Tips for the Safe use of Walking Aids

Walking aids are devices that are used to provide support and stability while walking; they include walking sticks, crutches, & rollators.

To ensure that a walking aid is safe to use, there are several things that should be checked before, during and after use.

User manual:

Read and understand the user manual for the walking aid to ensure that you are using it properly and safely.

Weight-bearing capacity:

Make sure the walking aid can support your body weight. Check the maximum weight capacity of the device and ensure that it is appropriate for your weight.

Base width & stability:

The base of the walking aid should be wide enough to provide stability. A wider base provides better stability and support than a narrower one. The device should not wobble or tip over when your weight is put on it.


Check that the height of the walking aid is appropriate for your height. The height of a walking aid is different for each type and should me measured and fitted by a healthcare professional


Check that the grip on the walking aid is secure and comfortable. The handle should be easy to grip and not slip out of your hand.


Take time to practice using the walking aid before using it out and about. This will help you get used to the device and build confidence in its stability.


Check that the walking surface is flat, even and slip-resistant. Avoid walking on slippery or uneven surfaces that could cause the walking aid to slip or tip over.


Regularly inspect the walking aid for wear and tear. Replace any damaged or worn-out parts immediately to maintain stability and safety. Ferrules are a one component of a walking aid that wears out relatively quickly and should be regularly checked. Ferrules are the rubber tips that are located at the bottom of walking aids such as walking sticks, crutches, and walkers. They are important for providing grip and stability on slippery or uneven surfaces. Here are some things to check when inspecting ferrules:

  • Wear and tear: Ferrules can wear down over time and lose their traction. Check the condition of the ferrules regularly for signs of wear and tear, including cracks or splits.
  • Size: Ensure that the size of the ferrules is appropriate for the walking aid. The ferrules should fit securely onto the bottom of the walking aid and not be loose or wobbly.
  • Grip: Check that the ferrules are providing adequate grip on the walking surface. If the ferrules are smooth or worn down, they may not provide enough traction and should be replaced.
  • Cleanliness: Keep the ferrules clean and free from dirt and debris. This will help to maintain their grip and prevent slipping.
  • Replacement: Replace the ferrules as needed. If the ferrules are worn down or damaged, they should be replaced to maintain safety and stability.

If you are unsure about the condition of the ferrules, consult with a healthcare professional or a trained mobility aid specialist.

It is important to have a healthcare professional assess and recommend the appropriate walking aid for your needs. They can also provide guidance on proper use and safety precautions.

Should you like to book an appointment then please call us on 01293 365011 or email

Our Community Team cover Horley, Crawley, Redhill, Reigate, East Grinstead, Lingfield, Copthorne and surrounding areas. We may be able to visit areas outside of this at request.

For further information on our Community Physiotherapy Team – please visit their page here



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