What to Wear When Cross-Country Skiing

Now that we have our second year of cross-country skiing under our belt, I can say with 100% confidence that we love cross-country skiing! I grew up x-c skiing in gym class (that’s upstate New York for you) but hadn’t picked it up as an adult until last year. Having a winter activity makes brutally cold weekends so much more fun!

Why am I telling you this now? When we’re getting our first glimmers of spring? It’s not because I am disorganized, but because now is the time all the equipment is on clearance. If you are interested in cross-country skiing next year, consider looking now!

When we first bought our skis I wasn’t quite sure what to wear to accommodate the cold weather and keep me the right temperature. I think I’ve got it figured out now – so I thought I’d share the wealth. Without further ado, what to wear when cross-country skiing:


1. Women’s Soft Shell Jacket

This particular jacket is a North Face, I have an EMS. I love my fleece-lined soft shell jacket. It’s warm enough to keep me bundled (even on 0 degree days!) and the side ventilation zippers (basically a huge arm-pit zipper) easily let you cool down when you’re feeling too warm.

2. Ankle-Zip Water-Resistant Pants

You will want some type of water-resistant athletic pants. I recommend getting pants with zippers on the ankles so you can zip them down over your boots. These are Swix Universal Pants.

3. Ear Warmers – I made mine from this tutorial at Delia Creates

I prefer ear warmers or a headband to a hat, but maybe that’s just me. I usually don’t bother with a scarf or a heavy hat because you will be too warm! If it’s a particularly windy day I will bring a scarf to help block the wind from my face.

4. Cuddl Duds Top

Whatever you do, don’t wear cotton! Cotton will soak up your sweat and then make you cold.

5. Women’s Rossignol® X5 FW Ski Boots

I have these boots from L.L. Bean and I love them! They are fleece lined, and have a top that zips together over the laces to prevent snow from getting inside. With these and my ankle-zip pants, I have never gotten snow inside my boots!

6. Fleece lined leggings

Under my water-resistant pants I wear fleece lined leggings for warmth. These shown are Anne Klein. I got mine from T.J. Maxx. (High heels optional – haha!)

7. SmartWool Snowflake Fair Isle Socks

Warm socks. Sometimes I double up. SmartWool socks are always great. Although not cheap.

8. Agloves ® Original Touchscreen Gloves

I have these smart phone gloves and I love them! They have metal strands knitted throughout the glove so there is no special touch-point on your fingertip. I am always whipping out my phone to take pictures of the beautiful snowy landscape, so I like to ski with these gloves on.

Do you cross-country ski? Any tips for me? I am still learning!