Ski binding

Alpine step-in ski bindings
A late model Huitfeldt-style binding. The toe clip runs through the core of the ski to bend up on either side. This model uses a metal heel strap with a lever buckle instead of an all-leather design.
Cable binding
Alpine ski bindings, featuring integrated ski brakes and step-in-step-out heels (ca. 1980s, behind, 2010s, in front).
Alpine touring ski boot, binding, and ski crampon
Nordic Norm cross-country binding with three pins that correspond to holes in toe of the ski boot and a bail with a latch to clamp down the toe of the boot.
SNS Pilot binding with one central ridge and two stabilizing bars on the boot
NNN binding with two ridges, matching corresponding channels in the boot
New Telemark Norm (NTN) Binding

Device that connects a ski boot to the ski.

- Ski binding

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Narrow strip of semi-rigid material worn underfoot to glide over snow.

A shaped alpine ski with relatively little sidecut and classic camber: the tip and tail touch the snow while the midsection is in the air.
Old skis
Asymmetrical skis used by the Danish-Norwegian army in the 18th Century, long ski for the right leg, also shown in profile (far left).
Wooden skis with cable (kandahar) bindings and bamboo poles
Modern cross-country skis from synthetic materials, with poles and shoes.
Combination of cap design (upper part) and sidewall laminated design (lower part, white)
Four groups of different ski types, from left to right:

Substantially longer than wide and characteristically employed in pairs, skis are attached to ski boots with ski bindings, with either a free, lockable, or partially secured heel.

Alpine skiing

Alpine skiers
Alpine ski slope in the Zillertal valley, Austria
Alpine ski slopes in San Carlos de Bariloche (Argentina)
Four groups of different ski types, from left to right: 
1. Non-sidecut: cross-country, telemark and mountaineering 
2. Parabolic 
3. Twin-tip 
4. Powder
Marcel Hirscher competing in the combined slalom at the World Championships in 2017
Ski trails are measured by percent slope, not degree angle. (North America)
European piste rating system (blue, red, black)

Alpine skiing, or downhill skiing, is the pastime of sliding down snow-covered slopes on skis with fixed-heel bindings, unlike other types of skiing (cross-country, Telemark, or ski jumping), which use skis with free-heel bindings.

Cross-country skiing

Form of skiing where skiers rely on their own locomotion to move across snow-covered terrain, rather than using ski lifts or other forms of assistance.

Cross-country skiers in western Norway.
Sami hunter using skis of unequal length—short for traction, long for gliding—and a single pole. Both were employed until c. 1900. (1673 woodcut)
German Reichswehr military patrol on skis training in the Giant Mountains, January 1932.
Michal Malák skate-skis at a qualifier for the Tour de Ski, 2007.
Arctic travelers, Fridtjov Nansen and Hjalmar Johansen at the camp of Frederick Jackson on Northbrook Island in 1896.
Ski touring in untracked terrain.
Groomed ski trails for cross-country in Thuringia, track-set for classic skiing at the sides and groomed for skate skiing in the center.
Swede Anna Haag with classic technique in the women's 10 km classic race at the 2011 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Oslo, Norway.
Skiers employing step turns, while descending during a 2006 FIS World Cup Cross Country competition in Otepää, Estonia.
Pre-1940 ski gear in Oslo: bamboo poles, wooden skis, and cable bindings.
Cross-country ski equipment for skate-skiing (left) and classic-style skiing (right). Ski and pole lengths are different for each. Classic skis have a "grip zone" in the area under the binding.
Cross-country ski boot and standardized binding system for classic skiing. The skier clicks the toe of the boot into the binding and releases with the button in front of the boot.
An early depiction of a skier—a Sami woman or goddess hunting on skis by Olaus Magnus (1553).
Loyal retainers transporting Prince Haakon IV of Norway to safety on skis during the winter of 1206—1869 depiction by Knud Bergslien.
Olav V of Norway as crown-prince in 1939
A skate-skier in Gatineau Park, Quebec, a North American groomed-trail ski venue.
A recreational cross-country trail, groomed for classic skiing only, in Tyrol.
A blind cross-country skier with guide at a regional Ski for Light event.
Dog skijoring—dogs provide added propulsion to the cross-country skier.

