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The Best Crutches for Short-Term and Long-Term Use

crutches leaning up against an elevated leg with a blue cast on it
89stocker/Shutterstock.com

If you’ve recently injured your knee, leg, ankle, or foot, you may need walking assistance from those nifty things called crutches. Check out these sturdy sets of crutches to help keep you mobile while you heal.

You may be surprised to know that crutches have a deep history, dating back as far as 2830 B.C. Designs have evolved since then, but the basic types today are underarm, forearm, platform, and leg support crutches. Each type has its own set of qualities that benefit people of different sizes, various injuries, and long- or short-term use.

Picking a Set of Crutches

Here are some things to consider:

  • Professional Recommendation: If your injury was severe enough to bring you to the ER or doctor, then follow their advice about what type of crutches to buy.
  • Your Needs: Will you need to use crutches for the long-term or short-term? Underarm crutches are often used for short-term injures, while forearm crutches are better for the long term. Other things to think about are your physicality, including weight and height.
  • Budget: Prices vary considerably. You should be able to find quality basic crutches at a reasonable price. However, if you need or want a more advanced design and accessories, you may be looking at a higher price.

Best Overall: Hugo Lightweight Aluminum Crutches

Man with teal-colored t-shirt and shorts using crutches.
Hugo Mobility

For a pair of basic crutches, this product has a lot to offer. Manufactured from anodized aluminum, the crutches are lightweight and durable. The medium adult size works for individuals between 5 feet, 2 inches to 5 feet, 10 inches in height and up to 300 pounds in weight. Dual push buttons make it easy to adjust to different heights. The Hugo crutches feature thick underarm padding, a curved stair deflector, and washable cushion grips.

Best Overall

Hugo Lightweight Aluminum Crutches

These crutches by Hugo are an all-around great buy. They're affordable and well-made.

Best Hands-Free Option: iWALK3.0 Knee Crutch

a woman wearing/kneeling on a hands-free crutch on one leg while she holds her child in her arms
iWALK

If you’re injured and on crutches but hate not having your hands free, this iWALK hands-free crutch offers an enviable alternative. The crutch frame has several features that make the crutch adjustable and comfortable. The knee of the injured footrests in the padded knee platform and the upper and lower leg are securely strapped in place. Importantly, the shaft is supported at the end by a nonslip Vibram tread. Note that the hands-free crutch is not safe for everyone. Check out the product webpage for the three-step safety checklist before buying.

Best Hands-Free Option

iWALK3.0 Knee Crutch

Those who are medically able to use this product can enjoy more independence and mobility safely and comfortably.

Great for Kids: PCP Adjustable Height Crutches

A pair of crutches show against a white background
PCP

Kids get hurt, too, of course. Fortunately, PCP created some quality crutches that can be adjusted for heights between 4 feet, 2 inches to 4 feet, 10 inches. Simply press the button to adjust one inch at a time. The lightweight aluminum crutches come pre-assembled and feature handgrips, underarm rests, and bottom tips. Great for the home or hospital, these crutches are best suited for temporary use.

Best for Kids

PCP Adustable Height Crutches

For kids between 4 feet, 2 inches and 4 feet, 10 inches, these lightweight, aluminum crutches come preassembled.

Best Travel Crutches: Carex Folding Aluminum Underarm Crutches

Folded up crutches with blue accents on the pads
Carex

If your injury isn’t too severe, there’s no need to let crutches stop you from traveling! These thick-padded underarm crutches by Carex are designed with a folding system for easy storage in a car or plane. Made of lightweight aluminum, the crutches weigh only 4.5 pounds, which is amazing because they accommodate individuals as tall as 6 feet, 4 inches and up to 250 pounds in weight.

Best Travel Crutches

Carex Folding Aluminum Underarm Crutches

These foldable crutches fit easily in luggage, the car, or airplane. They're also great for taller individuals.

Best Forearm Crutches: Vive Arm Cuff Crutch

Woman using a pair of forearm crutches
Vive

The Vive forearm crutches are a great option to avoid the pain that standard under-the-arm crutches cause. These ergonomic forearm crutches are designed to fit the hand and avoid fatigue so that you use the crutches properly, leaning on your hands for support. To provide more support, the arm cuff and handgrip are molded as one piece. The corrosion-resistant aluminum frame supports up to 250 pounds and is easily adjustable to accommodate different heights. Finally, Vive added a touch of fashion to their crutches with a stylish steel gray matte finish.

Best Forearm Crutches

Vive Arm Cuff Crutch

These sleek, ergonomic crutches are designed to support proper form and avoid pain. The arm cuff and handgrip are molded as one piece.

Britta Kallevang Britta Kallevang
Britta is a professional writing tutor and freelance writer that is trained in journalistic, technical, and creative copywriting. At LifeSavvy, she researches products, writes about the items, and shares what she's uncovered with readers. Her writing is comprehensive and sometimes a bit silly. Read Full Bio »

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