Walking Poles – are they essential for walking?
Are walking poles a must have for hiking? We try out some Pacer poles to walking poles to the test.
Walkers are often divided into two camps on the topic of walking poles, which are those who think walking poles are great for a long trek, while others feel that walking poles are a way of cheating when it comes to a suitably long ramble.
For those who don’t know, walking poles are designed to help take extra weight off your legs, allowing you to walk further and potentially faster. They do this simply by being gripped in the hand and used like extra legs during your strides, which helps to maintain the rhythm in your walking pace.
There are many makes of walking poles available ranging from single staves to sophisticated height-adjustable poles made of aluminium or carbon fibre in a similar fashion to ski poles which have proven increasingly popular amongst people walking in the Alps.
Walking poles provide many benefits to the casual rambler or hardcore hiker by providing extra stability and spreading the load on your legs on to your arms, they are often essential for a number of walkers who often suffer for their outdoor exploits due to knee pain caused by steel hills or carrying heavy loads, such as a well stocked rucksack.
So if you come home from a hard day’s hike wishing your knees or legs weren’t so painful, then perhaps you could benefit from a pair of walking poles, as you can easily lower the stress to your legs by taking the weight on to the poles through your arms.
Walking poles not only help to reduce knee pain but also increase hill climbing power, endurance and balance while cross difficult terrain such as rivers and soft ground. The only downside of course, is that they keep your hands full.
So what do Pacer poles, one of the leading brands of walking pole have to offer?
Pacer poles, as their name suggests, give you more power in your pace by taking the weight off of your legs whilst walking by putting it on to the arms. But the difference between Pacer poles and other walking poles is the unique design which has been based on biomechanical research, producing an innovative grip shape that assists in transmitting maximum arm power and leverage.
As a result, Pacer poles are a popular choice amongst hikers as an ideal walking pole for long distance treks. So we thought we’d take them with us for a walk and see how we get on. The results were quite remarkable.
As a group of people who do not suffer from knee pain, some might argue that this test was quite redundant. But our observations certainly prove that Pacer poles and walking poles in general do actually work.
The method of walking with them was a little tricky at first, but we soon got that down to a fine art and the poles certainly helped to keep a consistent rhythm in our strides. We stopped off for lunch after a couple of hours. Normally my legs started aching once we get walking again, but with the Pacer poles in hands, my legs were quite comfortable and loosened up quite quickly.
We made it back home a few hours later with all of us noticing the benefits of taking walking poles. Obviously, taking them with us all the time somewhat defeats the object of going for a good walk, but for people who do suffer from knee pains and other walking related problems as a result of enjoying the outdoors, walking poles are an essential purchase.
The Pacer poles themselves were quite ingenious in design. Although the grip was peculiar at first, it became comfortable quickly while the extendable features of the Pacer poles made it easy to achieve the perfect height for walking. But I will say that you certainly feel all that walking with the poles in your arms. Or maybe I just need to work on my arms some more?