Cross-country skiing | Dec 11, 2023

How to choose the right cross-country ski bindings

Martin Bieswanger
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Cross-country ski bindings have an important function: They are the connection between your boots and your cross-country skis. What’s more, bindings are responsible for a safe and efficient power transmission from your body to your skis.

Are you just choosing your cross-country ski equipment? Read on for some useful tips on how to find the best cross-country bindings for your needs!

What are cross-country ski bindings, ...

... and what are the benefits of adjustable bindings?

As an essential part of your cross-country skiing equipment, your bindings form a reliable connection between your boots and your skis. There are various types of binding systems, with different constructions and functionalities.

Special, adjustable cross-country bindings allow you to change the position of the bindings on the skis. This affects your skis’ performance as well as their handling. For instance, adjusting your binding towards the front gives you improved manoeuvrability, while a position further towards the back encourages gliding.

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Which types of cross-country ski bindings are there?

There are different types of bindings for cross-country skis, differing in their construction, functionality and compatibility. Which bindings you choose depends on your preferred skiing technique (classic or skate) as well as on your cross-country ski boots.

Today, 3-pin bindings have become a rarity. However, some backcountry cross-country skiers still use this type of bindings. They are robust and easy to use, but compared to other systems, they offer less precision. 

Here are some of the most common binding systems:

NNN (New Nordic Norm)

For proficient cross-country skiers and pros

© INTERSPORT International Corporation GmbH
  • a widely used system
  • features two ridges on the binding plate that match the corresponding channels in the boot
  • Offering efficient power transmission, this system is used in many of today’s cross-country ski boots. 

SNS (Salomon Nordic System)

For beginners

  • features one channel that corresponds to a ridge on your bindings
  • offers good stability and allows the foot to roll naturally 
  • NB: SNS and NNN systems are usually not compatible.
© INTERSPORT International Corporation GmbH


The prime choice for cross-country ski racing

© Fischer Sports GmbH
  • features two rails for your boots to lock into 
  • provides a direct connection between your skis and boots, for particularly precise movements
  • compatible with NNN boots


For all skill levels

  • features two ridges on the binding plate
  • extremely lightweight and easy to use
  • offers extremely easy entry and exit 
  • compatible with NNN and Prolink boots
© INTERSPORT International Corporation GmbH

For every skill level

As you can see, there is the perfect binding for every skill level. Opt for a system that corresponds to your skills and that you feel comfortable with! What’s more, make sure that your boots, bindings and skis are compatible!

Are you looking for the perfect boots for backcountry cross-country skiing?

Have a look at our article about cross-country ski boots to find out what to keep in mind when choosing boots for cross-country skiing in the backcountry!

Read now!

3 questions that can help you choose your cross-country ski bindings

When it comes to choosing the perfect cross-country ski bindings for your needs, there are a few aspects to consider. Have a look at the following list – it will help you make a decision!

  • Skiing style: Do you prefer classic or skate-style cross-country skiing?
  • Type of boots: Which binding systems are your boots compatible with?  
  • Skill level: Are you still new to the sport, an experienced skier or a competitive cross-country skier?

Answering these questions will help you to find the right bindings for your needs. Plus, try different types of bindings before settling for a product!

How do you step into your cross-country ski bindings?

How you step into your cross-country ski bindings depends on the type of bindings you have. In general, position the toe of your boot (or a special attachment point) so that it engages with the groove of your bindings. Press down until you hear a click. This indicates that your boot is properly locked.

© INTERSPORT International Corporation GmbH

How do you correctly adjust your cross-country ski bindings?


To adjust your cross-country ski bindings, you sometimes need a special tool or adjusting device. With adjustable bindings, you can simply change the position of the bindings on your skis by moving them forward or backwards. For specific adjustments, consult the manufacturer’s instructions!

If you don’t feel confident adjusting your cross-country bindings by yourself, consult an expert!

How do you step out of your cross-country ski bindings?

To step out of your cross-country ski bindings, you usually need to pull a lever. Sometimes, there is another part of the binding you have to press or pull. This releases the boot from the bindings and allows you to step out of them.

© INTERSPORT International Corporation GmbH

Are you connected?

Then it’s time to hit the trails!

Once you have found a cross-country ski binding that you feel comfortable with, it’s time to start your cross-country skiing adventure! 


If you’re only just starting out, it might be a good idea to rent your equipment before buying – for instance at an INTERSPORT Rent shop. Try different systems to see how they affect your performance!

Rent your equipment!

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