4 Best Trail Running Poles in 2024

Reviewed by: Ernesto Mendez (Orthopedic Clinical Specialist)

Trail running poles have become an essential tool for many runners. They offer support and balance on more challenging terrains. It doesn’t matter if we are talking about steep inclines, rocky paths, or long-distance runs – the best train running poles can make a colossal difference.

Running on the same type of terrain can get boring. Sure, it’s fun when you first start, but as you build endurance, you’ll probably want something more challenging. If you’re a creature of habit, a change of scenery can do wonders for your motivation, and it can make you enjoy your runs more.

LEKI Ultratrail FX.One running poles

In a HURRY? Skip to Our Pick

LEKI Ultratrail FX.One the epitome of performance and innovation. With exceptional grip, lightweight build, and convenient features like the quick connect/release system, these poles offer unbeatable support on the go. Don’t miss out on the top-tier choice for your running adventures.

And while the concept of using poles might be straightforward, there’s still a huge market with lots of options to choose from. And it’s not easy to identify the correct ones to suit your needs in the best way possible.

Running  with the best running poles

Top 4 Best Trail Running Poles Reviewed

  1. LEKI Ultratrail FX.One – Top Pick
  2. Black Diamond Distance Z Folding Trekking Poles – Portability
  3. Trekology Trek-Z Collapsible Hiking & Trekking Poles – Best Budget Trekking Pole For Running
  4. BOBVILLAGE Carbon Fiber Adjustable Trekking Poles – Reliable And Sturdy

We’ve researched, used, and tested various models to bring you the trekking pole reviews of the best ones available.

So let’s dive right into it and let’s conquer some rough trails!

ProductAverage scoreMaterialDurabilityPrice/QualityComfortWeight
LEKI Ultratrail FX.One4.
Black Diamond Distance Z Folding Trekking Poles4.
Trekology Trek-Z Collapsible Poles4.
BOBVILLAGE Carbon Fiber Poles4.

1. LEKI Ultratrail FX.One Trail Running Poles

Top Pick

Leki ultratrail fxone trail running poles

LEKI Ultratrail FX.One Running Poles

These foldable poles offer unmatched portability, and their innovative modular carbon construction strikes the perfect balance between support and weight. Though slightly pricier, their top-tier quality justifies the investment for the best running experience.











Overall Score:

Leki ultratrail fxone trail running poles

These fun-looking running poles have a lot more to offer than just their pretty looks. They’re the absolute best running poles out of all the ones I’ll be reviewing today. Let’s jump right in so you can see why I like them so much.

  • Material: Carbon fiber
  • Type: Folding
  • Price/Quality: Great value for money
  • Comfort: Good
  • Extended Length: 51 Inches (105 cm)
  • Product Benefits: Runners
  • Weight: 0.4 lbs. per pole
  • Features: Air channels and quick-release button

The Leki Trekking Pole Shark Grip stands out for its remarkable performance. It offers impressive grip and effective power transfer. Additionally, these poles are exceptionally lightweight and equipped with air channels. The straps feature breathable mesh that prevents hand sweating.

The quick connect/release system is such a smart addition. You know how annoying it is to get out of the straps when you need to tie your shoe or drink some water? Well, this system allows you to do that so much easier.

With their convenient foldability, these poles can be effortlessly carried wherever you go. The innovative modular carbon construction is truly exceptional, providing the poles with the ideal balance of rigidity for support, yet maintaining a lightness that ensures weight is never a concern.

They are a bit pricier than the rest of the poles on my list, but if you want the absolute best, it’s worth it to pay a little bit more money.

Pros of Leki Trekking Pole:

  • Air channels
  • Easy to fold
  • Stiff and lightweight
  • Shark quick connect/release system

Cons of Leki Trekking Pole:

  • Pricey compared to the other poles on the list

2. Distance Z Folding Trekking Poles Black Diamond


Black Diamond distance z folding trekking poles

Black Diamond Distance Z Folding Trekking Poles

These Poles are crafted from robust 7075 aluminum shafts, they effortlessly blend durability with lightweight design. The EVA foam grip, both breathable and moisture-wicking, offers comfort and sustainability. A remarkable balance of form and function for trail enthusiasts.











Overall Score:

Black Diamond distance z folding trekking poles

The Black Diamond Distance Z Folding Trekking Poles are exceptional, narrowly missing the top spot in our list of best poles for trail running. Their design and functionality truly stand out, making them a top choice for many trail runners.

  • Material: Plastic
  • Size (fixed length or adjustable): Fixed
  • Type: Foldable
  • Price/Quality: Good value for money
  • Comfort: Good
  • Length: 110 cm (you can also choose an option of 120 cm, 130 cm)
  • Product Benefits: Runners
  • Weight: 0.6 lbs. (300 grams)
  • Features: Interchangeable tech tip

The Black Diamond Distance Z Folding Trekking poles, crafted from durable 7075 aluminum shafts, strike a golden balance between sturdy and lightweight.

