How to choose the right Trekking Pole for you

Trekking Pole 01, Shieldon

LEKI “Shelpalite XTG (1300386)”


A trekking pole is an outdoor gear used like a “wand” when climbing or trekking. Hold one in your hand and poke it to the side of your body to prevent it from shaking.


In this article, we will introduce the recommendations and selection of trekking poles carefully selected by mountain writer Shotaro Takahashi and the editorial department.



What is a trekking pole?

Trekking Pole 02, Shieldon

Trekking pole

Reduces strain on your feet and reduces fatigue!


By holding the trekking pole in both hands, you can change from bipedal walking to quadrupedal walking, improving your sense of balance. It also increases the driving force when walking, making it easier to walk when climbing a mountain.


Since you can put your weight on a road with varying slopes such as uphill and downhill, the feeling of fatigue will be completely different with and without it.


However, the disadvantage is that it is dangerous to use it on an uphill or downhill that is too steep. Let’s fold it up and put it in your backpack!


How to choose a trekking pole


Now let’s look at the basic selection method. There are five points below.


Choose a size (length) that suits your height

Trekking Pole 03, Shieldon

LEKI “Shelpalite XTG (1300386)”


The trekking pole is used to match the slope of the slope, a little shorter on the uphill road and a little longer on the downhill road.


When choosing a product, the basic length is that the elbows are at right angles when standing on level ground and gripping the grip. In other words, the suitable length depends on the height of the user.


Many poles can be adjusted in length by expanding and contracting several connected shafts, but the width of expansion and contraction is limited, so you can not use it effectively unless you choose the one that suits your height.


Depending on the model, there are 2 to 3 sizes available, so choose the one that suits you best.


Women’s shafts are designed to be short, taking into account the fact that many are short, making them suitable for small men as well.


Select by material


Some outdoor trekking poles are for trail running and mountain racing. All of them are delicately made with an emphasis on lightness and are not suitable for general mountaineering in terms of strength.


Lighter arms are less tiring, but some people find it less tiring because they can be used rhythmically like a pendulum if they have a certain amount of weight. This area is also compatible with the person who uses it, so if possible, try to grasp the actual item and choose the one that suits you best.


Here, we will introduce two main types of materials.


▼ “Aluminum” if you choose by price

Trekking Pole 04, Shieldon

JACKO “Trekker 125 (1 pair) (12797-7)”


Cheap aluminum. It is a little heavier than carbon. It may bend if you use strong force, but it rarely breaks completely, so you can use it with confidence.


However, the problem is that if you leave it wet after use, it will rust and harden.


▼ If you choose by strength, “carbon”

Trekking Pole 05, Shieldon

oxtos “Carbon trekking pole, set of 2”


Carbon is increasing recently, and its lightweight outdoor gear is a big advantage. There is no need to worry about rust, maintenance is easy, and now the merit is more than aluminum alloy.


Carbon is more expensive than aluminum alloy, so you may have to consult with your budget when choosing.


Select by the shape of the grip


The comfort of trekking poles is greatly affected by the material and thickness of the grips and straps that come into direct contact with the skin. Look for something that feels good on your skin and doesn’t put a strain on your arm.


For those who may use it in snowy mountains, it is suitable to replace the ring (basket) at the tip with a part called a snow basket so that the tip does not pierce deeply into deep snow.


Here, we will explain each of the two types of grip shapes, I-shaped and T-shaped.


▼ I-shaped that is effective in reducing fatigue on the uphill

Trekking Pole 06, Shieldon

archi “Trekking pole aluminum 2 pcs set”


The I-shaped trekking pole has a straight shape like ski poles and is suitable for steeply sloping roads, and increases forward propulsion on flat roads.


However, it is easy to apply force when grasping, so if you are unfamiliar, your arms may get tired first, so be careful.


Experienced people who are confident in their physical strength often use one, and beginners who are not confident in their physical strength should use it as a set of two.


▼ T-shaped for a leisurely walk

Trekking Pole 07 244x1024, Shieldon

mont-bell “2way Grip Anti-Shock Dark Mallard (1140158)”


The handle is T-shaped like a wand, and you can use it by grasping it from above. It is often used as a single piece, suitable for descents and flat roads, easy to put on weight, and recommended for beginners. Also, unlike the I type, it is said that the arm does not get tired easily.


In addition, since one hand is free, it will be easier to take pictures while climbing.


Select by storage method


There are two types of storage methods for trekking poles. One is a “telescoping type” that looks like a stick when stretched and stored, and the other is a “folding type” that is rod-shaped when stretched and splits into several pieces when stored.


A foldable type that is lightweight and compact, as opposed to a telescoping type that can be used without problems even in hard environments such as snow mountain climbing. Here, we will introduce the features of each.


