When you are measuring for a walking cane, you should have two people on hand: the person who will be using the cane as well as another person to help measure. Considering body size while measuring for a walking cane is the key to better mobility and safe use. Canes are not meant to bear the full amount of weight that you put on your legs, as is a crutch, but are helpful in providing extra balance.
To find the right length of cane for a specific user:
1. Make sure you are wearing your normal walking shoes.
2. Stand naturally upright as you usually do.
3. Let your arms fall to the side, with the normal, relaxed bend at the elbow.
4. Now is where the other person comes in. Have them use a tape measure or yard stick to measure the distance from your wrist joint (the bottom crease of your wrist) down to the floor.
If you are purchasing a cane for someone else, and don’t have that individual available, you can estimate the right measuring for a walking cane. For almost everyone, the perfect size for a cane will be within one inch of half their height. This of course isn’t the most correct way of measuring for a walking cane, but is rather a rough estimate. Keep in mind that the cane can always be shortened, but never made longer.
So, for example, a 5’6” person has a height of 66 inches. Divide that in half = 33 inches. So the estimated measuring for a walking cane that would fit that person is 33 inches.
Always choose the right thickness and material of cane for the user’s weight. Wooden canes are heavier, and heavier canes can bear the weight and easily be wielded by heavier people.