How to Properly Measure and Size Your Cane
By H Keith Melton, President of Cane Masters LLC
Anatomical dimensions may vary, even among individuals of the same height. To receive the most benefit from your cane, it is essential that it be properly sized for your body. If your cane is too long, or too short, it may not provide the necessary support and stability of a cane that is properly sized.
Both methods of sizing your cane (below) assume that you are wearing your standard footwear. Depending on their design, your boots or shoes will add an inch or more to your overall cane length.
For an accurate measurement of your cane’s optimum length, do the following:
- Stand with your back flat to a wall while wearing your everyday walking shoes,
- Stand upright, relax your shoulders, and allow your arms to hang with a natural bend (about 15 degrees) at the elbow,
- Have a second person measure the distance from your wrist joint (between your wrist and forearm) to the floor with a tape measure or yardstick. Note: if you perform this measurement on yourself, it will be inaccurate! The process of reaching across your body to measure yourself destroys the validity of the measurement,
- Round up the measurement to the nearest ½ inch.
If you don't have a second person to aid you in determining the proper measurement for your cane, there is another method:
- Measure your height when wearing your standard walking shoes. Convert your height into inches.For example, if you are 5’ 10” in your shoes, your height is 70 inches.
- Divide by two and then add ½ inch to determine your approximate cane size.In our example, if you are 70 inches tall (5’ 10”), your approximate cane size would be 35” plus ½”= 35.5 inches. If you were 64” tall (5’ 4”), your estimated cane length would be 32” plus ½” = 32.5”.
- This method is usually accurate within one inch of your proper length.
When your cane is properly sized, and you are standing in your walking shoes, the top of your cane should align with your wrist joint.
It you are uncertain of your measurement, always err by making your cane longer. It's a lot easier to cut a cane that is too long, than it is to stretch a cane that is too short! Note: Canes with copper tips (ferrules) cannot be shortened. Be certain of your length before adding a copper tip to your cane order.
Please remember: The information provided above is advisory and not intended to replace the recommendation of your medical professional. Our canes are useful for mobility and balance and are not intended to be used as a replacement for a crutch.
Please call us at Cane Masters LLC, +1 561-556-7314, if you have further questions about the proper sizing of your cane.
Below is a short video on how to measure for your cane: