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12 Best Walking Sticks

by Amanda Ghosh June 03, 2017 0 Comments

Trekking poles for senior

Walking is a great form of exercise. But it can be difficult if you deal with back pain and joint problems or if you struggle to keep your balance. Fortunately, a walking stick reduces the impact on your joints. The best walking sticks help you maintain good posture and balance. Not to mention, proper trekking poles provide a good arm workout. We’ve created a list of the best walking sticks and trekking poles to help you get started. Take a look!


1. Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles by Hiker Hunger #

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These poles are made with carbon fiber. This means they are strong, durable, and lightweight. The lightweight feature prevents your arms from tiring early in your hike or walk. The aluminum ensures the poles last a long time and do what you need them to. We like the collapsible feature because you can shorten the poles to fit them into your backpack when you are not using them.

Pros:
  • Hold up well, even for heavier folks who put a lot of weight on these poles
  • Cork handles are comfortable to hold
  • Poles hardly ever need to be readjusted once they are positioned
Cons:
  • Need to tighten the knobs after re-extending the poles to prevent the pole from collapsing

2. Ergo Cork Trekking Poles by Black Diamond #

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These trekking poles use a cork grip with a 15-degree corrective angle. The angle positions your hand for optimal grip. The baskets are small on these poles. If you don’t need to worry about your trekking poles sinking into mud or snow, then the small baskets are perfect. For example, these poles are great for rocky terrain.

Pros:
  • Enhance balance while walking
  • Add a terrific workout for the arms on fitness walks/hikes
  • Reduce the impact of walking and hiking on knee joints
Cons:
  • Not the lightest poles on the market

3. Tri-Fold Carbon Cork Trekking Poles by Paria Outdoor Products #

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The Tri-Fold poles are constructed from strong and durable material. They also fold so for easy storage. Plus, it is easy to re-extend these poles when you’re ready to hike. The Tri-Fold poles can be adjusted from 115 cm to 135 cm. The adjustability suits a variety of heights and terrains. These walking sticks come with a lifetime warranty!

Pros:
  • Poles have an excellent grip, and the foam lower grip is perfect for climbing uphill
  • This company’s customer service is great!
  • Poles are light and very sturdy
Cons:
  • The aluminum vibrates ever so slightly

4. Trekking Poles by High Trek #

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These are all-terrain poles. They help you be balanced and stable in any type of environment. They are lightweight, which will help you walk without tiring. They fit short and tall people alike. We like the foam handles and adjustable wrist strap, which prevents you from accidentally dropping your pole.

Pros:
  • Easy to adjust (even for those who have painful arthritis in the hands)
  • Shock absorbers reduce the impact of walking or hiking on hard ground
  • Lightweight enough to walk or hike for a long time without tiring the arms
Cons:
  • Twist lock feature is slightly less effective at locking the poles in place compared to other locks

5. Collapsible Trekking Poles by Foxelli #

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This pole is built for any type of environment. Its baskets are well-constructed. They won't fall off in deep snow or heavy mud. We also like the cork handles. They feel cool in hot weather and warm in cold weather. This particular product is well-suited for a variety of heights and hiking needs.

Pros:
  • Poles function impressively well in any season (tips don’t fall off in snow or heavy mud)
  • Cork handles are comfortable to grip and prevent your grip from slipping when you sweat
  • Gets you down hills way better than a walking cane
Cons:
  • There’s a mysterious rattling sound that may irritate some

6. Endurance Trekking Poles by Sterling Endurance #

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These poles are more collapsible than some of the other products we’ve shared. The Endurance Trekking Poles collapse to about 13 inches, making it easy to fit these poles into a backpack. Overall, this product is great for travelers and is well-constructed with strong materials.

Pros:
  • Compact poles fit well into backpacks
  • Work really well on rocky terrain
  • Extremely easy to open and close when adjusting or packing
Cons:
  • Locking mechanism loosens slightly

7. Ultra-Strong Hiking Poles by Montem #

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These poles are made from the same materials as airplanes, so they are strong enough to support you. The handle on these poles extends farther down the pole, making uphill climbs easier. The tips on these poles are very durable and grip a variety of surfaces, including icy ones.

Pros:
  • Even when you slip, these poles don’t break
  • Locking system is superior to most other systems—once it’s locked and tightened it will stay in place
  • The hand strap is positioned well on the pole
Cons:
  • Poles make noise when you use them

8. Quick Lock Trekking Poles by Cascade Mountain Tech #

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With these trekking poles, you can choose between cork and EVA handles. Cork handles are comfortable to hold. They also prevent your hands from slipping when you get sweaty. But cork tends to chip and tear. EVA handles are slightly less comfortable but last longer and are more durable. We like that these poles have a quick-lock mechanism. This holds the pole in place if you extend it on the move.

Pros:
  • Offers a choice of handle designs
  • Good balance between being lightweight and durable
  • Locks are sturdy and durable
Cons:
  • Poles vibrate when you’re out on the trail

9. Taalo Hiking Poles by WildHorn Outfitters #

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We like the combination of strong aluminum material and lightweight design. It is only 10.5 ounces, but it is incredibly durable. Plus, this particular trekking stick comes with an anti-shock feature that will cushion the impact of hiking or walking downhill. In addition, you can turn off the anti-shock technology when you don’t need it.

