Top 10 Fitness Walking Poles

Fitness walking poles, nordic walking poles and exerstriding poles can be useful in two ways. First, using poles you take strain off of knees and ankles and give yourself more balance. Second, you work the upper body to burn more calories per mile, while actually feeling like you are exerting yourself less. Burn more, feel less. Using the right technique is essential, and these poles come with instructions specific to their technique for use, and are not necessarily interchangeable.

Pacemaker Stix Aerostride Poles

PaceMaker Stix Aerostride Poles
PaceMaker Stix Aerostride Poles. Wendy Bumgardner ©

These aluminum nordic walking poles have cork grips for comfort and the glove-like strap needed for the nordic walking technique. They telescope from 26 to 54 inches with a flip-lock mechanism. They come with both a cane tip and a knobbly tip, plus baskets for sand or snow. I like the flip lock for easier adjustments on the go compared with a twist lock.

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Leki Spin Nordic Walking Poles

Leki Spin Nordic Walking Poles
Leki Spin Nordic Walking Poles. Courtesy of

The Spin is Leki's value-priced Nordic walking pole. They are adjustable in length from 100 to 130 centimeters. They have the Trigger Shark strap you can release with a button. They are made of aluminum. They come with rubber fitness tips for use on pavement, or you can use them without it on softer trails.

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KeenFit Poles

Keenfit Fitness Walking Poles
Keenfit Fitness Walking Poles. Courtesy of

These poles won our Readers' Choice Awards for 2012 and 2013. They have a palm strap rather than a demi-glove and they come with instructions in their own pole walking technique.

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Nordic Walker Exel

Exel Nordic Walking Poles
Exel Nordic Walking Poles. Wendy Bumgardner ©

Exel Nordic Walker poles have taken Europe by storm and are designed for the nordic walking technique. The technique requires the poles to have a half-glove strap so you can release the pole on the backstroke and it snaps back into you hand as you move your arm forward. These lightweight carbon fiber 1-piece poles have a paw for walking on streets and sidewalks and a spiketip for trails. This site is in German and lists all of their different models. A site in America, sells a smaller selection of models.

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VIP Very Important Ski Walking Fitness Poles

VIP - Very Important Ski Walking Fitness Poles
VIP - Very Important Ski Walking Fitness Poles. Wendy Bumgardner ©

Ski Walking has a specially designed fitness walking pole using the excellent Swix glove system. These are fixed length poles of high quality, with carbide tip and removable rubber fitness tip.

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Leki Traveller Nordic Walking Poles

Leki Traveller Carbon Nordic Walking Poles
Leki Traveller Carbon Nordic Walking Poles. Courtesy of

These three-section nordic walking poles are built to fit into your luggage. They compact down to 52 centimeters for packing. They come in a lighter-weight carbon fiber model (13.9 ounces per pair) or an aluminum model (16.8 ounces per pair). The adjustable length is from 62-130 centimeters for both models.

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Exerstrider SE One-Piece Poles

Exerstrider SE Walking Poles - Full
Exerstrider SE Walking Poles. Exerstrider

These poles have one-piece lightweight aluminum alloy shafts, which dampen vibration. Exerstrider poles have patented, ergonomic "reflex" grips to fit the hand. The high-carbon rubber tips and tip retainer collar provide shock absorption, grip the pavements and have long wear. They come with a manual and a video. They are designed for the exerstrider walking technique, not for the nordic walking technique.

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Brazos FitnessWalker Poles

Brazos Fitness Walking Sticks
Brazos Fitness Walking Sticks. Brazos

Some people simply prefer wood. Brazos Walking Sticks has a FitnessWalker design in ash. The curved handles can work for the push off, and they have a cord strap to help retain the poles. However, without a half glove, these are only suited for the exerstriding or trekking techniques rather than the nordic walking technique. They come in only three lengths and are non-adjustable, but they can make custom lengths to your request. For the natural feel of wood, these will be the right fit for many people.

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Leki Speed Pacer Vario Nordic Walking Poles

Leki Speed Pacer Vario Poles
Leki Speed Pacer Vario Poles. Courtesy of

These two-piece carbon fitness walking poles are semi-adjustable. You order them to size, but are able to adjust the length within a 10 centimeter range. They have a trigger-release half-glove strap for ease of use. Just a click and you remove the glove from the pole, another click to reattach it. They come with both a carbide flex tip for soft trail and a rubber fitness tip for pavement. Designed for the nordic walking technique. These are very lightweight and, at the price, are for those committed to nordic walking.

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