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Pole Tip Protectors - A Serious matter - There are tips and tips

Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
Rubber Pole Tips? Where are the good ones?

I'm one of those Pilgrims that barely takes a step without my poles.
Used properly, they take a lot of weight off my knees and ankles, on all types of terrain and gradients.
I honestly would struggle to make it without them.

But I go through rubber tip protectors way too fast.
Sure I'm putting a lot of weight on my poles, but 'soft' rubber tips will barely last 100 kms.

The best tips I found were in the outdoor shop in Zubiri.
A much harder compound that lasted all the way to SDC.
But another few hundred kms has worn those out too.......

So where are the 'good' tips?

I've just bought some black diamond tips, thinking that maybe a 'branded' set might be better.
But they do seem on the soft side. I can't see them lasting more than 200-300 kms.


Any thoughts on good quality rubber tip protectors?
I prefer the symmetrical type, rather than those that look like little boots (for nordic and leki poles I think)

I'd rather not have to carry 2-3 sets with me :(

I carry them on my waist belt pocket and am frequently putting them on and off during the day dependent on the terrain.
Obviously leaving them on, on soft ground, tends to accelerate the tungsten tips 'punching' through the rubber.
And if the rubber protectors are too hard a material, they can slip on concrete or smooth rock.

Hard to find really good ones........

For those who use poles, and don't bother with tip protectors.......
They not only stop that annoying 'clack clack' as you walk along the streets,
but are an important safety feature.
Bare metal tips on smooth concrete, cobble stones or flat rock and the like, can very easily just skate across the surface leading to a twisting injury or fall.
 
Last edited:
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Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
I bought a pack of 10 "cheap as chips" unbranded tips just before my Camino Ingles in 2018 and they wear very slowly - I think I still have 5 or 6 left.
Have just done a Virtual CF from SJPP to SdC starting out with new tips on my PacerPoles and they're still in reasonable condition. A lot of that was done on hard pavement.
Does anybody else rotate their tips 1/4 turn to even out the wear?

Edit: WOW those Black Diamond tips are pricey! My cheapo ones were about £7 for TEN.
 

jozero

Been there, going again...
Year of past OR future Camino
CF x 3
I had very long life (in fact they still haven't worn out) from a set of Leki feet I bought in 2012. The upside is they are much harder rubber so haven't worn out to-date. Downside? They are so hard that sometimes they simply slide on paved surfaces. I switched over to Black Diamond a few years ago and the feet for them was much softer, which I prefer. I guess I am light on my sticks because so far they still look new. To be fair though, they come off any time I'm not on paved/cemented walks.

As a unsolicted tip, maybe you are reaching out too far with your poles if they are slipping out when you don't have the feet on? I'm a very non-aggressive walker (3.5-4.0kph) and keep the poles in fairly close so they support well and act as outriggers when I'm on snow and ice. In those instances I have the poles mostly vertical and about a foot to the side of my body so I have 3 points of contact most of the time.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
I had very long life (in fact they still haven't worn out) from a set of Leki feet I bought in 2012. The upside is they are much harder rubber so haven't worn out to-date. Downside? They are so hard that sometimes they simply slide on paved surfaces. I switched over to Black Diamond a few years ago and the feet for them was much softer, which I prefer. I guess I am light on my sticks because so far they still look new. To be fair though, they come off any time I'm not on paved/cemented walks.

As a unsolicted tip, maybe you are reaching out too far with your poles if they are slipping out when you don't have the feet on?

No it doesn't happen to me. I learnt that lesson fast!
And I always slip the rubber tips on when reaching hard surfaces.
Don't even need to break stride.......

I'll keep my fingers crossed that the black Diamonds last well ;)
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
I use Pacer Poles, and the tips that come with them last me more than one Camino - and I use my poles for almost every kilometer wit the tips on them.

Must check those out. The tips......

But looks like we can't get the rubber tip protectors here in Australia.
Only from the UK.
 
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trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Must check those out. The tips......

But looks like we can't get the rubber tip protectors here in Australia.
Only from the UK.
Right. All Pacer Pole products must be ordered from England. I found that even with the international shipping costs the rubber tips weren't any more expensive than comparable tips that I could buy locally at REI.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
Right. All Pacer Pole products must be ordered from England. I found that even with the international shipping costs the rubber tips weren't any more expensive than comparable tips that I could buy locally at REI.

I shall have to try some and report back :)
 

kazrobbo

Tassie Kaz
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2012
CP 2015
St Olavs Norway 2016
88T Japan 2017
PWC/VF 2019
Israel 2020 X
Wales CP 21?
KK?
VdlP?
Rubber Pole Tips? Where are the good ones?

But I go through rubber tip protectors way too fast.

Any thoughts on good quality rubber tip protectors?

I'd rather not have to carry 2-3 sets with me :(

Hard to find really good ones........
Do the rubber tips you're using have the metal insert for the pole end? This increases the longevity of tips 'by miles'...by which I mean hundreds & hundreds of kilometres!
I'm a one-pole walker who took on London to Rome in 2019...a distance of just under 2200kms..& only went through two rubber tips.
20190619_184733-979x1305.jpg
This is what the second one looked like on arrival in Rome...you can see the metal insert showing.

I use Outrak from BCF...a steal at $4 a pair normal retail. I got them on sale for half price...making the cost $1 per 1100km...now that's BCF-ing fun! 😆 20210208_113318.jpg
(An explanation for non-Aussie readers...'BCF-ing fun' is a well known advertising campaign here 😊)

👣 🌏
 
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Darby67

Enólogo caminando
Year of past OR future Camino
2018 CF Jan-Feb
2019 CF Jan-Mar
I use the Black Diamonds. Used a new set for each walk. My one complaint that I rectified on number 2 CF was to put a bit duct tape on the tip to make them more snug. I found that on some surfaces or if I wasn’t paying attention, such as near large cracks or grates that they might pop off.
 

tomnorth

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances: September 24 - October 31 (2015)
Rubber Pole Tips? Where are the good ones?

I'm one of those Pilgrims that barely takes a step without my poles.
Used properly, they take a lot of weight off my knees and ankles, on all types of terrain and gradients.
I honestly would struggle to make it without them.

But I go through rubber tip protectors way too fast.
Sure I'm putting a lot of weight on my poles, but 'soft' rubber tips will barely last 100 kms.

The best tips I found were in the outdoor shop in Zubiri.
A much harder compound that lasted all the way to SDC.
But another few hundred kms has worn those out too.......

So where are the 'good' tips?

I've just bought some black diamond tips, thinking that maybe a 'branded' set might be better.
But they do seem on the soft side. I can't see them lasting more than 200-300 kms.


Any thoughts on good quality rubber tip protectors?
I prefer the symmetrical type, rather than those that look like little boots (for nordic and leki poles I think)

I'd rather not have to carry 2-3 sets with me :(

I carry them on my waist belt pocket and am frequently putting them on and off during the day dependent on the terrain.
Obviously leaving them on, on soft ground, tends to accelerate the tungsten tips 'punching' through the rubber.
And if the rubber protectors are too hard a material, they can slip on concrete or smooth rock.

Hard to find really good ones........

