The best walking and hiking poles in the UK 2023

There are specialized poles for walking, Nordic walking and hiking. They are usually adjustable in height and have a pointed tip that allows you to push them into the ground for support. Which model would be best for you? To find out, read our guide to the best walking and hiking poles.

Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z

Best value for money

Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z

The best walking stick

This pair of walking sticks is distinguished by its design with carbon. It has an anti-moisture strap, ideal for maximum safety and better handling.

55,99 £ on Cdiscount

Got a long mountain expedition or a short family getaway planned? Don't forget your Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z hiking pole. It's the perfect combination of convenience, technicality and longevity. Its rubber grip maximizes comfort. Plus, the wide wrist strap provides excellent security.

The Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z is made of 100% carbon. Meanwhile, the carbide Tech tips are interchangeable with rubber models depending on the quality of the terrain. Lightweight, it weighs only 290g and takes up little space when stored.

MECHHRE - Telescopic walking stick 1

Best low cost

MECHHRE - Telescopic walking stick

The best entry-level walking stick

This pair of Mechhre walking sticks is made of high quality aluminum with more lightness and resistance. Its anti-transpirant cork handle and adjustable length design makes it very convenient to use.

23,19 £ on Amazon

This pair of Mechhre walking poles is designed for maximum comfort and safety on all terrains. Ultralight and very resistant, it includes a weight of 220 grams per piece with a very high load capacity up to 200 kg. The poles are made of high quality aluminum with a soft, anti-transpirant cork handle. In addition, the poles are equipped with an internal spring anti-shock device to reduce impact damage to the wrist.

Practical and easy to use, this walking and hiking equipment is adjustable in length from 65 to 135 cm with a screw system combined with an external lock. Versatile in all circumstances, each pole has a durable tungsten steel tip that is heat, acid and corrosion resistant. For all-terrain use, the pair of poles comes with two removable non-slip rubber caps (rocky and dirt trails), a pair of mud baskets and a pair of snow baskets.

Black Diamond Pro Shock 2

Best high end

Black Diamond Pro Shock

The best high-end walking stick

One of the lightest, the Black Diamond Pro Shock walking stick can be used in all seasons. It stands out for its ability to absorb shock effectively. SmashLock technology ensures quick unfolding and refolding of the equipment.

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The Black Diamond Pro Shock is a telescopic walking stick that has nothing to envy from the other models of this top selection. Indeed, it is equipped with the SmashLock system allowing a fast and easy opening and unfolding in one click. As for the locking, it is guaranteed by the FlickLock Pro mechanism. Inside its handle, you will discover the Control Shock system, specifically developed to progressively absorb shocks on 4 levels.

The ergonomic dual-density handle offers greater comfort. Made of rubber, it also promises an optimal grip. It owes its lightness and robustness to its quality manufacturing material, aluminum.

TheFitLife Poles Black 3


TheFitLife Poles Black

The most complete walking stick

With this walking stick, your arms propel you forward without too much effort, especially since it helps you keep your balance. Planning to climb a mountain or walk on flat ground? TheFitLife Poles Black will fit right in.

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Using TheFitLife Poles Black greatly reduces the risk of fatigue after a long walking session. This lightweight, aircraft aluminum-based model absorbs shock effectively. Its foam handles are both soft and comfortable. They absorb moisture in case of hand perspiration.

You can't help but admire the quality of construction of the TheFitLife Poles Black. In fact, it is one of the most resistant and lightest models of the moment. Suitable for all sizes, it adjusts in length from 65 to 130 cm. After use, simply unlock it and fold it up to store it in a backpack. This model comes with a full set of accessories, including rubber tips, snow cover, mud cover, ice cover and dirt cover.

Buying guide • November 2023

Best walking and hiking poles

Any specific needs?

The best walking stick

The best entry-level walking stick

The best high-end walking stick

The most complete walking stick

Your guide : Samuel

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Comparison table of the best walking and hiking poles

Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z
MECHHRE - Telescopic walking stick 4
Black Diamond Pro Shock 5
TheFitLife Poles Black 6
Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z
MECHHRE - Telescopic walking stick
Black Diamond Pro Shock
TheFitLife Poles Black
This pair of walking sticks is distinguished by its design with carbon. It has an anti-moisture strap, ideal for maximum safety and better handling.
This pair of Mechhre walking sticks is made of high quality aluminum with more lightness and resistance. Its anti-transpirant cork handle and adjustable length design makes it very convenient to use.
One of the lightest, the Black Diamond Pro Shock walking stick can be used in all seasons. It stands out for its ability to absorb shock effectively. SmashLock technology ensures quick unfolding and refolding of the equipment.
With this walking stick, your arms propel you forward without too much effort, especially since it helps you keep your balance. Planning to climb a mountain or walk on flat ground? TheFitLife Poles Black will fit right in.
Adjustable length
65 to 135 cm
68-140 cm
65 to 130 cm
Carbon, rubber
Aluminum, cork
Aluminum, rubber
Aircraft aluminum, rubber
290 g
440 g
590 g
550 g
Number of sticks
EVA foam handle
Tungsten steel tip & Double protection lock
Interchangeable carbide Tech tips
Complete accessories

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Buying guide - walking and hiking poles

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How to choose your walking and hiking poles

To help you choose the right hiking poles for your next adventure. Consider the criteria below:

#1 - The weight

The weight is the first criterion to consider when you are going to buy walking and hiking poles, because it depends mainly on the materials and storage systems used. The lighter the poles are, the more pleasant and less tiring it is to walk with them, whether you have them in your hand or in your backpack. But the lighter the poles, as we said earlier, the more expensive they usually are.

