Walking Cane Sizing Checklist

Method 1: Measure Yourself

  • ;Bending to read the tape measure yourself may cause inaccurate measurements, so make it a two-person job.
  • ;You'll probably be wearing shoes when you use your cane, so it's best to wear shoes with the heel height you wear most often.
  • ;Avoid an unnatural and stiff position, but stand with your best posture.
  • ;Let your arms fall naturally to your sides in a relaxed position and allow your elbows to bend slightly.
  • ;With a tape measure or yardstick, find the distance from the crease at the bottom of your wrist to the floor. Make sure there is no slack in your tape measure.
  • ;This determines the correct length cane for your height.

Method 2: Measure Your Cane

  • ;If your cane is the correct size, your body should not be stooped over or bent backward. If you you already have a cane that is a good, comfortable fit, but you aren't sure what size it is, use a tape measure or yardstick.
  • ;Find the distance from the lowest part at the top of the cane handle to the bottom of the rubber tip. As before, round up to the nearest half inch.

Features

  • ;The common hook handle, or crook handle, looks like those on an umbrella and allows you to hang the cane over your arm when not in use. For people with balance or strength issues, the derby handle is easy to grip, and the fritz handle was designed for people with arthritic hands. It's best to try out a few to see how they feel.
  • ;Rubber tips can be quickly and easily replaced when worn, or switched out for special ice-gripping tips in winter. A quad or three-point base cane offers more support and can stand upright while you are seated.
  • If you need to use it only intermittently, a folding cane that can be easily tucked away may work best for you. It's also great for travel. If you have shoes with many different heel heights, an adjustable cane will give you more flexibility without having to buy canes of different sizes.

If you need to use a walking cane, there are more styles to choose from than ever before, but it's important to choose the right size and style for your needs. Walking with the wrong size cane can be uncomfortable and may actually create additional problems. There are two reliable methods to size a walking cane. Learn exactly what to measure and how to measure so you end up with a perfect fit — and a cane that does the job correctly and comfortably.

Tips

Feeling good about yourself is important, so don't just choose any old cane. These days, they come in a wide variety of fashionable patterns, textures and colors. Choose a cane you really like, or choose several so you can match them to your outfit or your mood. You're more likely to use your cane if it's attractive.