Have you been limping around without using something for support? Have you been falling or tripping often because your balance is off? You may have hurt a leg or foot in some type of accident or perhaps arthritis in your knee or hip is causing you to limp or be off balance. If you are younger or even middle-aged, it can be hard to admit that it’s time to get something to assist you in walking. However, it’s time to face reality and put your safety and your body’s needs before your pride. This guide is for you to look into what is available in different types of canes so you can make a wise choice as to what would be best for you.
What is a Cane?
Most of us can relate to what a cane is because we know someone who uses one. When we were children, perhaps a grandparent had one and you may have played around with it. It was common years ago for people to carve their canes out of a piece of wood and you can still buy beautifully made canes made from different types of wood. You’re probably not aware of what a variety of canes there are until you started looking for one. Whatever they are made out of, the purpose is the same—to aid in walking and to feel safer and less dependent on someone else to assist you while walking.
This is your guide to finding the best cane for you by reviewing five different models available.
Vive Adjustable Quad Cane – Lightweight Walking Stick for Men & Women
The Vive adjustable quad cane is in the gravity mobility class of canes. It is lightweight but ultra-stable due to its four feet that support the cane and help grip any uneven surface such as gravel or grassy areas. I’m not sure why it is called a walking stick as it looks much more like a cane to me. It certainly is a good selection if you have balance issues as it will stabilize you more than the usual cane or walking stick. The Vive quad cane is unique because you can let go of it if you need to momentarily use your hand for some else, as it will simply stay standing on its four little feet that have non-slip rubber tips. The biggest reason it is so stable is because of the base that holds four small feet in place and is somewhat of a square measuring at 8 inches by 6 inches.
The Vive is adjustable because it can be used on your left or right side depending on which side it is needed. You should have the straighter side of the four legs toward your feet; if you don’t, the two other little legs will bump into your foot as you walk. To switch it to the side nearest to your foot, you simple loosen the brass pin that holds it in place and turn it to the other side and then tighten the pin. You can adjust the height of the cane by also loosening the pin and then pulling or pushing the cane to the spot you want. It has holes at one inch increments so that the cane can be adjusted from 28 to 37 inches tall by pushing the button and sliding the cane up or down to the position that’s best for you.
This quad cane can accommodate anyone from 5’5” to 6’6” in height and will support a person up to 300 pounds. If you need a lightweight cane, this one is for you at less than two pounds and made of heavy-gauge anodized aluminum. The Vive quad cane can be used for right or left-handed people and it has a rubber hand grip of 4.5 inches long and 1.5 inches around. It comes in a fashionable color of purple and other colors are available. This cane weights 1.5 pounds and comes with a lifetime money back guarantee.
This type of cane is the best choice if you need more stability for balance and especially works better for those who need additional support or are on the heavier side as it will support 300 pounds. It is very sturdy and made of high-quality materials that will last for many years. I love the way this cane will simply stay standing on its four little feet when you let go of it, rather than needing to make sure you have the wrist strap on so that the cane won’t fall when you need to let go of it momentarily.
- SUPERIOR STABILITY AND TRACTION ON ANY SURFACE: Safely navigate over any surface, indoors and out. The quad cane base provides greater traction on smooth surfaces such as hardwood, laminate or tile floors as well as greater stability on uneven surfaces such as grass, sand, gravel or plush carpets. The versatile cane is made with a durable anodized aluminum frame that is adjustable from 28" to a maximum of 37" and supports up to 300 pounds.
- NONSLIP, FOUR-PRONGED BASE: Easily switching from the left to right side, the four prong base locks into place providing additional support without interfering with a normal stride. Each prong is capped with a rubber, non skid, non-marking tip for added stability and convenience. The square base allows the can to stand upright while remaining compact enough to easily fit on stairs or in narrow passageways.
- COMFORTABLE ERGONOMIC GRIP: Fitted with an ergonomically contoured hand grip, the cane handle creates a secure, yet comfortable grip perfect for daily use. The handle also includes a wrist strap for added convenience.
- CORROSION-RESISTANT LIGHTWEIGHT FRAME: Constructed with a durable anodized aluminum, the quad cane is lightweight and corrosion-resistant. Dual security features include an easy to grip locking knob and brass locking pin ensure that the cane stays at the set height without slipping.
- VIVE GUARANTEE: Unconditional Lifetime guarantee so you can purchase now with confidence.
