By Natalee Renault. Trekking Poles. Published at Monday, April 29th, 2019 - 10:07:24 AM.
My pair of Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork poles are tough, stiff, and have endured years of hard use. Black Diamond included stainless-steel lever-style locks that are secure and easily adjustable, and the foam extension grips are comfortable and versatile. The cork in the hand grips is real. These poles, and the women’s version (identical except for color), inspire confidence in rough environments.
Adjustable-length poles will have twist- or lever-style locks. Avoid twist locks, period. Lever locks are more reliable (no slippage) and easier to adjust and troubleshoot.
As for carbide pole tips, all are not created equal. I have worn down some tips to rounded nubs within a few hundred miles, whereas others have lasted thousands. Leki and Black Diamond tips are both notably reliable. Once poo-pooed by “real walkers,” hiking or walking poles are now gaining popularity.
Trekking poles effectively turn a two-legged animal into a four-legged one, spreading the load, improving endurance and reducing stress on the knees by up to 40%. Weighing in at only 530g for the pair, the bargain Forclaz 500 is the ideal choice for the weekend walker, with an extra-long soft foam grip, neoprene-lined wrist loops, an antishock bush and a telescopic aluminium construction.
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