best trekking poles

17 Best Trekking Poles: Complete Buyer's Guide

Trekking outdoors is one of the best ways to get exercise while reconnecting with nature, and trekking poles are a simple tool to make those treks easier and more enjoyable. 

Here at OriGym we’ve performed hours of research to find the best trekking poles in the UK, and to provide you with informative reviews that will take the guesswork out of finding the right set for you. We’ve even included a short but sweet buyer's guide at the end of this article that covers how to choose trekking poles, as it can be difficult if you haven't done so before.  

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#1 - Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z Trekking Poles

Price:  £65.80 - £140.00

walking poles UK

This set includes some of the best carbon trekking poles on the market: they’re lightweight yet sturdy, and their features make them a great all-rounder product. 

They are constructed from 100% carbon, making their total weight 280g per pair, and are some of the lightest trekking poles available on the market. The 3 section foldable design allows for quick deployment and is secured with Flick Lock Pro adjustable locks, with extra reinforcement around the locking mechanism and the upper shaft.

Black Diamond have updated their previous model of their carbon fiber trekking poles by improving the joint support and making them 30% stiffer: this means that these poles will be much less likely to break formation. The poles collapse down to 33cm.

The grip is made from EVA foam which provides a breathable and comfortable grasp, and the wrist strap has improved sweat-wicking material.

An important feature to note with these Black Diamond trekking poles is that the height isn’t adjustable at all, but when you purchase a pair you have 4 options in available length: 100cm, 110cm, 120cm, or 130cm

Make sure you check the measurements to ensure the right height will be comfortable for you.

#2 - Komperdell C3 Carbon Powerlock Trekking Poles

best trekking poles image

There are plenty of Komperdell trekking poles reviews out there, but not many that talk about the C3 Carbon Powerlock trekking poles.

Built from lightweight carbon in two sections with the third section built from titanal, these compact walking poles weigh 214g per pole, and can adjust from 68cm up to 140cm which is a larger extension range than most other carbon trekking poles. These poles are ideal for hiking but can also be used for skiing with larger plates fitted to the bottom, a perfect set for all-terrain trekking.

As far as locking mechanisms go, these trekking hiking poles are incredibly innovative: the Komperdell Powerlock system is super easy to use and also durable, so they are much less likely to collapse.

The downside to these otherwise top rated trekking poles is that the baskets don’t screw onto the poles but rather clip on, being secured with two studs. This isn’t the most secure of fastening so be careful when out trekking to make sure they’re still firmly attached. The folded length is also a bit longer than others, measuring 68cm, so these aren’t the most compact trekking poles out there either.

#3 Mountain King Trailblaze Trekking Poles

Price: £85.00

best trekking poles image

As far as aluminium trekking poles go, the Mountain King Trailblaze trekking poles are some of the most lightweight on the market.

Built from strong aluminium in 4 sections, these compact trekking poles weigh just 115g per pole, so if you’re looking for an ultralight set these are the ones for you. With 4 sections these poles fold down to just 38cm in length, however the extra section can sometimes depreciate the strength of the poles and increase the likelihood of collapse.

These foldable trekking poles aren’t adjustable however, which on the plus side means no locks to worry about, but on the downside means some uphill or downhill terrains could be more challenging. The Mountain King trekking poles come in 5 different heights, 110cm, 115cm, 120cm, 125cm, and 130cm, meaning there is a good variety of heights you might not be able to get the perfect height from them. 

The grip is made from foam and there are wrist straps to increase security. And for those of you looking for the best trekking poles for walking that come in any other colour than black or silver, then the extra choices of orange or magenta should grab your attention.

#4 - The Fit Life Trekking Poles

Price: £21.98

best trekking poles review UK

These cheap trekking poles are an amazing price and have some excellent features. However, the cheaper price means some of the standard parts are lower quality.

The Fit Life trekking poles are made from good quality aluminium making each pole weigh approximately 270g, and they are completely adjustable, from 65cm up to 135cm. This is a great height range that makes them suitable for people of all ages. These aluminium trekking poles also have anti-shock mechanisms which will help reduce any damaging impact on your wrists and knees.

