Can You Ski with a Sprained Ankle?

It is possible to ski with a sprained ankle, but that doesn’t mean you should do it. Depending on the severity of your sprain, you could cause more damage by skiing. But if it’s just a mild sprain, you should be ok.

My name is Christine, and I started this blog to share my love of skiing with others. I live for the winter and get out in the snow as often as possible. I’ve sprained my ankle a few times and know through first-hand experience if you can ski with this injury. 

This post will take a look at if you can ski with a sprained ankle. I’ll give you some insight into the risks of skiing with this injury and tell you why it’s a bad idea most of the time. I’ll also give you some other information to consider. 

Let’s jump in. 

Key Takeaways

  • If you have a sprained ankle, staying off of it is the best way to help it heal as fast as possible. If you ski with a sprained ankle, you risk injuring it further. 
  • It is possible to ski with a mild ankle sprain, but that doesn’t mean you should do it. If you have a severe sprain, you should definitely not ski on it. 
  • If you choose to ski with a sprained ankle, you risk injuring it further, which could compromise your entire ski season or cause long-term damage. It’s not worth the risk with all of that in mind. 

Can You Ski with a Sprained Ankle? 

The best advice is to not ski with a sprained ankle. You risk injuring your ankle further and even causing permanent damage if you choose to ski with a sprain. But it is technically possible to ski with a mildly sprained ankle. 

Sprained ankles are never fun, and they can severely limit what you can do physically. But the best thing you can do to help the ankle heal is stay off it and get some rest. So you don’t want to do anything like skiing that can injure it more or prevent it from healing. 

If you have a severe ankle injury, then you definitely don’t want to ski with it. There’s a good chance that your swollen ankle and foot won’t be able to fit inside a ski boot anyway, or if it does, it will be extremely painful. 

If you have a mild sprain, then skiing is possible. But you should ski cautiously and try to avoid big airs or intense movements that might further injure it. As I said, the best idea is to not ski but if you choose to, be careful. 

Ankle Sprain Grades

There are different ankle sprain grades that align with the severity of the injury. Knowing these can help you decide whether to ski or not ski on your sprained ankle. 

A Grade 1 sprain is the least severe type of ankle sprain, and this is the only instance where I think it’s possible to ski. This type of sprain will hurt a little bit and not have that much swelling, so you can still get your foot in a boot. 

A Grade 2 sprain is a moderate sprain that involves a slightly torn ligament in your foot. This type of sprain will have swelling and be pretty painful. You shouldn’t ski with a Grade 2 ankle sprain because it could get worse. 

A Grade 3 sprain is a severe sprain, and you’re not even going to want to consider skiing if you have one of these. Grade 3 sprains will be very painful and extremely swollen. You are likely to have bruising, and you might need surgery as well.

Skiing with Weak Ankles

Skiing with weak ankles usually isn’t that big of a deal because the risk of rolled ankle skiing isn’t great. This is because your ski boots kind of act like a brace, and your ankle joint is held in place by them. 

While you might be at risk for added injury if you ski with weak ankles, it shouldn’t prevent you from trying it.  


Here are a few quick answers to some of the most commonly asked questions relating to if you can ski with a sprained ankle. 

Is skiing hard on ankles? 

Skiing isn’t as hard on ankles as other sports or contact activities. This is because your feet are basically in ankle braces the entire time when you consider how stiff and rigid ski boots are. But you can still injure your ankles while skiing. 

Can you sprain an ankle in a ski boot? 

It’s pretty difficult to sprain an ankle in a ski boot because the boots basically act like an ankle brace. Your foot and ankle are kept in place, even if you tweak your leg or take a nasty fall. Knee injuries are much more common than ankle injuries while skiing. 

Final Thoughts

The best thing you can do if you have a sprained ankle is to take some time to rest and let it heal up. This means you shouldn’t ski, especially if you have a severe sprain. It is possible to ski with a mild ankle sprain but it still isn’t a great idea. 

Have you ever sprained an ankle? How long did it take to heal? Let me know in the comments below. 

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