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The Best Hiking Poles and Why You Need Them?

Last updated on January 27, 2020

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Wait!  What are Hiking Poles?

Bella Vista Hiker imageMaybe you have seen the hikers around the trails and paths of Bella Vista and you certainly have seen pictures of hikers climbing hills and going down woodland paths holding poles in each hand.  These are know as Hiking Poles or Trekking Poles or Sticks.  Typically, they are used as a pair.  There are several benefits of using Hiking Poles when you are hiking.  I list a few of them below:

1.  If you are hiking on level ground, the poles will help you maintain good posture keep you stable and enhance the rhythm of your walking.

2.  When climbing, hiking poles/sticks will take a lot of strain off your hamstrings and keep you from falling by giving you two additional points of contact with the ground.  Your arms will also take some of the weight off the knees, feet and ankles.

3.  When navigating downhill, the poles are said to take over 25% off the compression off your knees.

4.  The pole can be used to move obstacles aside, like thorny brushes and poison ivy, test water and snow depth and check for quicksand.

5.  The poles can be used as a weapon also to ward off dangerous animals (both 2 legged and 4 legged).

6.  Carbon fiber or aluminum poles are very light and even if you aren’t using them, they are very easy to carry with your pack.

7.  You can lean on the poles to rest while taking a break from hiking with a heavy load.

8.  The poles can be used as tent or shelter poles in an emergency.

Choosing the right hiking poles for you

1.  First, decide whether to use one or two poles.  Generally two poles are best.

2.  The height of the poles should allow for your elbows to have a 90 degree angle when the tips are touching the ground. If you are using the poles to climb up a steep path, shorten the length a little, more as the path gets steeper.  For downhill, you do the opposite, adjust them to be longer.

3.  Decide if you want adjustable poles, foldable ones, very light ones, poles with locks, etc.

4.  Decide what type of hand grip you want your poles to have:  Cork and foam help if you have sweaty hands; rubber is good for use in cold weather – it may cause blisters in hot weather.

Accessories come with most pairs of poles:

The large baskets are for snow, the smaller baskets are for mud, and the “feet” fit over the points for using them on asphal that are longer and have a part that goes up like the back of a running shoe.  Some come with a carry bag.

Some top Hiking Poles:



Black Diamond Trail Pro Shock Pole

Rated 4.5 stars on Amazon (88% of reviewers gave 5-star rating)

Price:  $96.15
  • Two poles
  • Ultra-light aluminum shafts
  • Dual-density grip and 360-degree padded webbing strap
  • Non-slip foam grip extension
  • 4-stage shock absorbent 
  • They have a dual locking mechanism for changing the length.
  • Switchable rubber or carbide tips
  • 26″ when fully collapsed

Cascade Mountain Tech 100% Carbon Fiber Quick Lock Trekking Poles

Rated 4.5 stars on Amazon (72% of reviewers gave 5-star rating)


Price:  $44.99

  • Two poles
  • 100% carbon fiber, lightweight
  • Length can be adjusted from down to almost 25-54″
  • Cork grip to reduce sweaty hands, Eva foam grip available
  • Great Flip locks rather than twist ones
  • Bargain at this price

Hiker Hunger 100% Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles – Ultralight & Collapsible with Quick Flip-Lock, Cork Grips, & Tungsten Tips

Rated 4.5 stars on Amazon (87% of reviewers gave 5-star rating)

Color: Black

Price:  $69.99

  • 100% carbon fiber, ultra light
  • Length adjustable from 24″-54″
  • Comfortable cork grip plus Eva foam extensions included
  • Adjustable hand straps
  • Great customer support

Foxelli Trekking Poles – Collapsible, Lightweight, Shock-Absorbent, Carbon Fiber Hiking, Walking & Running Sticks with Natural Cork Grips, Quick Locks, 4 Season/All Terrain Accessories and Carry Bag

Rated 5 stars on Amazon (88% of reviewers gave 5-star rating)

Color:  Black

Price:  $59.97

  • Two poles
  • One size fits all – length can go from 24″-55″
  • Cork grip
  • Padded, adjustable straps
  • There is a carry case included

Ryno Tuff Trekking Poles, Durable 100% Carbon Fiber Hiking Pole With Natural Cork Handles and Extended EVA Grips, Ultralight, Expandable, Collapsible, Foldable – For Hiking, Walking, Skiing – Set of 2

Rated 4.5 stars on Amazon (88% of reviewers gave 5-star rating)

Color: Black

Price:  $29.99 (a bargain)


  • 2 collapsible/fold-able walking poles
  • 2 rubber tips to protect the built-in tungsten tips
  • rubber boots for trekking on pavement
  • 2 mud baskets for trekking on softer ground
  • 2 snow baskets for snowy terrains or skiing
  • 1 carry bag
  • Great customer support


There are many reasons that you would choose to use hiking poles or sticks to help you stay safer when hiking, expecially in the hills of northwest Arkansas.   There are also a large variety of brand and prices of poles.  You do not have to spend a fortune to acquire your own hiking poles.


I enjoy receiving questions and comments.  Feel free to leave yours below – Shirley

Note:  This post contains affiliate links which if clicked on and a product purchased, I receive a small commission.


  1. What a Handy thing to have. This should be a must for every hiking and camping lover. And if you are on a certain age, these poles can help a lot with a walking routine in order to avoid injuries. Which ones do you recommend for an Urban walk? The Foxelli Trekking Poles look like a very good option, what do you think?

    • adminadmin

      Thanks, Ruben for visiting my site and your comment. The Foxelli would work, its one size fits all and is made for all terrains. Plus they are not too expensive and still rated great. However, the cheaper Ryno Tuff pair has a great rating and are easy to assemble and adjust. Either would work well. Thanks again. – Shirley

  2. Thanks Shirley! So we are going to be brand new hikers. We plan to go on a hike when we take a trip to Hawaii next year so this is great information. I have actually never gone hiking before and the more I read the more I am learning what we will need. Hiking poles weren’t even on my list! This will be helpful for our trip. Thank you again!

    • adminadmin

      Chris, thanks for reading my blog post and your comment. Also congratulations on your upcoming trip to Hawaii (stay away from that lava flow). I have another post on hiking you might be interested in:
      Be sure and start slowing on your hiking and work up to longer ones before you head to Hawaii. Thanks again. – Shirley

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