Cheap nordic walking poles

Marcie and I are big-time walkers. We do 2 walks a day, 2.5 miles each time — 5 miles a day, 150 miles/month, probably around 1700-1800 miles a year. We run through a lot of walking shoes.

The new addition to our routine is walking with poles — aka “Nordic Walking” — which seems pretty nifty. It helps us old geezers navigate icy sidewalks in the winter and gives us a little bit better workout. Here’s a pretty good writeup of the whole Nordic Walking thing if you’re interested.

But oh my, those poles they’re using are darned expensive — ranging from $60 to $200+ per pair. My “cheap is good” instincts were aroused and we decided to make our own. Heading over to the used cross-country ski-pole place, we bagged some nice bamboo poles for a big $6 a pair. Heading over to REI, Marcie got replacement tips for walking poles for $9 a pair. So we’re talking $15/pair for stuff.

The making is easy. You need to know how long to make the poles. I came across a formula (somewhere, can’t find the link) that says that the length of the pole should be about 70% of your height. I used a hack saw to cut off the poles (sometimes there are metal gizmo’s in the middle of those used poles — those would be tough on a wood saw). A little detergent applied to the “replacement” rubber tips to slip them on to the bamboo pole and we’re good to go.

Yeah yeah, I know — these poles don’t have shock absorbent neutrino power subsystems with articulated carbon fiber folding landing gear modules. But they work fine for us.