Best Nordic Walking Poles
Have you ever heard of Nordic walking? In concept, it is not that much different than traditional walking other than the fact that you are aided by two long poles. Seems a bit ridiculous to be worth your time, right? Well, think again.
In addition to the fact that any age group can enjoy it, Nordic walking delivers a near full-body workout. It also burns significantly more calories than traditional walking, and it has become a rapidly growing activity around the world.
But, with this type of walking comes the need for special equipment and that is why you are here today. Nordic walking poles are almost mandatory if you want to get the most of the experience. Today, we are here to educate you about what makes them unique and what you can do to ensure you are 100 percent satisfied with your purchase.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 6.5 hrs of research
Designed with carbon shafts from Finland
Comes with printed instructions and a free DVD
Every consumer can get a customized model
Our Top Picks for the Best Nordic Walking Poles
1. EXEL Urban Skier Nordic Walking Poles
Designed with carbon shafts from Finland
Comes with printed instructions and a free DVD
Every consumer can get a customized model
They can’t be adjusted
One of the reasons why these poles are the best in the business is the fact that the company takes the time to ensure that each of their consumers gets the perfect size for their needs.Read more
The reason you need to get the right size is that these Nordic poles are not adjustable. While you would think this would be bad, it eliminates any possibility of the poles accidentally collapsing.
The carbon shafts that encompass these poles were made in Finland and are incredible. And, if that was not enough, they are also backed by a lifetime breakage guarantee.
These come equipped with authentic rubber tips which are ideal for all sorts of terrains (such as cement, carpet, tile, and pavement). Additionally, durable carbide metal tips are included, and these work nicely for off-road adventures.
The grips themselves are excellent, but what is worth pointing out are the patented straps. They are superior to loop straps and Velcro slings that is for sure.
Alright, so here is the deal. These are not the best for portability. This is the tradeoff to making the poles with one piece, quite frankly.
In nearly every sense of the word, these are incredible. The quality is directly off the page, and you are allowed to get customized poles to tailor perfectly to your height.
2. LEKI Traveller Poles
They are strong, light and sturdy
They will collapse down for travel
The new SpeedLock 2 system is fabulous
The clips on the straps are somewhat difficult to use
Now, some people will be scared of adjustable trekking poles because they can collapse unexpectedly. Well, thanks to the advanced SpeedLock 2 system implemented here that will not be an issue.Read more
As noted, the Traveller Poles are designed with the SpeedLock 2 system. Even over the original Speed Lock system, this upgraded version ensures fast and secure adjustments.
The shaft, top and lower section of these poles have been engineered with HTS 6.5 series aluminum. Overall, treat these the way you are supposed to, and they will last for years.
On the end of the poles are flex tips and these ensure optimal grip on all types of terrain. Also, each pole sports a power grip pad, and these pads are great for use on paved surfaces.
The included trigger shark straps can be individually adjusted to tailor to the size of your hands. But, doing so is a bit tricky, and you will need to get the hang of it.
In addition to the fact that the SpeedLock 2 system makes this both smaller and lighter, both of the poles can be collapsed down compactly for transportation.
LEKI makes some of the best walking sticks for hiking and other such activities, so it is no surprise to see their Traveller Poles land so far high on this list. They are just tremendous.
3. Tom Rutlin Exerstrider Walking Poles
Equipped with multiple types of tips
Developed with comfort and ergonomics in mind
The grips are well-designed
Not too many to speak of
If you want some of the best Nordic walking poles out there then look no further. These were designed and developed with ergonomics, comfortability, and durability in mind that much is for sure.Read more
For the record, these are going to fit users from 4’ 2” to 6’ 2” in height. Each pole is equipped with a cam locking system, and this allows you to make quick and precise adjustments on the fly.
In addition to delivering world-class performance, these are also built incredibly well. Not only will they soften the blow every time they land on the ground, but they should also last a long time.
Coming with your purchase is both CushionGrip and hardened carbide tips. The ability to switch between them allows these to be used on all sorts of surfaces.
