Legs and arms can both be strengthened and conditioned using trekking poles, and using them for support is a great way to improve your form and technique while you enjoy the trails, or even just walking around town.
Using trekking poles properly can make your hiking or trekking experience safer, more enjoyable and more comfortable. You’re less likely to trip, catch your heels or turn an ankle if you’re using trekking poles. And using trekking poles also decreases the strain on your body by adding a greater percentage of leg muscle work as opposed to arm and shoulder work.
In addition to all of these great reasons to use trekking poles, they provide more support when you need it the most — when your load is heaviest (pouring rain, snow, trail debris) or you’re ascending or descending steeper terrain (steep uphill, rocky trail, downhill). Some people also find that they hold a rigid trekking pole in their hand helps with balance.
Therefore, when it comes to trekking poles, you get out what you put in. Using trekking poles effectively, whether you’re using them on flat terrain or in difficult conditions, will help you get more out of your hiking or trekking time, whether it’s with a full pack on your back or a light day hike.
1. Hiker Hunger 100% Carbon Fiber Trekking Pole 2.0 Ultralight Weight
- Breathable, ergonomic grip
- Can be used on several surfaces
- Multiple uses
- Good for knee support
- Comfortable grip
- Sometimes hard to adjust
- Might not be durable
This trekking pole has a very light weight of only 33 ounces per pole. The poles are extremely durable and can be used on many different surfaces.
The metal screw flip lock makes it easy to adjust the height of the poles quickly. Having the right length of a pole is important to control knee pain.
The locking mechanism also makes it easy to lock the poles in place for shooting photos or videos or running. The rubber foot pegs on the bottom of the trekking poles can be used on many surfaces including sandstone, rocks, pavement, or mud.
2. Foxelli Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles
- Durable (made from carbon fiber)
- Strong grips (natural cork)
- Reliable locking system
- Comfortable hand grips
- Strong joint connection
- Non-slip grip on the bottom and top
- Durability issues
- The sticky handle may separate from the pole
- The product only comes with a 90-day warranty
Foxelli Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles are an excellent choice for hikers who are a bit more heavy since they can handle handling their weight in order to get better performance.
The trekking poles are manufactured from carbon fiber which is strong, lightweight, and shock-absorbent.
The feature that makes it easy to use and comfortable as there is a grip that is simple, non-slip, and slip-resistant.
3. Cascade Mountain Tech Trekking Poles
- Some parts are high carbon carbon
- Lightweight shaft – 1.5 pounds
- Foam handle is replaceable
- Adjustable from 25" to 54"
- Quick adjustment via twist lock system
- Locking tab conveniently positioned to aid in use
- Durable grip
- Tips are not replaceable
- Adjustment requires tools
The Cascade Mountain Tech trekking poles are best for outdoor trekking, light backpacking, and travel. They are made with high-quality material and are very durable.
These trekking poles are lightweight yet stable, having a high-quality carbon fiber trekking pole set that is easy to adjust for the perfect length. The cork handles easily contour to your hands.
These hiking sticks are ideal for trekking, trail hiking, backpacking, and travel. Whether you are hiking on uneven terrain, crossing streams, rock climbing, or playing any other outdoor sport, they are lightweight yet very stable, allowing you to keep your balance.
4. Montem Ultra Strong Trekking
- Anodized coating
Trekking poles are very popular among hikers, backpackers, and even climbers. They provide an extra support and help you keep your balance and center of gravity while traveling on different types of terrains.
Needless to say that a good pair of trekking poles can make your hiking miles even easier. The Montem Ultra Strong Trekking Poles are a great choice. This set comes with two trekking poles included.
The set is quite attractive and easy to assemble. It's strong and allows you to travel longer distances without tiring your knees. It weighs only 12 ounces which allows you to carry it with you regardless of how many water bottles you fill.
5. High Stream Gear Foldable Hiking & Trekking Poles
- Excellent ergonomic design
- Easy to adjust the length
- Comfortable hard plastic hand grips
- Sturdy enough to handle mud and lots of snow
- 3 year warranty
- Reasonably priced
Having proper trekking poles is an essential part of your big adventure. You should never just put on your backpack, walk by the front door, and head into the wild. You need to take the time to prepare for your trip and kit out appropriately for the environment you are traveling through.
High Stream Gear Pole is an excellent choice for those who plan on doing some extensive trekking, and you'll get two shoulder straps for easy carrying, along with a handy carrying pouch. The poles are designed from sturdy aluminum alloy and designed to fold up, so they pack easily into your bag.
The poles extend from 25” to 53” high, and because they are made of aluminum, you don’t have to worry about flying weight. This is a two-pack of poles, and they are designed with comfort in mind, with the padded hand grips and foam straps at the top to hold the poles on your forearm.
