How to dress for cross-country skiing?

How to dress for cross-country skiing?

To make the most of your cross-country skiing runs without being to hot, too cold or having damp clothing, it’s important to go for technical garments specially developed specifically for cross-country skiing and take into account two criteria:your intensity level and the weather conditions. Check out all our advice to choose the right clothing!

How to dress for cross-country skiing?

1 - Choose clothing designed for cross-country skiing!

Nordic skiing or cross-country skiing is an endurance sport with a wide variation in body temperature that is practised in wintry conditions.

Unlike downhill skiing, which alternates between numerous static (during ski lifts) and dynamic phases, cross-country skiing is a so-called "active" sport which means there is constant movement.There is a varied level of intensity according to the steepness of the terrain or quite simply the intensity of your style.
For cross-country skiing, forget about your downhill skiing outfit as well as clothing that is too big and lets cold air in and cotton material that holds moisture and doesn’t dry quick enough!

To avoid being too hot, too cold or getting wet on the slopes, it’s important to choose technical clothing suitable for cross-country skiing that provide excellent temperature regulation.These are breathable, protective garments that provide good freedom of movement.

  • How to dress for cross-country skiing?


    Choose breathable clothing that easily wicks away moisture
    and stays dry and warm
    during your ski touring runs.

  • How to dress for cross-country skiing?

    Freedom of movement 

    Choose stretch,
    close-fitting clothing that provides good freedom of movement to avoid any discomfort when skiing. 

  • How to dress for cross-country skiing?


    Choose protective clothing
    with a windproof membrane
    and water-repellent components to protect you from the wind and snow. 

2- Decide on
your level

The different styles of ski touring - "recreational", "sport" or "performance",
require different support when it comes to warmth, breathability and windproofing.
That’s why it’s important to assess frequency, intensity and your practice level to choose the right material for your needs

  • How to dress for cross-country skiing?

    Just for fun?

    You want to start or you practice cross-country skiing occasionally
    and/or at low intensity.Ski runs less than 10 km.
    Choose comfortable clothing to keep you warm and protect you from the wind, while ensuring you stay dry thanks to components that regulate perspiration.

    To help with your choice, some suppliers categorise clothing according to practice level. In this case, choose the clothing labelled "fun" or "beginner".

  • How to dress for cross-country skiing?


    You are sporty and you practice cross-country skiing regularly and/or at medium intensity on ski runs of maximum 20 km.
    Choose comfortable clothing with a good warmth to breathability ratio giving good freedom of movement.

    To help with your choice, some suppliers categorise clothing according to practice level. In this case, choose the clothing labelled "intermediate" or even "sport".



    You practice cross-country skiing frequently and/or at high intensity on ski runs over 20 km.
    Choose technical, lightweight and breathable clothingwith good freedom of movement.
    This will guarantee good protection and regulate your body temperature while providing perfect breathability.

    To help with your choice, some suppliers categorise clothing according to practice level. In this case, choose the clothing labelled advanced or even "performance/race".

3- Adapt your outfit
to the weather conditions

Windy, snowy or even sunny days...cross-country skiing can be practised in so many weather conditions.Obviously, you need to adapt your cross-country skiing outfit to the weather conditions but that’s it!Your choice of outfit depends on two things: the weather + intensity of your effort.

For example, on a "cool" day, an advanced skier would simply wear a technical base layer with a lightweight, windproof jacket, whereas a beginner at low intensity would tend to wear a warm jacket.Remember that you warm up quickly in cross-country skiing so even if you are worried about being cold, don't wrap up too much as you could end up having to "carry" your jacket along with you for your entire run.Go for quality and the right choice of clothing rather than quantity!


When practising cross-country skiing, you have to manage the warmth and moisture created by effort, at the same time protecting yourself from the outdoor weather conditions such as the wind, cold and snow.
The 3-layer system is perfectly adapted for this sport as it keeps your body dry and warm and protects you from wintry weather conditions.
It’s the overlapping of layers for a clearly defined function:

  • How to dress for cross-country skiing?

    Layer 1

    Technical thermal base layer & t-shirt

    The first layer is extremely important, in direct contact with the skin, it acts as a second skin.Thisquickly wicks away perspiration from the body to keep it dry and warm.

    This fitted, stretch clothing dries extremely quickly thanks to its hydrophobic fibres.

  • How to dress for cross-country skiing?

    Layer 2

    Brushed fleece t-shirt

    The second layer complements the work of the base layer by regulating the temperature, keeping the air warm and dry around the body.
    Thisinsulates the body from the cold providing warmth and maintaining a constant body temperature.

    This breathable clothing lets moisture produced by the body pass through the intermediate layer to the third layer


    Layer 3

    Jacket / gilet

    The third layer protects the body from the outdoor weather conditions keeping the body dry and warm.

    This ventilated clothing wicks away moisture outwards through the two breathable layers. It is also windproof and water-repellent to protect you from the outdoor weather conditions.

Don't forget to protect yourself!

  • How to dress for cross-country skiing?

    80% of body heat escapes through the extremities so it’s important to keep them well protected.

    - Protect your head with a hat or headband or snood

    - Protect your hands with lightweight, windproof or even warm gloves.

    - Protect your feet with technical socks or even shoe covers.

  • How to dress for cross-country skiing?

    - To protect your eyes and skin from the sun's glare, don't forget to take a pair of goggles with you, preferably with a 3 or 4 lens type, and to apply sun creamregularly.

    - To stay hydrated on your ski touring runs, take a water bottle belt
    or hydration belt to carry your drink.

To choose your perfect cross-country skiing outfit, you need to take into account
your level and your intensity as well as the weather conditions.
Depending on these criteria, you can combine products to suit you!

To stay warm, don't forget the 3-layer system and protect your body's extremities:hands, feet and head!

Then you can enjoy your cross-country skiing run without having wet clothing and without being too hot or too cold!

How to dress for cross-country skiing?


Product manager for the inovik brand

" Product manager for the INOVIK cross-country skiing brand, above all I’m a passionate skier! It’s by watching and listening to you during my cross-country skiing runs that I find my inspiration to develop future products."
Question, suggestion?Leave us a comment!

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