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Comparabooblog | March 29, 2017

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Your Guide To Buying a Walking Cane

HurryCane Walking Cane Switch Sticks Walking Cane
Yehuda Posnick

If you have difficulty walking around, either because of suffering from arthritis, or from injury or an accident, you might find that a walking cane is a necessity. But what type you choose, and the features that it should have, will all depend on what you need. Some canes are just to help you maintain balance. Others are more like a “third leg”, where you’ll need it to really support your weight. You should also think about how much you’ll be walking, and on what type of terrain. Here is a guide to some of the best walking canes on the market.

Walking Cane Types

  • Palm Handle Walking Cane: This is a type of cane handle manufactured by Nova which has a large palm surface, for added support, and less hand fatigue. This is recommended for people suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome and/or arthritis.

  • Offset Walking Cane: These are canes that have a handle that is more curved, as opposed to the “candy-cane” shape.

  • T-Handle Walking Cane: These are canes where the handle forms a letter “t”. You can wrap your thumb and forefinger around the other half of the handle.

  • Curved Walking Cane: These have the traditional “candy cane” appearance, like the handle of most umbrellas.

  • Folding Walking Cane: These fold into four parts, so you can carry them around in a purse when you’re not walking. Both EzCare and NOVA manufacture folding canes. EzCare even has a wide range of luxury folding canes, in attractive cases.

    You can also distinguish canes by the type of tip that they employ:

  • Single tip: This is the standard type of cane. There is only a single rubber tip at the bottom, but there are still a number of varieties regarding the traction of that rubber tip.

  • Tri/Quad Tip: These are walking canes with a 3- or 4-tread tip, for better traction and stability. For example, HurryCane makes 3-tread tips, while NOVA makes 4-tread tips. The 4-tread tips can also stand by themselves when placed on a flat surface.

  • Quad Canes: These are canes with four individual feet that form a base. That spreads out the center of gravity, for greater stability. These tend to be more heavy than the standard cane.

  • Folding Seat Canes: These are walking canes that open up into the form of a seat. You have to make sure that they can support your body weight. NOVA makes a variety of such canes.

What People Are Saying

Based on all the consumers’ reviews we’ve scanned, these are the top things they mentioned about their new stuff:

  • Quad-cane convenience: Some noticed that the standard walking cane wasn’t very good when going up stairs. They would have to put all their weight on the banister. The Quad-cane, with four individual feet, was a big help. Some said that, with a Quad-cane, they didn’t even need the banister!

  • Walking on pavement/walking in a park: If you are walking on a pavement, you don’t have to worry about many obstacles outside. But if you walk in the park, you’ll encounter stones and pine cones and whatnot—and all these can be lead to you stumbling and falling. A Quad type cane can negotiate these types of terrain better.

  • Decorative canes: People like the wide variety of decorations on the NOVA brand walking canes. It gives a sort of youthful vibrancy to the cane, which people don’t get with the drab black or brown canes.

Useful Tips for Shoppers

  • Adjustable height: It’s very important that you adjust the cane to your height. Most canes are telescopic, in that one part slides into the other and clicks into place. Then there typically is a screw which tightens and maintains the length of the cane.

    Note: If the cane’s length is not adjustable, make sure that you can walk with the cane without having to stoop over.

  • Traction: Take care that the rubber treads on the bottom of the cane has good traction. They wear down over time, making the cane unsafe. So be sure to replace them from time to time. Also, there are special treads for improved traction, with three or four treads. The HurryCane cane has a tip that swivels 360 degrees, and can bend in various directions. That’s good for an uneven surface.

  • Weight: Aluminum canes will be lighter than wood canes, even thought they will somewhat less sturdy.

  • Weight Capacity: You should pay attention to the weight capacity of the cane: what weight can the cane sustain. They typically will support up to 300 pounds (= 136 kilograms).

  • Handle: Some canes have a strap which you can place around your wrist. The handle itself can be made from plastic, leather, or foam rubber. You can decide which type provides you with the greatest comfort.

  • Accessories: SwitchSticks makes a number of accessories, such as special grips to attach to the walking cane when it’s snowy or icy weather, and you absolutely must go outside.

Top Brands

HurryCane—is headquartered in Port Washington, New York. They make a variety of walking canes in different designs, patterned after the way that a human being walks. Their canes feature a pivoting base, but they have a variety of styles and properties.

SwitchSticks—are makers of walking canes, crutches and seat sticks. They are located in Waukegan, Illinois, but also distribute in Australia and Great Britain. They make sticks in various forms and designs.

Ez2care—was started in 1996, developing top quality medical products. They manufacture durable medical equipment for homecare, rehabilitation, and orthopedic fields. Their main office is in Fremont, California.

NOVA Medical Products–was started in 1993 by Sue Chen. Their headquarters is in McCook, Illinois. Ms. Chen’s wish was to have a company that offers stylish designs for mobility equipment. Her company has manufactured designer canes and walkers.

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