One of the lower quality parts on the Fit Life walking poles are the twist locks. This type of lock often has issues as over-tightening leads to the pole seizing while under-tightening increases the likelihood of collapse. However, this type lock is very accessible, even while wearing gloves, so it might still be a good option for you.

The grip on these lightweight trekking poles are made of rubber, which is also considered a lower quality option but still has its merits: easy to clean, strong grip, and stable. 

This particular brand provides a whole host of accessories for your set which helps make up for the less than exceptional qualities. You receive 2 trekking poles, 2 clips, 2 mud baskets, 2 snow baskets, 2 walking caps, 4 rubber tips, a carry case, and an e-user guide all for the price of £21.98! Definitely the best value trekking poles for their price.

#5 - Komperdell Hikemaster Powerlock Trekking Poles

Prices: £89.00

best trekking poles

Another set of Komperdell trekking poles: these are great aluminium trekking poles that work well all year round and on all terrains.

Weighing at 516g per pair, these top walking poles extend from 105cm up to 140cm, which is a larger extension range than most of the best budget trekking poles that are on this list. The 3 sections fold down to a reasonable 65cm.

The handle is another great example of a sleek, ergonomic design that is best suited for keeping your grip whilst not being uncomfortable for your hand. The adjustable sections are secured with simple clip locks, the patented Komperdell Powerlocks - no dainty and intricate mechanisms but secure and tight locking that won’t hinder your hiking. 

At the end of these outdoor trekking poles is a durable tungsten carbide flex tip.

If the higher price point at the beginning of this Komperdell trekking poles review has put you off then maybe the fact that Komperdell provide their customers with a 3 year repair service at no extra cost will put you at ease - there should be no need to replace these poles or spend huge amounts of money on Komperdell trekking poles replacement parts, meaning these could be some of the best value trekking poles in the long run.

#6 - Black Diamond Trail Trekking Poles

Price: £58.00

carbon trekking poles reviews

Black Diamond is a great brand, and this product from them is a set of reliable trail trekking poles that will support you on your trekking all year round. They make a comfortable yet affordable set that don’t skimp out on features.

Constructed with robust aluminium in 3 collapsible parts, the weight of these top trekking poles is measured at 489g per pair, the collapsed length is 64cm, and the adjustable length measures from 64cm up to 140cm at full extension. Compared to the more expensive poles, this pair is more lightweight, compact, and reasonably priced.

They have an updated soft foam grip and double Flick Locks for more durable locking and faster adjustments. 

For durable folding trekking poles that won’t break your bank but will get you up those tricky mountain trails, the Black Diamond Trail trekking poles are definitely worth taking a look at. The only caveat is that you have to buy the trekking poles' rubber tips separately whereas other sets do come with them.

#7 - Trekology Trek-Z Collapsible Trekking Poles

Price: £31.97

best trekking poles comparison

If you’re looking for walking poles that will easily fit into a backpack then the Trekology Trek-Z Collapsible trekking poles could be the best fit for you, with a collapsed length of just 38cm

Manufactured from aero-grade aluminium in 3 sections, these foldable trekking poles weigh 270g per pole (or 290g per pole for the longer pair) and extend from 100cm up to 125cm or the taller pair extends from 115cm to 135cm

The grip is made from EVA foam and features an extended grip down the pole to improve your grasp on difficult terrain. Weirdly, the foam grip is coloured to look like cork: an interesting design idea that will stand out without compromising comfort. The compact trekking poles are adjustable and locked with metal flip lock mechanisms which add a little weight but provide a sturdier latch. 

Notably, many of the reviews - there are over 2000 and give an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 - state that these are great for travelling due to the smaller collapsed size. 

#8 - Fizan Compact Walking Poles

Price: £54.00

fizan compact trekking poles

Out of all the best walking poles reviews in this article, this is by far one of the best compact trekking poles that we found.  

