Glide or grip? That’s typically the choice you have to make in light touring skis. Do you want aggressive scales under foot for grippier ascents? Or do you want a smoother base for the best glide on the flats? The Fischer Snowbound Rugged Nordic Touring Ski solves that problem with a gripping pattern carved into the base (not raised, like most skis); it extends through the ceramic edges, which join up with metal at the tail and tip.
The result: The ceramic gives the glide you need to cover terrain quickly and efficiently, and it greatly improves grip on climbs. The metal helps you turn on downhills. The air-channeled, wood-core Snowbound has enough sidecut for easy turning while still allowing it to track straight. Whether you plan to ski the entire 300 miles of Vermont’s Catamount Trail or simply tour the woods behind your house, this is the ski for the job. $300; 4 lbs. 9 oz. (179cm); 169, 179, 189, 199cm (77/61/69); fischerskis.com