Cross country skiing is a popular sport as well as a great recreational activity. Whether you want to do cross country skiing as a competitive sport or a medium to spend quality time with your friends and family, here the skier relies on his/ her locomotion to ski across the snow-covered terrain, and for this reason, a good pair of cross country ski boots are of vital importance.
Although skiing involves many other important gears such as the ski gloves and poles, yet, focusing on good quality, proper fitting ski boots can save you from serious injuries. Also, no one wants to have snow inside their shoes and blisters on their feet after having to quickly finish off a long-awaited skiing experience. Do not compromise on getting the best backcountry ski boots for yourself, and this does not mean it has to be extremely pricey.
There are some key considerations that you need to keep in mind while choosing the perfect cross-country ski boots for you, and once you get your hands (or feet!) on them, nothing is stopping you from having fun.
You do not want to cut your ski trip short just because of a ski boot, do you? Here are the key considerations you need to keep in mind while selecting your backcountry ski boots. Remember that your ideal ski boots should tick all the boxes mentioned below, such as the fit of your ski boots, the functionality, as well as the compatibility factor.
Like any other shoe, a good fit along with being comfortable is of vital importance when it comes to buying the right boots. Therefore, when you go for boot-shopping, try on different pairs of ski boots and check which one fits you the best and in which pair your feet are most comfortable in. But before you start sliding your feet in a variety of boots, make sure you have your ski socks on. Ski socks are thicker than regular socks and you must wear the kind of socks (wooly or synthetic ski socks) that you plan to wear with those boots in the future.
Once you try your first pair of boots, notice how your feet feel. A good ski boot should be snug without being constricting. In the front, you should have ample space to wiggle your toes without them touching the inside of the boot. Then, starting from the bottom of the shoelaces, lace up your boot and work your way to the top. Once the shoelace is tied, you are ready to have a catwalk around the store. But while you do, answer these questions: Do you feel any gap inside? Does the boot pinch you from any side? When you walk, does your heel lift? Does the boot fold-in and exert pressure on your toe when you lift your heel? How would you know if these ski boots are ‘the one’?
Remember that you have a good fit if your ski boots are comfortable and they hold your feet solidly in place without the feeling of squeezing them. Your feet may feel suffocated in boots that are tighter than they should be. A little movement of your feet inside the boot is okay, but you need to make sure there is no friction on your heel. Also, since one foot is normally a little different as compared to the other one, you need to make sure you have adjusted the lace accordingly.
Since you will be using your ski boots with your skis, your selected ski boots need to be compatible with the types of bindings on your skis. The good news is that manufacturers of cross country ski boots have started embracing the NNN (New Nordic Norm) binding platform to make sure that their boots are compatible with most of the bindings. Having said that, there are still many other binding systems that are being used in the skiing industry, so be sure to check the type of biding system your boots and skis have.
If you are in doubt about whether your ski boots are compatible with the ski bindings, test them together. There are countless binding systems in the skiing industry – check out below for some of the common compatibility in binding systems:
- NNN ski boots work with an NNN binding.
- SNS (Salomon Nordic System) Pilot boots work with a Pilot binding.
- NNN does not work with SNS Profil and vice versa.
- SNS Pilot boots work with some of the SNS Profil bindings, but you need to double-check by testing them together.
- Contrary to some people’s belief, NNN and NNN BC (New Nordic Norm Back Country) are different binding systems and the NNN BC does not work with NNN, and vice versa.
Function (or Intended Use)
When buying the right cross-country ski boots, finding the perfect fit of the boots and their compatibility with your ski bindings is a must (as mentioned in the above two points), however, there is one more important factor which needs to be considered – what is the intended purpose of your ski trip?
The good news is that you can use a classic ski boot for almost all your skiing trips unless you specifically plan to race (in such cases, boots with light and minimal approach are recommended) or you intend to carry out some hardcore backcountry skiing (in this case, you will need a stout boot with a better support and insulation).
If you plan to race, you need a pair of classic boots that are light in weight, have a minimal built, are as streamlined as possible, and require a basic binding system. These boots should be flexible and relatively softer so that when you perform diagonal striding, your feet and ankles flex naturally. If you intend to do heavy-duty backcountry skiing, you need a high-top styled ski boots that provide better ankle support along with excellent insulation.
In short, your cross-country ski boots need to be a perfect fit and should be nicely insulated. Their outer cover should keep the ice, snow, dampness, as well as chilly winds away from reaching your feet. Also, your ski boots should be cozy and comfortable, and practical to use. They should meet your skiing expectations so that you get the most out of your skiing trip.
