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How To Choose A Right Walking Stick

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By Author: Derry Hall
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There are several mobility aids available like walking sticks, aluminium ramps, canes, grabs, etc. But the most used one has to be a walking stick. Walking sticks are helpful if you have reasonably good mobility and would like something to give you extra balance and confidence.

Also, it makes walking easier as it helps to reduce pain by providing necessary support. Folding walking sticks are a good solution if you do not need walking aids all the time.

Choosing a Right Walking Stick

Walking sticks are made from various materials like wood, metal, carbon fiber, etc. Handles of the walking stick also come in various shapes, ranging from the conventional crook handle to a ‘swan neck.’

Different materials and different handles will suit different people. For example, some sticks will be perfect for those having painful joints or a weaker grip. While some for the people who prefer the traditional look and that feel of a ‘plain’ wooden walking stick. And some for those who want something a bit more colored, ...
... decorative, and patterned sticks.

How to Get the Right Size Walking Stick

It is essential that your walking stick has the right height for you, or else it can be potentially unsafe to walk with. If the stick is too high, it will not give you proper support, and if it is too low, then you will have to forcibly stoop.

You can follow the below steps while measuring a walking stick to ensure you invest in the correct size. Also, it is advisable to have someone else with you to help you with taking an accurate measurement.

Wear your regular walking footwear
Place the base of the stick on a flat floor, approximately 15cm from the side of your foot
Stand in an upright position
Let your arms relax by your side with a slight bend at the elbow
The top of that stick should be at the level of your wrist joint

If you do not have a stick to hand, then you can simply measure the distance starting from the bottom crease at the wrist down to the floor. Round up your measurements to the nearest cm. This will tell you the height you should look for while choosing a walking stick.

Below are the different types of walking sticks you can choose your ideal one from:

Different Types of Walking Sticks

1. Folding Walking Sticks

You can carry this type of stick easily in a bag or in a shopping trolley or can carry it in the car. These sticks are light, easy to fold or unfold, and reasonably compact when folded.

2. Tripod and Tetrapod Walking Sticks

If you require a little more support, then you can try a tripod (three-footed) or a tetrapod, also known as a quadruped (four-footed) walking stick. They space the feet apart to give a wider base to the walking stick. The neck of the stick is either straight or with a swan-neck.

3. Walking Sticks with Folding Seats

Walking continuously for a longer time can be tiring, and can also put a strain on the sensitive muscles or joints. A walking stick with a foldaway seat (also known as stick seats or folding seat canes) can be a useful aid. It allows you to sit down for a rest whenever needed. Also, you should look for one that is height adjustable.

Walking Stick Accessories

Walking stick ferrules

These are rubber feet on legs almost present in all sticks and walking frames without wheels. It provides a solid grip while walking so that one does not slip even on slippery land. One should check the ferrules regularly to ensure that they have not worned out or damaged. If the ferrules are damaged then you can go for replacement ferrules. They are available in different diameters on hardware shops, mobility shops, and online stores.

A walking stick clip

This can fit to a level surface, like a table. This clips the stick in place when not in use and prevents it from falling to the floor.

A wrist strap

It is attached to a walking stick is an inexpensive way by which one can avoid dropping or losing the stick. It can also help to keep both hands free, like while shopping or using a phone.


I hope the article helps you choose the right walking stick for your loved ones with any mobility issues. Also, you can add aluminium ramps to cover the height and with the help of walking stick ferrules, your loved ones can easily climb up the height by avoiding stepping upon it painfully. Make sure you confirm the walking stick you choose with your physician once to ensure more safety.

More About the Author

Essential Aids provides disability aids, mobility equipment and rehabilitation products to people in the UK.

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