Lots of people use walking poles. Lots of people don’t. Here at Up and Under we think that a set of walking poles are almost as important as your boots when it comes to hill walking and trekking.
 
We can think of an almost endless number of obscure reasons why carrying poles is a good idea (Chris once managed to stretcher an injured Labrador off a mountain with a set!). However here are  6 reasons why carrying a set of poles will make your walking more enjoyable.
 
  1. Reduce impact on joints in ankles, knees and hips when descending. We’ve heard there can be a reduction of up to 30%! That is a huge amount and could really make the difference between pain and no pain after a walk.
  2. Helps on level and uphill ground too. As you are putting a significant amount of weight through your arms, you are reducing the strain on your legs helping you walk further.
  3. Full body workout. When you use poles you tend to work your upper body much more. This is great for general mobility, muscle tone and strength and is a real benefit of poles if walking is your main form of exercise.
  4. Stability. When walking on uneven terrain or descending steep slopes, poles can be a useful aid in keeping you upright! They can also be very useful when crossing streams and small rivers where you may not be able to see the terrain clearly.
  5. Improved posture. Walking with poles tends to promote a more upright posture. Good posture (i.e. neutral spine alignment) is important as it will not only reduce the chances of back pain but also improve breathing and therefore respiration (transfer of oxygen to the bloodstream). This can subsequently lead to improved performance as muscles receive more oxygen.
  6. Muscle balance. Not strictly a benefit of using poles, but an advantage of using two poles instead of just one. Using two poles means that muscles on both sides of the body are doing an equal amount of work. This will reduce chances of injury and ensure good posture.

Essentially all of this should mean that you can walk for longer and cover more ground in more comfort. It will also mean that you feel better after the walk, which means you can get back out on the hills sooner. They may even help prevent an injury that could keep you cooped up indoors for a long time! 

We sell poles from Leki and Black Diamond. All the poles we sell at Up and Under are very high quality, using strong, light materials and sturdy joints. They should last a long time, perform well and are unlikely to break. However, any poles are better than no poles whether they cost £10 or £100!
 
We try to cover most budgets with poles like the Leki Voyager and Black Diamond Trail Back offering great value, whilst the Black Diamond Distance FL is perfect for those looking to shave every gram. We have loads of options in between, the Leki Softlite is a good all-round option and is probably our best selling pole. If you prefer the ease of use of a ‘flick lock’ system rather than the traditional twist to lock style then take a look at theLeki Corklite Speedlock or Black Diamond Trail Pole. Some people like ‘anti shock’ poles. These have little springs that help reduce impact further. The Leki Softlite AS and Black Diamond Trail Shock are good options. If you are after Nordic Walking Poles then click here.
 
All of our poles are sold as pairs and are priced as such. For the reasons listed above we feel that using two poles is far more effective than using just one. It is important to care for your poles. Don’t leave them soaking wet in the garage. They can easily be dismantled into sections rinsed and dried. This is especially important if you have been walking along beaches, as the salt water will corrode the poles quickly.

Click here for our full range of walking poles.

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