The Best Cross Country Skis (2021 Reviews)

Roman Herrick
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There’s nothing more rewarding than using your own power to explore the beauty of natural landscapes. Of course, cross country skiing is an activity that’s built to last, but only if you buy the correct equipment.

So, what are you looking for in the best cross country skis? Well, durability and strength are obviously desirable. You need gear that can stand up to the test of time, while still being comfortable to use.

You don’t need anything fancy, but a good pair of cross country skis will have features that allow you to use your muscles efficiently for optimum performance.

These features include a secure and ergonomic fit, power transfer technology, and other innovations that allow you to travel faster, farther, and more efficiently. The best cross country skis can be used in a variety of terrains.

NameCategoryProduct
Rossignol Evo OT 65 IFP Positrack XC Skis w/Control Step in BindingsBest OverallRossignol Evo OT 65 IFP Positrack XC Skis w/Control Step in Bindings
TEAM MAGNUS Snow skisBudget PickTEAM MAGNUS Snow skis

1. Rossignol Evo OT 65 IFP Positrack XC Skis w/Control Step in Bindings

Our rating: 9 / 10

Rossignol Evo OT 65 IFP Positrack XC Skis w/Control Step in Bindings

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Pros:

  • Durable and long-lasting construction
  • Great for serious cross-country skiers
  • Very maneuverable

The Rossignol Evo is a cross-country touring ski called an All-Terrain Ski. This particular model is their most popular model. It was designed to be used on groomed snow surfaces, but it can also be used off-trail if necessary.

These are great ski for the intermediate skier. If you plan to ski mostly groomed trails, the Rossignol Evo may be a little big, and you might want to go for a smaller set of skis. The Rossignol Evo is also reasonably priced for a cross-country ski.

2. Altai Hok Ski w/Xtrace Pivot Bindings

Our rating: 9 / 10

Altai Hok Ski w/Xtrace Pivot Bindings

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Pros:

  • Well made high-end ski
  • Good for skiers who want speed and power

Cons:

  • Pricey
  • Could be better for hardpack conditions

If you’re looking to try your hand at cross country skiing, the Altai Hok is a good place to start. This ski is made by Altai Ski Company, which is a US-based, family-run company.

It has a waxless wood core, which is good for stability and offers more power than you get with a maple core. The ski is made from Ryr wood instead of Okume plywood, and is lightweight enough to make it easy to initiate turns. The material will need to be waxed often, though.

3. Rossignol Evo Glade 59AR Cut IFP XC Skis w/Tour SI Bindings Mens

Our rating: 8 / 10

Rossignol Evo Glade 59AR Cut IFP XC Skis w/Tour SI Bindings Mens

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Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Highly maneuverable
  • A lot of great design features
  • Most skis with this price

When you want a pair of quality cross country skis, you can’t go wrong with this option.

These skis are designed for XC skiers with medium levels of expertise that go on softer skiing conditions like powder. XC skis like these are great in typical terrain and conditions found when skiing to and from the huts.

For such an affordable price, you’re getting some seriously impressive features with this ski. Rossignol includes a fiberglass core, a PKS flax and fiberglass laminate, Palladium aero surface with gelid and a hyper resistent base with a special wax. These features together provide a smooth ride that is perfectly durable and easy to maintain.

4. Whitewoods 75mm 3Pin Cross Country Ski Package; Boots

Our rating: 8 / 10

Whitewoods 75mm 3Pin Cross Country Ski Package; Boots

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Pros:

  • Level suitable for skiers with intermediate/advanced skill levels
  • 100% handmade XC skis
  • Lightweight & sturdy
  • Quality construction
  • Reasonably priced set of skis

The Whitewoods 3pin cross country ski package is an excellent option for intermediate and advanced cross country skiers who are looking to purchase a set of xc skis.

This package includes three skis, boot bindings, poles and ski poles to get you out and skating over the snow quickly and effortlessly. The skis themselves are xc-level skis with a torsional strenght of 10,000 N/mm2.