For those who use poles, and don't bother with tip protectors.......
They not only stop that annoying 'clack clack' as you walk along the streets,
but are an important safety feature.
Bare metal tips on smooth concrete, cobble stones or flat rock and the like, can very easily just skate across the surface leading to a twisting injury or fall.
I tested the Black Diamond tips against Leki and REI tips. The BD tips lasted 6 months on pavement when the Leki lasted half that and the REI lasted 1 month. I put my money on the Black Diamond tips.
 

Walkerooni

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
C. Frances SJPdP to Santiago (June-ish 2018)
I had a Black Diamond tips bought at MEC in Canada. Lost one in Pamplona when I inadvertently jammed it in a water grate on the street. When I pulled it out, the rubber tip stayed behind. Bought 2 more at Decathlon stores in Spain. Twice. But went through 4 of those on the right pole while my original one on the left pole lasted me 800k. They looked the same, but the thickness of the rubber part that hits the ground was about 3/4” thinner, so wore through more quickly.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
frequently putting them on and off during the day dependent on the terrain.
Obviously leaving them on, on soft ground, tends to accelerate the tungsten tips 'punching' through the rubber.
And if the rubber protectors are too hard a material, they can slip on concrete or smooth rock.
I buy whatever rubber tips fit tightly, put them on the poles, and never remove them until they wear through or one gets stuck in the mud somewhere.

If the rubber is too hard, they could slip or be noisier. Too soft and they would wear out. But I guess mine have been (luckily) somewhere in-between.
Do the rubber tips you're using have the metal insert for the pole end? This increases the longevity of tips 'by miles'...by which I mean hundreds & hundreds of kilometres!
This might be the key factor. The metal insert is like a washer and prevents the tips from "punching" through the rubber tip. It might also be a reason that some tips are more expensive than others.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
I bought a rubber pole tip for my wooden pole in a hardware store in Leon, having walked with the original rubber tip from Madrid to Sahagun to Leon. The man in the hardware store was accustomed to selling them in various sizes and fitting them for pilgrims. It was inexpensive and lasted me for the rest of my pilgrimage, through the Invierno and on to Santiago. IF you have a spare set of tips to take with you, that may be best for your poles. If not, just drop in on a hardware store.
 
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trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I buy whatever rubber tips fit tightly, put them on the poles, and never remove them until they wear through or one gets stuck in the mud somewhere.
Same here. On my first Camino I thought that I had to put on/take off the tips depending on the terrain. My tips are very hard to remove, and I soon realized that if I did that I might waste a half hour every day putting them on and taking them off. I also realized that there are no "technical" hiking areas on the Camino that require the carbide tips.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
Do the rubber tips you're using have the metal insert for the pole end? This increases the longevity of tips 'by miles'...by which I mean hundreds & hundreds of kilometres!
No they don't have a metal insert. It makes sense of course!
I have tried making my own with very small metal washers pushed down into the rubber tips.
It's hard to get the right sized washers though........
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
Same here. On my first Camino I thought that I had to put on/take off the tips depending on the terrain. My tips are very hard to remove, and I soon realized that if I did that I might waste a half hour every day putting them on and taking them off. I also realized that there are no "technical" hiking areas on the Camino that require the carbide tips.

wow, they must be a tight fit. Mine just twist off.
No need to even stop walking.
I might take them on and off 10 times a day.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
Mine require some serious twisting to get off - not something I can do without breaking pace. But I don't see the need.
I totally get that.

Sadly if I used mine on softer ground or gravel they would last only about 50 kms.
I do put a lot of downward pressure on them.
About 10-15 kgs according to my tests with bathroom scales. :rolleyes:
 
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TMcA

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Pamplona to Santiago (2013)
Le Puy to Pamplona in segments (2013 - 2016)
Pamplona to León
Black Diamond for me, too. I leave them on all the time.

I carry an extra set just in case I lose one in mud or in a grate and can't retrieve it.
 

Walkerooni

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
C. Frances SJPdP to Santiago (June-ish 2018)
Black Diamond for me, too. I leave them on all the time.

I carry an extra set just in case I lose one in mud or in a grate and can't retrieve it.
Yes, next time I will take 2 extra Black Diamond with me. Instead of buying 4 or more crappy thin ones.
 

OZAJ

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Mozarabe/VdlP/Sanabres (2008) Norte (2009) Vezelay/Frances/Salvador/Primitivo (2010) etc.
Me too! I love my Pacer poles...lots of kms/minimal wear & tear on the tips!
I love my Pacer poles too, but do not find the tips to be particularly
long lasting.
 

gerardcarey

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CFx2, CPx1
Rubber Pole Tips? Where are the good ones?
You were a pretty big bloke Robo. That's probly got something to do with it.
I'm a Pacer Poles guy, 85kgs, for many years.
My PP tips have always lasted 1000ks.
Regards
Gerard
PS
I've been dieting and am determined to beat you to 75kgs.
I hit 75.9 this morning.
Think I've got you beat cobber.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
You were a pretty big bloke Robo. That's probably got something to do with it.
I'm a Pacer Poles guy, 85kgs, for many years.
My PP tips have always lasted 1000ks.
Regards
Gerard
PS
I've been dieting and am determined to beat you to 75kgs.
I hit 75.9 this morning.
Think I've got you beat cobber.

Well beat! :oops:

But you started at 85 kgs. I started at 103.5 kgs! :eek:

I'm getting close to your starting weight :p

Aiming for 70 kgs by my Birthday mid May if I can.
But I'll settle for 75 kgs as my Plan B :)
 
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Stivandrer

Perambulating & Curious. Rep stravaiging offender
Year of past OR future Camino
I´ve got Camino plans until 2042,
- or till I fall flat on my face, whichever comes first !!
I have had my original Leki tips for 4 camino trips now nd they show no sign of considerable wear, and I do pounce when I need to...
..but I do remove tips whenever I reach gravel and rock...
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances(2006) Portugues(2013)
San Salvador (2017) Ingles (2019)
Loved this thread! You are so creative and engaging, Robo. I used borrowed poles for the CF, and never ever bothered removing the tips on any surface. Of course, in towns, villages, cities, before the locals were awake, no poles click clacking. Since then I have packed my trusty Leki poles and haven’t removed the tips, ever. I am never without the poles when on Camino. Maybe I am not a seasoned enough pilgrim to have the distinction of wearing out tips. Maybe a national character flaw prevents from wearing them out, for reasons of economy.😂
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2017
Planning for 2021
No they don't have a metal insert. It makes sense of course!
I have tried making my own with very small metal washers pushed down into the rubber tips.
It's hard to get the right sized washers though........
I found that those tiny european sub Euro cent coins fit inside the tips perfectly. The UK 1p is just slightly too large. The trouble with washers is that the tips can work themselves into the holes and then they take some getting free.
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
I found that those tiny european sub Euro cent coins fit inside the tips perfectly. The UK 1p is just slightly too large. The trouble with washers is that the tops can work themselves into the holes and then they take some getting free.

Genuis! I have some of those tiny coins.............
Must go and look. :)

Darn......all my small coins.........are too big.
euro cents, thai baht.....I'll have to hunt out more coins...........
 
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Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
I have used Leki poles and tips for 30 years. Their tips are hard and take years for me to wear out. They cost more than many no name brands but are worth it. I am sure you know that some poles do not fit correctly with other brands tips. So ask if you can try them when you buy them. Some stores will let you try them if not in a package. We each take an extra pair of tips but normally go home with them. They fit snuggly and as @C clearly indicates, sometimes they require effort to twist off.
 