Indeed, these were engineered with comfort and ergonomics in mind. This can all be proven by the exclusive ergonomic strapless grips as they offer both unrestricted and unparalleled comfort.
If you do need to travel with these, then you can take advantage of the fact that they can adjust down to just 31 inches.
From top to bottom, it is hard not to be impressed with these walking poles. Though they only landed at number three, they could have easily secured the top spot.
4. LEKI Spin Walking Poles
Designed with the SpeedLock 2 system
Comes with rubber fitness tips
Sports a unique trigger system for excellent power transfer
They can make a rattling noise
This is another set of LEKI walking poles and they are nearly as amazing as the Traveller Poles. These also sport LEKI’s patented SpeedLock 2 system for improved adjustability and security.Read more
Yes, these poles also utilize LEKI’s SpeedLock 2 system. As was mentioned before, this system is world-class and is simply one of the most advanced adjustment systems out there.
Past the fact that the cam locks are made of reinforced fiberglass, the shafts sport aluminum constructions. And, this aluminum has been heat-treated for enhanced durability.
The rubber fitness tips are specially designed to provide traction on both smooth and paved surfaces. When walking off-road, the included carbide flex tips will come into play.
The actual grips are comfortable and well-designed. Most worth mentioning, though, is the trigger system that has been implemented. This ensures optimal support for your wrists.
Again, as noted before, the SpeedLock 2 system also makes these poles lighter. They can be collapsed, as well, for travel and storage purposes.
You just can’t go wrong with this option. What is most striking is the fact that it did not even secure a spot in the top three of this list.
5. SWIX Walking Poles
They are well-made overall
Each pole is one piece
Comes with durable metal tips
They will not collapse down for transport
Much like the top option on this list, the SWIX Walking Poles are constructed with one piece (for each pole that is). This means that your poles will need to be customized before you buy them.Read more
Nope, these do not adjust. On Amazon, you will see that you need to customize these before you buy them. The company’s goal is to make sure all their consumers buy the appropriate size.
Past the high-quality materials that were utilized, the one-piece construction of each pole means these are less likely to collapse under too much pressure.
Provided with your purchase are both rubber and durable carbide tips. Having both of these allow you to use these poles on virtually any surface you can think of.
One user did make mention of the fact that the included grips are made of neoprene. So, if you are allergic to this synthetic rubber, then stay away from this option.
Because these can’t be adjusted, they can’t be collapsed down for storage. So, if you need to transport them for whatever reason, it will be harder to do so.
It is hard to put into words just how incredible these Nordic walking poles are. About the only reason, you would want to bypass this option is if you need the poles to be portable.
6. Montem Pro Walker Poles
Each pole only weighs 8.8 ounces
Comes with a pair of rubber tips
Much more comfortable than normal hiking poles
A little on the pricy side for what you get
There are some users who have not felt as if these were worth the price of admission. Then again, they are lightweight, perform well, and will fold down compactly for storage.Read more
The quick-twist locking system works wonders for these poles. Because of it, you can easily adjust these in mere seconds and do not need to worry about them collapsing.
The shaft on each pole is made of 7075 aluminum which boasts excellent strength. Some users, though, have felt the quality of these poles did not quite warrant the price.
Coming with a pair of Nordic rubber tips, these will be great for trekking, walking, and general mobility.
Thanks to the EVA foam handles, these poles are super comfortable to use. As others have noted, these destroy regulation hiking poles in the comfort department.
In total, these sticks measure just over a pound (combined). And, if that was not enough, both of them will fold down to the right around 16 inches.
Sure, these may be a little pricy, but the quality does speak for itself. There is not much more to say other than this option is highly compelling.
7. Foxelli Trekking Poles
A carrying case is included
Made of carbon fiber
The poles reduce your arm fatigue
Both pole straps are positioned in the same direction
What many of you will appreciate about these poles is that they have been engineered with carbon fiber. In addition to being long-lasting, carbon fiber is also incredibly light and stiff.Read more
From 24 to 55 inches, these poles can be adjusted. Whether you consider yourself to be tall or small, it does not matter as these will account for pretty much everyone.
