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Do I need gloves if I am using a Trekking Pole

Camino(s) past & future
2025
#1
Should Trekkers that use Trekking Poles wear gloves to avoid Blistering or rashes caused by gripping the Poles? I was thinking it similar to holding a golf club and have experienced blisters and skin tears due to a tight grip and excessive sweating of the hands. What do you say?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
#2
I use gloves only to keep my hands warm. Most people don't wear gloves, although I have seen a few who wear them as protection from the sun. I would say that you should not be gripping the pole(s) hard enough to cause problems. However, it is certainly possible that a few people might need to wear gloves to avoid skin problems.
 
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Anamiri

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
#3
I've never used gloves with mine, although with my fair skin I probably should wear the sun protection gloves.
 
Camino(s) past & future
English Camino from Ferrol 2017
SCD to Finisterre/Muxia 2018
#8
The problem with putting your hands through the straps is, if you trip, as my wife did, you cannot easily get your hands out in front of you to stop a painful connection with the ground , as my wife did ! One badlly bruised shoulder resulted.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances April 2018
#10
Considering the time I walked (early April) I felt that it was necessary to bring some gloves. This ended up being a good thing as it was rainy/cold/snowy. I used my gloves (really glove liners) every day for most of my Camino. During the last couple of days I switched to my “sun gloves” as it had warmed up a bit. My poles have rubber grips which I thought could lead to roughed up hands after daily use. “Mother says you can always tell a lady by her hands.” ;)

I have since bought a new pair of poles with cork grips to see if I like them better.

As always, YMMV, hike your own hike and Buen Camino!
 

jl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances('05, '07), Aragonese ('05), del Norte / Primitivo ('09), Via Tolosana (Toulouse '05), Via Podiensis (Le Puy '07), Via Lemovicensis (Troyes '09), VF ('12), Winter Camino ('13/'14) Cammino d'Assisi ('14) Jakobseweg (Leipzig - Paris '15) San Salvador/Norte ('15) Ignaciano ('16) Invierno ('16)
#11
I use Pacer Poles and I always use cyling gloves / mitts. They cover the top of my hand, but there is nothing on the palm of the hand. With Pacer Poles I feel there is a need to protect from the sun - hence my use of the "gloves". I bought these from the anti cancer store in Australia.

Interestingly, I am often told "the sun is not as hot in Europe". I am currently coming into the final month of a four month journey on the Via Romea Germanica. I have worn the same long sleeved shirt (to protect from sun) every walking day of that journey. It has a UPF number (ex Officio), but now it is not a uniform colour - it is striped. The sun has faded, markedly, the area exposed all day, but the parts hidden by my back pack, the straps etc remain the original colour. Added to that, I hug the shade when walking ad use my hands free solar umbrella. Doing that to my shirt, imagine what damage the sun does to the skin! As my shirt has faded, I have got into the habit of putting sunblock on underneath it each morning as an added precaution.
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#13
I use Pacer Poles and I always use cyling gloves
I was thinking more about having hands trapped in straps if you fall, but gloves are good sun protection and quite useful on cold mornings. Not so useful when it gets hot and sweaty...
 

tillyjones

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances June 2015
VDLP May 2017
del Norte Sept 2018
#14
It's a valid thought. I think a couple things make it a bit different than a golf club. Definately using the straps allows you to loosen your grip at times. Also you don't need as firm a grip as with a golf club except when truly relying on them to support your weight i.e. when on steep hills. Also, mostly the precise grip doesn't matter, so I vary my grip a lot. Sometimes I have my thumb on top, sometimes i have my whole palm on top, sometimes I hold the shaft, sometimes I'm barely gripping and just using the strap to swing them thru.
 
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
#17
I wear microfiber fishing gloves when using my poles in sunny weather. They serve two purposes:

1. The gloves are rated at SPF 50. This protects my exposed hands and wrists from age spots and excess sunburn.

2. In warmer weather, my hands perspire. The microfiber gloves have grippy dots in the palms to help hold on to the poles. In addition, the microfiber material allows the sweat to evaporate.

It is true that they will also protect against blisters. But I view this as an intangible. If you are using the poles correctly, blisters should not occur.

