Pole models change.

In the Hiking & Mobility DVD's, we focus on learning optimal technique and using your body well with poles.

This page focuses on the specific features of current model poles.

Use trekking poles for hiking.

For mobility, select poles that will help you achieve, maintain and perhaps even regain mobility.

 

Nordic Walking poles are used for exercise on relatively flat terrain.

 

Click here to see a comparison of benefits among using poles for hiking vs. mobility vs. Nordic Walking.

 

If you’ve seen either DVD and purchased any of the models recommended on this website and have a question, please contact us.

 
 
 
 

Mobility & Pole
Consult by Phone


Description of 4 personalized consult options:

The Basic Pole Question Consult relates to a specific question about the DVD. You’ve bought the DVD, you’ve taken the time to thoroughly watch it and you’ve practiced. You’ve checked our blog for updates & yet still have a question. Fill out the Purchase Info Consultation Form and let’s answer it! Free

Basic Phone Consult enables us to discuss your issues and how poles might help you (about ½ hour). Be sure to indicate which  DVD you have been working with -  this consult helps us to Finesse Your Form $45

Extended Phone Consult enables us to go into more depth about your technique & concerns (about an hour). Includes discussion of which poles might best suit your needs and goals. $75

Mobility, Hiking or Travel Consult is an Extended Phone Consult PLUS a Follow Up to see how you fare. How can poles help you achieve, maintain and even regain mobility? $135

All phone consultations are 100% guaranteed. If you’re not totally satisfied, you owe nothing. We want to help you achieve your goals.

Once I get your phone number and email, I will contact you within a day or so. We’ll set up a time that’s convenient for both of us and see if we can get you comfortable with using poles. smiley

 

Pole Buyer's Guide

poles collage

Pole Parts

Features & Descriptions:
Compare features to see what suits you best

Grip:

Materials

 

Grip fit and comfort depend on material, size and shape.

Plastic: Least expensive, uncomfortable and can be slippery when wet.

Rubber: Some new rubbers (like LEKI Khumbu) are comfortable, especially when you use gloves. Exerstrider rubber grips are textured in a subtle way that provide a comfortable “touch”.
Cork: Absorbent & more comfortable than rubber or plastic.
Foam: Comfortable and durable.

Grip:

Sizes

Grips vary in size. Hold the grip and see what best fits your hand. Too small feels uncomfortable. Too large can cause hand fatigue.

Grip Option on Trekking Poles:

Long Foam Grip

On some models, foam extends down the top section from the grip. We show how to use it to improve performance on both DVD's.
This feature can be useful for mobility as well as for hikers (Grand Canyon practice segment on using long foam grip for hiking in POLES for Hiking, Trekking & Walking DVD)

Long foam grips improve performance and stability on terrain like rocky desert canyons, stream crossings or frequently changing terrain when we don't want to use the straps.

Grip:

Shape

Grip shapes vary. Trekking poles can be straight or canted (slanted) at an angle of either 10 or 15 degrees.

Exerstrider's flared grip is designed for comfort without the use of straps.

For hikers, the positive/slanted angle of trekking poles allows the hand and wrist to be in a more neutral position which adds to comfort. We only recommend trekking pole models with canted grips. This is especially important if you have any hand, wrist or shoulder issues.

Straps

 

 

 

Trekking Poles have straps

 

 

 

 

Exerstrider Walking Poles do not have straps

Straps vary in size, type and adjustability.
Use: See DVD for proper use of the strap. Correct use is essential for avoiding stress or tension in hands, wrists, forearms, elbows, shoulders – even your neck.

Fit: Check to make sure the strap fits your hand. As you progress, a relatively snug fit can improve performance. If the strap is too big, try gloves (see DVD) or another model of poles.

Adjusting: Make sure you can adjust the strap of the pole to fit your hand. (check the directions that come with your poles).

Some models have right & left straps which adds to comfort. Click for strap tutorial video.

 

Strapless option: This is an excellent starting point for people with mobility challenges. Click here for more info. On the products tab, click standard features to learn more about the strapless design.

 

Buckle straps: Straps that have a buckle are generally found on less expensive models. They're uncomfortable and do not provide optimal performance.

Pole Sections

 

 

 

Note: Do not order one piece poles.

 

You will NEVER change the terrain; you can only change your response to it.

