Best Gait Trainer Review – Top Rated Models with Buying Guide
Here you’ll find out what some of the best gait trainers are, especially if your schedule is quite packed so you don’t have a lot of time on your hands to do an extensive research on your own. After carefully looking at the quality and value offered by some of the critically acclaimed products in this line, our team has come to the conclusion that the Inspired by Drive Trekker Gait Trainer is the one you should go for if you want to help the person that has difficulty walking as much as possible. This device comes with length-adjustable straps that work wonders when it comes to weight-bearing, have a removable pad for comfort, and comes in just the right size. In the unfortunate event that the product is not on stock anymore, another one you should try is the Inspired by Drive Moxie GT Gait Trainer.
This is a very good hip positioner that also comes with the pad, so you will be happy to know that comfort was not something that was forgotten. Whether we’re talking about toddlers or adults, the length-adjustable straps will help with the weight-bearing in order to make sure the user does not have any issues.
Some people may not find it useful due to its size.
Overall, this is a device that can definitely get the job done, especially since the removable pad is there to provide some added comfort. By positioning the hip and pelvis in such a way as to allow the user to shift weight, this really makes life better.
A good gait trainer should have its height adjustable in increments and this is exactly what this one is able to offer. Since you can modify it in 1” increments it’s impossible to miss the perfect ratio for your needs. Furthermore, the wheels lock on all four casters so the item will simply not move when you need it to be still.
This product does not come with weight-bearing straps.
Definitely a gait trainer that is able to help you or whoever is suffering from movement issues due to how mobile and versatile it is. The fact that it can be used in both anterior and posterior positions and has a great directional lever only adds to the overall quality.
This very nice accessory is great for people who are unfortunately struggling with standard hand grips due to whatever medical issues they might have or simply face difficulties when having to work with a normal handlebar. With this product, the user will be able to stabilize and have better overall control.
Only the forearm platforms are included in this offer.
Provided you understand what you are buying, a decent pair of these can really increase the quality of life, especially for people who don’t trust their hands anymore. By keeping the arm and wrists safely in place, movements will be executed better and in a shorter time.
5 Best Gait Trainers (Updated Reviews) in 2020
Medical issues are never something to enjoy but recuperating from them can be made significantly easier by using the right accessories. Therefore, we’ve gone above and beyond to look for quality and trustworthy items that promise to get the job done when push comes to shove.
1. Inspired by Drive Trekker Gait Trainer Hip Positioner and Pad
While saving some dollars is always nice, getting a cheap gait trainer might not always be worth it due to the fact that these items must be stable and able to help us with our medical problems. Therefore, Inspired by Drive is offering this decent version that brings just enough perks to the table to be able to get you out of pretty much any sticky situations.
By using it, the person in need will be able to safely shift his or her weight from one foot to the other, avoiding fear or the possibility of injury. The straps are there to provide support when it comes to weight-bearing and even sometimes using them as a safety sling. Furthermore, one mustn’t forget that the way the straps are positioned on the handlebar also affects the pelvis’ position.
Overall, this should be quite a comfortable device and allow the user to safely be transported from one place to another or even simply get up or lie down. The most important thing to remember is that people with movement-impairing issues always have it tougher than us so getting them that extra-help could prove to be quite exponential in the long healing run.
You’ll be quite pleased to notice that the seat harness is perfectly adjustable by height so this should never prove to be an issue, even if you’re dealing with a taller person that sometimes faces difficulties with such devices.
The hips and pelvis are conveniently and comfortably positioned and allow the user to shift the weight much easier which can lead to an increase in confidence over time and, as such, a speedier recovery.
The straps can be used as a double function since the short version is great for weight-bearing while lengthening them is a great way to make a safety sling.
Since comfort is important even in these situations, the device comes with a removable pad that’s there to offer cushioned comfort for those people who really need it, especially when every movement is a struggle.
The maximum weight that this product is able to withstand is about 150 pounds so, unfortunately, using it for older, bulkier men seems to be out of the question for now.
Due to this, the gait trainer is also fairly small in size so even skinnier, taller people could face problems if they are reaching the weight limit.Buy from Amazon.com for ($281.6)
2. Inspired by Drive Moxie GT Gait Trainer
Finding the best gait trainer can be a tough order but this one really makes a case for itself by offering a height that is adjustable in 1” increments, simply making it impossible to go wrong when buying it. Furthermore, it can be used in both anterior and posterior positions while the swivel casters are obviously able to be locked in the non-swivel position.
If you’re fearing for your safety, have no fear as the wheel locks are there for all four of them and will keep the gait trainer perfectly still during transfers or whenever you need it to not move. Also, not everybody is good at DIY things so you should be happy to find out that the accessories are able to be mounted without any tools whatsoever.
The entire frame is also quite able to be folded so that whenever you need to take it somewhere, it won’t give you any headaches. Just be careful with that directional levers as that is really the soul of the product since it allows it to offer both forward and reverse mobility, one at a time or both at the same time.
This is a device that is able to provide an amazing amount of versatility for children or adults that are facing movement-impairing issues. Improving their stability while walking will go a long way toward improving their overall quality of life, which is definitely anything that you could ask for in such a machine.
The Moxie GT comes in three very nice and very adjustable sizes so you should have no problem finding the one perfectly suited for your needs. Since you can use it in both the anterior and the posterior position, no task will be too small or too difficult for you and your new traveling partner.
Moxie also went to great lengths to make sure that all the accessories are perfectly adjustable without the use of any tools so you don’t have to go buy a full handyman set just to install this item.
As good as it is, this gait trainer does not come with straps that are able to assist in weight-bearing so this might be something that some customers will dislike.
The first two sizes are available in two colors each but the larger one is only available in a grey frame color.Buy from Amazon.com for ($815.86)
3. Drive Medical CE1035FP Forearm Platforms for All
These are very good accessories that can come in extremely handy, especially for people who struggle dealing with regular standard grips due to whatever their medical problems might be that keep them from using such tools.
By purchasing this product, you make sure that you or whoever will have need of it will be able to properly use it in order to maintain a very good balance and posture. You’ll be happy to see that each side is individually customized in order to allow proper support for each user.
The lightweight aluminum that this product is built from is internationally recognized as one of the better-quality materials out there, especially when it comes to this type of product. The platforms rotate both inward and outward and complete the delivery package by being adjustable according to the user’s height.
As a result, the product’s position can be determined by the patient’s own weight-bearing needs instead of forcing him or her to choose a position that allows the device to be used. The handles can prove to be extremely useful for preventing any slips and falls and for bringing back that lost confidence.
A very good device for people who struggle with walking, no matter why that happens. Even better, the fact that they can be mounted anywhere on the handlebars allows them to properly distribute the weight in order to create a more comfortable walking sequence and the user to feel safer and trust his or her gait training more.
The fact that the patient is able to determine his or her own position judging by his or her needs instead of having to adapt to the device is a huge advantage and something that anybody in that situation would like to have.
While traditional hand grips may sometimes prove dangerous if the patient is not advanced-enough in the recovery process, these one’s handles offer very good stability and the ability to really hold onto them.
Also, having the ability to mount the brackets facing either the inside or the outside allows for some much-needed lateral adjustability.
Be careful before purchasing as this offer only includes the forearm platforms so don’t be tempted to believe you are buying the entire thing in the picture as the manufacturer clearly states this is not the case.Buy from Amazon.com for ($241.45)
4. Drive Trekker Gait Trainer Hip Positioner and Pad
A gait trainer walker for adults can go a long way toward helping even a grown man improve his posture and walking ability, regardless of the reason why it has been lost in the first place. This is a full-system gait trainer hip positioner and it also comes with a comfy pad that works wonders for a tired back and spine.
Another nice thing about this product is the fact that the straps are perfectly adjustable so if you want to shorten them and create a harness or you want to go the long way and provide that “sling” feeling, you can totally do it.
Furthermore, the pad is easily removable so that you won’t face any issues when you need to clean it or give it a good wash. Fans of the Spiderman series will definitely think about this item as their own “Doctor Octopus”. However funny that may be, rest assured that this is indeed a good adult gait trainer accessory and will help the user get through the recovery process.
Sometimes people also struggle actually managing to attach the hip positioner or whatever the extra item may be to the gait trainer. Be that as it may, rest assured that this one will not bring you such problems as the manufacturer made it very easy to connect and stay there without any issues.
This is a very good item for adjusting the position of the hips and of the pelvis, allowing the user better overall movement and more trust in his or her ability to move around on their own. With a 60 day warranty, you should have plenty of time to test it out and decide if it is right for you.
The position of the straps on the handlebar is another way to lightly nudge the position of the patient’s pelvis and, as people who have been through this know, having a tool that always keeps the correct posture is extremely important in the recovery process.
You’ll be happy to know that even the seat harness is perfectly adjustable so that discomfort is never on the table, not even for a second.
Furthermore, the fact that the manufacturer has made this product available in both small and large sizes basically ensures that anyone should be able to find the right fit for them.
Even if this product does what it’s supposed to, it is not a miracle worker so people with bad posture will need long hours of therapy in order to start seeing the results they are expecting.Buy from Amazon.com for ($315.75)
5. Circle Specialty Inc 4 Wheel Klip- Lightweight Medical Posterior Rollator
This awesome and affordable gait trainer can be yours with a few simple clicks and you’ll definitely not regret getting it! First things first, you’ve never seen a more dependable and cool-looking device and you can take this promise straight to the bank!
This bad boy is equipped with two 5” Front Swivel wheels that will make gliding on surfaces a breeze. The other two wheels are also 5” and doing a wonderful job when it comes to preventing backward rolling so it’s basically like pulling your car’s handbrake. If you need to get something done quickly, there’s an easy-to-use swivel wheel lock with a very audible click.
While the design can be configured to aid in both posterior and anterior positions – except for the XS model that only goes posterior – the overall structure of the product is designed in such a way as to promote independence and trust.
Studies have shown that the posterior position is very good for improving the upright position, progression in leg movement and pretty much anything related to postural alignment so this product can be very good for people needing to speed up their recovery process.
Surely, you’ll be happy to know that this product’s height is adjustable in order to offer the best comfort level possible, either by accommodating to a kid’s growth spurt or helping an elder regain his or her proper posture.
The Latex-free grips do a good job of decreasing hand strain which can be very good especially for people who don’t like to stay in one place and who like to spend a large amount of time moving around. Add this to the 5” wheels and this product becomes just perfect for toddlers, kids, and even teens and young adults who suffer from neurological conditions.
You are also able to choose from many different accessories such as height and depth adjustable platforms for the forearms that provide also-adjustable hand grips, a top-notch pelvic stabilizer that comes with a support belt, and many others.
Since this product is only recommended for people ranging from toddlers to young adults, seniors in a higher weight class might not find it to be to their liking due to the required resistance.
Every size seems to only come in one color and while that may not be a deal breaker for some people, it could very well matter for others.Buy from Amazon.com for ($155)
Our Comprehensive Buying Guide
You may have to look at a lot of gait trainer reviews before finding the one that best suits your needs. While all of them are classified as wheeled devices designed to assist individuals who struggle with motor disabilities and help them learn the movements of walking again, each one may come with special perks that end up being more useful to you.
What to do with a gait trainer?
The purpose of such a product is to help a child or adult who, for various reasons, is unable to bear their own body weight and stand upright on their own. Once the users are able to securely stand, gait trainers help them prepare to bear more and more of their weight while also taking a step.
In time and with a lot of patience and practice, the person will eventually be able to do so until they are walking on their own, a critical milestone even if it is being done with assistive equipment.
Things like balance, strength, endurance, and ambulation are all tangible benefits that can result from gait training. Also, important individual progress such as standing and walking is made more easily-obtainable by getting and using such volatile and helpful equipment.
The correct size
The field of neuroplasticity is always expanding and new studies even show potential for restoration and improvements in motor skill development by engaging in activity-based therapies. This is especially true for children since all of them love to learn by playing, in spite of living with conditions that hamper their ability to move.
Locomotor training is the best type of activity that you can use your new gait trainer for. However, it is very important to make sure you or the loved one you ordered it for has the correct size of equipment or it may never work. Success with such a device is in large part dependent upon having the right tool for the job.
Therefore, taking your loved one’s measurements into account is definitely something to do before purchasing one, especially if you’re getting a gait trainer for adults. If you want to measure the user’s dimensions, you have to look at the following: height to elbow, chest circumference, thigh circumference, and, of course, the person’s weight.
Once you’re done with them you should be able to tell if you need a small (usually children), medium/medium-large (this is mostly for young adults), or if you just get the big guns out and go for a large/extra-large (adults) gait trainer.
Framing: anterior, posterior, or both?
For anyone who didn’t get it, the words “anterior” and “posterior” refer to the direction of the user’s face compared to where their gait trainer is. “Anterior” means that the product will be in front of the user as he or she moves forward, generally aided by ankle straps or prompts, which make it quite like a traditional walker.
“Posterior”, on the other hand, simply means that the trainer is behind the person in need and, as such, they need to hold on to the handlebars. Usually, you will also see ankle prompts attached to each foot, just to be on the safe side. This is especially important because the posterior position is considered the natural step to take before reaching independent walking.
The best gait trainers are often considered the full-frame ones since they are the most versatile. They come with harness systems that offer a multi-position saddle, allowing the user to feel much more secure. Also, they are adjustable in various directions so that posture will come more naturally and, even better, they’re able to be used in both anterior and posterior positions.
Since gait trainers can be of use to people located in the full range of mobility challenges, it’s important to evaluate just in how much need your patient is before ordering one. The usual terms used here are “ambulatory”, “semi-ambulant”, or “non-ambulatory”.
