The 13 Best Walking Sticks of 2021

Stay supported during walks and hikes

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Our Top Picks
Designed for women's statures, the grips are made of natural cork for ultimate comfort and no-bulk wrist straps prevent chafing.
The adjustable pick features anti-shock technology that reduces the impact an individual feels up to 40 percent.
No matter what level of activity you're doing, this affordable walking stick can easily fold for any kind of trip or excursion.
With height adjustments suitable for the majority of women, it's complete with a durable rubber handle and a foldable design.
Specifically built for a hiker’s unique rhythm, the shock-absorbent carbon fiber is lightweight while the tips increase traction.
Made from 100% carbon fiber, the shock-absorbing poles won't weigh you down so you can focus on moving faster on walks.
Ready to take on the most difficult of outdoor activities, it allows for seamless transitioning between carbon and rubber tips.
The design allows for quick folding—simply collapse the pole by separating each section for a compact packing option.
Its lightweight aluminum design makes it a great option for trekkers of all levels, and it includes two tips and baskets.
The investment piece is as aesthetically pleasing as it is durable, making for a more traditional walking stick.

When preparing for a hike, there are countless accessories to add to your list. But before shopping for specialty lunch boxes, there is one simple tool all hikers should have: a walking stick. Walking sticks (more commonly referred to as “trekking poles” from outdoor enthusiasts) may seem like an unnecessary purchase for young, able-bodied individuals, but they can be crucial in maintaining safe posture and preventing injury.

Having the support of a trusted walking stick improves balance and stability while strengthening upper back muscles, taking the load off your lower back, hips, and knees. 

Here are the best walking sticks for all of your specific needs. 

Best Overall for Women: Leki Legacy Lite Cor-Tec Trekking Poles

Leki’s Legacy trekking poles have the same comprehensive design as the Leki Makalu, with adjustments catering toward women’s statures. The poles can be lengthened from 36 to 50 inches using the SpeedLock Plus system for fast changes. Aluminum shafts withstand the test of time (and the trail), remaining sturdy with Carbide Flextips that adapt to each new terrain.

The grips offer natural cork for ultimate comfort, and the no-bulk wrist straps quickly dry to ensure no chaffing occurs. Baskets can be screwed on and off depending on the season.  

Best Overall for Men: Leki Makalu Lite Cor-Tec AS Trekking Poles

Leki Makalu Lite Cor-Tec AS Trekking Poles

The Leki Makalu poles have everything you need in a walking stick. Stable, lightweight, and comfortable, these poles’ aluminum shafts include anti-shock technology that reduces the impact an individual feels by up to 40%. Natural cork grips absorb sweat and keep wrists in a neutral position, while wrist straps dry quickly in any climate to avoid chafing.

The poles can be adjusted from 40 to 54 inches, using the SpeedLock Plus locking system for reliable changes and quickly collapsing for convenience. Carbide Flextips easily take on a variety of terrain, lasting for years before they need to be replaced. Baskets (sold separately) can easily be screwed on and off.

These poles are no-nonsense, bringing hikers everything they need with a quality that will last for many hikes to come.

Best Budget for Men: EarthTrek Gear Collapsible Trekking Pole

This compact, aluminum trekking pole from EarthTrekGear is the perfect budget walking stick, no matter what level of activity you’re doing. Its sleek, simple design easily folds and is stable, ensuring that you have no issue packing it for a day trip or weekend excursion.

Easily adjust the pole’s height from 49 to 53 inches and take advantage of the comfortable rubber handle and wrist strap, removable rubber tip protector, and water-resistant PVC storage bag. This is a fantastic, budget-friendly option for men looking to add a trekking pole to their outdoor gear.  

Best Budget for Women: EarthTrek Gear Women’s Trekking Pole

EarthTrekGear’s new, shorter foldable walking stick is designed with women’s stature in mind. The aluminum shaft is just as compact as their men’s model, but the height adjustments range from 38.5 to 42.5 inches to suit the majority of women.

Complete with a durable rubber handle, a removable rubber tip protector, a polyester drawstring storage bag, and an easy-to-fold design, this inexpensive trekking pole is perfect for women looking for a new hiking accessory.  

Best for Hiking: TheFitLife Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles

Both seasoned and rookie hikers need a walking stick that will last throughout their outdoor journeys. These trekking poles are specifically built for a hiker’s unique rhythm, allowing individuals to establish pace, increase speed, and progress along the trail with stability and ease. The shock-absorbent carbon fiber is lightweight while remaining incredibly durable, and the rubber tips increase traction when coming across slick surfaces like mud or rock.

As far as height is concerned, the poles extend from 24 to 53 inches, securely locking after each adjustment thanks to a flip-lock—this same technology allows you to collapse the poles for easier packing. Additionally, comfortable handles, an adjustable wrist strap, and a bonus waterproof carrying bag ensure you have everything you could want in a hiking companion. 

Best Lightweight: Foxelli Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles

These sturdy trekking poles are made from 100% carbon fiber, a material known for being incredibly lightweight. Each pole weighs 7 ounces, so your energy can go toward moving faster instead of lifting a heavier pole. This, along with carbon fiber’s shock-absorbent qualities, makes every hike more enjoyable while preventing injury.

The poles’ quick-locking technology allows for easy, safe adjustments (from 24 to 55 inches), and the anti-slip cork grip keeps your hands comfortable and dry. Suitable for all conditions and activities, these poles maintain all the necessary features of a trustworthy walking stick while shedding that unwanted extra weight. 

Best Heavy-Duty: Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Trekking Poles

These Black Diamond Alpine Trekking Poles are ready to take on even the most difficult of outdoor activity. With three carbon-fiber shafts and a sleek aluminum design, individuals are able to quickly adjust pole lengths to suit new terrain, securing any changes with modern FlickLockPro technology.

