What to Wear Cross Country Skiing

Cross Country Skiing Attire

Switzerland, Davos, group of skiers ski touring in mountains
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If you're going to be cross-country skiing, the right clothing can make your day a lot more enjoyable. Here is a guide to cross country skiing attire.

Wear Insulating Layers

Just like downhill skiing, wearing insulating layers is necessary. Your first layer should be made out of a synthetic material, not cotton. A synthetic material wicks away moisture and all in all keeps you a lot more comfortable. Your mid-layer can be a turtleneck or a sweater. However, this varies - some skiers wear a fleece or a softshell jacket. Obviously, your outer layer consists of a waterproof jacket. Learn how to dress in layers.

Wear a Waterproof Jacket

You'll want to wear a waterproof jacket that you can move in. If you already own a downhill jacket, most likely it will be fine for ​cross country skiing. However, jackets that are slimmer fitting and more contoured to the body are popular in cross country skiing. If nordic skiing is your main discipline, purchasing a jacket that is designed specially for cross country skiing or is slim fitting might be a good idea.

Wear Cross Country Skiing Pants

If you prefer to spend your time on cross country trails instead of on the alpine slopes, purchasing ski pants that are designed especially for cross country skiing is a good idea. What's the difference from downhill ski pants, though?

In reality, there isn't that big of a difference, downhill pants are looser fitting with a more rugged look and design, while cross country ski pants have a slimmer fit and are designed to allow movement that is specific to cross country skiing.

Wear the Appropriate Accessories

A helmet isn't necessary for nordic skiing, so have fun with hats – purchasing a few warm hats that coordinate to your outfit is always fun. Women's hats may be more fashionable and colorful, while men's hats might be more conservative. Regardless, have fun with your hat – but don't forget to make sure it's functional, too.

A good pair of sport sunglasses will protect your eyes from harmful UV rays and enhance your vision, as well. If you need vision correction, wearing contacts or purchasing prescription sport sunglasses is definitely a good idea.

As for gloves, you may find that bulky gloves simply get in the way, so look for a sleekly insulated pair of gloves. Many people hesitate to spend money on gloves, but you must remember that a pair of quality gloves prevent cold hands - and cold hands can make anyone miserable.

Keep it Safe

Playing it safe is just as important as looking good and staying comfortable. Don't forget to keep it safe. Bringing your cell phone can't hurt – slip it in a pocket, and you'll have it, if, for any reason, you need it. Also, grabbing a map is always a good idea. Before you set out, don't forget to have something to eat and stay hydrated.