Made with aluminium in 3 sections, these are the one of lightest pairs that we found weighing at just 158g per pole. These are still completely adjustable with the shortest height measuring 58cm and the tallest 132 cm. Unfortunately, they aren’t collapsible but they are incredibly lightweight folding trekking poles that can withstand pressure of up to 100kg, and they have a flexy locking system which allows for fast and secure locking. 

Designed with ergonomic EVA foam handles and wrist straps that are soft and comfortable, these adjusting trekking poles are built with carbide tips but also come with rubber pole tips and trekking baskets, so you can adapt them to whatever terrain you’re trekking on. 

Simple and functional, the Fizan Compact poles are definitely worth the price and great if you’re looking for short trekking poles.

#9 - Leki Wanderfreund Makalu Walking Pole

Price: £39.08

review trekking poles

If hiking with one trekking pole is more your speed then the Leki Wanderfreund Makalu Walking Pole could be the best option for you. 

This walking pole weighs in at 277g per unit, which might seem heavier than other trekking poles weight but that’s due to the high strength aluminium build, so what it lacks in lightness it makes up for in toughness and durability. The Wanderfreund has 3 separate sections that feature Speed Lock technology which allows for speedy height adjustments and secure locking. 

The handle is designed with an ergonomic shape and aergomed grip for ultimate comfort, and the length of the pole is adjustable, from 63cm at its shortest up to 120cm at full length. Perfect for adapting to those steep hills and uneven trails.

This one is built with a vulcanised rubber tip which will provide extra grip and stability on your trek, and also provide some shock absorption to dampen vibrations as you walk.

This trekking pole is great for those hardened hikers or trail runners that like to have a free hand, or for those trekking over easier terrain.

#10 - Cascade Mountain Tech Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles

Price: £46.13

lightweight trekking poles review

The argument over carbon vs aluminium trekking poles is a highly contested one as each has their pros and cons. The Cascade Mountain Tech Carbon Fiber trekking poles are a great example of the benefits of carbon fiber.

Weighing at approximately 221g per pole these carbon fiber trekking poles are a great lightweight option that are also adjustable from 66cm up to 137cm. These poles have quick lock mechanisms which are sturdy and accessible. 

These have a cork grip which increases comfort whilst also helping to wick away sweat and moisture, and the adjustable wrist straps help make sure you don’t lose hold of your cork trekking poles.

This product comes with a carry case, snow baskets, mud baskets, rubber tips, and rubber feet, so you’ll be able to just use them as walking poles if you wish. However, you might also be glad to know that they are some of the best trekking poles for mountaineering too. 

And if you want some colour to brighten up your mountain trekking poles, you'll be glad to know that these come in black with blue graphics or black with bright green graphics. 

#11 - Paria Tri-Fold Carbon Cork Trekking Poles

Price: £49.99

anti-shock trekking poles

If compact trekking poles are what brought you to this list then the Paria Tri-Fold Carbon trekking poles will certainly grab your attention. Their fully folded size measures approximately 38cm, making them some of the best compact trekking poles on the market.

This set weighs roughly 510g as a pair which means they aren’t the lightest trekking poles we’ve reviewed, but they do offer a few different options in terms of height and extension. There are two options: 100cm to 120cm, or 115cm to 135cm

The handle is ergonomical and cork based which means no build up of moisture and good comfort. These carbon trekking poles are a little different in terms of build quality as while the majority material is strong carbon, Paria have also used aluminium alloy connectors to increase the durability of the poles and decrease the chance of unwanted collapse. 

This set also comes with rubber tips, mud baskets, snow baskets, and a storage bag.  

#12 - Hewolf Telescopic Trekking Poles

Price: £29.99

best walking poles

If you’ve got this far through our trekking poles reviews and you're thinking; these all look the same! Then you'll be glad to know that we have a more stylish set of cheap trekking poles for you. 

Aluminium is the main material that these cork handle trekking poles are constructed from, with the tip made from tungsten steel to give it that extra sturdiness. They weigh 250g per pole and adjust from 65cm up to 135cm. They are also telescopic trekking poles with anti-shock mechanisms. 