Best 5 Cross Country Ski Boots of 2020
For many skiers, the options for finding the perfect ski boots are not much. Some cross country ski boots may have great quality but you may not be able to find your size in them, while others may have your fit but you may find those ski boots not as practical or warm as you would want them to be. So, how do you find “the one” that you are looking for without compromising on the quality, practicality, warmth, and comfort?
Here are our 5 most recommended cross country ski boots of 2020. You can find your perfect ones here, for sure, without compromising on anything.
1. Alpina Montana 75 Cross Country Ski Boots
The Alpina Montana 75 is a strong ski boot specially designed for moderate terrain when you do not want to compromise on fun. The stylish and neutral black/ brown color combination makes it an excellent unisex ski boot. It is a very comfortable, durable, and low-maintenance ski boot that lets you enjoy the rough and cold terrain while you ski your way through the snow.
The insole of the Alpina Montana 75 is constructed to give you a stable fit and a warm experience. You will find the midsole to be stiff which is great for giving you more control during skiing. It is made from thin yet highly insulating polypropylene fibers which keep your feet warm and comfy. The upper part of the ski boots is made of synthetic leather which makes your boots water-resistant, stain-resistant, and highly durable.
Alpina Montana ski boots are made from traditional 75 mm soles. They are hassle-free: just slide your feet in, lace-up, clip them into your 3-pin binding skis, and off you go! These boots are ideal when you want to glide on a flat surface and provides stable downhill support. Available in a variety of sizes, these ski boots will help you make memories worth cherishing when you go for your backcountry ski adventures.
- Thinsulate brand insulation for extra warmth.
- Easy to glide on flat surfaces and provides steady downhill support.
- Good quality synthetic leather upper.
- Neutral color and unisex.
- Anatomic insole with stiff midsole which is great for providing the required ski control.
- None reported yet.
2. Rossignol 2020 BC X 5 Cross Country Ski Boots
If you are looking for backcountry ski boots that are great for recreational and adventure skiers, Rossignol 2020 BC X5 may be the one you are looking for. Sturdy, comfortable, and secure – all the qualities that a fabulous cross country ski boot should have, you will find in the Rossignol 2020 BC X5.
These ski boots are easy to put on and secure enough to keep your feet glued to the ski. They are specially designed with the latest trends and cutting-edge technology to give you the feel and thrill you are looking for when you head towards the mountains. Just slide your feet in, lace-up, and strap the Velcro. Step in on your ski (you will require an NNN BC binding due to its wider bar) and off you go! The wider bar of your ski boots provides the boot with power and grip when clicked onto the BC binding. This channels all your thrill and energy into the ski boot.
The Rossignol 2020 BC X5 has a secure ankle strap that safely snugs your feet in the most adventurous positions. The more tightly you snug up against your Velcro strap, the more grip, and control you will have on the ski. This is especially useful when you are skiing downhill as it provides the needed grip that keeps you safe and lets you enjoy your skiing trip to the max.
- Ankle-straps for a safe and secure fit.
- Integrated gaiters keep snow and ice out of your boots.
- Thinsulate brand linings keep your feet warm and cozy.
- It has an external 3D complex heel counter.
- These ski-boots are slightly wide for the track and are not built for professional skiers. They are rather for skiers who take skiing as a recreational activity (from intermediate to advance level skiers).
3. Whitewoods New Adult 302 Cross Country Ski Boots
Whitewoods 302 XC Cross Country Ski Boots are unisex ski boots that are compatible with the NNN binding system. They stand out when it comes to keeping those precious feet warm, dry, and fully supported. If you have just stepped into the amazing world of backcountry skiing, you cannot find anything better than these ski boots are they are very practical to put on and keep you protected from the outside forces that could ruin you experience – cold climate and snowy terrain.
The Whitewoods New Adult 302 Ski Boots have a snow-proof and waterproof synthetic upper that is breathable and makes sure your feet remain dry throughout your skiing experience. The 100 grams Thinsulate insulation along with the quick-dry liner keeps you warm, cozy, and comfortable.
Being lightweight yet durable, you can easily remove the padded footbed of the boots. The Whitewoods 302 Ski Boots have aesthetically designed metal lace guides that balance the lace pressure to perfection thus preventing any kind of force to exert on your feet. It has a Gaitor D-ring along with a toe protector. The NNN sole is geared to work with the NNN style binding system. The boot has a great grip making sure your skiing trip is as secure as possible. This beautifully designed unisex ski boot is a must-have if you are looking for a pair of good quality boots.
- 100 grams Thinsulate lining ensuring a warm and dry experience.
- Great price (as compared to many competitors) for the excellent quality and functionality it offers.
- Unisex design, style, and color.
- Light in weight, sturdy, and durable.