Men Dog Head Cane, Black Maple Shaft, Alpacca Handle
What a magnificent gift this would make for anyone who is into looking classic or has this type of collection of walking sticks or canes. This elegant cane is specially designed for men to express their style with the crook shape of a dog’s head or as a collector’s item. Many of these are bought as gifts for men who are fond of the nostalgia that goes along with using such a classic high-quality cane. Of course, any woman could also use this fashionable and stylish cane that has a handle that looks like silver, if so desired. Actually, Alpacca is said in some ads to be a sterling silver alloy combined with zinc for strength and with nickel added to help prevent tarnishing; however, according to Wikipedia. org, it is really made from 60 percent copper, 20 percent zinc, and 20 percent nickel or even other metals such as tin. Alpacca has a silvery look to it but contains no elemental silver unless it is silver plated; however, this cane head does not say it is silver plated. Alpacca has been known as nickel silver, new silver, paktong, or German silver and used to replicate silver in such things as jewelry and in the technical industry. The Alpacca also makes it have a smooth and comfortable grip as well as making it last a long time.
The crook shaped replica of a dog’s head with his mouth open is handcrafted in Germany and imported to Harvy Canes, a leading cane manufacturer in the United States where the canes are assembled by hand. The cane’s shaft is made of a hard maple with a black glossy finish and is 36 inches long. This cane is more designed for style and should not be used to bear weight. The crook style is a very traditional style. It was in fashion back in the 19th and 20th centuries and one of the oldest styles still found today. The “Tourist” handle is also called a Hook handle and is mostly used on this type of cane. It apparently was made this way in order to be hung over the arm when not in use. It can be used either facing forward or backward and in either left or right hand.
The hook or crook style comes in a large variety of different woods with different heads. This particular Alpacca style also has several different animal heads to choose from such as a horse, wolf, eagle, lion as well as other designs. The wolf head and the dog head look somewhat similar so be careful when picking one out that you don’t mix them up. This classic cane comes in a standard size of 36 inches long but can be ordered in different lengths from 30 inches to 36 inches, depending on your height. The weight on this cane is two pounds.
It should be noted that even though the metal called Alpacca is not silver, it will still need a bit of shinning up with silver polish to keep it nice and shiny. And although it is not as expensive as silver, Alpacca is still rather expensive even though it has no silver in it. When you take that into consideration, it makes you wonder what makes it so expensive. This type of stylish cane is most likely more for show and much more than you or an insurance company would want to pay for a cane that you will be using to assist you in walking and for support.
- Maple shaft in black finish is 36 inches long
- Dog Head handle made of alpacca provides comfortable support.
- Designed for style and is not meant to be a weight bearing cane. Comes complete with steel reinforced suction grip rubber tip #39808.
- Made in the US by the leading cane manufacturer, Harvy Canes.
- Brand new, ships directly from Harvy Canes factory.
Folding Cane by Vive, Walking Cane for Men & Women
If you’re looking for a foldable cane, this one just may suit you just fine. The Vive’s folding cane is lightweight, adjustable, portable, and durable. This foldable walking cane is much more durable than some of those made of a cheaper quality that you may have seen or used. What is unique and popular about this cane, is that it can go anywhere with you while not in use by collapsing it and storing in its own draw-string bag.
In order to adjust it, you simply pull out the brass pin that locks it in place and moves it in increments of one inch from 33 inches to 37 inches in length with the push-buttons. This foldable cane is shipped in the folded up position and you will find it easily opens up into a fully supportable cane. When you are ready to fold it up, you will need to grab each section snuggly to pull the section pieces apart and then folding one section at a time allows it to break into four pieces while still being attached by an elastic cord that runs through the middle of the shaft. When folding, you can start at either end but will need to hold the two pieces in one hand so that they don’t go back together as you pull the other pieces apart. Then while holding it together you can put a rubber band on the pieces and slip it into the carrying bag. When you’re ready to open it again, it will easily snap back together as you pull the pieces apart an inch or two.
This foldable cane is very sturdy and will not accidently come apart while using it. While it is folded, it will fit into a large purse, a backpack or small carry-on bag when traveling. The shaft of this cane is made of premium grade aluminum making it very lightweight at 14.4 ounces. The tip is made of solid anti-marking rubber to prevent slipping to keep you from falling. The cane’s hand grip is designed ergonomically shaped of molded rubber to make holding it comfortable and easy to grip and it has a wrist strap to let you hold it on your wrist if needing to use your hands for something else. This folding cane can support up to 250 pounds and will accommodate someone as tall as approximately 6 feet. It comes in matte black, as well as fashionable purple or teal blue and comes with a lifetime guarantee.
