Balance isn’t something most people think about until they no longer have it, or their balance has declined so much that they’re afraid they might fall. But, in fact, balance begins to decline between the ages of 40 and 50, even though we might not notice it until we’re significantly older. By the time we’re in our 60s or 70s, we are at a greater risk of falling, and statistics show that one in three people over the age of 65 will fall each year. For this reason, we’ve reviewed the best walking canes for seniors to make sure elderly people feel more secure when they’re walking or even just standing. The best walking canes for seniors are those that are both functional and stylish.
Types of Walking Canes
Before we go into the specifics of the best walking canes for seniors, we’re going to take a look at the various types of walking canes available. That way, when we refer to a type of cane later on, you’ll already be familiar with it. Overall, there are five main types of walking canes, all of which widen a person’s base of support to reduce falls and decrease the amount of stress that’s put on lower-body joints while walking.
- Single Point Canes – These canes are among the most popular canes for both seniors and people who need the temporary assistance of a cane due to an injury or balance issue. Single point canes have one point of contact with the ground and a handle at the top. Usually, these canes have a wrist strap so they can be picked up at a person’s convenience and held on their wrist while they do other things with both hands.
- Multiple Point Canes – This type of cane has multiple points of contact with the ground. The most common multiple point canes have three or four points of contact and can stand up on their own. These canes are excellent for helping people stand up from a seated position because they are less likely to scoot out from under them when they apply pressure to the cane to stand.
- Hemi Walker Canes – These canes always have four points of contact with the ground, but they differ from multiple point canes because their bases are much wider. Hemi walker canes look similar to a step ladder without the steps in that they have a rounded top where a person’s hands go and can fold up flat if necessary. These canes are usually reserved for people moving from an actual upright walker to a multiple point or single point cane or those who will eventually need a walker, but are not there yet.
- Folding Canes – In most cases, folding canes are just single point canes that fold up so they can be stored more easily. These canes are generally meant for people who do not need canes all the time, but want to have one with them just in case. They are perfect for traveling since they are compact when folded, and they are very lightweight as well, making them easy to carry around until you need it. Many folding canes come in carry bags with shoulder straps to allow you to bring your cane with you wherever you go.
- Seat Canes – This type of cane is rarer than the others, but it offers significant convenience if you need to sit down after you walk somewhere. It is essentially a multiple point cane that has a folding seat attached to the cane’s shaft. You can simply unfold the seat and rest after walking to your destination. For example, if you’re going to one of your grandchildren’s soccer games, you can use your seat cane to provide balance while you walk from the car to the field and then unfold the attached seat to sit and watch the game.
Best Walking Canes for Balance
If you’re experiencing balance issues, the best walking canes for seniors that focus on balance are those that make the most contact with the ground, providing you with the most stability possible. As such, multiple point canes are ideal for people who have problems keeping their balance when they walk or stand. With a multiple point cane, you can put more weight on the cane, so they can also help you stand up from a seated position without losing your balance.
Falling is already a risk when you are dealing with balance problems, but if you live in an area where wet surfaces are common, falling is a much bigger concern. Multiple point canes have more points on the ground, so they won’t slip out from under you nearly as often as single point canes do. Keep in mind, though, that multiple point canes are a bit heavier than single point canes because of their extra sturdiness. This can make a multiple point cane more difficult to carry around with you if you’re not constantly using it.
Our top picks for the best walking canes for balance are as follows.
- Adjustable Quad Cane by Vive – This multiple point cane takes the top spot because it works for people of any height due to its adjustable settings. It’s a great choice for men or women (it comes in five attractive colors) and can support up to 250 pounds.
- Drive Medical Series Quad Cane – Another adjustable multiple point cane, the Drive Medical Series Quad Cane has a smaller base than most other four-point canes, making it an excellent option for stairs, which tend to be narrower than walking paths. It can also support more weight than others on our list, maxing out at 300 pounds.
- Hugo Mobility Quadpod Cane – If you’re looking for a lightweight multiple point cane, the Hugo Mobility Quadpod Cane is 54% lighter than similar canes. It has a very small base, which can be a drawback for people with significant balance problems, but it still offers more stability than a single point cane. This quad cane can support up to 300 pounds.
- HealthSmart Quad Cane – This unique multiple point cane is different from the rest on this list because it has two handles. The lower handle is shaped like a regular cane handle for walking, but above it is a second handle that provides extra leverage for standing from a seated position. If you have trouble getting out of a chair, this cane, which supports up to 250 pounds, is a perfect choice.
- NOVA Designer Quad Cane – This cane weighs less than two pounds, so it’s a good option for people who only use their cane some of the time and carry it around the rest of the time. Its four-point base is a standard width, so it is sturdy and stable. It comes in several patterned designs from butterflies, to roses, to waves, making it a popular choice for women.
Best Walking Canes for Women
Even though most of the best walking canes for seniors can be used by either men or women, there are some canes that are designed more for one gender or the other. Women tend to want canes that are colors other than black or silver, or that are patterned with pretty designs. The following canes are popular choices for women.
