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NORDIC SKI

How to dress for cross-country skiing

By dressing optimally all the way from the inside out you will stay both warm and dry, allowing you to perform better and work out longer.

Cross-country skiing, also known as Nordic skiing, is not only one of the toughest endurance sports, but also a sport that places great demands on your clothes if your goal is to perform optimally. While the garments should protect against low temperatures and cold wind, they should also ensure that the body's excess heat is efficiently ventilated. Based on our longstanding collaboration with the Swedish national cross-country ski team, this guide is designed to help you dress for success in the tracks.

Wind-protective outerwear.

Layers

Choose the right baselayer.

Utanpå kalsongerna/trosorna bär du ett underställ i polyester. För bästa effekt ska understället sitta riktigt tight, även i armhålan. Risken är annars att fukten inte transporteras ut genom plaggen utan lägger sig som ett kallt lock på huden. Beroende på hur frusen du är och hur mycket det blåser ute kan du välja att ha ett underställ med vindskydd. Ofta räcker det med ett vanligt underställ kompletterat med en kalsong/trosa med vindskydd som skyddar underlivet. För dig som tar det lite lugnare i spåret är även underställ med en blandning av polyester och ull ett bra alternativ. Ull ger inte lika effektiv fukttransport som polyester men har mycket bra värmande egenskaper, vilket gör kombinationen polyester/ull till ett perfekt val vid låg intensitet och låga temperaturer. Det finns många olika underställ i olika kvaliteter och tjocklekar, designade för olika intensitetsnivåer och temperaturer. Se till att välja ett underställ som passar din intensitetsnivå och dina behov vad gäller värme och ventilation.

Utanpå kalsongerna/trosorna bär du ett underställ i polyester. För bästa effekt ska understället sitta riktigt tight, även i armhålan. Risken är annars att fukten inte transporteras ut genom plaggen utan lägger sig som ett kallt lock på huden. Beroende på hur frusen du är och hur mycket det blåser ute kan du välja att ha ett underställ med vindskydd. Ofta räcker det med ett vanligt underställ kompletterat med en kalsong/trosa med vindskydd som skyddar underlivet. För dig som tar det lite lugnare i spåret är även underställ med en blandning av polyester och ull ett bra alternativ. Ull ger inte lika effektiv fukttransport som polyester men har mycket bra värmande egenskaper, vilket gör kombinationen polyester/ull till ett perfekt val vid låg intensitet och låga temperaturer. Det finns många olika underställ i olika kvaliteter och tjocklekar, designade för olika intensitetsnivåer och temperaturer. Se till att välja ett underställ som passar din intensitetsnivå och dina behov vad gäller värme och ventilation.

Underwear and Socks

Start by putting on a pair of boxerbriefs/briefs or panties and a sports bra – all made of 100 percent polyester. Polyester does not bind moisture but transports it from the skin and out through the garment, allowing you to stay dry and warm. Unfortunately, many skiers make the mistake of using ordinary cotton underwear. Then it doesn’t matter if you wear a polyester baselayer outside the underwear – the cotton will absorb the sweat and quickly cool you down. It would then be better to skip the underwear and just wear a functional baselayer closest to the skin. The socks should also be made of polyester, or polyester and wool if you are prone to cold feet. In cooler conditions, some skiers prefer to wear two thin socks, which provides a warming layer-on-layer effect, while others choose to have a thicker wool/polyester sock. Try and see what suits you best. However, be sure that it doesn’t get too tight in the boot, which would eliminate the insulating layers of warm air between the boot, sock and foot. Another tip is to ensure that your feet are dry when putting on the socks. Then you reduce the risk of freezing since moisture transfers cold rapidly.

Start by putting on a pair of boxerbriefs/briefs or panties and a sports bra – all made of 100 percent polyester. Polyester does not bind moisture but transports it from the skin and out through the garment, allowing you to stay dry and warm. Unfortunately, many skiers make the mistake of using ordinary cotton underwear. Then it doesn’t matter if you wear a polyester baselayer outside the underwear – the cotton will absorb the sweat and quickly cool you down. It would then be better to skip the underwear and just wear a functional baselayer closest to the skin. The socks should also be made of polyester, or polyester and wool if you are prone to cold feet. In cooler conditions, some skiers prefer to wear two thin socks, which provides a warming layer-on-layer effect, while others choose to have a thicker wool/polyester sock. Try and see what suits you best. However, be sure that it doesn’t get too tight in the boot, which would eliminate the insulating layers of warm air between the boot, sock and foot. Another tip is to ensure that your feet are dry when putting on the socks. Then you reduce the risk of freezing since moisture transfers cold rapidly.

Insulating midlayer on the upper body.

Outside the baselayer you add a middle layer on the upper body to keep you warm in cold conditions. The midlayer should be made of 100 percent polyester to ensure the moisture transport continues through the garment. However, for elite athletes about to compete or do tough interval training it’s usually sufficient with only a thin suit (or light jacket and tights) outside the baselayer. A great versatile alternative is so-called hybrid garments that work both as a midlayer underneath a jacket in cold conditions and as an outer garment in milder temperatures.

Outside the baselayer you add a middle layer on the upper body to keep you warm in cold conditions. The midlayer should be made of 100 percent polyester to ensure the moisture transport continues through the garment. However, for elite athletes about to compete or do tough interval training it’s usually sufficient with only a thin suit (or light jacket and tights) outside the baselayer. A great versatile alternative is so-called hybrid garments that work both as a midlayer underneath a jacket in cold conditions and as an outer garment in milder temperatures.

Moisture-transporting accessories.

To regulate the heat and transport sweat from the head and hands, your hat and gloves should have a base of polyester. If it’s really cold, you can wear two hats and two layer of gloves – one layer of polyester closest to the skin and a thicker layer on the outside. Hats with a blend of wool and polyester make a great choice in cold conditions. Remember that it’s always better to buy thinner clothes and wear multiple layers. This creates layers of air in between the garments that provide more warmth than one thick garment. And if it gets too hot, you can easily remove a layer.

To regulate the heat and transport sweat from the head and hands, your hat and gloves should have a base of polyester. If it’s really cold, you can wear two hats and two layer of gloves – one layer of polyester closest to the skin and a thicker layer on the outside. Hats with a blend of wool and polyester make a great choice in cold conditions. Remember that it’s always better to buy thinner clothes and wear multiple layers. This creates layers of air in between the garments that provide more warmth than one thick garment. And if it gets too hot, you can easily remove a layer.

Don't dress too warm.

Many skiers tend to sometimes dress a little too warm. Dressing correctly will improve both your performance and overall ski experience. A good tip is to always look at the thermometer before you hit the tracks, and then test your way during the training sessions. Eventually you will learn how many layers you need at different temperatures. It’s usually preferable to wear less clothes and be a little bit cold during the first 5 to 10 minutes of the workout, because that’s when the body heats up to reach its working temperature.

Ergonomic fit

No matter how many layers you wear, it’s always important that the clothes are not too loose. Elastic garments with a tight, ergonomic fit keep you warm and increase your freedom of movement. Furthermore, tight clothes eliminate the risk for your poles to get stuck in flapping pants.