PURPOSE:There is physiological and biomechanical evidence suggesting a possible advantage of using poles in walking training programs. The purpose of this proof-of-concept study was to test the hypothesis that untrained elderly training Nordic walking for eight weeks will show higher improvements on the functional mobility, quality of life and postural balance than that training without poles; more likely to occur in self-selected walking speed (primary outcome), and the locomotor rehabilitation index than the quality of life, the static balance and the dynamic stability. It was a two-arm randomized sample- and load-controlled study. METHODS:Thirty-three untrained older people were randomly assigned into Nordic walking (n = 16, age: 64.6±4.1 years old) and free walking (n = 17, age: 68.6±3.9 years old) training groups. RESULTS:Improvements in the self-selected walking speed (primary outcome, p = 0.011, ES = 0.42 95%CI -0.31 to 1.16), locomotor rehabilitation index (p = 0.013, ES = 0.36; (95%CI -0.39 to 1.10), quality of life (p<0.05), static balance (p<0.05) and dynamic variability (p<0.05) were found in both groups. CONCLUSIONS:The hypothesis was not supported, our findings indicated that after 8 weeks, the Nordic walking training did not result in greater improvements than free walking training for the primary outcome (self-selected walking speed) and most of the secondary outcomes (including locomotor rehabilitation index, static balance, dynamic stability, and psychological and social participation domains of quality of life). TRIAL REGISTRATION:ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03096964.