How to

5 May 2016

Essential Sports Clothing: Cross Country Skiing


Cross country skiing is a tricky sport to dress for, you need to be warm, but it’s such an aerobic activity that your skin needs to breathe as well. For this reason, you need layers, but they need to be versatile. You need to be as light as possible and allow for freedom of movement.

For these reasons, it’s important to have a base layer, mid layer and outer layer, as well as a hat/mask, gloves and proper socks.


Base Layer

For the base layer, you’ll want to be looking at wool or breathable synthetics. Whatever you choose, it needs to hug the body tightly enough to trap warm air. Ideally you want a set of long johns and a thermal vest. Try any of the following -



Mid Layer

For this, waterproofing in the most important thing. If too much moisture finds its way into the base layer you’re in danger of getting hypothermia, which is obviously something to be avoided. You’re looking for thin, waterproof layers with good mobility with thin woollen layers to trap heat. Don’t wear anything puffy for a mid-layer, it’ll be too restricting. This is the kind of thing you’re looking for -


Outer Layer

Wind-proofing is the name of the game here. Regardless of what the conditions are, it’s going to feel like you’re skiing into the wind and you need to account for that. You still need it to be breathable though, and resistant to water, which makes things like Gore-Tex and down completely out of the question. For clothing better suited to this need, take a look at the options below -


Hats, Socks and Gloves

Obviously, you’ll be wearing ski-boots and a helmet, so head and footwear that is appropriately suited to that is essential, as well as gloves grippy enough to keep purchase on the poles. You can use mitts or hand warmers too, if you don’t have the best circulation, it might just necessitate a bit more practise with them. Here are a few different glove options –

With hats, a balaclava is always a better option, as it keeps more of your face covered, but you need to be sure that it leaves room for goggles. Wind resistance comes into play again here, but coverage is also as important -

Finally and perhaps most importantly, socks. Warmth is crucially important, but you also need a sock that grips the foot snugly and doesn’t rub, otherwise you’re in blister town. The following should suit your needs well -



Callum Davies

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop.