I really wanted cork handles, I love the feel of the natural material. The cork help up great and had no problems with it. The poles themselves are very sturdy, I relied on them to get me through my 5 day backpacking trip. I see no wear on the tips even though much of the hike involved rocks. Only drawback is when you are getting tired and are leaning on them a little bit harder the poles tend to creep in a bit. Not really a problem, a good reason to take a break and adjust. Take the time to adjust depending on if you are going up, down, or flat. I was skeptical about adjusting or even using poles, now I won't go out for short hikes without them.
These have been my favorite trekking poles to date. They're durable, light, and haven't failed me in the field yet. My favorite thing about them is the cork grip. I find a lot of grips to be uncomfortable. A lot of times they're either too small or have a weird foamy texture. These grips, however, are just about perfect!
Cork grips are extremely comfy compared to other rubber ones I have used. I love how easy they are to adjust on the move. When climbing steep ascents i just pop the lock and make them shorter, and vise versa for going down. Also, I recommend Black Diamond Trekking Pole Tip Protectors #245775 to help preserve the cabide tips. They store easy and come with powder baskets which I havent used yet.
I have put hundreds of trail miles on these trekking poles. As stated by in the previous review, the cork handles are extremely comfortable and a huge improvement on foam/ rubber grips. Since purchasing these any other product has felt inferior on the trail. They are both light weight and very solid. I recently had to replace one of the tips, and that was even an easy process. -Justin
Compared to the much-touted Ultra Distance poles, this Alpine Carbon Cork pole set is much more robust, comfortable, and confidence-inspiring. The cork handles are significantly more comfortable than the black foam of the Distance line, which leave your hands stained black after hours of use. The wrist straps are also thicker and better padded for comfort. The carbon fiber tubes are thicker, absorbing shock more effectively. The flick-locks are easy to use and haven't failed me yet. These poles also include powder baskets for winter fun. All-in-all, they might weight a little more, and pack a little bigger, but the benefits are worth these minor drawbacks over the Ultra Distance.