I’m on record as a huge fan of trekking poles. I can’t count how many stumbles I’ve avoided on the John Muir Trail because of them. That doesn’t mean that they don’t have certain disadvantages.
One of those disadvantages is that they take a toll on your hands, particularly if you use them properly (i.e., if you slip your hands up through the loops so that the pressure applied to the poles is transferred to the meaty part of your hands and your wrists, not your fingers). The straps can rub against bare skin, the fore-and-aft swing of the poles can irritate the inside of your palm, and your hands will be horizontal—thus exposing them to sunburn. Read More.