ContentsQUICK ANSWER – THE BEST HIKING POLESCOMPARISON TABLE: FIND THE BEST HIKING POLES FOR YOUR NEEDSHIKING POLES REVIEWSLEKI MICRO VARIO TI COR-TECLEKI CORKLITEBLACK DIAMOND ALPINE CARBON CORKHIKER HUNGER CARBON FIBERBLACK DIAMOND DISTANCE CARBON Z-POLEBAFX PRODUCTS ANTI-SHOCKCASCADE MOUNTAIN TECH CARBON FIBERMOUNTAINSMITH RHYOLITEHOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST HIKING POLES1. ADJUSTABILITY2. SHAFT MATERIALALUMINUMCARBON FIBER3. GRIP MATERIALCORKFOAMRUBBER4. SHOCK ABSORPTION You want to be able to cover a lot of ground on your hiking and backpacking trips. But after a few miles, you feel it in your knees. The best hiking poles can give you the support you need to finish your hike pain-free. When you use hiking poles, you improve your stability and lessen the impact of each step. Hiking poles give you extra support and redistribute the weight you carry. The less force on your knees, the longer you can you stay out on the trail and enjoy your hike. How do you know which hiking poles are right for you? In this article, we’ll look at several models and help you find which ones are equipped with the features that work best for your hiking needs. For more of our top hiking gear recommendations, check out these popular articles: Tents | Hammocks | Bivy Sacks | Tarps Sleeping Bags | Sleeping Pads | Stoves Backpacks | GPS | Headlamps | Watches Boots | Shoes | Sandals | Pants | Shorts Base Layers | Fleeces | Down Jackets | Rain Jackets QUICK ANSWER – THE BEST HIKING POLES 1. LEKI MICRO VARIO VIEW AT REI 2. LEKI CORKLITE VIEW AT AMAZON 3. BLACK DIAMOND CARBON CORK VIEW AT REI 4. HIKER HUNGER CARBON FIBER VIEW AT AMAZON 5. BLACK DIAMOND Z-POLE VIEW AT AMAZON 6. BAFX PRODUCTS ANTI-SHOCK VIEW AT AMAZON 7. CASCADE MOUNTAIN TECH CARBON VIEW AT AMAZON 8. MOUNTAINSMITH RHYOLITE VIEW AT AMAZON COMPARISON TABLE: FIND THE BEST HIKING POLES FOR YOUR NEEDS PICTUREHIKING POLE BEST FORSHAFT MATERIALGRIP MATERIALADJUSTABLE PRICERATING PICTUREHIKING POLE BEST FORSHAFT MATERIALGRIP MATERIALADJUSTABLE PRICERATING Leki Micro VarioAll-AroundAluminumCork/RubberYes$$$4.9 Leki CorkliteAll-AroundAluminumCork/RubberYes$$$4.5 Black Diamond Alpine Carbon CorkAll-AroundCarbon FiberCorkYes$$$4.3 Hiker Hunger Carbon FiberUltralightCarbon FiberCorkYes$$4.8 Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z-PoleUltralightCarbon FiberFoamNo$$4.5 BAFX Products Anti-Shock Shock AbsorbingAluminumRubberYes $4.3 Cascade Mountain Tech Carbon FiberBudgetCarbon FiberCorkYes$4.5 Mountainsmith Rhyolite BudgetAluminumFoamYes$4.1 MULTI-DAYHIKING PACKING LISTDon't forget important gear at home!Print out this free hiking packing list to prepare for your next adventure.Plus, you'll get exclusive content in our newsletter to help you make the most of your time on the trail!UNLOCK THIS LIST* You will get weekly emails with practical hiking advice that complement the information contained in the packing list. 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HIKING POLES REVIEWS LEKI MICRO VARIO TI COR-TEC Check out the latest price on: Amazon | REI BEST FOR: Fall, Winter, Spring Hiking and Backpacking WOMEN’S VERSION: Leki Micro Vario Ti Cor-Tec SHAFT MATERIAL: Aluminum GRIP MATERIAL: Cork/Rubber ADJUSTABLE: Yes PROS: Internal spring to adjust tension levels, push button release for stowing, non-slip mid extension, air-textured strap, includes carry bag, durable CONS: Too much vibration LEKI CORKLITE Check out the latest price on: Amazon BEST FOR: Fall, Winter, Spring Hiking WOMEN’S VERSION: N/A SHAFT MATERIAL: Aluminum GRIP MATERIAL: Cork/Rubber ADJUSTABLE: Yes PROS: SpeedLock supports 192 lbs., includes performance basket and carbide tips, air textured wrist straps, durable CONS: Poles sometimes do not stay locked BLACK DIAMOND ALPINE CARBON CORK Check out the latest price on: Amazon | REI BEST FOR: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer Hiking and Backpacking WOMEN’S VERSION: N/A SHAFT MATERIAL: Carbon Fiber GRIP MATERIAL: Cork ADJUSTABLE: Yes PROS: FlickLock adjustment mechanism, interchangeable rubber and carbide tips, includes trekking baskets and powder baskets, padded wrist straps, sturdy, durable CONS: Clips are in an awkward location – can snag on terrain, tips can be difficult to change HIKER HUNGER CARBON FIBER Check out the latest price on: Amazon BEST FOR: Summer, Fall, Spring Hiking and Backpacking WOMEN’S VERSION: N/A SHAFT MATERIAL: Carbon Fiber GRIP MATERIAL: Cork ADJUSTABLE: Yes PROS: Ultralight, Quick Flip lock adjustment mechanism; includes rubber tips, rubber feet, mud baskets, and snow baskets; includes carry bag, wrist strap CONS: Noisy, baskets and tip protectors are heavy, not durable BLACK DIAMOND DISTANCE CARBON Z-POLE Check out the latest price on: Amazon | Backcountry BEST FOR: Summer, Fall, Spring Hiking and Backpacking WOMEN’S VERSION: N/A SHAFT MATERIAL: