These are the first set of trekking poles I have used, and I have to say that I will never go hiking or backpacking without them again.
I have always wanted trekking poles, but the price of them was a deterrent until I saw these on SAC for only $70. I was the only one with poles on the first trip that I went on, and right away noticed what a difference they make. The first day we did 10 miles and gained over 1k feet in elevation change, these helped out significantly with going up and down switchbacks. On flat ground, I was motoring on much faster than the rest of my group, to the point that someone asked me to put them away, because I was killing the vibe. Needless to say, I am totally sold on trekking poles and will never go without them again. To anyone with knee problems, I would highly recommend them if you are doing any climbing or long descents. They help out significantly on descents by taking the weight of your body, rather putting it all on your knees. On the way up, your upper body does most of the work by pushing off of your poles as support. I messed up my ankle on the first day of my last trip, climbs hurt the most, and the poles helped significantly in reducing the pain by bearing my weight.
These poles pack down nice and small when disassembled for transporting. They are easy to expand, lock and collapse on the go. They did not slip at all in 10 days of hiking. The carbide tips will grip onto any, I mean literally any surface, with ease. The first day out I was testing them on wet rock, and they stuck with no problem.
I didn't notice that the anti-shock made a difference. One of the anti-shock mechanisms stuck after only a few miles and I had to disassemble the pole to free it up. Also, the paint wears significantly after very little use, making it difficult to see the mark for proper height adjustment. I fixed this by marking over the line with a Sharpie marker. Also, these things get DIRTY. Without the baskets on, they collect a ton of mud in the threads above the tip of the pole. This isn't really an issue, until you try to put the baskets back on, I had to clean them in order to do so.
These were an excellent purchase and I would recommend trekking poles to anyone, as they allow you to move much faster with them. These are on SAC all the time, as well as other Leki poles.