How to Size a Walking Stick

When it comes to choosing the right walking stick or cane for you, it’s important to make sure you size it to fit your body’s height and weight. This will help ensure you have a pleasant experience and that it will enhance your health and will help prevent you from straining yourself while using it.

It is also important to note the difference between a hiking stick and a walking stick. Hiking sticks tend to be much taller and are straight at the top, while walking sticks (or canes) have a distinct handle that helps you keep your balance and distribute your weight properly.

Walking Stick / Cane Sizing

This type of walking stick is meant to support your weight, and your hand should rest on top of the handle.

For a walking stick or cane (not a hiking staff), the picture above describes how to measure. Make sure that you are wearing your typical shoes. Measure the height from the floor to your wrist as in the picture (using a tape measure). This is the length that would be most comfortable as it would allow for a slight bend at the elbow when using the walking stick.

For the walking stick or cane, the top of the handle should rest where your wrist lies or by your hipbone. Relax your body and arms to get a proper measurement and remember to wear shoes.

Hiking Staff (sometimes also called Walking Stick) Sizing

This type of walking stick is meant to be held on the shaft not on top of a handle, and is not meant for supporting your weight.

Sizing a hiking staff is, in many ways, subjective; however, through years of experience, we have developed some basic parameters -- suggestions, really -- for choosing a correct hiking stick size:

For people who are shorter than 4' 8", we generally recommend a 41-inch stick.
For people who are shorter than 5' 4", we recommend a 48-inch stick.
For people who are between 5' 4" and 5' 11", we recommend a 55-inch stick.
For adults over 5' 11", we recommend a 58-inch stick.

Related Information

Getting Fit with a Walking Stick

Top Ten Styles of Walking Sticks