If you are into hillwalking / hiking / backpacking you will have seen people walking with poles. The usual justification is that it takes pressure off the knees. My observation is that it seems to mess up people's gait, especially in climbing or descending.
My current theory is that it impacts on proprioception. This is the way in which the brain senses the body's position in space, through various sensors - propriceptors - throughout the body in nerve endings in muscles, tendons and joints. The brain relies on complex and rich sensory data from across the body to maintain balance and posture as we move.
Perhaps using poles diminishes the way in which weight is carried through the feet and so the sensory input is also diminished ...... and this has a negative impact on balance and gait.
It is similar to the way in which shoes and stiff soled boots blunt the sensory impact and damage gait.
Just a thought.