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Kimtom

Wannawalk
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances on bike (2014)
Frances on foot (2019)
Frances on foot (2020)
Rubber Pole Tips? Where are the good ones?

I'm one of those Pilgrims that barely takes a step without my poles.
Used properly, they take a lot of weight off my knees and ankles, on all types of terrain and gradients.
I honestly would struggle to make it without them.

But I go through rubber tip protectors way too fast.
Sure I'm putting a lot of weight on my poles, but 'soft' rubber tips will barely last 100 kms.

The best tips I found were in the outdoor shop in Zubiri.
A much harder compound that lasted all the way to SDC.
But another few hundred kms has worn those out too.......

So where are the 'good' tips?

I've just bought some black diamond tips, thinking that maybe a 'branded' set might be better.
But they do seem on the soft side. I can't see them lasting more than 200-300 kms.


Any thoughts on good quality rubber tip protectors?
I prefer the symmetrical type, rather than those that look like little boots (for nordic and leki poles I think)

I'd rather not have to carry 2-3 sets with me :(

I carry them on my waist belt pocket and am frequently putting them on and off during the day dependent on the terrain.
Obviously leaving them on, on soft ground, tends to accelerate the tungsten tips 'punching' through the rubber.
And if the rubber protectors are too hard a material, they can slip on concrete or smooth rock.

Hard to find really good ones........

For those who use poles, and don't bother with tip protectors.......
They not only stop that annoying 'clack clack' as you walk along the streets,
but are an important safety feature.
Bare metal tips on smooth concrete, cobble stones or flat rock and the like, can very easily just skate across the surface leading to a twisting injury or fall.
I wrap electrical tape which is kind of rubbery around the pointy metal ends of the walking sticks before putting the rubber tips on. Because they’re not getting abraded from the inside I think this makes them last longer.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2017
Planning for 2021
Genuis! I have some of those tiny coins.............
Must go and look. :)

Darn......all my small coins.........are too big.
euro cents, thai baht.....I'll have to hunt out more coins...........
Tips must come in many sizes even though they're bought as "universal".
Maybe a wipe with some emery cloth may shrink them enough?
Wouldn't mind, I just tidied up my walking gear last week and disposed of a worn pair that had coins in from my 2017 camino, now in the rubbish recycling unit no doubt, so don't actually know what eucent coin I actually used.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
cf (2), de la plata, cp. (2003 -2018)
I bought a pack of 10 "cheap as chips" unbranded tips just before my Camino Ingles in 2018 and they wear very slowly - I think I still have 5 or 6 left.
Have just done a Virtual CF from SJPP to SdC starting out with new tips on my PacerPoles and they're still in reasonable condition. A lot of that was done on hard pavement.
Does anybody else rotate their tips 1/4 turn to even out the wear?

Edit: WOW those Black Diamond tips are pricey! My cheapo ones were about £7 for TEN.
Been using poles since Adam used them to shake out those darn apples and NEVER thought of rotating them! I live and learn. Thank you. I use Pacer poles and buy genuine replacements as I need them. Cheap ones don't seem to hack it. As for the annoying click and clack, it amazes me the average pilgie can hear them with their ears gummed up by music buds etc. Being an oldie with a warped sense of humour, I quite often "clack" past the youngsters at a furious pace and then blame my dentures :)

Samarkand.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2017
Planning for 2021
Been using poles since Adam used them to shake out those darn apples and NEVER thought of rotating them! I live and learn. Thank you. I use Pacer poles and buy genuine replacements as I need them. Cheap ones don't seem to hack it. As for the annoying click and clack, it amazes me the average pilgie can hear them with their ears gummed up by music buds etc. Being an oldie with a warped sense of humour, I quite often "clack" past the youngsters at a furious pace and then blame my dentures :)

Samarkand.
But, what if it is also your dentures? Hips? Knees? 😁🤔
 

tpmchugh

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2013)
Camino Frances (2015)
Camino Frances (2016)
Camino Frances (2018}
Same here. On my first Camino I thought that I had to put on/take off the tips depending on the terrain. My tips are very hard to remove, and I soon realized that if I did that I might waste a half hour every day putting them on and taking them off. I also realized that there are no "technical" hiking areas on the Camino that require the carbide tips.
I found it easier to remove old tips if I kept the snow baskets on my poles. Screw off the basket and it forces the tip off. As to hard wearing I am at a loss. My son bought feet type tips, sometimes called paws, somewhere on the Camino in 2012. They were still usable when I used his poles on my 3rd camino in 2016 and were still in use when he walked from Santiago to Finisterre in 2019. He can't remember where he got them unfortunately just that it was fairly early on on the Camino. Mihht have been Caminoteca (think that's the name) in Pamplona
 
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nidarosa

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Inglés 2009+2017, Francés 2012+2018, Astorga-Santiago repeatedly
I also use Pacerpoles, and when I went off to the camino with them for the first time in 2015, I took a pair of Leki pole tips as well, because I didn't know how long the PP ones would last. (Full disclosure: I hate pole tip clicketyclacking, so I am definitely not going to contribute to it!) I have since bought another pair of Pacerpoles, and have put the Leki tips on for comparative analysis purposes, and so far both the PP and Leki tips last incredibly well. Spend the extra money, is my tip ;). I wouldn't want to keep taking them on and off though, but I don't feel the need to do it either.
 

pelerine

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Norte 10, Primitivo 13, Plata 14+15, Salvador 16, Torres 17, Portugues 18, Mozarabe 19
Check your dentures, malingerer! If they have been doing the clacking maybe they are wearing out...
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2015, 2017, 2019) and plans for 2021 (Sept, Oct)
My wife and I live in very flat Indianapolis and we never used trekking poles prior to our first camino. We each bought a set of deluxe Leki trekking poles on sale; these are ones with a cork handle. We watched a few YouTube videos and were semi-pros by the time we landed in Spain. Of course, they came with Leki rubber tips. We used our trekking poles almost every day, always with the rubber tips on. They are perhaps the most essential item in our "kit" (the other most essential item is a head torch). Our tips lasted the entire first camino frances, and mid-way through our second one. We bought replacement tips at Caminoteca store in Pampona. We now use a set until they are almost worn out, plus carry a replacement set. Bob
 

Plataman

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances: (2009), (2013), Via de la Plata; (2016)
Rubber Pole Tips? Where are the good ones?

I'm one of those Pilgrims that barely takes a step without my poles.
Used properly, they take a lot of weight off my knees and ankles, on all types of terrain and gradients.
I honestly would struggle to make it without them.

But I go through rubber tip protectors way too fast.
Sure I'm putting a lot of weight on my poles, but 'soft' rubber tips will barely last 100 kms.

The best tips I found were in the outdoor shop in Zubiri.
A much harder compound that lasted all the way to SDC.
But another few hundred kms has worn those out too.......

So where are the 'good' tips?

I've just bought some black diamond tips, thinking that maybe a 'branded' set might be better.
But they do seem on the soft side. I can't see them lasting more than 200-300 kms.


Any thoughts on good quality rubber tip protectors?
I prefer the symmetrical type, rather than those that look like little boots (for nordic and leki poles I think)

I'd rather not have to carry 2-3 sets with me :(

I carry them on my waist belt pocket and am frequently putting them on and off during the day dependent on the terrain.
Obviously leaving them on, on soft ground, tends to accelerate the tungsten tips 'punching' through the rubber.
And if the rubber protectors are too hard a material, they can slip on concrete or smooth rock.

