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Dressing for Snow Sports – Eyes, Hands & Socks


Snow, because it is a reflective surface, makes ultraviolet (UV) rays stronger. On sunny days, sunglasses are essential to protect the eyes. Special lens colors increase the contrast in order to properly discern terrain features.

Gloves and mittens

Look for gloves and mittens that use waterproof/breathable fabrics. Mittens, in general, are warmer than gloves, but offer less dexterity. Consider the type of activity when choosing between gloves and mittens. Snowboarding gloves and mittens often have a reinforced palm because of extra wear from adjusting bindings and balancing on the snow. Some snowboarding gloves and mittens also have built-in wrist guards, which are excellent for novice snowboarders. Gloves for cross-country skiing tend to be lighter-weight to allow for extra movement and a higher degree of perspiration.


One pair of lightweight or medium weight socks works best for skiing, snowboarding or snowshoeing. Socks are made from a variety of materials, including polyester, silk and wool. Socks designed specifically for snow sports have wicking properties similar to thermal underwear, meaning your feet will stay drier and more comfortable.


A light hat is very important to keeping warm on cool days. Many say that 80% of your heat can be lost through the head. Chose a light hat that can be stowed in a pocket if you get hot.