Nordic Skiing

Trail

     

SKATE:
(1) The Salomon Equipe 10 Lab Skate Ski ($550; salomonsports.com) is the most confidence-inspiring ski we tested this year. Credit a unique camber that keeps the Equipe 10 from punching through soft snow or skittering on hardpack. Match 'em up with (2) Salomon's mostly carbon S-Lab Skate Pro Boot ($500), which ramps up control and energy transfer, and (3) Exel's World Cup Poles ($259; exelpoles.com). They're pricey, but like a nice pair of light and stiff road wheels, they'll boost speed and cut fatigue.

CLASSIC:
Getting your kick wax right is not easy. The (4) Madshus Nanosonic Carbon Classic Zero CIG Ski ($675; madshus.com), which features a new take on the "hairy" (not fish-scaled) grip zone, nearly makes wax obsolete: It performs well in virtually all conditions. Pair it with (5) Madshus's Nano CLC Boot ($400). It's the lightest classic boot on the market and, thanks to a soft-shell upper, also one of the most comfortable. And since you're going lightweight, opt for Madshus's 11-ounce Carbon Race 100 UHM Poles ($325; not pictured).

ACCESSORIES:
Windproof and breathable up front but as flexible as cycling tights, (6) Craft's Performance Storm Tights ($120; craft-usa.com) are warm enough for midwinter workouts. Able to shed light snow and rain, the (7) Swix Carbonate Jacket ($170; swixsport.com) features elasticized back panels for full range of motion. Keeping your hands warm after you've worked up a sweat is a real trick. The answer: (8) Toko's Thermo Windstopper Gore Glove ($69; tokous.com), which is made from windproof soft-shell fabric. You can wear (9) Buff's warm and versatile merino-wool Buff ($26; buff.us) as a neck warmer, hat, or headband.

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