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The Best Crutches

89stocker/Shutterstock.com
🕚 Updated October 2021

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

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  Best Overall Best Hands-Free Option Best for Kids Most Ergonomic Best Forearm Crutches
 
  Hugo Mobility
Lightweight Aluminum Crutches
iWALKFree
3.0 Knee Crutch
PCP
Adjustable Height Crutches
DynamoMe
Sport Swings Crutches
Vive
Arm Cuff Crutch
 
Our SummaryThese crutches are an all-around great buy for people with recent injuries.Those who are medically able to use this product can enjoy more independence and mobility safely and comfortably.For kids between 4 feet, 2 inches and 4 feet, 10 inches, these lightweight aluminum crutches come preassembled.These unique crutches pay more attention to the details to keep you comfortable.These sleek, ergonomic crutches are designed to support proper form and help you avoid pain.
ProsAdjustable height, lightweight design, washable cushion grips. Features nonslip tread, secure straps, wide foot. 8-inch adjustment range, aluminum build, easy for kids to use.Specially molded hand grips and crutch pad, long feet with strong grip, supportive back strap.Removes pressure from shoulder joint, more hand mobility.
ConsSqueaky joints, unstable hand grips. Not for people with knee injuries or low strength, pads can cause chafing.Sizing is a bit off, loose screws can occur.No cushioning, crutches are interchangeable for each side of the body.Learning curve, rubber foot pads wear down quickly, not great for injuries effecting balance.
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The Best Crutches

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

You might 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.

Buying Guide for Crutches

A man walks with crutches along a sidewalk while a boy walks next to him.
VGstockstudio/Shutterstock.com

Why should you buy a pair of crutches?

If you’re one of the unlucky ones sporting a new injury and need support to go about your daily activities, crutches are great for giving you the support to move freely. Their slim design allows you to maneuver through doorways and around corners in ways that scooters can’t always do. The added support can help your injury heal faster by avoiding use but without restricting your abilities to move.

What should you look for in crutches?

  • 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. The standard axillary crutches are made from aluminum and are height adjustable, making them the common choice of doctors.
  • Your Needs: Will you need to use crutches for the long-term or short-term? Underarm crutches are often used for short-term injures as transportability is prioritized over comfort. Forearm crutches are better for the long term as they shift the weight from the nerves around your shoulder joint. Other things to think about are your physicality, including weight and height.
  • Budget: Prices vary considerably depending on the material and design variations. You should be able to find quality basic crutches at around $2 to $30. However, if you need or want a more advanced design and accessories, you might be looking at a higher price.

Which type of crutches is most comfortable?

When you take the weight off one knee, the pressure has to relocate somewhere else. Depending on the design of the crutches you plan to use, the weight can place pressure under the armpits, on your elbows, or on your knee. Axillary crutches are the standard for common injuries and place the weight under both arms which can lead to tenderness in that area. Elbow crutches use the lower half of your arm to displace weight and give you more freedom of movement. The hands-free crutch that’s placed on your knee is easy to move around in and disperses weight similarly to your body’s natural stance. However, this can put a lot of pressure on your knee, so it’s not great for people with previous knee injuries or weaknesses in that joint.

Our Picks for the Most Supportive Crutches

Best Overall

Hugo Mobility Lightweight Aluminum Crutches

These crutches by Hugo are an all-around great buy for people with new injuries.

Pros: 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 and 5 feet, 10 inches in height and up to 300 pounds in weight. But it’s no problem if that doesn’t fit your stature, as Hugo Mobility offers these crutches in tall and youth sizes. Dual push buttons make it easy to adjust to different heights for a customized feel. They also feature thick underarm padding, a curved stair deflector, and washable cushion grips.

Cons: A downside to their lightweight build and aluminum construction is that these crutches tend to squeak with pressure. The handles aren’t stable enough for those closer to the weight max as some have experienced breakage.

Bottom Line: These axillary crutches are a great option for those dealing with common injuries and need a little support while they heal. The crutches are lightweight enough to easily be transported in a car so that you can travel to the store or the office.

 

Best Hands-Free Option

iWALKFree 3.0 Knee Crutch

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

Pros: 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 it 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.

Cons: It’s important to note that the hands-free crutch is not safe for everyone, particularly those with poor leg and core strength or knee injuries. Check out the product’s webpage for the three-step safety checklist before buying. It also might cause chafing on the part of your lower leg that’s in contact with the padding.

Bottom Line: This is an alternative option for active people that want to get most of their mobility back. While it’s not suitable for everyone, this unique crutch can offer a lot to those that can properly use it.

 

Best for Kids

PCP Adjustable Height Crutches

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

Pros: Kids get hurt all the time due to their ceaseless sense of adventure. 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 the height an inch at a time. The lightweight crutches come pre-assembled and feature handgrips, underarm rests, and bottom tips to keep your kid comfortable and steady. Great for the home or hospital, these crutches are best suited for temporary use.

Cons: While the construction is relatively stable, loose screws aren’t uncommon, so be sure to double-check the sturdiness before handing these crutches off to your kids. Remember to measure your child from 3 inches below their armpits.

Bottom Line: Although kids heal fast in comparison to their adult counterparts, a pair of crutches like these can help them get through their injuries with ease. The aluminum is lightweight so that they can take them to school or to go see their friends.

 

Most Ergonomic

DynamoMe Sport Swings Crutches

These unique crutches pay more attention to the details to keep you comfortable.

Pros: If you see yourself wearing crutches for the long haul, this product offers special features to keep your arms and hands from straining. The crutch pad is molded with a curve to mimic the armpit’s shape and to evenly distribute weight. The handgrip is wider than traditional crutches, and the unique shape removes pressure from the fingers and wrists. If you’re worried about stability, these crutches literally have your back with the anti-slip back strap. The foot is wide to follow the natural bend of a step.

Cons: The curved design of the handgrips are formed specifically for one side, so you can’t interchange them. Along with the handgrip, the crutch pad is made of solid plastic, so you might want to purchase a fabric pad to add extra cushion.

Bottom Line: These crutches are certainly unique compared to traditionally axillary crutches, thanks to their innovative grip shapes and extra wide foot. Crutches like these might help you feel a little more comfortable walking around after an injury.

 

Best Forearm Crutches

Vive Arm Cuff Crutch

These sleek, ergonomic crutches are designed to support proper form and help you avoid pain.

Pros: 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 help you 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.

Cons: There is a learning curve with this type of crutch, so it isn’t great for injured people that need to keep one foot off the ground or for those that don’t have a lot of core strength. Over time, the rubber foot grips wear down, and the aluminum will poke through, making the crutches unstable.

Bottom Line: These crutches give the wearer more mobility and lessen the stress on the upper arms. However, these elbow crutches are better suited for those with more crutch experience.

Final Thoughts

It’s not necessary to have a pair of crutches on hand before an injury, but when something does go wrong, having the right crutches can make a huge difference in the healing process. Those with leg injuries, the elderly, or people with disabilities can gain some freedom of movement back through supportive crutches. Whether it’s a temporary fix or a long-term commitment, crutches can offer balance where you need it most.

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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