Hard to find really good ones........

For those who use poles, and don't bother with tip protectors.......
They not only stop that annoying 'clack clack' as you walk along the streets,
but are an important safety feature.
Bare metal tips on smooth concrete, cobble stones or flat rock and the like, can very easily just skate across the surface leading to a twisting injury or fall.
Like you I have tried a number of different types, with mixed success. I have Leki poles, and have found the Leki rubber tip protectors to be the best for longevity...but they are very difficult to find. The Leki tips will last a Camino.
 
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Glamgrrl

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Travel318
Rubber Pole Tips? Where are the good ones?

I'm one of those Pilgrims that barely takes a step without my poles.
Used properly, they take a lot of weight off my knees and ankles, on all types of terrain and gradients.
I honestly would struggle to make it without them.

But I go through rubber tip protectors way too fast.
Sure I'm putting a lot of weight on my poles, but 'soft' rubber tips will barely last 100 kms.

The best tips I found were in the outdoor shop in Zubiri.
A much harder compound that lasted all the way to SDC.
But another few hundred kms has worn those out too.......

So where are the 'good' tips?

I've just bought some black diamond tips, thinking that maybe a 'branded' set might be better.
But they do seem on the soft side. I can't see them lasting more than 200-300 kms.


Any thoughts on good quality rubber tip protectors?
I prefer the symmetrical type, rather than those that look like little boots (for nordic and leki poles I think)

I'd rather not have to carry 2-3 sets with me :(

I carry them on my waist belt pocket and am frequently putting them on and off during the day dependent on the terrain.
Obviously leaving them on, on soft ground, tends to accelerate the tungsten tips 'punching' through the rubber.
And if the rubber protectors are too hard a material, they can slip on concrete or smooth rock.

Hard to find really good ones........

For those who use poles, and don't bother with tip protectors.......
They not only stop that annoying 'clack clack' as you walk along the streets,
but are an important safety feature.
Bare metal tips on smooth concrete, cobble stones or flat rock and the like, can very easily just skate across the surface leading to a twisting injury or fall.
Ha, we bought a couple sets of those tip too but wore them out on our Portuguese camino. I think we have one more pair. I’m going to bookmark and see the answers.
 

Kedney

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Portuguese
Once the metal tip starts protruding through the rubber tip, when training at home, I have been able to double the life of the tip by taking the tip off, filling it halfway with hot glue, and pushing it back on the pole. The hot glue does not permanently stick to the pole, but when it hardens, it moves the tip back enough from the end to extend the life of the rubber tip significantly.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
When we were walking the CF in 2016 I lost track of how many rubber tips we went through. It seemed we went through them every few days. Some had the metal washers but they didn't seem to help much. The metal tip just went through the hole in the centre of the washer and then through the rubber and it was off to buy some more rubber tips again.

In 2018, I bought another set of poles for the CP in Porto, and with them I bought the pole tip protectors pictured below. They are of a much firmer rubber and have lasted exceptionally well. Another benefit of their larger size is that they don't slip through the holes or slots in gratings or between the boards in boardwalks nearly as much as the smaller profile tips I had been using previously.
20210208_115839.jpg
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
So many suggestions and I hope you all pick a good one.
All I can say is THANK YOU to everyone who uses the rubber tips.
The constant clanking of rubberless poles on hard surfaces drives me crazy.
To me it is a selfish and unwanted imposition on others.
Just my opinion and once again thank you!
 
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trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
All I can say is THANK YOU to everyone who uses the rubber tips.
The constant clanking of rubberless poles on hard surfaces drives me crazy.
Me too!
I avoid walking near pilgrims how click clack. Normally my best best is to try to get ahead of them.
Perhaps some click clack to avoid company?
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Spring 2016: Camino Frances, Finisterre and Muxia
April 2019: Frances, Salvador, Primitivo
I lost my black diamond poles in Ages on the CF (don't ask), and got replacement poles and tips at Decathlon in Burgos. Pro tip: do not buy Decathlon rubber tips! They do not last at all.
 

Rhysmike

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
St. Jean to Santiago (Apr to June 2014); St. Jean to Finisterre (Apr to May 2016); Via Francigena - Lausanne to Rome (Sep to October 2016)
Rubber Pole Tips? Where are the good ones?

I'm one of those Pilgrims that barely takes a step without my poles.
Used properly, they take a lot of weight off my knees and ankles, on all types of terrain and gradients.
I honestly would struggle to make it without them.

But I go through rubber tip protectors way too fast.
Sure I'm putting a lot of weight on my poles, but 'soft' rubber tips will barely last 100 kms.

The best tips I found were in the outdoor shop in Zubiri.
A much harder compound that lasted all the way to SDC.
But another few hundred kms has worn those out too.......

So where are the 'good' tips?

I've just bought some black diamond tips, thinking that maybe a 'branded' set might be better.
But they do seem on the soft side. I can't see them lasting more than 200-300 kms.


Any thoughts on good quality rubber tip protectors?
I prefer the symmetrical type, rather than those that look like little boots (for nordic and leki poles I think)

I'd rather not have to carry 2-3 sets with me :(

I carry them on my waist belt pocket and am frequently putting them on and off during the day dependent on the terrain.
Obviously leaving them on, on soft ground, tends to accelerate the tungsten tips 'punching' through the rubber.
And if the rubber protectors are too hard a material, they can slip on concrete or smooth rock.

Hard to find really good ones........

For those who use poles, and don't bother with tip protectors.......
They not only stop that annoying 'clack clack' as you walk along the streets,
but are an important safety feature.
Bare metal tips on smooth concrete, cobble stones or flat rock and the like, can very easily just skate across the surface leading to a twisting injury or fall.
E0C54598-9FBD-4C2A-95E6-A48F871987BD.jpeg E75682D0-B91D-4AB0-8DD7-4A49D9D65D7C.jpeg 16BB1A0A-8295-427D-8589-519EAE4D0DD2.jpeg
These rubber tips work well. They have survived two Caminos and 1000 km on the Francigena. Only replaced when lost.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances April 2016
Portugese from Lisbon 2018
Via Francigena (2020)
Rubber Pole Tips? Where are the good ones?

I'm one of those Pilgrims that barely takes a step without my poles.
Used properly, they take a lot of weight off my knees and ankles, on all types of terrain and gradients.
I honestly would struggle to make it without them.

But I go through rubber tip protectors way too fast.
Sure I'm putting a lot of weight on my poles, but 'soft' rubber tips will barely last 100 kms.

The best tips I found were in the outdoor shop in Zubiri.
A much harder compound that lasted all the way to SDC.
But another few hundred kms has worn those out too.......

So where are the 'good' tips?

I've just bought some black diamond tips, thinking that maybe a 'branded' set might be better.
But they do seem on the soft side. I can't see them lasting more than 200-300 kms.


Any thoughts on good quality rubber tip protectors?
I prefer the symmetrical type, rather than those that look like little boots (for nordic and leki poles I think)

I'd rather not have to carry 2-3 sets with me :(

I carry them on my waist belt pocket and am frequently putting them on and off during the day dependent on the terrain.
Obviously leaving them on, on soft ground, tends to accelerate the tungsten tips 'punching' through the rubber.
And if the rubber protectors are too hard a material, they can slip on concrete or smooth rock.

