View Full Version : Pole tips

01-06-2003, 04:36
Just got my first set of Leki poles, Think I should get the rubber tips? I did see a lot of big divets in the trail last year, I assume this will lead to trail erosion.

SGT Rock
01-06-2003, 05:19
If they actually cause errosion is a big debate, or it can be. What isn't debated is the fact that they can scar up the rocks in places where the footbed is all rock.

I use them because it makes the poles quieter, especially on rocky ground. It also prevents them from scewering a bunch of leaves and gives them better traction on rocky surfaces. It does reduce the traction in mud some, but you just have to learn a different method of planting them. I also superglued mine on about 2 years ago so I wouldn't loose them.

01-06-2003, 05:25
actually most of the scratches are from crampon usage, so I hear....

01-06-2003, 08:17
I just went to Leki poles for my last week-long section hike in October. Prior to this trip, I did a 12-mile shakedown with the rubber tips on. I was walking on gently rolling terrain. I ended up removing the tips after 4 miles and was much more impressed with using the poles.

During my October trip, I brought the rubber tips but never used them. It would've been great to have them on the rocky sections, where the metal tips tend to skitter over the rock, but the central Virginia section I was on didn't have overly much rock. I might reconsider if I was doing Pennsylvania or the Whites.

I'm sure that Leki will someday make a $250/pair model with kryptonite tips that retract into a rubber housing.;)

01-06-2003, 09:39
I recently bought some rubber tips for my Komperdel poles. Turned out that they stayed on well and could be inserted and removed as necessary. Rubber was nice for rock and roadwalking, metal tips better for dirt, mud, and leaves. I hadn't tried rubber tips before assuming that they would fall off constantly.

I believe that most rock scratches on trails are due to pole tips. They only appeared a few years ago when poles became popular. Crampons of course have been in use for decades, and no one walks on rocks with crampons on purpose (though in a mixed rock and ice situations, you may have to).

01-06-2003, 09:51
I have both rubber and carbide tips for my Leki Makalus. I never use the rubber tips. Call me a nature destroyer, but I feel the carbide tips bite into rock & wood much better than the rubber, and help prevent slippage. I do hate clanking them together every 2 minutes in fall though to remove the leaves...

On another note, I feel that the anti-shock gas/spring system is absolutely useless, adds to the weight, and provides more of a chance for equipment failure. My poles weigh 22oz together. I'm considering a swap to non-metal, non-antishock, lite-weight MSR Carbon-Fiber poles which weigh just under 17oz a pair. I'm in no rush though. My Leki poles do fine for what I need.

01-06-2003, 12:19
RH, instead of clanging poles together to get rid of leaves and scaring away all the wildlife, I tried to position and time my footfalls to just nip the edge of the stack of leaves while I lifted the pole. I'm sure I looked like a fool sometimes, especially when I stepped on the pole itself, but it was something to distract me! :D

01-06-2003, 12:52
I always used rubber tips on my Leki's UNTIL the day I lost traction on a wet rock and almost bit the dust over a cliff. The tips promptly got removed, trashed, and cursed out. I'm sticking with the carbide tips - contrary to what most people have said re: rubber tips v/s carbide on rocks, I've found the opposite to be true, I get better traction with carbide.

Take care,

01-06-2003, 13:05
I had the rubber tips on my poles (REI, actually made by Komperdel) for the first couple of days. They kept coming off and a family who was out for a week kept catching up to me and would give my tips back. Ended up super gluing them on (Thanks Homebrew!) and they stayed on until just outside of Grayson. I ended up pulling the other one off. But then I ended up loosing one the metal tips soon after.

I was fine with or without the tips, but I think I will leave the tips off this year as it works better for my tent set up. (I use my hiking poles as my tent poles as well.)

01-06-2003, 20:21
I agree with kythruhiker, carbide tips give much more traction on rock...The main reason Leki and other pole manufacturers use carbide is for rock. There really isn't any other benefit for carbide on a pole other than ice, and rubber tips were initially made for city use. I don't use rubber tips (I know I am a terrible person).