The 10 Best Crutches

Updated June 08, 2018 by Misty Alder

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We spent 38 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. When you need some extra support getting around but don't want to be completely off your feet, a good set of crutches could be your ticket to freedom. Our assortment includes lightweight and budget-friendly options for temporary use, as well as more sophisticated, ergonomic designs to help absorb impacts, reduce irritation and promote a healthy posture for longer-term mobility assistance. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best crutch on Amazon.

10. iWalk 2.0

The iWalk 2.0 is specifically designed to enable users with non-weight-bearing lower leg injuries to move freely without tying up their hands. Though it may cause knee pain or irritation, and can be difficult to manage on steep inclines or stairs.
  • relatively easy to learn how to use
  • one size fits most
  • straps take a long time to remove
Brand iWALKFree
Model iWALK2.0
Weight 5.4 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

9. Millennial In-Motion ProX

Available in various colors and sizes to accommodate users of up to seven feet tall, the Millennial In-Motion ProX are designed to encourage healthy posture and natural wrist alignment. However, their foot caps tend to wear out quickly and need frequent replacement.
  • aircraft-grade aluminum struts
  • comfortable under the arms
  • handles loosen easily
Brand Millennial Medical
Model MWD-6500
Weight 6.2 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

8. DonJoy Rebound

Well padded, ergonomically shaped underarm supports and springs in the base of the DonJoy Rebound help absorb the energy from downward impacts and provide gentle forward momentum, making them a comfortable and practical solution for long-term users.
  • grip placement promotes circulation
  • fold for easy storage or travel
  • feet have a tendency to shift
Brand DonJoy
Model DJ141AX01-TA
Weight 7 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

7. Millennial Medical

Millennial Medical forearm supports come in your choice of snazzy electric red or blue or basic black, providing a comfortable way get around that reduces the likelihood of developing carpal tunnel or other repetitive motion injuries from extended use.
  • available in child and adult sizes
  • fully molded cuffs
  • slightly heavy for some
Brand Millennial Medical
Model pending
Weight 6 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

6. Carex Folding

For those who frequently use public transit, don't have a lot of storage space to spare, or just want something that can be easily stashed out of the way, the Carex Folding are a practical solution. They weigh just a few pounds and measure a mere two feet tall when folded.
  • height adjustable
  • budget-friendly price
  • won't flex or wobble
Brand Carex Health Brands
Model pending
Weight 5.5 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

5. FDI Ergodynamic Forearm

FDI Ergodynamic Forearm feature shock absorbers in the upper shaft to help prevent soreness in the hands, wrists and shoulders. They're engineered for noise-free operation and exceptional control, offering mobility support that doesn't announce itself as you enter a room.
  • great positive forward momentum
  • accommodate a wide range of heights
  • multiple sizes and spring rates
Brand FDI
Weight 4.2 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

4. Hugo Mobility Aluminum

Featuring soft sponge cushioned hand pieces and underarm pads that are washable and resilient to perspiration, the Hugo Mobility Aluminum are a basic, classic-style option offered in 3 size ranges at an entry-level price, making them a sensible choice for short-term use.
  • provide a good amount of traction
  • one-inch height adjustments
  • can support users up to 300 pounds
Brand Hugo Mobility
Model 721-785
Weight 3.8 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

3. Mobilegs Ultra U1

Ease of use is the hallmark of the Mobilegs Ultra U1, which feature contoured grips in order to maintain comfortable wrist angles and proper weight distribution across your palms. In addition, their rocker tips allow for a more fluid, natural gait.
  • articulated saddle design
  • offset legs provide hip clearance
  • will not chafe soft tissue
Brand Mobi
Model U1
Weight 4.1 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

2. Medline Push-Button

Designed for users of 5'2" to 5'10" in height, the Medline Push-Button feature modified stair- and corner-deflectors, so they won't add insult to injury by tripping you up as you negotiate steps and turns. They're easily adjustable and quite affordably priced.
  • durable rivets for security
  • no assembly required
  • double-extruded center tubes
Brand Medline
Model MDS80535HW
Weight 4.7 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

1. Inspired by Drive Pediatric

Able to extend from 24 to 34 inches, the Inspired by Drive Pediatric will give your small one the support that is necessary to function independently until they are fully healed and can romp around freely with their friends again.
  • suitable for ages 3 to 12
  • will bear up to 120 lbs
  • three vibrant color options
Brand Inspired by Drive
Model FC100-2GB
Weight 2.7 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

Stability And Support Where It's Needed Most

Some people like to be innovative, inquisitive, thoughtful, and are always thinking of ways to circumvent problems, while coming up with applicable solutions and workarounds. This can be true for points of confusion, inventions, and temporary or permanent disabilities. Perhaps you've recently taken an unfortunate tumble down the stairs, have fallen on the street, broken a bone, or perhaps you suffer from a physical difference that would prevent you from having full use of your legs. The last thing you plan to do is give up. You're still going to get around and get things accomplished. For any one of these reasons, crutches are an extremely valuable tool for making the unlikely suddenly possible.

