A technique to grow a nanowire probe on an atomic force microscope (AFM) tip using a field-emission induced growth process has been developed. The simple and highly reproducible technique produces vertically aligned nanowire probes whose length is controlled by the growth duration. Using a cantilever clamping arrangement, nanowire probes can be grown on low-stiffness cantilevers. Experiments using the robust nanowire AFM probe demonstrate its ability to produce high-resolution tapping mode AFM images and improved profiling of structures with steep sidewalls due to its very sharp tip and high aspect ratio. No degradation in imaging performance was observed after a period of continuous scanning and storage.