When it comes to buying a pair of nordic walking poles, it can seem like a mine field out there! Do I buy fixed length or adjustable? What on earth is the Leki shark quick release system? Do I go for a lighter or heavier pole? How much should I be looking to spend?… The list of questions can seem endless – all of which will be answered for you now!
The amount of money that you are willing to spend on a pair of nordic walking poles is probably at the top of your agenda and just like anything you buy, the less you pay the poorer the quality of your investment will be. Ideally, you are looking for a pole that has minimal vibration as it is planted in the ground behind you. Too much vibration can lead to injuries such as repetitive strain. From experience we have found that any pole that has a starting price of around £50 is a sensible purchase.
Nordic walking poles are made of either aluminium or carbon or a mixture of both. Carbon is stronger and lighter than aluminium thus making it the superior pole. In fact, the lighter the pole the more effective the technique is, providing that it is being executed correctly. However, if price is an issue then the aluminium pole makes a very good second best.
Whether to buy a fixed length pole or an adjustable pole is down to personal preference. However, if you were considering sharing the poles with someone else who’s not of a similar height to yourself then you are looking at buying one that can be adjusted.
Be careful when deciding to buy a fixed length pole as it’s essential that you order the correct length for your height. This ensures that there is full use of the body when walking and the correct technique is being executed. A simple rule of thumb is that your elbow needs to be at a 90% angle when holding the poles in the gloves, with the tip on the floor. We are able to advise you on the pole length you require if necessary.
There are different glove designs that come with different poles. Some are easier to put on than others but with practice this is a minor issue that can be eradicated.
With regards to a high quality nordic walking pole, the technology of the glove release system has really moved forward. From experience, we’ve found that a lot of our customers are really impressed with the Leki shark quick release system. It’s very quick and easy to use when you need to release your poles to have a drink of water or to blow that runny nose! We’ve noticed that other release systems aren’t as straight forward.
Many of our customers want to carry on with their Nordic walking whilst they are away on holiday and a very popular question is: ‘Will my poles fit in my suitcase?’. The simple answer is “No, unless you are taking a very large suitcase.’ The adjustable poles only collapse down to 90cm.
However, there is a solution if you are willing to pay the price (£110) which is the Leki Traveller Carbon 2011. This is a 100% carbon, 3 piece adjustable pole which features the Leki quick release system. It folds down in two places so that it can fit neatly into your suitcase. This is a favourite with many of our well- travelled customers.
All nordic walking poles come with rubber paws which are easy to attach to the bottom of the poles when out walking on pavements and other hard surfaces.
Nordic Walking East London Essex recommend and are big fans of the adjustable Leki Prestige (which we use on the free taster sessions, the technique courses and when hiring out poles to our customers), the Leki Carbon Instructor 2011, the fixed length Leki Flash Shark and the Leki Traveller Carbon, all of which feature the Leki shark quick release system. Click here to buy nordic walking poles at Nikkii’s store on the Nordic walking UK website.