At the same time, some have questioned the durability of 100% carbon Nordic walking poles, saying that they are unnecessarily delicate.
Not wanting to express an opinion on the subject, before running extensive tests, I have waited until reaching the 1,000-mile mark with my Swix CT2-NW 014, 100% carbon poles.
I can now report with a completely clear conscience that the poles have performed just great!
I find myself using them for almost every workout, rather than switching to other models, theoretically better suited for certain applications.
The CT2′s have of course acquired a few cosmetic dings and scratches, but even after using them for over 1,000 miles in all kinds of conditions – from light, to heavy pavement Nordic walking, to bushwacking in forests and meadows, to venturing into the mountains, where traditional hiking poles would normally be used – the CT2 NW 014′s have performed very much to my satisfaction and are still in a very fine shape.
This is not to say that any pole cannnot be damaged, or even broken, but according to my own experience and to our customers’ – it bears pointing out that the Swix CT2 NW 014′s are the bestellers in our on-line store – I have not heard of any problems whatsoever up to this point.
In addition, the new and improved rubber knobs on the Swix Twist&Go tips on the CT2′s have lasted me from April 11, to August 23, 2006. If you feel like doing the math (in my Nordic Walking Diary) that would translate into many hundreds of miles. Very durable indeed! Quite an improvement over the older, smaller rubber knobs on pavement.
If you feel more comfortable with composite (carbon/fiberglass) models, both the CT3 and the CT4 models have a lot going for them. They are just a little bit (but not much) heavier than the CT2′s, but swing just as well and carry a smaller price tag.
For aluminum pole fans, we have the Swix CT5 093 poles. Made of high-grade aluminum alloy, the CT5 is a two-piece adjustable model, equally suitable for every-day Nordic walking, travel, or even hiking. Not quite as light as the carbon, or composite kinds, but still an excellent and durable pole, with unmatched versatility and it swings very well. In addition it uses the same excellent, Swix, Salomon patent Nordic walking straps, as the rest of our lineup.
And it is worth noting that proper straps are an important difference between Nordic walking poles and hiking poles.