These are strong poles and they are aluminum. Consequently, they weigh slightly more than some other trekking poles, but I personally didn't notice any drawbacks to the few added ounces and like having the extra sturdiness.
The hand grips (and choke grip sections) are made of a synthetic material that has a felt-like texture. This provides good grip and should remain grippy even when wet with sweat or water. I haven't tried the poles in warm weather yet but I anticipate that they will remain comfortable and provide good grip as the temperatures increase in the summer.
The straps are very comfortable and easy to adjust but could use a little extra length. I adjusted them to their maximum and was just able to insert my heavy winter gloves through the openings. It could be challenging to do this with really heavy shelled mittens.
The unique anti-shock dampers are located just under the hand grips and provide adequate shock absorbing without the sometimes annoying excessive pogo stick spring actions found in other poles.
There's a padded gripping section just below the shock dampers that allows you to choke up on the poles during short steep trail assents without needing to shorten up on the pole lengths - a very convenient feature.
The tips are convertible, from carbide to soft, by simply unscrewing the carbide tip and replacing it with screw-in soft tips (not included). Although this would work, the screw-in rubber tips are of very small diameter and won't grip rock as well as Black Diamond's conventional external rubber tip covers, which are coated with knobby protrusions that give excellent traction on rock. These tips are inexpensive and easily replaced if lost or just worn out, and they fit perfectly on Black Diamond poles. Still, it?s nice to have that replaceable tip feature in the event that you wear out the original carbide ones.
The best feature is the adjusting clamp - 2 per pole. No more twist-to-lock mechanisms that eventually slip. These are lever action clamps that make it very easy and quick to do pole adjustments yet hold firmly even in heavy use. Unlike twist locks, these levers can be manipulated with heavy gloves on and won't slip in your hands or jam up.
The bottom ice baskets are really too small in diameter to be effective. Fortunately they are removable and can be taken off in the summer and replaced with proper sized baskets in the winter. However, they do look cute on the poles, if that matters to you.
Overall, these are very well-made trekking poles with an excellent design and useful features. At first I did have some initial reservations about paying so much for a set of poles, but now feel that they are worth the extra cost.