Hard to find really good ones........

For those who use poles, and don't bother with tip protectors.......
They not only stop that annoying 'clack clack' as you walk along the streets,
but are an important safety feature.
Bare metal tips on smooth concrete, cobble stones or flat rock and the like, can very easily just skate across the surface leading to a twisting injury or fall.
I am in Oz snd have Black Diamond poles. I have had the Fizan from Kathmandu last a whole camino twice. I use poles 100% of the time. Komperdell from Wild Earth online also fit BD poles and look okay but have not tested that long yet.
 
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Yoyo

✿ Se hace el camino al andar. ✿
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
So many suggestions and I hope you all pick a good one.
All I can say is THANK YOU to everyone who uses the rubber tips.
The constant clanking of rubberless poles on hard surfaces drives me crazy.
To me it is a selfish and unwanted imposition on others.
Just my opinion and once again thank you!

I agree. But not only is the noise a nuisance, unprotected carbide tips can also damage surfaces. I've seen people click-clacking on historic church floors!

My original Pacer Pole "street feet" lasted all 800 km of my first camino, with the poles being used every step of the way and the rubber tips never taken off.
I've since tried Leki and Decathlon rubber tips but didn't find them very durable, so I went back to the original.
 

lindigo

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances April/May 2018
Camino Madrid April 2019
Camino Portuguese May 2019
You could try Clark Rubber, they have rubber tips for chairs etc. Our originals tips wore out quickly so we tried Clark Rubber, they fit perfectly but needed the 1 cent pieces inside the bottom to stop the points pushing through. Two different brand poles and fit well. About $1 each and cheap enough to buy a few to take along as spares. If the fit is not snug enough, you can always wind a bit of gaffa tape around the outside. Worked for us without the expense.
 

kazrobbo

Tassie Kaz
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2012
CP 2015
St Olavs Norway 2016
88T Japan 2017
PWC/VF 2019
Israel 2020 X
Wales CP 21?
KK?
VdlP?
Last edited:
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Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
I had very long life (in fact they still haven't worn out) from a set of Leki feet I bought in 2012. The upside is they are much harder rubber so haven't worn out to-date. Downside? They are so hard that sometimes they simply slide on paved surfaces. I switched over to Black Diamond a few years ago and the feet for them was much softer, which I prefer. I guess I am light on my sticks because so far they still look new. To be fair though, they come off any time I'm not on paved/cemented walks.

As a unsolicted tip, maybe you are reaching out too far with your poles if they are slipping out when you don't have the feet on? I'm a very non-aggressive walker (3.5-4.0kph) and keep the poles in fairly close so they support well and act as outriggers when I'm on snow and ice. In those instances I have the poles mostly vertical and about a foot to the side of my body so I have 3 points of contact most of the time.
Good point on over reaching with the poles - with PPs there tends to be more of an up/down action than stretching forwards and the points land closer to your toes. Also I tend not to bear down on my PPs as I used to with "conventional" poles - a side effect of the grip I imagine. That and the fact that I rotate my tips possibly explain when my cheap tips last so long.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances. 2001
Via de la plata 2008
Arles -Piemonte-Frances-Cee 2014
(Bastan-Francés) 2019
I am sitting here amazed at the diversity in use and selection of Pole Tips. Also in that everybody seems so happy with their particular choice. I assumed I was the only one out there that was that set in my ways.
I use a pole a lot for daily use as well as on Camino. Good legs, bad balance.
l prefer a single Leki pole with the tapered Leki tip(with the washer) that is secure, but removable for ice or wet greasy rock.
Wearing out tips quit being a problem when I discovered that I could use a product called Shoegoo that I also use to build up the areas of my soles that were losing tread. Just a dab on the bottom of the tip and it’s like new.
It comes in a package like a toothpaste tube and I usually have an almost empty tube saved if I think I need to carry it on a trip. an ounce or maybe two is plenty.
It’s a very useful product but the solvent is toxic and foul smelling.Only use it outdoors and don’t bring the repaired product inside for eight hours or so. After that everything is just fine.
It’s easy to find in the US but I think it’s not available in Europe ,maybe for good reason.
 

Ernesto.IT

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
Hi Robo
I bought this type here about 4 years ago from Decathlon. They don't seem to sell them anymore - perhaps because they last forever. I've just found them on Wish and ordered some more.
Hope I've been of some help.
Buen Camino
Ernesto
pole_tip.jpg
 

Arn

Veteran Member
When I was struggling near Hospital de San Miguel, I happened to walk with a German couple. We talked about the Camino (you think) and some background of our families. As it turns out, my father was a POW in Germany and his father was a POW in the USA in WWII.
He left me his Black Diamond poles. At the time they had no rubber tips. I chose not to add tips. While other pilgrims find the clack, clack of metal poles distracting, I suggest they either go faster or enjoy the rhythmic pace setting sound. Many have already indicated their positions as to poles with or without tips,
Make your decision and walk with it!
 
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David Tallan

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
Hi Robo
I bought this type here about 4 years ago from Decathlon. They don't seem to sell them anymore - perhaps because they last forever. I've just found them on Wish and ordered some more.
Hope I've been of some help.
Buen Camino
Ernesto
View attachment 93219
Those look like the same ones I got, pictured above from a bit more of a distance, from the Decathlon in Porto in Oct 2018.
 

harmsdg

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés (2018)
If you have Black Diamond poles, use the Black Diamond tips; they last forever and fit perfectly. I had been using the same pair for several years before doing the Camino Francés. They were still in near-perfect condition when I reached O Pedrouzo. That's what must have attracted the attention of a fellow pilgrim in the albergue municipal who stole them and left my poles capped with a pair of cheap, worn-out tips.

I had carried a second set, so I was able to finish the last stage of the camino with decent tips.

I just bought a back-up pair of BD tips last month. The design has changed, but they look to be just as durable.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
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(May 2015)
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(May 2016)
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(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
If you have Black Diamond poles, use the Black Diamond tips; they last forever and fit perfectly. I had been using the same pair for several years before doing the Camino Francés. They were still in near-perfect condition when I reached O Pedrouzo. That's what must have attracted the attention of a fellow pilgrim in the albergue municipal who stole them and left my poles capped with a pair of cheap, worn-out tips.

I had carried a second set, so I was able to finish the last stage of the camino with decent tips.

I just bought a back-up pair of BD tips last month. The design has changed, but they look to be just as durable.

I just bought some BD tips and they fit my utralite Fizan poles perfectly :)
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
Hi Robo
I bought this type here about 4 years ago from Decathlon. They don't seem to sell them anymore - perhaps because they last forever. I've just found them on Wish and ordered some more.
Hope I've been of some help.
Buen Camino
Ernesto
View attachment 93219

Bought. Look forward to trying them out :)
 
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thomryng

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (Spring 2013), Francés (Spring 2016), Galician Francés (Oct. 2018)

Ernesto.IT

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018

They seem to belong to the same family, the ones I have indicated are still for sale on Wish.com and if you buy the set of 4 at the moment on offer they will cost you 8 Euro + shipping costs which for me in Italy would have cost 2 Euros, too late for me because I bought 4 single ones paying them 3 Euros each plus 4 Euros for shipping, however they should arrive within the month.
 

