Announcement from American Trail Running Association member LEKI.
Top ultrarunners choose the LEKI UltraTrail FX.One Superlite pole to race this Summer.
LEKI has unveiled a completely new trail running pole collection featuring the Trail Shark Grip – the first grip-strap system developed specifically for trail running. Unlike other companies that market trekking/hiking poles for running, LEKI’s new Trail Running poles address runners’ specific needs with each carefully designed feature.
- Trail Shark Grip: LEKI’s new Trail Shark grip is 30 percent lighter than the previous Shark grip with optimized usability for challenging trail / race conditions.
- Quick Release Button: Fast and easy click-in and out under any conditions.
- Guide Point: Support for the second grip option.
- Air Channels: Lightweight construction reduced to the bare minimum.
- Easy Access Hook: Fast and easy click-in without the need to ever take your eyes off the trail.
Other trail running specific features include foldable/packable design, lightweight carbon shafts, and a trail running basket and concave carbide tip that provides grip in all conditions.
ULTRATRAIL FX.ONE SUPERLITE – Weight: 4.8 oz / MSRP: $219.95
Pau Capell, one of the most accomplished trail runners in the world, has thoroughly tested the new Ultra Trail FX.One Superlite folding poles and they have become his pole of choice for all races. The new Trail Shark, the first grip-strap system developed solely for trail running, features air channels and other minimized essentials making it 30 percent lighter than the original Shark system. The Frame Strap harnesses the hand, fitting like a glove and transferring power directly through the center of the pole.
The new Trail Shark Easy Access Hook is slim and pointed, so it’s easy to click into the strap without taking your eyes off the trail, and the release button is easier to access than ever before. When climbing steep terrain, the guide point provides ergonomic support when the strap is released. The slim diameter of 14/12mm allows it to be held securely in hand when running on flatter terrain or folded (folds to less than 14 inches) and stowed into a pole belt or running pack when not in use. This fixed length folding pole is available in 5cm increments from 105-135cm. are part of the global introduction of the new Trail Shark grip system in 2022.
Why Use Poles?
While poles have always been a staple in high altitude European trail races, the trend has been slower to catch on in the US. The history of running with poles goes back to the early 80s when trail runners used heavy aluminum cross country poles because they preferred the race style and grip. By the early 2000s, more and more runners were using adjustable trekking poles, but telescoping trekking poles had a pack size of 70 cm or more and stood out from the athletes’ backpacks like antennas. The big breakthrough came with folding pole technology in the early 2010s. The pack size was almost cut in half by 37 cm and the poles fit into every backpack overnight. For a very marginal weight cost, poles offer you a number of performance benefits over the course of a long hard day on the hills:
Leverage: Most importantly, poles deliver muscle force from your trunk and upper extremities downward to help provide propulsive energy uphill. They incorporate your entire body into the climb, and provide a firm foundation for each upward step when the effects of gravity plus mud, snow or loose scree are conspiring to pull your center of gravity backward.
Energy conservation: By sharing the workload of climbs between your upper and lower body, you decrease the overall energy demand on your legs over the course of a full day and night. If you’re not accustomed to using poles, you’ll have some soreness in your upper body muscles after your first prolonged use, so be sure to train with poles periodically.
Posture: Sure, the hands-on-knees method works pretty well for providing leverage and using your upper body to help with climbs… but the tradeoff is that you’re hunched over and not allowing your lungs to fully expand. Using poles on a climb helps keep your torso upright, which not only helps with breathing, but reduces strain on your low back so you don’t become that bent-over person staggering toward the finish.
Balance: Poles can also help on steep technical downhills by providing an extra continuous point of contact with the ground. It’s a good rule of thumb to take your wrists out of the straps on the downhills, to avoid potential injury or pole damage if you do happen to fall.
Bushwhacking: Poles can be extremely helpful in pushing aside briars, poison oak or other trail obstacles that you’d rather not brush with your legs.
[PRO TIP: What to learn more about how to use poles for trail running? Check out our article “Using poles for a more efficient trail running experience“]
Founded in 1948, LEKI is the leading manufacturer of Skiing, Trekking and Trail Running poles and gloves that are German engineered and mostly produced in the company’s Czech Republic factory. This in conjunction with extensive research and independent testing make the best products featuring quality, value and technology. LEKI equips over 1,000 of the world’s best athletes and brand ambassadors in the disciplines of alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, biathlon, trail running, ski mountaineering, mountain guiding and alpine climbing. Headquartered in Buffalo, NY, LEKI USA, Inc. is the sole distributor of LEKI brand products in the United States. For more information, please visit https://www.leki.com/us/.