“Johnny Hopalong”

The iWALKFree and Me

August 13th, 2008 · 18 Comments

About a month ago, I ordered the iWALKFree and I am absolutely loving it!

For those of you who haven’t heard of this device, the iWALKFree is a hands-free crutch. I like to think of it as a peg-leg; sort of what a pirate might have (way, way) back-in-the-day. It straps to your injured leg and has a supportive platform to rest your lower leg. (Check out the link above for photos and more information.)

The iWALKFree gave me back my life. Since I ordered it, I have been able to do the following list of things entirely on my own:

  • Mow the lawn (3 times)
  • Walk my dog (4 times, 1 hour each time)
  • Load & unload large pieces of luggage for a road trip
  • Carry groceries into the house (with both hands!)
  • Change and care after my 4-month old son
  • Resurface my garage floor with an epoxy shield (!)
  • Trim and re-seed bare patches on my back lawn
  • Walk up a flight of stairs in less than 10 seconds
  • Go shopping with my family for 2 hours

When I ruptured my left Achilles tendon, I made a promise to my wife and I that I would try my best to continue to help out around the house. I ordered the iWALKFree about 3 days after my injury. With shipping, it cost me about $400 CAD.

The iWALKFree is the single, greatest piece of equipment that I have ever owned. It gave me my life back.

One of the biggest advantages of the iWALKFree over standard crutches is that the iWALKFree is a hands-freee crutch. This makes getting around a lot simpler. For example, going up & down stairs is way, way easier with the iWALKFree because you can place one of your free hands on the railing. Conversely, standard crutches are a total balancing act. They suck - especially when you’re going down a flight of stairs. Leading with your injured leg - that cannot/should not bare any weight - is a tough thing to do.

The iWALKFree is also great because it allows me to use my hands while walking or doing work around the house. For example, carrying food from the kitchen is pretty tough with crutches. And drinks? Forget it. Crutches make this an all-but-impossible juggling act. A couple of spilt coffee cups on the floor made the decision to buy the iWALKFree a total no-brainer. Given the list of chores (above) I’ve done in the past 4 weeks, I would totally recommend this device to anyone who is feeling guilty about having his/her partner weigh on you hand & foot. Being an independent kind of guy, I love the fact that the iWALKFree allows me to “fend for myself” and get back to the things I enjoy doing in my spare time.

For those of you who are active and hate crutches, this is the best alternative out there. 100%, no question. If you have recently ruptured your Achilles tendon, this is the device for you.

If you have any questions about the iWALKFree, please feel free to ask. I’m happy to provide you with any opinions, insights, or tips & tricks about its use. (I have many since I’ve been using for about a month now.)

Tags: Observations · Suggestions · Technology