Interchangeable Tech Tips make switching between carbon and rubber tips a convenient process, adapting to changing trail surfaces without having to take a long break. With a soft-touch grip to ensure optimal comfort and a 1.5-inch trekking basket, these poles are a perfect choice for tackling your greatest outdoor challenges

Best Folding: REI Co-op Flash Folding Trekking Poles

REI Co-op Flash Folding Trekking Poles

These carbon poles are light, strong, and easy to fold. The extended-length grips offer breathable foam to comfortably carry users’ hands, and adjustable wrist straps allow for total control of the poles. A three-section design works to minimize weight while remaining strong, and the included trail basket has a sleek construction that adds convenience without piling on extra weight. This design also makes the poles easily foldable—simply collapse the pole by separating each section for a more compact packing option. 

These poles come in five length options—from 5 feet, 4 inches and shorter all the way to 6 feet, 4 inches and taller. 

Best Aluminum: Bafx Products Lightweight Walking Poles

These Bafx Walking Poles are a fantastic option for outdoor activity of all skill levels. Comfortable grips and an extra-wide padded wrist strap, as well as an anti-shock feature, makes the poles comfortable and easy to use. Two rubber tips (and two spares), as well as two mud baskets, are included, making sure you have all essentials you need for a day of fun.

With adjustable lengths that suit anyone between 3 feet, 6 inches and 6 feet, 4 inches, these lightweight aluminum poles are a worthwhile addition to your outdoor adventures

Best Wood: Whistle Creek Hickory Hiking Staff

This strong, hickory hiking staff is a beautiful, unique option for individuals looking for a more traditional walking stick. A leather wrist strap and rubber tip make this 54-inch rod an investment that will last for years (and walks!) to come. 

Best for Snow: Black Diamond Trail Back Trekking Poles

Black Diamond Trail Back Trekking Poles

These no-frills Black Diamond Trekking Poles are ideal for multi-day outings as well as day trips. The three-section aluminum shaft can be adjusted from 25 to 55 inches, with every adjustment snapping into place thanks to a flip-lock. Comfortable rubber grips reduce vibration, and foam grip extensions give individuals more options as to where they should grasp the pole.

Long flex tips come with replaceable trekking baskets that are compatible with snow baskets (snow baskets are not included). Overall, these poles are able to last through harsh winter weather and provide valuable assistance to hikers who want a trustworthy walking stick. 

Best for Kids: REI Co-op Kids’ Trekking Poles

REI Co-op Kids’ Trekking Poles

REI’s Co-op Trekking Poles are excellent tools to keep kids safe as they explore the great outdoors. Adjustable from 27.5 to 45.3 inches, these poles can grow with young hikers, securely locking each adjustment with a POWERLOCK 2.1.

Durable plastic handles are easy to grasp, and the stainless-steel tips keep kids steady as they maneuver different terrain. Bonus trekking baskets provide flotation on softer soil and snow, ensuring that your kids stay safe as they enjoy an adventure. 

Best for Seniors: TrailBuddy Adjustable Trekking Poles

These lightweight walking sticks are perfect for seniors who need more stability on walks or hikes. The strong aluminum holds steady even with increased pressure. Cork handles are built with comfort in mind, ideal for individuals who may struggle with arthritis due to how they mold to your hand in both hot and cold weather.

The poles can be adjusted from 24.5 to 54 inches, with lever locks that can be securely fastened in all weather conditions. These poles are available in multiple colors and also come with a carrying bag, two pairs of rubber tips, mud baskets, snow baskets, and one pair of connectors. 

Final Verdict

The Leki Trekking Poles—Makalu for men and Legacy for women—are solid choices that will last for many seasons of serious hikes. They’re easy to use and check all the boxes regarding safety and design. For individuals who want to use a walking stick but are concerned about carrying extra weight throughout their excursion, Foxelli’s Poles provide a comprehensive, lightweight option.

What to Look for in a Walking Stick 


Durability

You want a walking stick that can take on the activities you plan to do. For many casual hikers, a lightweight, foldable walking stick will do the trick, providing extra support along the trail. Individuals looking for a stick to last through harsher weather may require something more heavy-duty. No matter what activity your walking stick will be joining you for, you need one that can keep up. 

Length

When choosing a walking stick, you want to aim for a stick that allows for a 90-degree bend in your elbow (when the pole is touching the ground). This posture will keep you safe. Most poles have a range of adjustments that can be made so you can find the perfect length for you—as men’s and women’s poles may differ in these ranges, you’ll want to make sure the range you purchase is height-appropriate before leaving for the trail. 

Material

Most walking sticks will either be made from wood or aluminum. Wooden sticks are often hand-crafted and customizable, retaining their utility and providing an aesthetic that metal can’t match. Aluminum sticks generally focus on utility, not appearance. 

Special features

Modern walking sticks have a variety of special features, from shock absorption elements to camera mounts. These features give hikers the ability to customize a walking stick that meets their exact requirements. 

FAQs


What is the Best Finish for a Walking Stick? 

Experts recommend a high-quality, oil-based polyurethane finish for your wooden walking stick. This, unlike a water-based finish, will be more durable for the long hours spent outside. 

What is the Best Height for a Walking Stick? 

Your walking stick should be tall enough to allow for a 90-degree bend in your elbow. This generally means your stick should come up to your waist. If you’re taking on a lot of hills, you’ll want your stick to be a little longer. 

Why Trust Verywell Fit?

As a previous fitness coach, long-time wellness enthusiast, and current health editor, Lily Moe understands the importance of equipment that is made to help you reach your fitness goals, whether outside or in the gym. Most importantly, Lily always looks for research and first-hand reviews when it comes to deciding on a product. 

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