Best Trail Running Poles in 2021

Natalie Cecconi
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Do you love to explore and enjoy the great outdoors, but hate not knowing where you are going? How would you like to find your way there with a trail running pole in your hand?

Or, perhaps you are looking for a way to get stronger by adding a simple cardio exercise to your workout. Or, you just need to find a trustworthy way to help you hike to a trail or when you need to provide balance at a steep grade.

Well, if you are looking for any of these things, you have come to the right place. We have put together the comprehensive guide to the best trail running poles on the market right now.

NameCategoryProduct
Black Diamond Distance Z Trekking PolesBest OverallBlack Diamond Distance Z Trekking Poles
Camp Sky Carbon Evo Trekking PolesBudget PickCamp Sky Carbon Evo Trekking Poles
LEKI Micro Trail Vario Pole PairUpgrade PickLEKI Micro Trail Vario Pole Pair

1. Black Diamond Distance Z Trekking Poles

Our rating: 9 / 10

Black Diamond Distance Z Trekking Poles

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Pros:

  • Lightweight and compact
  • Easy to lock (Bill Pounds quickly)
  • Adjustable wrist straps
  • Nice cork grips
  • Affordable and competitively priced
  • The construction is solid and durable

Cons:

  • Lightweight and compact
  • It’s expensive for what you get

The Black Diamond Distance Z Trekking Poles are designed for trail running, hiking, biking, and backpacking.

The two-piece, Leki-inspired, adjustable poles are solidly constructed. They have an all-new locking system that is simple and very secure.

The Distance Z poles are very lightweight and compact, which makes them the perfect option for those who need to carry their poles for long distances.

2. LEKI Micro Trail Vario Pole Pair

Our rating: 9 / 10

LEKI Micro Trail Vario Pole Pair

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Pros:

  • Handmade in Germany
  • Robust and highly dependable
  • The Vario grip is our favorite feature

Cons:

  • They’re a bit on the heavy side
  • May feel too heavy for dogs & children

Every avid trail runner knows that safety is the number one priority while running. For that reason, we highly recommend the Vario Trail poles from LEKI.

The Vario Trail model poles from LEKI are constructed to be highly durable. It’s high carbon, high tensile carbon steel shaft is covered with a glossy lacquer finish and EVA foam handles. These features help protect the user from any abrasion or erosion.

The most notable feature of the Vario Trail pair is its Vario grip, which is an innovative approach to trail runner safety. The Vario grip is a waterproof “finger-section” design that aides with holding the pole regardless of the climatic conditions. It even allows the user to keep their grip when their hands or fingers become wet or soiled.

3. Black Diamond Distance Carbon Flz Trekking Poles

Our rating: 8 / 10

Black Diamond Distance Carbon Flz Trekking Poles

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The Black Diamond Distance Carbon model trekking poles are a fantastic option for active people doing any exercise that involves some sort of terrain.

They’re lightweight and they fold down to 26 inches and then extend back out to 53 inches, so they’re very versatile.

The tips are made with carbide steel and they roll efficiently down a variety of terrain, from concrete, to dirt, to gravel.

4. Camp Sky Carbon Evo Trekking Poles

Our rating: 6 / 10

Camp Sky Carbon Evo Trekking Poles

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Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable grips
  • Compact and stylish design
  • All-around best value for the money

The Camp Sky Carbon Evo Trekking Poles are ultralight and ultra-durable trekking poles for hiking, backpacking, mountaineering, trail running, and Nordic walking. The EVO trekking poles are made of carbon fiber. They are extremely lightweight and durable. They pair a unique open-flange design and three-section construction with an anti-shock mechanism to make for an incredibly smooth and stable performance.

The poles are adjustable from 35-54 inches. The Evo poles come in two different colors: black and blue. The poles have a cork handle design with a grip that is shaped for comfort and absorbs hand perspiration to prevent blisters.

