Best cross-country ski boots – WJBF

What are the best cross-country ski boots?

Cross-country running is a seasonal sport reserved for the most seasoned runners. It is undertaken in the wettest and coldest months of the year. Cross-country shoes, also called XC shoes, are different from regular running shoes because they are more form-fitting and don’t offer as much cushioning. This allows the runner to feel the ground better and have more control. XC shoes are also very light and have handles of small rubber studs or metal spikes, depending on the terrain. These Saucony Havoc XC3 women’s cleats are an excellent choice for high performance footwear.

What to know before buying cross-country ski boots

Cross-country running is long-distance running on natural terrain such as grass or dirt. Cross-country races are held in the fall and winter, so conditions may vary. Regular running shoes have more cushioning and support, but that makes them less lightweight, and that should be your first consideration. What other considerations should be taken into account before buying cross-country ski boots?


XC shoes can feel a little strange at first, and they can take some getting used to. It is recommended that beginners buy more economical shoes. This is because they are more like regular running shoes in terms of fit and cushioning, making it much easier to later adapt to more technical and expensive shoes. XC shoes under $70 are generally considered a good start for beginners.

Spikes or flats?

The spikes have better grip and are better suited to muddy and slippery conditions. They are also better for running uphill and help control speed when cornering. Flats are much better for running on hard surfaces. If you do not know what to buy, it is recommended to opt for apartments.

In shape

Cross-country ski boots should not be so tight that they are uncomfortable, but they should fit snugly. There must be space for a thumbnail between the toe and the front of the shoe. This means that there will be less room around the toes than usual when fitting shoes.

What to Look for in Quality Cross-Country Ski Boots

Water resistance

This is a nice feature to have in XC racing shoes. It’ll keep your feet dry in light rain and light splashes – but keep in mind there’s a huge difference between water resistant and waterproof. Splashing in streams and puddles will make your feet wet no matter how water resistant the shoe is.


XC shoes should be as light as possible. They should have just enough material and cushioning to make it feel like they’re almost not even there. That doesn’t mean you should just buy the lightest pair you can find, as there are other factors to consider. Take everything into consideration and remember that weight is one of the most important factors when deciding.

tip length

You should use long studs in wet conditions for better traction and shorter studs in dry conditions or on gravel. It’s always best to check if spikes are allowed when racing, and California high schoolers take note – spikes are banned in races in your state.

How much you can expect to spend on cross-country ski boots

As mentioned earlier, beginners are actively encouraged to purchase a budget pair of shoes for less than $70. Decent quality cross-country ski boots can be found under $40. Once you’re ready for more technical shoes, you can expect to pay upwards of $100 and up.

Cross-Country Ski Boot FAQs

Can I use athletic shoes for cross-country running?

A. Although they look alike, they are of a different design. However, athletic shoes can be used for cross country and vice versa. Cross-country ski boots have more cushioning and protection, and they’re also more flexible. If you decide to use athletic shoes, it is best to use those designed for long-distance running.

How long will XC racing shoes last?

A. Cross-country running shoes usually only last one season. They are likely to take a lot of abuse in the three to four months you use them. Come spring, you should expect your shoes to be ready to be downgraded to gardening slippers.

What are the best cross country shoes to buy?

Best cross country ski boots

Saucony: Havoc XC3: women’s cleats

What do you want to know: A colorful and stylish shoe for women looking for an edge on the XC track.

What you will love: These colorful running shoes are comfortable and lightweight. Rebound and durability are provided by the excellent and thin midsoles of the shoes. The outsole and spikes provide excellent grip on a variety of terrains.

What you should consider: They also come in black for those of you who prefer less eye-catching shoes.

Or buy: Sold by Amazon

Best cross country ski boots for the money

ASICS: Cross Freak 2: Men's Cross Country Spike

ASICS: Cross Freak 2: Men’s Cross Country Spike

What do you want to know: These are stylish men’s cross country spikes designed for aggressive runners.

What you will love: Sole weight is reduced by ASIC’s unique Trusstic System without compromising structural integrity. Harder surfaces are no problem with the compression molded ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) midsole, while the five-spike structure provides excellent traction and control.

What you should consider: The shoes are very small according to some reviewers.

Or buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Nike: Zoom Victory XC 5 Running Shoe

Nike: Zoom Victory XC 5 Running Shoe

What do you want to know: These are great unisex running shoes with spikes for more advanced runners.

What you will love: These running shoes will help you grip, splash, and glide throughout your run. They’re lightweight and breathable, and the six spikes evenly distribute any pressure. They feature a water resistant upper and are suitable for uneven rocky trails as the carbon fiber midfoot enhances stability.

What you should consider: The sizes are small.

Or buy: Sold by Amazon and Dick’s Sporting Goods

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Barry Peacock written for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their buying decisions, saving them time and money.

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