#2 - Clutter

This is also not to be overlooked. Hiking poles have different storage systems to reduce their size, which is convenient for storing them when not in use. The dimensions mainly depend on the folding system of the poles and the number of sections. Most multi-section poles have 2 or 3 sections, sometimes 4.

The more sections a hiking pole has, the less bulky it is and the more practical it will be when you store it. Then you can choose the 4-section poles, in addition they are specially reserved for people who want to store their poles in their backpack.

#3 - The price

You also need to take into account the price, because it varies according to the model. Generally, the lighter the walking stick for hiking, the more expensive it is. Anything that adds comfort tends to increase the price for example, handle material, anti-shock system, etc. But as with most hiking equipment, beware: high price does not necessarily mean high quality. You can find good hiking poles for a fairly low price if you're on a bit of a budget.

#4 - The folding and storage system

Here's a point often overlooked when choosing hiking poles. Each brand uses different technologies, the systems are not of the same quality from one brand to another, but 3 main systems can be distinguished with some advantages and disadvantages:

The twist lock

It consists of selecting the desired length (using graduations) by sliding the sections and tightening these sections together. To put them away, you just have to loosen them and slide them into each other.

  • Advantage: This system is the oldest and surely the most widespread. It is now mainly used on cheap hiking poles and allows to adjust the size of the poles quite easily.
  • Disadvantage: The first disadvantage of these poles is that they sometimes go out of adjustment while walking. This can happen gradually or suddenly. And when a pole suddenly shrinks, it can be dangerous.

The locking lever

The principle of this system is that you simply select the desired length by sliding the sections and then clip the system. To store the sticks, simply unclip the system and slide the sticks into each other.

  • Advantage: This system is very convenient and fast.
  • Disadvantage: It is usually more expensive than the twist lock system. It can also lose its setting when there is a lot of pressure.

The Z-fold system

With this system, an elastic thread holds the sticks together. To assemble the poles, simply unfold the sections and insert them into each other by pulling on the handle and the first section until the locking button (located under the handle) locks.

To store them, simply press the button to unlock the system, push the top section into the handle, then separate the sections and fold them back.

  • Advantage: It is a very practical, fast and safe system. This system also allows to have lighter poles.
  • Disadvantage: The main disadvantage is that the size of the poles with this system is not adjustable.

#5 - The handle

Have you ever felt the difference between a good bike handle and a bad one? Between the one that causes blisters and the one you can ride comfortably for hours?

With walking poles, it's a bit the same, the choice of handles is crucial, because it's by gripping them with your hands that you transmit your weight and that of your backpack to the ground. They must therefore be pleasant to hold, not slippery, and not create unpleasant friction that could cause blisters.

How to maintain your walking and hiking poles?

Regular maintenance of your walking and hiking pole is essential to prolong its life. You will need to clean it after each hike. To do this, you will need to separate the sections and remove the aluminum sulfate inside the tubes with a cloth or brush. You should wipe the tubes well as the dirt could damage the quality of the materials.

It is also important to rinse and wipe down the handles to avoid chipping, but especially because they could be quickly damaged by perspiration. After a hike in the wilderness, you should scrub the pads and tips to remove all impurities. Rinsing with water or soap may be sufficient for this purpose. Don't forget to wipe down the gripping parts of your equipment.

For the storage of walking sticks, it is advisable to put them in a stick cover to protect them from external aggressions such as humidity or light. Indeed, the latter could affect the plastic parts of your stick. But the replacement of wearing parts is also very important to avoid damage to the carbon tube.

You should, for example, replace the wrist straps or gauntlets, which are put to the test during long hikes, when you have the feeling that the grip of your walking gear is reduced. In addition, pads should be changed before they are lost. The tips of the pole should also be replaced regularly to protect it. The steel tips, which are damaged by contact with rocks, should also be changed in time.

Aluminum or carbon hiking poles?

Aluminium hiking stick

The aluminium hiking pole is much stronger. It is very strong and can withstand a lot of pressure. The aluminium shaft is also light, especially those made of 7075 aluminium. Moreover, this kind of metal remains unaffected by the weather and low temperature. This makes it ideal for cold or snowy weather. Aluminum hiking poles offer the best value for money. It is less expensive, strong and durable.

