huge feet!

It has large feet compared to its body size, meaning that it doesn't sink into the snow. This is great news for the snowshoe hare as it can snow all year round where it lives!

Find out more about snow HERE.

When it snows why don't you try making your own snowshoes?