10 Best Walking Poles for Hiking, Trekking & Walking

Walking with the aid of sticks is no longer just for the infirm or elderly. With the explosion of Nordic Walking Poles like Black Diamond Walking Poles & Leki Nordic Poles loads of people are seeing the benefits of stepping our with Walking poles

10 Best Walking Poles for Hiking, Trekking & Walking

Walking poles got me back on my feet, and back hiking after a traumatic pregnancy left me with a ruined pelvis.  So I can tell you straight off, hiking poles arent for professional hikers, old people or the infirm they are great for everyone…from 6 to 86!

A good set of trekking poles can give you stability, especially on uneven ground, protect your knees when coming down hills and give you power and endurance going uphills.  Other added benefits are an improved posture (no stooping here), and that means you breathe better!

Our whole family have walking poles – My 6ft 8in hubby swears by his Black Diamond Distance Flz Trekking Poles, our little kids love their colourful FitTrek Kids Walking Poles, and I am a two-stick girl and use Leki Makalu Lite Walking Pole Pair.    These are our best walking poles for hikes, treks and walks but don’t take our word for it. Check out our list of the 10 best walking poles.

From heaps of customer feedback and personal testing, we bring you our ten best walking poles buys, ranging from budget walking poles to Nordic Walking poles to an actual wood walking stick!

Need help choosing the perfect walking poles for you, then check out our in-depth walking poles buyers guide here.

Black Diamond ALPINE CARBON CORK TREK POLES
339 Reviews
Black Diamond ALPINE CARBON CORK TREK POLES
OVERALL BEST WALKING POLES - These walking poles with solid construction make you feel sure-footed in ice, snow, and mud. They’re nice, resilient, and light.
Black Diamond ALPINE CARBON Z Z-POLES Trekking Poles - black, 100
126 Reviews
Black Diamond ALPINE CARBON Z Z-POLES Trekking Poles - black, 100
OVERALL BEST EASY STORAGE WALKING POLES - These robust, easily deployable, and super light walking poles make your hikes and treks less tiring and faster. They fold up very small and you can easily pack them even in your daysack.
Sale
Leki Makalu FX Carbon Poles, 110-130CM
90 Reviews
Leki Makalu FX Carbon Poles, 110-130CM
OVERALL BEST WOMEN’S WALKING POLES - These sturdy and lightweight ladies walking sticks are ideal for your long climbs and treks to the hills. They have an excellent locking mechanism to prevent slippage even when you lean on these walking sticks heavily. The grip and strap with the snap release are comfy in your hand.
FitTrek Kids Trekking Poles - Hiking Poles - Walking Poles Telescopic -...
82 Reviews
FitTrek Kids Trekking Poles - Hiking Poles - Walking Poles Telescopic -...
OVERALL BEST KID’S WALKING POLES - If you need kid’s walking sticks, these sturdy and good-looking sticks are ideal for you. These lightweight, durable, and safe walking sticks will surely be loved by your child.
Black Diamond Trail Sport Trekking Poles Plain 100-140 cm
188 Reviews
Black Diamond Trail Sport Trekking Poles Plain 100-140 cm
OVERALL BEST WALKING POLES FOR TALL PEOPLE (120-140CM) - These high-quality walking poles have an excellent locking mechanism that works very well. As a result, they deliver stability, and you’ll experience no wobbling. These are ideal for tall people (up to 6 feet and 10 inches). My hubby, who’s 6 feet and 8 inches, found the 140-cm walking pole to be perfect.
TrailBuddy Walking Poles - Pack of 2 Lightweight, Adjustable Trekking Poles...
56,349 Reviews
TrailBuddy Walking Poles - Pack of 2 Lightweight, Adjustable Trekking Poles...
OVERALL BEST BUDGET ALUMINIUM WALKING POLES - If you’re looking for sturdy carbon fibre walking sticks, Amazon gives you a good deal. These telescopic walking poles have EVA foam grips to provide you with a soft and comfy experience. Using the clamping system, you can adjust the pole height quickly and easily.
Sale
TheFitLife Carbon Fibre Trekking Poles - Collapsible and Telescopic Walking...
3,853 Reviews
TheFitLife Carbon Fibre Trekking Poles - Collapsible and Telescopic Walking...
OVERALL BEST BUDGET CARBON WALKING POLES - These carbon fibre walking poles are lightweight. They are extendable from 63cm to 135cm and offer great value for money. They have comfy foam handles with long grip and pro straps that are lightweight.
Brazos Walking Sticks Twisted Hickory Handcrafted Wood Hiking/Trekking Cane...
1,288 Reviews
Brazos Walking Sticks Twisted Hickory Handcrafted Wood Hiking/Trekking Cane...
OVERALL BEST WOOD WALKING STICK - This sturdy and comfy walking pole has two areas to hold on to - one thick and one not so thick. It displays exceptional craftsmanship and looks great. It’s ideal for walking on rough terrains, through woods, or even for walking your dog.
LEKI Unisex - Adult Flash Carbon Nordic Walking Poles, White-Neon Red, 120
277 Reviews
LEKI Unisex - Adult Flash Carbon Nordic Walking Poles, White-Neon Red, 120
OVERALL BEST NORDIC WALKING POLES - These Nordic walking poles are lightweight but strong. They have comfy handles and straps that fit your hand well.
Black Diamond Carbon Fibre Folding Adjustable Walking Stick with Soft Touch...
24 Reviews
Black Diamond Carbon Fibre Folding Adjustable Walking Stick with Soft Touch...
OVERALL BEST SINGLE WALKING STICK (RETRACTABLE) - This Black Diamond walking stick is sturdy, lightweight, and height-adjustable. It offers excellent walking support and gives you a comfy grip. It has rubber tip for providing excellent non-slip contact with the ground.

