Dont be fooled by the myth that Nordic walking poles must be fixed and carbon! We supply a high percentage of the poles sold in the UK and the most popular model has always been the Leki Prestige (pictured) which is neither carbon or fixed length! Two thousand NWUK Instructors and their regular Nordic walkers can not all be wrong ….they simply love them!
Yes, fixed poles provide slightly less vibration but unless you are Nordic walking for several miles a day that’s unlikely to be an issue and the risk with a fixed length pole will always be that it may just be slightly too long or too short for you as they only come in 5 cm increments. Our experts think this could cause more discomfort longer term than the tiny increase in vibration likely with a pole that is completely adjustable in height.
These days the adjustment systems on good makes of poles like Leki and Gabel ensure minimal vibration and they are exceedingly strong – in fact they will bear up to 130 – 140 kilos of downward pressure with no problem at all. If you are using them for Nordic Walking as intended, they will last for years and are completely safe.
We think the key things to consider when choosing Nordic Walking poles are:-
- The straps – are they comfy and how easy is it to attach and unattach them to thepole when you need to. (if they don’t attach at all they are NOT technically Nordic walking poles)
- Pole composition – yes carbon is best but it costs and other compounds are entirely suitable for the recreational Nordic Walker.
- The paws (rubber feet) are they suitably angled for the Nordic walking technique? (If not they are nor Nordic walking poles) and are they easy to remove when on softer ground?
- The weight of the pole – the lighter the better if you are looking for top performance but all standard Nordic Walking poles are lightweight and simple to use
- The make – avoid cheaper brands like Norstix and go for the established makes like Swix, Leki, Gabel and Kompardell – these companies actually manufacture ski poles too and have invested hugely in the development of their products. newcomers to the nordic walking market are usually copies made in the far East.
- Travelling? – If you know you would like to take the poles abroad or even on the bus, you may wish to look for telescopic poles such as the adaptable Gabel Fusion or the ultimate in carbon luxury the Leki traveller carbon
Our personal favourite here at NWUK HQ is the Gabel Inverso Carbon Alu pictured above, which performs as if it was fixed length but can be adjusted accurately for the user with a top section near the handle that allows the user to get the exact right height.
Other poles we recommend to the recreational Nordic Walker are the Prestige (of course) and the Gabel Stretch – both are adjustable, affordable and perfectly suitable for those learning the technique and participating in regular Nordic walks.