Best Walking Canes & Accessories Available

Health and Safety

 

man in hat carrying walking cane

Image Credit: FashionableCanes

Current estimates show nearly 8.5 million seniors use some type of mobility device like a walking cane. If you or your aging loved one are in the market for a mobility device, it is easy to become quickly overwhelmed with the sheer number of choices. While everyone needs a mobility aid for different reasons, we have compiled a list of the best walking canes that could help the challenges you currently face. 

Why Choose a Walking Cane?

Mobility devices come in a variety of shapes and sizes, all designed to meet specific obstacles and challenges. Rolling walkers, walking canes, wheelchairs, and scooters all meet different needs and make getting around a bit easier (and safer). Which device is best for you? Start with speaking to your physician.

While you don’t need a doctor’s prescription to pick up a walking cane at your local medical supply shop or pharmacy, it is still crucial to involve your doctor in the decision. Your physician may recommend a walking cane if:

  • You have fallen around the home in the past few months
  • You are unsteady on your feet while walking or transferring
  • You are taking medications that can affect balance 
  • You have a history of stroke
  • You have decreased endurance
  • You have certain vision issues that can affect balance, walking, standing, or transferring

Your physician can also recommend visiting a physical therapist for proper fitting of a walking cane, ensuring the right height to best suit your situation. A therapist can also provide instructions for safe use in your home and on the go.

Best Walking Canes for Balance

best walking sticks

The HurryCane folds conveniently to fit in a purse or bag.
Image Credit: HurryCane

Perhaps the most common reason seniors first begin using walking canes is due to balance issues. When looking for a walking cane that will assist with balance challenges, find one with a sturdy base that will not slide. Canes with a quad base will also increase the balance potential.

  • Excellent walking canes should be easy to collapse, as needed, to tuck into a bag or glove box.
  • Look for a walking cane that easily adjusts for height and that meets your particular height needs.
  • Canes that stand on their own can be a great alternative to a cumbersome wrist strap when you need to reach for something or let go of the cane for a moment.
  • Rubber grips on the bottom of a quad walking cane can increase stability, especially while using it on uneven or slick surfaces, like a wet grocery store floor.
  • Try options like the HurryCane Freedom, which offers safety combined with easy storage.

Best Walking Canes for Low Endurance

best walking canes 2

A built-in seat is a safe and easy place to rest.
Image credit: Switch Sticks

For seniors who have low endurance due to a chronic medical condition or as they recover from a long hospital stay or procedure, a walking cane with a built-in seat can provide peace of mind. No matter if you just need to rest and catch your breath while walking around your home or if you need a nearby place to rest during a grocery shopping trip, a walking cane with a built-in seat can be your best bet.

  • Prices for a built-in seat walking cane range from approximately $35-$100, depending on the brand. 
  • The built-in seat is backless and is not meant for extended sitting.
  • The user does need to deploy the seat by making the cane into a tripod, but it is easy to do quickly when needed.
  • Most built-in seat walking canes do have a weight limit of around 240-275 pounds.
  • Try options like the Walking Seat Stick from Switch Sticks, which offers a variety of fashion design choices.

Best Walking Canes for Comfortable Grip

The grip of the cane is nearly as important as the base, and not all seniors like the same type of grip. Unfortunately, the wrong grip can not only frustrate the senior or make them skip using the cane altogether, but it can also cause pain, numbness, or even joint issues. 

  • Work with your therapist to start with a grip they think would be best based on your particular challenges and then be ready to switch it up if you experience pain or if it is uncomfortable.
  • Tourist grips are perhaps the most commonly thought of, but can be difficult for people with arthritis or fine motor challenges to grip securely.
  • Fritz and Derby grips are designed for people living with arthritis or fine motor challenges and can be used with either the right or left hand.
  • In contrast, a Contour grip is designed for either the right or left hand, which can make gripping it more comfortable.
  • Offset grips are wrapped in foam and sometimes will include an attached wrist strap.

Best Walking Cane Accessories

Seniors can increase the comfort of their cane or even use the cane more if they have the right accessories. Speak with your physician and therapist regarding potential accessories that could make the walking cane more efficient and effective for you or your loved one.

  • If your cane does not stand up on its own, a wrist strap can make things more convenient and prevent having to bend down to retrieve it if it falls.
  • There are ice tip attachments available to fit most canes, and this can be helpful if the user is outdoors in the wintertime often.
  • Rubber quad support tips are also available that can turn nearly any cane into a more stable option.
  • Walking cane holders are nice to have tucked in a purse or bag so that the user can quickly clip the cane to the back of a chair at a restaurant or other location.
  • If you take strolls often at nighttime or at dusk, a clip-on light could be useful. Further, a clip-on light can make heading to the bathroom in the middle of the night a bit safer as well. 

Finding the best walking cane for you or your loved one may take a few tries, and that’s okay. The most important thing is to find a cane that is safe, comfortable, and easy to use. The more comfortable it is, the more likely it will get used and keep you or your loved one safe.