- DMI Sports Duro-Med Designer Folding Walking Cane – Women who don’t need a can all the time will love this pretty that’s covered with a pink floral design. It has four folding points, which means it becomes compact enough to carry in a large bag when it’s fully folded. When it is extended, it is a single-point cane that can support up to 250 pounds. It weighs less than 10 ounces, so you won’t even notice it in your bag when you’re carrying it around.
- LIXIANG Folding Walking Cane – This is another folding cane option that comes in a rosy floral print. It weighs only eight ounces, yet supports up to 250 pounds, so it is perfect for carrying in your bag just in case you need it. You’ll appreciate the detachable wrist strap on the handle so that you can use both hands and not have to put the cane down. There are four folding points along the shaft so that it can fold up compactly and fit into a large carrying bag.
- Campbell Posture Cane – Many canes require you to bend over a little when you walk, which can put extra pressure on your shoulders. The Campbell Posture Cane is equipped with an ergonomic handle that eliminates downward pressure, making it easier on your wrist and shoulders. When you walk with this cane, you’ll notice that you look forward instead of down, which increases your balance and mobility.
- HARVY Light Pink Ergonomic Ladies Walking Cane – Pink never goes out of style for women and this cane celebrates the traditional feminine color. It has a smaller handle than most canes, making it a better fit for women who tend to have smaller hands than men. Its pink contoured and cushioned grip is better for arthritic hands or fingers than the wooden or plastic grips that are found on many unisex canes.
- HARVY Ladies Fashionable Soft Touch Derby Carbon Fiber Cane – Women often have less strength than men, so a lightweight cane is almost mandatory for elderly women. Carbon fiber is just about the lightest material a cane can be made of, so this HARVY cane is an ideal choice for women who need a lightweight cane. The cushioned black handle is sized for a woman’s hand and the elegantly patterned shaft gives it a touch of style as well.
Best Walking Canes for Men
Just as there are canes designed with women in mind, there are products meant more for men as well. In general, men prefer a more traditional cane design than women and don’t usually choose bright colors or patterns. The following best walking canes for seniors are our top picks for men.
- Everyday Gents Walking Stick Carved Wood Derby Handle Cane – This sophisticated wooden cane is not only a device to help you maintain your balance, but it’s also a showpiece that everyone will be talking about. Made out of beech wood with a carved spiral design on the shaft, this cane is a gorgeous accessory that is deceptively sturdy. The only drawback is it is not adjustable.
- Classic Canes Chrome Knob Formal Cane – If you want to make a statement with your cane, this hand-carved wooden cane certainly has a lot to say. This Indian rosewood and brass cane is more than just a mobility device; it’s a conversation piece. The next time you have a formal event to attend, this cane is sure to compliment your attire and help you maintain your balance throughout the night.
- Carex Wooden Walking Cane – For a more traditional-looking cane, this Carex option provides a simple design with a crook-style handle. It’s one of the most inexpensive canes on the market, but that doesn’t mean it’s a cheap design. Made out of ash, it’s sturdy, yet light, making it an ideal choice for men who need a cane all the time and for those who carry one with them just in case.
- Hurrycane Freedom Edition – This is the bestselling cane in the United States, so it’s a clear choice for men who need a little help keeping their balance when they walk. It’s a four-point cane, but the base is narrow, so it’s good for walking up and down stairs. The base also pivots with the Hurrycane’s SteadyGrip stabilizing technology that improves traction both indoors and out. This cane also supports up to 350 pounds, making it one of the sturdiest canes on our list.
- Carex USA Flag Derby Cane – Just because women tend to prefer canes with patterns and designs doesn’t mean men have to have boring, single color canes. This USA flag cane is a wonderful choice for men who have pride in the United States. Its derby-style handle is comfortable and features technology that reduces shock and fatigue in the upper body.
Best Wooden Walking Canes
While our picks for the best walking canes for seniors are made out of many different materials, some seniors prefer the classic look of wooden walking canes. The canes that follow are some of the most popular wooden walking canes on the market today.
- HARVY Derby Scorched English Chestnut Cane – This gorgeous wooden cane is our top choice in this category because of its appearance. The English Chestnut wood used to make this cane is both stylish and sturdy. Although this cane is not meant for weight-bearing activities, it can stabilize you as you walk, helping you keep your balance and make a fashion statement at the same time.
- Handmade Ergonomic Wooden Walking Cane – Designed for men or women, this walking cane is available in either walnut or oak and features brass or steel accents near the ergonomic handle. These canes are meant to be weight-bearing, so you can use these canes to help you stand from a seated position. While pricier than other options on our list, the added sophistication is worth the extra cost.
- Duro Med Wooden Walking Cane – Some wooden canes do not support enough weight to make them viable options for seniors, but the Duro Med Wooden Walking Cane is not one of them. With this cane, you get the durability and weight support of a metal cane, but the attractiveness of a wooden cane. The secret to this cane’s strength is a metal insert running down the middle of the wooden shaft.
- HARVY Ladies Derby Walnut Cane – Men aren’t the only ones who appreciate a nice looking wooden cane. HARVY recognizes that some women might want a wooden cane that’s made to better fit their hands and height. The Ladies Derby Walnut Cane is a simple wooden cane with a brass accent below the derby-style handle, which is smaller in size than most wooden canes to more comfortably fit in a woman’s hand.