Carbon Fiber GRIP MATERIAL: Foam ADJUSTABLE: No PROS: Ultralight, foldable, push button release, includes interchangeable rubber tips and carbide tips, pole baskets with shaft catchers, wrist strap, durable CONS: Not adjustable, no padding on straps BAFX PRODUCTS ANTI-SHOCK Check out the latest price on: Amazon BEST FOR: Fall, Winter, Spring Hiking and Backpacking WOMEN’S VERSION: N/A SHAFT MATERIAL: Aluminum GRIP MATERIAL: Rubber ADJUSTABLE: Yes PROS: Inexpensive, turn locking adjustment mechanism, anti-shock springs, includes carbide tips and rubber tips, includes mud basket, padded wrist strap CONS: Difficult to adjust, poles sometimes do not stay locked, tips fall off CASCADE MOUNTAIN TECH CARBON FIBER Check out the latest price on: Amazon BEST FOR: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer Hiking WOMEN’S VERSION: N/A SHAFT MATERIAL: Carbon Fiber GRIP MATERIAL: Cork ADJUSTABLE: Yes PROS: Inexpensive, QuickLock adjustment mechanism, includes carbide and boot tips, includes snow, mud, and sand baskets, wrist strap CONS: Poles can snap in rugged terrain, poles sometimes do not stay locked, not durable MOUNTAINSMITH RHYOLITE Check out the latest price on: Amazon BEST FOR: Fall, Spring, Summer Hiking WOMEN’S VERSION: N/A SHAFT MATERIAL: Aluminum GRIP MATERIAL: Foam ADJUSTABLE: Yes PROS: Inexpensive, spring loaded anti-shock system, twist lock adjustment mechanism, removable hiking basket, snow basket compatible, includes carbide tips, wrist strap CONS: Heavy, pole segments sometimes get stuck, tips wear out quickly LEARN HOW TO CHOOSE HIKING GEAR FOR YOUR NEXT ADVENTUREJOIN THE FREE HIKING GEAR COURSEJOIN THE FREE HIKING GEAR COURSE HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST HIKING POLES 1. ADJUSTABILITY If you read our article on how to use trekking poles, you know they work like an extendable arm to keep you balanced. You may start your hike on flat terrain, climb a mountain, and then move down a rocky slope. Adjustable hiking poles can help you compensate for these terrain changes. As you move uphill, you can shorten adjustable poles accordingly. After you reach the peak, you can lengthen them to accommodate the change in slope. Hiking poles that are not adjustable must be sized properly at the time of purchase. These poles work best if your hikes happen on flat terrain. 2. SHAFT MATERIAL The shaft material of your hiking pole affects its weight and durability. The hiking poles included in this guide have shafts made with aluminum or carbon fiber. What’s the difference between these two options? ALUMINUM Aluminum hiking poles are a little heavier. However, they’re also more durable and affordable. This material is a great option if you’re on a budget or will encounter rough terrain. CARBON FIBER Carbon fiber hiking poles are the lightest option on the market. They tend to be more expensive, but are also less durable than aluminum. If weight is your biggest concern, these could be the best hiking pole choice for you. 3. GRIP MATERIAL When you use hiking poles, they should function as a seamless support for each step you take. For this reason, the point where your body connects to the poles – the grip – is important. There are three materials – cork, foam, and rubber – frequently used as hiking pole grips. You want to select a grip material you’ll feel comfortable holding for many hours. CORK Cork will conform to your grip over time. The material absorbs some water. This can keep it from becoming uncomfortable on warm-weather outings. FOAM Foam is a great choice for hiking in hot weather. It wicks away water, keeping your hands dry while you hike. It’s the lightest grip material, but it’s also the least durable. RUBBER Rubber is water-resistant. It also insulates well against the cold, making it a good fit for cold-weather hikes. Its water-resistance makes it a poor fit for summer hiking. All that water collects on the handles and can rub against your skin resulting in blisters. 4. SHOCK ABSORPTION Some hiking poles have springs that can help your body absorb shock as you hike. Some hikers love this feature; others find the spring tension a hindrance. If you suffer from knee pain or other injuries, you may like hiking poles with this feature. Looking for more ways to reduce pain while hiking? Read our article on dealing with knee pain while hiking. HIKING RESOURCESTABLE OF CONTENTSHIKINGTABLE OF CONTENTS 1. FUNDAMENTALS 5. HIKING TRAILS 2. HIKING GEAR 6. HIKING WITH KIDS 3. HIKING CLOTHING 7. HIKING WITH DOGS 4. CAMPING 8. WOMEN'S HIKING 1. FUNDAMENTALS 2. HIKING GEAR 3. HIKING CLOTHING 4. CAMPING 5. HIKING TRAILS 6. HIKING WITH KIDS 7. HIKING WITH DOGS 8. WOMEN'S HIKING Disclosure: The Adventure Junkies is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost for you. We also use other affiliate programs like REI, LeisurePro, Diviac and Liveaboard.com.