Using a walking stick can be more effective while hiking for many reasons. Balance if you are walking up a steep hill which can give you support so that you don’t fall backwards. If the ground is muddy and slippery you could see how deep the mud is and use the staff to hold grip. The walking stick can save energy. By pushing on the staff and holding your weight you use less of your legs and more of your upper body. Using a bunch of muscles is better than using 1 or 2. You could also use the staff as self defence. If an animal is attacking you then you have a weapon to scare it off. If you’re canoeing you can use it as a depth gauge.
This article had a lot to say about what you can use the walking stick or staff for. I would have never thought of some of the ideas that it could possibly do. But, in my personal opinion I would not carry one around because it takes up another hand.