Nordic walking is undoubtedly a fantastic way to spend an afternoon or (even a whole weekend!)
It gets you in the great outdoors as well as offering a plethora of health and fitness benefits.
To get started, Nordic walking doesn’t require much equipment (meaning there are no excuses to giving it a go!) Nevertheless, things like poles and shoes will impact your experience so understanding these different aspects of Nordic walking will ensure you get the most out of it.
To learn more about this great activity, read our blog on the benefits of Nordic walking.
From hiring equipment to buying your very own, there are opportunities to suit whatever level and interest you are.
So, without further ado, what equipment is needed for Nordic walking?
Nordic Walking Poles
Poles (sometimes referred to as sticks) play a defining role in the activity. Without these poles, Nordic walking simply becomes…walking.
So, needless to say, the poles are really important. But that doesn’t mean they need to cost an arm and a leg. Nordic walking poles come in lots of variety, all ranging in specification and price.
Beginners can get started with pretty basic ones, and over time may decide to go up-market for lightweight, durable poles that deliver a high performance.
Nordic walking poles are different from regular trekking poles, so it would be recommended to get proper Nordic poles to get the most out of the activity.
Read our buyer’s guide on the best Nordic walking poles to see what the best deals are that we could find around the internet.
In a hurry? Check out our top pick below 👇
Nordic Walking Shoes
Footwear is important for any type of walking, trekking or general adventuring.
A poor choice of footwear could mean blisters, pain and general discomfort during a walk.
For Nordic walking, shoes and footwear should be considered carefully. At the very least, bringing flexible walking shoes is a good starting point. But over time, having something dedicated to the subtle nuances of Nordic walking is likely to pay dividends in terms of your enjoyment.
Perfecting the Nordic walking technique will be much easier in appropriate shoes.
The best type of footwear will be durable and support your feet but also be lightweight and flexible so you can really bend your feet. This is different from a lot of heavy duty trekking footwear that often don’t give much movement in the soles.
In a hurry? Check out our top pick below
Nordic Walking Gloves
Keeping your hands warm and comfortable is important if you’re out walking in colder months. Similarly, for those who want to take their love of Nordic walking to other countries, some regions can be bitterly cold, meaning gloves are vital.
Nordic walking gloves should be comfortable, lightweight, and durable. Heavy duty gloves can limit flexibility in your hands and wrists, which could impact your Nordic walking technique.
You also need to remember you’ll have the strap from the poles attached to your wrist, so bulky gloves will impair this.
Our review on the best Nordic walking gloves highlights some great options, including gloves that have touchscreen finger capabilities, meaning you can use your smartphone without taking your gloves off.
In a hurry? Check out our top pick below 👇
Nordic Walking Clothing
There are no dedicated clothing for Nordic walking, but choosing suitable clothing will ensure you stay comfortable.
The temperature is likely to dictate whether its shorts and t-shirts, or fleeces and waterproofs.
Clothes should ideally be lightweight and made from a “breathable” material, to help remove sweat and moisture as quick as possible.
A good pair of walking socks is always recommended too.
For long walks, a travel towel could also be a good option. These are relatively cheap and pack into a very small space. On hot days, being able to wipe away sweat is a luxury not to be underestimated.
Once you’ve got appropriate clothing, walking poles, gloves and footwear, you’re pretty much good to go.
You may want to bring a few other items, depending on how long you intend to walk for.
Items such as a backpack are worthwhile if you’re going for a longer walk. This means you can store food, water bottle, and anything else during your walk.
On hot days, sunscreen is also always recommended. You may want to bring sunglasses too. For colder days, a hat and scarf may be suitable to keep you warm.