How To Use A Walker With Wheels


Seniors-walker-rollatorApproximately 11.6 percent of people use a walker to help them get around. As our aging population increases, the use of assistive devices like walkers will also increase. It is highly recommended that you check with your doctor or physical therapist before you buy a walker. Neglecting to do so can result in serious injury. These professionals can advise you on the types of walkers necessary for your particular situation. For example, If you need minimal assistance, a cane will help get you up from a seated position and help you maintain your balance as you walk. However, if more stability is needed and there is a problem with your gait, a walker is the better choice. Then the question becomes, do I need a walker with wheels or without wheels? This article will explain how to use a walker with wheels.

Types of Walkers

There are three main types of walkers: the standard walker without wheels, the walker with two wheels, and the walker with four wheels. There is also a three-wheeled walker, which will be discussed in a future article. Except for the three-wheeled walker, all other walkers have four legs. 


Standard walkers with no wheels are recommended for patients who need to bear most of their weight on the walker and cannot control a walker with wheels. These patients need to be very careful and make sure all four legs are touching the ground before they attempt to walk. The problem with using a standard walker without wheels is:

  • it forces the patient to take shorter steps, which slows the patient down
  • patients must lift the walker to take a turn, which could cause them to fall
  • patients usually get tired of picking the walker up and stop using it altogether

Two-Wheeled Folding Walker


Two-wheeled walkers have wheels on the front legs and sliders on the back legs. The wheels can be fixed or swivel, depending on the model. Two-wheeled walkers are best for patients with an unsteady gait or irregular walking pattern but don’t need to place their entire weight on the walker. The advantages of a two-wheeled walker are:

  • it doesn’t have to be lifted with every step
  • it allows the user to maintain an average walking speed
  • the sliders or gliders on the back legs enable users to easily glide over different terrains like carpets, wood floors, and sidewalks

The problem with fixed wheels on the walker is it forces the patient to lift it to turn. Like the standard walker, lifting can cause an accidental fall. Using a two-wheeled walker with swivel wheels includes all of the advantages listed above, but users do not have to lift the walker to make a turn. The swiveling wheels make the walker easier to maneuver around corners.

Four-wheeled walkers, also known as Rollator walkers, have four swiveling wheels, hand brakes for stopping when needed, a built-in seat for resting in between steps, and usually a basket underneath the seat for storing personal items. Four-wheeled rollator walkers are best for patients who need help with their balance, do not need to bear their entire weight on the rollator, and can easily control it. Four-wheeled walkers are easier to maneuver and do not require lifting when turning. The problems with four-wheeled walkers are the walker can move too fast and get away from the user, which may lead to an accidental fall, and the brakes may not always work, which rarely happens if they are correctly installed.

How To Use A Walker With Wheels?

Unless you need a standard walker for weight-bearing, a walker with wheels is considered the best choice. They are perfect for you if you lose your balance or have a problem with your gait. With any walking aid, there are safety tips and guidelines in place to help you understand how to use your walker with two or four wheels safely.

15-degree-elbow-angleThe two-wheeled walker and the four-wheeled roller are height adjustable, support up to 400-pounds or more weight capacity, and are foldable. When using a two-wheeled walker, the legs of the walker are where users can adjust the height in 1-inch increments. Depending on your height, first

  • Adjust the walker’s height to where your elbows are slightly bent, keeping them at a 15 to 20-degree angle. A way to test the proper angle is to adjust the walker to where the top of it is even with your wrists. This will ensure that your elbows will bend at the proper angle.
  • Once you have the proper height and all four legs are even, place the walker in front of you. Be careful not to push the walker too far away from you and bear a lot of your weight on it. This is how the walker can get away from you and cause you to fall.
  • Stand just inside the walker frame and push the walker one step ahead of you. Follow the walker one step at a time, keep your back straight, and repeat, placing the weaker or injured leg into the center of the walker first but not too close to the front of the walker. Continue with this step pattern, keeping the walker still when stepping into the walker.
  • When turning the walker, be very careful. Take small steps and take your time. 

Locking Hand Brakes

Four-wheeled walkers or rollator walkers are very simple to use. Like the two-wheeled walker, the first thing you want to do is adjust the handle height so that your elbows are slightly bent at a 15 to 20-degree angle. Once the handle height is comfortable, the next thing to do is understand how the hand brakes work before operating the walker. A rollator walker brakes work in two ways: pushing all the way down and pulling all the way up.

  • Pushing down on both brakes until they lock locks the walker in place for sitting in-between steps or when you’re done using the walker to keep it in place.
  • Pulling the brakes all the way up enables users to slow the walker down or bring it to a complete stop. Use this position if you are on an incline, making a turn, or you are ready to stop the walker from moving.
  • To use the rollator walker, position the walker in front of you and grip the handles.
  • Push the walker forward and use your regular walking pattern, keeping your back straight and elbows slightly bent.
  • Turning the rollator walker is easy because the front wheels swivel, making turning effortless.

Best Two-wheeled and Four-wheeled Rollator Walkers

Now that you understand how to use a walker with wheels, how do you know which wheeled walker to choose? Below are two of the most popular wheeled walkers available.

EZ Fold-N-Go Two-Wheeled WalkerEZ-Fold-N-Go-Cropped This is the lightest, most compact two-wheeled walker available. It weighs eight pounds and folds up four times smaller than the average walker. Features include:

  • Convenient storage pouch for carrying personal items
  • Locking 6-inch wheels that can be fixed or swivel for easy maneuvering
  • Available in two sizes: Standard size for users 5 feet 6 inches to 6 feet 3 inches, and Micro for users 4 feet 11 to 5 feet 7 inches tall
  • Both support weights of up to 400 pounds
  • Height adjustable
  • Completely assembled – ready to go right out of the box
  • Available in three brilliant colors: Black Walnut, Regal Rose, or Cobalt Blue

EZ Fold-N-Go Four-Wheeled Rollator WalkerEZ-Fold-N-Go-Rollator-Cropped – This unique four-wheeled rollator walker offers safety, portability, and style. The 6-inch wheels and hand brake system allow users to move over different types of surfaces safely and with ease. With a simple pull of a tab, this rollator folds up to 3 times smaller than traditional rollator walkers. Other features include:

  • A travel-ready, durable frame
  • Comes completely assembled
  • Available in two sizes: Standard size for users 5 feet 6 inches to 6 feet 3 inches, and Micro for users 4 feet 11 to 5 feet 7 inches tall
  • A comfortable seat and locking brake grips
  • An under the seat storage basket and attachable storage pouch on the front frame
  • Supports up to 250 pounds
  • Weighs 14.5 pounds
  • Available in the same brilliant colors as the EZ Fold-N-Go Walker: Black Walnut, Regal Rose, and Cobalt Blue

Safety is the most important thing to remember when using a two-wheeled or four-wheeled walker. These walkers are available to help you maintain your balance, independence, and self-reliance. It will take time to adjust to using either one. Please take the time, follow all written instructions, and talk with your doctor or physical therapist if you have any questions. Just remember to stay safe and keep moving.