CHOOSING A WALKING STICK. A GUIDE
When looking at a range of over seven hundred sticks at walkingsticksonline.co.uk, how do you choose the walking stick that's right for you or someone else?
Here are a few things to consider when choosing a walking stick...
1. Our sticks are not medical aids
The walking sticks in our range are not certified medical walking aids. Please consult your doctor to find out what kind of stick you need. Or if you are buying for somebody else, try to find out whether they need a normal walking stick or a special one.
2. Walking stick measurements
The walking sticks featured on this website are all 36 inches or 91 centimetres in height unless otherwise stated. We do have a few extra long walking sticks in stock and some adjustable canes too. Please use our new inches/cm or cm/inches conversion calculator here
3. Recommended Height
When the handle reaches the wrist bone, the walking stick is at the recommended length. To measure for your correct height, stand up straight with your arms flat to your sides and measure the distance from the ground to your wrist.
4. Is the stick for occasional or heavy use?
Please see the '7.walking stick handles' guide below.
5. Natural wood, patterned, coloured or decorated?
Now, this is were the decisions start! We have a massive choice of both natural and decorative walking sticks and its down to personal preference. If you are buying a walking stick as a gift, then why not consider a Walking Sticks Gft Voucher instead?
6. Folding Walking Sticks
The folding sticks are available in nine different kinds but they all are height adjustable as well.
7. Which type of handle?
The anatomically shaped handles are available in both left and right hand styles. These handles are incredibly comfortable and are designed to fit the palm of the hand. This is a good handle choice for someone who uses a walking stick all of the time especially to lean on with their full weight.
Crook handled sticks are designed to hook over the arm when not in use to free the hands, as are the Derby canes. The folding walking sticks have a wrist cord for this purpose.
Crutch Handled walking sticks are for those who need a reliable grip that will promote confidence in the user.
Moulded Top Handles are more decorative than practical and are more for the collector or as a gift for occasional use.
Thumbsticks are designed for the user to rest the thumb in the V of the handle for balance and to lean on.
Knobsticks are strong, one piece walking sticks for those who prefer to grip a ball shaped handle..
8. Folding Seats, flipsticks and shooting sticks
Folding seats are just that. Flip sticks can be used as a lean-to seat or as a stick. Shooting sticks have a metal spiked end that can be pushed into the ground for balance.
9. Weight Limits
All of our walking sticks have been tested up to a weight of 15 stone. The seat sticks have their own weight limits displayed in each product page description.
Our crutch handled sticks are generally lighter with a smaller handle. A GOOD GRIP, LOTS OF DIFFERENT COLOURS AND STYLES OF SHAFT TO CHOOSE FROM.
A very comfortable style of handle, ideal for everyday walking stick users
OFFERS A BIT OF EXTRA CONFIDENCE, SIMILAR HANDLE TO THOSE ISSUED BY PHYSIO ETC, GOOD TO REALLY GRASP IF UNSTEADY, SOME PEOPLE LIKE TO TAKE TWO OF THESE, ONE FOR EACH HAND.
The Derby handle can be hooked over your arm to free up your hands when required
Choose from our range of very stylishly handled canes.
Anatomical or Orthopedic Handle
These are our most comfortable style of handles that mould to the shape of your palm for a reassuring and comfortable grip.
GREAT FOR EXTRA CONFIDENCE OR IF A BIT UNSTEADY, MOULDED SHAPE GIVES GOOD WEIGHT SUPPORT AS WHOLE HAND IS USED
CHOOSE FROM LEFT OR RIGHT HAND STICK OR BOTH!
Handle Made From a Stag's Antler
Naturally cast stag antlers are used to make these handles
NATURALLY GATHERED STAG'S HORN AND NATURAL WOOD SHAFT SO EACH STICK IS INDIVIDUAL.
Crook handles can be hooked over your arm or an object.
Shepherd's Crook Handle
Our Shepherd's crooks are available in various sizes and heights.
Designed to be leaned on in the middle of the palm.
Thumbstick & Wading Stick Handle
These handles are designed to hook your thumb over the top with your arm bent at the elbow.
This is the same as a thumbstick handle, just a little fancier!
Cross Head Handle
This handle is at a right angle to the shaft. The handle is formed when the root or branch grows at a right angle to the shaft.
Curly Rams Horn Handle
Rams horns are heated, compressed, formed and polished to create a very beautiful handle.
Market Stick Handle
Market Sticks are direct descendants of Shepherd's crooks and the handle is meant to be leaned on with arms folded over it.
Weight Bearing Considerations
A frequently asked question is, “What is the maximum user weight this walking stick will safely tolerate?” However, it is not always possible, or wise, to guarantee that a particular walking stick will be suitable for people of a given weight for the following reasons:
1. People use walking sticks in different ways. Few people lean down on them directly from above; instead they lean on them at a variety of angles depending on their disability if they have one, general state of health, how good their sense of balance is and many other factors. Therefore, although it is possible to test a stick’s strength by applying pressure from above and seeing at what point it buckles or breaks, this in no way reflects the reality of how people use walking sticks.
NB: This does not apply to seat sticks, where weight tests are relevant as they are sat on from above. See our price list for weight limit guidance on individual seat sticks.
2. The amount of force a person exerts on a walking stick is linked to their physical condition, not their overall weight. A 16 stone (circa. 225lb / 100kg) person using a stick for light balance and support will exert far less force on it than an 8 stone (c. 112lb / 50kg) person who needs to place a great deal of weight on their stick. Even if a walking stick were ‘guaranteed’ for 12 stone, you can see how it could be unsafe to sell it to the 8 stone person, and yet be perfectly appropriate for the 16 stone person.
If you are in any doubt, please consult your doctor or physiotherapist for qualified medical advice on what kind of stick would be appropriate to your needs.
Finally, it is important to remember that a walking stick is an aid to balance and mobility. It cannot be expected to take a person’s whole weight: this is the job of a crutch or a walking frame.