Pros:
  • Perfectly displaces your weight while walking uphill and downhill to ease the impact on joints
  • Holds up against even the toughest terrain
  • Lightweight enough to keep you going (and supported) for a long time
Cons:
  • Handle comes off after a lot of use (gluing it back onto the pole seems to fix this)

10. Walking Poles by BAFX Products #

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The set of two poles help those with balance and stability issues. They also use mud discs to keep from sinking into soft ground. And the comfortable handle is a delight. This is perfect for the person who wants to remain more upright on leisurely walks or who seeks balance assistance.

Pros:
  • Hold up extremely well against a variety of terrains and on long-distance hikes
  • Made from solid material without being too heavy
  • Perfect height
Cons:
  • Initial setup can be difficult

11. Trekking Poles by Vive #

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These poles are among the lightest we've found, weighing only 7 ounces. They are perfect for anyone who plans to walk or hike for a long time or on challenging terrain. These can also be adjusted for any height. Kids and adults can both use these poles. They are perfect if the grandchildren plan to hike with you. We like that these poles come with a carrying case and can be used in any environment, including icy trails. The handle also uses anti-slip technology to prevent your hands from losing their grip and it comes with a wrist strap so you don't accidentally drop your poles. These are ideal for seniors, kids, and those carrying extra weight.

Pros:
  • Great for just walking around the house if you have MS or other debilitating conditions
  • Perfect for regaining balance while on the move
  • Much lighter than your average walking stick
Cons:
  • Instructions are somewhat difficult to understand at first

12. Walking, Trekking & Climbing Stick by KevenAnna #

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Choose from purple, blue, white, and yellow. This product is designed for extremely cold weather and high altitudes. Users benefit from a spring-mechanism that reduces impact on the hands and wrists, making this stick perfect for those with hand strains or wrist sprains.

Pros:
  • Works well from -112 degrees Fahrenheit to 176 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Bright colors are a cheery sight on the trail
  • Spring mechanism reduces shock on weak and injury-prone hands and wrists
Cons:
  • Only includes one walking stick

Finding the Best Fit

The experts at Eastern Mountain Sports suggest the following size/fit guide:

  • 6’3’’ and above: Your pole should be minimum 53 inches tall.
  • 6’2’’ and shorter: Anything less than 53 inches will probably work. If you are still unsure, select a stick that can adjust to a height of less than 53 inches.

How to Use Trekking Poles for Walking Sticks

If you are just starting,  here are a few key basics to help:

  • Use the strap. Slip your hand through the strap and reposition it so your palm rests on top of the strap.

Walking Stick Utilizing the straps on your hiking sticks increases stabilization and reduces the wear and tear on your hands. ( Image Reference)

  • Avoid using a death grip, no matter how scary the terrain is.
  • Walk with your elbows close to your sides.
  • Use any auto-adjuster feature on the pole to easily change the height of the stick as needed. With the trekking pole tips at your feet, your elbows should be at roughly ninety degrees.

Benefits of a Walking Stick

Hiking staffs come with many benefits. Focusing on just a few of those, walking sticks and trekking poles can:

  • Reduce the impact of walking and hiking on joints
  • Reduce soreness associated with hiking
  • Increase the intensity of a walk (and help you burn more calories)
  • Provide an upper-body workout for the arms
  • Add balance and stability
  • Assist movement over difficult terrain

To improve your comfort during your hike and reduce soreness after, find a good pair of insoles for your boots or shoes.

Features to Look For:

  • Adjustment:Poles should fold up or shrink in size for ease of transport.
  • Anti-Shock Technology: Hiking and walking impacts your joints. An ideal walking stick will have the technology to minimize that shock.
  • Handles:Trekking staffs come with a variety of handles. You want to look for something that won’t slip when you are sweaty and feels comfortable in your hand. A strap is a good idea for added hand and wrist support.
  • Weight: The lighter the pole, the easier long-distance hikes will be. Pay attention to material. A wood hiking staff may be heavier than one made of lightweight aluminum.
  • Baskets:The tiny fanned objects at the tip of the pole—you want ones that won’t come off and prevent the pole from sinking deep into semi-solid surfaces.

Hit The Trail with Only the Best Walking Sticks!

We’ve picked out some awesome hiking poles. We can’t wait for you to get out on the trail or take your new staff for a walk. Take your time, and research the different types of sticks. However, we don’t think you will go wrong with any on this list. Just keep an eye out for proper sizing and fit. Walking and hiking are great ways to improve your health and soak in the wilderness. Happy trails!

Sources:

https://backpackinglight.com

Amanda Ghosh
Amanda Ghosh

Amanda has a Masters of Science in Nutrition from Syracuse University which equipped her with courses applied to licensure as a dietitian. She also worked as a Program Director for the Wellness and Fitness Department for the YMCA. She is well versed in physical fitness, with a certificate from the National Academy of Sports Medicine in physical fitness training. She has taught numerous fitness classes, including college courses in the Athletic Department, as an adjunct instructor, at the SUNY University at Buffalo. She currently resides with her husband in the NYC area, and loves to put her knowledge of anatomy and physiology to use by being active. Both her and her husband are self-declared "foodies."



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