There are tons of benefits to using trekking poles. They can help to keep rhythm when walking, provide support when crossing over uneven terrain, and to help reduce strain on your knees and ankles. However if you don’t have your poles at the right height, they can actually make it harder on your and your body.
Determining the Right Height to Set Your Poles
The right height varies from person to person and sometimes is also a personal preference as to which height they set it at.
Trekking poles should reach to the top of your palm when your elbows are at a 90 degree angle to your body. This generally is set at about waist or hip level.
If your legs are longer than most, it might be better to set the pole a little higher than mentioned above. For shorter legs, it is thought to keep the height of the poles set to a little lower than above, which is to keep it below your waist level.
The above mostly applies to when you are walking on flat ground.
Trekking poles should be shorted by a few inches when you are traveling uphills to help put more pressure onto the poles and not your knees and ankles. That is why we designed our carbon fiber trekking poles to include a foam handle under the cork handle so you don’t have to adjust the poles everytime you change the terrain. Making it a lot easier and quicker to adjust the length of the strap instead of each trekking pole height.
When hiking or walking downhill, the poles should help to take the strain off your knees. Raising the height of the poles will greatly help with this to make sure you are using them correctly.
With our Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles we advise to set the height of the poles a little higher than 90 degrees at the start. This way you can more easily change where you grab the poles when changing from going uphill to downhill.
If you walking sideways on a hill rather than going straight up, it is helpful to keep the uphill side pole at a shorter length than the downhill side.
Once you are happy with the height of your poles, it is a great idea to mark with a permanent marker so you can quickly adjust the poles to that exact height every time.