-Tim Warner, Sports & Fitness, Director of Testing
Top 3 out of 15 Brands We Tested
||Recommended Best Knee Walker
(High Quality for an Affordable Price)
||Recommended Hands Free Crutch
(Hands Free Crutch)
When recovering from a leg or foot injury, dealing with the recovery can be difficult. Worse yet, crutches often become the primary method of mobility to avoid placing weight on your injured leg. If you find that using crutches is tiresome and difficult, then keep in mind that there are better options. To keep you from falling behind in your daily routine, a knee walker scooter can allow you to get around easily and safely while keeping the time you spend on crutches limited.
Reason to Purchase A Knee Walker
A knee walker is a viable option while recovering from a variety of injuries, including a broken ankle, broken foot, sprained ankle, Achilles tear, Achilles rupture, and post foot or ankle surgery. A traditional walker such as those available at many grocery and department stores have a seat and footrest. However, a knee walker, which is sometimes referred to as a knee scooter has an elevated knee rest where you place your injured leg rather than you sitting in a seat and elevating your injured leg on a footrest. Simply place your non-injured leg on the ground and propel yourself forward similar to how a skateboarder would. The knee walker scooter has a handlebar to make it easy to direct the walker where you want to go.
Knee Walker Recovery Assitance
For the smoothest recovery, be sure to select the right knee walker scooter for your specific needs. That means deciding whether you want a steerable or non-steerable model, what type of brakes you need, and what other features will make it as easy as possible to get around.
You’ll likely get more use out of a knee walker that works for both your right and left legs.
Best Knee Walker
Things to know before buying a knee walker.
Be sure to use a knee walkerthat will fulfill your individual needs with a variety of knee walkers on the market. It is advisable to buy one that fits the majority of your needs while you recover from your lower body injury.
Best Knee Walker Varieties
Traditional vs. All-Terrain
When choosing a knee walker, it’s important to consider what terrain it will be used on. Select the type of knee walker that works best on the terrain you travel on most often. In most general terms, there are two types of walkers, an indoor traditional version, and an all-terrain model.
- Traditional knee walkers use small, thin wheels that work well indoors and on paved surfaces. If you use a traditional knee walker outdoors, it will be difficult to navigate on rugged terrain or uneven surfaces. A traditional knee walker is more likely to tip in the aforementioned scenarios and tipping over and falling will risk further injury. Rocks and cracks in sidewalks could also pose a problem as they will either slow the rider down or cause the user to fall. A traditional walker is typically less expensive, thus it is a budget-friendly option.
- All-terrain knee walkers are the best overall option if the user needs mobility outside of the home or office space. All-terrain knee walkers have wheels that are wider and taller which allows them to handle rocky roads and wooded trails. There are all-terrain knee walkers that have inflatable wheels similar to those on a bike. This allows users to customize wheel size. While these models are comparatively more expensive, the additional mobility options ought to be factored into the budgeted purchase.
Steerable vs. Non-Steerable Knee Walkers
It seems absurd that a mobility walker would be made without an option to steer. Therefore, if you are concerned about how easy it is to maneuver, then it’s important to purchase a steerable model rather than a non-steerable model.
- Steerable knee walkers allow users to turn using handlebars. Handlebars make mobility around obstacles both indoors and outdoors more practical. A steerable knee walker may not be as stable on uneven surfaces when users go over bumps.
- Non-steerable knee walkers are usable when the user lifts the front portion of the walker to physically turn it around to change direction. This may be difficult to do while you are injured, making it extra difficult to get around obstacles. However, a non-steerable walker may be more stable for users on uneven surfaces making it better for outdoor use.
Brakes on a knee walker are an important feature to consider in regards to the user’s safety. Brakes are an important detail to investigate while shopping for a knee walker. Caliper or disc brakes are located at the rear of the walker. Either style is effective for slowing down the walker if going too fast. A parking brake is a great option to look for as it keeps the walker stable when getting on and off. The parking brake lever is typically located on the handlebars. Most parking brakes will have a locking feature to prevent the walker from sliding while the user is getting on or off of it.
Knee Walker Features
TThe surface where you rest your knee on the platform of the walker should offer some measure of comfort especially since you will likely spend extended lengths of time on the walker. The majority of knee walkers feature padded knee rests. Like most products, some knee walker models offer a better quality of padding than others. Because the majority of the user’s weight will be on the cushion, it is recommended to look for three inches of padding to cushion the rider’s knee.
Moreover, some knee walker scooters feature a contoured knee pad. A contoured knee pad on a walker has a concave indent that cradles the knee so it doesn’t shift around while riding the walker.
