Do You Need a Shock-Absorbing Pole for Hikes?

Many hikers use a trekking pole, also known as a hiking pole, to improve their stability and ease the strain on their joints while hiking. Some people wonder if they need a shock-absorbing trekking pole for hikes.

You don’t usually need a shock-absorbing trekking pole. But if you carry a heavy backpack, travel long distances, or have weak joints. Antishock poles can also help if you get an injury during a hike.

The answer to that question depends on several factors, including your level of experience hiking, the terrain you will be traversing, and your fitness level.

In this blog post, we will explore the benefits of using a trekking pole and discuss when it is necessary to use a shock-absorbing model. In the end, you’ll be able to say for sure if that’s something you should invest some extra money in.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for qualifying sales through these links. But it never affects your price or what we pick.

How do shock-absorbing trekking poles work?

The science behind shock absorption in trekking poles is pretty simple. When you put your weight on the pole, the pressure causes the air inside the pole to compress. That compression is what provides shock absorption. The more pressure you put on the pole, the more contraction there will be and the more shock absorption you’ll get.

Trekking poles also have an internal spring that helps to absorb even more shocks. As you put pressure on the pole, the spring is compressed. The spring expands again when you take your weight off the pole. That action also helps to absorb shocks and vibrations.

All that shock absorption is necessary because it helps protect your joints from all the impact of hiking on rough terrain.

It’s vital if you have any joint problems, like arthritis. Trekking poles can help take some of the strain off your knees, hips, and back by absorbing some of the impacts before reaching your joints.

Best trekking poles for your adventures.

Check out the LEKI Micro Vario COR-TEC TA AntiShock Pole Pair on Amazon. They come with a carbon fiber shaft and cork grips.

Well-designed shock-absorbing poles are usually expensive. Check out the TrailBuddy Trekking Poles, which are so popular because they cost only $18.76. But they are not shock-absorbing, though the cork grip could give you a bit of protection.

If you’re looking for a more affordable shock-absorbing trekking pole, try Kelty Range 2.0.

When do you need a shock-absorbing trekking pole?

If you were to ask me this question, I would inquire about your backpack. For most hikers, this is the key determinant if you need a shock absorption pole or not.

The maximum load on your backpack should be about 10-20% of your body weight.

If you carry a heavy backpack, the additional weight will put more strain on your body. Then you should have some shock absorption. But if you take a light bag, regular poles would do. If you’re using cork grip trekking poles, you will get some shock absorption already.

My next question is about the terrain you travel. If the terrain is uneven or slippery, you might need some shock absorption. If the terrain is smooth, like a paved road or sidewalk, you don’t need as much shock absorption. Also, shock absorption has little to add if your path is muddy or icy.

The last question I would ask is about your joints. Do you have any joint problems? If so, trekking poles with shock absorption are a must. Talking to your doctors is also essential if you think your pain worsens while hiking.

If you’re injured, the shock absorption can give you great relief when walking. So if you want to be on the safe side, you might as well spend some extra bucks on a shock absorption pole.

Now that you know more about trekking poles and shock absorption, you can decide if you need them for your next hike. And if you need them, which type of trekking pole is right for you? Please read our guide on picking your tracking pole.

The benefits of using trekking poles in general

People are out on the trails, walking along with what look like ski poles in their hands. You’ve seen them before. Maybe you’ve even thought, “Why on earth are they carrying those things around?

Do they need them?

Yes, they probably do need them! Trekking poles offer a variety of benefits to hikers, both beginner and experienced alike. Here’s why you might consider using trekking poles on your next hike.

If you’re walking on uneven or slippery terrain, trekking poles can help improve your stability. It gives you an extra point of contact with the ground to prevent you from slipping or losing your balance.

At first, it didn’t make much sense to me. But you’ll start seeing the differences between long hikes carrying heavy backpacks. Your trekking poles can help take some strain off your legs and back.

With poles, you can hike for extended periods without getting tired. This is because using trekking poles effectively turns your hike into a full-body workout rather than just a leg workout.

If you suffer from joint pain, particularly in your knees or hips, using trekking poles can help reduce the pain you feel while hiking. Poles can take pressure off your joints and help reduce pain and discomfort.

Besides joints, hikers often feel pain, sometimes numbness in their toes. This is caused by the constant impact of your feet on the ground. You could almost always experience this when you travel downhills.

Trekking poles can help take some of that pressure and impact off your feet, which can help reduce pain and discomfort in your toes. In my previous posts, you can learn more about protecting your toes during a hike.

Trekking poles are also helpful in crossing rivers or streams. You can use them to test the depth of the water and maintain your balance while crossing.


Shock-absorbing poles are usually a bit more expensive than regular ones. And they are slightly heavier too.

Thus you might be wondering if you need them at all.

Make your choice wisely. While it’s a personal preference, there are benefits for everyone. Think about the weight of your backpack, the terrain, and your physical conditions before you buy one.

If you can afford it, go for a better-shock-absorbing pole because you never know when you’ll get injured during a hike.

Thanks for reading, friend. Let me know your thoughts in the comments section.

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