Get straight to our in-depth reviews on all the walking poles above by clicking here

Buyer’s Guide to the Best Walking Poles

Irrespective of the types of terrain you want to go walking, hiking, trekking, or backpacking, finding the best walking poles can help.  They provide you with stability while going uphill and downhill.  They’re also crafted to take the weight and impact off your knees, reducing your injury chances.

However, with several types and varieties of walking sticks available today, let’s look at the best walking poles you can buy first.  After this, our buyer’s guide will discuss the factors you must consider to buy your perfect walking poles.

Best Walking Poles Types

Nordic walking poles: Nordic walking is a type of enhanced walking. Its goal is to involve your upper body muscles to add greater intensity to your exercise level. At the same time, it decreases the impact on your legs compared with running.

Unlike regular walker’s poles, Nordic walking sticks differ in one key area – the grips and straps. The straps of Nordic walking poles typically stay wrapped snugly around your hands. They also offer a sturdy grip to keep your hands in place and quickly swing the sticks.  

Using Nordic hiking poles, you can activate all the muscles of your upper body and those in your legs. This way, you can combine a vigorous muscle workout with cardiovascular exercise.

Wooden walking poles: Wooden walking sticks can be made from ash wood, blackthorn wood, beechwood, chestnut wood, or hazelwood. These wonderful and natural walking sticks aren’t just practical and look good.

Depending on the type of wood, these walking and hiking sticks have different advantages. For instance, wooden walking sticks made from beechwood are wear-resistant, hardy, and strong. They also have excellent bending capabilities. 

Those made from ash wood are incredibly resilient and tough. If you’re looking for functionality with unusual colouring and texture, hazelwood walker’s poles would be ideal. These traditional products are believed to protect you against evil spirits as well. Chestnut walking sticks are durable, while blackthorn hiking sticks are hardwearing and tough.

Carved walking poles: Whether a novice or a pro hiker, carved walking sticks can add some oomph to your walks and hikes. Apart from being functional, they’re typically personalised to some extent and pleasing to look at. Whether you want to ease yourself in as a beginner or push your capabilities as a pro, these walking sticks can help.

Carbon walking poles: These hiking sticks are usually made of carbon fibre. They’re highly durable and lightweight. These heavy-duty walking poles are ideal for carrying heavy loads over challenging terrains.

Aluminium walking poles: Are you a regular walker looking for lightweight hike sticks? Do you enjoy long days in the hills and mountains? If yes, try ultra-light aluminium trekking poles like the TheFitLife Carbon Fibre Trekking Poles. Apart from their lighter load, they’re robust, easy to swing, and have comfy handles. You can even find some compact folding walking sticks if you need easy packability.

Z-poles: If you plan hiking with walking sticks and need easy packability, Z-shaped walking sticks are your ideal bet. These walking poles fold into thirds and collapse automatically to a very compact size. This makes it easier to stow them in your trekking rucksack.

Telescopic poles: This is another good option for easy packing. These walker poles slide into themselves like a telescope, making them easy to pack and carry along. Though they’re cheaper than Z-poles, they’re less compact.

Single sticks for trekking: A single walking pole is enough unless you’re walking over loose scree with a heavy load on your back. For instance, you can buy this Black Diamond Walking Stick. You can get adequate stability and support from it. And having your other hand free can help pull out a GPS map, click a photo with your phone, or wipe the sweat off your brow. 