However, the aluminum shaft has many drawbacks that should not be taken lightly. First, although it is known to be tough, it can bend. It may even break cleanly. But this rarely happens. Aluminum also has the disadvantage of absorbing less vibration, which is why some people feel discomfort and even pain when using this type of stick.

Carbon hiking pole

The greatest strength of the carbon hiking pole is its lightness. It is the lightest of all hiking poles. This lightness goes hand in hand with the percentage of carbon in the pole. Those with a higher percentage are the lightest. And the shaft can be made of either 100% carbon or carbon fiber and fiberglass. This type of material also stands out from the others because of its effectiveness in absorbing vibrations.

While providing maximum comfort to the hiker, the carbon hiking pole has two major drawbacks that should not be overlooked. On the one hand, it is fragile, meaning that it can be damaged quite easily in the event of a major impact. On the other hand, it is more expensive than those made of aluminium.


The choice between these two types of hiking poles is up to you. It is preferable to choose the aluminium one because of its solidity. Carbon is, on the other hand, recommended for those who wish to have more comfort because of its great lightness.

The advantages of walking and hiking poles

Makes it easy to ride at a steady pace

We all know that having a steady, even pace is essential when hiking. It allows you to cover more ground in less time and without suffering. Since hiking poles give you two extra points of support, it's easier to get into a rhythm that works perfectly for the distance and terrain you're hiking.

Less stress, more balance

Because you can stand up with the poles on the way up and lean on them as you walk downhill, your knees and muscles have less impact. Hiking poles also help you keep your balance, especially on rough terrain, reducing the risk of tripping and possibly falling and injuring yourself. They are also very useful when hiking on slippery terrain and give you more grip.

Climb faster

Going up a hill can be very stressful on your legs. Even if you are remarkably fit, you can benefit from the boost that using hiking poles gives you. Spreading the workload between your legs and arms will keep you cooler for longer, making uphill rides easier and more enjoyable.

Give your knees a break on the way down

It's no secret that long downhill rides can make your knees hurt. Some might even feel the impact on their ankles. Most of the time, a few days of rest is all it takes for your knees and legs to recover, but in some cases, the strain over time can lead to injury. Since the poles deflect some of this impact, you will feel much less of the effects of a downhill run.

To test unstable terrain before walking

You've all found a part of the trek where there are tons of fragmentary rocks that you don't know if they'll support your weight, or sections where you have to check to see if that piece of fallen leaves is covering a hole. Having an extension of your body to test the terrain is a big plus, as is the walking and hiking stick.


Left and right.

Many hiking pole models contain specific wrist straps for either the left or right hand. The handle padding aligns with the correct hand when you use the matching wrist strap.

Don't forget to extend your walking stick on the way down.

Lengthen poles a few extra inches when going downhill, especially on steep slopes, to get a better angle for your wrists.

Choose the best size.

To find the length of hiking pole that works best for you, look for one that is adjustable 50 to 60 centimeters shorter than you are. So, if you're 5'7" tall, look for a pole that can be between 5'10" and 5'20" long.

Rubber tips.

Use rubber protectors on the tips of hiking poles to protect the carbide or steel tips. They'll last longer that way.

Get used to your poles before you go hiking.

If you've never used poles before or are investing in new ones, remember to practice with the ones you just bought on a variety of terrain before your hike. That way, you won't suffer too much on the hike since your poles can really help you.


How to walk with hiking poles?

The principle behind walking and hiking poles is simple: they give you support and help prevent you from tiring too quickly, which is one of the many advantages of this type of sports equipment. Walk naturally, but use the poles to increase your range of motion and reduce the strain on your legs.

How to adjust walking sticks?

Walking and hiking poles are height-adjustable so that they can be adjusted to your height for optimal support. Ideally, choose models with a height of 50 or 60 cm less than your height. Among the tips in this buying guide, we recommend that you extend your walking poles slightly when going downhill for better stability.

How to block a walking stick?

Once you have found the right height for your walking and hiking poles, tighten the locking mechanism by turning the bolt provided. You should hear a click to indicate that you have assembled it properly. Note that the walking and hiking poles in this comparison have a simple locking mechanism.

How to choose your Nordic walking poles?

If you're a Nordic walker, you need to add lightness and compactness to the criteria that are essential for conventional walking and hiking poles. Choose models made of carbon and fibreglass, and opt for poles that are closer to 122 cm in height. Note, however, that the maintenance of walking poles remains the same, regardless of whether they are used for Nordic walking or hiking.


Note: Below are some of the sources we have consulted in writing this article. Links to other sites are not continuously updated. It is therefore possible that a link may not be found. Please use a search engine to find the desired information.
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March 2022 : Translation of this buying guide from our partner

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Our selection
Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z
Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z
MECHHRE - Telescopic walking stick 7
MECHHRE - Telescopic walking stick
Black Diamond Pro Shock 8
Black Diamond Pro Shock
TheFitLife Poles Black 9
TheFitLife Poles Black


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