Canes and walking sticks used to be a sign of dignity in the past. The elderly used them to aid those in walking. However in passing time, the cane now associates with respect, experience and wisdom. In the past, the users of the cane didn’t care about the fashion of this. But in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the cane became a fashionable accessory that was both dignified and useful.
The main use for a modern walking cane is to help support a person with a walking impairment. They are designed to help the user walk and stand as independently as possible. Although this is the leading use for today’s canes, they have also become a fashion accessory. Some walking canes and sticks are handmade and customized to suit the buyer’s fashion requirements and sometimes their passions or beliefs. The bearers life can be somewhat written in the design of his cane. Some have customized their canes with markings of their religion, others their race or nationality and some have engraved symbols pertaining to their professions. The design of a cane can be a very personal thing and professional cane makers have made custom canes into an art form.
Walking canes are manufactured in a wide variety of styles and can vary in size, color, materials used, diameter, length and personal embellishments such as engravings and such. Leading the market are the canes carved from durable wood. They are solid and strong and are well priced. Other materials used in cane making today are aluminum, iron, precious metals like gold and silver, various metal alloys, and some composite materials such as carbon fiber.
While there are indeed many uses for the walking cane, those with impairments or injuries, hiking and outdoors enthusiasts and fashionable types alike, all benefit from the use of the humble cane. Canes are not simply an “old person’s” accessory anymore. And even if you are an elderly user you can still use your cane to help highlight your personality and sense of style.