Best Walking Poles Buyers Guide

10 Best Walking Poles for Hiking, Trekking & Walking

Cost of Walking Poles: You can get the best walking poles in the range of £45 to £150. For cost-conscious buyers or occasional hikers, budget buys like TheFitLife Carbon Fibre Trekking Poles at £45 would work well. I was overall pretty impressed with it. Its tungsten tips with rubber protectors outside provided good traction. Its EVA foam grips were comfy, and the flip lock system enabled quick height adjustment. The carbon fibre construction felt pretty high-quality, sturdy, and ultra-light. 

If you need premium features and are ready to splurge, our overall best walking poles buy is the Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork Wanderstöcke, at £145. It has a lightweight aluminium design and three 100% carbon fibre shafts. It also has a premium and ergonomic cork grip and a 38mm basket plus interchangeable Tech Tips.

Size of Hiking Poles: When your walking pole’s tip is on the ground near your feet, it should put your elbows at a 90-degree bend. If you buy hike sticks with adjustable lengths, this will be easy to achieve. However, you should check how strong the fixings are when the hike stick is fully extended. You should also check if the locking mechanism, which lets you adjust the length, works smoothly.

When choosing the right walking pole length, it’s important to consider your height (esp. if buying a fixed-length trekking pole). Here are the recommended lengths in centimetres (cm) and inches (in) based on height ranges:

  • Under 5′ 1″ (155 cm): If you’re shorter than 5′ 1″, a walking pole length of at least 39 inches (100 cm) would be suitable.

  • 5′ 1″ to 5′ 7″ (155-170 cm): For individuals standing between 5′ 1″ and 5′ 7″, the suggested trekking pole length is 43 inches (110 cm).

  • 5′ 8″ to 5′ 11″ (170-180 cm): If your height falls between 5′ 8″ and 5′ 11″, your walking pole should be at least 47 inches (120 cm) long.

  • Taller than 6 feet (180 cm): For those taller than 6 feet, a walking pole length of 51 inches (130 cm) would be suitable.

By selecting the appropriate walking pole length based on your height, you can ensure optimal comfort and efficiency during your walks or hikes.

Material of the Best Walking Poles: Most walking poles are aluminium or carbon fibre. Carbon is lighter, stiffer, more durable and more expensive. In contrast, aluminium is heavier, cheaper, more flexible, and can take the knocks better. It’s also more durable. Under high stress, aluminium hiking sticks can bend but are unlikely to break. Carbon is more prone to splintering and breakage, though. If you’re hiking in remote areas or rugged mountains, remember this when buying your hike sticks.

The Comfort of Trekking Poles: When buying the best walking poles, you should look for comfortable hand grips and straps. The hand strap shouldn’t be too loose or too tight. It should be comfy to use and not irritate your hands on sweaty, all-day hikes. You should be able to adjust it as well. When you grab the grip, the hand strap should have adequate tension to let you slide your palm over the strap while holding the walking stick with your index and thumb finger.

You can get grips in different widths, shapes, and materials. For instance, ladies walking sticks have smaller grips. But you don’t need to follow the convention on this; look for comfy grips that fit your hand well. You can get good quality walking poles with rubber, foam, cork grips, or a blend of all three.

Foam grips can absorb some moisture. This could feel extremely cold on your hand in winter. The best Walking poles at almost all price points use foam. Rubber grips give you a good hold in cold conditions and are durable. But they can be a little slippery due to your hands’ sweat and body oils. But you can look for better quality rubber grips with a bit of silicone in them. When it rains, they give you a good grip.

If you need the best all-rounder in grips, ground cork moulded with polymer is the best bet. These grips absorb little moisture, are cool, and offer a good grip.

In-depth Reviews of the Best Walking Poles

Overall Best Walking Poles

Black Diamond ALPINE CARBON CORK TREK POLES
339 Reviews
Black Diamond ALPINE CARBON CORK TREK POLES
  • Premium cork grip with redesigned soft touch ergonomic grip top and solution strap for better handling and security
  • New FlickLock Pro adjustability—now featuring aluminum construction that’s lighter and easier to use
  • 3-section 100% carbon fiber shaft

Pros

Cons

Best Easy Storage Walking Poles

Black Diamond ALPINE CARBON Z Z-POLES Trekking Poles - black, 100
126 Reviews
Black Diamond ALPINE CARBON Z Z-POLES Trekking Poles - black, 100
  • Robust carbon combined with soft cork: The trekking poles convince with effective details such as the natural cork grip and the fully padded hand strap.
  • Functional: The adjustable FlickLock Pro system of the three segments of the telescopic pole allows the practical adjustment to the body size.

Pros