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Nordic Touring Skis

Top Picks

How we choose: The best nordic touring skis highlighted here were selected based on 33 reviews of 21 products. Our top picks are those that are readily-available in the United States and have received the highest overall ratings from reviewers.

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Altai Skis Hok

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (4 reviews)

Middle Aged Couple loves their Altai Hok Skis.

Reasons to Buy

  • Easy to use
  • Universal bindings
  • Xlimb moderate hills with little effort

Reasons to Avoid

  • A bit expensive
  • Not widely available
  • Not as great on groomed trails, especially with hard crust

I bought one pair of 145cm Hoks and one pair of 125cm Hoks, both with universal bindings, for my wife (54 yrs & 135lbs) and myself (58 yrs & 185lbs).  My wife has moderate downhill skiing experience, and I have never been on skis.  We bought them to explore our property in Alaska February 2024. My wife was hesitant at first, but quickly adapted to the skis now says she would choose them over any standard skis for general use.  I was convinced they were the best ski for us before I purchased them, and I have not been disappointed overall.

Read more: Altai Skis Hok reviews (4)

Fischer Spider 62

user rating: 5 of 5 (2 reviews)

If you're looking for an excellent set of XC skis, I recommend the Fischer Spider 62's. These skis can be used on groomed XC trails and especially off-trails. The full metal edge will give you the grip you need while in the backcountry trails, indeed.

Reasons to Buy

  • Great glide
  • Full metal edge
  • Waxless

Reasons to Avoid

  • None

Well, here goes, my review of my Fischer Spiders XC skis. I recently picked them up at REI Outfitters in Troy, Michigan. As a matter of fact, I picked them up the day after Michigan was dumped on by the first major snowfall in 2017! When I walked into REI I went right for the skis. I didn't know the difference between any of the brand named skis that REI sold, but for some reason I was attracted to the Fisher Spider 62's. I told the salesman that I wanted a packaged ski deal and he went right to work educating me on the various ski items I would need.

Read more: Fischer Spider 62 reviews (2)

Salomon Snowscape 7

user rating: 5 of 5 (1 review)

These are the perfect beginner's skis. They're durable without being too heavy. They slide well and you don't have to worry about waxing (time and money saving). They're good for several different skiing situations.

Reasons to Buy

  • Waxless
  • Versatile
  • Good weight
  • Bindings

Reasons to Avoid

  • Almost too long for my tiny car
  • Not as fast as other skis

This was really my first season skiing. In the past I've rented skis for the once or twice I would go out in a year. These skis do resemble those that many places may rent.  They're very easy to use. Waxless: One less thing to learn when you're just starting out. Good Balance: Slightly wider so it's easier to balance. They feel really durable, but also light under your feet. Sometimes the rental models I got felt so heavy. Versatile: Handle well enough on groomed and ungroomed surfaces, which turned out to be important as my favorite park's tracks were often intermittent.

Read more: Salomon Snowscape 7 review (1)

Åsnes Kongsvold Hunter

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1 review)

A light, wide touring ski with deep sidecut but lacking steel edges that delivers a balanced blend of touring and turning performance. Intended for hunters and dog owners that want to avoid injuring their dogs, it also works well for backcountry skiers that stick to soft snow conditions. Compatible with lightweight short skins.

Reasons to Buy

  • No steel edges, will not cut dogs' legs
  • Lightweight for a ski of this size
  • Deep sidecut for turning performance
  • Slight wax pocket for waxed kick-and-glide
  • Compatible with short skins for waxless kick and easy hill climbing

Reasons to Avoid

  • Not a good choice for hard snow conditions

Åsnes Kongsvold Jakt Old Ralphie, our German Shepherd-Border Collie mix, was my best bud on many a mountain hike, but I often had to leave him behind on ski mountaineering trips, depending a bit on partners and conditions. He had a bad habit of running zigzag in front of me, and early on in our life together caught his leg with a ski edge and cut it pretty badly. So if I figured I’d be skiing in conditions when that might happen again, I’d leave him at home. Ralph went off to that great mountain in the sky back in 2016, and just last September, we adopted Harley, the same mix, but a big bigger and more rambunctious.

Read more: Åsnes Kongsvold Hunter review (1)

Alpina Discovery 80

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1 review)

Lightweight and responsive. Enough flex to make for acceptable kick n’ glide, stiff enough to minimize foundering in powder.

Reasons to Buy

  • Great off track performance
  • Very good flotation in deeper snow
  • The fish scales give decent traction
  • Good in packed snow that’s not icy
  • Can achieve a decent kick n’ glide
  • Good to go in all kinds of conditions/terrain, adding some glide wax is helpful.

Reasons to Avoid

  • Not really great for following tracks due to their width (80-58-69)
  • Do not do well on packed n’ icy (skitter around)
  • Not as efficient or as quiet as wax skis due to the scales. This is where they lose the 1/2 point. If there was a 1/4 point that’s all I would have went.

