Walker Balls – Can’t We Do Better?

Have you seen the Walker Balls accessory for mobility walkers? This Patriotic themed pair are available at Amazon.com for $4.95 a pair. They are advertised as an inexpensive alternative to the standard rubber tips on the rear legs of walkers.

Rubber tips don’t glide well on most surfaces.  They are great for stability while standing still, but their stickiness requires the user to slightly raise the rear legs of the walker to take a step forward. This maneuver requires balance and upper body strength, which can be difficult for some who needs to use a walker in the first place. As the durable medical equipment suppliers keep producing and selling walkers with rubber tips an adjacent industry grows, the Walker Ball industry.

The question arises, why don’t the “metal bender” (not my label but their own) durable equipment manufacturers understand how their walkers are modified by consumers and incorporate the needed hacks into the original design? The need to customize everyday objects in order to make it useful is disgraceful design. Customizable objects to reflect your personal style are welcomed.

Here again is a problem for design-thinkers to solve. The challenge continues and it welcomes your talents.