Business hours: Mon - Sat 9-5 | 1‑306‑652‑0385

Nordic bindings | getting them straight

Posted by on

old wood skis

Remember this binding system?  It was probably top-of-the-line in its day, but hardly anyone alive now has actually skied on it.

Many of us DO remember cross country skiing on old three-pin bindings, though.  This 75mm system was developed in 1927 by Rottefella, which in Norwegian translates to "rat trap".  

three pin binding

The three-pin system was great if you had stiff, beefy backcountry boots.  But with the flexible sole needed for flat-country skiing the boot was too flimsy for the binding, and control suffered.  And how annoying was that hunk of snow that built up under the ball of the foot?  Thank goodness things progressed in the binding world since then.

 1970's cross country skiers

The above photo shows one of the first kinds of bindings that replaced the 75mm system.  On this Salomon Nordic System (SNS) there was a bar that extended out from the toe of the boot that hooked into the binding, and a ridge on the binding plate that fit into a groove on the boot.  A vast improvement, but things would get better yet. (And check out the knickers!  Yes, Eb's used to sell them.)

While Salomon was developing the SNS, Rottefella was improving the rat trap.  Their New Nordic Norm (NNN) system differed from Salomon's by having two ridges on the binding plate that fit into two grooves in the boot, whereas SNS had only one ridge.  This remains the same today and is the reason you cannot use Salomon boots on the NNN system (and vice versa).

SNS and NNN binding system

Today, there remain the two nordic systems (SNS and NNN) but there are a few variations in binding types.


  1. Profil - has a single metal bar under the toe of the boot
  2. Pilot - has two metal bars under the toe and forefoot of the boot
  3. X-Adventure - wider and stronger for backcountry skiing

If you have a Profil boot, it won't fit in a Pilot binding.  However Pilot boots may fit a Profil binding, as long as there is a wide enough groove in the binding plate where the second bar sits.

Pilot boot on a Profil binding

NNN came out with the Nordic Integrated System (NIS) which consists of a plate attached to the ski and the NNN binding which can slide onto it.  This allows skiers to adjust their bindings in the field.  You can mount any binding - even an SNS binding - onto a ski with an NIS plate.  NNN also has the Xcelerator binding which is 40% lighter than regular NNN bindings, and they make wider backcountry (BC) bindings as well.

 NIS plate on ski

 There you have it.  If you're still not sure about bindings and have some questions, we love talking about this stuff so give us a shout :)

Note: Bindings have changed in recent years and there are new products not mentioned in this post.  There is a new post with updated information here

cross country skiing

← Older Post Newer Post →


  • Hi Sherry,
    Re your Kuusisto skis: not sure exactly what you mean about the extra 5 pegs.. is this triangular piece a heel plate? or does it look like the pegs are meant to fit into the boots? If it’s a regular 3-pin (75mm) binding your best bet for finding boots would be used boots as hardly any suppliers manufacture those for xc anymore. You could also simply take the bindings off and replace them with a modern pair. If you email us a photo we could give you more precise information.
    Thanks for the message,
    the Eb’s crew

    ebsadventure on
  • Hi we just inherited 2 brand new still in pkg..kuusisto senior sport 2 cross country skis..very vintage??? Can we still buy boots for them? I wish I could send pics of the bindings..they have the 3 pegs across the top…but there are extra pieces that are triangular shape with 5 pegs on them…can we still buy boots for them..or should we just find away to repurpose them..if you email me back..I can send pics..thanks for your safe☺

    Sherry LeDrew on
  • Hi Corrado,
    An SNS Profil boot will only fit a SNS Profil binding. It has one groove down the boot sole and one pin. It won’t fit any NNN binding (including Turnamic). We recommend upgrading your boots to the NNN system as that is now the universal system, including Salomon (Prolink). Good luck with buying your skis!
    Thanks, the Eb’s crew

    ebsadventure on
  • I hve a sns profil skii boot. Was wondering if they will fit NNN or turnmatic bindings or whether they are only fitted for Solomon skiis. It’s go confusing!!!
    Thanks. Your website helots a little bit just wanted to be sure before I get new skiis.

    Corrado Bruzzese on
  • Hi Shelley,
    You most certainly can send us a photo of your bindings. Our email is It sounds like any touring boot with an NNN sole on it should fit your bindings.
    Thanks, the Eb’s crew

    ebsadventure on

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published