The boots that are part of this package are a great fit for use with this set of skis. Although this is a high level set of skis, the boots are optimized for comfort and are a great fit for a wide range of foot sizes.

5. Rossignol Evo Glade 59AR Cut IFP XC Skis w/Tour SI Bindings Mens

Our rating: 7 / 10

Rossignol Evo Glade 59AR Cut IFP XC Skis w/Tour SI Bindings Mens

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Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Highly maneuverable
  • A lot of great design features
  • Most skis with this price

When you want a pair of quality cross country skis, you can’t go wrong with this option.

These skis are designed for XC skiers with medium levels of expertise that go on softer skiing conditions like powder. XC skis like these are great in typical terrain and conditions found when skiing to and from the huts.

For such an affordable price, you’re getting some seriously impressive features with this ski. Rossignol includes a fiberglass core, a PKS flax and fiberglass laminate, Palladium aero surface with gelid and a hyper resistent base with a special wax. These features together provide a smooth ride that is perfectly durable and easy to maintain.

6. TEAM MAGNUS Snow skis

Our rating: 7 / 10

TEAM MAGNUS Snow skis

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7. Whitewoods 75mm 3Pin Cross Country Ski Package; Boots

Our rating: 7 / 10

Whitewoods 75mm 3Pin Cross Country Ski Package; Boots

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You also get a wide range to choose from (from 30 inches to 31.5 inches). The lightweight of the skis makes it perfect for beginners. The wider ski makes it easy to make turns. Another factor that makes this ski perfect for beginners is the width of 75 mm.

Performance wise, this one does its job well. It’s great for all-around mountain descents, backcountry, and groomers. This product’s lightweight also means that it’s easy to go uphill. The reinforced edges also ensure that you’ll last for a long period of your time with it.

8. Alpina Sports Discovery 80 Back Trail Cross Nordic Touring Skis

Our rating: 6 / 10

Alpina Sports Discovery 80 Back Trail Cross Nordic Touring Skis

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If you’re searching for a great pair of cross-country skis that are high-quality, very affordable, and durable, then the Alpina Sports Discovery 80 skis might be right for you.

These skis are made from a light-weight yet strong and durable material and are very comfortable to use. They perform great in both snow and even in the less snowy conditions which means you can count on them to turn well in most conditions.

You can easily adjust the skis’ length thanks to the 4-wheel turn buckles. They offer a great ski experience to those that like to ski with little effort because of the coating that makes them glide well. They easily respond to even the mildest carving motions.

9. Alpina Sports Discovery 102 Back Off Nordic Touring Skis

Our rating: 6 / 10

Alpina Sports Discovery 102 Back Off Nordic Touring Skis

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Pros:

  • Sturdy built
  • Unique white and black design
  • Comes with boots and poles

Cons:

  • Feels clunky
  • The bindings may feel stiff

When it comes to top cross country skiing equipment, this pair of cross country skis from Alpina Sports is one of the leading models. It’s almost as if it was designed for cross country skiers, by cross country skiers. This is evidenced by its many innovative features that other skis do not have, such as the unique Arch Top Technology, or the bindings that resemble a boot, which are very comfortable.

To start, the Discovery 102 skis are made to be as sturdy as possible. The durable material is very resistant to scratches, so it’s unlikely that you’ll see the color wearing off. And even if it does, it’s easy to repair if you bought it from Amazon, as their customers’ service is fast.

You’ll also find that the skis are narrower than most to make them faster on hills. Along with this, you’ll also experience how responsive they are to turning. We were able to make tight turns within a short amount of time.

10. Rossignol BC 110 Positrack Ski One Color

Our rating: 6 / 10

Rossignol BC 110 Positrack Ski One Color

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Pros:

  • It has a comfortable and quiet ride
  • Excellent craftsmanship
  • It comes with a sturdy construction
  • It is ideal for people who like to go off the beaten path
  • It is designed with superior stability and agility
  • It is great for people who are just beginning to learn how to ski

Cons:

  • Its boots are quite stiff
  • It is a bit heavy
  • It does not have any shock absorber

Cross-country skiing can be a fun activity to get into. Skiing is already healthy for you. The best cross country skis would make it even more fun.