Rhysmike

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
St. Jean to Santiago (Apr to June 2014); St. Jean to Finisterre (Apr to May 2016); Via Francigena - Lausanne to Rome (Sep to October 2016)
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2019, 2020)
I had very long life (in fact they still haven't worn out) from a set of Leki feet I bought in 2012. The upside is they are much harder rubber so haven't worn out to-date. Downside? They are so hard that sometimes they simply slide on paved surfaces. I switched over to Black Diamond a few years ago and the feet for them was much softer, which I prefer. I guess I am light on my sticks because so far they still look new. To be fair though, they come off any time I'm not on paved/cemented walks.

As a unsolicted tip, maybe you are reaching out too far with your poles if they are slipping out when you don't have the feet on? I'm a very non-aggressive walker (3.5-4.0kph) and keep the poles in fairly close so they support well and act as outriggers when I'm on snow and ice. In those instances I have the poles mostly vertical and about a foot to the side of my body so I have 3 points of contact most of the time.
I had to buy new poles in Astorga. Got Leki & the fellow in the shop showed me 3 levels of "hardness". The toughest was more than I needed for the Camino - according to him. I got the next level down. No problem or wear from Astorga to Santiago & use them for local hikes.
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
this will be my first. Norte September 2018.
Rubber Pole Tips? Where are the good ones?

I'm one of those Pilgrims that barely takes a step without my poles.
Used properly, they take a lot of weight off my knees and ankles, on all types of terrain and gradients.
I honestly would struggle to make it without them.

But I go through rubber tip protectors way too fast.
Sure I'm putting a lot of weight on my poles, but 'soft' rubber tips will barely last 100 kms.

The best tips I found were in the outdoor shop in Zubiri.
A much harder compound that lasted all the way to SDC.
But another few hundred kms has worn those out too.......

So where are the 'good' tips?

I've just bought some black diamond tips, thinking that maybe a 'branded' set might be better.
But they do seem on the soft side. I can't see them lasting more than 200-300 kms.


Any thoughts on good quality rubber tip protectors?
I prefer the symmetrical type, rather than those that look like little boots (for nordic and leki poles I think)

I'd rather not have to carry 2-3 sets with me :(

I carry them on my waist belt pocket and am frequently putting them on and off during the day dependent on the terrain.
Obviously leaving them on, on soft ground, tends to accelerate the tungsten tips 'punching' through the rubber.
And if the rubber protectors are too hard a material, they can slip on concrete or smooth rock.

Hard to find really good ones........

For those who use poles, and don't bother with tip protectors.......
They not only stop that annoying 'clack clack' as you walk along the streets,
but are an important safety feature.
Bare metal tips on smooth concrete, cobble stones or flat rock and the like, can very easily just skate across the surface leading to a twisting injury or fall.
I cut a harder plastic disc and put it in the insertion hole. You could glue a small coin in there also. That way they’d wear from the outside.
 

WanderstheWorld

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
So great to have all these recommendations. I went through all my tips too when I walked the Frances using the set of 3 that came with my poles. I did learn partway through that I’m supposed to remove them when going over gravel & rocky terrain so the metal tips can dig into the ground for support. Did that after but the asphalt & other terrains still worn them out. Now I have one stuck as it has poked through the rubber and I can’t get it off (sigh). I will see if I can get it off and buy some of the recommendations made here. Thanks. 👍🏻
 

catperson

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2017

PaceMaker Stix Pair of Extended Life Vulcanized Rubber Replacement Tips Paws Ferrules for Walking Hiking Poles Fits Almost All Brands of Trekking Poles for Walking Hiking & Travel – Rated 500 Miles​


sorry I can not give direct link
I bought these in 2017 from Amazon in USA , they went all the way to finisterra and are still walking with. Me. they are a bit loose now bput have not had issues with falling off my black diamond trek poles
 

Scott Fraser

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018
Le Puy - SJPdP 2019
Slightly off topic -- I don't use rubber tips unless I'm walking on hard surfaces. The metal tips on the poles work best when you're on dirt, gravel or other surfaces where the tips will penetrate the ground. I find metal tips provide a much better grip when going up or down hill on all surfaces except pavement.

When using the metal tips I keep the rubber ones in a small plastic bag in a front pocket. Then I get to a hard surface I slip the rubber tips on, and reverse the process when the road surface changes again. I try not to use my bare hands to pull off or put on the rubber tips as they have often encounter unsanitary conditions when in use (it is an agricultural landscape we're walking through). I handle the tips using the plastic bag to keep my hands (relatively) clean. The plastic bag also keeps the inside of my pocket clean.

I will admit my technique is at times frustrating. One sure way to be certain that the walking surface will change within the next 100 meters is to either put the rubber tips on or take them off. :cool:
That said, using the rubber tips only when on hard surfaces will dramatically extend their life - I usually get 400-500 kms from a pair.
 

stinmd

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances - May 2015; Camino del Norte/Primitivo - July/August 2016; Camino Portugues - Sept 2017
Rubber Pole Tips? Where are the good ones?

I'm one of those Pilgrims that barely takes a step without my poles.
Used properly, they take a lot of weight off my knees and ankles, on all types of terrain and gradients.
I honestly would struggle to make it without them.

But I go through rubber tip protectors way too fast.
Sure I'm putting a lot of weight on my poles, but 'soft' rubber tips will barely last 100 kms.

The best tips I found were in the outdoor shop in Zubiri.
A much harder compound that lasted all the way to SDC.
But another few hundred kms has worn those out too.......

So where are the 'good' tips?

I've just bought some black diamond tips, thinking that maybe a 'branded' set might be better.
But they do seem on the soft side. I can't see them lasting more than 200-300 kms.


Any thoughts on good quality rubber tip protectors?
I prefer the symmetrical type, rather than those that look like little boots (for nordic and leki poles I think)

I'd rather not have to carry 2-3 sets with me :(

I carry them on my waist belt pocket and am frequently putting them on and off during the day dependent on the terrain.
Obviously leaving them on, on soft ground, tends to accelerate the tungsten tips 'punching' through the rubber.
And if the rubber protectors are too hard a material, they can slip on concrete or smooth rock.

Hard to find really good ones........

For those who use poles, and don't bother with tip protectors.......
They not only stop that annoying 'clack clack' as you walk along the streets,
but are an important safety feature.
Bare metal tips on smooth concrete, cobble stones or flat rock and the like, can very easily just skate across the surface leading to a twisting injury or fall.
Those rubber tips are widely available in Spain. No need to bring - carry - extra pairs.
 
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Canada Wanders

Lost, but making great time...
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2015
CP 2018
I myself subscribe to a Camino conspiracy theory, where for some reason the two times my tips were peeled off between boards crossing a walkway...a store ‘conveniently’ sold tips only a short distance away. Sure there is some evil at work here...
 

Chris RJ

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
Rubber Pole Tips? Where are the good ones?

I'm one of those Pilgrims that barely takes a step without my poles.
Used properly, they take a lot of weight off my knees and ankles, on all types of terrain and gradients.
I honestly would struggle to make it without them.

But I go through rubber tip protectors way too fast.
Sure I'm putting a lot of weight on my poles, but 'soft' rubber tips will barely last 100 kms.

