While I do prefer a wooden found/collected stick and that is what I carry 90% of the time; the one advantage I see to the trekking poles is that they will collapse down to a size that fits in the trunk of my car. This by the way is the only advantage I see. I prefer the wood because it is long enough to give multiple hand holds on up and down hill trails. A expandable pole has the handle (hand hold) at one height and only one height! The 10% I have used one of a pair of trekking poles we bought for my wife for walking in town ---- funny thing is she now uses one of the many wood tree limbs I have turned into a hiking staff and she uses a walking stick (cane) I made her for daily walking since she started to have hip pain. We have taken the trekking poles when we think we may "hike" a flat walking trail in a town an hour away --- see the one advantage of a trekking pole I listed above!!!!