6. Alpine Summit Hiking/Trekking Poles
- One size fits all
- The locking mechanism can be a little temperamental
- Safety grip can get in the way
- A little wrist fatigue from the straps
Alpine mountaineering is serious business. And it requires excellent trekking poles. This set from Alpine Summit is some of the top rated trekking poles for anyone that wants to hit the outdoors with a very reliable, solid set of poles.
They’re made of a combination of durable 7075 aluminum and cork that is perfect for trekking. Aluminum is the perfect material to use for trekking poles, as it is lightweight, very durable, and it can stand up to the wear and tear a person would put on it while marching up and down a mountain.
But before you get on your way, make sure to adjust the quick-lock system to your desired height with the easy-grip dials. It also has a safety grip that comes in handy if you do happen to slip and fall.
7. Equipeak Collapsible Folding Hiking & Trekking Sticks
- Aluminum body
- Cork handle
- 2-year warranty
- 32 centimeters of length adjustment
- Great balance due to top-tier construction
- Large enough for use with gloves
- High quality build and materials
- Some reports of durability issues
- Shock absorbers have been reported to wear off
- Cork might wear away with extended use
Folding hiking poles are a great option for hikers who want to save weight. As the name suggest, you can simply fold these poles if you need to carry them around. They also allow for versatility since you get to choose the length you want.
Aluminum is a great material to use for these poles in my opinion because they’re durable and won’t give under your weight. The cork handle is padded and comfortable, allowing for a secure and functional fit, while the EVA foam handle makes sure that you keep your grip even under the worst weather conditions.
It comes with a 32 centimeters long adjustment range, enough to fit your preferences. Speaking of adjustments, these poles have a unique twist system that allows you to tighten them without using any tools.
8. High Trek Trekking Poles
- Rubber grips
High Trek Trekking Poles are inexpensive, basic trekking poles that provide good value for money. These poles are made for basic trekking. They are extendable to provide a good support to your joints and knees, and help you in the rough terrains.
The poles are extendable from 26" to 53". They have hook-lock type of adjustment. Buttons are press and slide type. The poles are very lightweight and flexible. The tips are rubber. The pack includes 2 pieces of poles.
9. TREKOLOGY Trek-Z Trekking Hiking Poles
- 7075 aircraft aluminum shaft
- Foam grips
- Comes with a protective sheath
- Lifetime warranty
10. Paria Outdoor Products Tri-Fold Carbon Cork Trekking Poles/Sticks
- Foldable design for easier storage
- Prevent overheating with the ergonomic comfort grip
- Tri-fold system allows for easy adjustability
- Integrated ice ax to help you hold on in winter
- Lightweight and sturdy cork handles
- Pair with removable rubber tip covers to ensure stability
- Foam handle might not feel comfortable to hold in extreme cold
- No rubber grip solution for sweaty or wet hands
- Takes some time to adjust
If you want to combine your hiking trip with a bit of adventuring to the mountains, get these trekking poles to enjoy a safe and easy hike. They provide you with perfect balance and assistance, so you can feel confident about every step you take.
These trekking poles are easy to use, as they offer a simple folding mechanism that collapses the poles for easy carriage and storage. The poles are suitable for everyday use and hiking. They come with a simple design and do not exhaust you with unnecessary features.
The poles also come with an ergonomic grip made of cork, which provides you with the you with a comfortable feeling. The metal tips are suitable for everyday use.
11. Black Diamond Trail Pro Shock Trekking Poles
- Comfortable foam grips
- Adjustable SpeedCinch locking system
The Black Diamond Trail Pro Shock Trekking poles are a good solution when you’re looking for something that’s lightweight enough for ultralight backpacking, but can also stand up to heavier loads when you want to use them to hike with a bit of weight on your back.
They’re carbon fiber composite shafts to save on overall weight, but they’re not fragile, and they’re plenty stiff enough for anything you throw at them.
The chest strap is fully adjustable so that you can find a comfortable fit, even with layers on, and increases the stability of the poles when you’re off the trail and on the steep slopes.
12. Black Diamond 793661307143 Alpine Trekking Poles
- Very Lightweight ½ pound each
- Great For Hill Trekking
- Don’t Slip While Covered in Ice
- Tripod Heights to Ground Works on All Terrain
- Only Works with Each Other
- Not as Durable as Leki or Black Diamond
- Shorter & Smaller Gimbal Than Harness
- Lack of Handles Can Make Poles Frustrating
They’re long and lightweight, perfect for hill trekking. Defects: Not as durable as Leki or Black Diamond.
The five-section foldable design is easy to pack away. If you’re tall, these great trekking poles will allow for an excellent arm length when extended.
