You may be reading this because you are looking for tips on using your trekking poles, if so, sorry, we are literally discussing trekking pole tips – you know, the ends of the trekking poles that contact the ground. We will, no pun intended, offer a number of tips about tips… so hang out and learn about tips.
Just about all hiking poles come standard with carbide or other hard steel tips. These hard and fairly pointy tips are designed to penetrate ice and hard dirt to provide grip for the pole. While these tips are terrific for these conditions, they do not work as well on pavement rock or mud. In particular on pavement and smooth rock, they tend to slip unpredictably while also transferring the shock of contact through the pole. To adapt to conditions like these manufacturers have developed a variety of tips and tip covers to provide grip and stability in a variety of conditions.
Cheap Tips by the Dozen, and A High Quality Tip
The most common type of hiking pole tips are just plain old rubber caps. There are a variety of types and quality, with the cheapest just being a cap and the nicest having rather substantial bulk with a patterned grip on the end. Generally, the more material used to make the tip, the longer it will last. The quality of the materials come into play with wear as well. Soft cheap rubber will wear quickly, where a harder and more durable material will last longer.
Five Lobe Rubber Hiking Pole Tip
There is a manufacturer that makes a rather unique rubber trekking pole tip that has five lobes and some very substantial grips. These tips would probably do well on soft ground by distributing the weight bearing of the pole over a larger area. I like the way these look and have used them and they literally last forever. The only drawback to this hiking stick tip is can and will pick up and carry a substantial amount of sticky mud, so you may not want to use them in thses conditions.
Nordic Walking Tips
For those who specifically enjoy Nordic Walking, the Nordic Walking tip is for you. Nordic walking has been shown to be a great outdoor exercise option for people of all ages. The activity gives a full body workout that closely equates to cross country skiing. This long wearing trekking pole tip is very substantial and is designed to generate grip and traction when pushing off while nordic walking. You can see from the boot looking shape and from the rocker surface that is heavily knurled that this pole tip is designed to maintain grip across a changing angle moment.
High Grip, High Stability Tips
There are also tips manufactured to provide the utmost stability, especially on paved surface. Physical and occupational therapists recommend that their patients use trekking poles for stability. I think this is a great idea, as many active older adults do not wnat the perceived stigma of using a cane, but trekking poles are more acceptable to them and may, because there are two, provide more stability than a cane or walking staff. Equipped with these tips, they will provide a hiking pole that is quite stable on a variety of surfaces.
Remember you can increase the utility of your hiking poles with accessories. Tips in particular can allow the use of your trekking poles on a wider variety of terrain and in a greater variety of outdoor adventures. We hope our brief explanation of your options has been helpful. Get out and use your sticks more by getting a wider variety of tips for them.