In the pictures, the model is using the straps in an inefficient way! Best to insert your hand into the strap from below. when the pole is gripped, the strap ends should be in your palm with the middle of the strap across the back of your hand. That way when you really lean into the pole grip (such as when descending), the pressure is partly distributed by the strap across the back of the hand rather than entirely within your grip. It also reduces the risk of injury if your grip on the pole handle slips. Basically the same grip that your ski instructor probably taught you for your ski poles. OF course, everyone has an opinion, which is why I used the term "inefficient" rather than the more definitive "wrong". BTW, the Black Diamond Carbon Z Pole straps are designed so that the straps form an open loop when hanging loose, making it quite easy to enter from below and use this grip technique. The straps do a great job of distributing the pressure across the back of your hand.