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Michael, Librarian
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 2532
Experience:  20+ years as information professional
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Hello, I have a question about skiing equipment for my 4 year

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Hello, I have a question about skiing equipment for my 4 year old son. We live now in Finland so my son is ready to start learning how to down hill ski, cross country ski, and snowboard.I have no idea about the equipment or what is available. Today I am asking about boots for all of these. I was told by someone that each of the 3 sports require different boots. I cant believe that there is no system out there in which one pair of boots will work with all 3. Do I really need to buy 3 separate boots in addition to everything else or has some company found a solution. Thanks, Graham
Hello, Thank you for using this service. I wish to introduce myself. I am a Research Librarian with 20+ years of experience.

Skiing as well as any sport can be very expensive and purchasing the right equipment is key in order to have a good experience as well as safety.

As for your question on various boots for this sport, skiing and snowboarding are both snow sports but use different types of foot and ankle movements. Each boot for each style of skiing attach to the bindings of snow sport equipment but the two types of snow boots look and feel different.

For example, ski boots have hard shells while snowboard boots are softer and are more comfortable, like a tennis shoe. Ski boots have a four buckle system while snowboard boots have three types of systems to buckle. Snowboard shoes have extra cushioning while ski boots are more of a harder plastic shell. Overall, hard plastic boots are too inflexible for performing tricks so snowboard shoes are made differently for that reason.

Recently, Powder magazine has published their 2013 buyers guide for their top picks for purchasing equipment such as boots. Here is their review for your research on possible purchases for you and your son:

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

But what about downhill sking to cross country boots as I originally asked?

In the difference between boots for downhill and cross country, bindings are what varies between the two. For downhill, boots are attached at the binding at both the toe and the heel so all is attached. This allows you to change directions on descending down the hill as well as other moves with greater movement. For cross country, ski is just attached to the toe allowing more of a skating movement for flat, uphill or other types of hills. This allows you to go up and down while downhill you just go down at a greater speed, needing that boot support.Cross country boots are much more flexible and acts like a hiking boot where downhill does not.