Walking Canes come in many styles and are broadly classified by the design of the handle.
The Derby Style of walking cane is said to be an invention of Lord Derby, who wanted a supportive walking stick that he could also hook over his arm, much like the Crook, but had an additional stub like protrusion, probably for the thumb to rest on it, and was not as rounded as the Crook.
The user's weight is carried directly over the shaft of this stick. Their hand is supported because it can neither slip forward nor backward. The sides of the derby handle should be rounded for comfort, not flat-sided. One of the most popular handles for the walking stick user in need of light to middling support and balance. Variations include the Melbourne Derby, which has a more rounded shape and the petite derby handle.
The Petite Handle is a variation on the derby handle., but is more delicate and smaller in size. It is held the same way, so that the user's weight is carried directly over the shaft of the stick.
The Fischer handles, Relax Grip Handles and Anatomical Handles are also modifications of the Derby Handle. This was designed by the renowned Austrian arthritis specialist, Dr. Fischer. Its contoured shape is of great benefit to many sufferers of arthritis, rheumatism and other hand problems because it is easily grasped and it spreads the user's weight across the palm of the hand.
Swan Neck handles-The swan-neck, is, like the name suggests, similar in shape to the neck of a swan.
Thumb Stick Walking Sticks-The Thumb stick is a traditional, country handle. It is formed when the shoot of wood divides in a natural 'V'. It is held with the user's thumb resting in the 'V' and their other fingers clasped around the neck of the stick. Thumb sticks with naturally wide 'V's can also be used as elbow rests. Highly sought-after, the thumb stick is a classic British country stick.
The Knob Stick- Is a traditional British walking stick, made from coppiced wood, with a blunt rounded knob like handle, to support the palm.
The Pistol Grip Walking Stick- Looks like the pistol grip, and hence the name. The pistol grip handle is loosely based on the off-set shape of a pistol handle. Like the rustic knob-stick, it fits comfortably into the palm of the hand and makes a formal yet practical walking stick suitable for everyday use.
The Novelty Cane- Inspired by the collector's canes of the Victorian and Edwardian eras (19th & early 20th centuries), many novelty walking sticks are bought as presents and by collectors of walking sticks (ambulists). Handle designs include depictions of animals, birds and famous people among many other inspirations. They are basically a fashion statement.