What Are the Best Crutches in 2019?

An adult walking on a dock with the best crutches.

If you’ve ever had to use crutches, or maybe still use crutches, you’ll know just how uncomfortable and awkward they can be. The best crutches should be comfortable, stable and durable and help to improve your quality of life while suffering from an injury or disability. A recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 6.5 million Americans use a cane, a walker or crutches to assist with their mobility.

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Injuries of the lower limbs and post surgery recovery often require you to relieve the stress when walking. The pain in such cases will make a simple task like walking to the shops such a chore. The best crutches will help relieve weight from the affected limb by transferring the load to your upper body.

Crutches are often recommended by a medical professional for a quicker and more successful rehabilitation. Choosing the wrong crutch may cause damage to your muscle and bone tissues or even nerve damage. Let’s take a look at the different types of crutches and how you use them, before looking at some of the best crutches you can buy today.

Product
Details
Our Rating
Our #1 Rated
Ergobaum® Prime

Ergoactives

Ergobaum® Prime

4 out of 5

In the Crutches category

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  • Provides high levels of shock absorption.
  • Height-adjustable, medical-grade material holds up to 360 pounds.
  • Built-in nighttime safety features including reflectors, flashlight and horn.

HealthAmbition Stamp

Our #1 Rated

4 out of 5

In the Crutches category


Our #2 Rated
In-Motion Pro

Millennial Medical

In-Motion Pro

4 out of 5

In the Crutches category

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  • Ergonomic design of handles corrects the wrist placement.
  • Spring-assisted technology reduces impact.
  • Foldable design comes in choice of three sizes, catering for people up to 7 feet 2 inches tall and a choice of four colors.

HealthAmbition Stamp

Our #2 Rated

4 out of 5

In the Crutches category


Our #3 Rated
iWALK 2.0

iWALKFree

iWALK 2.0

4 out of 5

In the Crutches category

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  • Award-winning design allows for hands-free support of lower leg injuries.
  • Replaces crutches or knee scooter for safe, stable and pain-free mobility.
  • One size can be used by all, easy to assemble and adjust.

HealthAmbition Stamp

Our #3 Rated

4 out of 5

In the Crutches category


Our #4 Rated
Adjustable Aluminium Crutches

Hugo Mobility

Adjustable Aluminium Crutches

4 out of 5

In the Crutches category

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  • Inexpensive alternative to wooden crutches that use anodized aluminum for durability; will last many years.
  • Cushioned underarm pads for comfort.
  • Non-slip contoured tips for traction with built-in stair guard for safety.

HealthAmbition Stamp

Our #4 Rated

4 out of 5

In the Crutches category


Our #5 Rated
Folding Underarm Crutches

Carex Health Brands

Folding Underarm Crutches

4 out of 5

In the Crutches category

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  • Easy to store with unique folding design, less than two feet in length when folded up.
  • Comfortable pads and grips in high visibility sporty blue.
  • Budget-friendly price.

HealthAmbition Stamp

Our #5 Rated

4 out of 5

In the Crutches category

Different Types of Crutches

Crutches are nothing new, Egyptian carvings dating back to 2830 BC suggest crutches were used at least since the time of the ancient pharaohs of Egypt over 5000 years ago. Artifacts have shown the first ones were more of a T-shape before they developed into the more familiar V-shape we still use today. Although the designs haven’t changed too much over time, it wasn’t until 1917 that Emile Schlick was the first person to put a patented crutch into commercial production.

While all crutches are designed to take the weight off your lower limbs, many work in different ways. The most common types of crutches are:

Underarm Crutches

Also known as axillary crutches, underarm crutches are mainly used by people who suffer from short-term mobility issues. This crutch is used by placing the upper section, normally with a padded cushion, under the armpit and up against your rib cage while you hold on to a handgrip further down the crutch. Long-term use of an underarm crutch is not recommended as the constant rubbing against the rib cage can lead to issues like axillary thrombosis and crutch palsy.

Forearm Crutches

Developed by A.R. Lofstrand Jr. in the early 20th century, the forearm-bearing crutch is often referred to as a Lofstrand crutch that allows for the forearm to take up the support. One of the most commonly used crutches today, they can be beneficial to people with long-term disabilities and offer more stability on uneven ground. Normally a user will place their arm into a cuff while holding on to a handle.

