Styles of walking sticks
Walking sticks are available in different materials ranging from wood, carbon and metal. There are also a choice of handles from straight, crook, swan neck and ergonomically designed. Many people find that if they have arthritis in their hands an ergonomically designed handle is more comfortable to use because the load is spread across the whole of the hand. Walking sticks that are made from wood need to be measured and cut to size. Metal sticks are height adjustable by means of spring loaded pins along the length of the stick so can be raised or lowered to suit your needs.
Folding walking sticks
These can be a good option if you need occasional support and the stick can be folded away when not in use.
Tripod and quad walking sticks
These sticks have 3 feet and 4 feet respectively and provide a larger stable base. An advantage of these styles is that the walking stick can remain standing and will not fall to one side.
Walking sticks with seats
These walking sticks have a fold up seat attached and can be useful when outdoors if you need to take a break and have a sit down.
How to measure for a walking stick
It is important to have the correct height of walking stick. If a stick is too high this will result in the shoulder being raised up when walking with the stick. If a walking stick is too low then this will result in a drooped posture. Either way having the stick too high or too low could put you off balance and make you feel unstable. To measure for the correct height of walking stick, stand upright in your normal footwear with arms relaxed by your side and measure from the wrist bone down to the floor.
Walking stick accessories
Walking stick ferrules
It is important to regularly check that the rubber stopper (ferrule) at the end of the walking stick is in good condition and not worn to prevent slips occurring.
Walking stick strap
When not in use, this keeps the walking stick in place by means of a strap around the wrist.
Walking stick holder
The walking stick slots into the holder when not in use.