As noted, these are designed of carbon fiber. Carbon fiber is about as good as it gets due to its durability, weight, and stiffness. Bottom line, these will last a long time if you treat them well.
With the included tips, you can take these virtually anywhere you want. This includes a tungsten carbide tip and also thermoplastic rubber tips.
For whatever reason, multiple reviewers have complained about the fact that they received their poles with wrist straps positioned in the same fashion. You could see where this would lead to some comfort issues.
In addition to the fact that the carbon fiber construction makes these poles only seven ounces in weight, a carrying case is included with your purchase.
Whenever an Amazon product has accumulated as high of a user rating as this has, you have to take notice. Outside of the straps, you can easily see why so many people have enjoyed these poles.
8. Keenfit Walking Poles
They should last a long time
Different tips are provided to you
Designed with one adjusting point
Not the best grips
As a few previous buyers have noted, this is an excellent starter option here. In addition to being simple to adjust, you also receive a few different tips with your purchase.Read more
To make things easier for you, these agility poles have been designed with only one adjustment point. It will not take you much time to get used to this, let’s just say that.
Based on the experience of one specific reviewer, you can expect these suckers to last quite a long time. Again, you just need to treat them correctly, and they will take care of themselves.
As you can see from the description, your purchase comes with a few different accessories. You receive a pair of carbide tips, trail feet and two pair of road feet.
When compared to top-end models, this option is not quite as comfortable. The grips are far from unbearable, however, so keep that in mind.
Once again, the fact that you can manually adjust both of these poles makes them easier to transport and store away when they are not in use.
Looking past the grips, this is as good of an option as there is out there. That goes to show how many other incredible walking poles there are on the market.
9. BAFX Products Adjustable Poles
Almost universal to fit any sized user
Comes in a few different colors
Designed of 6061 aluminum
Adjusting them is tedious
The straps are too short
Look, do not let the cheaper price tag of these poles fool you, they are well-designed. They are not quite a premium choice but they will still be great for those of you itching to get into Nordic walking.Read more
Under heavy strain, these do not stay extended incredibly well. Additionally, the adjustment process itself is a bit tedious.
Because these were engineered with 6061 aluminum, you can count on them being lightweight, durable, and immune to rust. While not the highest grade of aluminum, it is still competent.
You will have all the accessories you need with your purchase. This includes two rubber tips (with two spares), two mud baskets and also a carbide tip.
Overall, the straps are a little too short. In spite of this, however, the grips have been ergonomically designed to contour to your hands.
When needing to travel with these walking poles, you can do so rather easily. Firstly, they are lightweight and, secondly, they can be collapsed down compactly.
As you can see, there are a few flaws with this option. If you are on a tight budget and still want strong walking poles, though, this option is ideal.
10. TheFitLife Trekking Poles
Different colors are available
Comes with a waterproof carrying bag
Designed to absorb shock
The handles are somewhat uncomfortable
The adjustment system could be improved
As you can see on Amazon, this is an incredibly popular option. It is not the best option, admittedly, for those of you who will require these poles to actually support your weight.Read more
From 26 to 53 inches, the Quick-Lock on each pole allows them to be adjusted. A few users have had issues with these poles collapsing, though, and have had to readjust them.
As with so many of the best Nordic walking poles on the market, these are designed of high-quality aluminum to withstand the test of time.
These come with tungsten tips, and these are covered with rubber protectors. This was done to enhance their longevity. As such, they will not take as much of a beating over time.
It is worth noting that the handles themselves are hard plastic and not the greatest. There are EVA foam grips equipped, but they are underneath the handles, for some reason.
Past the portable nature of the poles themselves, your purchase also comes with a waterproof carrying bag for traveling purposes.
The bang for your buck here is very, very good. Some improvements could be made, but as a total package, this is still an option worth considering.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Do you want a pair of poles that are adjustable or do you want them to be fixed?
One of the first things you need to realize about sticks for walking is that they can either be adjustable or fixed. Regarding which style is superior, each of them has its distinct advantages and weaknesses, quite frankly.