The lightweight EVA foam grip is both grippy and breathable and feels very comfortable in your hand due to its moisture-wicking properties. The grip is also crafted from environmentally friendly recycled materials. Therefore, this feature not only ensures a comfortable grip but also aligns with sustainable practices.

I appreciate the inclusion of interchangeable tech tips; you get carbide and rubber tips in the package, and they both fit perfectly on these poles. They’re quick and easy to swap out, thereby ensuring swift adaptability to varied terrains if required.

The poles are available in 4 different lengths, so, even though adjustable poles would be better, you’re sure to find the length that works best for you among the four that are offered.

Running with the best trail poles - Black Diamond


  • Interchangeable tips (carbide and rubber)
  • EVA foam grip
  • Moisture-wicking


  • The plastic is not as supportive as carbon fiber would be

3. Collapsible Hiking & Trekking Poles Trekology Trek-Z

Best Budget Trekking Pole for Running

trekology trek z collapsible hiking trekking poles

Trekology Trek-Z Collapsible Poles For Hiking & Trekking

These adjustable poles come with five terrain-specific tips, perfect for any trail. The sleek, compact design allows folding down to 15 inches, making them highly portable. The adjustable length and easy-to-use metal stopper enhance their usability. Unbelievable value for an unbeatable price – an impressive addition to any adventure!











Overall Score:

trekology trek z collapsible hiking trekking poles

My budget pick offers crazy good quality for an affordable price. It comes with five tips included (each engineered for a different type of terrain). These poles are adjustable and supportive no matter how rough your trail is.

  • Material: Aluminum
  • Size (fixed length or adjustable): Adjustable
  • Type: Foldable
  • Price/Quality: Excellent value for money
  • Comfort: Good
  • Extended Length: 125 cm
  • Product Benefits: Runners
  • Weight: 0.65 lbs per pole
  • Features: 5 tips included

These poles prove you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a great piece of equipment. The 5 tips are all great quality, except the carbide one, which seems to show signs of use faster than the other 4.

They’re made with 100% air-space grade 7075 aluminum, which is the same material used on aircraft!

The design is not only sleek but also compact, allowing these poles to fold down to a mere 15 inches.

This means you'll have no trouble finding room to bring them along on your adventures.
What's even better, the length is adjustable, which I always find to be a fantastic feature.
Securing the desired length is a breeze thanks to the handy metal stopper. Honestly, I'm quite amazed at how these manage to provide so much value at such an affordable price.


  • 5 quickly swappable tips included for different terrain types
  • Made of 7075 Aluminum ensuring durability while being lightweight
  • Great build quality


  • The carbide tip shows signs of use faster than the other tips

4. Carbon Fiber Adjustable Trekking Poles by BOBVILLAGE

Reliable And Sturdy

Bobvillage carbon fiber adjustable trekking poles

BOBVILLAGE Carbon Fiber Adjustable Trekking Poles

These running poles are easily adjustable for varied terrains, they feature padded straps and hand-shaped grips for comfort. The shock springs absorb ground shocks for a smoother trekking experience. Despite added weight from shock absorbers, their comfort and joint protection make them an ideal choice for runners.









Value for Money:


Expert Score:

Bobvillage carbon fiber adjustable trekking poles

Another ultra running trekking pole that’s made of carbon fiber! Carbon fiber is my favorite material for poles because it’s incredibly durable, and these poles are very reliable and sturdy.

  • Material: Carbon fiber
  • Size (fixed length or adjustable): Adjustable
  • Type: Collapsible
  • Price/Quality: Good value for money
  • Comfort: Good
  • Extended Length: 47.2 Inches (120 cm)
  • Product Benefits: Runners
  • Weight: 0.8 lbs. (package weight)
  • Features: Hand-shaped EVA grips

Another thing I really like seeing – adjustability! Adjustability is dar from simply fitting different heights. It is also about adapting to varied terrains and inclines while ensuring optimal support. And these trekking poles can be smoothly and very easily adjusted.

The straps are padded, and the grips are hand-shaped, designed to align with the natural contours of your hand. This reduces the strain from prolonged use. So you already know these poles are very comfortable. I was worried that the padding may contribute to excess sweating, but the straps are surprisingly breathable, and I don’t notice my hands sweating any more than they usually would.

The best thing was saved for last – the shock springs! The BOBVILLAGE poles absorb shocks from the ground really well, making for a smoother trekking experience. While the added shock absorbers add a bit to the weight, the enhanced comfort, and reduced strain on your joints make these poles a fantastic choice for any serious trekkers.


  • Absorb shock from the ground
  • Made of durable carbon fiber
  • Padded straps and hand-shaped grips


  • Slightly heavier than the others

5 Things to look for in trail running poles: A complete guide

There’s a vast trail-running pole market out there. And with so many options, it may prove difficult to find the best one for you and your needs. Here are a couple of tips on what to look for, which will help point you in the right direction.

1. Grip

Anything ergonomically designed is what you want since these provide enhanced stability and comfort by molding your hand’s shape for reduced fatigue.

