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Cross-country skiing is one of the easiest, most accessible, and fun ways to keep yourself active and energized during winter. You get to explore nature, and enjoy some fresh air in awesome landscapes while having a good cardio workout.

This sport, also called XC or Nordic skiing, is usually done on rolling landscapes that are gentler than downhill skiing terrain.

The best cross-country skis are long and skinny, and the boots are flexible and designed to attach to the skis via bindings that leave your heels free to lift.

A key ingredient for enjoying Nordic skiing to its fullest is to have the best cross-country ski gear available.

The lightweight ski boots you use for cross-country skiing can make or break even the most amazing winter escape, that’s why being comfortable while you go out on your nordic ski adventures is essential.

Also is very important to choose the right type of boots for the style of cross-country skiing you will be doing, for the type of terrain you’ll get to ski in, and for your skiing level. 




Salomon Prolink Mens XC Ski Boots

  • Closure Type: Quicklace
  • Material: Sport Prolink

Best Bang For our Buck

Alpina Sports Cross Country Ski Boots

  • Closure Type: hook-and-loop
  • Material: Synthetic

Unisex for Advanced Skiers

Fischer Unisex – Adult’s Cross-Country

  • Closure Type: lace cover + cross zip
  • Material: water-repelling insulation

Best Boots for Men

Rossignol X-8 Skate XC Ski Boots

  • Closure Type: Velcro strap
  • Material: Wintherm

Best Unisex

Alpina Alaska BC Cross-Country Ski Boots

  • Closure Type: Laces
  • Material: Thinsulate insulation

Best Women’s Classic

Salomon Vitane Cross-Country Ski Boots

  • Closure Type: hook & loop cuffs
  • Material: Synthetic

6 Best Cross-Country Ski Boots

Let’s get you equipped with the best cross-country ski boots for you: no matter if you are interested in classic cross-country skiing, nordic backcountry tours, or skate skiing, we’ve got you covered.

In this article, we selected the best nordic ski boots for each style, pocket size, or skiing level, from beginner to racing PRO.

Check it out!

1. Salomon RS8 Prolink Mens XC Ski Boots

cross country ski buyers guide

If you are looking for two in one high-quality product, Salomon RS8 Prolink is the best choice for you.

The RS8 Prolink are combi nordic ski boots meaning you will be able to explore the outdoors by classic cross-country skiing, and also you will be able to alternate with skate skiing. 

The lateral support and transmission associated with the 3D skate heel counter will provide you excellent support for skating while at the same time allowing you the freedom to enjoy cross-country skiing.  

Salomon’s Energizer cuff provides progressive lateral support, helping you to efficiently transfer your energy into speed with every stride.

The Salomon RS8 Prolink Men’s boots are all about offering long-lasting comfort and a precise fit. 

You’ll be able to experience snug and comfortable custom fit: the design of the RS8 Prolink boots, using a mix of comfort foam, thermo-moldable foam, and lycra provides ultimate fit and comfort to every foot’s shape.

With Salomon’s SensiFit™ with Quicklace™ technology, you’ll get a precise wrapping of the forefoot and upper foot while the performance fit maximizes comfort.

buy cross country skis

These XC boots provide an extremely precise and comfortable foothold, no matter how narrow or wide your feet are, they’ll fit you like the best cross-country ski glove, thanks to the Sensifit technology and the precise heel hold ensured by their adjustable heel strap. 

For performance skating, these boots are built with a racing outsole. You’ll get an exceptional snow feeling, power transfer, and torsional rigidity with their high-performance PROLINK Racing soles, and soon enough, you’ll be skating like a PRO.

To summarize, these versatile Salomon RS8 Prolink XC Ski Boots will help you get the best of both activities, classic cross-country skiing, and skate skiing, while keeping you comfy and energized.

Buying combi boots can be a great way to save money as you will only need to purchase one pair of boots, so we highly recommend this model if you are into both nordic skiing and skate skiing.


  • Cross-country style: combi (classic cross-country ski and cross-country skate)
  • Brand: Salomon
  • Gender: Men’s
  • Boot width: Medium
  • Flex: Stiff
  • Nordic practice: Endurance
  • Nordic Terrain: In-track
  • Closure:  Quicklace™ 
  • Binding Compatibility: NNN, Turnamic  

Salomon RS8 Prolink Mens XC Ski Boots

The price of “Salomon RS8 Prolink Mens XC Ski Boots” varies, so check the latest price at

2. Alpina Sports T30 Cross Country Ski Boots

best cross country skis

Alpina T30 Touring Boots is the perfect option if you want to escape the crowded nordic tracks and explore the wilderness all day long.

