Skip to content
Free NZ shipping on orders over $150.00 (excludes oversized items)
Free NZ shipping on orders over $150.00 (excludes oversized items)

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Right Walker

When selecting a walker, it's important to consider several factors to ensure that it meets your specific needs and provides optimal support and comfort. With numerous options available, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one. Below is our guide on walkers and how to choose one that will benefit you.

1. User’s Physical Condition

    • Mobility: When considering a person's mobility, we are assessing their gait, balance, support, and strength. Individuals with significant mobility challenges benefit from using stable walkers with four wheels and a seat, as these provide better support. Brake adjustment can also assist with reduced mobility and strength. 
    • Height and Weight: Ensure the walker is height-adjustable to fit the user comfortably. Check the weight capacity to ensure it can support the user.
  • Strength: If you have reduced strength, looking for a lightweight walker is beneficial. Lighter walkers can help with manoeuvrability while also making it easier for you to get in and out of transport options such as cars or buses. 

2. Types of Walkers

  • Tri- Walkers: These walkers have one front wheel and two back, making them easier to move while still providing stability. They usually do not have a seat but have incredible support and maneuverability. Three-wheeled walkers are easy to store as they have less surface area than rollators. 
    • Four-wheeled walkers (Rollators): Feature wheels on all legs, often with a seat and hand brakes. They are ideal for those who need increased support and want the convenience of a built-in seat. 
      • Convertible walkers: These walkers easily convert from a walker to a wheelchair. They are perfect for individuals who want to increase their mobility with the added support of a transit wheelchair.

      3. Features and Accessories

        • Hand Grips: Look for ergonomic hand grips to ensure comfort, especially for extended use.
      • Brakes: Some walkers allow you to adjust the resistance of the brakes. These walkers are a good option for those with diminished hand strength, as we can make the brakes easier to engage. 
        • Seat and Storage: Some walkers come with seats and storage compartments, which are useful for resting and carrying personal items.
          • Wheel Size: The bigger the wheels, the more likely you are to be able to get over most terrains. Smaller wheels are more so designed for indoor use as they struggle with outdoor terrains. 
            • Kerb Tipper: Some walkers have a Kerb Tipper. These are a great feature that allows users to step on the edge of the kerb tipper and it will lift the front of the walker up and over kerbs, hills or steps. 

              4. Environment of Use

              • Indoors vs. Outdoors: Consider where the walker will primarily be used. Rollators with larger wheels are better for outdoor use, whereas tri-walkers are better for smaller areas such as apartments or units. 
              • Terrain: If walking on uneven surfaces such as grass or gravel, opt for walkers with larger, more durable wheels. 

              5. Portability

              • Weight: If your strength is diminished and you want to travel with your walker, finding a lightweight walker will help you get it into cars. The lighter the walker, the easier ti will be for you to fold up, move around and store into your car. Carbon fibre walkers are the most lightweight on the market due to the light but strong capabilities of the material. These can be expensive due to the cost of manufacturing with carbon fibre, so if that is not within your budget, finding a lightweight aluminium walker will be your best bet. 
              • Foldability: Different walkers can be folded in different ways. Depending on where you want to store and travel with your walker, it can help determine what foldability you are looking for. Walkers can either fold side to side or front to back. Users with diminished strength find storing and folding the side-to-side folding walkers easier. 

              6 Try it out!

              • Consider trying different walkers before making a decision. It's helpful to have an idea of what you need before going to a mobility store so that you are not overwhelmed. When testing a walker, pay attention to how secure you feel, how easily you can maneuver it, and if it's easy to fold and lift for travel. Also, test the brakes and make adjustments as needed. The goal is to feel safe and supported while using the walker.
              Next article Choosing a Shower Chair: A Guide to picking the right Chair for you