The more popular of the two, as you noticed on this list, are adjustable Nordic walking poles. Part of the reason why is they offer more flexibility as they can be adjusted on the fly. This can come in handy if you want to let someone else borrow them or if you want to travel with them comfortably. On the flip side, however, there is always the possibility of adjustable walking poles collapsing accidentally.
Regarding fixed-length models, these will require special preparation on your part. Most of the time, manufacturers who sell these types of walking poles will take the time to ensure that all their consumers get the correct size. The reason this is so vital is that you can’t adjust these poles in the slightest. But, they do offer superior support and stability.
Of course, either way, you go, you need to be aware of your height. Clearly, with fixed-length poles, you will need to know your exact measurements. But, even with adjustable models, they will not be designed to work for users of all heights. Most of them, however, will account for most users out there.
For certain, you will want to buy some walking poles that will actually last.
When it comes to choosing Nordic walking poles based on their materials, the choices are not extensive. Most models out there will either sport carbon fiber or aluminum shafts. Everyone has their preferences, but you can’t deny that carbon fiber holds several advantages over aluminum.
Then again, all-aluminum is not engineered in the same fashion. Aluminum itself is a lightweight metal that is quite flexible (but also durable). However, there are different grades of aluminum. While 6061-grade aluminum is quite common, 7075-grade aluminum is the most durable commercial-grade aluminum out there and can be found on some walking poles.
But, carbon fiber is just on another level when it comes to its lightness, stiffness, and overall strength. Carbon fiber is not a metal and is best considered a reinforced polymer. It is much lighter than aluminum (which is known for its lightweight nature) but, at the same time, is also much stronger.
Perhaps some of you, though, may point to the fact that aluminum could be seen as less brittle than carbon fiber and that is a fair point. You really can’t go wrong with either aluminum (assuming it has a high grade) or carbon fiber walking poles. Granted you treat them with proper care, they should last you many years to come.
If you want to be able to use your poles on any surface you want, you need to look for options that come with multiple tips.
It is easy to assume that you can take your walking poles with you nearly anywhere and use them. While this is somewhat true, it strictly depends on the tips that the seller provides to you. The included tips will dictate where you use your poles and when you use them. If you want to use them everywhere, then you need to look for options with multiple tips. If you want to use them for hiking, read here.
The first of which is wide, rubber tips. Sometimes you will need to buy these separately, but if you plan to use your poles on any hard surface, you are going to want to pick some of these up. The soft rubber tips work well on pavement, gravel, concrete, and even dirt roads that are heavily packed in.
On the other hand, you can also look for carbide or steel tips. These will be pointed and in addition to being perfect for walking on ice (as they deliver better traction), they are also great for walking on softer surfaces. This can include snow-covered terrain, grass, sandy beaches, and even mud. These metal tips will provide better traction as they will penetrate the ground.
The best Nordic walking poles will come with well-designed grips that are actually comfortable to hold.
It may take some time for you to get used to walking poles. But, some specific design features can certainly make the transition much smoother for you. For starters, how about the design of the grips?
As opposed to trekking or ski poles, walking poles sport different kinds of grips. The most efficient ones will sport ergonomic designs that contour to the natural shape of your hands. With the grips of this nature, holding them will feel as natural as anything else you have ever held.
But, grips can also come in different materials. Choosing between the various elements, quite frankly, often comes down to when you plan to use your walking poles. Take two of the most common grip materials (rubber and foam) as examples.
With foam grips, your sweat is going to be absorbed like making them great for hotter climates, just like sweatbands. Plus, foam is soft to the touch. Meanwhile, rubber grips are much better insulators and are often preferred in the winter. But, rubber grips can leave your sweaty hands with blisters.
Also, besides the grips, you can’t forget about the straps. Nordic walking sticks will be equipped with them to keep your arms attached. Look for the straps to be long enough to work for you comfortably.
If you have any aspirations to travel with your poles then you may want to stick to those that are adjustable.
