Proper clothing selection is important for the enjoyment and success of a cross country skier. The most important consideration in making clothing decisions for the youngest skiers is to make them comfortable but mobile. Parents need to use discretion in determining what works best for their child.
Sport and Race skiers require clothing that helps prevent overheating and is athletically designed so that it will not hinder movement. Bulky downhill ski jackets and pants do not work. Cotton should be avoided. A layering approach works best so that skiers can shed outer clothing once they are warmed up and before they overheat.
Hat A hat or headband for warmer days. Some skiers have trouble keeping their hat over their ears. On cold days specially designed earmuffs can be used.
Long Underwear Non-cotton long underwear tops and bottoms that can be used under the skiers uniform.
Socks Thin to medium non-cotton technical socks that are long enough to extend beyond the top of the skiers boot. Socks designed for cross country skiing provide warmth but also are thin enough that they don't feel bulky inside a boot. Heavy rag wool socks are too bulky.
Gloves Gloves designed for cross country skiing allow the skier to get a better grip on their poles. For colder days Lobster Mitts help keep hands warm. Big bulky mittens make it very difficult to properly grasp a pole.
Balaclava A balaclava with a thin fleece neck section and lycra top worn under a hat keeps kids warm on the coldest of days.
Uniform Nothing beats a lycra uniform for cross country skiing. It can be used in almost all weather conditions and made warmer by layering with long underwear and a vest. Lycra tights are probably the singular most important piece of clothing.
Vest A vest designed specifically for cross country skiing or a light fleece vest with some kind of wind protection keeps the core warm and will be enough for all but the coldest days. An inexpensive synthetic or down vest works well for colder weather.
Cross Country Skiing Jacket A jacket to wear on the coldest days that still allows athletic movements.
Down Jacket A large down or synthetic jacket to wear over other clothes on the coldest days for before and after races.
Warm-up Pants Special over-pants made for cross country skiing or an inexpensive pair of nylon sweat pants to be used over uniform tights before and after races or on very cold days.
Glasses Glasses offer protection from both the sun and from another skiers pole. Skiers should get use to wearing them at all times.