Buying Guide for Crutches
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 helping you get around. Their slim design allows you to maneuver through doorways and corners in ways that scooters can’t always do. The added support can help your injury heal faster by avoiding use without restricting your ability 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, 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 injuries as portability 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 for around $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 your knee. Axillary crutches are the standard for common injuries and place the weight under both arms, leading 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 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. Ultimately, the most comfortable pair of crutches can depend on the injury, the person, and how often the crutches will be used.
Our Picks for the Best Crutches
Hugo Mobility Lightweight Aluminum Crutches
These crutches by Hugo are an all-around great buy for people with new injuries.
Pros: This product has a lot to offer for a pair of basic crutches. 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. 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 who 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.
iWALKFree 3.0 Knee Crutch
Those who are medically able to use this product can enjoy more independence safely and comfortably.
Pros: If you’re injured and on crutches but hate not having your hands free, this iWALK hands-free crutch offers a nice alternative. The crutch frame has several features that make it adjustable and comfortable. The knee of the injured foot can rest in the padded knee platform, and the upper and lower leg are securely strapped in place. A nonslip Vibram tread supports the shaft at the end.
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 a solid 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.
PCP Adjustable Height Crutches
For kids between 4 feet, 2 inches and 4 feet, 10 inches, these lightweight aluminum crutches come preassembled.
Pros: Kids often get hurt 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 preassembled 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: Double-check for loose screws before handing these crutches off to your kids. Remember to measure your child from 3 inches below their armpits.
Bottom Line: Although kids heal faster than their adult counterparts, a pair of crutches like these can help them easily get through their injuries. The aluminum is lightweight, so your kids can take them to school or to their friends’ houses.
Pepe Mobility Forearm Crutches
A pair of forearm crutches to save your shoulders during long-term rehab.
Pros: When your injury necessitates staying off your feet for long periods, forearm crutches can be the way to go. PEPE’s extruded raw aluminum frame forearm crutches feature a soft polypropylene grip with reflectors for visibility and elbow pads. Made for adults between 4 feet, 11 inches and 6 feet, 3 inches tall, with a maximum weight of 275 pounds, these crutches feature 11 adjustment points to create the ideal fit for you. Stand straight (with someone helping you) to measure and hold a crutch next to you. The top point of the elbow pads should meet your elbow, and the grip reflectors should meet your wrist. Operate the push buttons to slide the crutch length to your height.
Cons: Unfortunately, the elbow pads aren’t adjustable. If your upper arm is shorter or longer than the measurement these crutches are based on, you may find them uncomfortable.
Bottom Line: These PEPE crutches are undoubtedly sturdy, thanks to the PVC tips and drainage system. If it happens to rain, these crutches have your back. And they won’t cause the typical armpit pain that many crutches are known for.
Drive Medical Adult Crutches For Walking
These crutches are lightweight and so sturdy you can go for walks with them.
Pros: Don’t let that injury get you down! Keep moving with these walking crutches, per your doctor’s recommendations. Like other premium crutches, these are made with a double extruder center tube, extra-thick and latex-free underarm pads, and handgrips. This design provides support to the areas you need it most. Intended for adults between 5 feet, 8 inches and 6 feet, 5 inches and has a weight capacity of 350 pounds. Adjust these crutches via wing nuts at the handgrips and with the push-button feature for the underarm pad, 1 inch at a time.
Cons: While they may be lightweight (3.38 pounds) compared to some crutches, they are heavier than others we review here.
Bottom Line: If you’re an active person, having an injury that prevents you from your routine truly stinks. The crutches keep you on your feet by taking the weight off them. And they’ll accommodate you if you’re on the taller side.
Having a pair of crutches on hand is unnecessary before an injury, but when something goes wrong, having the right crutches can make a massive difference in the healing process. Those with leg injuries, the elderly, or people with disabilities can regain some freedom of movement through supportive crutches. Whether a temporary fix or a long-term commitment, crutches can offer balance where you need it most.