The beauty of the best Nordic walking sticks lies in their versatility.
Aside from their practical use in Nordic walking, these can also be used as a mobility aid for people who have mobility issues.
These include men and women who have joint and muscle problems, balance problems, and bone diseases (e.g., arthritis) who require mobility devices in the performance of their daily activities.
Here are six of the Nordic walking sticks that we believe will be useful for both athletes and non-athletes alike.
Nordic Walking Sticks
Must-know Information For Every Buyer
The Nordic walking sticks are primarily designed for Nordic walking, a total body workout wherein athletes and non-athletes alike walk using these specially-designed poles.
These walking poles share similarities with ski poles, such as in their use as a mobility aid on rugged terrain, but these are also different regarding length (i.e., ski poles are more extended than walking poles).
Benefits of Nordic Walking
Also known as pole walking because of the use of specialized poles, Nordic walking involves the application of force on the poles with every stride.
Unlike in regular walking, you have to use more of your joints and muscles when walking – and with higher intensity, too – with a Nordic pole in each hand.
Your muscles, especially in the chest, shoulders, and arms as well as your core muscles, receive a higher degree of stimulation in comparison with regular walking.
As such, fitness experts have estimated that Nordic walking can result in an increase of 46% in energy consumption  in comparison with regular walking or brisk walking.
The higher the energy consumption, the higher the number of calories and fats burned, and the better the cardiovascular health can be.
For older adults, the use of a Nordic pole in both hands has its benefits , too, in comparison with conventional walking (i.e., without poles).
• Improvement in cardio-respiratory fitness
• Increase in muscular strength
• Enhancement of overall fitness
But as we mentioned before, the best Nordic walking pole can also be used as a mobility device for people who have difficulty in walking from illness or injury.
These walking poles have several features that make them practical for use in non-athletic situations, such as walking on pavements and parks as well as wooden and concrete floors.
These features include:
But while there are definite advantages of Nordic walking poles as a mobility device, these also have their shortcomings, especially for people with more specialized needs.
Ask your doctor and physical therapist first about the suitability of these poles for your mobility needs.
Choosing the Best Walking Poles
Keep in mind that the best Nordic walking pole will largely depend on your specific needs and wants in it.
You must then determine what you will be using it for, where you will be using it, and what price range you’re comfortable with, among others.
Here are the things that you should look for, nonetheless, in these products so that you can get the best value for your purchase .
• Look for strong and sturdy materials
Carbon fiber is stronger, stiffer and lighter than aluminum but when it becomes dented or cracked, it cannot be used again.
Aluminum may be slightly heavier than carbon fiber, but it’s also more durable, aside from the fact that it can be quickly repaired in the field.
No matter your choice of material, you should always consider the poles’ overall durability.
• Choose a lightweight pole
Even a 5-ounce difference in weight can add up when you’re lifting up your arms thousands of times in a single day.
Aluminum walking poles are better in this case although we have also seen people who prefer the heftier carbon fiber poles.
• Consider the comfort of the grips
Cork, foam and rubber grips have their pros and cons. Cork grips contour into the shape of your hands, as well as being more relaxed than rubber grips and more substantial than foam grips.
Foam grips absorb plenty of moisture, but these are lighter, more refreshing and softer than rubber and cork grips.
Rubber grips don’t absorb fluids, such as sweat, rain and melted snow, so these are suitable choices for mountaineers and skiers.
• Determine the ease of assembly and use
Nordic walking poles come in 1-piece, 2-piece and 3-piece designs, which can also be telescoping, folding or a combination of both styles.
The 1-piece poles are the easiest to assemble and use, especially when these are customized according to the user’s specific walking height before being shipped.
The 2-section poles usually have the stiffest and strongest design overall, so these are suitable for people who lean harder on their poles.
But these are also slightly heavier and these pack down the least (i.e., lesser packability).
The 3-section poles are more compact than the other two types such that these can be placed in a backpack or suitcase.
These are also designed for heavy-duty use in mountaineering, backpacking, and climbing – and, as such, these can also be used by people with mobility issues in non-athletic situations.
Of course, the overall comfort level when using Nordic walking poles should also be considered.
You should choose them based on where you want to use them such that you may have different poles for hard well-worn trails and off-trail terrain with rocky ground.