- The upper part of the ski boots is made from waterproof and breathable material.
- Some skiers found the size of these Whitewoods 302 XC Cross Country Ski Boots on the tight side with the ski socks on, so make sure to try them for a test-run before heading out to ski.
4. Alpina BC-1550 Back-Country Ski Boots
An excellent balance of comfort and support, the Alpina BC 1550 Back-Country Nordic Ski Boots gives you unmatched control on your skiing experience, making sure every slope is enjoyed to the fullest. It is compatible with NNN BC binding system.
The soles of the Alpina BC 1550 Back-Country Ski Boots have great traction that promises to deliver stability on your skiing track. The insole is comfortable and provides solid support to your feet. No matter what the external temperature is, the Thinsulate linings keep your feet warm and dry. These ski boots are equipped with a speed lace system as well as a Velcro strap – together these two features provide the snug and the perfect control not many boots offer.
Another excellent feature about the Alpina BC 1550 Back-Country Ski Boots is the multilayered snow protection it offers – it has a dual tongue system that even keeps those stubborn snowflakes at bay. As a result, your feet remain warm and dry, and you get to do what these boots were designed for, i.e., exploring the slopes.
The Alpina BC 1550 Back-Country Ski Boots are designed for the rough and tough scenarios. The plastic heel counter adds extra support even in extreme snow conditions. The anatomic footbed adds vertical support to the arch of your foot keeping it in the proper position, hence providing an additional balance and safety in cold winter days. No matter where you plan to do cross country skiing, this pair of Alpina BC 1550 is the perfect companion to accompany you no matter where you go.
- Anatomic footbed.
- Reinforced toe cap.
- The dual tongue system provides complete protection from snow.
- Plastic heel cuff.
- Great traction.
- Thinsulate material keeps feet extra warm.
- No drawbacks reported.
5. Alpina Sports T10 Touring Cross-Country Nordic Ski Boots
Do you know what is better than a pair of good quality, highly practical, and super comfortable ski boots? A ‘chic and fashionable’ good quality, highly practical, and super comfortable ski boots! And that’s exactly what Alpina Sports T10 Touring Cross-Country Nordic Ski Boots are. Designed to keep your comfort and style in mind, you will fall in love with these super chic ski boots the moment you open their box.
The Alpina Sports T10 Touring Cross-Country Nordic Ski Boots are specially designed keeping the harsh weather in mind. Each boot has 100 grams of Thinsulate insulation that ensures the inside remains as warm and cozy as possible. The cover is a zippered neoprene that protects the lace, forefoot, and your ankle from extreme external factors like snow, ice, dampness, and chilly crosswinds. Neoprene is a high quality resistant (synthetic) material that shows strong chemical stability by resisting degradation and maintains flexibility over a wide temperature range – making it perfect for your cross-country adventures.
The ankle support in the Alpina Sports T10 Touring Cross Country Ski Boots stands out from many other ski boots. It has a strong plastic cuff that provides additional stability to your feet that you need while you are skiing downhill. The easy and quick lace closures take care of the unnecessary frustrations that we come across while tying laces with ski gloves on (or worse, with frozen fingers). The anatomical footbed of these Alpina Sports T10 Boots are comfortable and your feet would be delighted to slide into them, for sure.
Alpina Sports T10 Touring Cross Country Ski Boots use a Rotefella NNN T4 touring sole and are compatible with all other adult triple N bindings such as NNN/ NIS, Turnamic, and Prolink binding systems.
- 100 mg Thinsulate insulation.
- Ankle cuffs for additional support.
- Zippered neoprene cover to cover a wide temperature range.
- Quick lace closures are especially helpful when you have your ski gloves on or have frozen fingers and want to lace up.
- Unisex ski boots that are beautifully and elegantly designed (using black, white, and red colors)
- The T10 ski boots are compatible with NNN/ NIS, Turnamic, and Prolink binding systems.
- No cons reported as such.
Cross country skiing is a timeless sport around the globe. Whether you enjoy cross country skiing as a recreational activity that helps you spend quality time with your friends and family, or you have taken it to the next level as a competitive skier – one thing is of vital importance: your ski boots. If your ski boots are not warm, comfortable, and practical, you may have to find your self cutting the ski trip short. Make sure you go through all our recommended cross country ski boots and choose the one that works best for you.
It is very important to try your ski boots at home and check if there is something that is bothering you before you try it on the slopes. Also, just because you wear a certain size of shoes does not mean you will have the same size in ski boots as well. If you do not find your style or type in your favorite brand, go for another one in our list of 5 best cross country ski boots – there is one just perfect for you!
So what cross-country ski boots are you going to take with you on your next cross country ski tour?