These are currently my go-to ski for solo outings. They provide a quick escape down local forestry management roads, meadows, snow-covered riverbeds, exploring rolling terrain, and gliding down gentle slopes. I’ve set them up with a Telebry release plate, Voile 3-pin bindings, and cables from Rottefella Chili telemark bindings (love that heel lever) for the descents. I may add a climbing wire (likely Voile) this year. I’ve covered a lot of miles on these skis and I’m looking forward to even more this year.

Read more: Alpina Discovery 80 review (1)

Atomic Skintec Classic

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (3 reviews)

Fast looking skis, great kick, a little grabby sometimes.

Reasons to Buy

  • Good kick in many conditions
  • Never ice

Reasons to Avoid

  • Can be a little grabby sometimes

I received my Skintecs a couple of weeks ago. They are the longer and softer type, and my weight is just above the middle of the ski's weight range. I have been using the thinner mohair inserts. The first thing I noticed is that, to glide I have to weight my heels. Some days the glide has been decent that way. Other days, it hasn't been without some friction. It may be that I have not waxed for every condition I have encountered, but it seems it may be the mohairs touching the snow during the glide phase.

Read more: Atomic Skintec Classic reviews (3)

Madshus Epoch

user rating: 4 of 5 (1 review)

Versatile off-trail xcountry ski.

Reasons to Buy

  • Versatile performance
  • Value
  • Not really a telemark ski

Reasons to Avoid

  • Jack of all trades, master of none?
  • Not really a telemark ski (if that's what you are looking for)

This ski is identical to the Karhu XCD 10th Mountain. This ski is marketed as a hybrid between a telemark and a xcountry ski.  Perhaps the best way to review this ski is by comparing it to its two siblings: the Madshus Eon (Karhu XCD GT) and the Madshus Annum (Karhu XCD Guide). First of all, from my perspective, all of these skis are designed to be first and foremost off-trail, classic kick and glide xcountry skis. Yes, they do have a progressive sidecut; they will turn on the downhill.

Read more: Madshus Epoch review (1)

Fischer Desire My Style

user rating: 3.5 of 5 (2 reviews)

I use these skis for non-groomed trails and they work pretty well. They stay slick in all temperatures.

Reasons to Buy

  • Work well in all types of snow
  • Great width
  • Pre-mounted bindings
  • Great value

Reasons to Avoid

  • They seem a little short, I'm tall.

This is my first pair of cross-country skis. They are a great starter set, especially with the pre-mounted bindings. I took them out of box and was on the trail in less than an hour of their delivery! They are very light snd easy to carry. I purchased the 184 cm. I am 72" so they seem just a bit short for me, but maybe I'm just getting use to Nordic style after skiing alpine my whole life. My 77" husband took them out and he thought they were great. I would recommend these skis for beginner to intermediate.

Read more: Fischer Desire My Style reviews (2)

Madshus Eon

user rating: 4 of 5 (4 reviews)
$330 MSRP

Versatile and efficient off-trail xcountry.

Reasons to Buy

  • Performance
  • Efficient in dense snow
  • Value
  • Not a telemark ski

Reasons to Avoid

  • Not a telemark ski (if that is what you are looking for)
  • Lacks flotation in deep powder

This ski is identical to the Karhu XCD GT. This ski comes in either a waxable base or a waxless base. I currently use the waxless base. These are well designed off-trail xcountry skis. I have skied several hundred kilometers on my current pair, with no problems. Although this ski is marketed as a hybrid between a telemark and a classic xcountry ski, it truly excels as an off-trail classic kick and glide ski. Yes, it does have a progressive sidecut; it will turn on the downhill. However it has quite a straight tail, and tracks very efficiently during the kick and glide (this sacrifices some turning efficiency).

Read more: Madshus Eon reviews (4)

Madshus Annum

user rating: 5 of 5 (1 review)

Ultimate off-trail xcountry ski: trail breaker/deep snow.

Reasons to Buy

  • Performance
  • Value
  • Not really a telemark ski

Reasons to Avoid

  • Not really a telemark ski (if that is what you are looking for)

I have been an avid nordic skier for over 30 years. My everyday skiing has always been off-trail, backcountry, kick and glide xcountry; on rolling terrain with the occasional steep climb and descent. For most of my years I have always assumed that something as fat as the Annum is really a telemark ski and have reserved them for that use alone (with 75mm telemark bindings). (In recent years I have only needed telemark gear a couple of times a season.) For a few years now my everyday choice has been a Madshus Eon/Karhu XCD GT (83-62-70mm) with NNNBC bindings.

Read more: Madshus Annum review (1)

More Reviews of Nordic Touring Skis

Trailspace reviewers have shared 33 reviews of 21 different nordic touring skis.

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Other Types of Nordic Touring Gear

Find more nordic touring gear reviewed in these related categories:

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Nordic Touring Bindings

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