What different type of Walking Poles are there?
There are many different types of walking poles; pole style and features are based on the style of walking they are used for.
Walking Styles: Nordic Walking, Mobility Walking and Hiking/ Trekking
Walking Types: walking for fitness, distance walking, and assistance with balance and mobility
The various pole types will be discussed in more detail under each Walking Style section.
What is the difference between pole types?
The pole assembly has multiple parts. Different components have different functions and can be more or less suitable for various type and styles of walking.
Materials: pole shafts of Aluminum, Carbon, and combinations
Strap system: no strap, loop strap, “glove” strap system
Hand-grip: straight grip – common with the “glove” strap system, and shaped grip – common with a strap or strapless system
Rubber Feet: none, rounded or tapered
Pole System: adjustable/ fixed, single-length, two-piece, three-piece/ traveler, folding, etc. Manufacturer’s may use different terminology to describe the pole construction and function
Locking Function: twist lock, clasp lock/ flip lock, push-button lock. If you have limited hand strength or an issue such as arthritis, make sure you are able to properly engage the locking function. Failure to do so can lead to pole collapse and injury.
Anti-shock Feature: some pole systems are available with an anti-shock “spring” style system that reduces impact of the pole strike. These may not be appropriate for Mobility Walking needs.
Rating: most poles are rated for “Holding Force” or the amount of weight the pole can hold, and is based on the material and thickness of pole shaft in combination with the locking function. This rating is important if you are using your poles for mobility!
Do I really need a pole specific to my type of walking?
Can golfers “get by” with only one club?
Some pole types can function for other walking types, but may compromise your walking technique or increase your risk of injury.
I coach specific pole techniques for different pole types as well as different walking styles. I also provide multiple pole types for you to try out so you can find your preferred style and features for your individual walking activities.