How to Choose the Best Walking Cane for Your Needs

How to Choose the Best Walking Cane for Your Needs
Elder person using wooden walking cane during rehabilitation in friendly hospital

Last Updated on February 14, 2024 by Nasir Hanif

In 2015, over 25 percent of older people in the USA relied on a cane or other mobility assistance device. And as the American population is increasingly aged, that number is on the rise.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with using a cane to help you or your loved one move around easier indoors or out. The difficulty comes in ensuring you match the best cane to a person’s needs.

Read on for our top tips on selecting a cane—from length to materials to other important considerations.

Get the Height Right

When buying a new cane, it’s essential to measure your walking stick. This way, you can ensure it will suit your general height and height when wearing thicker-soled shoes or high heels.

Remember, a too long or too short cane is no help at all. You won’t get the support you need; you’ll end up straining your back or wrist (or both) instead.

Consider the Material

Wooden canes are the most inexpensive walking stick material. They’re sturdy and can also be beautiful and personalized, especially if they feature hand-carved decoration.

However, nothing beats a cane crafted from lightweight aluminum when it comes to cost, durability, and weight. These canes are typically height-adjustable, durable (they won’t rust or crack), and come in an endless variety of designs and colors.

Get a Grip!

When you start shopping for a cane for sale, you’ll come across all kinds of grip styles. Thin or thick, padded or rigid, curved, angled, or off-set—the choices can feel almost endless.

You need to consider the mobility of the person using the cane. Do they need a walking stick simply to help them maneuver rugged terrain? Do they suffer from crippling disorders like arthritis of the hands?

We recommended, if possible, getting the person who will use the cane to test out different grip styles to see what they’re comfortable with.

Understand the Cane Types

Before you buy a cane, do some research on the different canes available. These include:

  • Straight (single-point) canes
  • Quad or tripod canes
  • Folding canes
  • Bariatric canes

Each type of cane serves a different purpose due to its unique features. For example, a tripod cane offers more stability, and a bariatric cane is crafted from heavy-duty material that can handle heavier weights.

If you’re unsure which cane is right for you, ask your physical therapist or doctor for their recommendations.

Look at the Tip

Whether you’re shopping for canes online or in-store, it’s crucial to check the cane’s tip. 

You want to see a rubber tip that looks like it would provide good traction on various surfaces, especially slippery tile or polished wood floors. If you live somewhere with icy winters should invest in a removable spike.

Finding the Best Cane for You

The best cane isn’t likely to be the cheapest, which is why doing your homework on cane features is essential before you go shopping for one. Remember, a cane isn’t an accessory; it needs to function as a critical walking assistant for you and your loved one. Choose a cane that’s as practical as it’s attractive.

For more advice on living your best life as an older person, read the other articles on our website.

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