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What Are the Costs of Cross-Country Skiing Equipment?

Many winter sports enthusiasts love cross-country skiing. The exercise in the fresh air improves health, is easy on the joints and trains all muscle groups evenly. Another plus point in times of Corona: cross-country skiing is one of the few sports that can be practiced without major restrictions. You want to try cross-country skiing, but you don't know exactly what equipment you need and how much you have to pay for it?  We provide help with our overview!

Here we go - or not?

Before hitting the trails, you need to think about what style of cross-country skiing you want to do.
© Fischer Sports GmbH Before hitting the trails, you need to think about what style of cross-country skiing you want to do.

Get into your bindings and hit the trails - but cross-country skiing isn't quite that simple! You have to decide on your cross-country skiing style beforehand, because this is what determines the purchase decision regarding your equipment.

We recommend that beginners rent equipment for their first attempts at cross-country skiing. This is the best way to find out how this sport suits you and which style of cross-country skiing you would like to practice.

Here, a distinction is made primarily between classic and skating. While in the classic style you constantly move within the tracks, in skating you glide outside on the groomed track. But also cross-country skiing in non-tracked terrain is becoming increasingly popular.

Wide range of prices for cross-country ski

There is a large price range for cross-country skiing equipment.
© Fischer Sports GmbH There is a large price range for cross-country skiing equipment.

For the different cross-country skiing styles there are of course different cross-country skis with different characteristics and lengths.

Classic cross-country skis have a section with grooves, scales or fur in the area under the binding. This allows the ski to interlock and build up resistance during the push-off in the snow. Classic skis are slightly longer than skating skis in order to be able to glide sufficiently in the track of the cross-country skiing trail.

In the skating technique, on the other hand, more power is transferred to the ski than in the classic style due to the powerful push-off to the side of the direction of movement. That is why skating skis are usually shorter (approx. body height up to +10 cm) and harder.

XC-StyleTechniquePrice rangeAverage
Classic
 

Ideal for beginners:
Skis stay mostly within the trail track

60 - 600 €

100 - 170 €

SkatingFastest cross-country skiing style: e.g.
skating stride, half-skate stride,
single-stroke, two-stroke or double stick push
100 - 600 €170 - 250 €
Nordic CruiserFor advanced skiers: cross-country skiing in open
terrain (properties comparable to skating skis)
80 - 250 €150 - 170 €

Cross country ski poles even for little money

Carbon cross-country ski poles are functionally the best and therefore also the most expensive.
© Leki Carbon cross-country ski poles are functionally the best and therefore also the most expensive.

Indispensable in cross-country skiing are special cross-country ski poles, which are much longer compared to ski poles. Since a large part of the drive comes from the upper body and arms, the right length is very important. In terms of price, cross-country ski poles differ especially in the material. It also determines how durable and robust a cross-country ski pole is.

The poles are mostly made of aluminium, carbon or a carbon mix. Vario poles, whose length can be individually adjusted, are also becoming increasingly popular. The advantage of this is that you don't have to commit yourself completely to one cross-country skiing technique.

Cross-country ski poles made of aluminium are used more in the leisure sector due to their good price-performance ratio.

Pure carbon poles are preferably used in competitions. Since carbon is the lightest material and yet has a very high stability, this expensive "high-end" product is also becoming increasingly popular with ambitious amateur athletes. The higher the carbon content, the better the performance.

>> Here you can find high-quality cross-country ski poles by LEKI

Cross-country ski polesMaterial properties and advantagesPriceAverage
Aluminium
 

solid, robust, heavier than carbon

cheap

20 - 60 €

Carbonextremely light, robust, very good power transmission,
perfect swing behaviour 
quite expensive150 - 300 €
Carbon-mix

Combination of carbon and glass fibre, much lighter than aluminium,
very stable, cheaper alternative to carbon 

relatively high price60 - 150 €

From simple to highly functional: cross-country ski boots

The price of cross-country ski boots depends on the functional properties.
© Fischer Sports GmbH The price of cross-country ski boots depends on the functional properties.