In the past, I have obtained these gloves at online fishing retailers, like Bass Pro Shops or Cabelas. However, Outdoors Research also sells a full line of sun protective gloves. Check here:

http://www.outdoorresearch.com/us/en/gear-and-accessories/gloves-and-mittens/sun-sleeves-and-gloves/activeice-spectrum-sun-gloves/p/2501520740007?origin=Sun Sleeves & Gloves | Lightweight UV Protection | Outdoor Research

or

http://www.outdoorresearch.com/us/en/gear-and-accessories/gloves-and-mittens/sun-sleeves-and-gloves/activeice-spectrum-sun-gloves/p/2501520740007?origin=Sun Sleeves & Gloves | Lightweight UV Protection | Outdoor Research

Hope this helps.
 
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davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#18
Straps have been shown to increase the odds of serious injuries to the hands, wrists and arms when used with poles. I have provided first aid to more than one person who had a pole get wedged into a hole or between rocks and suffer injury when their hand was trapped by the straps. When used properly, straps do not make the trekking pole any more or less efficient to use. In fact, it is far more efficient to not have them when trying to get to water bottles, snacks, camera, etc from a pack while walking. It is also allow me to quickly transition from using my Leki poles, to not using them when I get to short sections where I don't want to use them. Heck, anytime you need your hands free, like for a quick 'nature break'. :)

A few years ago when Leki had me test a new model of pole, they had indicated that they were working on a quick release mechanism for the straps because of the injury issue. As far as I know, they still have not been able to solve the issue of the needed force to trigger a release because of the way people have been told to use the straps with the poles; it could cause undesired releases.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF (SJPdP to Santiago) March 15, 2018
#19
Should Trekkers that use Trekking Poles wear gloves to avoid Blistering or rashes caused by gripping the Poles? I was thinking it similar to holding a golf club and have experienced blisters and skin tears due to a tight grip and excessive sweating of the hands. What do you say?
I work fingerless trekking gloves every day with my poles, my husband did not. I guess it depends on your hands and how you grip.
 

Rainey

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Madrid 2018
San Salvador 2018
#21
I wore gloves for two reasons- sun protection and sweaty hands. I found in my first few days as the hours wore on my hands sweat and so I bought a pair of bicycling gloves and found it more comfortable. Some poke grips may Not cause this issue. But my hands did not burn.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#22
Straps have been shown to increase the odds of serious injuries to the hands, wrists and arms when used with poles. I have provided first aid to more than one person who had a pole get wedged into a hole or between rocks and suffer injury when their hand was trapped by the straps. When used properly, straps do not make the trekking pole any more or less efficient to use. In fact, it is far more efficient to not have them when trying to get to water bottles, snacks, camera, etc from a pack while walking. It is also allow me to quickly transition from using my Leki poles, to not using them when I get to short sections where I don't want to use them. Heck, anytime you need your hands free, like for a quick 'nature break'. :)

A few years ago when Leki had me test a new model of pole, they had indicated that they were working on a quick release mechanism for the straps because of the injury issue. As far as I know, they still have not been able to solve the issue of the needed force to trigger a release because of the way people have been told to use the straps with the poles; it could cause undesired releases.
Interesting Dave. I have not tried Leki poles.

Perhaps they have very different handles?

For most poles, not using the straps would be very uncomfortable and tiring I imagine. I have to say that if mine did not have straps I wouldn't bother using them. They are an essential part of the 'system' surely? They take all the weight.

I can't imagine using poles without straps. It would be a totally different technique and feel.
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#23
Interesting Dave. I have not tried Leki poles.

Perhaps they have very different handles?

For most poles, not using the straps would be very uncomfortable and tiring I imagine. I have to say that if mine did not have straps I wouldn't bother using them. They are an essential part of the 'system' surely? They take all the weight.

I can't imagine using poles without straps. It would be a totally different technique and feel.
Leki poles are a traditional pole, no different from most others. Actually the technique is the same without the straps. The leverage and unweighting come from the hands to pole through the grip. The straps should have little to do in that regard. :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#24
We must use poles in a very different way. My hands barely touch the grips/handles. Just a very light touch with a couple of fingers to guide them ( the poles). All the weight is on the strap. In fact it is really only the middle finger that touches the pole handle.

Without the straps, i would actually have to 'grip' the pole/handle. Using the straps, the pole handles/grips are 'almost' not required.

Maybe I'm using them incorrectly, but it works well for me, and i use them up, down and on the flat, all the way.
 
