Understanding the purpose of the walking stick or walking cane and knowing what is the difference between a walking stick and cane, will help find the right one for you.
While they often seem to be interchangeable words, walking sticks and walking canes are actually two very different types of product with different uses. Many people get them mixed up, but if you read on, you will be one of the elite few who know the difference between walking sticks and canes.
The main difference, of course, is function. Walking canes are designed to take weight on a regular basis. If you need support while walking, and you want to be able to lean your full weight on a walking aid, it is important that you use a walking cane. Canes are most often made of wood, aluminum, or steel. They are meant to take constant weight, and are designed to be comfortable and practical for daily use. Many fold down to less than a third of their normal height, making them convenient to tuck into a purse or bag. While they can have exciting colors and patterns, most walking canes feature simple construction and handles designed for comfortable use.
Walking sticks, on the other hand, are mainly items of fashion. They are often not designed to take any weight at all, as they are little more than accessories. They can be made from a wide variety of materials, and their handles can get very elaborate- and uncomfortable! Trying to put your weight on a knob handle could result in severe discomfort or pain in your hand and wrist. Be careful when using a walking stick, and be aware that they truly are accessories rather than walking canes.
Many people use the assistance of a mobility aid because they fear that they may fall over and injure themselves; this includes the elderly or those who have less strength in their lower body. If these are genuine concerns for you, a cane is a better option. They are comfortable and designed for these purposes.
However, if you want a device that looks good, can provide some level of support and comfort, and can offer some peace of mind during certain strenuous activities – a walking stick should be able to get the job done.