Anyone who is new to the sport of skiing will not have a hard time in using these skis. It is comfortable enough to accommodate people who are still in the learning process.

It is important that you consider a couple of things when choosing cross-country skis. The length of the skis will show how agile and how you will be able to maneuver in rough terrains.

11. Rossignol BC 70 XC Skis Mens Sz 170cm

Our rating: 6 / 10

Rossignol BC 70 XC Skis Mens Sz 170cm

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Pros:

  • Recommended for beginners
  • Good price point for a beginner ski
  • Skis are durable and easy to control
  • Rental cross-country skis are easy to find
  • Benefits from good performance

This is another product from Rossignol that’s designed with beginners in mind. These skis are also great for kids in ski program at a beginner level. They have a good price for beginner skis and rates well on site like Amazon and Target. They’re durable but not heavy. Other reviews mentioned that they can handle off-trail conditions.

12. Rossignol Evo Action 55 Junior XC Skis

Our rating: 6 / 10

Rossignol Evo Action 55 Junior XC Skis

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Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Easy to use
  • Comfortable

Next up on our list is the Evo Action 55 for junior skiers. The Ever Evo Action features Dynalite® II Construction that allows for a lighter design than traditional skis. It also offers high-performance lift tech and a sleeker shape than older models.

The lightweight design of these skis makes it comfortable for younger skiers to get the hang of. With a flex score of 3, even the youngest ones can enjoy skiing without any problems.

These skis are made with a lightweight poplar wood core for more power and an EVA side wall for serious control.

13. Madshus Intrasonic Classic Ski

Our rating: 6 / 10

Madshus Intrasonic Classic Ski

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Pros:

  • All-terrain Skis
  • Wide Skis
  • Best Ski Poles

If you are looking for all-terrain skis, then the Madshus Intrasonic Classic Ski, 200cm, White/Black/Red is the one that you should consider.

These Cross Country Skis are known for being the most powerful all-mountain skis in the world. They are best for people whose ski style is more like an alpine style.

This ski features a pre-tuned MFC construction, which makes it much faster. It is recommended for skilled skiers and expert skiers.

14. Fischer Ridge Crown XC Skis w/Tour Step-in IFP Bindings Mens

Our rating: 6 / 10

Fischer Ridge Crown XC Skis w/Tour Step-in IFP Bindings Mens

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Pros:

  • Lightweight single-wax coated, carbon steel & fiberglass composite
  • Good all mountain touring user
  • Take small skis for climbing well.

Cons:

  • Ok downhill comparison
  • Soft flex, low camber
  • Poor edge hold on the groomed surfaces

Laminate:

Base:

SID:

  • Ok downhill comparison
  • Soft flex, low camber
  • Poor edge hold on the groomed surfaces
  • Thin tip & tail
  • Less than desirable toe & heal hooks

15. Rossignol 2016 EVO Glade 59 NIS Cross-Country Skis

Our rating: 5 / 10

Rossignol 2016 EVO Glade 59 NIS Cross-Country Skis

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Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Ideal even for beginners
  • Affordable price for high-quality skis

Fits best for people who are below 5.7 feet tall

Priced affordably, the Rossignol 2016 EVO Glade 59 cross country skis are ideal for your very first or beginner recreational ski. If you are a more advanced skier, it can still maintain its use for its short and technical track skiing.

The low maintenance design will make this a pair of skis that you will rarely see getting damaged. Its edges are removable while the blunt Fischer profile will give you better control on the ground. The skis are ideal for rolling forward with all its NIS edges on.

