Ah, winter. At its best, it can be a wonderland-if you don't have to walk outside in it, that is. Icy sidewalks, slushy streets, and slippery floors create hazards for everyone, but there are added concerns for those who use walking canes. Whether your doctor has recommended you use a cane or you're just getting started using a cane as a fashion accessory, now's the time to get serious about preparing your walking cane for winter.
Walking Cane Considerations
First, you should decide if you can work with what you've got or if it's time to upgrade your walking cane. There are several key considerations for any cane at any time of year, but they become especially important in the winter:
- Height - your cane should reach the bottom crease of your wrist comfortably when the end is resting on the floor.
- Handle - your cane's handle should be comfortable and provide a sure grip. Some handles affect how your weight is distributed along the cane's shaft. Different shapes and styles work for different needs. There are handles that work well for arthritic hands, like the fritz handle, or handles that can be made especially for the left or right hand, including ergonomic and palm grip handle designs, as well as novelty handles made for occasional users.
- Tip - the right tip makes a big difference; for winter, consider an ice-gripping tip. We like the retractable tip, which is easy to convert when back inside. A flip-up version attaches to the shaft of the cane itself and simply flips up for inside, and back down for outside. We recommend using the Ingrid Ice Gripper Cane Tip as its easily retractable tip will make for a safe and convenient experience!
Don't Forget About Your Clothing
For winter weather, you'll also need to think about proper clothing. Test your warm gloves with your cane: do they contribute to your grip, or do they slip? Think about your feet, too. Winter boots provide warmth, but some styles are better for walking in snow and ice than others. Ice grippers for your boots might be an option to consider, but keep in mind that, in the winter, outdoor conditions can change quickly. If you go with the grippers, make sure you can get them on and off your boots easily.
Conditions Are Treacherous Inside, Too
Let's not forget that winter has a way of coming inside. When it's really awful outside, those mats laid near doors won't keep the floors beyond them from getting wet. When you come in from the snow, sleet, rain, ice or slush, take a minute to regroup and prepare for possibly slippery indoor conditions. Your cane tip must be versatile and ready for rapidly-changing conditions. If your cane's tip is worn or torn, it's time to replace it.
Whether you're using a cane on doctor's orders or simply because it makes you feel more secure when out walking, Fashionable Canes offers various high-quality walking canes and accessories to meet your needs. If you'd like to learn more about how to prepare your walking cane for winter, consult our knowledgeable staff.