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Q: What are the best types of trekking poles to get maximum support for walking and balance?

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  • Q: What are the best types of trekking poles to get maximum support for walking and balance?

    I got this question about trekking poles via email, which also applies to MS. If others have ideas, chime in! -D

    I'm in the medical field (I have MS) and I'm working with a patient who has Parkinson's. I had suggested using trekking poles which I use and find helpful but I think I remember that there was a special kind of poles with more support for people with disabilities. I did not see that suggested on your page.

    Do they exist and are they significantly better than the poles that you recommend in this article on trekking poles. I look forward to hearing back from you with your advice.
    Dave Bexfield

  • #2
    You may be thinking of Nordic poles, but those IMO offer less support. In general I would recommend beefier poles (not the thin ultralight type) with good grips and straps. Using the straps correctly is the #1 most important technique to get maximum support. And always use two poles!
    Dave Bexfield


    • #3
      I found this post from several years ago, so I just copied and pasted it here. I ended up buying these poles based on his review, and still use them. Really helps me with balance....yes, two are better but at times my right shoulder flares up and so I use just one and it still is better than a cane. This is a great review..... maybe this is what you were thinking of??

      Urbanpoling - Activator walking poles

      08-05-2013, 10:04 PM
      Hello everyone, I'm new to this site and found lots of very helpful info around cooling vests. I noticed when reading the trekking reviews though that there was no mention of Activator Poles by Urban Polling on this site. So I'd like to share my experience as I love these poles and I've spent so much more time outdoors since buying them.

      So this is my first non-professional review

      I purchased these poles in 2012 after using "trekking poles" in the city - as a necessity to get around. In my case with stability and balance issues a cane wasn't enough anymore and I wasn't ready for a rollator. While I did like my current trekking poles I was looking to upgrade them when I stumbled across the Activator poles on the web.They were a godsend for me for two reasons.

      1. The handles don't use straps - they have a uniquely shaped ergonomic handle that supports your hand/wrist which which allows you to hold them loosely (as opposed to a death grip). And the larger then normal handle also helps with the feeling of control. I found this so much better then the straps on my trekking poles. The easier grip= less effort = less fatigue which is great for my MS.

      2. The tips are very "sticky" and soft. They call them "Bell tips". When I walk I can't always depend on my ability to keep the poles parallel with my body. With these tips I don't have any problem with them slipping when I push off with the poles on an angle. And the "stickiness" provides a great grip even on wet surfaces.

      These poles are also lightweight and collapsible.

      The only negative thing I have to say about them is the ergonomics around the handles resulted in having specific Left and Right poles. As a result when I grab them to go walking I inevitably end up with the wrong pole in the wrong hand! They do provide indicators (an L and R) on the top of the poles in case you cant "feel" if you have them right.

      When looking at this review keep in mind the application for me is more as a walking aid then for hiking..although they may help with both. Urban Polling does carry different poles but the Activator is marketed specifically for rehab or mobility.

      Their web site does a much better job of explaining their benefits.


      Hope this helps!!
      Be thankful. Dream Big. Never Give Up.