Welcome to SAFE SOLUTIONS as we discuss tips for walkers, crutches and canes. We always look forward to your comments and suggestions on any of our topics.

The rubber tips on crutches, canes and walkers will wear out sooner or later based on how often the item is used, the surface walked on as well as the weight of the person using the support. Some products are made with different percentages of rubber and clay which will also affect the life span. Most include a metal washer inside which will show when the rubber is worn out.

Most tips have ridges on the bottom to help grip the surface to reduce or prevent slipping when in use. When the ridges are worn that is the first Indicator new tips are needed, the second is when the metal washer is showing. This is the very last stage and the cane or crutch should not be used until the tip is replaced.

Walking when the rubber tip is worn through will damage the walker legs, cane or crutch leg. This is also dangerous for you as slipping or falling is a high risk at this time. If the item is used without a rubber tip the metal cane shaft will wear out at an angle or even spread out making replacing a tip difficult or impossible. Walking with the metal exposed will most certainly damage floors which is not a pleasant sight.


Tips for canes are available in single point or even 3- and 4-point configurations. One advantage of the multi point tips is that the cane will stand without falling if left alone.

4-point cane tip

Walkers come with rubber tips and most include a set of plastic caps to use as often the rubber grip tips make it hard to push or slide over rugs. One walker tip called a ski is used to slide smoothly over rugs and outdoor surfaces can be attached easily

Walker skis

These are made of a very hard plastic material plus the rounded end will not snag on carpets. The shape helps moving over smaller cracks in the sidewalks so forward motion is smoother. Since these are designed to help walkers slide easy they are not sized for cane use.

Cane tips come in sizes for quad canes, those are the canes with a square base and four small leg points for stability.

Forearm are also called Canadian crutches use a slightly longer and wider based tip to withstand the heavy duty use that is applied to them.We recommend that you bring your cane or walker with you when needing a new tip to be sure you get the right size. Metal canes and wood canes can have different diameters. Some wood canes are thinner to fit smaller hands which affects the tip size.

The common sizes are ¾”, 5/8”, 7/8”, ½”, so looking then trying to remember a few hours later will be confusing to judge the size correctly.