Which Trekking Pole Tips Should You Use?

Got a new pair of trekking poles and not sure what tips to use? Don’t worry. In this article, I will show the different types of trekking pole tips and their intended uses. While there are no strict rules when it comes to using trekking pole tips, knowing how and when to use these tips will allow you to hike safely in all 4 seasons on a variety of surfaces.

There are three different types of tips that you will find on trekking poles:

  1. Carbide tips
  2. Rubber tips
  3. Rubber feet

Now, I am going to explain each of these tips and their purposes.

Carbide Tips

If durability is your primary concern, buy trekking poles with carbide tips. They are super durable and can withstand abuse during long backpacking trips. They are made of tungsten carbide, which is a hard and rugged material that resists wear and tear well. With these tips, you get an optimal grip on surfaces like rocks, dirt, and ice. Carbide tips also provide additional grip and support when you are ascending steep inclines. They also help to anchor your trekking poles in the ground and prevent you from slipping or sliding down steep terrain. Finally, carbide tips also help maintain your footing on icy surfaces.

LEKI Carbide Flextip

LEKI Carbide Flextip

LEKI Carbide Flextip comes standard on most LEKI trekking poles. It is also offered as a replacement should you wear down the carbide tip or if there is any breakage in that plastic tip. It is a really easy tip to use as a press-fit design. So to remove the old tip, you can either soak it in hot water and pull it off or use a wrench to tap the old tip off of the trekking pole and simply press the new one back on.

You’ve got a little carbide end down at the bottom and that’s going to allow for easy traction on trails or dirt. There is also a threaded portion on the tip that allows for use with different LEKI baskets. LEKI also offers a number of different baskets for anything from hiking to deep powder skiing. Those baskets are sold separately. These tips are sold in pairs for easy replacement for your pair of trekking poles.

Pros: Very durable, provides grip on a variety of surfaces, easily digs into hard surfaces to prevent you from slipping

Cons: Produce noise and vibration, can poke a hole in your backpacking pack

Best use(s): Hiking or trekking on rough and rocky terrain where there is risk of slipping or losing your footing is high.

See the LEKI Carbide Flextip

Rubber Tips

Rubber tips are small and flexible caps that you can place over the end of your trekking poles. They are typically made of silicone and provide extra grip on slippery terrain. They are the most used type of trekking pole tips because they work in most situations. These tips absorb shock and vibration a little better than carbon tips. Rubber tips are also less damaging to trails because they don’t dig holes. So, you can use them in sensitive environmental areas. They are also great if you are storing or carrying your poles in a backpack. Finally, they don’t make much sound and vibration while hiking.

LEKI Rubber Walking Tips

LEKI Rubber Walking Tips

LEKI rubber walking is a very durable tip that is designed to go over or press onto the standard LEKI Carbide Flextip. It is going to provide improved grip on improved surfaces like pavement or asphalt or on rocky terrain that might be slick or slippery with that standard carbide tip. It’s very easy to use it. Just presses on and when it eventually wears down, you can simply pull it off to replace it. They are sold in pairs so you get to with a purchase. They can be easily replaced when you’ve eventually worn them out.

Pros: Don’t make sound and vibration, less damaging to trails, protects your carbide tips

Cons: You can easily lose your rubber tips on the trail if they are not properly attached to the end of your trekking poles.

Best use(s): Pavement, concrete, delicate terrain, urban and sensitive environments

See the LEKI Rubber Walking Tips

Rubber Feet

The final type of tip is the rubber feet. They look like a pair of small boots. These tips provide forward propulsion and improve stability on the trail. It increases your pace and momentum without losing your balance on the trail. They offer extra grip and absorb shock and vibration and can be used on hard surfaces such as paved roads and rocky terrain. Like the rubber tips, they provide a good grip on slippery and icy terrain and they are also less damaging to the trails. So you can use them in sensitive environmental areas.

LEKI Rubber Fitness Walking Feet

LEKI Rubber Fitness Walking Feet

LEKI Rubber Fitness Walking Tip is a very well-contoured tip that is designed to be used during athletic activities such as Nordic Walking. It is a vulcanized rubber material and it has a very wide base so it gives you really good traction, grip, and stability for use during those activities. You can certainly use them for other activities such as walking on improved surfaces as well. It is an easy press-fit system. You just simply press it onto LEKI’s standard carbide flex tips and you get really good flexible traction with that tip. It is also sold in pairs and can easily be replaced when they are worn out.

Pros: Extra grip on rock slippery and icy terrain, less damaging to the trails, less noisy, and protects your carbon tips

Cons: Like the rubber tips, they can also be lost on the trail if they are not properly attached

Best use(s): Nordic Walking, and on slippery and icy surfaces where extra grip is needed.

See the LEKI Rubber Fitness Walking Feet

I hope this article helped you decide between different pole tips.