If it already was not clear enough, this is where adjustable walking poles hold an advantage over their fixed-length counterparts. But, it only pertains to you if you plan to travel to many different locations with your walking poles on board.
If you know for a fact that you will be traveling with them frequently, then you may want to consider the sheer convenience that adjustable models will offer to you. As you can collapse them down to their shortest point, you can make them much more compact than they are.
Meanwhile, the same can’t be said about fixed-length poles. You will need to store them and transport with them as they are. Depending on your height, you may need four-to-five-foot poles. And, you can quickly see where this could become a nuisance when traveling.
Also, just as a little bit of a side note, some sellers will include carrying bags with your purchase. You will typically only see this, however, with adjustable poles. While not mandatory by any stretch of the imagination, this is a neat little bonus that you can keep your eyes out on.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
It is extremely important for you to figure out if you prefer adjustable or fixed-length poles. As you will see in this section, both types offer their own advantages. At the same time, each type is also flawed in some respects. Truthfully, there is no right or wrong answer here. A lot of it comes down to your personal preferences, quite frankly.
As with the last section, you will need to make an important decision here. Most models are going to be made out of either aluminum or carbon fiber. Do you want the good news? Both of these materials are excellent choices. Then again, there are some specific properties that you should know about both of these high-quality materials.
One of the reasons why Nordic walking has become so popular is because it can be performed virtually anywhere. Of course, you could be limited in where you can use your poles if you do not perform proper research. It all comes down to the design of the tips and the different types of tips that are provided to you. This is going to dictate the different types of surfaces that your walking poles will be suitable for.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: What type of people can benefit from Nordic walking?
It has been hinted at a few times, but the brilliance of Nordic walking is virtually anyone can benefit from it. After all, almost anyone can benefit from traditional walking, as well. But, if you are curious, there are certain types of folks that may get even more out of it.
Anyone who struggles to keep their balance or who is coming off a severe injury can get great use out of Nordic walking poles. Additionally, athletes and fitness gurus can benefit from this walking as it engages several muscles in different ways.
q: What is the difference between them and hiking poles?
While we are not going to get into the specifics, all you need to know about hiking and skiing poles is they are designed for entirely different purposes. When it comes to Nordic walking, these types of poles are merely not going to work as well as those designed specifically for it.
Part of the reason why is due to the hand straps that are equipped onto Nordic walking poles (as they are much different and optimized for walking correctly).
q: Have the benefits been proven?
Whenever you hear of a new fad or trend in the fitness world, it is always best to tread carefully. You never know if the new fad is just smoke and mirrors or effective. Thankfully, when it comes to Nordic walking, it is more of the latter.
Regarding if the benefits of the activity have been proven, there have been studies in the past. Studies conducted by the Cooper Institute, in fact, have shown that this type of walking can be nearly 50 percent more efficient than traditional walking.
q: What should you wear when you Nordic walk?
While this question does not specifically pertain to the actual Nordic walking poles that you buy, it is still something worth pointing out. After all, you should know what to wear with your new walking poles, right?
Anyway, it depends on when you will be using them. Of course, either way, you should shoot for comfortable, moisture-wicking clothing. Even during colder months, you can benefit greatly from materials that wick away your sweat. But, you will also need to be properly insulated, at the same time.
q: How long should the poles be?
As noted before, the poles you go with need to be selected by your height. If shopping for fixed-length poles, you will most likely be taken through a specific screening process. When shopping for adjustable models, though, the manufacturer will often inform you of the range of heights that theirs work with.
Also, if you go with adjustable poles, it is easy to figure out how high they need to be. With your elbows held next to your body, they should form a 90-degree angle (or slightly higher) with the poles (with your hands on the grips).
q: Will they help reduce aches and pains?
While it is not as if Nordic walking is going to heal you from serious injuries magically, yes, it can help to reduce some aches and pains that you are having. In specific, it can help to mitigate some of the pain you feel in your back, shoulders, and neck.
However, remember, this type of walking engages many of your core muscles. So, it can have plenty of other benefits past reducing minor aches and pains in your body.