You can buy Nordic poles online or in retail sporting goods stores at prices starting around $100 a pair. Exel, one of the original creators of Nordic walking, remains the top source for carbon composite poles. The types of Nordic poles are virtually endless, with options related to weight (light or heavy), materials (aluminum or carbon fiber), length (some are adjustable or fixed, while others are telescoping for easier packing), wrist straps and their release mechanisms, grips (many are ergonomically designed to reduce hand and wrist fatigue), tips (rubber for paved walkways and spikes for trails), and more.
To find the right pole length for you, first convert your height to centimeters (multiply height in inches by 2.54). Next, multiply your height (in centimeters) by 0.68 (the length of your poles should be about 68% of your total height). Pole lengths are graded in 5-centimeter intervals, so round your calculated length to the nearest 5 centimeters. As an example, the ideal pole length for a person who is 6 feet tall (182 cm) would be 123 cm. (182 x 0.68). The nearest 5-centimeter pole length available is either 120 cm or 125 cm. When choosing the right pole length, remember that your elbow should bend approximately 90 degrees when you are holding the grip with the pole tip on the ground.
While the technique needed for Nordic walking may take a little while to get the hang of, the overall benefits of the sport far outweigh the learning curve. Whether you want to burn more calories with less exertion or you just want to try something new, Nordic walking is an effective way to get in shape—and enjoy the outdoors!