The grip is made from EVA and natural cork to provide good comfort whilst wicking away any sweat or moisture, and wrist straps are also there to make sure you don’t lose your grip.

Now for the more stylish aspects: these light trekking poles are available in 3 colours, glossy black, bright red, and royal blue, which are much more colourful options than the usual black or grey. The extended grip also features a colourful pattern that pops next to the soft brown of the cork handles. 

These cheap trekking poles come with rubber tips, mud baskets, and snow baskets.

Staying fueled is essential during long treks, and the most compact and easy way to do this is with energy gels. Check out OriGym's 13 best running gels to find the best ones for you! 

#13 - Camp Teck Telescopic Anti Shock Trekking Poles

Price: £29.99

best trekking poles uk

If you’re looking for an antishock trekking poles review to help you make the best choice for you, then take a look at this one for the Camp Teck trekking poles as these are a cheaper alternative to the higher end products.

Another set of good quality carbon fiber trekking poles with 3 sections, these weigh 250g per pole and are extendible from 65cm up to 135cm. These have an ergonomic handle design made from EVA foam and padded wrist straps for increased comfort.

The anti-shock technology on these poles is high-quality, and they have an on/off anti shock feature that means you can turn this on or off whenever you want. The locks are a flip lock system which is a more durable option and ensures quick and easy adjustment. 

The look of these cheap trekking poles is sleek, with a black design, matte black accents, and a black and silver check pattern along the shaft. Simple yet slick.

#14 - Oxford Street Adjustable Trekking Poles

Price: £27.99

top trekking poles reviews ratings

The Oxford Street trekking poles are another cheap option but at a slightly larger weight. They are well rated on Amazon, with an average of 4.5 out of 5 so the little extra weight must be worth it.

Composed of aluminium alloy, each walking pole weighs 260g, is adjustable from 113cm up to 130cm, and has a foldable length of only 36cm due to the 3 section build. The handle is ergonomic and made from EVA foam, and the grip has a wrist strap with skid-resistance and grooved design which increases security a lot. 

The lock mechanism is a bit different to the usual flip lock or twist lock in that they use a hidden button design: this pops out when the pole is extended and can be tightly secured. The aluminium trekking poles are fitted with tungsten carbide tips which are great for robust trekking, and antishock systems help reduce damage to your wrists and knees.

This is another stylish looking pair of poles: mostly black exterior with a simple white square pattern along the centre of each section and silver accents, making it eye catching and sleek. With some good features and nice design these are definitely some of the best budget trekking poles available at the minute.

#15 - Alpidex Superlight Carbon Trekking Poles

Price: £27.99

cheap trekking poles reviews ratings

With over 1000 reviews and an average of 4.5 out of 5, these Alpidex Superlight Carbon trekking poles have definitely earned their spot on our best trekking poles list. 

Weighing at just 138g per pole, these are some of the best lightweight trekking poles of 2020, built with light but strong carbon fiber tubing. Whilst this means these poles aren’t the most robust, they do provide high bending stiffness which means they are unlikely to snap and give ideal swing behaviour while you're walking.

These poles aren’t adjustable or foldable which might be a deal breaker for you, but you can purchase them in a number of heights: 100cm, 110cm, 115cm, 130cm, 135cm. The handle is a standard design made from rubber and cork, so moisture-wicking and comfortable to grip. There is also a removable and padded wrist strap for increased security.

These carbon trekking poles come with 2 different pairs of rubber pads and 2 pad holders which attach to your poles, meaning you’ll be much less likely to misplace them!

Whilst the Alpidex Superlight trekking poles don’t have the most functional features, it is one of the cheapest pairs of carbon trekking poles that will help you get from A to B without causing extra fatigue on your wrists and arms. 

How to Choose Trekking Poles: The Complete Buyer's Guide

The advantages of trekking poles

If you’re not entirely sure what the point of using trekking poles on your hikes is then you should know that they provide a whole host of benefits that will ultimately make your treks much better.