These high-end boots for intermediate and advanced backcountry skiers are focused on offering comfort and performance simultaneously. 

Their comfort-oriented fit and the hook-and-loop strap closure keep your foot secured in place. Lace them up on the inside and pull the cover tight, and you’ve got a nice cohesive unit that keeps you dry and comfy for long and exciting touring sessions.

You’ll enjoy the winter playground, without worries about powder snow getting in, thanks to their high-top fit.

These boots give you the opportunity to progress and improve your style: their new cuff design provides rigidity for efficient energy transfer between you and your ski, enhancing performance.

The T30 cross-country ski boots have a touring-flex sole, making it easy for you to kick and glide effortlessly.

The boots feature a plastic heel counter, keeping your heel stable and secure, both laterally and vertically, which allows you to be more precise in your technique, reaching an extra level of performance.

The anatomic footbed contours will make the boots take your foot’s shape, couldn’t get a more customized feature than that.

The insulation of Alpina T30 Touring Boots is ensured by Thinsulate material, the warmest thin insulation available today, making your boots bulletproof for cold, wet, snowy tours.

Make sure you check these boots match your new ski bindings, they are compatible with NNN bindings.

The manufacturer offers 1-year warranty for this product, so you are all covered for at least one full season.

Their affordable price, high-quality materials, and construction focused on performance and comfort make these boots an ideal option for your backcountry ski adventures.


  • Cross-country style: nordic backcountry ski 
  • Brand: Alpina
  • Gender: Men’s
  • Boot width: wide
  • Flex: soft
  • Nordic practice: nordic touring
  • Nordic Terrain: off track
  • Closure: hook-and-loop
  • Manufacturer Warranty: 1 year
  • Binding Compatibility: NNN

Alpina Sports T30 Cross Country Ski Boots

The price of “Alpina Sports T30 Cross Country Ski Boots” varies, so check the latest price at

3. Fischer Unisex – Adult’s XC Control Cross-Country

best skate skis

Fischer Unisex XC Control Cross-Country Boots are an excellent choice for advanced skiers looking to take their classic cross-country ski tours to the next level.

Their features offer comfort and protection for your feet, ensuring optimal conditions, no matter how the climate looks outdoors.

You can count on them to keep your feet warm and dry, thanks to the waterproof, breathable Triple-F membrane, which protects against snow and moisture, allowing the sweat to escape. 

Also, the increased height of the Fischer XC boots will keep the snow out, giving you the freedom to explore the mountains in any winter conditions.

The Comfort Guard for warm feet Inside the boot, a light, thin layer of water-repellent insulation material offers additional thermal protection in the forefoot and toe area to keep you warm as you glide through the snow. 

classic nordic skis

These boots excel at providing stability, the carbon graphic highlights the precisely molded heel cap, which stabilizes laterally while allowing total forward flex. The wrap-around stabilizer feels good, in these sporty and sturdy XC boots.

Make sure the boots are compatible with the type of binder you have on your nordic skis, the Fischer XC model matches BC and NNN bindings.

Fischer offers two years warranty for their products, so you will be covered for at least two seasons by choosing these boots.

If you are an advanced skier looking for a great quality, comfortable and stable boot for your classic style cross-country escapes, you can’t go wrong with Fischer Unisex XC Control Cross-Country boots.


  • Cross Country style: classic cross-country ski
  • Brand: Fischer
  • Gender: Unisex
  • Flex: soft
  • Nordic practice: cross-country ski
  • Nordic Terrain: in-track
  • Closure: Velcro
  • Manufacturer Warranty: 2 Years
  • Binding Compatibility: BC, NNN 
  • Level: advanced

Fischer Unisex – Adult’s XC Control Cross-Country

The price of “Fischer Unisex – Adult’s XC Control Cross-Country” varies, so check the latest price at

4. Rossignol X-8 Skate XC Ski Boots

best cross country ski boots

Rossignol X-8 Skate XC Ski Boots are a great option for advanced cross-country skiers who want to upgrade their skate ski gear with a high-end performant product.