Very cool cane for the person that is on the go. If you are in need of a cane to be at your side at all times, this one is probably not for you unless you just want to fold it up while in transit as you travel by automobile, train, boat or plane. If you are able to walk a short distance without a cane, this one is wonderful as you can fold it up to possibly carry something that you need both hands for without trying to hang onto a one-piece cane at the same time, which at times can be dangerous. If the pieces are hard to pull apart at first, it is just because it is new and it will become much easier after doing it a few times.
- COLLAPSIBLE AND COMPACT: Providing a convenient option for those needing assistance, the Vive folding cane smoothly and securely locks in place to provide extra stability while walking on any surface. Folding at four points along the cane shaft, the collapsible cane is compact, easily fitting into a purse, briefcase, carry on or wheelchair bag.
- LIGHTWEIGHT ADJUSTABLE ALUMINUM FRAME: Constructed with a durable, corrosion-resistant anodized aluminum, the folding cane is exceptionally lightweight yet sturdy, safely supporting up to 250 pounds. The cane is easily adjusted in one-inch increments from a minimum of 33" to a maximum height of 37".
- ERGONOMIC HAND GRIP AND STRAP: Ergonomic hand grip contours to the hand to reduce hand fatigue, prevent muscle cramping and relieve pressure on the wrist. The integrated wrist strap keeps the cane from falling to the ground when released.
- SLIP-RESISTANT RUBBER TIP: Collapsible cane is capped with a slip-resistant rubber tip for additional traction and stability. The cane is also compatible with most replacement tips, including tripod tips, quad tips and ice tips.
- VIVE GUARANTEE: Unconditional lifetime guarantee so you can purchase now with confidence.
Medline Offset Handle Black Cane
This Medline cane has a handle that is offset and ergonomically designed for the person who needs to put some of their weight on the cane because it is designed to center the weight over the strongest part of the cane. This centering of the weight allows for extra dependable support while still providing a comfortable grip with an attractive look, unlike most institutional canes. The standard model of this cane has a glossy finish that will resist scratches and will last for several years.
This Medline model is adjustable from 29 inches to 38 inches (74-96.5 cm) and lightweight at only 12 ounces. To adjust it you use the push-button action that works when you push in the button that allows for the cane to move in increments of one inch and when the button pops out it will lock the cane into place securely. The shaft of this cane is made of aluminum and the handle is made of a foam PVC rubber that conforms to the hand of the user for a better grip and it also has a wrist strap so you can slip it on your wrist if you need to use your hand for something else.
The offset handle is a fairly new design that has been around for about 20 years and has become very popular due to it’s easy to grip handle and capability of taking up to 300 pounds while being lightweight at less than one pound, as well as being reasonably priced. Another reason for this cane being popular is that it’s become a fashion statement, especially with women due to the many designs available, such as paisley, polka dotted, circles and triangle shapes scattered throughout the shaft. It also comes in several colors besides black, such as bronze, chrome, purple, pink, blue, green, and even a flag print. This Medline offset handle cane certainly does make a fashion statement and women love all the designs and colors it comes in as they can have different designs to go with different outfits.
This cane is one of my favorites as I have one in black so it goes with everything but I really wanted one that has butterflies since I’m a big fan of them but I couldn’t find that design so I just applied some butterfly stickers. Functionally speaking, I really love how easy it is to grip and how you can put your weight on it without thinking it’s going to break. I’ve had mine for over 15 years and it is still working fine but I had to remove the butterfly stickers as they were getting rather dirty and unsightly so now I’m want to repaint it and try painting the butterflies on in different colors.
- Offset handle design centers the user's weight over the strongest part of the cane
- Ergonomically designed to provide comfort and support for partial weight-bearing users
- Push-button, height-adjustable to find the perfect height
- Secured with a locking ring to provide quiet, rattle-free use and added safety
- 250-lb. (113 kg) weight capacity
Hugo Mobility Quadpod Offset Cane with Ultra Stable Cane Tip
This quadpod offset cane is in the gravity mobility class of canes and is perfectly balanced in a way to stabilize your gait and the right kind of support to help relieve pain in the joints or from an injury. For those who may find the larger base of the quad cane a bit too heavy to maneuver, this cane will be a pleasant surprise. Hugo is made by Drive who has come up with a unique lighter weight cane than the quad by using their innovative Ultra Stable Cane Tip to give it balance without bulk as it stands by itself just like the quad cane. In fact, it is 54 percent lighter and 80 percent more compact than the quad cane due to being made with the lightest weight heavy-gauge aircraft-grade anodized aluminum and weighing 1.4 pounds.
