What Not to Wear Skiing

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When it comes to skiing, avoiding certain clothing choices can contribute to a more comfortable and safe experience on the slopes.

Here’s a guide on what not to wear when skiing:

Cotton Clothing:

Why not: Cotton absorbs and retains moisture, leaving you wet and cold. It has poor insulation properties when wet, making it an unsuitable choice for skiing. Wet clothing can lead to discomfort and increase the risk of hypothermia in cold conditions.

Bulky or Overly Thick Layers:

Why not: While staying warm is essential, wearing excessively bulky or thick layers can restrict your movement and make it challenging to regulate body temperature. Opt for well-insulating, breathable layers rather than piling on too many heavy garments.

Non-Waterproof Outerwear:

Why not: Skiing involves exposure to snow and sometimes rain. Wearing non-waterproof jackets and pants can lead to wet and uncomfortable conditions. It’s essential to invest in outerwear that is both waterproof and breathable to keep you dry and regulate body temperature.

Ski pants and a ski jacket are ideal for skiing


Why not: Jeans are made of cotton and have minimal insulation. When wet, they can become heavy and take a long time to dry. Additionally, jeans restrict movement, limiting your ability to perform skiing maneuvers comfortably.

Skiing in Non-Ski Pants:

Why not: Skiing in non-ski-specific pants can hinder your movement and lead to discomfort. Cargo pants, in particular, may have pockets that can catch on ski equipment or impede your mobility. Leggings are made out cotton and are too thin to keep you warm and jeans are also made of cotton and are too restrictive to ski comfortably in.

Non-Moisture Wicking Socks:

Why not: Regular cotton socks absorb moisture and do not wick it away from your skin. Wet feet can lead to discomfort and increase the risk of blisters. Opt for moisture-wicking ski-specific socks to keep your feet dry and warm.

Insufficiently Insulated Gloves or Mittens:

Why not: Cold hands can be a significant source of discomfort while skiing. Avoid gloves or mittens with insufficient insulation. Instead, choose insulated, waterproof options to protect your hands from the cold and wet conditions.


Why not: Scarves can become entangled in ski equipment, posing a safety hazard. Instead of traditional scarves, opt for neck gaiters or balaclavas, which provide warmth without the risk of getting caught.

Non-Helmet-Compatible Hats:

Why not: While wearing a hat is essential for warmth, choose one that is compatible with a helmet. Bulky or non-helmet-compatible hats can compromise the fit and safety of your helmet.

Sunglasses Without UV Protection:

Why not: Protecting your eyes from the sun’s glare is crucial when skiing, but sunglasses without UV protection can lead to eye strain and damage. Invest in ski goggles or sunglasses with UV protection to shield your eyes from harmful rays and glare.

Non-Waterproof Footwear:

Why not: Regular sneakers or non-waterproof boots can lead to wet and cold feet. Opt for waterproof and insulated ski boots to keep your feet warm and dry throughout the day.

Inadequate Sunscreen:

Why not: Forgetting to apply sunscreen can result in sunburn, especially at higher altitudes where UV radiation is more intense. Always apply sunscreen to exposed skin, including your face, and use SPF lip balm to prevent sunburn and chapped lips.

By avoiding these clothing choices, you can enhance your skiing experience, ensuring both comfort and safety on the slopes. Prioritize moisture-wicking, breathable, and waterproof materials to stay dry, warm, and mobile during your skiing adventures.

For more info on ski gear and clothing, check out this article on what to wear skiing in Colorado or this article on what to wear at a ski resort when not skiing.

“What You Shouldn’t Wear When Skiing.” Mammoth Bound, mammothbound.com/what-should-i-avoid-wearing-when-i-ski/
“Say no to Jeans! What to Wear Skiing and Snowboarding.” Ski Canada, skicanada.org/say-no-to-jeans-what-to-wear-skiing-and-snowboarding/
“What Not to Pack for a Ski Trip.” Expedia, expedia.com/stories/what-not-to-pack-for-a-ski-trip/

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