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I am taking up hiking again on weekends, and also trying to do more walking to get out of the house of an evening.

I regularly see people doing Nordic Walking in my neighbourhood, and I also see the benefit of trekking poles when on varied terrain (Bruce Trail and the Niagara Escarpement in Ontario, Canada).

REI has an interesting article on Trekking Poles, and in the article it states:

Nordic walking poles are a modified version of trekking poles. REI does not currently carry poles designed for Nordic walking.

But it gives no actual details what the modifications are.

So: how is a nordic pole different than a trekking pole? Can I at all realistically use one for both purposes, and what will I be trading off if I do?

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It is my understanding that the Nordic or Exercise Poles are for walking fast and the grip is designed to release quickly forward in stride with a glove like fit and usually have either a rubber or paw type tip. The Trekking or Hiking poles are designed for pushing slightly down on to take pressure off of your lower body with a lighter thinner strap and have a tougher tip for rocks and rough terrain.

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