Yesterday Sandy and I drove up to the XC Ski Headquarters shop and trails in Roscommon to get in some skiing. I had given Sandy a new ski package for Christmas and with no snow by us, we drove the 2+ hours north to find the snow and groomed trails. The area had received about 6" of snow overnight and the tracks were set with perfect conditions.
Sandy had the new type of boots and bindings, new to us anyway. I still use the older 3 pin bindings and long skinny skis. Sandy's boots had snapped at the toe years ago so she hasn't been out since, the older boots are very hard to find any more. She noticed after we were done that the new boots had made her ankles sore and a blister had started to develop on one heel. So we will probably go back to REI and check out a different pair or try another store altogether. The XC Ski HQ shop has a much better selection.
I usually try to get out a few times each year. I started xc skiing almost 40 years ago on wooden, waxable skis so the new equipment is great for getting people out on the trails. It eliminates the yearly job of prepping the base of the skis and the daily ( or hourly) decision of which wax to use. Those most serious about performance are still using waxable skis.
We were out about two hours which is just long enough to get comfortable on the skis and for the muscles to let you know that they have been working. The trails are fairly flat to gently rolling, only one or two hills and they are short. We plan on heading back up to the area if we don't receive much snow down here.