Of all the Nordic disciplines, skating's the fastest, and, correspondingly, requires the stiffest boots. Skate boots use a plastic or carbon cuff for additional ankle support and a stiff sole to create a powerful platform for push-off when you’re skating. You can choose between hook-and-loop and ratcheting ankle straps, and high-end boots sometimes have an instep strap that ensures a snug, aggressive fit. Recreational boots have a roomier fit and more insulation, and there are also Combi models available, which have a removable cuff so you can use them for skate and classic skiing. Atomic and Salomon boots work with SNS bindings, while everything else is compatible with the NNN/NIS system, unless otherwise specified.
All have synthetic uppers, recreational boots are roomier and warmer, and performance boots are stiffer and often feature carbon cuffs and soles.
Almost all boots have a quick-lace system, a zippered lace cover, and a hook-and-loop or ratcheting ankle strap. Some race boots have instep ratchets.
SNS Pilot boots work with Profil and Pilot bindings, Profil boots work only with Profil bindings, and NNN/NIS boots only with NNN/NIS bindings.