All our hiking poles are equipped with a foam or cork handle allowing a comfortable grip with bare hands: touch, warmth, perspiration…
The comfort of the grip is a third criterion of choice, beyond the material, and I advise you to pay attention to the shape of the handle.
For occasional use, a straight shape is all you need. On the other hand, for regular to intensive use, the comfort of a "moulded" shape, with lower hand support and index finger support, can’t be beaten in the long run.
In addition to the main grip, poles for intermediate and advanced hikers offer additional grip areas. The grip (foam sleeve under the handle) is very useful for positioning your hand in climbs and on slopes. A knob also lets you alternate the grip by grabbing the pole from above, especially when going uphill and downhill. I strongly encourage regular users to give it a try.
A word from the product engineer: Foam or Cork? Some people swear by cork, a natural, noble material. For my part, the main thing I like is that you can look after it easily. You can lightly sand it to remove the layer of dirt, fill the holes with wood putty, maybe apply a hydrophobic finish (linseed oil, etc) and the handle is like new.