The best walking poles reviewed (2023)

Trekking poles can give you a major advantage when covering big miles with a heavy pack. This guide reviews the best walking poles tested by our experts.

by Ben Weeks |
Updated on

Walking poles (often called trekking poles) assist with balance and stability on uneven terrain. They also help alleviate the strain suffered by your knees too. Thus, they're an extremely useful hiking accessory.

For some, walking poles can be almost on par with head torches and first aid kits in terms of importance. At Live For The Outdoors, we've been testing a number of walking poles to find out which are best.

Black Diamond Trail Ergo Cork – Best in Test

Lomo Aluminium Walking Poles – Best Value

Robens Grasmere T7 – Recommended

Highlander Isle of Skye Carbon Lite Ultra – Best ultralight walking poles

Leki Black Series FX Carbon – Best compact walking poles

Alpkit Alpine Trail Twins – Best walking poles for hard ground

Mountain King SuperTrekker Speedlock – Best walking poles for beginners

LEKI Cressida FX Carbon Lady – Best luxury hiking poles

Helinox Passport TL130 Adjustable – Best poles for experts

Komperdell Carbon C3 Cloud – Recommended

Below, you will find our recommendations, along with key features you should need to consider when buying new trekking poles.

The best walking poles in detail

Best in Test


At first glance there’s not much to differentiate these from other trekking poles here. They’re a


  • Fantastic build quality
  • Spares for almost all parts easily available


  • Arguably pricey (but we think they're totally worth it)

Best Value

Lomo Aluminium Walking Poles
Price: £42.43


These hiking poles are such an incredible bargain that we could almost leave the review there. But


  • Incredible value
  • Sturdy
  • Reliable flip-lock system


  • Not very compact



These trekking poles are relatively inexpensive, but don’t skimp on design or materials. The


  • Good value
  • Durable materials used
  • Bag supplied


  • Tad heavy
  • Not very compact

Best ultralight walking poles

Price: £39.99 (per pole)


Trekking poles work better in pairs, and when they weigh as little as these do – just 180g per


  • Very lightweight
  • Easy to use with gloves


  • Twist-lock isn't as reliable as flip-lock

Best compact walking poles

Leki black series FX hiking poles
Price: £188.95 (pair)


As we've shown, you don’t need to spend megabucks to get a good pair of trekking poles. But there


  • Very compact
  • Lightweight
  • Very durable
  • Bag supplied


  • Expensive

Best walking poles for hard ground

Alpine trail twins best walking poles reviewed
Price: £39.99 (pair)


One of the issues with poles is that on hard ground they can be jarring on your wrists and arms.


  • Effective shock absorption
  • Good value
  • Can be bought as a single


  • Tad heavy

Best walking poles for beginners


What do these poles have in common with Stottie cakes, Gazza and Brown Ale? Simple – they all come


  • Great price
  • Uses sturdy materials
  • Variable lengths


  • Not as much give as other models

Best luxury walking poles


To spend this much money on a pair of trekking poles, they have to be seriously good. Fortunately,


  • Super lightweight
  • Comfortable grip for all sizes
  • Durable carbon fibre construction


  • Somewhat over-engineered for the job

Best poles for experts


Aluminium trekking poles tend to be heavier than carbon fibre poles, but the Passport series turns


  • Innovative design
  • Agile for technical terrain


  • May be a bit long for some


Komperdell Carbon C3 Cloud walking pole reviewed
Price: £123.44


These are Austrian brand Komperdell’s lightest carbon fibre trekking poles – each pole weighs less


  • Lightweight and durable
  • Good value for carbon fibre


  • Not the best for comfort

What to look for in walking poles

Walking Poles Review


Z-shaped poles fold into thirds, while telescopic poles slide into themselves like a telescope. Either way, a collapsible design is needed for carrying in or on your backpack.


With pole in hand your elbow should be at 90°. In this position, measure the distance from your hands to the ground and you have your optimum pole length. Opt for a pole that will lengthen 5-10cm up or down either side of this for when you’re ascending or descending.

Locking mechanism

Some walking poles use a twist-lock mechanism, while others have a flip-style lock. The latter is considered more secure, longer lasting, easier to use and less prone to slippage. Twist-locks are lighter and easier to use with gloves.


Carbon poles are lighter and stiffer, but more expensive and brittle. Aluminium poles are generally cheaper and more durable, but heavier. Some poles combine both materials.


Heavier aluminium poles can take more abuse over rough and rocky mountainous terrain where walking poles undergo a real battering.


Select your preference from foam, cork or rubber designs. And for enhanced comfort choose an ergonomic grip with shaping and cushioning. A longer handle allows you to slide your hand up and down, depending on the steepness of terrain, to effectively adjust the pole length on the move.


For moving fast and light, an ultralight carbon trekking pole is most energy efficient. But for general hillwalking, a slightly heavier aluminium walking pole weighing will be stronger and more durable.

Pole tips

Pole tips are usually made of hardened metal such as tungsten or carbide, housed in a plastic body. If you’re walking on roads or very rocky terrain, you can use rubber feet over the tips.


Wrist straps or slings help prevent poles being dropped. Baskets – the little round discs near the tip – stop them from plugging in the ground. Wider baskets are a good strategy if hiking in snow. Some poles also have shock absorbers – spring-like mechanisms that cushion the impact of striking the ground.

One walking pole or two?

Helinox Passport TL130 Adjustable trekking poles
©Live For The Outdoors

Two is best because it gives you better stability going downhill. Two hiking poles also give you more power when going uphill.

Using one trekking pole on the same side of your body can lead to unbalanced muscle development. This can result in extra strain on joints, tendons and muscles. Just make sure that if you do use only one walking pole, remember to switch sides as you walk.

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