When most people think of walking sticks, a traditional wooden crook cane springs to mind but in reality there is an enormous choice of sticks available on the market today. A stick doesn’t need to scream “disability”. You can buy brightly coloured sticks, patterned designs, rustic country sticks that are full of character and novelty canes with various animal head toppers.
Gadget or system sticks are great for people who could do with a stick for balance but don’t want to be seen using a walking stick. Take the umbrella sticks for example. They have a comfortable stick handle, a proper ferrule and function as any other walking stick does, but they also double up as an umbrella. To everybody else they look like umbrellas, not sticks!
Then there are hiking poles for a more recreational appeal. Hiking poles are strong and reliable and can be adjusted in height. The handles are usually grip or crutch style handles and the spiked tip can be covered by a rubber ferrule for gripping on hard ground (such as pavements). Again, for people who don’t want to use a walking stick when it really would be a good idea to, hiking poles (either one or a pair) are another good option, particularly with the growing popularity of Nordic walking for health and fitness.
If the novelty, patterned or brightly coloured sticks are not quite right, then the choice of formal and smart dress canes is also substantial. Silver plated, chrome and brass plated canes are perfect for those who want a smart stick that looks more like an accessory than a mobility aid. For evenings out, the Swarovski crystal embellished canes certainly add a sparkle!
For country folk, handmade and rustic country sticks provide a great talking point as well as strong and reliable companions for life. Red stag antler and ram’s horn as well as rare woods such as Blackthorn and twisted hazel are some of the materials commonly used for country stick making. Handmade sticks are always different and they end up being the user’s best friend.