The X-8 Skate XC Ski Boots are built using a modern, exclusive and innovative technology – DUAL CORE concept – that allows for two different materials with different hardness to be injected at the same time.

Thanks to this process, the back stiffeners and cuff benefit from perfectly mastered and differentiated rigidity and flexibility, offering you optimal performance and comfort.

Combined with their precise boot flex that allows targeted boot stiffness, you’ll get the most responsive feel while skating.

The X-8 model is part of Rossignol’s performance skating line-up, together with X-6 and X-10 models.

Because they are designed for race performance, these X-8 skate boots ensure maximum precision and control on the ski, featuring central insert cleats and a sport sole with Tech Grip for comfortable walking.

You’ll be able to focus on perfecting your pro racing skills, without worries about the cold and icy conditions. 

wide cross country skis

These boots come with full option comfort features: WINTHERM is a breathable micro-perforated membrane that reflects heat back towards its source for incredible temperature regulation, comfort and warmth.

They come with Thermo-adjustable liners which can be heat-molded around your feet, delivering a highly customized fit and a super comfy feel.

The Rossignol X-8 Skate XC Ski Boots offer incredible fit, performance, and comfort through their innovative construction technology and high-quality materials. There is no doubt that Rossignol X-8 boots are an ideal choice for advanced skate skiers training for race skating.


  • Cross-country style: cross-country skate
  • Brand: Rossignol
  • Gender: Men’s
  • Boot width: 
  • Flex: Precise Boot Flex
  • Nordic practice: cross-country performance skating
  • Nordic Terrain: in-track
  • Closure: Lace cover, PVC Racing
  • Manufacturer Warranty: 1 year
  • Binding Compatibility: TURNAMIC, Prolink, NNN 
  • Level: Advanced

Rossignol X-8 Skate XC Ski Boots

The price of “Rossignol X-8 Skate XC Ski Boots” varies, so check the latest price at

5. Alpina Alaska BC Cross-Country Ski Boots

cross country ski brands

If you enjoy longer, colder backcountry skiing and you wish for more skiing stability, Alpina Alaska BC Cross-Country Ski Boots is definitely the best option for you.

Their robust sole adds significant torsional stability, while their high ankle delivers great  support for a really comfortable kick and glide. You can tighten the laces pretty tight for extra support on the downhill.

With a heavy and high leather body and full lacing to the top, the Alaska BC combines exceptional comfort and durability.  Add in the Thinsulate™ liners, and they’re built to provide warmth all day long on off-trail excursions.

Because the ankles are so high, you won’t need to bother with gaiters unless you’ll be going out for a long time in deep snow.

Their Anatomic footbeds, which help the boots take the shape of your feet, contribute to the vertical stability, providing comfort and improving thermal insulation.

These boots feel like a treat for your feet, they are solid and really warm, performing wonderfully throughout your cross-country touring escapades.

Alpina Alaska BC Cross-Country Ski Boots are extremely comfortable right out of the box, and  they manage to transmit energy perfectly to your skis. You’ll pretty much forget you’ll be wearing them, which is what you want in a boot. 

cross country ski buying guide

The Alpina Alaska BC  are compatible with BC and NNN bindings, make sure you check the type of bindings you got on your nordic skis.

These backcountry men ski boots are heavier than others in the same category, but these are the boots to use if you are into day-long Nordic touring and don’t want to worry about plastic shells, discomfort, and blisters.

Offering great performance, warmth, and support, these durable boots are worth the price tag, and they are considered the Best Nordic Touring Boots available today.

The Alpina Alaska BC boots will keep you ready to enjoy amazing backcountry adventures. 


  • Cross-country style: nordic backcountry ski 
  • Brand: Alpina
  • Gender: Unisex
  • Boot width: wide
  • Flex: Medium
  • Nordic practice: nordic backcountry ski
  • Nordic Terrain: off-track
  • Closure: full lacing
  • Manufacturer Warranty: 2 years
  • Binding Compatibility: NNN BC
  • Level: beginner-intermediate

Alpina Alaska BC Cross-Country Ski Boots

The price of “Alpina Alaska BC Cross-Country Ski Boots” varies, so check the latest price at

6. Salomon Vitane Plus Prolink Cross-Country Ski Boots

Last but not least on our list, ladies, we have a great classic cross-country ski boots option for you: Salomon Vitane Plus Prolink. 