▼ Telescoping type | Safe even in a hard environment such as mountain climbing

Trekking Pole 08, Shieldon

Black Diamond “Alpine Carbon Cork (BD82368)”


The telescoping type has been used for a long time and has a high strength that can be used safely even in hard environments such as snowy mountain climbing and steep mountain roads.


The length can be adjusted according to the terrain, and while it is inexpensive and has many options, it lacks compactness. Since it will be attached to a large backpack or the outside of the backpack and carried around, the foldable type is suitable if portability is important.


▼ Foldable | Ultralight and compact

Trekking Pole 09, Shieldon

Black Diamond “Distance FLZ (BD82356)”


It’s light and compact, so it’s very convenient if you want to reduce your luggage when climbing. However, since it is not strong, it is not suitable for hard environments such as snow mountain climbing like the telescoping type, so it is recommended to use it for gentle low mountain climbing.


Also, some poles are expensive and have a fixed length, so be sure to decide in advance what you will use when purchasing.


Select by the shaft locking method


There are four types of elastic trekking poles whose length can be adjusted: screw lock type, lever lock type, pin lock type, and hybrid type, so we will explain each of them.


▼ Screw lock type that adjusts the length by turning the shaft

Trekking Pole 10, Shieldon

SINANO “On Anise”


The screw lock type is generally used, and it is a traditional locking method that adjusts the length by turning the shaft. Easy to use, hard to break, cheap price, and abundant types.


However, be careful when loosening or fixing the shaft, as it may break if too much force is applied. If you are walking for a long time or long distance and your physical strength is exhausted, you may find it a little troublesome.


Lever lock type that can be easily used even if the force is weak

Trekking Pole 11, Shieldon

GRIPWELL “Rapid Carbon”


Since the lock can be turned on and off with a single touch, the lever lock type is even easier than the screw lock type and is popular with women outdoor gear with weak power.


It can be operated quickly even with gloves on, and it is recommended when the length is adjusted frequently, but be careful in overgrown places as the lever part may get caught on branches, etc., and get in the way. Let’s walk.


Pin lock type that can be stored compactly

Trekking Pole 12, Shieldon

3-stage foldable trekking pole Aluminum lightweight 2-piece set Adjustable length Climbing cane Pin lock type

Source: Rakuten Ichiba

The pin-lock type is to extend the shaft and fix it with a pin. It is attractive that it can be stored compactly, but its strength is weak, and if it is not locked firmly, it will shrink when you put your weight on it, and there is a risk of injury.


Therefore, it is necessary to confirm the usage and whether the pins are securely locked in advance.


▼ Hybrid type with good points

Trekking Pole 13, Shieldon

Black Diamond Alpine FLZ BD82364 [95-110cm / 105-125cm / 120-140cm] [Mountain climbing trekking stock trekking pole folding his trail running] (P10)


The hybrid type is the best of the screw lock type, lever lock type, and pin lock type. The structure is complicated by that amount, but it is reliable and easy to handle.


Among the combinations, the “pin lock type x lever lock type” is recommended for women because it is easy to operate and does not require much force.


Check if the cap and tip of the foot can be replaced

Trekking Pole 14, Shieldon

Trekking pole folder TWIST [Use size: 100-115cm (folding 36cm)] [Color: blue] # 113474


At the foot of the trekking pole is a stab. The tip of this tip may break if you use it, so if you use it for a long time, choose a trekking pole that can replace this tip.


In addition, since the stone butt is made sharp so that it does not slip on rocks, it will damage the ground and plants, so it is good manners to use a cap on the stone butt when not necessary.


There is also a function to enhance safety

When you buy a trekking pole, don’t forget to check that it has some useful features. Here, we will introduce two types of useful functions.


▼ Anti-shock

Trekking Pole 15, Shieldon



A spring is built in the shaft, and the trekking pole absorbs the impact when it is installed on the ground. It reduces the strain on your hands and relieves wrist pain. It will be effective in hard mountain climbing.


▼ Basket

Trekking Pole 16, Shieldon

oxtos “Carbon trekking pole, set of 2”


When the trekking pole is installed on the ground, the basket prevents it from sticking excessively. If you are walking on a snowy mountain or muddy ground, you may stab and fall more than you think, so it is safe to have a basket installed.


“Use trekking poles to reduce strain on your knees.”

“It seems that many people start using trekking poles because of lack of physical strength or muscle strength. However, even those who have no problems at present should actively use it.”

“This is because walking with a trekking pole can reduce the strain on your knees and help prevent falls and sprains.”

“In other words, you will be less likely to hurt yourself while climbing, and you will be able to maintain good physical condition as you grow older, so you will be able to act energetically for a long period.”

“Let’s think about the future and use the power of trekking poles more and more.”



Not only strength but also usability is an important factor so that it will not be damaged during mountain climbing. Lighter ones are convenient to carry, but some weight moves like a pendulum to move you forward. Choose the trekking pole that suits you, considering the material.


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