You should also learn the proper way of walking with Nordic walking poles, whether over the flat or uneven terrain.
Here’s an instructional video that we believe can help.
Top Six Best Nordic Walking Sticks
In the following Nordic walking pole review, we will take a closer look at six of the best Nordic walking sticks we have found so far.
We tested these products based on the criteria of durability of materials and construction, ease of use and assembly, and versatile applications on and off the field.
1. Life & Fit TheFitLife Nordic Walking Poles
These poles are made of high-quality aluminum alloy, a durable and sturdy yet lightweight material standard in the best Nordic walking poles.
These should withstand rugged conditions in both urban and rural areas, primarily since these can be quickly repaired on site when dents happen.
The poles have three sections that can be adjusted and locked for the desired length.
Be sure to entirely loosen the speed-lock first – turn it in a counter-clockwise direction – so that the pole’s length can be adjusted.
The telescoping design allows it to be extended from its closed length of 25.6 inches to its full length of 53.1 inches so that it can suit petite to tall people.
Regarding ease of use, it’s relatively easy to assemble and use.
Pull off the bottom section according to your desired length, hold the two upper sections with both of your hands, and then make a quick spin to lock it in place.
Repeat these steps on the middle section, and you’re mainly done with the assembly.
With the correct height, you can use these walking, poles as a mobility aid in urban and indoor settings, as well as for outdoor sports activities.
The EVA foam handles feel soft and comfortable in the hands, aside from absorbing moisture from your hands so that you can still maintain a secure hold.
- Adjustable length
- Sturdy metal material and foam grip
- With straps made of polyester
- For use as an everyday walking stick and sports activities
- Weighs only 0.3 kilos
- Foam grips can degrade faster and absorb fluids faster
- Some peoplefind it hard to collapse
- Locking maybe an issue
2. BAFX Products Anti-shock Walking Poles
These Nordic walking poles have anti-shock springs in the upper section, which absorbs the impact from the ground.
The anti-shock design is particularly useful for people who want minimum impact on their joints when walking, Nordic-style, such as those recovering from a common illness or injury.
The telescoping pole can extend from 26.5 inches to 52 inches (approximately), so it’s a versatile pole, too, regarding the number of users that can share it, and the types of terrain where it can be used.
The length adjustability is useful when you’re switching from uphill to downhill climbing, for example, which cannot be said of a single section-designed walking pole.
The length can be adjusted using an easy-to-use twist locking mechanism, too.
The aluminum walking poles have ergonomic grips and wrist straps at the tip for a more secure hold.
The bottom part has two convenient features, too – first, rubber tips for hiking on hard, rocky ground; and second, mud disks suitable for walking on mud, snow, and sand (i.e., softer surfaces) so that the poles don’t sink too much into it.
These poles are excellent mobility devices for your regular walks and sports activities, such as mountaineering and trekking.
With its 12-ounce weight per pole and telescoping design, these are also portable and packable.
- Durable materials and build
- Adjustable length
- Versatile for use on hard and soft surfaces
- Comes with a manual and an instructional video link
- With one year warranty
- Compass may not work
- Some people find the locking and unlokcing mechanism is unreliable
- Rubber tips on some people who bought it fell off
3. American Nordic Walking System Walking Poles
You can use it, out of the box and on most types of terrain from asphalt to off-road trails.
The package also comes with printed instructions and a free DVD containing more information about its use and maintenance.
The aluminum poles have a lightweight yet substantial feel in the hands.
The considerable feeling, which comes from the relatively thick metal, is welcome since you will likely lean on it when walking.
The lightweight feel is also necessary because you will be lifting it hundreds, if not thousands, of times during your daily walks.
These poles are, indeed, among the more popular ones used for everyday walking.
The large handle grips feel substantial in the hands, too, without causing premature cramping, especially after an hour or so of trekking.
These poles can aid in the improvement of your walking posture and pace, as well as reducing the risk of injury from slipping and sliding on the treacherous ground.
- Little assembly required
- Easy to use even for beginners
- Rugged quality combined with stylish look
- Use for everyday walking and sports activities
- Not adjustable for all heights
- Some people find it hard to use
- Some find it heavy
4. Park Ridge Outfitters’ Trek Pro Hiking Poles
These hiking poles are excellent choices when ascending and descending hilly areas with either sandy or rocky surfaces.
