This paper proposes contour-based features for articulated pose estimation. Most of recent methods are designed using tree-structured models with appearance evaluation only within the region of each part. While these models allow us to speed up global optimization in localizing the whole parts, useful appearance cues between neighboring parts are missing. Our work focuses on how to evaluate parts connectivity using contour cues. Unlike previous works, we locally evaluate parts connectivity only along the orientation between neighboring parts within where they overlap. This adaptive localization of the features is required for suppressing bad effects due to nuisance edges such as those of background clutter and clothing textures, as well as for reducing computational cost. Discriminative training of the contour features improves estimation accuracy more. Experimental results verify the effectiveness of our contour-based features.