Top 10 Best Cross Country Skis

If you want to cross country ski, you need the right equipment. There are a few different critical pieces of gear, but none are more important than the skis themselves. And a high-quality set of cross country skis can last a long time. 

My name is Christine, I’ve been a skier for nearly my entire life. I love almost every style of the sport, and I’ve spent many days on cross country skis over the years. I know what to look for in the best options available and how to find high-quality skis.

The Fischer Twin Skin Pro Medium XC is the best all-around option for cross country skis this year. These have a lightweight construction that is easy to use and come with a solid amount of mohair for increased traction in the snow.

Whether you are just learning how to cross country ski or have been doing it for years, you need a good pair of skis to make the most of it. This post will provide you with all the best cross country ski options currently available. 

Let’s wax up and get out there. 

Who Should Get This

If you’re interested in cross country skiing and looking to purchase a set of your skis, the below options all make great choices for different reasons. 

It does not matter if you’re a beginner, intermediate, or advanced level cross country skier, the skis in this guide will give you a way to enjoy the snow.

Many of the options have features that meet specific conditions or requirements. The best all-around options work well for a variety of different skiers, while other skis are much more niche.

If you’re new to cross country skiing, you might want to rent skis instead of purchasing them. Renting allows you to experiment with different styles, lengths, and features without fully committing.

This is a good way to get comfortable with cross country skiing and helps you familiarize yourself with various elements before making a final purchase. If you’ve never cross country skied before, I’d recommend renting first.

Cross country skis are generally a little more affordable than alpine skis and range from $200-500. It depends on what model you get, and each one will have a unique price. There are always options on either side of this range.

If you are a beginner or just learning how to cross country ski, shorter skis are better. These will be easier to control, and you’ll get the hang of it quickly. Intermediate and advanced cross country skiers will want longer skis.

This depends on your ability level and height. Beginners will want shorter-length cross country skis than more experienced skiers. Generally, your skis should be taller than you, but each skier will have personal preferences.

Yes, there are some pretty decent waxless cross country ski models out there. I typically like skis that you can wax because they are more versatile. But if you are looking for convenience, a waxless ski can be a good choice.

If you get cross country skis that are too long, it can result in a challenging experience in the snow. Longer skis are better for more experienced skiers, and beginners might end up struggling to control long skis or cross their tips often.

Not really. Cross country skis don’t have edges, which makes them extremely hard to control when you are headed downhill at higher speeds. You can take them down some shorter slopes, but you don’t want to use them at the ski resort.

Cross country skis can wear out, but it will take years of constant use for that to happen. I’ve had a pair of cross country skis for over a decade, and they are nowhere near the end of their lifespan. But if you treat them poorly, they will wear out quicker.

Top Picks of Best Cross Country Skis

Here are all of my top picks for the best cross country skis of the year. 

1. Fischer Twin Skin Pro Medium XC

  • Best for: All Around 
  • Key features: Great all-around option, lightweight, durable, good grip
  • Style: Skate
  • Sizes: 187, 192, 197, 202, 207
  • Cost: $$$

The Fischer Twin Skin Pro Medium XC is my pick for the best all around cross country ski of the season. 

These are a solid pair of nordic skis that will give you excellent performance in a wide variety of conditions and terrain. You can take them on trail or off and expect them to handle it all easily. 

They feature lightweight construction and 70% mohair on the base to give you extra grip when the snow gets packed or icy. 

This is a skate ski and not a classic, which might be more challenging for beginners. 

==> You can also get it on Fun-sport-vision or Mountain Equipment Coop.

2. Fischer SCS Skate IFP

  • Best for: Beginners 
  • Key features: Smaller sizes, precision pairing system, tail protector, Air Core Pro 
  • Style: Hybrid 
  • Sizes: 171, 176, 181
  • Cost: $$$

If you are just learning how to cross country ski for the first time, take a look at the Fischer SCS Skate IFP.

These are a good beginner option because they come in smaller lengths, making them easier to control and navigate out in the snow.

You also get a solid construction with a tail protector for good durability and an Air Core Basalite Pro base that will coast and glide smoothly on the snow. 

The smaller length does limit their speed a bit, but that’s not really a worry for beginners. 

Also Read: Best Beginner Skis 2022

==> You can also get it on GritrOutdoors.

3. Fischer RCS Skate Plus 

  • Best for: Women’s
  • Key features: Good women’s option, solid construction, lightweight, versatile camber
  • Style: Skate 
  • Sizes: 181, 186, 191
  • Cost: $$$$

The Fischer RCS Skate Plus is a solid option women’s option. These skis will have female cross country skiers covered in various trails and conditions. 