The choice of cross-country ski boots also depends on the cross-country technique practiced. There are classic cross-country boots, practical combi boots, special backcountry boots and cross-country boots that are particularly suitable for skating.

When it comes to comfort and safety, the fastening system of the cross-country ski boots also plays an important role. Here, a distinction must be made between quick lacing, velcro fasteners, buckle systems and zippers.

Particularly high-quality cross-country ski boots also have thermoformable inner shoes. Their advantage is that they can be perfectly adapted to your foot through warmth.

Cross-country ski bootsMaterial properties and advantages
Classic
 

allows rolling movement of the foot, soft shaft and sole,
stable, reinforced heel caps, heel straps

Skatingvery stable, at least ankle-high shaft, hard sole
Combi boot

Sole of medium hardness, usually detachable shaft clasp,
good solution until you have decided on a cross-country technique 

Backcountry boot

stable, heavier than classic cross-country boots durable sole


The price range for cross-country ski boots is wide. Beginners can already get simple or used models starting at 25 euros. With increasingly functional features, however, cross-country ski boots can cost up to 500 euros. Nevertheless, high-quality models from well-known manufacturers are available in the entry-level range for as little as 70 euros. Advanced skiers, on the other hand, should plan on 150 euros upwards for their shoes. 

Pay attention to quality when buying cross-country clothing

For functional cross-country ski clothing, you can spend a lot of money.
© Daehlie For functional cross-country ski clothing, you can spend a lot of money.

If you want to cut a good figure on the cross-country ski trail, you need the right equipment as well as the right clothing. For cross-country skiing, an outfit with three layers has proven particularly successful.

Important: clothing made of breathable, highly functional and fast-drying materials are perfectly suited to the needs of cross-country skiers. Of course, good clothing is not really cheap. Nevertheless, this is not the area to skimp on. Functional clothing is enormously important for cross-country skiing!

Base layers are the first layer and are worn directly on the skin. They must be made of moisture-regulating material to transport sweat quickly outwards. Good base layers are often available in the sale from 20 euros upwards.

>> Suitable cross-country underwear

The second layer, called mid layer, separates the functional underwear from the outer layer. Light and breathable zip shirts with a collar or hood are often used here. The price range for mid layers is wide. Thus, the selection of clothes ranges from 25 euros to 250 euros.

>> High-quality mid layers and insulating jackets for cross-country skiing

The outer shell, i.e. the cross-country jacket and pants, is also responsible for weather protection. Here you should opt for high-quality garments, as they have windproof parts in the most important areas such as the chest and thighs. You should budget at least 50 euros per item and pay close attention to the functional properties when buying.

>> Comfortable cross-country pants and jackets now at SportFits

Conclusion: This is what you have to spend

© Leki

When it comes to hard goods, you can get a reasonably solid cross-country equipment for little money. Depending on how much you want to save and whether second-hand goods are also an option for you, you can get cross-country skis including poles and boots for around 150 euros.

However, if you are looking for gear with higher quality, you should invest between 200 and 350 euros for your first equipment.

LevelXC skisXC ski polesXC ski bootsTotal cost hard goods
Beginner
 

 ca. 60 €

ca. 30 €

ca. 60 €

ca. 150 €

Leisureca. 120 €ca. 80 €

ca. 120 €

ca. 320 €
Professional

ca. 300 €

ca. 250 €

ca. 200 €

ca. 750 €


As with almost all sports, there are hardly any limits to the costs. Don't forget that there are also costs for gloves and accessories such as cross-country goggles or hats.

Our tip for beginners: Find out about so-called cross-country ski sets. These are offered by manufacturers and always consist of three components: cross-country skis, cross-country boots and poles. With a little luck, you can save a lot of money here!

>> Cross-country skiing equipment at fair prices now at SportFits

This is how much snow there is in your favorite cross-country ski area

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