Platform Crutches

Much less common than axillary or forearm crutches, platform crutches tend to be recommended for use by people who may have weaker hands from conditions like arthritis or cerebral palsy. Much like a forearm crutch you hold a handgrip but also have a flat platform where you can rest the forearm.

Knee Crutches

Knee crutches, or lower leg crutches, are much more convenient for below the knee injuries as they can be used hands-free. Knee crutches are attached to the lower leg with straps or resting on a platform which gives more independence to the user than traditional crutches but can have a steep learning curve to use correctly.

How to Walk with Crutches

Learning to use any crutch can be quite hard at first, here’s a basic breakdown of how to get from sitting to standing and walking with crutches. If you need a one-on-one training on how to use the best crutches, a medical professional will normally be able to advise you. Although this refers to the more traditional style of upright crutches, knee or hands-free crutches will normally come with an instructional guide or video.

The Best Crutches

With so many different types of crutches available, at all price ranges, we’ve taken a look at some of the best crutches available to help you decide which one is right for you. The choice of a crutch may be dependent on your type of injury or disability and how long you’ll need it for, but we’ve tried to select some of the best all-round crutches that can make life easier for anybody suffering with restricted mobility.

Our #1 Rated
Our pick our #1 rated

Ergoactives

Ergobaum® Prime

  • Quality
    Quality

  • Quality
    Price

  • Quality
    Our rating

These may be the most expensive crutches we’ve looked at, by far, but you really are getting the Rolls Royce of crutches with these safety conscious crutches. Added features like an LED light, reflectors and a horn make these the ideal crutches for anybody who may need to navigate darker neighborhoods or more crowded sidewalks. A specially patented shock absorbing technology reduces the impact with high-performance crutch tips for extra balance.

A forearm strap and cup combine with an adjustable cushion grip to ensure you no longer suffer from wrist, arm or shoulder pain. Designed by an orthopedic surgeon these crutches use a resilient medical-grade aluminum and are height adjustable to fit most adults between 5 feet and 6.5 feet with smaller or extra large sizes to accommodate people falling outside that range. The spring-loaded shock absorbers and retractable knee rests make these just as suitable for recovery from an injury as they are for extended use with more chronic conditions.

Pros
Pro Quality four-legged Extra Balance high-performance tips.
Pro Spring loaded shock absorbers.
Pro Adjustable forearm handles.
Pro Choice of nine colors.
 
Cons
Con Shock absorbers will need greasing periodically.
Con Can be too heavy for some people to use all day.
Con Handle can be too weak for heavier weights and slip.
Con Some users found the grips to be uncomfortable.
Con Ultra expensive.

Our #2 Rated
Our pick our #2 rated

Millennial Medical

In-Motion Pro

  • Quality
    Quality

  • Quality
    Price

  • Quality
    Our rating

The In-Motion Pro crutches have been designed to reduce the pressure on your wrist and underarm to prevent the nerve damage and carpal tunnel syndrome you often experience with long-term crutch use. Ergonomically designed handles discourage painful kinking of the wrist with numerous adjustments to the underarm height and arm/wrist length promoting good posture and wrist placement. A spring-assisted technology reduces impact while articulating crutch tips add extra stability and security.

Made from a heavy duty, double reinforced aircraft grade aluminum the tall model we looked at can accommodate up to 400 pounds and is adjustable for heights from 5 feet 7 inches to 6 feet 10 inches. You can get two other models that go as low as 4 feet 6 inches to as tall as 7 feet 2 inches with a capacity of 500 pounds. They also have a foldable design which is easy to disassemble and carry.

Pros
Pro Spring-assisted shock absorbers provide positive rebound energy.
Pro Handles keep wrists in natural alignment.
Pro Easy to fold up.
Pro One of few crutches catering for heights over 7 feet tall.
Pro Strong metal struts support up to 400 pounds or 500 pounds on X-tall size.
Cons
Con Sculpted handles are specific to left or right hand and can be annoying for some users.
Con Handles can loosen over time.
Con Foot caps found to wear out quickly.
 
 

Our #3 Rated
Our pick our #3 rated

iWALKFree

iWALK 2.0

  • Quality
    Quality

  • Quality
    Price

  • Quality
    Our rating

For those people looking for a hands-free option for pain-free mobility, the iWALK 2.0 is an award-winning crutch that offers more independence than traditional underarm crutches. The iWALK could help you return to normal routines during recovery, like walking the dog or going shopping unassisted. Suitable for most non weight-bearing below-knee injuries, this crutch works well for those with broken ankles, foot or toe conditions and even lower leg amputations.

Easy to assemble with no specialized tools required, the design can be used by both sexes and quickly converts for use on the left or right leg. Although it comes with detailed video tutorials for the assembly, fitting and use, it can be a steep learning curve. The manufacturers are quite specific about the requirements you should meet before considering one, including two simple tests; a balance and stair test. (It’s also not recommended for people who may have a high body mass index or are obese.)

Pros
Pro Easy to assemble and use.
Pro One size fits all and easily adjustable for custom fit.
Pro Offset foot makes it more stable on uneven ground than many traditional crutches.
Pro More natural walking experience but without the pain.
Cons
Con Not suitable for use by everybody.
Con Elderly or overweight people may struggle to adapt.
Con Can’t be used for injuries at or above knee level.
Con Minimal cushioning on knee pad can be uncomfortable for some users.

Our #4 Rated
Our pick our #4 rated

Hugo Mobility

Adjustable Aluminium Crutches

  • Quality
    Quality

  • Quality
    Price

  • Quality
    Our rating

These basic crutches make an affordable choice for somebody who’s looking for a crutch that’s both sturdier yet lighter than a poor-quality wooden crutch. Manufactured from a lightweight anodized aluminum they can support weights up to 300 pounds and offer a choice of three sizes; youth, medium and adult. Dual push buttons make them easy to adjust the height, with the medium size suitable for people between 5 feet 2 inches and 5 feet 10 inches tall.

The contoured tips of these crutches feature a curved stair deflector and provide excellent traction with a built-in metal ring preventing too much wear and tear. Thick cushioned underarm pads for comfort combine with washable sponge hand grips that absorb impact and are perspiration resistant. These are a good choice for physically handicapped people or the elderly who need a lightweight crutch that offers underarm support.

Pros
Pro Inexpensive.
Pro Lightweight anodized aluminum is extra durable.
Pro Thick cushioning under the arms for comfort.
Pro Push-button height adjustment in 1-inch increments.
Pro Good traction from contoured tips.
Cons
Con Handles aren't adjustable enough for smaller users or people with short arms.
Con Sizing can be inaccurate with small too small for many customers.
Con Very basic with no shock absorption.
Con Not suitable for long-distance walks.
 

Our #5 Rated
Our pick our #5 rated

Carex Health Brands

Folding Underarm Crutches

  • Quality
    Quality

  • Quality
    Price

  • Quality
    Our rating

These crutches from Carex Health use a convenient folding system which allows them to be easily stored, and are particularly good for driving or travel. A universal size quickly adjusts to accommodate youth, adult and tall users with them collapsing down to fit under a restaurant table, under a car seat or in an overhead locker. They’re very lightweight at under 5 pounds but can support users up to a respectable 250 pounds.

To fold down, you simply push in a pop pin, rotate and pull down to remove the lower part of the crutch, then open until all the flat sections click into place. Sporty blue handles and bands not only add to the comfort of using these crutches, but also make them easier to spot when stowed away for storage or traveling. Some users have complained they’re not as sturdy and can wobble, but at this low price make an ideal secondary pair of crutches for when space is at a premium.

Pros
Pro Easy to fold and adjust to almost any height.
Pro Fold down to less than 2 feet.
Pro Perfect for travel.
Pro Lightweight.
Pro Low price.
Cons
Con Not recommended for full-time use.
Con Not suitable for larger users over 6 feet or 200 pounds.
Con Many users complain they're very wobbly and don’t feel safe.
Con Rubber feet wear out quickly with regular use.
 

Our Choice

Whether you’re suffering from a short-term injury or a more serious long-term disability choosing the best crutches can significantly change your quality of life. Crutches aim to offer more independence and mobility while taking pressure off the affected area, help to reduce the symptoms of pain and shorten the recovery process.

Although it has a much higher price than many of the competitor crutches, in our opinion, the Ergobaum® Prime Ergonomic Forearm Crutches are the best crutches you can buy today. The added safety features of reflective strips, flashlight and horn may seem gimmicky to some, but you also get a durable and sturdy crutch with an impressive shock absorption system. For people who need crutches for a longer period of time, these crutches from Ergoactive can make getting around much easier and safer too.

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