For a quick video summary on how to choose the right walking stick, check out this video:
The tip of the walking stick is made of rubber and found on the bottom of the walking stick. A good tip should grip the floor well, absorb the weight of the user and not lose its shape easily.
Single tip vs quadruple tips. The single tip helps the user maintain their balance and is suitable for users who need a walking stick to alleviate some pressure when walking. The quadruple tips on the other hand are suitable for bearing more weight. Users who are less mobile and have more severe joint pain may prefer to use walking sticks with quadruple tips.
Ensuring the ideal height of the walking stick is extremely important. If the stick is too long, the user may feel some soreness after prolonged usage. On the other hand, a stick that is too short may cause instability when more weight is placed on it.
Material. Walking stick handles are commonly made of foam, rubber, plastic, or wood. Wood and plastic are usually more durable than foam. However, due to pain in the hands, some users prefer foam or rubber handles as it may be more comfortable.
Size. The handle should not be too small, causing insufficient grip. Users with arthritis or other joint pains might prefer a handle with a larger grip. Choosing an appropriately-sized handle will relieve unnecessary stress on joints and help prevent joint deformities.
Mayo Clinic. (n.d.). Healthy Lifestyle: Tips for choosing and using canes. Retrieved from Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/healthy-aging/multimedia/canes/sls-20077060?s=1
Sauerburger, D. (n.d.). What Type of Cane Should I Use? Retrieved from VisionAware: http://www.visionaware.org/info/everyday-living/essential-skills/an-introduction-to-orientation-and-mobility-skills/what-type-of-cane-should-i-use/1235
National Institute on Aging (2013).Falls and older adults: Frequently asked questions. Retrieved from http://nihseniorhealth.gov/falls/faq/faqlist.html