Choosing Nordic Walking poles – a useful guide!

fia choice 2 websizeDon’t be confused by the myths that Nordic walking poles must be fixed and carbon! We are Nordic Walking experts and have thousands of Instructors around the UK who help us to recommend poles to their clients.

Our lovely Nordic Walkers generally opt for ADJUSTABLE poles if they can afford them and without doubt, the most popular model is the Leki Supreme Shark   which is neither carbon or fixed length!

Leki Supreme Shark: Buy Now


Yes, fixed poles provide slightly less vibration but unless you are Nordic walking for several miles a day that’s unlikely to be an issue and the risk with a fixed length pole will always be that it may just be slightly too long or too short for you as they only come in 5 cm increments. If you are confident about the length of pole that you require we have some special edition Nordic Walking UK poles that are amazing value See the Gabel stride light poles poles which are only £29.95 a pair ( Need two pairs? call us to buy two pairs for £49 .95 offer 0333 1234 540) Also an offer are the Leki Smart carbon  poles  which are currently only £69.95 a pair – amazing value for Carbon!

Leki Smart Carbon: Buy Now


These days the adjustment systems on good makes of poles like Leki and Gabel ensure minimal vibration and they are exceedingly strong – in fact they will bear up to 130 – 140  kilos of downward pressure with no problem at all. If you are using them for Nordic Walking as intended, they will last for years and are completely safe. Our bestselling fully adjustable poles are the Gabel Stretch Lite which are only £49.95 a pair (or two pairs for only £79.95 a pair see below)

pole montage websizeThere are 6 key types of walking poles- pictured here from left to right

Fixed length, Extendable, Adjustable & Telescopic, NW poles plus Strapless and trekking poles.

For NORDIC WALKING – the first 4 from the left are generally selected although for some people a strapless pole may be advised – see below. Pole number 6 (far right) is NOT suitable for Nordic walking as it does not have the correct strap.

The difference between the first 4 Nordic walking poles is simple.

  • A FIXED length pole is not adjustable and therefore the walker MUST be confident they have the right height and are not likely to develop and improve their technique substantially.
  • An EXTENDABLE pole is virtually a fixed pole but there is the option to extend to make it fit EXACTLY and be adjusted according to improvement in posture or technique. The adjustment is close to the handle which minimises vibration.
  • ADJUSTABLE poles are great for all levels as they provide full flexibility and entirely suitable for all Nordic walkers.
  • TELESCOPIC poles fold down to fit in backpacks, suitcases etc – great for city use and travelling but as they are 3 piece and contain TWO adjustment points they will tend to vibrate slightly more, although with the top of the range carbon ones, this is minimal.

We think the key things to consider when choosing Nordic Walking poles are:-

  • The straps – are they comfy and how easy is it to attach and unattach them to the pole when you need to. (if they don’t attach at all they are NOT technically Nordic walking poles)
  •  Pole composition – yes carbon is best but it costs more and other compounds are entirely suitable for the recreational Nordic Walker.
  • The paws (rubber feet) are they suitably angled for the Nordic walking technique? (If not they are not Nordic walking poles) and are they easy to remove when on softer ground?
  • The weight of the pole – the lighter the better if you are looking for top performance but all standard Nordic Walking poles are lightweight and simple to use
  • The make – avoid cheaper brands like Norstix and go for the established makes like Leki, Gabel,Swix and  Kompardell – these companies actually manufacture ski poles too and have invested hugely in the development of their products. newcomers to the nordic walking market are usually copies made in the far East.
  • Travelling? – If you know you would like to take the poles abroad or even on the bus, you may wish to look for telescopic poles such as the adaptable Gabel Fusion at £64.95 or the ultimate in carbon luxury the Leki traveller carbon

Gabel Fusion: Buy Now

Leki Traveller Carbon: Buy Now


nordic tech carbonOur personal favourite here at NWUK HQ is the Extendable Gabel Nordic Tech Carbon  pictured here, which performs as if it was fixed length but can be adjusted accurately for the user with a top section near the handle that allows the user to get the exact right height. It is a truly versatile pole which is very keenly priced for a 60% carbon model.

Other poles we recommend to the recreational Nordic Walker are the Leki Supreme shark (of course) and the Gabel Stretch – both are adjustable, affordable and perfectly suitable for those learning the technique and participating in regular Nordic walks.

Gabel Nordic Tech Carbon: Buy Now

Gabel Stretch Lite: Buy Now

Two x Gabel Stretch Lite: Buy Now


Strapless fitness walking poles called EXERSTRIDER are fantastic for those with balance issues, grip problems or simply looking for a simple to learn total body walking method  – we use them in our wellbeing and exercise referral sessions. See EXERSTRIDER

Exerstrider: Buy Now

To view our full range of Nordic Walking poles visit our on line store or call us at any time on 0333 1234 540 for expert advice. See what our customers say about us, our service and fast delivery here.

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