Fizan was founded in ITALY by Mr Fincati Domenico 1947, a man of vision, he was first to produce ski poles in aluminum when steel and bamboo were the normal materials used, the rest as they say is history.
Fizan breaks down their Fizan Nordic Walking Poles into 2 distinct categories Nordic Walking and Trail Running. The main difference is the Trail Running poles are lighter single length poles to minimize weight and maximize performance. For weight weenies the Fizan Vertical poles come in at a scant 135 grams. That’s wicked light for a 120cm set.
As one who really appreciates Italian anything, I just knew I wanted to check out Fizan’s line of Nordic Walking Poles. Italians seem to get it when it comes to fashion sense and how to make products stand out. Something about graphics and colors in all the right places without over doing it. You see it in Italian apparel, shoes and now Fizan Nordic Walking Poles.
When we contacted Fizan they were excited to send us out a few poles for review. Looking at their lineup, we chose the Fizan Race and the Fizan Trainer. These poles would give us a good representation of Fizan’s offerings and also allow us to get to know the pole’s wrist straps and handles, key components for any Nordic Walking pole.
Fizan Trainer Nordic Walking Pole
We were really interested in the Fizan Trainer because of it’s unique “System CONCEPT” twist lock, making it an adjustable pole (105cm – 130cm). The Trainer weighs in at 175 grams, putting it in the mid range for weight over other Fizan offerings.
We absolutely love the design of the CONCEPT locking mechanism. While it may not look as elegant as other twist locks, it is so much easier to understand and use. With traditional twist locks, it’s sort of a guessing game for people as to which way you are supposed to unscrew/screw the lock. Sometimes when you think you are loosing them, you are actually tightening them and visa versa. With Fizan’s CONCEPT twist locks it is visually easy to see if you are tightening or loosing the locking mechanism.
CONCEPT twist locks are made with only two pieces and are made to work in all weather conditions, whether extreme heat or cold. Unfortunately we couldn’t put it to the extreme cold test, but it passed with flying colors in the extreme heat category of Austin, Texas. Based on our testing, we think these locks would hold up equally as well in colder conditions and again would be easier to loosen or tighten.
Both the Fizan Trainer and Fizan Race come with Fizan’s Nordic Walking FR3 Strap System. FR stands for Fast Release, which is a common concept in Nordic Walking Pole design. Fizan’s detachable wrist straps are very similar to Gabel’s, both utilizing a plastic locking shim.
In our testing Fizan and the Gabel wrist straps connection systems work equally well and in our view neither comes out a winner. Where Fizan leaps ahead is both in graphics and material. The color selection and placement of material oozes Italian craftsmanship. We felt that Fizan’s wrist straps were more elegant and seemed to be more solid in design, with more reinforcement.
Fizan offers a wide range of baskets, rubber and carbide tips. In our testing we used the Art. TN rubber stopper, Art N35W tip/basket combo and the Art. N30W tip/basket combo. All worked exceptionally well. We did feel that the Art. TN rubber stoppers wear pretty fast, but they also had the best grip out of all the rubber stoppers we have tested.
Fizan Race Nordic Walking Pole
The Fizan Race is simply a fantastic Nordic Walking Pole. Being one length means no having to mess with locking mechanisms or adjusting sizes. Simply grab your poles and go.
Both the Fizan Trainer and Race come with Fizan’s Dual-density cork rubber grip. We weren’t sure what to make of the grips when we saw them, but instantly realized their value when testing them out on rainy days. While natural cork untreated can become slippery, the rubber/cork mixture helps maintain your grip.
The Race also comes with a very pointy Xc carbide tip for when the time comes to venture off road. We mostly tested the pole with the Nordic rubber tip and found the tracking to be superb in both dry and wet conditions, but from our experience, if you do a lot of road walking it will wear down pretty fast. We put over 18 miles of road walking on the rubber tips and most of the traction groves are gone.
Fizan has an outstanding product lineup. We were really impressed with both the Fizan Race and the Fizan Trainer. Both poles measured up extremely well against the competitors and are one of our top choices for Nordic Walking adventures. Did we mention we love Italian designs? Fizan reminds us of other amazing companies like Sedi, Vittoria and Rapha with an eye for great graphics and style.
The CONCEPT locking mechanism on the Trainer is by far the easiest twist lock we tested. The visual queue the lock provides makes it a snap to know which way to lock or unlock. Fizan’s FR3 Strap System works as good as it looks and is extremely comfortable. We took the poles out on a few brisk 1:30 hour walks without any signs of chaffing or blisters. Even in the rain the poles and straps performed flawlessly.
Our only advice for Fizan would be to make a dual CONCEPT locking pole for compact travel. You could call it the Thom or Crandall or something like that. I would suggest it be an 18mm/16mm/14mm carbon or an 18mm/16mm carbon combined with at 14mm aluminum.
Check out the Fizan Website for Trekking and Nordic Walking.