If a pad or steering column is too low or too high the user may put too much pressure on the injury or cause another injury by putting too much pressure on the unaffected leg. Many knee walkers can accommodate a wide range of users, thus many come as an adjustable model. The knee rest and handlebars are typically adjustable to raise or lower them based on what’s most comfortable for each user’s height.
Weight and Weight Limit
A knee walker’s weight is an important factor to consider for various reasons. Primarily, it may need to be lifted to store it away, or while loading and unloading it into a vehicle. A heavy walker will be more difficult for the user to pick up and move while on the go. We recommend finding a knee walker that weighs roughly twenty pounds or less; heavier varieties may be too difficult to lift easily.
Moreover, the weight of the person using the walker is important to consider. Depending on the user’s weight, it may be paramount to pay attention to weight limitations. Knee walkers often list a maximum weight of 300 pounds. It is recommended to check the product specifications to make sure that the model you are considering can be safely used.
Does a Knee Walker Fold?
It was previously advised that you pay attention to weight. However, while some knee walkers do not weigh much, it may be difficult to fit into the backseat or trunk of a car. To make transportation of the knee walker easier, as well as making it easier to move it and store, find a model with quick-folding features so that you can fold the walker when necessary.
Knee Walker with Basket
A knee walker will require you to use both of your hands to safely operate and steer. Having your hands on the handlebars can make it difficult to carry your belongings while out and about. To avoid the hassle of hanging items on the handlebars and having to struggle, it’s best to choose a knee walker that’s equipped with a front basket. The basket gives the user the ability to have an eye on belongings, such as a purse, jacket, phone, tablet, or snacks.
If the best available knee walker option is one that doesn’t include a basket, a basket can be purchased separately and easily attached.
Knee Walker Pad Cover
The best knee walkers have a well-padded knee rest. However, the most important aspect of a knee walker scooter is knee comfort and this may not be met without a padded cover. A vinyl material is what a standard walker knee pad is covered with. While it is easy to clean, it can cause your skin to stick to it in humidity or if the user begins to sweat.
To remedy uncomfortable chafing or irritation, some knee walkers include a knee rest cover. This knee walker pad cover is typically a soft, moisture-wicking material that keeps the user cool and comfortable on the walker.
Knee Walker Prices
Knee walkers vary in price based on their quality and features, whether they are steerable, have disc brakes, or what wheel features are offered.
Inexpensive: The most affordable base model knee walkers are traditional, non-steerable models. Some offer a few special features, such as a folding mechanism or adjustable knee pads, and may have basic caliper brakes.
Middle-Range: Traditional, steerable knee walkers cost a bit extra because of the extra features or materials used by the manufacturer. They may offer similar features as the non-steerable walkers but boast added features, including handlebars, a basket, and a locking bake.
Expensive:The most expensive knee walkers feature all-terrain wheels, a shock and strut, and these steerable models are suitable for outdoor use with rugged terrain. The more costly models provide a range of special features, such as a folding mechanism, adjustable knee pad and handlebars, basket, and locking bakes, and some have disc brakes.
Advice for Walker Use
- Never use a knee walker to go up or down steps or stairs, as this can cause further injury. Avoid escalators as well since they definitely pose a safety concern.
- Begin by using the knee walker around the home or in an area that you are familiar with before taking it to a new space, and more importantly, outside. This “test run” will ensure user comfort and confidence in control of the walker before the transition to an outdoor setting.
- The user should keep both hands on the handlebars as much as possible while operating the knee walker. Taking one of your hands off the bars may cause instability and may cause the user to fall which can further your injury.
- Wear shoes with a non-slip sole when you’re using a knee walker. This will add comfort and give you better traction.
- Have a friend check the nuts and bolts on the knee walker if you are not able to do so. It is important to regularly inspect parts to make sure they’re tight, confirming safety to the user.
Knee Walker Review Conclusion
With a variety of knee walkers to choose from you’re virtually guaranteed to find a model that fits your needs. The goal of this article is to provide you with enough information to choose from the wide variety of options wisely.
Choose an ideal option with outdoor wheels if you want to maintain an active outdoor lifestyle while recovering from your injury. When choosing outdoor wheels choose a walker scooter with 10 to 12 inch pneumatic tires that can handle nearly any terrain, including dirt, gravel, and grass.
Also, be sure to choose one with a simple folding mechanism that allows easy storage and transport of the walker. Keep an eye out for a sturdy design that is durable and also read customer reviews of the individual product. Don’t let basic features like a basket deter the purchase if it is not included in the model that fits your needs as this is an inexpensive add-on that can be purchased later. Baskets are great for carrying belongings and do not require any special tools to assemble.
Know what your needs are and choose the best knee walker for you based on the criteria above.