This cane also allows for a more natural walk as it can be set down in a more uniform and stable position on the even or uneven terrain. Hugo’s quadpod has an ergonomic handle with a shock absorbing cushioned top designed for a better fit in your hand and that can take the weight of a person who weighs up to 300 pounds (136 kg). The center of the weight is centered over the strongest part of the cane, which allows for extra dependable support while still being attractive. It also has a wrist strap that is reflective for safety at night.
This quadpod cane is adjustable from a height of 28 inches to 39 inches (71 to 99 cm). You can adjust by using the push-buttons in 12 increments of one-inch holes so that it fits persons from five feet to six feet five inches (152-198 cm). The black quadpod tip is made of a hard rubber and you can order them separately to keep an extra one on hand for this cane or it can also be used for other canes as long as the diameter is a ¾ inch (1.9 cm). You will love carrying one of these versatile, stylish and durable canes that come in the colors of ebony, smoke, and aquamarine.
The Hugo Mobility Quadpod Offset Cane may be a long name to remember but if you just remember quadpod you’ll find the right one. This is certainly a step in the right direction as far as making the quad cane as not the only one that stands up on its own. This type of cane is certainly a great choice if you need more stability and especially if you need additional support since it will hold up to 300 pounds. The unique wrist strap that glows in the dark is a very good addition that makes it easy to see at night.
- This ebony QuadPod Cane is height adjustable and can accommodate most people between 5' - 6'.5"
- The Hugo QuadPod Cane features an Ultra Stable Cane Tip which is 54% lighter and 80% more compact than a large base quad cane
- It's unique quad design recenters itself for maximum stability and allows your cane to stand independently
- Hugo QuadPod Canes incorporate push buttons to provide 12 precision height settings, supporting up to 300 lbs
- The ergonomic, shock absorbing cushion-top cane handle is designed to fit more comfortably in your hand and has a reflective strap for added night time safety
Why Do You Need One?
There are several reasons for needing a cane. As mentioned above, accidents to any part of the leg, knee or foot can cause you to need a cane. One of the most common ailments that cause the need for a cane is arthritis in the knee or hip joint that may start to bother you on and off but then gradually gets worse. There are other conditions that may warrant having a cane to stabilize or help in balance while walking, such as MS, Lupus, or Fibromyalgia. It is not wise to wait too long to get that cane because you are putting too much strain on the opposite side that can cause it to become weak also and then you’ll need to be shopping for a walker instead of a cane.
Putting Safety First
Here is a good example of why you should put your safety first. A few years ago, I noticed that my left leg was dragging and then my leg would just give out once in a while making me almost fall. I didn’t want to use a cane, thinking it would make me look too old. At the time, I was living in northern Minnesota with lots of snow and ice. You can guess what happened. My knee gave out while walking on an icy patch and down I went right on my bad knee. It was injured so bad that I could hardly walk being forced to use a walker for a few weeks. My doctor said I had to have knee replacement surgery and afterward I would need a cane while recovering. It was a hard lesson learned on letting my pride keep me from putting my safety first.
Being Able to Move Around
It is normal for most people to feel like they can deal with a limp if it’s a temporary condition as they may get better and not need a walking aid. But for others with a chronic condition, they struggle to get around by hanging onto furniture to assist in their walking but then realize that it’s time to get a cane. Once they find the one best for them, they are pleasantly surprised at how much easier it is to move around at home or when going out. The great thing about a cane is that it is small and lightweight so carrying it in the car with you isn’t a problem. The biggest problem about a cane when you first get one is to not to forget it or leave it somewhere. The more you get used to having one with you, the more it will become part of you so you won’t ever forget it.
How Do You Get One?
First of all, if you have had an injury, your doctor will prescribe the correct cane for you. If you are beginning to have problems walking and you know what may be the problem such as arthritis, you should still visit your doctor to find out exactly what is causing you to limp. The doctor can write a prescription for a cane so that you can have it partially paid for my insurance; however, you would most likely need to purchase it at a medical equipment company that is covered by your insurance. Since some canes can be purchased for a minimum price of less than $20, many choose to not go through insurance and just get one at their local pharmacy or department store. To get an idea of what you may want and the prices, you can view a large selection online from several different websites.