These boots are very warm, comfortable and offer excellent stability on hills. They’ll keep your feet warm and dry, protected against the cold, thanks to their faux fur liners and the Thinsulate™ insulation, which is the warmest thin insulation available today. 

Because they are super warm, you won’t need to wear thick socks or multiple pairs.

The Salomon Vitane Plus Prolink boots are easy to put on, delivering style and function at the same time. Their construction provides grip when walking, giving you an anatomic fit and ankle support. 

With these boots you will experience Salomon’s legendary snug fit: the Custom Fit™ and Quicklace™ systems customize the fit perfectly to the shapes of your feet, completed by the anatomic fit for an excellent foothold. 

Their ergonomic touring cuffs provide comfort without compromising efficient lateral support, while the hook-and-loop cuffs are easy to adjust. 

The design of Vitane Plus Prolink boots, using a mix of comfort foam, thermo-moldable foam, and lycra, provides ultimate fit and comfort to every foot’s shape.

All the highly customizable systems of their construction make Salmomon’s Vitane boots so comfy, you’ll feel like wearing cloud-like slippers. And they are pretty too! 

If your ski bindings are NNN, Prolink, TURNAMIC, or NIS, these boots will be compatible.

The boots have been waterproofed and insulated to keep you warm and comfortable. However, if you’ll be touring while wearing ski tights, you might need to use waterproof gaiters to keep the powder out of the top of the boots.

All in all, ladies, Salomon Vitane Plus Prolink, are the best boots in the classic cross-country ski category for women, it’s an amazing choice for nordic ski enthusiasts. 


  • Cross-country style: classic cross-country ski
  • Brand: Salomon
  • Gender: Women’s 
  • Nordic practice: cross-country ski
  • Nordic Terrain: in-track
  • Closure: hook-and-loop
  • Manufacturer Warranty: 2 years
  • Binding Compatibility: NNN / TURNAMIC / Prolink /  NIS

Salomon Vitane Plus Prolink Cross-Country Ski Boots

The price of “Salomon Vitane Plus Prolink Cross-Country Ski Boots” varies, so check the latest price at

Buying Guide

The main criteria you should be taking into consideration when choosing the right cross-country ski boots for you are: fit, binding compatibility, and function (the type cross country ski they are intended for).


Finding a boot that’s comfortable to wear is the most important part of selecting an appropriate cross-country ski boot. 

In order to find the right fit for your cross-country boots, you should try them on before buying. It would be great if you have this possibility at a local winter sports equipment store. Try the boots by wearing a thick pair of wool or synthetic ski socks.

Once laced up, stand up, and the boot should be snug, but still comfortable around the widest part of your foot. 

You should be able to wiggle your toes to keep them warm. 

A good fit means boots are comfortable and hold your feet solidly in place.

The right fit is different depending on the type of cross-country skiing you’ll be doing:

  • Country skiing and skate skiing, the toes should just brush the end of the boot
  • Other types of cross-country skiing (backcountry), you should have a little more room between your toes and the end of the boots

When trying on classic cross-country boots, it’s a good idea to walk in them to make sure there is no pain in the forefoot where the boot flexes.

Classic boots are supposed to be soft and flexible enough to allow your feet and ankles to flex naturally since diagonal striding requires you to move in a similar way to running.

When trying on skate skiing boots, try to imitate the skating motion to see if there are any hotspots.

Ultimately, you shouldn’t even notice the boots on your feet because they are so comfortable. 

The size of your cross-country ski boots is going to be similar to your regular athletic footwear fit. Cross-country boots are made in European sizes, so you’ll need to figure out what’s the European size of your hiking boots or running shoes. 

If you have the chance, visit a boot fitter. The boot fitting services are the ideal way to make sure you’ll get a proper fit for your cross-country skiing. You’ll get experts’ advice for a customized fit for your own needs.


The boots you select need to be compatible with the type of bindings you have on your skis. 

There are numerous bindings systems, so it’s important to check if the boots you’ll use match your bindings.

Usually, the boots’ manufacturers mention bindings compatibility on their product description. We included this information for all the nordic ski boots selected for review.


Make sure the boots you select are intended for the style of cross-country skiing you enjoy.:

  • If you like heavy-duty backcountry touring, you would need a sturdy boot with more insulation and support.
  • If you are interested in classic cross-country skiing (in track skiing), you will need a boot that is more soft and flexible. 
  • If you enjoy skate skiing, obviously, you would need a boot construction specially designed for skating.

