Measuring Cane Length
My definition of a cane is:
a walking aid for someone who has a bad knee or hip or other ailment that requires part of the body weight to be supported while walking. A cane used for this purpose should be of a length where the elbow of the arm holding the cane can be staightened (locked) when the bodyweight is over the cane.
To fit a cane for this type of application wear your normal walking shoes, stand up straight with arms hanging loosely at your sides. Have a second person measure the distance from the floor to the crease of your wrist. This measurement is normally the best height for your cane.
A cane is normally held on the side opposite to the ailment.
It is a good idea to first consult a health care professional, if your cane is needed as an orthopaedic aid.
Measure Gentleman's or Ladie's Walking Stick Length
My definition of a Gentleman's or Ladies stick is:
a fashionable cane that is not needed to support body weight but is used more for balance and maybe to ward off a dog or two. The length of this type of cane should be at least as long as a normal cane (described above) but can be an inch or so longer.
Measure Walking Stick Length
My definition of a Walking stick is:
a fashionable stick that is used for balance while walking on gravel or paved roads or fairly easy going trails.
To determine the length of your walking stick for this purpose hold a broom handle at a height that feels comfortable, then measure from the floor to the top of your hand. Add three or four inches to this measurement to give the length of your stick.
For most people a walking stick feels comfortable when the elbow is at 90 degrees (forearm parallel to the ground) or slightly higher (better a little long than too short).
Determine Hiking Stick or Staff Length
My definition of a Hiking stick is:
a sturdy walking stick that is used in rugged country where the slopes of the trails are steep and uneven.
In this case hikers normally like a hiking stick that is longer than the "walking stick length" described above, as it gives them greater stability when going up or down steep grades or crossing rough terrain.
I have seen hikers with sticks that reach to their shoulders or even to
their chin (I call this a staff).