Fitting Your Cane

Correct fitting helps you use your cane safely and effectively. When fitting the cane, stand up straight and wear the shoes you'll normally use to walk. If your cane doesn’t feel right, ask your healthcare provider, nurse, or physical therapist (PT) to check the fit.

To check fit: Place the tip 2 inches in front and 6 inches to the side.

Getting to know your cane

A cane is often used after crutches or a walker. It helps with balance as you regain strength and mobility. Many different kinds of canes are available. Some have only 1 tip. Others have 4 tips to aid balance. Hold the cane on the stronger or uninjured side unless told otherwise.

The cane fits if:

Your wrist is even with the hand grip when your arms hang at your sides.

Closeup of cane handle with dotted line showing it lining up with wrist.

Your arm bends slightly at the elbow when you hold the hand grip.

Side view of man walking with cane. Dotted line shows elbow slightly bent when hand is holding handle.

Press the buttons to lengthen or shorten an adjustable metal cane. A wooden cane must be cut to the right height.

For your safety

  • The cane should have nonskid rubber tips to prevent slipping. Change any tip that looks worn.

  • Keep the cane away from your feet so you don’t trip.

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