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The benefits of using walking poles

Whether you call them walking poles, trekking poles, or hiking poles, there is a lot of debate from the outdoor community about how useful they are. People often disregard the vast number of benefits walking poles can have on your health and performance, finding them unnecessary and extra weight. However, research has found that walking poles should not be ignored and can have overwhelming benefits to those who use them.

In this blog, we have researched some of the benefits of using walking poles for your health and performance:

Absorb Shock & Pressure

One of the biggest advantages of using walking poles is that they absorb the pressure usually felt in your knees, back and joints when descending and ascending on your trail. If you have ever felt pain in your body when hiking, try walking poles as they will reduce the amount of weight you put on your lower body, reducing pain.

Maintain Balance

Because 4 legs are better than 2! Walking poles can give you more stability especially when navigating rough and rocky terrain. They can help you move swiftly through the snow and help keep you upright as you navigate through wet, slippery streams. Poles can give you that extra support to tackle the trickiest ground. With better balance, you can significantly increase your walking speed: Getting into a good rhythm can become therapeutic and the repetitive action of using your poles has proven to make you walk quicker.

walking poles

Prevent Swelling

When you’re hiking, have you ever looked down and noticed your hands have doubled in size? Keeping your arms by your side when hiking can lead to poor circulation, so you may find your hands and fingers swelling up. By using poles, you can ensure your arms are actively working upright, allowing you to continue your hike comfortably.

Clear Pathways

Did you know your walking poles can be used for more than just assisting your hike? You can also use your trekking poles to clear branches, nettles and other bits of foliage that block your way. For example, you could use walking poles to clear your path from overgrown bushes or long grass.


You can use your trekking poles to help determine potential hazards on your route. You can easily use your poles to test things such as the depth of water, mud, and the strength of ice allowing you to continue your journey safely.

What to look for in a walking pole?

Weight: If you are thinking of walking long distances, you may want to consider purchasing a lighter pole, carbon fiber poles are a great lighter option that do not take up too much weight.

Length: For the perfect posture when holding your poles, you must ensure your arms are at a 90-degree angle and are parallel to the floor. To get this position right, it is recommended that you purchase walking poles that can be adjusted.

Straps: Getting a good grip on your trekking poles can reduce the chances of you dropping the poles when your grip loosens. Having a strap around your wrist makes it easier to grab onto the pole if you fall giving you that extra support.

Walking poles are a great addition to your next hike, not only can they help clear your path and test ground conditions, but the health benefits are also plentiful. Helping you walk better for longer, with reduced stress on your legs, back and joints.

Terra Nova Equipment has been designing walking poles for decades. You can browse our range of trekking poles here