How to Choose the Correct Height for a White Cane

Choosing the proper height for a white cane is critical in determining how successful and safe a person will be while traveling. If the cane is too short there is less time to react to an obstacle once contacted and there is also the chance of missing the obstacle altogether. If the cane is too long it can become cumbersome and give you too much time to react to an object. There are other factors to consider as well when deciding cane lengths such as pace, arc width, comfort using a cane, and hand position. Please consult an O&M Specialist if possible to get fitted for a cane. What I will be sharing with you is my general way of measuring someone for a cane.

Most canes come in increments of 2 inches such as 52” 54” 56”

Step 1: To determine the length you will need a tape measure anything over 6 feet long will be sufficient.

Step 2: Stand up straight

Step 3: With someone’s help measure from the floor to 2 inches above the sternum (bony part in the middle of the chest) or measure from the floor to just beneath the armpit. Either way should give you the same number. If you land on an odd number say 51” I would recommend rounding up to 52”

I hope this tutorial was helpful and if you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment or write me an email at Thanks!!

Published by Mike Mulligan

Is a Certified Orientation & Mobility Specialist who provides product resources, reviews, and tutorials.

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