One of the most important benefits is that they significantly reduce the harsh impact of walking or running on your hips, knees, and ankles, meaning injury and aches are less likely. Trekking poles also provide stability, improve your balance, increase power and endurance uphill, and improve your posture in the long term. Not bad for some fancy sticks!

Before purchasing some top rated trekking poles there are a few important aspects of trekking to consider to make sure you buy the most suitable poles for your treks.

How much do the poles weigh?

Weight is one of the most important factors to consider when learning how to choose trekking poles.

You’ll be carrying these poles along with you (either in your hands or in your backpack) so you need to make sure the trekking pole weight won’t cause hindrance further into your hike. Lightweight trekking poles will reduce fatigue and are usually better on long treks, while slightly heavier poles are usually more durable and better for more difficult trails. 

How long should the poles be for your height?

Calculating the right size trekking pole length for your height can be a little confusing, but it's actually not too complicated. The general rule is that the walking poles should reach your hand when your arm is bent at roughly 90 degrees. Or, the more mathematical way is to take your height in centimeters and times that by 0.68. The result will then be exactly how long in cm the trekking poles length needs to be to fit your height comfortably.

What material is the grip made from?

There are 3 types of grip available for hiking trekking poles: rubber, cork, and foam. Rubber is the cheapest option and probably the least comfortable. Foam is much softer and provides some shock absorption but is often slightly more expensive.

Cork trekking poles are the best for absorbing moisture and sweat whilst still being comfortable. When it comes to learning how to choose trekking poles, you should definitely take note of these varying qualities! 

Carbon fiber or aluminium trekking poles?

There are generally 2 options for material on trekking poles: carbon fiber or aluminium. Carbon fiber is the more lightweight material, it provides more stiffness, and is usually higher end. The downside to carbon trekking poles is that they can be more expensive and more brittle. Aluminium trekking poles are a stronger and more durable option, and are generally cheaper. The strength does increase the weight though. 

Foldable sections or fixed size poles?

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Foldable trekking poles usually consist of 2 or 3 sections and fold down to fit into a bag or backpack, which is great for travelling or if you don’t need them for the duration of your trek. Fixed trekking poles can be more difficult to store and are often not adjustable, but tend to be more lightweight. 

Which type of locks to secure the walking poles?

Twist lock or lever lock: twist locks are the original mechanisms but these are trickier to use, with over-tightening causing damage to the poles and under-tightening increasing the likelihood of snapping. Lever locks are the new norm for trekking poles and these are much simpler and make adjustments quick and easy. 

Do they have shock absorption?

Shock absorbing trekking poles are great for reducing the impact on your wrists even more as the systems reduce vibrations. However, the shock absorbing technology does add weight to the poles.

Which tips and accessories fit the poles?

Some of the product reviews of trekking poles on this list come with extra parts that mean you can adapt from rubber tips for trekking poles to rubber feet, making them more appropriate for a wider range of terrains, whilst some poles don’t allow for interchangeable tips. These include:

  • Mud baskets (to stop you sinking into mud/soft soil) 
  • Snow baskets (provide increased support in snow, wider than mud baskets)
  • Rubber tips (extra grip, increased stability, less damaging to trails)
  • Carbide tips (more durable, ideal for rugged terrain)
  • Rubber feet (increase stability, provide extra forward propulsion)

Before you go!

Who knew that there was so much more to the best trekking poles than just being light and sturdy! Well now you know, and hopefully these top trekking poles reviews have inspired you to get out and get trekking.

Be sure to check and double check measurements and weights before purchasing!

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Written by Dee Hammond-Blackburn

Fitness Content Executive, OriGym

Join Dee on Facebook at the OriGym Facebook Group

Dee holds a BA (Hons) in English Literature, and is currently finishing her MA in Marketing Communications and Branding from Edge Hill University. Her passion for fitness and content writing brought her to OriGym, and she has since become a qualified Personal Trainer and a Sports Nutrition Specialist. Combining her skills in fitness and writing, Dee has a professional interest in fitness blogging, content creation, and social media. Outside of her writing role Dee enjoys reading, healthy cooking, and playing football with her dalmation.

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