Cross Country Boots


Cross Country Ski Boot Shopping Tips


At Skis.com we offer you a large selection of Cross Country Ski Boots for several different styles of skiing. What boots you buy will depend on what type of cross country skiing you plan on doing and what type of cross country skis you have, so it’s important to know the differences in types of boots. You need to consider these two most important factors when selecting your pair of boots.


Boot Best Use


The first thing to consider is, what is the best use for this boot? Some types of boots perform better in certain conditions. We classify boots for Cross Country Skiing like this:


Backcountry- Backcountry Cross Country Skiing Boots have more support, and a stronger wider connection to the NNN BC Bindings that will give you more control as you make your own trails through backcountry terrain.


Groomed- XC Ski Boots for Groomed terrain are lightweight, typically with Neoprene liners that allow you to glide on the groomed tracks quickly and efficiently. These boots are available in NNN and SNS styles, but are only compatible with bindings of the same system.


Groomed/Ungroomed- XC Ski Boots for Groomed/Ungroomed conditions will allow you glide with ease on the groomed tracks, and offer you support when you head off of the groomed tracks.


Boot/Binding Compatibility


The most important factor when selecting your boots is to make sure that they are compatible with bindings. Here are the different types of cross country ski boot and binding compatibilities featured on boots:


NNN Boots- NNN Boots stands for New Nordic Norm. NNN cross country ski boots have a toe bar on the toe on the sole of the boot, but with two smaller grooves on the sole of the boot that allow it to sit flush on the binding when standing flat.


NNN BC Boots- NNN BC Boots have two smaller grooves on the soles of the boots, but they require an NNN BC binding. The boot has a beefier toe bar and wider grooves on the sole of the boots to provide you with more stability and control for breaking trail in the backcountry.


75mm/ 3 Pin Boots- 75mm/ 3 Pin cross country ski boots offer you the least amount of control and are a fairly old system that offers less support. 75mm boots are not widely manufactured any more.


SNS Boots- SNS Boots are best used for classic skiing on the groomed tracks. SNS Boots have a single toe bar that locks into the toe piece of the binding, but with a larger single groove that fits into the sole of the boot to allow it to sit flush on the ski when standing flat.


Support Styles


While not an essential consideration, choosing a boot that has a support system that matches up with the type of skiing you will be doing can make a big difference. See how the following categories can affect your comfort and performance:


On-Trail Recreational Boots- Offers you padding and a light amount of support for the occasional or newer skier looking for comfort, with a light amount of padding and cushion across the toes and heels.


On-Trail Performance Boots- Typically have an external support made from plastic over the heels that will give you more support when gliding at faster speeds and a higher amount of energy transfer that will allow you to achieve faster speeds.


Off-Trail Performance Boots- These boots have a more rigid sole, with a wide interface with the bindings, and a stronger toe bar that will be more stable, and offer you more control over ungroomed terrain.


Covered Laces Cross Country Boots- Some boots can have a system that covers the laces. There is no increase in performance on if the laces are covered or not. Cross Country Boots with Covered Laces have a zipper that will seal up the laces to help prevent water from entering the boot, and adding additional warmth.


Cross Country Boots Without Covered Laces have a traditional lacing system that you would lace up just like you would a hiking boot.


Cross Country Ski Boot Sizing


It’s vital to find proper fitting boots, otherwise you’ll be uncomfortable and lose performance while on the trails. Reference our Cross Country Ski Boot Sizing Guide for a in-depth look into how you can find the perfect size boot for you. Keep in mind, women’s cross-country ski boots are typically narrower in the forefoot and heel to provide a more contoured and snug fit that more accurately fits the shape of a women’s foot. This will help women’s feet stay more securely locked in place without any movement, slipping or blisters. See the Cross Country Ski Boot Size Chart to find what your size is.



If you’re wanting to read up on all forms of cross country gear, visit the Cross Country Ski Gear Buying Guide to learn about all the other essential pieces of a cross country ski setup too.





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