New crutch design hopes to make walking “painless”

A crutch with a reinvented design that places body weight on the forearms is set to launch this year, with the aim of making daily living more comfortable.

Max Younger with his father, trying the Mobility Designed crutches
Max Younger with his father, trying the Mobility Designed crutches

Two designers in the U.S. have redesigned the crutch walking aid with the aim of making it more comfortable.

Company Mobility Designed is based in Kansas City, and was founded by industrial designers, and husband and wife, Max and Liliana Younger.

The company’s motive is to give people a “better quality of life through improved mobility” through creating mobility devices that “provide a painless experience”.

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They have created a pair of crutches that take pressure off people’s wrists and armpits, and instead allow them to support their weight on their forearms and elbows through an arm slot.

The crutches are suited to anyone between the heights of 4’11’’ – 6’8’’, and materials used include thermoplastic, nylon, atomised aluminium and foam.

The armrests contain foam padding and armbands which “hold” the person into the crutch, allowing the aid to “stay with you at every step”, says Max.

They are also stretchable, which allows people to “pull out them easily”, for example if they fall over and need to “grab onto something else, like a handrail”, he adds.

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A “hands-free mode” is also available, Max says. Handles can be adjusted via a button, which when clicked, will rotate it out of the way, enabling people to carry things at the same time – though they should “generally be used with the handles”, he adds.

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Its feet are shock-absorbent and contoured, allowing them to grip to the ground. There is also an interchangeable foot for ice and snow, which is also changed by clicking a button.

Max was inspired to start the project after his father had a leg amputation, and struggled with using regular crutches.

An axillary crutch, which supports via the wrist and underarm
An axillary crutch, which supports via the wrist and underarm

“Our mobility crutch supports your body differently,” Max says. “As people get older, they often can’t support their weight with a regular axillary crutch, and so switch to other things such as wheelchairs and scooters.”

“When my dad uses regular crutches, he expends a lot of energy and it wears him out – even if he just wants to get up to make a coffee in the morning,” he adds. “With these, he’s able to use a set of crutches that benefit him physically but also look quite interesting.”

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He says the crutch’s design was about both “usability” and “aesthetics”. “We wanted to make it more useful for people, and also make it something people wanted to wear,” Max says. “We used injection-moulded nylon to control the shape, as we wanted to get away from the medical aesthetic.”

KickStarter originally funded the project, but Max and Liliana have since sought contribution from private investors.

Mobility Designed hopes the crutch will be available internationally, online and via medical equipment distributors. It is expected to launch by June this year, at an estimated cost of $250-300 (£176-£212).

The company also hopes to develop a smaller pair of crutches for children in the future.

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Comments
  • Hannah Wardle January 20, 2016 at 5:24 pm

    I’d love to have a go on a pair. I’ve always seen crutches as poorly designed with no though for comfort and ease of use. I hope this takes off.

  • James Cope January 20, 2016 at 5:30 pm

    I’m sceptical as to weather this is a suitable and more efficient solution. The tradition crutch uses your armpit which makes it much more stable because you can use the side of your chest and bicep to hold youself in place. where as with this design all the stability is gone. The whole weight of the body is on the elbows and arms alone, which will effect to being less stable. Other than that I think its a nice idea, I think it need some more refining (the handle for instance) but as a concept works, on the fact it would be more comfortable for the user

  • AFSALAP March 16, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    I NEED THIS MODEL PLS

  • AFSALAP March 16, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    GIVE YOUR CONTACT PLS

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