Check manufacturers’ product descriptions to make sure the boots match your cross-country skiing style. The options for beginner cross-country skis will obviously be more comfy and forgiving for a pleasurable experience, same goes for their boot!

You’ll find this useful info in the features section for all the boots reviewed in this article. 


What Equipment Do You Need for XC Skiing?

The equipment you will be using for the XC skiing checklist includes:

  • Skis specially designed for cross country – these skis are long and skinny. 
  • Cross-country ski boots that fit your skis and your style of cross-country (classic, combi, skate ski, or nordic backcountry)
  • Bindings matching your boots and skis
  • Ski poles
  • Cross-country ski clothing suitable for the conditions: base layer and jacket for your upper body, tights or ski pants, socks, gloves, headband, or beanie. sunglasses.

If you use cross-country ski poles with removable or “click” straps, be sure to bring the straps with you if they are not already attached to your poles.

Remember to adapt each category of equipment to your particular discipline and the day’s conditions.

What Are the Different Styles of Cross-country Skiing?

There are four different styles of cross-country skiing – classic, skate skiing, combi, and backcountry – and each one needs a different kind of boots.   

Let’s take a closer look at each one of them:

Classic Cross-country Ski Boots

Classic cross-country ski boots offer more flex underfoot, in order to allow you to roll your foot forward when pushing off. They are softer than regular boots to provide more freedom of movement at both the push-off and forward extension phases of the classic cross-country stride. Classic cross-country boots generally have a wider, more comfortable fit.

Skate Skiing Boots

For the skate skiing stride, you’ll need better leverage and less twisting – and in order to provide that the skate skiing boots have a rigid sole to help minimize torsional and forward flex.Skating boots offer more ankle support than those for classic skiing to help protect against the twisting forces involved in the skating technique. 

Combi Nordic Ski Boots

As their name suggests, the combi nordic ski boots are a mix made to be used for both skating and classic cross-country skiing. These boots combine a natural forefoot flex similar to a classic ski boot with the lateral cuff support usually found on a skating boot.

If you skate ski and classic ski, buying combi boots can be a great way to save money as you will only need to purchase one pair of boots. 

Nordic Backcountry Boots 

Nordic backcountry boots are designed for cross-country skiing outside of the groomed slopes. This is the reason why this type of boot features an insulating layer that provides extra warmth and a gaiter that extends over the cuff to keep snow out.

They are quite similar to hiking boots which are adapted to Nordic skiing, built with more durable and resistant material, and made to offer you all-day comfort while skiing in powder.


We hope you were able to pick the best cross-country ski boots for your next ski trip. Remember, this important piece of equipment can either make or break your adventure worthwhile. If you’re someone who is always cold, get yourself the best ski boot heaters to make your adventures more memorable.

So make sure to choose the best one according to your preferred style and experience! Also, learn how to buckle ski boots properly for added comfort.

Categories: SkiingGear

Laura Vrabie

My name is Laura Vrabie, and I consider myself a wonderer through this amazing journey called life. I love life in all its aspects, I always see the bright side of things. My love affair with extreme sports started with snowboarding about 15 years ago, in my home town in the Carpathian mountains. But everything changed about 5 years ago when I got to try a water sport that looked so fun, kitesurfing, during one boring summer day. I got totally hooked on the feelings of freedom, joy and pure happiness kitesurfing brought into my life Since then I started to chase summer all year round, following the wind & the waves, living as close as possible to the ocean. This way I got to try and enjoy all kinds of water sports: surfing, wakeboarding, scuba diving, sailing, kayaking. I founded KiteFest (kitesurfing festival & events) as a way to share the love for the kitesurfing lifestyle and to help everybody feel welcome in the riders' community. My quest is to discover and explore the best kitesurfing spots in the world and share them with like minded people. So far I've experienced kitesurfing in Zanzibar (Paje), Turkey (Gokceada, Akyaka, Urla), Greece (Limnos, Ionian Islands, Cyclades Island), Vietnam (Mui Ne), Philippines (Mindoro Island), Dominican Republic (Cabarete, Buen Hombre). And there are so many new locations and adventures on my wish list! I am really excited I got the chance to share in writing the stories and adventures with you, Extreme Nomads readers. I will be happy to guide you through these action sports and help you to enjoy your ride.


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