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Anamiri

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
#25
Leki poles are a traditional pole, no different from most others. Actually the technique is the same without the straps. The leverage and unweighting come from the hands to pole through the grip. The straps should have little to do in that regard. :)
I don't use the straps on mine really either, and the by-product bonus is my fingers and hands dont get swollen.
 
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
#26
Just an observation from some of the posts... If you are not using the straps, and not holding the poles firmly (not a death grip mind you) then you cannot realize the up to 25% weight transfer from your back and shoulders to the poles.

I do not profess to fully comprehend the bio-mechanics involved in this minor-miracle. But I can tell you from extensive experience that it DOES WORK. Using two poles in a smooth walking motion reduces stress and strain on my back, shoulders and hips.

When you bear down on the poles when moving forward, or descending a slope, significant weight is transferred to the poles. You can see this in the very slight warping or bowing of the poles under pressure / weight as you bear down.

There are a multitude of videos on You Tube that will show this benefit. Simply search on "How to use hiking poles."

Hope this helps.
 

Stivandrer

Perambulating & Curious. Rep stravaiging offender
Camino(s) past & future
I´ve got Camino plans until 2042,
- or till I fall flat on my face, whichever comes first !!
#27
The problem with putting your hands through the straps is, if you trip, as my wife did, you cannot easily get your hands out in front of you to stop a painful connection with the ground , as my wife did ! One badlly bruised shoulder resulted.
Put hand upwards through loop and then grip the handle, to avoid bruising and breaking of hands.

If you merely take hand through loops horizontally and take the poles, you will jeopardize your wrists for sure when and if falling. You will not be able to let go of the poles before hitting the ground w/ y hands..

try out both....

this procedure is stressed upon when teaching skiers...
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: September 24 - October 31 (2015); February/March (2019)
#28
Prior to my first Camino in 2015 I learned that if you're gripping trekking poles so tightly that you blister, you're holding them incorrectly. I loosened my grip and relied on the straps instead to bear the pressure. That made a huge difference. I will wear gloves when I walk next March and April, but that will be for warmth, not protection from blisters.
 

Chizuru

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2018)
#30
Should Trekkers that use Trekking Poles wear gloves to avoid Blistering or rashes caused by gripping the Poles? I was thinking it similar to holding a golf club and have experienced blisters and skin tears due to a tight grip and excessive sweating of the hands. What do you say?
I started using poles when I was on a 10-day walk in Japan. After one day I started getting blisters so I bought a pair of cycle gloves and have never had any more problems. They also provide some sun protection too.
 

zrexer

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014, 15,16 & 19 Camino Frances
2017 Camino Portuguese
2018 Camino Primitivo
#31
I wear the same fingerless padded gloves I use for cycling when at home. I wear gloves both for the sun protection and any chafing from the poles.
I grip my poles fairly firmly and I put enough pressure on them that my carbon fibre poles bow slightly as I load them up.
If I want to make time on a trail, I actually use a double pole plant, load the poles and then a couple of steps up to the poles. Might sound awkward, but if done correctly, you can maintain a fast pace for hours with little fatigue.
It is kind of like cross country skiiing, without the skii's!
 

Plataman

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances: (2009), (2013), Via de la Plata; (2016)
#32
I use gloves only to keep my hands warm. Most people don't wear gloves, although I have seen a few who wear them as protection from the sun. I would say that you should not be gripping the pole(s) hard enough to cause problems. However, it is certainly possible that a few people might need to wear gloves to avoid skin problems.
I have never used gloves, I like the shape and feel of cork handles of my Leki poles. Maybe the type of handle on the pole would influence whether gloves are needed.
 

Paul J W

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2002/3 and 2004/5)
Camino Ingles. (2008)
Camino Portuguese. (2009)
Camino del Norte (2008 and 2014)
Ruta de la Plata (2004)
Camino Primitivo. (2015)
Camino Mozarabe (2007)
"Tunnel" route (2016)
Camino del Salvador (projected: 2017)
#33
Do I need to wear socks if I wear shoes?
C’est comme vous voudrez!
 

Susan hopes

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
June 2014, June 2016
#34
I had never thought about using gloves until I started getting blisters or calluses in the webbing between my thumb and forefinger when using my poles. Since I work out and lift weights, I acquired a pair of padded fingerless gloves and thought I would try them out with my poles. The gloves worked brilliantly. They have now become a regular piece of my hiking gear.
 

