Home > Cane Buying Guide
1 in 3 seniors fall each year. It could happen to you or someone you love.

  1. What can a cane do for you?
  2. Choosing a cane
  3. To adjust your cane
  4. Walking with a cane
  5. Going up the stairs
  6. Going down the stairs
  7. Recommended cane accessories
  8. Other helpful cane accessories

What can a cane do for you?
  If you feel unsteady on your feet and/or have a “bad” leg, a cane can provide you with balance and support. Using a cane while walking can also give you more confidence in your abilities, helping you to enjoy your life and your independence.
Choosing a cane
  Canes come in different handles, lengths and colours. A comfortable handle will make the cane more stable in your hand.
Because individual needs vary, you may want to speak to a health care professional about choosing the best cane for you.
To adjust your cane
For wooden canes:
  1. When your cane is upside down, mark the cane at the level of your wrist (see figure 1 below).
2. Remove the rubber tip.
3. Cut the cane 1.25 cm (1/2 inch) shorter than where you marked it.
4. Replace the rubber tip.
For aluminum canes:
  1. Most canes can be easily adjusted within 2.50 cm (1.0 inch) of the desired height. To correctly adjust the height, follow the instructions on how to measure your cane (see figure 1 below).
Walking with a cane
  • Always hold the cane on your strongest side. If you have a "bad" leg (weakness or pain) hold the cane in the hand of your "good" leg.
• Always move the cane and the opposite leg together (see figure 2 below).
• Replace worn rubber tips.
• Attach an ice pick during the winter.
Going up the stairs
  1. Take the first step up with your strong leg.
2. Then, move the cane and the “bad” leg to that same step.
Going down the stairs
  1. Take the first step down with the cane and the “bad” leg.
2. Then, lower the strong leg to that same step.
Recommended cane accessories
  Rubber tip: A rubber tip fits onto the bottom of the cane to help prevent the cane from slipping on wet surfaces.
Rubber tips should be replaced when worn.
Ice pick for canes: An ice pick clamps onto the bottom of the cane to help prevent the cane from slipping on snow-covered, slushy or icy surfaces.
Ice picks should always be used outdoors during the winter season.
Other helpful cane accessories
  Cane holder: A cane holder clips onto the cane so it can hang from the edge of any table, counter or desk, when not in use. Cane hand loop: A cane hand loop wraps around the cane and your hand so that the cane will not drop to the ground if your hand lets go.
Not medical advice: The information in this pamphlet is intended for educational purposes only. It is not and should not be taken as advice or treatment from a doctor or health care professional. Never disregard professional medical or health care advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this pamphlet.