Typically constructed from either hardwoods or metal, crutches are vertical tools designed to support a disabled person when their ability to walk normally has been compromised. Functionally speaking, a pair of crutches reduces the weight load on one's legs, while broadening their support base in order to maintain balance and stability when moving around. By distributing weight towards the forearm and underarm, crutches help to promote upright posture for those with disabilities or paralysis. Crutches also allow the user additional maneuverability in places they wouldn't ordinarily be able to go if they were in a wheelchair.

By supporting upright movements, crutches improve circulation as well as the function of both the kidneys and lungs.

Several different types of crutches are available. The axillary (or underarm) crutch is the most common and is easily adjusted to accommodate a variety of heights. Axillary crutches are used by placing their top pads against a user's ribcage and beneath the armpit. A parallel hand grip is also located below the pads. Axillary crutch users will often place a towel or soft cushioning around the crutch padding to prevent potential armpit injury or nerve damage. The Lofstrand crutch (or forearm crutch) offers increased flexion for the elbow, which allows the arm to bear an increased amount of weight. Platform crutches (or triceps crutches) are known for their built-in troughs that support the forearm at the very top, while a vertical handgrip is placed at the end of the platform. Velcro straps are usually applied around the forearm to keep the platform crutch in place.

Forearm crutches offer several advantages over traditional underarm crutches, with the main advantage being that forearm crutches spread the majority of a user's weight across their entire forearm instead of simply concentrating it around the wrist. This can help to prevent wrist injury. Additionally, the shape and design of forearm crutches allow for a greater degree of movement than a user would experience using an underarm crutch. That being said, the forearm crutch does have a steeper learning curve than the more traditional axillary crutch.

The forearm crutch is preferred in Europe, while the underarm crutch is more common in the United States. One of the underlying reasons for this in the states is that forearm crutches are often associated with permanent disabilities, whereas the underarm crutch has a connotation more aligned with temporary use.

Being Informed Right Out Of The Gait

The type of crutch you choose depends on a variety of factors, including the type of injury or condition you have and the way that injury or condition will affect your gait. Gaits are important to learn when using crutches, as they can help some of your muscles rest while others are working, so finding the right type of crutch to make it as easy on yourself as possible is important.

Comfort is a big deal when using crutches. Depending on your injury, you may have to use one or two crutches for an extended period of time, so ensuring that the pads are properly cushioned, the hand grips are easy to use, and that the crutches are both lightweight and durable will all be integral to your search.

Crutch tips are also important to consider. They should be made from some type of non-slip material to provide superior traction, while also being wide enough to offer dependable support when you move around.

Universal height adjustability also matters, particularly if the intended user for the crutches is a kid who's still growing.

A Brief History Of The Crutch

Evidence of carvings from ancient Egypt dating back to the time of the pharaohs five thousand years ago suggests that crutches have been around for quite a while. The pharaohs of Egypt used these devices to help them get around. Since that time, the design hasn't changed all that much. Tree branches or timber were often used to fashion rudimentary crutches with natural padding to make them more comfortable.

Fast forward a few thousand years and we'll come to the first patented and commercially-produced crutch, developed in 1917 by Emile Schlick. This early crutch design resembled a simple walking stick with upper arm support. By 1945, A. R. Lofstrand, Jr. patented the first set of crutches with adjustable height, making them fully customizable. Lofstrand's main goal was to assist a disabled person to achieve both normal step motions and balance.

Credit for the design of forearm crutches lies with Thomas Fetterman who used the invention as a way to deal with his prior experience with Polio in the nineteen fifties. Fetterman realized some of the drawbacks with axillary crutches (the potential for slipping, falling, and nerve damage) and developed a crutch with a superior ability to grab the ground, thanks to an improved crutch tip and shock-absorbing gel cap. This crutch went into production in 1988 and is still recommended by orthopedic specialists today.

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Last updated on June 08, 2018 by Misty Alder

Born and raised in the American Deep South, Misty's career in elder care took a sharp left turn when she was swept away to the land of Robinhood by her very own Merry Man. She's a coffee-swilling master of stitch-witchery with a magical touch in the kitchen and a never-ending stream of Disney gag reels playing in her head.

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