Clothing, Apparel, and Accessories Reviews

Gear Review: Black Diamond Trail Pro Shock Trekking Poles

I entered the world of backpacking and hiking through the window of trail running. I think this is the reason I was such a late adopter of trekking poles. I had seen countless hikers using them, and heard time and time again how they can save my back and knees from abuse over long hauls…I just didn’t want to believe it. I thought they would slow me down, and I didn’t like the idea of having my hands occupied while moving around mountains. One day after finishing a 20+ mile hike, I could feel some tenderness in my knees. This started to occur whenever I hit long stretches of downhill during hiking and backpacking trips. With that, I went to REI and purchased my first pair of trekking poles, the Black Diamond Trail Pro Shock.


Support Trail to Peak by purchasing these poles at Amazon using the links below:

Men’s Trail Pro Shock | Women’s Trail Pro Shock


Trekking Poles
Trekking Poles

I’ve put hundreds of miles on these poles since I purchased them last year and have nothing but good things to say. I opted for the rubberized foam grip instead of the cork version. I don’t hike in cold weather, so I’m not sure if this is an advantage or not. I can say that I don’t use gloves, and these grips are very comfortable in my hand. Having said that, I do have callused mitts from all of the Olympic lifting I do, so this could just be for me. The wrist straps are adjustable and very comfortable as well. They don’t slip, and dry very quickly for days when sweat is running down the arms to the wrist. The grips are starting to show some signs of wear, but nothing unexpected, and aside from the “L” “R” lettering on the hand straps wearing off, they perform like new as well.

Hand Grips
Hand Grips

I’m not sure if the shock system is a plus or not, as I’ve never had poles without this. I can say it may be a point of fatigue down the road. If I hold the handle grip straight out in front of me and wobble the pole like a rapier, I can feel and hear a bit of shift where the shock meets the handle. I’ve been very hard on these poles and this doesn’t affect their performance, but there are times when I’m annoyed by this movement.

One of my favorite things about these is the ease of having the flick lock system to collapse the poles. This makes them very easy to travel with and also makes them very easy to stow away on my pack when they’re not needed on the trail. I’ve only had to tighten the screws on the flick locks once, as a few hundred miles had loosened things up a bit. Another benefit of quickly adjustable poles is being able to change things on varying terrain. There are times on the downhill sections of a hike where I like my trekking poles a little longer. With the flick lock, this takes less than a minute. Each section of the pole is marked with CM readings, so it’s very easy to reset your poles once they’ve been collapsed.


Support Trail to Peak by purchasing these poles at Amazon using the links below:

Men’s Trail Pro Shock | Women’s Trail Pro Shock


Flick Lock
Flick Lock

I would highly recommend these poles for anyone thinking about using trekking poles for the first time. I’ve put at least 500 miles on these, and I’d wager that they’ll last at least another 500. View the gallery below to see the trekking poles in action!

 

I'm Drew, creator of Trail to Peak. Trail to Peak brings content to life on the web through breath-taking photography and captivating video. I launched Trail to Peak in 2014 with a goal to inspire readers to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors. I have traveled to 19 countries, walked Camino de Santiago, hiked the John Muir Trail, trekked through the Andes of Peru, and am constantly seeking new adventures in my home state of California. Joining me on my weekly adventures is my partner, Julia, our son, Owen, and our two goldendoodles, Isla and Lilly.

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