What To Wear

For Snow Skiing


You will probably find you or friends will have some of the clothes you will need. So no need to buy a whole wardrobe just to try skiing out. In some locations you can even hire jackets and pants so it is worth checking what you can get without buying until you are sure you are hooked. On the other hand if you are desperate to spend there are some great technical ski garments around.


Usually your socks should be warm but thin. So thin woollen socks are the most preferred. Some people wear silk socks although these tend to wear out quickly. Wool and silk mixtures are also popular and some folks prefer thin wicking socks. Thin socks are best as they let you feel the sole of your ski boot which is where the action is generated as you ski. When renting boots though they can be quite a poor fit so thicker socks may be a better choice until you buy your own boots. Try to ensure your socks will fit well and not be prone to wrinkling up because there is nothing worse than a sock wrinkle pushing on your foot in a tight ski boot.  Make sure that only your socks are inside of your boots for the same reason, extra layers can make pressure areas that cut off circulation or numb nerves so try to avoid them.


You will probably be renting boots... These are a very important item as they are the connection between you and the skis. If this connection is too sloppy you will find it hard to get the skis to do what you want them to do. You want the boots to fit firmly around your foot but not to cut off your circulation or press too hard on nerves and make your feet numb. This is probably the first piece of equipment you will want to purchase if you get hooked on the thrill of skiing, if so make sure to see a good bootfitter and have your boots well fitted.


You want these to be waterproof!!!   You will be sitting on a chair-lift that may have snow on it, falling into the snow etc. You will feel really cold and miserable if you get wet so go waterproof.  Plastic can be slippery, if you fall on snow you may slide a long way but it works if you are just learning on the beginner slope.


It is very important that this should be windproof. You will be sitting on a chair-lift in the wind. The need for waterproof depends on your climate. In places like Australia where the snow is wet, and it often rains waterproof is important. In a drier climate like Utah or Colorado you will only need windproof.  You will want a jacket you can close up against the bad weather - so preferably zip up around the neck and a hood to snuggle into. In colder climates a down jacket can be good in cold weather.

Thermal Underwear

Even if it is warm and you do not need this for warmth you may want to consider wearing a layer of thermal underwear to remove moisture from your skin. There are many companies that make sports wear that perform this job. If you do not have anything suitable then even a cheap pair of thermal underwear (legs and top) will be fine. Cotton holds moisture and will make a chill layer so try to avoid using any cotton. Generally many thin layers is a better system than 1 thick layer - the exception being if it is very cold and you have access to a down jacket - so even a couple of layers of thermal underwear can be handy if you are in a cold climate and/or feel the cold.  I have found I can often get silk thermals at a good price(around $15 US) so these can be good if you are buying.  Similarly there are well priced thermal layers available in most cooler climates. If you are coming from a warm climate perhaps try some online shopping or stop at a department store on your way to your destination.

Warm layers

I prefer fleece for my warm layers. However you can use anything that will keep you warm. That means NO COTTON. Cotton holds sweat and can create a chill layer. So down jacket or vest if it is really cold. Grandma's old woollens if need be. Grab some fleece from Walmart or the Goodwill shop if you do not have any. Fleece works well because it tends to keep the moisture from your sweat in vapour form making it easier to let it get through your jacket(if it can breath). Wool works similarly.  Remember you will need to move - so a vest can let you have a warm trunk but keep some arm movement possible.

How to dress for skiing for first timers