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Maximum power transmission and absolute control, discover our new trail running poles and start your next race. Find the perfect pole for all your adventures!
The Trail Running Team
The connection to elite sports is the foundation of our product development work. We are proud to offer athletes the world's best products.
The History of Trail Running Poles
To tell the story of poles for trail running, there´s no better expert than Laurent Ardito, longstanding coach of Xavier Thévenard. "At the end of the 80s three disciplines merged into something new - the mountain race in Southern Europe, the adventure races like Marathon de Sables and the ultra-running culture in the US. “Trail Running was born”, declares Ardito. At adventure races poles were always a rare addition. “In mountain races in France, Italy or Spain poles always had their place”, explains Ardito. In the 80s and 90s, cross-country poles made of aluminum were preferred. Bulky and heavy, in comparison with today´s products. At that time, technical development was still in its infancy. By the end of the 90s, carbon poles were introduced replacing the heavy aluminum shafts, that were rife at that time. At the beginning of the early 2000s, you could see more and more runners using adjustable trekking or Nordic walking poles. But even the telescopic 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 halved by 37 cm and the poles fitted into every backpack overnight. „At this time, we sat down
and decided that we wanted to develop a pole that was 100 percent geared towards the requirements of trail running athletes,“ said Olivier Dufour, Country Manager LEKI France. For the first time, LEKI combined the folding pole with the Shark technology - a clickable system of strap and grip that was developed together with World Cup athletes in cross-country skiing. “In the Nordic finish sprint, the athletes need maximum power transmission and propulsion. Just like trail running”, says LEKI product manager Christian Nordhaus. “The ability to quickly click in and out of the system is exactly what trail runners need to alternate between ascent and descent. This has to be 100 percent reliable - both in darkness, rain and when the athlete is tired or stressed. The runners always have to be able to get in and out of the grip system. It‘s about the perfect combination of power transmission and fast usability. Exactly what our Shark system can do”, explains Christian Nordhaus. The first Micro Trail Pro was born and in 2015 Xavier Thévenard won his second UTMB with the legendary red pole. In the same year, LEKI was the first brand to develop a complete collection that serves all disciplines of trail running, from ultra-distance to vertical K.