As a newbie to hiking, I bought these poles as one of my first big purchases. These are a decent pair of poles. You can pay more to get better features, such as shock absorption, but in my opinion, these still get the job done well. They are very lightweight, the grip is extremely comfortable (no chafing or soreness after first use of about 6 miles), and the wristbands are also very soft and comfortable. I whacked the poles against a bunch of rocks and stumps (I'm not the most graceful), but the poles showed absolutely no wear or scratches whatsoever. The switches are very easy to use and keep the poles locked into position well.