The best tips I found were in the outdoor shop in Zubiri.
A much harder compound that lasted all the way to SDC.
But another few hundred kms has worn those out too.......

So where are the 'good' tips?

I've just bought some black diamond tips, thinking that maybe a 'branded' set might be better.
But they do seem on the soft side. I can't see them lasting more than 200-300 kms.


Any thoughts on good quality rubber tip protectors?
I prefer the symmetrical type, rather than those that look like little boots (for nordic and leki poles I think)

I'd rather not have to carry 2-3 sets with me :(

I carry them on my waist belt pocket and am frequently putting them on and off during the day dependent on the terrain.
Obviously leaving them on, on soft ground, tends to accelerate the tungsten tips 'punching' through the rubber.
And if the rubber protectors are too hard a material, they can slip on concrete or smooth rock.

Hard to find really good ones........

For those who use poles, and don't bother with tip protectors.......
They not only stop that annoying 'clack clack' as you walk along the streets,
but are an important safety feature.
Bare metal tips on smooth concrete, cobble stones or flat rock and the like, can very easily just skate across the surface leading to a twisting injury or fall.
I carry both carbide tips and rubber for my black diamond poles. I swap them around depending on whether it’s a pavement day or not. I have a super-light aluminium alloy bicycle chain spanner to change the tips. I also have a set or two of rubber over covers for a quick change for those very early mornings in town where the carbide tips would like cannons.

One set of these lasted a Camino Frances and probably the next one

Buen Camino!
 

Nev Sheather

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Walking now (2017)
Must check those out. The tips......

But looks like we can't get the rubber tip protectors here in Australia.
Only from the UK.
I bought some from Anaconda years ago. However, my poles had longer rubber tips than I could buy, so when they wore through I pushed them right up and put new ones on the pole, that works fine.
 

Vanozza

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
I have walked part of the Camino Frances one and a half times. I ended in Sahagun in April 2019.
Rubber Pole Tips? Where are the good ones?

I'm one of those Pilgrims that barely takes a step without my poles.
Used properly, they take a lot of weight off my knees and ankles, on all types of terrain and gradients.
I honestly would struggle to make it without them.

But I go through rubber tip protectors way too fast.
Sure I'm putting a lot of weight on my poles, but 'soft' rubber tips will barely last 100 kms.

The best tips I found were in the outdoor shop in Zubiri.
A much harder compound that lasted all the way to SDC.
But another few hundred kms has worn those out too.......

So where are the 'good' tips?

I've just bought some black diamond tips, thinking that maybe a 'branded' set might be better.
But they do seem on the soft side. I can't see them lasting more than 200-300 kms.


Any thoughts on good quality rubber tip protectors?
I prefer the symmetrical type, rather than those that look like little boots (for nordic and leki poles I think)

I'd rather not have to carry 2-3 sets with me :(

I carry them on my waist belt pocket and am frequently putting them on and off during the day dependent on the terrain.
Obviously leaving them on, on soft ground, tends to accelerate the tungsten tips 'punching' through the rubber.
And if the rubber protectors are too hard a material, they can slip on concrete or smooth rock.

Hard to find really good ones........

For those who use poles, and don't bother with tip protectors.......
They not only stop that annoying 'clack clack' as you walk along the streets,
but are an important safety feature.
Bare metal tips on smooth concrete, cobble stones or flat rock and the like, can very easily just skate across the surface leading to a twisting injury or fall.
I hate the “clack clack” of trekking poles, even with rubber tips. Can anyone recommend QUIET tips?? Cost is no object if I can get the peace and quiet.
 

davebugg

A Pilgrimage is time I spend praying with my feet
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
I have found that the tips use on walking canes and some types of crutches are made from a thicker and more durable compound than those found on many trekking poles.

The rubber or plastic protectors on a trekking pole, at their bottom circumference, measure in the neighborhood of between 22 to 35 mm.

Without taking off the trekking pole protectors, I have slipped on a cane tip.

Cane tips also seem to have a compound which gives additional traction on rain slick surfaces. It does also help make things a bit quieter, although it depends on the trekking poles. In some less expensive poles, not all noise from a trekking pole comes from the tips hitting the ground.

Some pole manufacturers will use mechanical tighteners to secure the expandable sections of a trekking pole which are themselves 'sloppy' and can clack. The same with the expandable sections themselves; each time a pole is planted, the jarring is sufficient to create a clicking or clacking sound.
 
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Deputy Dan

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Logrono to Burgos in week of October (2017); SJPP - ?, three weeks in 2020!
I use the cheap generic tips; for me the expensive ones wore out just as fast, and if the generics get 20% of the life of the fancy ones, my budget is still ahead of the game. Carrying spares amounts to less than an ounce/25 grams, take up very little space, and avoids the need for any detour to a hardware store.

For Camino terrain I never removed the rubber tips. I didn't encounter any surface where I thought the carbide tips might help. Some of my early tips seemed to wear out from the inside, even with that little washer inside - the carbide tip being the culprit, so I just removed the carbide tips altogether. They're small and are buried with my repair kit (WD40 and Duct tape) in case I ever do need them (ice?).
 

Deafleopard625

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
For what it’s worth I have been walking every day around 10km on hard surfaces and have found that if I wrap the metal tips in electrical/gaffer tape first, I can then slip on my rubber tips and they tend to not break through the bottom of the tips as fast!
I have been using generic 10mm chair leg tips from Bunnings (4pack for around $2.50), and they last at least six weeks for the pack.
 

easygoing

Camino Sharon
Year of past OR future Camino
I have walked the Camino Francis 7 times, twice in 2017 and 2018. (2019)
A question I have always wondered about is what's with all the people I see carrying their poles attached to their backpacks on the steep and rocky trails??? Poles can be heavy.

But back to the original question--a simple solution: to make the tips last just use the poles when you need them. My husband wears out the metal tips on his black diamond poles every trip. I, on the other hand, can use the same tips for years. The difference besides my lighter weight is that my husband uses his poles for every step and since he's hard of hearing doesn't notice the noisy clank clank on city streets.
My tips last because I carry my poles through towns. I figure I don't use walking poles walking around my hometown so why would I need them on a sidewalk in Spain. But I find my poles in dispensable going uphill and downhill or along Rocky surfaces. Also if you're trying to improve your pace pushing off the poles like cross-country skiers will save energy and help you to go faster. My poles also keep from falling if I stumble.
 
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trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
A question I have always wondered about is what's with all the people I see carrying their poles attached to their backpacks on the steep and rocky trails??? Poles can be heavy.

But back to the original question--a simple solution: to make the tips last just use the poles when you need them. My husband wears out the metal tips on his black diamond poles every trip. I, on the other hand, can use the same tips for years. The difference besides my lighter weight is that my husband uses his poles for every step and since he's hard of hearing doesn't notice the noisy clank clank on city streets.
My tips last because I carry my poles through towns. I figure I don't use walking poles walking around my hometown so why would I need them on a sidewalk in Spain. But I find my poles in dispensable going uphill and downhill or along Rocky surfaces. Also if you're trying to improve your pace pushing off the poles like cross-country skiers will save energy and help you to go faster. My poles also keep from falling if I stumble.
I use my poles for almost every step - except when I'm walking through a town with many other pedestrians. Using poles helps my posture, especially carrying a pack when my center of gravity is different from normal. They also keep my hands from swelling on warm days, and they help to keep my arms toned! I have yet to have a pair of rubber tips wear out on the Camino.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
I also use my poles almost every step for the same reasons as Trecile... and I use them almost every walk I take at home for the same reason. (PLus I use my pack at home because I am a non-driver and that’s how I carry my groceries, my work stuff... ).
 

