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With cross-country and nordic skiing being some of the best aerobic workouts, finding the best cross-country skis is crucial to success while avoiding injury. Cross-country skiing works every important muscle group while allowing you to enjoy nature while most others are in the boring gym. You can navigate mountainous terrain while relying on your body’s strength and stride. Check out our cross-country ski reviews and ratings below.
Finding the right gear can be a difficult task as you must contend with the various types of skis while deciphering the different boots and binding systems. To help simplify this process, the following guide will help you find the skis that suit your needs while educating you on the various aspects of cross-country skiing. Continue reading for more information on the top five best cross-country skis currently available.
In This Article
The Whitewoods 75mm 3Pin Cross Country Ski Package are the best cross-country skis because they come with just about everything you need to start skiing including boots, ski poles, and even ski bindings.
As one of the best cross-country skis on the market, the Whitewoods 75mm 3Pin Ski Package gives you everything needed to hit the snow in style. The entire set is designed to maximize the fun for beginners while minimizing hassle. Featuring NNN Rottefella binders, which are an excellent standard for beginners, the Whitewoods Ski Package features a ski width of 75mm making them ideal for in-track skiing but versatile enough for of-track when necessary.
This set also comes with beginner ski poles and matching Alpina NNN ski boots. The cost is reasonable, and the entire package provides maximum efficiency. For cross-country skiing beginners looking to coast on groomed trails, these are the best cross-country skis to meet your needs and one of the best packages available.
- Reasonable cost for an entire set of gear
- Lightweight warm and breathable boots that are lightweight
- Comes with NNN Rotefella binders, Alpina NNN boots, poles, and skis
- Boots can slip out of the bindings if not aligned properly
The Thule Chariot Cross-Country Skiing Kit are the best cross-country skis because it allows you to bring a young child with you on your cross-country skiing adventures and create fun family memories.
You should not abandon your skiing hobby because you have a young child, especially when the Thule Chariot Cross Country Skiing Kit is available. As one of the best cross-country skis available for families, the Thule Chariot allows your child to remain comfortable, warm, and safe inside the chariot as you glide through fresh, deep snow. This package comes with a padded waist belt with a bottle holder, locking pin, and aluminum towing bars, and lightweight skis.
Since you will be towing a decent amount of weight behind you, Thule has engineered the straps to be adjustable to improve ease of use. Also, these straps allow for multiple users so another skier can tow the chariot with your waist belt. This package gives you a safe towing mechanism so you can enjoy your sport with your child.
- Adjustable aluminum towing bars
- Fast and easy installation
- Compatible with most Thule Chariot models
- The skis do not hold wax for a long time after waxing
The Fischer Affinity EF XC Skis with Tour Step-In and IFP Bindings are the best cross-country skis because this set comes with both the skis and appropriate bindings, and they come at an affordable price.
If you’re trying to stick to a budget, you can’t go wrong with these Fischer Affinity skis. These beasts come equipped with bindings, which is the ideal being sure that your bindings and skis will work together. The forward construction allows for an efficient and smooth ride when learning the kick and glide technique. This method allows you to cover more area in less time and with less effort.
These skis have a forgiving nature while being high performing and easy to operate. The bindings are screw-free and feature a two-part Integrated Fixation Plate (IFP) that allows you to adjust ski performance without any tools. The IFP also allows for fine-tuning simply by sliding the binding forwards and backward which makes it easy to change the ski performance to adjust for the current conditions.
- Efficient forward construction to help learn the kick and glide technique
- Hybrid air channel code
- IFP plate that uses a pre-mounted TURNAMIC binding
- Not the best choice for more advanced skiers
The Fischer Traverse 78 Crown Cross Country Ski are the best cross-country skis because they use 100% wooden cores that keep the skis light and easy to maneuver, so they’re great for beginners.
For the best backcountry ski adventures, the Fischer Traverse 78 touring skis have you covered. Whether you wish to venture into the wilderness or remain on groomed trails, these best cross-country skis will take you where you need to go. Featuring wood cores in these skis, this pair of skis is lightweight with a stable platform.
The performance and stability aligned perfectly on these skis. The full steel edge is ideal for unknown descents and can help you make telemark turns when necessary. The side cuts on these skate skis enable upright turns and Fischer has added Nordic Rockers into the ski tips helping you remain on top of the snow when heading uphill.
- Full steel edge is perfect for descending and turning
- Built with Nordic rockers in the tips
- Wood cores keep the skis lightweight and stable
- Stiffer skis than previous models.
The Rossignol Evo OT 65 IFP Positrack XC Skis Step-In Bindings are the best cross-country skis because they’re versatile skis that you can use them in multiple track types.
As one of the best options available, the Rossignol Evo OT 65 IFP Positrack XC Skis are the most versatile on this list because they don’t confine you to a single groomed track. These are the perfect skis for those who are less interested in speed trials and more interested in setting your route. In addition to being highly durable, these skis are easy to use and perform just as well on groomed tracks as in the backcountry.
This performance is mostly due to the wide dimensions of the skis, waxless bases, and partial metal edges that deliver better control and grip. Also, the Evo OT’s are distinguished due to their lightweight construction which helps increase performance and ensure you can glide across the snow for much longer without becoming tired.