Typically, skis, bindings, and boots allow for free movement of the heel to enable a walking pace, as with Nordic disciplines and unlike Alpine skiing.

Sondre Norheim

Norwegian skier and pioneer of modern skiing.

Photograph of Sondre Norheim ca. 1880
Statue of Sondre Norheim in Morgedal

He made important innovations in skiing technology by designing new equipment, such as different bindings and shorter skis with curved sides to facilitate turns.

Cross-country skiing (sport)

Competitive cross-country skiing encompasses a variety of race formats and course lengths.

Demino Ski Marathon, 2015
Local championship, Ballangen, Norway, 1925
Swedish competitor, Martin Matsbo, in April 1935
Sverre Stenersen headed for victory in Nordic combined at the 1956 Winter Olympic Games in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy.
Classical event during the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships of 2009 in Liberec, Czech Republic.
Marathon mass start at the 2006 Tartu Maraton.
Olympic women's biathlon gold medalists Olga Zaitseva and Andrea Henkel at the World Cup pursuit race in Oberhof, 2013.
Olena Iurkovska of Ukraine competing on cross-country sit-skis at the 2010 Winter Paralympics.
Jörgen Brink skis with classic, diagonal-stride technique uphill in track at Holmenkollen in 2007.
Michal Malák skate skis at a qualifier for the Tour de Ski, 2007.
Dry-land training and racing with roller skis
Event celebration with a podium ceremony is part of race management.
A cross-country skiing stadium was part of the racing venue at the Lahti Ski Games 2010.

Racing ski boots are also lighter than recreational ones and are attached at the toe only to bindings that are specialized for classic or skate skiing.

Ski boot

A typical "universal" ski boot of the leather era. This example, by G. H. Bass, includes an indentation around the heel where the cable binding would fit, and a metal plate at the toe for a Saf-Ski release binding. The leather strap is a "long thong", used by downhill skiers to offer some level of lateral control.
A pair of modern front-entry alpine ski boots made by Salomon. As with almost all modern examples, four buckles are used to close the openings at the top of the foot and front of the leg to produce stiff cylindrical forms. Above the top buckle on the leg is the "power strap", which acts as a fifth buckle. The rivets forming the pivot points that allow the upper and lower portions of the boot to move independently are seen in silver.
Salomon's SX 92 Equipe was the penultimate development of their SX series of rear-entry ski boots. The boot on the left is in the "open" position.
Rosemount's side-entry design, circa 1968. The metal framework that provides forward flex is not visible in these images. The "crushed" section at the top of the boot is an elastic material that prevents snow from entering the cuff.
A typical modern cross-country boot, using the original SNS style binding. Compared to downhill, cross-country boots are much simpler and more closely related to their leather ancestors.
Modern alpine touring boots from different brands. Often the inner boot can be worn separately, as shown with the red exemplar. Also common is a lever as seen on the back of both boots to switch from a rigid "ski" position to a flexible "walk" adjustment.
Typical snowboard gear consists of an L-shaped plastic frame for the bindings, and semi-stiff boots on the feet. Ratcheting buckles hold the boots in the frame. These are generally far more comfortable than typical alpine boots.

Ski boots are footwear used in skiing to provide a way to attach the skier to skis using ski bindings.


Rottefella is a Norwegian manufacturing company of winter sports equipment, more specifically ski bindings.

Mathias Zdarsky

Early ski pioneer and is considered one of the founders of modern Alpine skiing technique: Arnold Lunn described him as the "father of alpine skiing".

Zdarsky in 1908
Zdarsky demonstrating his ski technique. This photo was the basis of a 1990 commemorative Austrian 5 schilling stamp.

Zdarsky felt the earlier bindings did not hold the foot firmly enough, and so he designed binding with a strong, sprung, steel sole, which is the basis of modern ski bindings.

Fischer (company)

Austrian sports equipment manufacturing company that produces goods for snow sports, more specifically Nordic skiing, Alpine skiing and ice hockey equipment.

Winter sports equipment include skis, boots, bindings, and accessories (bags, backpacks).

Bror With

Norwegian mechanical engineer, inventor and industrialist.

Bror With is perhaps most associated with his invention of the Rottefella ("Rat Trap") ski binding, which he developed in 1927.