Walking Sticks Buying Guide

Types of Walking Sticks

There are many different variations of Walking Sticks available to purchase, each with their own specific benefits and features. All walking sticks can generally be grouped into 3 different 'types' of walking stick for easy classification and we have listed these below to help you decide the right 'type' for you.

Fixed Walking Stick

The 'Fixed Walking Stick' style is the traditional type of walking stick made from one fixed piece of wood or metal. This type of stick can still come in a height adjustable form when made from metal however wooden fixed sticks or canes are not height adjustable.

Wooden walking sticks can be cut to suit the users height and our Height Assessment Guide below explains how to get the right height stick for you.

Folding Walking Stick

'Folding Walking Sticks' are exactly as they sound, walking sticks which can be folded. The ability to fold the stick makes these perfect for infrequent users who may need extra support when out and about as they can be stored easily in a bag or car.

Due to the foldability of these sticks they are usually made from lightweight aluminium with elasticated cord connecting the sections together. They tend to be height adjustable as well and are available in a wide range of patterns and designs.

Medical Walking Stick

'Medical Walking Sticks' tend to refer to the handle rather than the stick itself. These handles are generally moulded to offer better pressure distribution for long term users. They can come in both folding and non-folding varieties and are usually manufactured from lightweight aluminium for ease of use.

Types of Walking Stick Handles

When choosing a new walking stick one of the most important considerations is the handle. If you are a frequent or constant walking stick user it is imperative that you select a handle that is going to be comfortable and not cause blisters or sores to your hand or palm. For those infrequent users it is still just as important to choose a handle type which is comfortable for you even if you are not using the stick all day.

Crook Handle

The traditional 'Crook' handle has been around for centuries and remains on the most popular handle types. Usually found on fixed wooden walking sticks, the Crook handle is easy to grip and is incredibly popular for long walks in the country.

Derby Handle

The Derby handle is a supportive and stylish handle option for a wide range of walking sticks. Found on both fixed and folding sticks, the Derby handle offers a slight curve giving a comfortable and easy to grip area when walking.

Escort Handle

The Escort Handle offers an easy to grip area and a reduced risk of your hand slipping. Escort handles are not found very frequently on walking sticks but are very similar to the Grip Handle in their practicality.

T-Bar Handle

The basic T-Bar Handle is simple ad effective. Usually crafted from wood, the T-Bar handle is not specially moulded but is perfectly suitable for infrequent users and can generally be found on folding walking sticks.

Ergonomic/Contour Handle

Specially crafted for long-term users, these handles are designed to distribute the users weight across the whole of the palm of the hand and therefore reducing the risk of blisters and sores significantly. These handles are found on what are generally referred to as 'Medical Walking Sticks' and are perfect for long term users.

Grip Handle

Grip handles are very similar to those found on crutches and offer an easy to hold solution. Grip handles can generally be found on tripods and quad canes due to the need to lift the walking aid higher. They are moulded with a 'gripped' underside to fit to the users fingers for extra comfort and stability.

Height Assessment

Getting the correct height of walking stick for you is the most important thing when choosing a new walking stick. Using a walking stick at an incorrect height can lead to posture, spinal and balance issues. If you are using a walking stick which is too short for you then this can lead to stooping and back pain while a walking stick which is too high can lead to imbalance issues and a lack of support from the stick when walking.

To measure the correct height of walking stick simply follow these 3 simple steps:

  1. Have the walking stick user stand upright in footwear they would normally wear with their arms by their side.
  2. Measure from the floor to the wrist bone of the arm you would normally use with the stick. Alternatively if you are cutting down a wooden stick then turn the stick upside down and measure on the stick where the wrist bone is.
  3. This measurement is the ideal height of walking stick for this user.

A number of walking sticks are height adjustable by 1" intervals and we always advertise the range of heights for each stick. If you are purchasing or have purchased a wooden walking stick then the measurement you have is that to which the stick needs to be cut. Most wooden sticks can be cut with a simple hacksaw or similar and metal sticks can also be cut with a tube cutter.

We offer a free stick adjustment service for all walking sticks purchased in store and will make sure that your new stick is right for you before you leave.

Walking Stick Accessories

We offer a range of helpful accessories to get the most from your new walking stick. These helpful tools and stylish touches are ideal for a wide range of walking sticks and canes and all add something special to your walking stick.


Walking Stick Straps are handy little additions to your walking stick which attach to the stick and then loop around your wrist so that your stick is always to hand and never dropped.

Stick Holders

These clips grasp the stick and enable it to be balanced on the edge of a table or worktop. Perfect for restaurant visits or coffee mornings they are available in folding or non-folding versions.


The rubber bit at the end of the walking stick is called a ferrule and they come in all manor of shapes and colours. You can also get a tripod ferrule which gives extra stability when walking.

Retaining Clip

Specially designed for folding walking sticks, these clips help keep your stick compact when folded up. Ideal for when you want to pop your stick in a bag or glove box of a car.

We hope that this Walking Sticks Buying Guide has been helpful in providing you with information on how to choose the right walking stick for your needs. Discover our full range of Walking Sticks and Canes here.

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