Jodean

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
22 Sept. to 21 Oct. 2015, Pamplona to Santiago
6-23.04 Porto to Santiago 2018
17.09-30.09 CF 2018
#35
Have cork handles and don't wear gloves. No blisters, no sweating.
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#36
I have never used gloves, I like the shape and feel of cork handles of my Leki poles. Maybe the type of handle on the pole would influence whether gloves are needed.
I think it maybe more of a personal need and preference :) For example, I use Leki poles with cork handles, too. And while I can use the handles without my lightweight, finger-tipless gloves, I prefer the gloves. I do think that the handles on the Leki are very comfortable, though, and can understand why someone would be just fine without using gloves. :)
 

Podie1956

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to walk Primitivo (May 2019)
#37
I hike the Grand Canyon often and always use bicycle rider gloves (no fingers) with my Black Diamond hiking poles because I get blisters otherwise. I also appreciate the sun protection.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Arriving in Biarritz on 26th April 2018 for my first camino
#38
I usually wore gloves to keep my hands warm in the mornings with my poles but no issues with blisters etc... Just very tanned hands despite coating them in sunscreen!
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPD to Burgos
2017 Leon to Santiago
Pamplona to Santiago Mar. 2018
Burgos - SCDC (Oct 18)
#39
I usually go on the Camino at off times so I always wear gloves..mornings for sure are cold. I also sweat easily. I do not use the straps of the poles and have found my hands occasionally getting tender without the gloves. So yes, I find gloves helpful. I bring two pair..one lite and another a bit heavier for really cold weather.
 
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JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances
SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
Via de La Plata (spring, 2019)
#41
Hence the Pacer Pole!!!
Even when it was very warm, I always wore light gloves with my Pacer Poles, because my hands got sweaty. I never saw anybody else doing this, but I swear by the gloves.
 

ScaryB4Coffee

Put your feet up after walking. It's good for you.
Camino(s) past & future
Del Norte May/June (2016)
Frances September (2018)
#42
I wish I'd had waterproof gloves in the rain. The poles get very drippy as well as my hands outside the poncho.
 

Adhemar78

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014)
Via Francigena (Lucca to Rome) (2017)
Kumano Kodo (2018)
#43
I only tend to wear gloves when it is cold or wet when I am walking, so most of the time I just have my bare hands on the poles. I have had problems with sweaty hands when it has been warm but it hasn't occurred to me to wear gloves when this happens, as I just expect my hands would get hotter and more sweaty and that this would be a different sort of uncomfortable. Having said that, I do remember little calluses appearing on my hands at one point on the Camino from the poles, but most of the time this doesn't happen.
 

Zordmot

First timer Spring 2019
Camino(s) past & future
April-May 2019
#44
A cycling glove. It has padding between your hand and the pole. It will wick perspiration. It doesn’t get hot. It gives UV protection. If you fall, you don’t skin your hand.
 

zrexer

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014, 15,16 & 19 Camino Frances
2017 Camino Portuguese
2018 Camino Primitivo
#45
A cycling glove. It has padding between your hand and the pole. It will wick perspiration. It doesn’t get hot. It gives UV protection. If you fall, you don’t skin your hand.
I have used cycling (fingerless) gloves with my poles on all five of my Camino walks. They work very well. On cooler days I use light ski gloves.
 
#46
I wish I'd had waterproof gloves in the rain. The poles get very drippy as well as my hands outside the poncho.
I never wear gloves while using poles, unless it is raining. I used to have poles with cork handles, though, and they did get kind of yucky-sticky in the heat, but not any worse in the rain. But when it rains, I use gloves. I have walked with some waterproof gloves, but for the last decade or so have used lambswool gloves — at the suggestion of a Scottish pilgrim. I was skeptical, but I would now never go back to any synthetic material. Though the wool is not waterproof, obviously, it provides warmth that the synthetics do not, and believe me if you walk for 6-8 hours in a cold Galician rain, you will be grateful for the warmth.
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#47
I always take gloves, and use them when it is chilly regardless of whether I use poles (I always use poles, though). In the rainy season I take neoprene, but they are very hot in summer, but warm in winter. Wet gloves transmit cold, so they can start warm and end the day with your hands freezing. Glove liners work well in the summer on cool mornings; if they get wet, they dry quickly.
 

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