I’ve always questioned the value of trekking poles. To be honest, I’ve always thought of them as a somewhat goofy-looking fashion statement. Last year I began to reconsider, though. With a big increase in hiking and especially hiking over elevation, I started looking for something to ease my knee pain on hikes with lots of downhill. So, I gave them a try, and after ~40 miles on trail with them, they’re now essential kit for me. Bottom line up front: If you’re a banged-up, high-mileage model like me – and don’t want to give up hiking – you might benefit significantly from hiking with trekking poles.