Kit review: Running/walking poles
I reviewed a few pairs of lightweight poles that are aimed at hill and mountain runners and walkers who like to move fast over the ground.
Poles are helpful for easing the pain of over-used leg muscles when going up and down steep terrain.
They also provide a more all-over-body workout if that is what you are looking for. That is, they use more upper body muscles when compared to walking without poles because the poles more evenly distribute the stress across the body when walking and running up and down hills.
See my review of four pairs of running poles on the Run Ultra website. The poles are just as good for walking in summer conditions.