16. Snowman Children's Nordic Skis Waxless 70cm 2010 W. Poles/bindings

Our rating: 4 / 10

Snowman Children's Nordic Skis Waxless 70cm 2010 W. Poles/bindings

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Pros:

  • Great for young children
  • Compact sizes to avoid a learning phase
  • Interesting graphics and colors to entice the young ones
  • Affordable and easy to control

When searching for the best cross country ski for juniors, you’ll want to definitely consider the Snowman Children’s Nordic Skis Waxless 70cm ski.

These skis for kids are perfect for learning the basics of skiing. The size is perfect for children ages 2 years and up. They’ll also come with the necessary poles, bindings and accessories.

This 3-pack of cross country skis is available in 16 different colors to choose from, so they’ll have plenty of options to choose from. It’ll also feature antishock absorbers as well as a solid rubber base. The overall design makes the skis easy to control and maneuver, so they’ll be able to learn how to ski in no time.

17. Rossignol 2016 OT 65 NIS Cross-Country Skis

Our rating: 4 / 10

Rossignol 2016 OT 65 NIS Cross-Country Skis

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Pros:

  • Very long and lightweight
  • Great quality
  • Lower price
  • Lightweight

Rossignol is a company that has been around for decades, and their long experience in the industry has really benefited them. Over the years, they have developed all kinds of innovative products in the field of skiing, and their product line up is easily one of the best. In this review, we will be taking a look at their OT 65 skis.

These cross country skis can be used in both professional competitions and recreational skating. Although it’s still a beginner level product, it can keep up with more expensive long-distance skis. It’s also ultra lightweight and will easily glide over the trails.

Features:

18. Rossignol Delta Skating NIS XC Skis Mens Sz 186cm

Our rating: 4 / 10

Rossignol Delta Skating NIS XC Skis Mens Sz 186cm

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Pros:

  • It features a durable binding system and steel edges.
  • It has a solid construction.
  • The ski is light and comfortable to carry.
  • This is a Great price-point for a skis of this caliber.
  • The Rossignol Delta Skating XC Ski features a sharp flex and a catchy carving style that is great for all XC conditions.
  • It is suitable for intermediate to advanced skier, as well as recreational skiers.
  • It features a sintered base which is really good for training your newbies.
  • It has a lightweight and durable construction.

Cons:

  • The NIS XC Skis seems less rigid.
  • It can be difficult to use at the start.
  • The binding is not the best quality.
  • The ski lacks the firmness of Cobra XC skis.
  • The ski has a narrow base.

Safety Tips: These skis are better to use in the mountains or anywhere away from towns and roads. It has a narrow base so it is suitable for fresh snow, which is why you will find these perfect for the mountains.

The Nordic skis are one of the most common cross-country skiing types. These skis are characterized by their broad, parallel side skis. They work well on both firm and fresh surfaces.

19. Fischer Spider 62 Crown NIS Skis

Our rating: 4 / 10

Fischer Spider 62 Crown NIS Skis

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Pros:

  • Equipped with a spectacular fast and effortless light OTG piste race ski
  • State of the art 3D HM Monocoque shell construction
  • Fischer’s SuperNatural Fit comes with 3D Fischer Fit Area for better boot fit in all stages of life
  • Maximized torsional rigidity and minimized swing weight for increased speed and agility
  • Light and durable binding/augmented power transmission system with Bi-Axial Power Plate, 70mm Fore-Toe and 46mm Rear-Toe for efficient power transmission
  • High-endaluminum Versalite alloy with advanced HollowCore and Impact design

One Size*.

20. Celsius X-Country Skis and Poles

Our rating: 3 / 10

Celsius X-Country Skis and Poles

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Pros:

  • You can feel secure on the snow
  • Well-made and reliable

Cons:

  • * May not be the best choice for higher-end skiers

This Celsius X-country Ski and Poles Bundle is a great value-for-money cross-country ski set that is ideal for walkers.

The package includes two pairs of skis, a pair of poles and a carry bag for storage. The skis are sturdy and glide really well, making them great for tackling cross-country terrain. The ski length is 108 centimeters.

