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Three different sports with one pair of boots?
The three sports are cross-country skiing, ice skating and Roller Skiing. You can step onto a cross-country ski, an ice skate blade, or a Roller Ski, and attach it quickly to the bottom of your boot, Using an interchangeable binding system.
What's special about the boots?
The boot sole and the ski binding are designed to snap together, allowing you to kick back (classic technique) or push to the side (skating technique).
Why are there five different categories of boots?
Some boots are optimized for a specific motion - like skating - while other boots are a compromise between two conflicting motions - like skating (needs a rigid boot) and classic (needs a flexible boot).
The five styles are Skate, Classic, Combi, Back Country, and Junior. Here's a description of each:
Skate. Skate boots are the highest, stiffest, and generally the most expensive. A stiff, rigid boot with good ankle support is necessary for an efficient sideways push, whether you're skate-skiing on snow, or skate-skiing on roller skis, or Nordic Skating across the ice on a frozen lake. The best skate boots are stiff and supportive, yet lightweight, warm and comfortable, all at the same time.
Classic. Classic boots are made for 'kick-and-glide' style skiing on groomed trails. They are simpler, lighter and less expensive than skate boots. That's because no ankle support is needed, and instead of having a rigid sole, classic boots have a flexible sole in the forefoot to promote a strong, efficient classic kick.
Combi. Combi (combination) boots simultaneously give you the ankle support you need for skating, and the flexible forefoot you need for an efficient classic kick. They are the ideal solution for kids who outgrow their boots every year. But for adults whose feet are not growing anymore, combi boots can be an awkward compromise. It is often a better investment to buy separate skate and classic boots, or to focus on just one technique.
Back Country. Back country boots have wider, thicker and heavier non-slip soles designed for hiking as well as skiing. The higher-end models have extra ankle support for mountaineering in rugged terrain, and they can also be used for skate skiing.
Junior. Junior boots are slightly narrower than adult boots. Junior boots also have less ankle support, because they are designed for younger skiers, who are not as tall as adults and therefore have a lower center of gravity. Junior boots often have the advanced features of high-end adult boots, but at a fraction of the price.
What boot models are available? Here's a complete list.
NORDIC SKATER is your source for cross-country skis, ice skates, inline skates and roller skis.
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