- 6 Posts. Joined 2/2010
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XC comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. I'm assuming that you're talking about "classic" style skiing - skate skiing is a whole different ballgame.
If you're going to be primarily skiing on groomed trails, snowmobile trails, plowed roads that still have snow on them, or other places where there's a trail broken, then the old style XC skis (skinny skis) will be fine. I have a pair of them that are 30+ years old... I just switched out my 3-pin bindings and boots for newer technology this year and they'll likely be good to go for the next 30. There was nothing wrong with my old binding/boot system... the boots were leather, though, that had gotten really hard and didn't fit well any more. It is absolutely critical that your boots fit.
If you're going to be skiing places where you'll be breaking trail - backcountry roads and trails - then you'll want something fatter. Rossignol makes one called the Backcountry 90 that's just about perfect for the job.
In either case, get skis with scales on the bottom (waxless). Waxing XC skis is a science, and a fiddly one at that. Get going with the sport, see if you like it, before you invest in waxed XC skis.
If you're into rock climbing and know your climbing shoe size you can get yourself a head start sizing boots. My ski boot size is about 2.5 sizes larger than my climbing shoe size... 40.5 vs 38.