Last updated: August 23, 2021

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Welcome to our big walking poles test 2021. Here we present all the walking poles we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best walking poles for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy walking poles.




Summary

  • The right length is crucial for the correct execution of the Nordic Walking technique.
  • Nordic Walking is a healthy sport that trains the whole body and relieves the joints.
  • The most commonly used materials are carbon/glass fibre and aluminium.

The Best Walking Sticks: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying walking poles

How long should Nordic Walking poles be?

The right sock length is a very important prerequisite to be able to perform the Nordic Walking technique correctly. You can use a formula to calculate the correct pole length. However, this is not set in stone, as there can still be individual deviations due to your physique.

Not every walking stick is suitable for walking safely over hill and dale. The dimensions of the sticks are crucial. (Image source: pexels.com / rawpixel.com)

The formula is: body height x 0.66 = ideal stick length

A woman with a height of 1.72m would need a pole of 113.5 cm. However, since most manufacturers only offer poles in 5cm increments, the 110cm pole is recommended.

This formula results in the following pole lengths for the respective body sizes:

Body size stick size
136 cm to 143 cm 90 cm
144 cm to 149 cm 95 cm
150 cm to 158 cm 100 cm
159 cm to 165 cm 105 cm
166 cm to 173 cm 110 cm
174 cm to 181 cm 115 cm
182 cm to 188 cm 120 cm
189 cm to 186 cm 125 cm
197 cm to 203 cm 130 cm
204 cm to 210 cm 135 cm

How much do Nordic Walking poles cost?

Most Nordic walking poles range in price from €35 to €100. If you want to use your poles regularly, it is certainly worth buying a slightly cheaper model at an auction.

However, there are also walking poles with a price of over 100€, which are real professional models.

What is the purpose of Nordic Walking poles?

Nordic walking is a sport that trains the whole body and has become increasingly popular in recent years. By pushing off with the poles on the ground, you train your chest, shoulder and arm muscles. In addition, your joints are relieved.

However, it is important that you master the Nordic Walking technique correctly, otherwise the training is useless.

Here are some basics:

  • the shoulders should be relaxed and loose
  • Upper body and hips swing naturally
  • feet point forward
  • Guide poles close to the body
  • Hands slightly open to let the poles swing forward
  • one leg is always on the ground
  • Press down with the toes and move the hips forward
  • the pole touches down with the opposite heel
  • at the end of the movement the pole is brought back diagonally

What should you look for when buying Nordic Walking poles?

An important factor is the material and the right length of the pole.

If the pole is too long or too short, the Nordic Walking technique cannot be executed correctly and the movement is executed incorrectly due to unconscious compensatory movements.

What alternatives are there to Nordic Walking poles?

For all those who are not comfortable with Nordic Walking poles, there are the so-called Smovey rings.

One ring is carried in each hand while walking and swung along while walking. Four balls are built into the tube of each ring to increase the intensity.

Generally speaking, there are a lot of endurance sports that do not necessarily have to degenerate into high-performance sports, but can represent a challenging but not overstraining level throughout the course.

Which sport you finally decide to do - whether with accessories such as walking poles or not - is entirely up to you and your preferences. We recommend that you first try out a few different sports in trial programmes to find the one that suits you best.

Decision: What types of walking poles are there and which is the right one for you?

If you want to buy walking poles, there are two basic types:

  • Walking poles with carbon
  • Walking poles with aluminium

What distinguishes walking poles with carbon and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

Carbon poles are usually made in combination with glass fibre and have a higher elasticity and therefore offer better cushioning.

For regular walking, poles with a high carbon content are recommended as they are simply more stable and allow for a dynamic and powerful push-off. Poles made of 100% carbon can be extremely stiff.

Advantages
  • higher elasticity
  • more dynamic
  • better damping
  • more stable
Disadvantages
  • stiff
  • more expensive

Due to the high-quality material, carbon walking poles are naturally also higher in price.

What distinguishes walking poles made of aluminium and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

Walking poles made of aluminium are cheaper and lighter, but they are not suitable for people over a certain size. From a length of over 1.30 m, it quickly becomes apparent that the aluminium poles lose their dimensional stability. Breaking under increased load is also not too rare.

Advantages
  • cheaper
  • lighter material
Disadvantages
  • Instability
  • breaking through

Buying criteria: These are the factors you can use to compare and evaluate walking poles

In the following, we will explain to you which aspects you can orientate yourself on when buying walking poles.

The criteria you can use to compare walking poles with each other include:

  • Length
  • Weight
  • Handle / wrist strap
  • Pole tip
  • System

In the following paragraphs, the different criteria will be explained in more detail.

Length

As already explained above, the length of the poles is one of the most important factors to be able to perform the sport of Nordic Walking properly.

If you are still unsure about the length, it is recommended that you ask an advisor at your nearest sports shop and try out the different sizes.

Weight

When it comes to weight, it all depends on the material. Aluminium weighs less, but is also more unstable and tends to break under increased load.

Carbon and glass fibre, on the other hand, are more expensive, but also have a higher elasticity, which has a positive effect on the damping and thus also on your joints.

Handle / wrist strap

There are three different materials for the handle of walking poles: cork, foam rubber and plastic.

Cork handles are the most suitable for Nordic walking. The material is sweat-repellent and at the same time feels most comfortable. However, the handle made of foam rubber is also often used, as this material prevents the hands from slipping. Grips made of plastic are not non-slip and therefore not really recommended.

When Nordic walking, you should definitely have hand straps with a thumb loop. With the right technique, you can let go of the poles for a short time and then grab them again smoothly.

Although Nordic walking is suitable for all ages and is practised by both young and old, it is one of the more popular sports among seniors. (Image source: pixabay.com / Mario Ohibsky)

Basically, a distinction is made between fixed and removable hand straps. There is no real difference here. For regular walking, however, the detachable strap is recommended because you don't always have to pull out the whole strap to reach for something.

Nowadays mainly cork handles are used and most hand straps are detachable.

Pole tip

The right pole tip always depends on the ground conditions. For wet and rather soft ground, the hard metal tip is recommended so that you get a better grip when pushing off.

If you are walking on harder surfaces such as asphalt, the use of rubber pads is recommended.

The choice of the right pole tip depends on the type of ground.

System

When talking about the system of walking poles, one usually talks about whether the poles are adjustable or have a fixed size. There are advantages and disadvantages to both systems.

The adjustable walking poles are more suitable for occasional use. Because they are made of two parts, they are not as stable and cannot dampen vibrations well.

Facts worth knowing about walking poles

How are Nordic Walking poles adjusted correctly?

The correct adjustment of Nordic Walking poles depends on your body size. In principle, the following formula applies: Body size x 0.66 = Ideal pole length.

Image source: pixabay / Christelle Olivier

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