Best Walking Poles for Trekking & Hiking

Looking for a new walking pole?

It’s rumoured that walking poles can take 30% of pressure off the knees and provide stability on uneven surfaces. These trekking poles have come a long way from one presumes the earliest incarnation which would have simply been a stick one finds on the forest floor!

Nowadays, any trekking pole worth its weight (or lack of weight as the case may be) is usually constructed from lightweight materials such as carbon fibre and aluminium, have telescopic properties and super comfy eva foam or moulded cork handles. The tips of a solid, high quality walking pole can also be interchanged dependent on the surface you’re hiking through. The best telescopic walking poles are perfect for hiking, backpacking, country walking, and snow-shoeing.

Pick 1

Black Diamond Trail Ergo

As you may have guessed from the title, these are very comfortable cork-handled walking poles which can be altered up to 15 degrees for ultimate comfort. They’re lighter than the Montem (also in this review), they’re also made out of aluminium and they also have a flick-locking leverage system. But that’s where the differences stop.

Black Diamond is a very reputable brand and therefore component quality is high. In fact the interchangeable tips are manufactured with carbide for peace of mind on the trails, they even have a tip for deep snow, ideal for snow-shoeing, obviously! The telescopic element of these Black Diamond Trail Poles ensure you can shrink or expand from 74cm to 150cm.

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Pick 2

Montem Ultra Strong Trekking Poles

The Montem Ultra Strong walking poles are a really good budget-based purchase. They’re fairly straightforward to use and fold down to a compact size of just 2 feet when you’re finished making them easy to chuck in the back of the car. Look at the photos to see how comfortable and ‘grippy’ the foam/cork hybrid handles are. Some may find the Montems a bit heavier at 19oz but then again, some like a solid walking pole which also offers durability and solidity in the hills.

These walking poles are also manufactured out of aluminium 7075, which is the same material airplane wings are made out of. Heights can be altered thanks to the flick-lock lever system and there are different pole ‘tips’ for a variety of terrains – mud, sand, rocky and even icy.

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Pick 3

Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z

Another entry from the Black Diamond Walking pole range. These are a pair of carbon poles and weigh just 280g for both (so 140g each). They boast a sweat/moisture wicking handle fabricated out of EVA foam so they’re super breathable. When folded for transportation in the car boot or even slotted down the side of a day pack, these Black Diamond poles have a three-way split, which means they fold to 43cm.

You can buy these poles in 100cm, 110cm, 120cm and max length to 130cm (roughly 51 inches). Regarding walking pole tips – these come with hard rubber tips and also carbide tips, there are softer rubber tips available too, but of course, this depends on the terrain on which you’re hiking through.

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Pick 4

Leki Micro Vario Carbon Walking Poles

The Leki Micro Vario Carbon poles are jam-packed with quality features, while still keeping weight to a minimum. The break-apart design makes these poles incredibly packable while retaining the ability to adjust the length with a flick-lock system. Though we usually prefer cork grips, we find the foam grips on the Micro Varios to be exceptionally comfortable.

The Leki Micro Vario Carbon poles are pretty costly, but they’re also a high-quality product. These poles come in several other variations, including a women’s model and a more expensive, shock-absorbing AS model.

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