Sharonih

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF (SJPdP to Santiago) March 15, 2018
Rubber Pole Tips? Where are the good ones?

I'm one of those Pilgrims that barely takes a step without my poles.
Used properly, they take a lot of weight off my knees and ankles, on all types of terrain and gradients.
I honestly would struggle to make it without them.

But I go through rubber tip protectors way too fast.
Sure I'm putting a lot of weight on my poles, but 'soft' rubber tips will barely last 100 kms.

The best tips I found were in the outdoor shop in Zubiri.
A much harder compound that lasted all the way to SDC.
But another few hundred kms has worn those out too.......

So where are the 'good' tips?

I've just bought some black diamond tips, thinking that maybe a 'branded' set might be better.
But they do seem on the soft side. I can't see them lasting more than 200-300 kms.


Any thoughts on good quality rubber tip protectors?
I prefer the symmetrical type, rather than those that look like little boots (for nordic and leki poles I think)

I'd rather not have to carry 2-3 sets with me :(

I carry them on my waist belt pocket and am frequently putting them on and off during the day dependent on the terrain.
Obviously leaving them on, on soft ground, tends to accelerate the tungsten tips 'punching' through the rubber.
And if the rubber protectors are too hard a material, they can slip on concrete or smooth rock.

Hard to find really good ones........

For those who use poles, and don't bother with tip protectors.......
They not only stop that annoying 'clack clack' as you walk along the streets,
but are an important safety feature.
Bare metal tips on smooth concrete, cobble stones or flat rock and the like, can very easily just skate across the surface leading to a twisting injury or fall.
I bought my via Amazon and
 

Sharonih

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF (SJPdP to Santiago) March 15, 2018
I bought mine through Amazon I think a dozen tips for $11 CDN . I brought a couple sets with me as I figured there would be no way that one set would last plus 800 km as well I could gift them to people that wore theirs out. They are not heavy nor do they take up much room.
 

Icacos

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2013)
Thank you for this thread, @Robo. I think I have followed it closely enough. There have been several references to Black Diamond poles, but nowhere - that I have noticed - has it been mentioned that there are different Black Diamond poles - at least two that I know of, each with a different tip.

My BD poles (Women's Distance FLZ, pictured below) which I really like, have 'tech rubber tips' on them. (I could replace these tips with metal tips, but I have no use for metal tips, so I will probably never use those.) My concern with the 'tech rubber tips' is that they're made of very hard rubber and I cannot determine if the noise they make while being used on a hard surface constitutes the clacking sound that everyone complains about, myself included. (I've asked a walking buddy of mine if she notices the sound and she said she hadn't, but that "since you mention it, now I do, and yes, it is annoying."

My online research has led me to 'flex tech tips' which supposedly will fit my BD poles, and I'm hoping might further reduce any clacking noise. Has anyone had any experience with these? Covid restrictions have hampered my going out to brick and mortar stores to investigate, and I don't want to order them just on spec; that's why I am asking here.

IMG_1830.jpeg IMG_1840.jpeg
 
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Ernesto.IT

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
Thank you for this thread, @Robo. I think I have followed it closely enough. There have been several references to Black Diamond poles, but nowhere - that I have noticed - has it been mentioned that there are different Black Diamond poles - at least two that I know of, each with a different tip.

My BD poles (Women's Distance FLZ, pictured below) which I really like, have 'tech rubber tips' on them. (I could replace these tips with metal tips, but I have no use for metal tips, so I will probably never use those.) My concern with the 'tech rubber tips' is that they're made of very hard rubber and I cannot determine if the noise they make while being used on a hard surface constitutes the clacking sound that everyone complains about, myself included. (I've asked a walking buddy of mine if she notices the sound and she said she hadn't, but that "since you mention it, now I do, and yes, it is annoying."

My online research has led me to 'flex tech tips' which supposedly will fit my BD poles, and I'm hoping might further reduce any clacking noise. Has anyone had any experience with these? Covid restrictions have hampered my going out to brick and mortar stores to investigate, and I don't want to order them just on spec; that's why I am asking here.

View attachment 93674 View attachment 93675

Hi everyone, I have and am using the tips savers that I have suggested, the same ones for more than 5000Km. I had to buy new ones, because in one of my walks (the fourth I think) passing a stretch of undergrowth full of mud due to the rain, slipping to the ground I fell bending on one of the pole , having to abandon it, I forgot to remove the tip protector having to buy new poles in the nearby village, I had to use the new tips that are really stupid for those who take long walks but I had to make do until the end. Luckily I had a couple of old one at home. As I explained to you, I'm buying new ones having finally found them on Wish since Decathlon doesn't sell them anymore. The noise my poles make as I think to understand, comes from the metal inside the rod especially when we apply more weight
but it is enough to turn the hand a little, thus changing the angle of support of the tips, to eliminate the problem, which is not always possible given the tiredness, anyhow we definitely eliminate the ticking of metal spikes.
Another solution is to buy the non-closable but fixed length poles.
I cant help more than this.
Ultreia :)
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
My online research has led me to 'flex tech tips' which supposedly will fit my BD poles, and I'm hoping might further reduce any clacking noise. Has anyone had any experience with these? Covid restrictions have hampered my going out to brick and mortar stores to investigate, and I don't want to order them just on spec; that's why I am asking here.

View attachment 93674 View attachment 93675
I did have these and enjoyed them for a season, but I took a misstep one day and used more force than typical for a nanosecond and the flex-tip on the strained pole snapped in half. it was a shock, and I had no spare, so had to fold up the poles for the day. (I always use 2 to keep my whole body aligned, balanced and so forth, so if I can’t use both, I prefer to use none).
 

Icacos

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2013)
Thank you @Ernesto.IT and @Faye Walker for your responses. I’ve gone back and read some earlier posts on this thread, including @davebugg’s post which I missed (welcome back @davebugg!), and I’ve done some further research.

I won’t try the ‘flex tech tips’ if there’s a risk of breakage. Instead I will try to do what @Deafleopard625 suggested on this thread, and @dougfitz suggested on an earlier thread (and perhaps others too) which is try to find a cap tip with a small enough inside diameter / throat and use gaffer tape if necessary, for a better fit. The problem is finding a cap tip with an inside diameter of 10mm as most sites seem to like giving the impression that one size fits all, which we know is not true. The only time I found a discussion of diameter sizes was in a Q & A section of - as I recall - MEC’s site. I’ll have to go back to that site.

BTW I tested my walking on a tiled surface with a BD Z pole in one hand and a trusty old Komperdell Ibex (telescoping) pole in the other. I could not detect any ‘looseness‘ at all in the shaft of the Z pole, and just a little rattling - if I came down hard enough - in the Komperdell. I will continue to use both sets of poles, depending on the occasion and where I’m going. Again, thank you all. 🙏
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
nowhere - that I have noticed - has it been mentioned that there are different Black Diamond poles
Yes! My Black Diamonds are folding poles about 10 years old, and I find that the Black Diamond tips currently available (or at least those that I've tried) do not fit them.
 
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