The Evo poles are designed for use in any weather condition. They come with a stainless steel tip and a carbide tip, a tungsten tip, and a stowable rubber tip for various conditions. The carbide tip is for hard surfaces and the tungsten tip is for unpaved trails and mixed surfaces. You can also stow the rubber tip away inside the handle for more compact storage.

5. Camp Xenon Trek Poles

Our rating: 6 / 10

Camp Xenon Trek Poles

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Pros:

  • Two locking positions for easier hiking and running
  • Strong, lightweight and reliable
  • Ergonomic pide grip
  • Modular design for easy storage
  • Shock Absorption

For trail running, an important safety feature to look for is a locking mechanism that can be set on a comfortable angle for walking and hiking. You never know when you’ll have to switch from running to hiking, so make sure to always keep these features in mind when shopping for trail running poles.

The next thing to look for is whether or not the poles are made of carbon fiber. This will make a lot of difference when it comes to weight-storing more vital after your exercise sessions. It’s true that you might spend a couple hundred dollars more than for the model with plastic or aluminum materials. But the main objective here is to stay safe during your workout.

And if you’re out there for longer runs, make sure to consider the shock absorption feature in your choice of poles to make sure that your arms will not hurt after you’ve hit the ground a few times.

6. LEKI Micro RCM Pole Pair

Our rating: 6 / 10

LEKI Micro RCM Pole Pair

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Pros:

  • Rubber tips and remote carbide metal tips
  • Pedal-friendly straps keep poles from rattling
  • Consistent quality regardless of the size
  • Lightweight at only 17 oz per pole
  • Shock Absorption System II
  • Solid construction
  • Locking mechanism

The Leki Micro RCM trail running poles have a high-quality build at a very reasonable price. With the Shock Absorption System II feature and adjustable locking mechanisms, you can customize these poles to match your preferred stride.

Since the Micro RCM comes in four different sizes (S/M, M/L, L/XL, XL), it is ideal for men or women who are always on the move. It provides great functionality and comfort while reducing wasted energy. The Micro RCM is the perfect alternative to trekking poles and ski poles.

What users say about them:

7. HELINOX PASSPORT TL130 ADJUSTABLE TREKKING POLE by Helinox

Our rating: 4 / 10

HELINOX PASSPORT TL130 ADJUSTABLE TREKKING POLE by Helinox

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Pros:

  • Compatible with compact trekking backpacks
  • Telescopic adjustability for excellent convenience and adaptability
  • Easy to use locking mechanism
  • Comfortable hand grips for a rewarding experience
  • Lightweight
  • Collapsiblbe

The Helinox Passport Trekking Poles are a bestseller on the market and for a very good reason. The price/performance ratio is ridiculous. These trekking poles are extremely lightweight and still very durable thanks to the combination of materials used.

They are made of an extremely lightweight yet very strong aluminum and are adjustable easily and quickly. The parts are joined together with oversized aluminum twist lock and two carbide tipped screws. The tips of the poles are rubberized giving them great stability and grip on any type of surface.

The wrist straps are very comfortable to hold and you can adjust them easily to suit your grip strides. What is the most incredible is that they weigh in at just 6ounces each and fold up to just 9inches. You can really use these as hiking poles, travel poles or even trekking poles.

Conclusion

Let’s take a look at the criteria that go into choosing the best trekking poles for you while we take you through a range of good choices for trekking poles.

The point of trekking poles is to take some of the weight of your pack, to take some of the strain off your joints as you hike, so that you can hike in comfort.

To take them on the trail with you, they need to be sturdy, well built, packable, and ergonomic. They also need to be tough, as you might be using them to whack through roots, branches, or other obstacles while you make your way through the woods.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Black Diamond Distance Z Trekking PolesBest OverallBlack Diamond Distance Z Trekking Poles
Camp Sky Carbon Evo Trekking PolesBudget PickCamp Sky Carbon Evo Trekking Poles
LEKI Micro Trail Vario Pole PairUpgrade PickLEKI Micro Trail Vario Pole Pair