How to choose your hiking poles?

Whether trekking or hiking, poles let you distribute the effort provided over your entire body and can prevent you from slipping! What criteria should you take into account to find the poles that best suit you?

Follow the guide!

choosing hike-trek poles


This is a key consideration because you will be using it regularly, so you need to be comfortable with the way it works.

Beginners: if you want to make life easy, the simplest and most reliable system is the push-pin. All you have to do is slide the tube and the push button will fit in the hole corresponding to the height that suits you.

Intermediate: in recent years, we have equipped our poles with external blockers (or levers). This is a more precise way to adjust the length since you’re not constrained by the spacing of the push-pin holes, yet remains very easy to use. Check that the lever screw is tight to prevent the pole from retracting under full load.

Finally, the screw systems are there to provide certain features such as shockproofing. But they can be more complicated to handle.

Additional info: The risk with adjustment systems is the pole collapsing in use. To avoid this, whatever system you choose, our models undergo compression lab tests. So they all meet the safety threshold we have set ourselves, which is the result of measurements taken in the field.

How to choose your hiking poles?


Being comfortable with your pole’s adjustment system is important because this is how you fold it away.

All our hiking poles are compactable so you can attach them to your backpack when you’re not using them, for example when using ladders, or to carry them to the other end of the world in your luggage if you’re going on a distant trek. The minimum is 2 sections (folded length around 75cm) but most are in 3 sections (length 55cm) to fit in a large bag of 50L or more! Some can even be in 5 sections (folded length 40cm), which means they can be stored in the side pockets of your backpack.

A comment from the product engineer: we often hear “more sections = more fragile”. That’s not completely true. What matters if you want a strong pole is the connections between the sections. This is a major area of focus during our development work. What is true is that a telescopic pole requires smaller and smaller section diameters so that they interlock with each other. The last section is therefore often the most fragile.



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.

Choosing your pole handle


Finally, weight can be a deciding factor. Ultra-lightness is an essential consideration for some, but not for others! It is particularly important for dynamic use (fast hiking, trail running) in order to have the least possible moving mass (approx 160g to 210g / pole). In this case, a well-designed aluminium pole can produce a useful weight while offering good durability at a reasonable price. The most demanding will prefer a carbon model, but it will be more expensive.

For beginner hikers and long-distance trekkers, aluminium is the classic material for designing reliable, durable poles of limited weight: 220g to 270g / pole. Poles also help set the rhythm to this type of walking.