13. Alpine Summit 100% Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles –
- Can be adjusted to a desirable height
- Very sturdy, do not easily bend or break
- Great for trekking or hiking
- Saves you time, good for your health
- Can use it as a cane
- May be too heavy and bulky for some
- May be uncomfortable for prolonged use
14. Brazos 41" Free Form Hawthorn Wood Walking Stick Hiking Trekking Pole
- Made of quality materials
- Great for anyone from beginner hikers to professionals
- Comes with a lifetime warranty
- Adjustable length settings (41-53 inches)
- Ergonomic, unique design which allows for a full range of motion
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Can be used to aid in balance
- The best trekking pole with multiple usage options
- Packs well and weighs under a pound
- Won’t record footsteps like a GPS
- You’ll need to learn how to use a trekking pole correctly
If you’re looking for the best trekking pole, one that will last you for years and that comes with a lifetime warranty, you’ll need to consider the Bowos Brazos Hawthorn Free Form Trekking Pole.
They’re designed to be the perfect all-around trekking pole. The adjustable length means that you can use them with your favorite pair of hiking boots regardless of your foot size or your height. You can also use them for a wide variety of activities such as trail running, snowshoeing, backpacking, and even Nordic skiing.
15. G2 GO2GETHER Hiker Trekking Hiking Poles Telescopic/Aluminum Alloy/Comfort BMM Handle/Auto-Adjustable Strap/Quick Flip Lock/Snow Baskets Attached
- Comfortable handle
- Easy adjustment
- Reliable locking mechanism
- Affordable price
The G2 GO2GETHER Hiker Trekking Poles are ideal for hikers, trekkers, backpackers, and other outdoor enthusiasts of all different skill levels. I have to admit that I couldn’t find anything to complain about here… they’re priced just right, and they come with adjustable straps for a comfortable fit whether you’re 120 pounds or 220 pounds. These poles are also ideal for any situation; they work fine for snow, rain, or mud.
They’re six inches wide, but they collapse down to a more manageable 13 inches, which makes them easy to carry around. The poles pack down to the perfect length, and they’re so light that you hardly even notice them. The G2 GO2GETHER poles feature a rubber coating on the grip, which makes them easy to hold no matter how sweaty your hands get. They’re sturdy, durable, and feel great in your hands.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is the best trekking pole brand?
If you're looking for the best trekking poles in 2016 head to REI and grab a pair of Komperdell Vario Alu 7075. You'll spend 3 times more than on any other model on the list, but they're strong, lightweight and have the highest number of positive reviews.
These Alpine Carbon Cork trekking poles have both a unique and practical feature in their extendable length. The ergonomic foam handles are made up of 4 parts, which make them comfortable to use for long hours. Also, they have a technical grade material that makes these poles light in weight yet strong. Built with two length adjustments and made of lightweight aluminum, these poles are designed for individuals who love to hike.
What trekking poles to buy?
There are a lot of trekking pole options out there. If you're looking to go on a legit trek, you're going to want some hefty poles. However, trekking poles don't have to be some super burly tools–a good pair of trekking poles shouldn't cost a ton.
Don't be fooled by extremely cheap trekking poles. Oftentimes, the most inexpensive are the worst. But you don't have to dish out a lot of cash for ones that will stand the test of time and help you up mountains, either.
A pair of trekking poles can really help you cover ground, especially if you're hiking long distances. And they help reduce the impact of your footsteps and help your knees in the process.
Our top picks of the best trekking poles are:
How high should my trekking poles be?
The standard answer is to have your trekking poles be the same height as your arm length when holding the poles horizontal to the ground. That's 2/3 the length of your arm from elbow to the tip of your middle finger.
That's an OK answer, but I'll add, smaller hands tend to prefer a lower grip, which makes it a lot easier to really nail that grip when moving aggressively.
Is it better to hike with one pole or two?
"One pole or two?" That's a loaded question!
Hiking with one pole is easier and more comfortable for beginners. Adding a second pole adds stability, but it takes more effort.
Some people swear by using a single trekking pole. Their main reason is that a single pole is the easiest to travel with. Plus, you can use the same pole for other sports such as Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, or caving.
Other hikers only use one trekking pole no matter what. They're comfortable with hiking single-pole only. Plus they have fewer parts to mess with.
I'm a die-hard fan of using two poles. I find two poles to be more stable, and using two poles adds no extra weight.
The best trekking poles allow you to hike longer while supporting your joints. They promote a healthy gait by improving creature comfort and posture.
In our opinion, the Leki Corklite 3 is the best trekking pole for its superior comfort and quality design. We say that because it shows a high level of durability even during extreme stress tests. It is available in both aluminum and carbon models, which demonstrates that both materials can be used in the right applications.