 

Adjustability is an important aspect of learning & progressing.

 

See either DVD to learn how adjustabilty helps you achieve optimal use on a variety of terrain.

Models adjust differently - read the instructions that come with your poles.

Both DVD’s detail how to adjust your poles for your height, your use and your concerns. Adjusting pole length is an important aspect of using your poles optimally and achieving the many benefits.

Twist style: There are several styles of twist poles. These poles have an expander that opens as you twist to the R and loosens as you twist the section to the L. It's important to read the directions that come with your poles so you understand the best way to adjust your poles.

SpeedLock: LEKI poles. This system is easy, fast and intuitive. Read the instructions and adjust to suit your needs. Knob can be adjusted with your hands or straight screwdriver or even a dime. Do not overloosen the knob.

FlickLock: Black Diamond's method of adjusting. Use a phillips screwdriver to adjust. Do not overloosen. Make sure you close in the proper position/angle - do not force this mechanism. It's easy to make the mistake of not closing this mechanism completely. If it's not closed, it's OPEN.

Button: Exerstrider's Activator model is an option for people with mobility challenges. It features a spring loaded button-in-hole adjusting system like that commonly used on canes and walkers.

 

Section Shapes: All LEKI and Exerstrider poles are round.

Some Black Diamond models we list on our Recommendations page are elliptical.

 

If you are uncertain which feature is best for you, fill out the Free Product Consultation Form on the Product Recommendations page.

Baskets

Baskets prevent pole tips from sinking into the ground – very useful for hiking. They’re removable and interchangeable (use the larger baskets for snow shoeing).

If using poles exclusively for mobility and balance, you'll probably not need baskets.

Tips

  • The tip of the pole is sharp and designed to grip the dirt.
  • Some models we recommend have concave flex tips which are superior for gripping the ground while hiking.
  • Use caution and good etiquette when using poles – NO stabbing or sudden stops with pole tips angled back!
  • Many poles come with travel tips. Remove them before using poles.
  • When on pavement, concrete or indoors, use rubber tips. Using bare pole tips on these surfaces can damage the pole tips as well as the surface.

Rubber Tips

  • Rubber tips are an essential accessory for many reasons.
  • Use rubber tips for pavement and indoors.
  • Carry your rubber tips with you at all times. Using poles on pavement without rubber tips is noisy and can dull your hiking tips.
  • Remove rubber tips for trails, dirt or hiking.
  • When putting new tips onto new poles use a bit of powder to make them easy to remove. Once your pole tips get dirty, you won't have to repeat this.
  • Watch the Mobility DVD Tips section for info on using tips on wet surfaces.
  • For general use, we recommend LEKI or Black Diamond tips. Exerstrider's boot style tip provides a bit more cushion on pavement.
  • Choose the shape that suits your goals. Standard rounded for general purpose, wavey foot style for Nordic Walking.
  • For increased balance for people with mobility challenges, we highly recommend Bell Tips.

Click here for more info on Bell Tips. From the products tab, click on accessories.

These bell tips fit on LEKI, Black Diamond and Exerstrider poles.

Anti-shock

  • Anti-shock is a personal preference and an option with some poles. Anti-shock can absorb the impact, but this can be compensated for with optimal technique and pole length.
  • Anti-shock is a feature that increases the pole cost, but can increase your comfort.
  • Some hikers feel the anti-shock feature wastes energy.
  • LEKI models have a quiet air shock. It is a good feature if you need it, but it adds complexity and cost. We only recommend the combo SpeedLock with anti-shock. See our Product Recommendations Page and fill out the free consultation form if you have any questions.
  • Black Diamond Anti-shock models have straight grips. We do not recommend them.

Pole Care

See either DVD for detailed pole care.
Take good care of your poles and they’ll take good care of you.

Our LEKI poles are 12 years old and in perfect condition.

Author’s Note:

This page is designed to help you understand the basics of poles. Both DVD’s have detailed descriptions of poles and their parts.

Feel free to contact us if you have equipment questions, but please watch the DVD first because MANY of your questions will be answered there.

If you’re a hiker, walker or athlete, contact us to order the DVD: POLES for Hiking, Trekking & Walking.

If you have balance, walking or mobility issues and challenges, watch POLES for Balance & Mobility.

Pole Buyer's Guide