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What are Folding Canes?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated May 17, 2024
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Folding canes are collapsible devices that are an alternative to the more traditional rigid canes that have been in use for centuries. Like the traditional rigid cane, the folding cane is designed to offer additional support to persons who have difficulty standing or walking without some type of aid. Both types of canes offer solid support, may be very simplistic or very ornate in design, and will provide many years of use with only minimum care.

Folding canes offer a few advantages over traditional canes. For many people, the use of a cane is not a constant necessity. Instead, a cane is only necessary when the individual has to stand in one position for an extended period of time. When this is the case, folding canes work very well. The device can be carried in a purse or brief case and removed and extended when required.

Transporting a folding cane when using public transportation is another benefit to the device. Since folding canes can be extended and retracted at will, it is possible to simply retract the sections of the cane once the passenger has boarded the bus, train, or plane, and slip the cane into the pocket. When arriving at his or her destination, the cane is extended and used to help the individual disembark. By contrast, a rigid cane would have to be stored in an overhead compartment or otherwise placed out of the way of other passengers.

In general, folding canes do not cost much more than a rigid cane. Both canes offer a stable means of support when needed, but the folding cane is much easier to store away when not in use. In addition, both types of canes are available with simple lines or elaborately carved designs. However, many people find that the sturdy construction of the folding cane is at least equal to a rigid cane, and may exceed the strength of some wooden canes. With most models able to support up to 250 pounds and available in a variety of designs, folding canes offer all the advantages of a rigid cane while providing a few extra benefits.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum , Writer
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including WiseGEEK, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.

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Malcolm Tatum

Malcolm Tatum


Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
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