Suggestions for Using a Cane
When you first start using a cane you will find that the following suggestions will help keep you be safer while ambulating in your home, as well as outside of your home.
- Be sure to adjust your cane according to your height. It should come to about your hip and your elbow should be bent 15-20 degrees when standing.
- Be sure you can grip the cane well and using a hand grip made of some type of rubber is helpful.
- You need to use the cane on the opposite or “good” side rather than the “bad” leg that is injured or weakest. Step forward with the “bad” leg and the cane together.
- Going up steps is the opposite of walking…lead with the strongest leg to have enough strength to pull you up; however, going down is the same as walking…lead with the weakest leg while placing your cane down with “bad” leg to support you.
- Always use your free hand to hold onto railings when available.
- Ask for help if you are unsure of your balance, especially when using steps without a railing.
- To avoid tripping or slipping at home, remove rugs or anything not secured to the floor and keep stairways clear.
- Always look a few feet ahead to check for anything that may hinder you walking safely.
- Avoid looking down at your feet while walking with a cane unless you need to watch as when walking on unlevel surfaces or steps.
- Avoid surfaces that are not safe, such as wet, oily, or icy areas and that are unlevel or rocky surfaces. If you live where it snows, use a tip on your cane meant for snow and ice conditions.
- To avoid dropping your cane, place your hand through the wrist strap that comes attached to most canes.
- Be sure to replace the tip of your cane when it wears down. Most drug stores carry them.
How to Find the Right Cane for You
You may wonder how to decide which cane is the best one for you. Your doctor can be of help. Before discussing with your doctor, review this guide to get an idea of which type you think will serve your needs the best. In reviewing the ones listed here, you can get an idea of what is most important to you. Hopefully, the below will help you in determining which cane is best for you:
- How important is the weight of the cane to you? The lightest cane listed is the Medline Offset Handle that is only 12 ounces. The heaviest is the Alpacca cane at two pounds.
- Does it have enough strength to hold your weight? Three out of the five will hold up to 300 pounds while the Alpacca dog head and the folding cane are up to 250 pounds.
- Is a stylish color something that is important to you? The Medline and Vive Quad have the most variety of colors.
- Is being able to adjust the height important? They are all adjustable except the Alpacca that can be ordered in different lengths.
- Are the materials it is made of important? All but the Alpacca is made of aluminum.
- Do you want a cane that is able to stand on its own? Only the Vive quad cane and the Hugo quadpod will stand on their own.
- Do you need a cane that you can fold up for tucking away? The only one that folds is the folding cane by Vive.
- Is the type of handle grip most important to you? All but the Alpacca have some type of rubber grips.
Then, of course, you would need to consider the cost and all but the Alpacca model is within a reasonable range. By picking what is most important, you can narrow your choices down.
Other than the brands mentioned above, I found the HurryCane to be a popular one and is “As seen on TV” cane. It is an all-terrain with a three-head pivot base that grips just like a foot in a boot that helps to balance and give you more traction as it flexes with uneven ground. The HurryCane is adjustable and foldable. It folds to one-third of its size to store away when needed and easily opens back up. It is adjustable from between 30.5 inches to 37.5 inches by using the push-buttons and weighs just one pound. It is very sturdy and has been tested to support up to 250 pounds, which is 50 to 100 more pounds than most canes. HurryCane is also stylish coming in colors of purple, blue and red, as well as black. Some reviews were good but most were not the best due mostly to the fact that it doesn’t stand alone well and can be easily knocked over. Also, it has a spring in the base that makes a noise every time you put it on the floor or ground. This cane may be fine if you don’t need a strong cane but I wouldn’t suggest it for anyone that needs a really stable cane.
This cane is also one that says “As seen on TV” and has several features such as it folds up, it has a LED light on the handle, and it has a slip-proof triple-head pivot base and stands on its own. The head automatically pivots as you walk. It is adjustable to five different heights from 31 inches to 38 inches using push and lock buttons. Apparently, the Trusty Cane is not so trusty! It had some very bad reviews to the degree that people said it is dangerous. Many times the base would fall apart or the cane would be falling more than it would stand. It cannot be used by anyone under 5 feet 3 inches or more as the lowest setting is too tall for someone five feet. Apparently, nothing is good about this cane except maybe the idea of a light but the actual light has the on and off switch where you put your hand so it gets switched off easily or doesn’t always work at all or falls apart. So I think you better cross this one off your list if you thought about getting it.