U.S. Snowshoe Day, which happens every February 28, is one of the most fun and obscure special days we celebrate. It’s all about a particular item of clothing, or accessory, if you will, honored for its ingenuity in allowing people to traverse through the snow. Throw in an annual race using these efficient inventions, and you have a fun event that thousands of people flock to yearly. Even though the shoe has a relatively rich history, U.S. Snowshoe Day is still pretty new.
History of US Snow Shoe Day
There are thousands of special days observed worldwide every year. We’ve seen some pretty interesting ones and celebrated them alongside various people, places, and things. But we must admit, U.S. Snowshoe Day is one of those enigmas honored by thousands of people despite not having a known origin.
Let’s start at the very beginning — with the snowshoe. The snowshoes’ origin and age are widely unknown, but historians believe they were first used some 4,000 to 6,000 years ago in Central Asia. Scholars determined that residents of the Caucasus, an area between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, attached flat leather surfaces to their feet to navigate the snowy grounds more easily. Today, the webbed snowshoe that we are more familiar with comes directly from North American indigenous communities, such as the Huron and the Cree. They are considered specialized outdoor equipment, and their large footprint distributes the user’s weight, allowing them to travel mostly on top of, rather than through, snow. Their adjustable bindings also ensure that they latch on to most suitable winter footwear options. Traditional snowshoes are made with a hardwood frame and rawhide latticework, while today’s snowshoes use lightweight metal, plastic, and other synthetic materials.
U.S. Snowshoe Day was first established in correlation with the annual U.S. Snowshoe Championships at Prospect Mountain in Vermont. It celebrated the skill needed to master walking in the snow and the incredibly practical invention that allows people to do so.
US Snow Shoe Day timeline
The word ‘snowshoe’ is used in the Oxford English Dictionary for the first time.
The snowshoe undergoes a significant redesign, combining shortness with an even narrower width than previous models, and becomes one of the most popular styles in history.
Gene and Bill Prater create the snowshoe known and currently used worldwide using aluminum tubing, neoprene, and nylon decking.
A group of Italian scientists reveal that the oldest snowshoe was found in the Dolomites and dates back to about 3800 B.C./3700 B.C.
US Snow Shoe Day FAQs
What are the three types of snowshoes?
There are three common types of snowshoes — flat terrain, rolling terrain, and mountain terrain. Some models are made for trail running, fitness, or climbing.
How good is snowshoeing for you?
The Snowsports Industries of America has stated that snowshoers burn over 45% more calories than walkers or runners.
What is the purpose of a snowshoe?
A snowshoe is a type of footwear that evenly distributes your weight, allowing you to stay above the snow. Snowshoes are perfect for various winter activities, such as trail walking, hiking, backcountry exploration, and running.
US Snow Shoe Day Activities
Join the U.S. Snowshoe Championships
Thousands of adventurous athletes gather annually to race each other on snowy surfaces wearing snowshoes. These events get very competitive, so train before you enter to feel at ease when racing. When the adventure is done, you can explore snowy regions and discover new and exciting destinations. This year, it will once again take place in Vancouver.
Book a trip to a snowy region
Many people wish to experience snow at least once in their lives. Snow can also be very romantic, especially during Christmas. Find some destinations that meet your standards and expectations, and have yourself an adventure.
Make your own snowshoes
We love a D.I.Y. project, and what’s more exciting than making your own shoes? If you live in a region with a lot of snowfall, this is a great way to spend an afternoon. You can find many online resources that show you how to create your own practical snowshoes for daily use, but be sure to consult professionals if you plan to compete in any races or go on long-distance hikes in the snow. We wouldn't want anyone to get lost without appropriate footwear.
5 Facts About Competitive Snow Sports
Athletes slide down snow-covered hills using sophisticated skiing equipment, and it’s primarily done in fixed-heel bindings.
This thrilling activity entails snowboarding or skiing through a course with various barriers or obstacles.
First introduced at the 2002 Winter Olympics, competitors slide with a flat sled on a frozen track, body facing downward.
This winter sport sees athletes competing in cross-country skiing and jumping events.
Participants use special skiing equipment, including a skateboard, to traverse zigzag snow rails at varying speeds to cover a specific distance.
Why We Love US Snow Shoe Day
Inventions should be honored and adapted along with society
Snowshoes have been around for hundreds of years, but they’ve also seen many new interpretations and designs to make them more suitable for modern sports and adventure activities. It’s a marvelously practical invention, and the fact that it has so frequently changed with the times shows us that it was a stroke of genius.
Any footwear that inspires sports is a win
Getting healthy means becoming happy. What could be more exciting than sports or physical activities in the snow? We love when people are inspired to be active and learn new tricks, which is pretty typical in the winter sports realm as so many new winter sports are getting the Olympic treatment as of late.
People with like-minded interests get together
Hobbies not only provide us with great pleasure and peace of mind, but they can also introduce us to people who think and act like us. When we do activities that make us happy, we meet other people who enjoy those particular hobbies. So, when people put on snowshoes and take to the mountains to ski, snowboard, or simply walk, it can inspire others to do the same.
US Snow Shoe Day dates