XC Poles General Info: Nordic poles are longer than alpine skiing poles. Skating or freestyle poles are usually longer than traditional XC poles or backcountry XC poles. Since XC poles are longer than downhill poles, weight is a more significant factor. For this reason most XC poles will be either Aluminum (cheap) or Carbon Fiber (expensive), as those are two extremely light yet strong materials.
Sizing of Nordic ski poles is from the floor to the armpit, though more experienced skiers may have their own personal preferences.
Plastic Pole Grip: The grip is a hard, solid plastic that won't break or get brittle in changing temperatures.
Aluminum Shaft: This ski has an Aluminum (or Aluminum Alloy) shaft, which is lightweight material with a very high strength to weight ratio.
Adjustable Nylon Strap: Standard Nylon strap on the grips of these poles will keep the poles on your hands even if you drop them, and give a more convenient way to carry the poles (and skis) when you're not skiing.
Basket Types: Wide/Regular: The wider baskets have more surface area and will sink less in soft snow, the regular baskets are better for harder snow--but with either baskets you can use the poles in either situation, just a matter of preference!