These feature Fischer’s patented Hole Ski Tip design that helps to reduce swing weight and make the skis easier to handle in general. 

They also have a lightweight and durable construction that makes them easy to take for long distances. The durability enhances their value in the long run as well. 

The RCS Skate Plus is pretty expensive for cross country skis, but they are an excellent choice regardless. 

Also Read: Best Women’s Skis 2022

==> You can also get it on Christy Sports.

4. Fischer Superlite Crown EF 

  • Best for: Ungroomed Trails 
  • Key features: Good grip and glide, solid construction, EF camber, IFP plate
  • Style: Classic
  • Sizes: 179, 184, 189, 194, 199, 204
  • Cost: $$$

The Fischer Superlite Crown EF is an excellent choice if you like to take your cross country skis onto ungroomed trails. 

These have a wider and beefier construction than a standard pair meant for groomed trails, giving you extra float and stability in deeper and variable snow conditions. 

You also get EF camber to help improve elasticity, giving you extra control and grip when you take them off the trails. The 204 length is especially good for ungroomed conditions because they are stiffer. 

These might be a little too aggressive for beginners skiers, and the bindings are sold separately. 

==> You can also get it on Backcountry or GritrOutdoors.

5. Rossignol X-Ium Skating Premium IFP XC

  • Best for: Intermediate
  • Key features: Good performance, 3D energy sensor, Normex core, Carbon HM profile 
  • Style: Skate
  • Sizes: 181, 187, 193
  • Cost: $$$$

Intermediate skiers will appreciate the added performance benefits of the Rossignol X-Ium Skating Premium IFP XC skis. 

These are a solid set of skis that will give you the ability to handle anything on the trails or off them, and you’ll get versatile performance in many snow conditions. 

They have a Normex core that keeps them lightweight, and a 3Edge energy sensor construction helps keep them snappy and responsive when put to the test. 

This is another very expensive option, so not recommended for any skiers on a budget. 

Also Read: Best Intermediate Skis 2022

6. Alpina Control 60 

  • Best for: On and Off Trail 
  • Key features: Good grip, solid construction, wider, early rise tip
  • Style: Classic 
  • Sizes: 180, 190
  • Cost: $$

The Alpina Control 60 is a very effective cross country ski for bouncing around on and off the trail. 

This versatile performance can work for any ability level of skier. These will give you the ability to get out there and explore no matter what conditions you encounter along the way. 

They come with a Posi-Grip base to give you excellent grip when going uphill and are a fairly wide ski to provide you with better float when you are in ungroomed situations. 

The skis don’t come in very long sizes, which means they aren’t a good option for racing or going really fast. But if you like to stick to the trails and venture off them, they are the best option.  

7. Rossignol XT Venture 

  • Best for: Budget Choice 
  • Key features: Affordable, easy to maneuver, very stable, good grip, medium sidecut 
  • Style: Classic 
  • Sizes: 100, 130 
  • Cost: $$

The Rossignol XT Venture is well-worth looking into if you are on a budget. These are a very affordable option that will still provide you with decent performance on the trails and beyond. 

They have a waxless AR Plus base that utilizes a negative sidecut to give you great grip and smooth glide all of the snow. This provides versatile performance that is nice in a cheaper ski. 

You also get excellent stability here, which can work well for new skiers or anyone who is just learning how to cross country ski effectively. 

The XT Venture is only available in smaller sizes, so it’s not an excellent option for experienced skiers or anyone who wants to go fast.  

==> You can also get it on Sporting Life or Mountain Equipment Coop or Rossignol.

8. Rossignol BC-80 Positrack 

  • Best for: Waxless Option 
  • Key features: Waxless design, come with edges, low-density core, easy handling
  • Style: Classic 
  • Sizes: 166, 176, 186
  • Cost: $$$

If you want a waxless option, it’s hard to beat the Rossignol BC-80 Positrack. These feature a waxless Positrack base that gives you solid control and good glide in all types of conditions. 

They also have edges that give you increased control when you head off-trail, and this feature is pretty rare for a cross country ski. 

Activ Cap construction makes them easy to handle and increases torsional stiffness to help make them very stable all-around. 

These can be a little burly for the average skier, and they are also very expensive. 

==> You can also get it on Rossignol or Evo or Curated.

