Buyer’s Guide to the best walking sticks

walking sticks - trekking poles - buyer's guide
walking sticks - trekking poles - buyer's guide

When choosing the best walking sticks for your outdoor adventures, you need to realize it might be the only item that keeps you safe from injuries in rugged terrains. 

Walking sticks or trekking poles as they are commonly known are your best friend when it comes to outdoor activities like hiking, camping, walking, trekking and Nordic walking. They offer many benefits to users that you should take advantage of before your next hike. The sticks can help you keep your balance and maintain a constant speed. They also protect your joints and alleviate the pressure on your knees as you walk.

The difference between walking sticks and trekking poles is usually terminology. Walking sticks are considered to be simpler, used singly and longer. Trekking poles, on the other hand, are made of space-age materials and come with more features.

The best walking stick needs to be sturdy, lightweight, comfortable and easy to use. You don’t want to tire yourself with heavy walking sticks that will be a burden to transport. They need to be strong yet lightweight. Choosing the best walking sticks is highly recommended as they will help you hike safer, longer and stronger while using less effort. The poles should be durable and come with comfortable grips that don’t cause any bruises on your hands.

Depending on the quality of the poles and features, walking stick prices can range from as low as $20-$300. Your choice depends entirely on your needs and whether you’re a regular hiker. There is no need to spend exuberant prices if you hike once in a year. This buyer guide will give you a clear understanding of the best walking sticks both pricey and budget-friendly so that you can find what best suits you.

There are no shortages of these poles with hundreds them being sold online. Here are the best picks we have for you. Go through them and choose one that best suits your needs and desires.

What to consider when buying the best trekking poles

Walking sticks are as good as their construction which must support the user. Before you order any walking stick, it is important to buy from a brand that is known for quality. You don’t want something that will break after a few treks. You also MUST identify the main features offered by each brand and how they enhance the hiking experience. Here are some major considerations before any purchase is made.

  • Construction material - The three main construction materials used are wood, aluminum and carbon. Each of these has their pros and cons. Aluminium is considered the best giving the right balance between durability and weight. However, carbon fibers are light and ideal for long treks. Wood is also a great option giving some charm to the hike but is rarely used due to its weight
  • The body of the walking stick -The body of the stick must be telescopic with several adjustable sections that allow you to customize it to your height. Users can easily shorten it when going uphill and lengthen it when descending
  • Tip of the walking stick - The tip of the pole can be chiseled, rubber tipped or sharply pointed. Chisel tips are the best as they are more versatile and offer greater traction in all conditions. Even better, go for the replaceable carbide chisel tip which is much stronger and easy to replace
  • Stick grips -The best grips should be comfortable, shock absorbent and have an adjustable wrist loop. This saves the energy of hikers as they transfer the load from the hand to the wrist
  • Extra features - look for other extra features that make the pole a lot easier and comfortable to use. Extra features might have an impact on the price but are worth checking
  • Price - Prices of walking sticks vary greatly from as low as $20 to $500. Factoring the price helps you narrow down on your choices

We’ve searched the internet and come up with five of what we think are the best walking sticks so far. They are a worthy addition to your outdoor adventure and can make the hike more enjoyable and safe.

Best walking sticks under $100

ASX 100% Carbon Trekking Poles

  • The poles are STRONG & DURABLE made from 100% carbon fiber
  • Extremely light weighing only 7.6 ounces
  • Comfortable cork grips
  • Collapsible and extendable
  • Two-year warranty against factory defects

The Alpine Summit Trekking poles are a great addition to your outdoor adventures. They work perfectly and help secure your foot firmly on the ground. This helps prevent unnecessary falls and risk of injuries. The poles ease pressure on your knees and joints by spreading weight to your wrist. The poles are extremely reliable and made from light materials that will not weigh you down on long trails.

The poles are made of 100% carbon fiber which is strong yet lightweight. The lightweight helps you hike longer applying less effort. The cork grips are also comfortable and adjust to the shape of your hands. They fit in your arms well and feel like an extension of your hands.

For those looking for budget-friendly trekking poles, these are a great option for occasional outdoor fans. They are reasonably priced and come with extra accessories. The only problem is that they are not the best for heavy duty hiking.


  • Durable, strong and yet lightweight
  • Equipped with natural cork grips
  • It is accompanied by a trek pole travel bag
  • Anti-shock, collapsible and extendable
  • Extra trekking poles accessories

You can get these amazing poles on the cheaper end of the scale and be on your way to an enjoyable time in the mountains. The 3K poles are your ideal trekking poles if you want to enjoy breakfast in the mountains. They are super light and will fulfill all your walking and trekking needs. The poles are crafted of 100% carbon fibers and come with bend-free shafts that absorb shock to protect both your joints and knees.

The tips of the 3K poles are made of superior strength using Tungsten Carbide. They can be relied upon to withstand any ascend or descend. These poles are just everything you need out there. They are comfortable and fitted with natural cork grips that absorb sweat. You can hike without the fear of the poles slipping between your fingers.