The package comes with a long and a short ski pole, which is great as it gives you the option of choosing the one that you feel most comfortable using. The skis are perfect for riders with a height of about 5– to 6–. The poles are suitable for people with a height of about 5– to 6–. The skis are long enough for the average rider to be able to use them easily and for longer distances.

21. INT Kids Skis Plastic Mini Snow Skis

Our rating: 1 / 10

INT Kids Skis Plastic Mini Snow Skis

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Con:

Plastic skis are great for light weight and durability. But they won't be as sturdy as the real wood skis. These are not real wood.

These mini skis seem a bit long, and you might think they’re designed for a grown up. However, after comparing the size to some other kids’ skis, I found that these are relatively the same size as some other skis this one is a bit long for your kids. If you would like a shorter one, there is this other one with a length of 36cm for sale at Amazon.

22. Madshus Cadence 90 SE Metal-Edged Ski

Our rating: 1 / 10

Madshus Cadence 90 SE Metal-Edged Ski

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Pros:

  • Made from high strength aluminum, lightweight but still rugged
  • Perfect for use on and off-piste, regardless of the snow conditions
  • Awesome price for a great ski

This ski is an entry-level model, so it’s perfect for those who are looking for a better ski than a skate ski, but not quite ready to commit to buying a model that’s even more expensive.

When it comes to new skis, it’s always important to make sure that the manufacturer used high-quality materials. With the Cadence, you’ll have the benefit of this.

The Cadence is manufactured in Finland to the very highest standards and is made from 3K Fiber glass for a solid edge hold, yet they still have enough flexibility to make for a great connection when skiing with your free leg.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Who makes the best cross country skis?

Depending on your level, there are different manufacturers who make the best cross country skis.

For beginners, the best cross country skis for beginners is K2. For intermediate skiers, you need to get another brand.

For cross country racers, Völkl, Atomic, Blizzard, G3, Fischer, and Rossignol are some great options.

Here is a quick summary:

For Beginners: K2 skis are an amazing choice for beginners as they are high quality and well-designed.

For Intermediate: Look for a product from the following brands: Fischer for pure performance, Rossignol for racers, Völkl for high quality & dependability, Tony Hawk for high performance at an affordable price.

For Serious Racers: See below.

What kind of cross country skis should I get?

Decide on whether you prefer to buy men’s or women’s cross country skis. Within these two categories, you should experiment with the length, weight, and composition of the ski. All of these factors determine the performance level and suitability for your needs and personal style.

With price in mind, you can start out with a much lower price point for entry-level setups. The more you spend, the more you are likely to get lightweight skis that are flexible and responsive. Higher quality cross country skis also tend to be used by more serious skiers and they will last longer.

How fast does the average person cross country ski?

The average cross country skier can cover 4-7 miles in an hour of cross-country skiing, but this varies considerably by ability, terrain, and speed.

You can begin at a slower pace and adjust to the rate that is most comfortable for you. It is important to keep in mind you should be out of breath when you cross the finish line!

What cross country skis for a beginner?

If you're a beginner skier, you will want to focus on a lower budget, softer product. Since you are still learning, you may find yourself struggling and even falling on your first few trips out on the trails.

Beginners will also find themselves taking more trips to the lodge to warm up and dry off as they get used to the sport. With this in mind, you will find it easier to ski on a pair of non-metal cross country skis. This will prevent you from hooking up on a rock, which will save you a lot of grief in the first season.

Conclusion

Cross-country skis are designed for trekking and skiing in conditions with limited snow cover. They come with either one or two poles, and your best bet is to choose a pair with a maximum of two pairs of bindings, following the basic cross-country ski binding style. Cross-country skis come in various lengths and widths, but the average length is 35 inches. If you are a beginner skier or looking for a quick fix while you wait to hit the slopes, consider getting a waxless pair.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Rossignol Evo OT 65 IFP Positrack XC Skis w/Control Step in BindingsBest OverallRossignol Evo OT 65 IFP Positrack XC Skis w/Control Step in Bindings
TEAM MAGNUS Snow skisBudget PickTEAM MAGNUS Snow skis