I did a short test hike - maybe 2 or 3 miles, and I have some post-testing thoughts.

  • Shoe Goo is really tough, but it's too slippery. I don't know how it will wear long term, but it held up well to gravel and strikes against rocks and roots. It doesn't matter though, because at the end of almost every stroke as the pole is more tilted relative to the ground, it's starts to slide out from under you. I may try a more grippy type of rubber like crutch feet. Or, I may try screws to give it a bit of bite.
  • Getting the wrist straps tweaked just right is fiddly. If the prussik loop is too long, it slips, especially over the smooth bamboo. It holds its place better when the loop is shorter and the strap itself is tied right up close to the pole, but then it's very difficult to get it over the ridges and the knobs where I cut off the branches.
  • As long as you're using the straps to properly support your arm weight, I don't think grip material is necessary at all. But, even in 3 miles, I started to get a hot spot at the base of my thumb where it rubbed against the pole. Putting a small piece of tape over that part of my thumb would probably alleviate the problem, but there's probably a better solution. Adding grip material would just make it worse becuase of the increased friction.