Trekking poles are a handy tool that can help you get through a rigorous and challenging mountainous trail. In this guide, we’ll take a look at some of the best shock absorbing trekking poles currently available. We’ll also look into the pluses and minuses of buying this type of pole.
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Top Shock Absorbing Trekking Poles
So, you’re looking to buy a new set of the best shock absorbing trekking poles? That’s great, you’ve come to the right guide. Shock-absorbing poles feature an internal spring system that absorbs shock when hiking downhill. This feature can be turned off with some trekking poles when it’s not needed, like when you’re walking uphill.
We would recommend shock absorption poles if you suffer from pain in your ankles, knees, hips, wrists, or just if you would enjoy a more comfortable hike. In this guide, we’ve researched the market, analyzed what’s on offer, and aggregated the data to find top shock absorbing trekking poles out there. You migh also be interested in taking a look at our best trekking poles guide where we list all types of poles.
LEKI Micro Vario Carbon AS Trekking Poles
The DSS Antishock System on te Leki Micro Carbon reduces impact force by 40%, thereby relieving joints and ligaments. Light and stiff carbon upper segment for perfect turns with minimum weight. Strong aluminum lower segment.Total weighing of just 252 g per pole. AERGON grip with Thermo extension and the super simple Speed Lock 2 Adjustment System. Men’s pole extends 110-130cm and women’s 100-120cm.
- Weight Per Pair: 504g
- Usable Length: 110-130cm
- Collapsed Length: 40cm
Black Diamond Trail Pro Shock Trekking Poles
Black Diamond’s most premium Trail Series pole with built-in shock absorbing technology. Lightweight, collapsible, and FlickLock Pro technology for easy adjustability. Withe the Speedlock+ 2 lockig system, you can collapse and store these poles away quickly.
- Weight Per Pair: Men’s 590 g (1 lbs 4.81 oz), Women’s 555 g (1 lb 4 oz).
- Usable Length: Men’s 105-140 cm (41-55 in), Women’s 62-125 cm (24-49 in)
- Collapsed Length: Men’s 65 cm (26 in), Women’s 62 cm (24 in)
LEKI Micro Vario COR-TEC TA AntiShock Pole
An older version of the LEKI Micro Vario TA AntiShock Pole has an aluminum shaft and cork grips. Weight is slightly heavier, and it uses Speedlock+. However, the packed size is actually 2cm shorter. If you prefer cork handle grips, this is the pole for you. Unisex trekking poles.
- Weight Per Pair: 592g
- Usable Length: 110-130cm
- Collapsed Length: 38cm
LEKI Makalu Lite COR-TEC AntiShock Pole
The Makalu Lite is extremely lightweight, made with aluminum, and adjustable to 68-135cm in length. It also features cork grip handles and DSS anti-shock system. A great all-around pole; however, because it is a telescopic pole, the collapsed size is 68cm.
- Weight Per Set: 494g
- Usable Length: 68-135cm
- Collapsed Length: 68cm
LEKI Cressida Thermo AntiShock - Women
The LEKI Cressida Thermo AntiShock is classed as a women’s pole, however I don’t know why trekking poles can’t be gender neutral and suitable for all. Designed for smaller grips, shorter straps, and overall smaller dimensions to fit smaller packs. Features AERGON Thermo grips, Speedlock 2 and DSS anti-shock system.
- Weight Per Pair: 470g/1lb
- Usable Length: 64-135cm
- Packed Lengtht: 64-68cm
LEKI Legacy Lite COR-TEC Anti-Shock
These LEKI Legacy Lite COR-TEC Anti-Shock trekking poles are an excellent choice for hiking and backpacking because they are durable and lightweight. The Dynamic Suspension System (DSS) reduces peak pole impacts. High-quality aluminum construction, Evocon COR-TEC grips. Men’s and Women’s sizes and wights vary, so we have included the ranges below.
- Weight Per Pair: 492-504g
- Usable Length: 64-68cm
- Packed Lengtht: 64cm
TheFitLife Nordic Anti Shock Trekking Poles
Budget busting option only costs only $24.98. Sells very well on Amazon and has many thousands of positive reviews and a high 4/5 star rating. We would only recommend this pole to hiking beginners or occasioanl hikers. Unlikely to stand up to the rigours of a tough thru-hike on challeneging ground. Comes with EVA foam grip handles, aluminum and range of baskets.
- Weight Per Pair: 0.9lbs / 14oz
- Usable Length: 62-135cm / 24″-53″
- Packed Lengtht: 66cm/ 24″
Should I Buy Shock Absorbing Poles?
The significant advantage of anti-shock poles is that they reduce the impact on joints and ligaments, primarily when used on hard ground or rocky terrain. On soft terrain, where the mud or snow gives natural impact absorption, they can seem pointless, and their benefits have negated. Consequently, the anti-shock poles’ effectiveness will depend on the ground and weather conditions and your personal preference and circumstances.
Weight and reliability, the performance will vary depending on the pole’s quality and how the shock-absorbing system was designed and fitted. In terms of the market for these types of poles, the most well-known brand is Leki, which has a pretty big range of Anti-Shock Trekking Poles.
Leki has the anti-shock mechanics built into the lower section of the pole, integrated into the twist-lock mechanism. Doing this can result in weight savings.
Another high-quality brand is Black Diamond, which have their anti-shock impact system built into the handle. Doing so keeps the mechanism protected but can add weight to the pole.
Finally, some other brands have attempted to cash in on the shock-absorbing pole market, and the build quality and design are inferior to Leki and Black Diamond products. The lower end poles are more suited to beginners or occasional hikers, and we couldn’t recommend them to be reliable on a long, challenging hike lasting weeks where you are hiking big miles every day.
In general, considering there added moving parts on a pole with anti-shock features, there is an increased chance of failure. You have to consider durability when deciding if these types of trekking poles are right for you and which brand/model to buy.