- Viking Handmade Oak Walking Cane – If you have to use a cane, you might as well make it a fancy or unique one. This oak walking cane features the head of a Viking on the handle. The Viking adornment is made out of solid metal and perfectly complements the solid wood handle and shaft. This cane is a bit heavier than other options at 21 ounces, but it’s still fairly light, especially given the fact that it can support up to 400 pounds.
Best Folding Walking Canes for Men
We’ve already mentioned several of the best walking canes for seniors, but they were mostly geared toward women. But men also often want the option of being able to fold up their cane when they’re not using it. These folding walking canes for men are perfect for traveling and for carrying around when you don’t always need to use a cane.
- Vaunn Medical Easy Grip Height Adjustable Folding Cane – This cane is not only compact when it’s folded up, but it’s also inexpensive and lightweight. It comes with a carrying case, which is included in the low price. The basic black shaft and gray ergonomic handle are appealing to men looking for a discrete cane to help them maintain their balance.
- HealthSmart Folding Walking Cane – If you’re looking for a no-frills folding cane for men that comes in an unobtrusive gray color, the HealthSmart Folding Walking Cane is the right option. It can be purchased for under $15 and does everything a more expensive cane can do. Although it doesn’t come with a carrying bag, it does include a storage sleeve that keeps the cane folded up while it’s not being used.
- Vive Folding Cane – There’s no reason a man has to choose a boring black or gray folding walking cane. The Vive Folding Cane offers several colors to choose from including purple, teal, and black. It supports up to 250 pounds and folds up easily to fit into a bag or briefcase. Its detachable wrist strap allows you to keep both hands free and still hold onto your cane instead of having to put it down while you complete your two-handed tasks.
- RMS Folding Cane – This is another lightweight folding cane that comes in several colors. You can choose from royal blue, purple, or black, and it includes a storage sleeve and ergonomic handle designed for comfort. It folds up nice and tight, and is a perfect option for carryon luggage when you fly.
- Big Alex Folding Walking Cane with LED Light – If you’re someone who likes to take walks at night, this cane is for you. Not only does it fold up and easily fit into its included carrying bag, but it also comes equipped with an LED light to make you more visible in the dark. It also features a four-point rotating base to allow you more mobility and stability. This cane is also one of the few folding canes on the market to support up to 300 pounds.
Custom Walking Canes
Some of you may not like any of the best walking canes for seniors that have been listed here. You may have a unique style that doesn’t fit with any of the best walking canes for seniors. This isn’t a problem! There are custom walking canes that can be designed to your specifications and aesthetics. Companies like Cane Masters, House of Canes, Asterom Handmade Walking Canes, Boris Palatnik ART Walking Canes, and many others make custom walking canes that can even be personalized with your name, initials, and designs.
Custom walking canes are going to be more expensive than commercially available canes, but there won’t be another one like it in the world. If you have to use a cane, particularly if you have to use one all the time, why not make it special and unique? A custom walking cane may be just what you need and will become one of the best walking canes for seniors.
Choosing the Right Cane
Now that you know about the best walking canes for seniors, you’ll need to decide which one is right for you. Design aside, you’ll need to consider these factors to make sure your cane provides you with the stability and support you need.
- Height – When your arm is hanging straight down at your side, the top of the cane should line up with your wrist.
- Elbow Bend – When your hand is on the cane’s handle, your elbow should bend 15 degrees, and just a little more if you’re using the cane for balance.
- Weight Support – Not all canes will be able to support your weight, so make sure you choose one that has a capacity that matches how much weight you’ll be putting on the cane.
- Tips – All canes should have a non-skid rubber tip. This is necessary to prevent the cane from skidding out from under you when you lean on it.
- Grip – There are numerous types of cane grips or handles available, including crook, derby, T-handle, ergonomic, offset, knob or ball, and others. Moreover, the grips come in various materials as well, including wooden, foam, gel, and metal. The best way to determine which grip is best for you is to visit a rehab center or drugstore and try them out.
- Purpose – As mentioned several times, you need to consider what you’ll be using the cane for. If it’s to assist with significant balance problems, get a multiple point cane. If it’s for temporary use, consider a single point cane. If you need it mostly when you travel, you may want a folding cane. Or, you can get several canes for various purposes to use when that situation arises.
No matter which of these best walking canes for seniors you choose, have some fun with it and pick one you really like. Think about it as an extension of your wardrobe and personality. Just because you need a cane doesn’t mean it has to look like a medical device. Take your time and pick the best walking cane for assistance and aesthetics.
- Why Does Balance Decline With Age?, JFS Richmond, https://www.jfsrichmond.org/why-does-balance-decline-with-age/
- Tips for Choosing and Using Canes, Mayo Clinic, https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/healthy-aging/multimedia/canes/sls-20077060?s=3
- Tip Sheet: Choosing the Right Cane or Walker, Health in Aging, https://www.healthinaging.org/tools-and-tips/tip-sheet-choosing-right-cane-or-walker