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SideStix crutches designed for more than just walking


November 21, 2011

SideStix are "sports crutches," designed for active users

SideStix are "sports crutches," designed for active users

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Thirty-eight years ago, a drunk driver hit teenager Sarah Doherty while she was riding her bicycle. She lost her right leg in the accident. An avid athlete, she continued to participate in sports after her recovery, became an occupational therapist, and began adapting rock climbing gear for her own use. That ultimately led to her and her partner Kerith Perreur-Lloyd inventing SideStix, which are forearm crutches designed for active users - like Sarah.

There are several features that reportedly make the crutches well-suited to demanding use.

For one thing, they each feature an internal shock absorber, so that each strike against the ground doesn't entirely radiate up into the user's hands and arms. Additionally, the arm cuffs are padded to prevent chafing, while ergonomically designed hand grips provide maximum support. The angles incorporated into the design of the crutches also put the arms and wrists in a neutral position.

Perhaps most interestingly, SideStix feature rotating, articulating feet. This means that the foot of each crutch will remain flat against the ground throughout an entire stride, or when gripping a slanted surface - the feature is also said to reduce torque in the user's shoulder joints.

For specific activities, there are a number of interchangeable foot types available - the snowshoe and sandshoe feet spread the user's weight more evenly on soft surfaces, for instance, while the ice pick (!) feet feature a stainless steel spike in the middle, surrounded by a Vibram rubber sole.

The Canadian-made Sidestix themselves are available in four models, ranging from the all-aluminum Discovery model to the partially carbon fiber Boundless PRO. Prices range from CAD$647 to $847 (US$624 to $816).

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth

While glad that I do not need them, it pleases me greatly that someone looked at crutches as something more than cheep sticks.


Who do you need to be to innovate? Just someone who cares about addressing a problem and who is willing to put their interests into the universe.

Carlos Grados

A brilliant piece of work. The simplicity makes it more brilliant. And the previous unselfish comments are good, too.


Absolutely worth every penny to someone who needs them. I thank God that I don\'t, but if I did, I would be eternally grateful for the innovative functions these would provide.

Racqia Dvorak

I know several people that use these (the inventors are from my hometown), and they really are great. They were on Dragon\'s Den tonight too!

Josh Kellett

I like the mobilegs crutches, but being in the US we tend to use underarm crutches v.s. the forearm crutches.

Larry M
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