Trekking Poles Vs Walking Sticks – The Ultimate Face Off

June 7, 2011

Trekking Poles Vs Walking Sticks – The Ultimate Face Off

Walking poles, trekking poles and Nordic walking sticks act as aids for walking. They take up part of the strain that is exerted on your legs and hips while walking on a challenging terrain.

So, which should you choose – Trekking Poles or Walking Sticks? Well mostly, these are personal choices. Taking a look at the features of each of these types can help you decide on the one that would serve you well.

Walking Sticks

walking stick

Custom Walking Stick


  • Walking poles or sticks have been in use for ages. They have been used as a walking aid for the aged and disabled long before anyone thought of walking aids for hiking.
  • They have the appeal of antiquity and tradition.
  • Mostly fashioned out of wood, they come in a variety of different designs, from the simple curved handles to carved heads or golden tops.
  • They have the charm and the appeal of walking aids made of wood or other natural material.
  • They are usually available as single pieces, though you can buy a matching pair.
  • They are great for walking on level terrain or for short walks.

Trekking Poles

  • Made mostly of aluminum alloy or lightweight material like carbon fiber, hiking poles are not ornate like walking canes.
  • Their appeal is more modern and contemporary, designed for utility rather than beauty.
  • They usually come in pairs.
  • They are designed for use over rough terrain.
  • The tips are usually pointed and designed to provide grip on treacherous terrain.
  • They come in a variety of functionally optimized models.
  • They weigh less than wooden walking poles and so, are more portable.
  • Trekking poles can be collapsed and packed into backpacks.


With points in favor of each, let your needs and then your taste make the choice. If you are just looking for a walking aid to support your aching back or arthritic knee while taking a stroll in the park, go with the walking stick.

You can get ornately designed, stunningly beautiful wooden walking poles that can serve as a fashion accessory besides being a walking aid. Unfortunately, you cannot use them for Nordic walking as that requires a pair. Or you can also get a matching pair and flaunt that during your Nordic walking sessions.

If you are planning a long backpacking trip which involves hiking over rough terrain, climbing hills, crossing streams and rivers, go for the trekking pole. The hiking pole can provide grip and support in these situations. Using a walking stick or Trekking poles is ultimately an individual preference. Decide which would provide the best functionality for the situation.




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