Our take Think shock-absorbing poles are loud and heavy? Think again. Not only are the shock absorbers in these poles quieter than others we tested (no squeaky springs), but, compared to other adjustable aluminum models, they’re significantly lighter. We appreciated them most on hard, rocky trails where impact can affect your knees and back. Our testers lauded the locking clips, which are easy to manipulate with gloved hands and don’t slip, making on-the-fly adjustments a breeze. Bonus: LEKI’s lifetime warranty against shaft breakage can’t be beat.
Trail cred “They’re sturdy enough for backpacking, but light and portable enough for ultrarunning,” said a tester after a 20-miler in Oregon’s Hells Canyon. “After my fastpack, I collapsed the poles and stowed them in my daypack when it was time to run back to the car along Forest Service roads.”