How to Choose Walking Sticks

Walking sticks, hiking sticks and trekking poles. Call them what you want but they sure have come a long way. The original the best nursing tanks for large breasts was a sturdy branch cut to the right length with the bark shaved off. If your an old fashioned kind of person has a great line of old fashion hand made Hickory Walking Staffs.

But most hiking poles these days are high-tech and come with features such as ergonomic grips, shock absorbers, built-in compasses and best electric fillet knife for saltwater fish.

Benefits of using Walking Sticks

Walking sticks provide extra stability and safety when carrying a heavy load across unevern terrain. They help aleviate best mulcher blade, legs, hips and lower spine.

Walking sticks reduces the stess put on your legs, shoulders and back by distributing the weight of your pack to your arms. This allows you to increase your endurance, reduce joint pain, maintain better posture and increase power on inclines.

Types of Walking Sticks

Trekking Poles
These come in pairs and are designed for rough terrain. They also work well for light and moderate hiking but may be overkill especially if you are budget consience.


  • Aluminum shaft
  • Carbide tips
  • Adjustable Length
  • Rubber or cork grips
  • Anotomically shaped grips
  • Shock Absorbers
  • Quick release baskets that change to snow baskets

Top Pick: The Masters Kompressor Top Trekking Pole was rated number one out of eight different trekking poles by Backpacker Magazine.

Hiking Staffs
If you are only going to be doing some moderate hiking a hiking staff should work well for you. These are less expensive and you will have one hand free. Hiking staffs feature a wooden knob handle and cushioned grip along the shaft.


  • Knob handle
  • Telecsoping or adjustable length
  • Foam grip
  • Aluminum Shaft
  • Carbide or steel tip
  • Shock absorbers
  • Extra features such as removable basket, D-ring, compass and thermometer.

Top Pick: The Ultralite All Purpose Contour Foam Pole by Komperdell iconhas an extended thermal foam grips on these ultralight poles that shield your hands from the cold metal and allow you to hold the poles at different heights while traversing uneven terrain.

Walking Staffs
For long walks on a fairly level surface walking staffs are what you are looking for. Walking staffs use a cane style grip which are comfortable for level surfaces but not on rough terraine.


  • Cane-style grips
  • Adjustable length
  • Removable dome basket
  • Adjustable writs strap
  • Rubber or cork grips
  • May include shock abosorbers

Top Pick: The Leki Wanderfreund Trekking Staff is a solid performer for moderate hikes. Features an Ergo cork handle, Nylon lanyard, removable performance basket, Carbide Flextip and 3 Pole collapsible design.

Using Walking Sticks

For hiking on even terrain, your arms should be parallel to the ground when you’re holding the grip. When hiking uphill, shorten the poles, and when going downhill, lengthen the poles for comfort and greater stability.

To optimize your hiking stick performance and eliminate beginner’s mistakes check out Hiking Poles: Techniques & Tips – Video

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