According to several studies, trekking poles reduce the impact on knee joints and leg muscles, especially when going downhill, by between 20-25%. Having two extra points of contact with the ground, they significantly increase your traction and help with balance on loose surfaces and snow/ice.
Trekking poles allow your arms to help propel you forward and upward, and help improve your upright posture and breathing. Walking with poles can also help you establish and maintain a consistent rhythm, which can increase your speed.
|My new trekking poles, 80% carbon fiber,
They can help to defend yourself against attacks from dogs and other wild animals.
My new ones will be here on Monday afternoon, so I'll be able to report back on my first impressions then and, later on, write about my feelings on their long-term usefulness.