Just another opinion, not the right or wrong way, but...
I'm going to chime in and agree with Billy Ray.
I recently tried going strapless, and it significantly reduced the efficacy of poles for me, to the point where I probably wouldn't bring them. If I just gripped the poles, I couldn't load the poles significantly, and if I palmed them, I had to be too careful with placement on the descents, and ended up excessively loading my wrists.
I use poles even when my pack weight is < 5 lbs, on both long hikes and long mixed hikes/runs, if there is significant ascent/descent. On ascents and descents, they are heavily loaded, almost entirely through the straps. I rarely grip the poles.
In my opinion, on flats they are nearly useless, unless you need them for balance.
On ascents, I load them heavily as a means of providing thrust going uphill (climbing a ladder).
On descents, I load them and as a means of braking. Going downhill, I am essentially "falling" downhill, being caught by my poles on every step. I pay only a little attention to where the poles plant--I just swing them out in front of me, barely gripping the pole, then load them primarily through the straps, continuing to barely grip the pole. The angles between the poles and my body would make loading them in this position impossible, unless I were palming the top. But in that case, I can't just swing them out in front of me--I have to lift them with my wrists, and be careful where they land, then load my wrists significantly, with my hands acting as levers. Not good.
I don't mean to imply that poles can't be used effectively without straps, but I can say with certainty that the way that I use poles, they cannot be used effectively without straps.
My moving speed is typically around 3.5 mph using this approach. It would be slower if I didn't use poles, and I'm not sure I'd be able to muster >25 mile days without them.
Again, not to suggest one is more correct than the other--find what works for you; this is just my experience.
(edit: I also have a XC ski background--not sure if has something to do with it or not)