9. Atomic Redster C9 Carbon 

  • Best for: Heavy Skiers 
  • Key features: Solid construction, stable, multiple flexes available, Nomex core
  • Style: Skate
  • Sizes: 192, 197, 202, 207
  • Cost: $$$

The Atomic Redster C9 Carbon is an excellent choice for heavier skiers because you can choose different flex levels to accommodate your weight and ability level. 

A stiffer ski can be a good thing for heavier skiers as this increases stability and helps you stay in control as you ski. 

They also feature a Race Carbon construction that is durable and solid all-around. The Nomex Featherlight core keeps the weight down without compromising stability. 

This isn’t the best option for light skiers, although you can get a soft flex if they appeal to you. 

==> You can also get it on Backcountry or Steep and Cheap.

10. Rossignol X-ium Premium S2 

  • Best for: Touring 
  • Key features: Very versatile, excellent construction, versatile, tip and tail splay
  • Style: Classic 
  • Sizes: 207
  • Cost: $$$$

If you are a touring Nordic skier who wants the best option for that style, take a look at the Rossignol X-ium Premium S2. 

These skis are solid all-around, but they feature amazing construction and capabilities that make them ideal for touring situations. 

They come with tip and tail splay that helps increase your contact zone for enhanced performance in all sorts of situations. A Nomex honeycomb core helps keep them stable without adding much weight as well. 

These are pretty expensive, and they aren’t offered in shorter lengths. They are better for intermediate and experienced skiers. 

How to Choose Cross Country Skis

Here are some important things to keep in mind when choosing cross country skis this season. 


Cross country skis can be a lot longer than standard or alpine skis. Typically, a longer ski is better for cross country skiing because it allows for more grip and slide on the snow. 

However, longer skis are much more difficult to control. They are best suited for intermediate or advanced skiers.

Beginner cross country skiers tend to do well with a shorter ski length that allows for better control. The best beginner options listed in this guide are on the shorter side.

Style of Ski

Cross country skis are designed with different skiing styles in mind. If you have a particular kind of cross country skiing that you like to do, then you’ll want to get a ski that matches it. 

Here is a quick look at the different styles out there:

Classic/Compact Touring Cross Country Skis are becoming the most popular type on the market. These skis are good for resorts and groomed trails. 

They are also longer than most modern varieties and tend to run both wide and short. Such features help beginners navigate different snow conditions.

Skate Cross Country Skis are another common type that is specific to a skate style. You’ve probably seen this style of skiing before, as it looks similar to how you would ice skate.

Skating style is almost always done on groomed trails because you need a smooth surface to skate, and it is faster than other types of cross country skiing. It’s a great exercise as well.

Touring Cross Country Skis are designed with the needs of backcountry skiing in mind. These tend to be shorter and wider than more traditional cross country skis, making them best suited for the deep snow conditions you can find in the backcountry.


As with all skis, another factor to consider when purchasing cross country skis is their flexibility. You can’t always choose different levels of flex in a particular model of ski, so it’s good to know what you’re looking for beforehand.

As a general guideline, if you’re a beginner or light in weight, you want a cross country ski with more flex. If you are an intermediate to advanced skier, get a stiffer model.

Wax or Waxless Ski

You can also get wax or waxless skis. This choice comes down to personal preference, but it can change based on your ski style and experience level.

Waxable cross country skis are a little more versatile than the waxless variety. With this type of ski, you should learn how to wax them yourself. 

Grip wax is often used in the middle of the ski to help you reach and pull through the snow, while glide wax is used on the tip and tail to allow for more speed.

Waxless skis, unlike their wax counterparts, never need to be waxed. These skis have a textured material on the bottom that helps them grip the snow in one direction while allowing for glide in the other. This is a popular ski choice for beginners and average skiers. 

Useful Tips & Resources

Cross country skiing is a great way to enjoy the mountain. However, it takes some time getting used to it if you’ve never tried it before. Your feet will not feel as stable with bindings that only clip in at the toe, and you will also have a soft boot that might feel foreign.

If you want to learn some of the basics of cross-country skiing, check out this video.

There are also some pieces of gear and equipment that you’ll need to go cross country skiing. While some of the basics are pretty similar to downhill/alpine skiing and other winter sports, it is always best to be prepared. 

Check out some of the essential gear needed for any cross country ski trip here:

Final Verdict

The Fischer Twin Skin Pro Medium XC is my pick for the best all around cross country ski option this season. This is an excellent nordic ski that will have you covered on the trails or in the backcountry. 

All of the options you see here will work well for cross country skiers of all kinds. Take the time to find the best option to meet your needs and preferences, and then get out there and have some fun!

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