How to Buy Cross Country Ski Boots

How to Buy Cross Country Ski Boots
For peace, quiet and the opportunity to commune with nature in places that can't be reached on foot, nothing beats cross-country skiing. Covering great distances of back country while gliding over snow that a person on foot would have a hard time navigating can leave you feeling refreshed and alive. One of the most important aspects of having fun in the back country is making sure you have the right boots for the job.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Skis
  • Bindings
  • Sock ensemble
Step 1
Find a reputable ski shop. Most places that have areas with cross-country skiing have ski shops that can assist you in getting the right setup.
Step 2
Know your bindings. For touring, there are three basic types of binding that your skis could have--traditional three pin, New Nordic Norm (NNN) or Salomon Nordic System (SNS). With traditional three-pin bindings, the boots simply attach to three pins that stick out of the bottom at the toe of the binding. The boots have drilled holes to go over the pins. The NNN system is similar, but instead of pins in the binding base, you have a latch on the toe of the boot that connects to a latch on the front of the binding. They work together like a door hinge. SNS bindings work on the same principle as NNN bindings, but they are only compatible with Salomon boots.
Step 3
Consider how you're going to use the boots. If you are strictly going to keep the skis on groomed trails, the lighter the boot, the better. If, however, you are thinking about going what is called off-track, you'll want boots that provide more support for the ankles.
Step 4
Fit the boots. There is really no science to finding the right fit for your cross-country boots. If you think about a hiking shoe and what you would want for maximum comfort, the same principle applies to cross-country ski boots. It should be comfortable. Make sure that the boot doesn't pinch the toes or allow your foot room to slide around inside.
Step 5
Consider the temperature. Take into account the fact that cross-country skiing can get cold for the extremities. Because of this, before you leave with your boots, compensate the room in the boot for an extra pair of socks or whatever your sock ensemble is going to be.

Article Written By Patrick Cameron

Patrick Cameron is a freelance writer with 10 years of diverse experience in consumer goods branding, promotions and retail communications. He works out of his home in Denver, Colo. He received his Bachelor of Arts in mass communication from the University of Minnesota.

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