- Best for various types of terrain such as maintained trails, backcountry snow, and groomed tracks
- Ideal for intermediate recreation skiers
- Lightweight construction for better performance
- Wide design limits their speed
Features to Consider for the Best Cross Country Ski
Now that you’ve familiarized with some of the different skis out there by reading our cross-country ski reviews, it’s time to look at features. All skis have different features that make them work differently, so you need to think about what you want.
Selecting ski bindings to go with your skis can be confusing. There are four types: SNS Pilot, SNS Profil, NNN, and Prolink. SNS Pilot bindings feature two points of contact with the boot and are only compatible with SNS Pilot boots. This type increases control and precision for all skier levels. SNS Profil bindings are more flexible and deliver higher performance. A subset of SNS Profil boots is the SNS Universal which is compatible with all SNS boots. NNN (New Nordic Norm) bindings have two ridges running along the edge to correspond with NNN boots and are compatible with skis featuring a NIS screw-free mounting plate. Prolink bindings are the newest technology on the market and bridge the gap between the two systems, being compatible with both.
When you choose skis and bindings, you can’t just mix and match whatever you want—if you do that, you risk buying pieces that won’t fit together. If looking to purchase NNN or NIS bindings and boots, then look for skis with a mounted NIS plate. For a more versatile option, consider skis with a plain flat top and a waxable or waxless skis. Waxable bases tend to be more for advance level cross-country skiers, while waxless is a better option for beginners. This is because mastering the art of wax selection and application requires experience. However, waxed skis can also provide better maneuverability.
Finding the right ski boots to pair with your skis is one of the most critical aspects of cross-country skis as the fit is vital. Look at styles that hold your heels firmly in place while providing ample room in the toe area but fit snugly across the foot without being uncomfortably tight. The goal is minimizing foot motion which results in blisters and overall discomfort.
Camber defines the shape of how the ski bends upwards and away from the snow from front to back. Classic skis have a double camber construction, meaning that there is a defined arch in the center resulting in a decent amount of spring in the ski. This lifts the underfoot grip off the snow while gliding and better distributes body weight across both skis. It is important to choose a ski length according to weight, so the camber works in your favor.
Pole sizes vary in 5-cm increments, so finding the right size for you involves holding the ski poles vertically and finding the version that extends comfortably into your armpits. Look for poles with padded wrist straps when purchasing new items. They may be more expensive but are significantly more comfortable than thin nylon straps.
Most recreational skis are engineered for groomed tracks with gentle terrain. However, if you are looking for untracked and steeper locations, backcountry skis maybe your best option. Classic skis are designed for a more even glide and pitch while backcountry skis feature metal edges for better traction during turns on descents. Make sure the skis you choose are good for cross-country skiing. Not all skis are good for every skiing style, do don’t pick up a pair of freestyle skis and expect them to work just as well.
Benefits of Using Cross Country Skis
Cross-country skiing is great exercise, and having the best cross-country skis to use helps you in a few different ways.
One of the greatest benefits of using the best cross-country skis is comfort. You may be skiing for hours at a time, so it is important to be comfortable. The best skis and ski packages will have poles with padded grips to improve hand comfort, boots that fit perfectly to your foot so there is no excess space, and skis that are the right dimensions so you are not struggling to glide across the snow.
The best cross-country skis often also have the best construction. Whether you are a recreational or vested skier, you want your equipment to last a long time, so you are not investing in new products every year. Good construction begins with high-quality materials and ends with the perfect engineering that suits your ideal goals.
The top models will be efficient enough where you can cover the most ground with the least amount of effort in the least amount of time. Even if you are just a recreational skier, you want your skis to perform with minimal effort so you can travel further and get a better workout.
Precautions of Using Cross Country Skis
While there are so many benefits to using cross-country skis for future workouts, there are some precautions that you must be aware of during usage. These include:
When choosing where to ski, you must always consider several parameters including the length of the course, elevation profile, and grooming and preparation quality of the trail. This will help you determine the best options for your ski level.
Since even the best cross-country skis have a free-heel, there is a chance that you may fall on your route. Best case, you fall, get tangled up, and get back on your feet. The worst-case scenario is you fall and become injured which occurs when you are in an unnatural position. Make sure you’re always skiing with a buddy in case you injure yourself and can’t get up.
Weather should certainly impact whether you should ski. While this can be a difficult pill to swallow if you were anticipating a ski day, never risk it if the weather is poor. It is also important to be prepared for inclement weather that could form during your workout. Always check the weather in advance and monitor snow conditions throughout the day.
With so many excellent cross-country skis on the market, there can only be one winner. The best cross-country skis are the Whitewoods 75mm 3Pin Cross Country Ski Package. This all-in-one solution is designed for beginners due to the hassle-free Rottefella binders, wide and versatile skis, durable poles, and lightweight, warm, and breathable Alpina NNN ski boots. This package is coupled with an affordable cost, which further draws to the appeal. If you are a beginner and looking for the best cross-country skis on the market, consider the Whitewoods 75mm 3Pin Cross Country Ski Package to help you learn and advance to the next level of cross-country skiing!