The trick is in adjusting the length of the poles and in either removing or placing the rubber tips.
The tungsten spikes are best for rocky surfaces since the rubber ones will prematurely wear out otherwise.
The 7075 aluminum used on these poles are the same ones found on airplane frames so the strength and sturdiness parts are covered.
These are sturdy enough to be leaned on for a few minutes at a time, too, which is usually the case when these poles are used as mobility aids for everyday walking.
There’s little flex on the poles when these make contact with the ground, especially with the shock-absorbing spring at the top of each pole.
The poles also adjust from between 26 inches and 54 inches, thanks to its telescoping design, which also allows its easy storage in a bag, if necessary.
Surprisingly, we even found people who use it for other non-walking purposes, such as for hanging socks for drying or for hanging a blanket for shade.
The handles have an ergonomic design that makes them suitable for use by men, women, and teens, even by larger children.
But if you want more security in the sense that the handles stay in your hands, then be sure to use the adjustable wrist strap.
- Tough material and sturdy build
- Comes with rubber tips, storage clips, and mud or snow baskets
- Telescoping design for adjustable length
- Comfortable contoured foam grips and straps
- Color varies from yellow to rich copper
- Anti-shock feature may make the poles feel spongy
5. BrainyTrade Image Nordic Walking Poles
These are 3-section telescopic poles equipped with an anti-shock feature, which aids in improving your sense of balance and stability on even and uneven terrains.
The high-strength 7075 aluminum poles have sufficient tensile strength; you can lean on them for a few minutes without breaking them in half.
The anti-shock features also contribute to the reduced strain on your joints and muscles.
This is a particularly useful benefit for people using these poles for real rehabilitation purposes, such as recovery from an injury or illness.
The telescoping poles can also be adjusted in length from 27 inches to 54 inches so children and adults can use it well.
The nonslip cork grip combined with its foam extension provides a more secure grip in both downhill and uphill situations.
There’s even an ergonomic grip that allows for better control around the palms, a must when you’re walking in a hot and humid weather where moisture can easily cause a loss of grip.
- Adjustable length with an internal anti-shock system for shock absorption
- 120-kilo holding force
- Strong and sturdy poles
- Secure grip with straps and ergonomic handles
- Telescoping mechanism can become sticky
- Sometimes poles would not lock properly
6. Montem Ultra Strong Walking Poles
These are trekking poles that can be used for heavy-duty situations, thanks to their 7075 aluminum frames.
But these are also lightweight poles at 9.6 ounces per pole so lifting them up thousands of times over several days of trekking isn’t a burden.
But you can also carry them in your bag since these have a telescoping design.
The adjustments can be made via the adjustable bolts, which are reasonably easy to use although we encountered a slight difficulty during our first use.
The poles can be adjusted from 24 inches to 53 inches, which should be sufficient for most people.
The grip material is EVA foam, a soft handle that still allows for a secure grip when the straps are also used.
The wrist straps may even be discarded if you think these are too cumbersome.
- Sturdy yet lightweight, high-grade aluminum
- Telescoping design for adjustments and portability
- Ergonomic handles with wrist straps
- Sections can become weaker rendering the poles nearly useless
- Carbide tips can get worn not and it is not replaceable
We must emphasize that in our Nordic walking pole review, we considered the overall usability of the poles as walking aids.
If you’re looking for specialized poles, such as for cross-country skiing, then these poles are unsuitable.
Our Recommended Product
Which of these six are the best Nordic walking sticks? We think that Life & Fit TheFitLife Nordic Walking Poles are the best because these combine the best of everything we’re looking for in these products.
These are durability, versatility, and functionality, even with a touch of beauty for such a utilitarian product.
We like that these poles are made of relatively thick yet lightweight high-grade aluminum alloy, a robust material that can withstand many impacts with the ground and even with an adult leaning on them for support.
These are also poles that can be folded, in a manner of speaking, for tucking into a bag or under the armpits.
The three sections can be locked securely in place, so there are none of the wobblings that often occurs in inferior walking poles.
But we also want to emphasize that while the TheFitLife Nordic Walking Poles are the best in our opinion, you can even disagree.
In the end, the best person who can say whether a particular pair of Nordic walking poles are best for him or not is you, usually through actual use!