Does your adventure involve some travel? Well, no need to worry as you can easily transport them wherever you go. Each set of poles come with a compact travel bag where the poles fit. You only need to disassemble the poles and places the pieces in the bag, zip it up and you’re ready to go.

At such an affordable price and a one year warranty backing the poles, you have nothing to lose but give them a trial. You remain assured of your safety when the terrain gets tough.


  • Crafted using 100% carbon fibers
  • Ultra-light poles with a total weight of 7.6 ounces
  • Straps to prevent falling off poles
  • Adjustable bolts to easily change the height of the poles
  • One year limited warranty

The Montem Ultra-Light Trekking poles come at an affordable price of under $100 but possess features that are commonly found on most elite poles. These poles are no mixture of carbon and aluminum but pure carbon making the very light. The Montem are the ideal poles for longer distances where the hikers need to use less effort. With just 7.6 ounces, you will not feel weighed down.

The adjustable bolts make them a versatile pick where they can be adjusted to suit any height preferred by the user. You will need different heights when ascending and descending. Another great additional feature probably is the strap that ensures the poles do not fall. You never have to worry about the poles dropping as you walk.

The only issue with these poles is in the mud cups where they tend to unscrew while walking. However, putting a nylon tier under the cup prevents them from falling. The straps should have also done better with some additional padding to make them ease on your hands. Despite these two minor issues, the overall quality of the poles is outstanding.

When you consider the features these poles possess, then you know you’ve got yourself a bargain at such an affordable price. The poles certainly meet all the requirements one would expect in a great trekking pole.


Best walking sticks over $100

Leki Micro Vario Carbon Max Trekking pole

  • Speed locking system for easy folding
  • AERGON Thermo Mid Grip for comfort
  • 100% Carbon and Aluminum HTS 6.5 Composition
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Multi-sport pole

If you’re a regular hiker and want something more advanced, then buying the Leki Micro Vario trekking pole is a great choice. Leki remains one of the best brands in the market in the manufacture of trekking poles. The pole is a smaller size that will fit in your backpack with ease. You will pay a little more to get it, but the quality is incredible.

One major advantage the pole has over others is its incredible lightweight. When you’re trekking for long distances, the last thing you want is more weight on your shoulders. The Leki shipping weight is just 2.1 pounds making it one of the lightest poles in the market so far. Once you unpack it, the weight comes down to just one pound.

The only issue with the pole is that it doesn’t hold tightly when folded. It usually unfolds when folded and could do better with a Velcro or band to hold it together. However, you can always improvise and have it tightly folded and stored.

Overall, the Leki is a high-quality pole when looking for great features. The Aluminum 6.5 HTS composition in the lowest section allows the pole to be used in all the four seasons. The speed locking system and interchangeable basket system also allows for portability and convenience. It is always good to know the pole can fit in your backpack when not in use.


  • 100% carbon fiber construction
  • Non-Slip EVA Foam grip extension
  • Natural cork grip
  • 360 degrees adjustable Nubuck wrist straps with padding
  • Interchangeable Carbide Tech tips

If you’re one of those people that would pay a little more to get superior quality, then the Black Diamond Alpine Carbon poles are your best pick. These are very nice poles that perform well and come in a great package. The natural cork grip gives a superior comfort especially when the conditions are humid and hot. They are light, compact and strong enough to accompany you to any long treks.

The poles feature a three compact carbon fiber shafts, a natural cork grip, and dual Flicklock pro adjusters. They can be adjusted 360 degrees and have padding on both the left and right side for added comfort. Users can easily change the carbide tech tips for the rubber ones with ease. If you love a trail in the snow, go right ahead and buy the two sets of baskets that can be tailored to your poles. These are versatile poles that can be used in almost all places and a worth value for your money.

The only small issue with the poles is the hold clamp loosening when they are taken through extreme temperature changes. However, this can easily be prevented using a screwdriver or something to ensure they are firmly held.

Overall, these are quality poles, and users get good value for their money. You might be the ideal candidate for them if you go hiking once in a year. However, they are a great deal for regular hikers.


Conclusion

When you consider the benefits a walking stick offers out there in the wild, you get to realize it is one of those must-have items with you at all times. You don’t have to break the bank to possess a high-quality walking stick. There are several budget-friendly options out there to buy. However, if you need something more sophisticated, go for the pricey ones that come with a ton of features.

The choice of walking stick you choose entirely depends on your frequency of outdoor activities and specific actions you plan to do. When it comes to serious hiking, choosing a lighter, strong and yet durable stick will go along in protecting your knees and joints. The last thing you want is a fall on a rough terrain.

Go through our best five walking stick reviews above and get yourself one that best suits your needs. These are the best in the market currently. They have been positively reviewed and recommended for any person looking for a great walking stick.


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