Walking Assistance

Considering important options available for canes and walking sticks is a smart idea before you buy. There are many different styles of canes and walking sticks available for those looking. Whether looking for a cane to aid in walking or a walking stick for a long hike, here are some important options to know about before you buy.


The most common materials used in making walking sticks and canes is either wood or metal. Wooden canes are made with high quality hard wood for added strength. Metal is normally a high strength aluminum or other lightweight but strong material. Wood feels very solid and natural to most people. Carved walking sticks for hiking or walking are made of wood and many are these are hand carved walking sticks that look really nice. Wooden canes may feel heavier than their metal counterparts but some people prefer the feel of the wood. Metal is strong and lightweight, making this a good choice if the weight of the item is an issue. For nearly any folding cane, metal such as aluminum is the substance of choice. One popular material is the Irish blackthorn walking stick, know for its superior strength and light weight.

Cane Styles

We all have seen the classic wooden cane in the candy cane shape and the standard straight walking or hiking stick, but there are many more options to consider. For example, a telescopic walking stick collapses into a much smaller size for convenience of storage when not in use. You will find a folding walking stick that folds up accordian-style to accomplish the same thing when it is not in use. When it comes to wood, the most common styles are the standard smooth surface of wood or rougher hand carved walking sticks that add some style.

Handle Options

When it comes to handles, there is the old-fashioned curved handle option, which is a reliable option that many people find comfortable. However, there are other handle options that offer a comfortable grip. Most metal canes will have a formed handle that is molded so that fingers fit comfortably without slipping. A wider part at the edge prevents hands from sliding too far from the vertical cane. You will even find a brass or metal ball shaped handle that is great if only light walking support is required. For stylish walking sticks or hiking sticks, a hand carved ornament on the end is really cool, and you will find such things as birds or skulls engraved into the end.

Base Options

One of the most important options for a cane or walking stick is the surface that touches the ground.One option has four small arms that extend to offer greater stability when walking and will even support the cane when you are not holding it. At the very least you will want a rubber tip on a cane to avoid slipping and prevent the shock of each step on a hard surface from transferring up your arm. For a walking or hiking stick, the base is less important, since this will be used outdoors for hiking. In fact, a rubber tip on a hiking stick is not a great idea since it will be used on surfaces like rock and raw ground.

Other Options

Be aware of the height of a cane or walking stick. If you are particularly short of tall, don't assume that an item will fit you. A short or extended length model may be needed. Also, consider the weight capacity, especially important for cane walkers who need the support of the cane. Each one will have a weight rating that you need to know about to stay safe.

If you take the time to study these important options for canes and walking sticks, you will end up with an item that is suited for you and will serve you well for years to come.