2. Material

The material your poles are made of needs to be sturdy and supportive, but also lightweight. You don’t want to sacrifice one for the other. Carbon fiber, aluminum, and plastic are always good choices.

3. Straps

You also need to take the design into account — the quick connect/release system is what’s best because you won’t need to take the straps off if you need to drink some water or anything that you need your hands to be free for.

4. Pole Length

If you can find a good pair of running poles that are adjustable, you’ve hit the jackpot. There are a lot of quality poles that are not adjustable and that still work great, but anything that’s adjustable is always better.

5. Wrist Straps

Padded or not — this is really up to you. I find that padded ones are more comfortable but be careful of thick padding that can make your hands sweat. Look for breathable materials and light padding.

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4 Benefits of trail running with poles

When asked, most people would imagine old people using poles on their trail runs. But this goes beyond seniors needing extra support in their outdoor activities. Here’s four main benefits which runners of all ages can enjoy.

1. Less Impact on Joints

Long runs or running downhill can put a lot of stress on your joints; that’s where the poles come in. They take away some of the impact away from your legs, and because of that, your hips, knees, and ankles go through a lot less stress.

2. More Stability and Better Balance

This is probably the main reason people use running poles and, if you don’t have a lot of experience with them, you may think this is all they do. Essentially, poles give you extra points of contact with the ground and help in preventing falls, trips, etc.

3. Better Performance When Running Uphill

Running uphill can be really difficult, especially if you’re new to running. Consider using poles if this is the case, because they propel you, make you use your upper body strength to push through going uphill, and save energy.

4. More Endurance

Because poles make you use your upper body, your workout is more balanced, and that builds endurance. The more muscle groups included — the more you build endurance.

How to run with trail poles correctly: 7 Tips

Like anything else, this takes some getting used to. Running poles are fantastic, but you need to use them correctly, or you won’t be getting all the benefits.

1. Slow Start

Short runs are where it’s at — if you’re just starting with using running poles, do short runs and, as you get more used to them, start running for longer periods.

2. Correct Length

Poles have different lengths, and you need to find what works best for you. To do this, take your poles and stand with them by your side (your arms should be at a 90°angle). Now, adjust the length.

3. Grip

You should have a firm hold on your poles, but don’t hold them too tightly like a maniac; your wrists need to be able to move naturally.

4. Planting

Poles should be a bit behind your feet when you plant them. As you run, push them slightly backward so they can propel you.

5. Running Uphill

Your poles need to be adjusted to a shorter length when you’re running uphill. Engage your core and arms as you run.

6. Running Downhill

When running downhill, your poles need to be longer. Longer poles support your knees and ankles and help with stability.

7 Practice Makes Perfect

Running with poles may seem a little weird or even uncomfortable when you start, but keep practicing. Nothing comes overnight and, as you keep using your running poles, you’ll start wondering how you ever managed to run without them.

Practice running with poles in mountain

Frequently Asked Questions About running poles

Are trail running poles worth it?

Yes — trail running poles are absolutely worth it. They’re worth the money you invest in them, and the time it takes you to get used to them. They help you to be more stable, decrease stress on your joints and make it easier to run uphill.

Do you need trekking poles for trail running?

They are not necessary but can do a lot of good — especially when it comes to longer runs. It depends on what you like, but trekking poles for running make running easier on your joints, help with stability, and help with running uphill.

What is the difference between hiking and trail running poles?

Their design and purpose are what makes them different. Hiking poles are (usually) adjustable, heavier, and more supportive. Trail running poles are lighter, shorter, and designed for faster movements.

Final Thoughts On Running Poles

That is it for the trekking pole reviews! Leki running poles are an absolute winner in their category and do absolutely everything a pair of poles need to do.

Which one of the best trekking poles for trail running you liked? Have you tried any from my list, or do you have something else to recommend? Do you think running poles are a gimmick, or do they actually help?

Leave any thoughts and tips!

Running off! (As soon as I grab my Leki poles!)

Also read:


  1. Carbon Fiber // ScienceDirect: https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/materials-science/carbon-fiber
  2. The effects of downhill slope on kinematics and kinetics of the lower extremity joints during running // PubMed: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30497038/
  3. Effect of using poles on foot-ground kinetics during stance phase in trail running // ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/256835947_Effect_of_using_poles_on_foot-ground_kinetics_during_stance_phase_in_trail_running
  4. Do poles save energy during steep uphill walking? // ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/332644496_Do_poles_save_energy_during_steep_uphill_walking
  5. A Review of Biomechanical and Physiological Effects of Using Poles in Sports // PMC: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10135831/
  6. Do poles save energy during steep uphill walking? // PubMed: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31020400/

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One Comment

  1. There really aren’t that many good manufacturers of trail running poles, either the quality is poor, or they are heavy or uncomfortable. That’s why I chose Black Diamond for myself. Firstly, this is a well-known manufacturer specializing in the production of poles for training, running, hiking, secondly, they fold compactly and do not take up much space during transportation, and thirdly, they fit me perfectly in height.

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