Ski poles can be used for much more than skiing if you outfit them with a pair of rubber tips. While carbide tips are best for ski poles used in rough terrain, rubber tips make the poles suitable for concrete, indoor and other even surfaces. Pick your ski pole tips based on the amount of traction and stability you need, as well as the type of activity in which you will be engaged.
Flat-bottomed rubber ski pole tips feature a fairly smooth, flat bottom for concrete, asphalt and other even surfaces. They don't offer a lot of traction, but they do offer stability. The top of the tip is the same width as the ski pole while the bottom of the tip widens out into a larger circle. Some flat-bottom tips feature a series of slightly raised rubber rings for more traction.
Beaded-bottomed tips have small bead-like treads on the bottom for better traction than the flat-bottomed tips. They, too, are suitable for concrete and asphalt and also work well for inline skating and indoor use on smooth floors. Also like the flat-bottom tips, the beaded-bottom tips are tapered at the top to fit snugly on the pole and widen out a bit at their bottom for more stability. The tip is slightly rounded on the bottom edges, with longer treads in the center of the top and shorter ones around the bottom's perimeter.
Tips with a treaded bottom, also marketed as fitness tips, feature tire-like treads on the bottom of the tip. Rather than a tapered cylinder, the tips are slightly curved at the bottom, not unlike the shape of a small club. The thin neck of the tip fits snugly over the bottom of the pole while the curved bottom lets you slightly rock the poles as you step forward. Treaded tips are best for power walking and other fast-paced aerobic activity that requires more traction than activities at a slower pace. These tips are also best used indoors, on concrete or other flat surfaces.
Article Written By Ryn Gargulinski
Ryn Gargulinski is a writer, artist and performer whose journalism career began in 1991. Credits include two illustrated books, "Bony Yoga" and "Rats Incredible"; fitness, animal, crime, general news and features for various publications; and several awards. She holds a Master of Arts in English literature and folklore and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in creative writing with a French minor from Brooklyn College.