Wide Open Spaces

The 5 Best Hiking Sticks and Trekking Poles That’ll Give Your Knees a Break

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Hikes can be hard, and there's no shame whatsoever in seeking out a bit of support. A well-made hiking stick or set of poles can spare your knees from the abuse of rocky terrains, and they'll also help you get up and down more efficiently. And, for the accident-prone among us, they could prevent you from taking an unfortunate tumble. 

Of course, you always have the ultra-affordable option of picking out the perfect hiking stick from the woodsy trailside, but if you're looking for a more reliable upgrade, we rounded up some of the best hiking sticks and trekking poles available online. In this post, you'll find our top picks for sticks and poles designed for both men and women. Keep in mind that men's and women's poles are really just about sizing, so focus instead on what length will be most comfortable for you.  

Now, let's take a look at the selections, from affordable no-frills options to high-end upgrades. No matter what type of hiking stick you're looking for, you'll find it here. 

1. Best Value

TrailBuddy Trekking Poles - Amazon, $18.76

These trekking poles from TrailBuddy are among the most popular hiking sticks on Amazon. The price is as good as you're likely to find anywhere, and according to more than 37,000 5-star reviews, these poles are far more than just a budget option. They're made with lightweight aluminum and topped with a cork grip, and the maximum length is 54 inches. They come in 8 different colors, and one recent reviewer summed them up nicely, claiming that this is "a superior product without the superior product price."

2. An Affordable, Ultralight Option

A ALAFEN Aluminum Collapsible Ultralight Travel Trekking Hiking Pole - Amazon, $16.79

If you prefer one pole over two, this collapsable choice from A Alafen is budget-friendly, super light, and made of aircraft-grade aluminum alloy. The foam handle is comfortable and absorbent, and with a sturdy tungsten steel tip, you should feel secure no matter where you're trekking. The pole comes in six different colors, and at a collapsed length of just over a foot, it can easily fit in any backpack. 

3. Some Upgraded, Ergonomic Trekking Poles

Black Diamond Trail Ergo Cork Trekking Poles - Black Diamond Equipment, $139.95

You can snag this pair of poles from REI, and they're unlikely to disappoint. They're by far the most-loved poles in the site, and according to the 4.7-star (out of 5) average, they're well worth the price. The main selling point here is the handles, which are ergonomic, adjustable, and sweat-wicking. You won't have to worry about losing your grip, and the aluminum construction of the poles should stand the test of time. Plus, you can adjust the length from anywhere between 27 and 55 inches, so they should work well for all different heights. 

4. A Great-Looking Minimal Choice

Brazos Trekking Pole - Amazon, $37.99

If you want a hiking stick that looks natural without actually finding it in nature, this trekking pole from Brazos more than fits the bill. The stick is handmade from solid wood in the US, but still manages to stay lightweight. It's on the bigger end at 55 inches, and doesn't come with the same adjustability as other options, but in terms of a traditional hiking stick, you'll have a hard time finding something better. 

5. A Solid Overall Option

REI Co-op Trailbreak Trekking Poles - REI, $69.95

To round out the list, this pair from the REI Co-Op is possibly the perfect balance of price and performance. While they don't have quite the same impressive features as the Black Diamonds we mentioned earlier, they come in at about half the cost. And, for most hikers, they should more than do the job. The poles are adjustable, ranging from 41 to 55 inches, and the shaft is made of durable 7075 aluminum. The grips are foam, and the ergonomic design should suit most hand shapes and sizes. Just take the advice of one five-star reviewer, and "don't go out there without these."