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Are Nordic Walking poles different to normal walking poles ?

Well yes they are and if you want to gain the full benefits of Nordic walking you need the RIGHT type of poles that are the RIGHT size for you

Nordic Walking is all about PROPULSION so unlike typical trekking poles which are designed for STABILITY, Nordic walking poles are used at an angle and the walker pushes into either a specific STRAP or a MOULDED HANDLE in order to harness the power of the poles.  You gain propulsion, stability and comfort as you walk naturally but with upper body and core engagement.

We use both types of pole on our POWER OF POLES INTRODUCTION sessions so that you can experience both and choose the right pole for you.


What’s the difference between a STRAPPED pole and a STRAPLESS pole?

The strapless pole has a MOULDED handle which enables an ergonomic grip and the pole is stilled used at an angle to enable propulsion. The poles are usually heavier than a more traditional strapped Nordic Walking pole and therefore upper body engagement is more noticeable so these poles are suited to shorter walks.

Unfortunately, the ACTIVATOR and URBAN 300 strapless poles are no longer easily available. However, the clever folks at Exercise Anywhere have developed their own WALX TBW strapless pole.

A strapped pole has a glove like strap which clips into the pole and by pushing down through the strap with each pole plant, the walker is able to gain forward propulsion. Strapped Nordic Walking poles are lighter than strapless poles and ideal for longer distance walks.



Both types of pole are suitable for Gears 1 and 2.

For Gear 3, a strapped pole enables the important hand release, whilst the strapless pole makes this technique adjustment difficult to achieve.

So we usually recommend the lighted strapped pole for faster speeds and longer distance walks.


Strapless poles –  WALX Total body walking poles

There are 4 options available

  • WALX TBW Carbon Pro extendable 2 piece – these poles have a longer carbon bottom section to minimise vibration and provide the ultimate comfort for the regular walker.
  • WALX TBW Aluminium 2 piece adjustable poles – ideal for beginners and regular walkers alike.
  • WALX Xplorer 3 piece poles – Lightweight trek and travel poles ideal for those looking for a quality walking pole with ultimate portability for their summer adventures.
  • WALX Xcelerator 2 piece – Designed for for rehabilitation & stability this model comes with a stability paw and wrist loop to make them ideal for use in daily life.



Strapped Poles

There is an almost infinite choice of strapped poles but the brands we recommend are Leki, Gabel and Fizan.

Most brands offer fully adjustable, extendable, telescopic (traveller) and fixed length options.

And have either a loop or a tab mechanism for the strap.

Some models (Fizan) are also available with a 15-degree handle which enable beginners to adapt to Nordic Walking more comfortably.

Carbon poles are lighter than Aluminium so are the pole of choice for longer distance walking.

Most poles adjust using either a SPIN LOCK or SPEED LOCK mechanism.



Intended aim Recommended pole type Reasoning
Needs poles for support, balance, and posture Strapless Poles provide greater support and better encourage an upright posture
Wants to use poles on longer Nordic Walks, Adventure Walks or to go hiking in own time Strapped The lighter pole and less reliance on having to hold the handle is often more comfortable.
Wants to train at higher speeds and enjoy Gear 3 walks, Workout Walks or Speedhyking Strapped The strap enables greater shoulder extension, essential when covering ground quickly
Wants to attend moderate intensity 60mins Nordic walks or Workout Walks for health, fitness, social Personal preference


Please do speak to Tracy or Gary if you are unsure which poles would be best for you. We always try hard not to put barriers in people’s way when it comes to Nordic Walking so we are happy for you to use which ever poles you may have. But we also want you to get the most out of your Nordic Walking and pole choice and technique is an integral part of that.






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