A person who is able to walk with minimal assistance or even sometimes by themselves is considered ambulatory. A semi-ambulant person, on the other hand, is described as someone who has suffered through a temporary or even permanent reduction of mobility but is still able to walk if assisted.
A non-ambulatory person is obviously the last case left, where he or she is not able to walk or even stand without assistance and require copious support to be able to move around.
The reason you need to think about this is because persons who cannot stand on their own and need to use a wheelchair will require a series of accessories and attachments that will be rendered useless if brought to someone who’s able to support their own body weight without any assistance.
Custom or standard device?
Depending on what you get, you’ll notice large price differences when it comes to gait trainers. In fact, the very-custom ones, specially tailored to suit a particular individual or to fit a specific task can get up in the many-thousand-of-dollars area.
Your physician or physical therapist is usually the best source of information when it comes to finding out what you should buy because they’ll be able to offer some specific parameters derived from your goals and help you reach a decision.
Since gait disturbances impact a great deal of things like a person’s balance, posture, and alignment, fixing or alleviating such a problem will definitely have an impact on the entire quality of life. As a result, getting a gait trainer can be a very positive thing to do, especially if you are getting one for a child.
Those early, formative years are crucial for learning how to live life and interacting with other people in a meaningful way, without being affected by such an illness.
Does Medicare cover them?
What you should know is that Medicare guidelines often group gait trainers with walkers and cover them in the same breath. Part B lists gait trainers as “durable medical equipment” (DME) but also advises that the use of such a device will only receive coverage if it is truly a medical necessity, in addition to being prescribed by the pen of your friendly physician.
However, even though you can find a specific Medicare code for pediatric gait trainers, the program also warns that it may not be covered since gait trainers are considered one of the services that are not priced separately by Part B.
Since every person’s needs are different, consulting with your physician and obtaining specific information regarding your case is probably the best thing you can do at this point to make sure you’ll get everything you deserve.
What about private insurance?
Having checked the terms of several private insurance companies and more than one gait trainer review, we can tell you for sure that certain benefits plans will cover your gait training equipment as long as certain criteria are met.
Chief among them is that they are a proven medical necessity for the person and not just something bought out of a whim. The user also has to prove that he or she will prevent additional medical complications in order to benefit from the full function of the device. Also, the person in need has to have the potential for regular or therapeutic ambulation.
With that in mind, don’t forget that most of these plans do not seem to cover the accessories but just the basic gait trainer since these are viewed as a convenience and not primarily medical in their own right.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: What is a gait trainer and what is it used for?
A gait trainer is a wheeled type of device that is widely used to assist a person who is unable to walk on his/her own for whatever reason. With this item, adults or children are able to walk or relearn how to bear their weight until they are able to do so on their own.
As a result, gait training is a very efficient method for somebody who has to go through the process of learning again or has yet to do so for the first time. Since they come in different sizes, they can be used by any type of person with physical disabilities, providing a tremendous opportunity to improve the overall walking ability.
According to studies, the use of body weight is much more beneficial than the treadmill in the early stages of recovery because it forces the body to readapt to its own weight and possibly amplifies the entire process.
Q: What is the difference between a walker and a gait trainer?
While special-needs walkers and trainers do share certain characteristics since they are both used to improve a person’s stability and ability to move on their own, they also have their fair share of differences since gait trainers more or less are evolved from a walker.
While walkers are created for people who are able to support their entire weight with their own legs and, as such, as not in any danger of an accident, gait trainers are specifically adapted for those of us who can’t do so. Since people who can’t support their whole weight need accessories like a seat or forearm supports to do so, that’s the difference right there.
When walking accessories are added to a walker frame, then you have what is referred to as your standard gait trainer walker. Another good thing is that these supports can usually be added or removed according to your needs.
Q: What diseases can cause walking difficulty?
While we often take it for granted as being something simple and that we do every day, the process of walking and keeping balance is a very complex one and its intricate movements can be very easily disturbed. It relies on multiple areas of the body in order to function well, such as the eyes, ears, brain, muscles, and sensory nerves.
Problems or diseases in any of these areas can also lead to walking difficulties, either temporary or long-term. Therefore, any injury, trauma, pain, or inflammation can have them as an effect, especially if we’re talking about muscular neurological (brain) issues. Fatigue may also play a role sometimes since tired legs will make it difficult to walk properly.
Some specific conditions that can affect you like this are arthritis, multiple sclerosis (MS), brain hemorrhage, a brain tumor, gout, obesity, chronic alcohol misuse, and a great deal of many others.
Q: How can I improve my walking?
Improving our walking is something we should all aim to do, not only those who are movement-impaired and are looking to get back a regular aspect of their lives. In our daily rush, we often slouch, drag our feet, or twist our body, all of which can lead to things like back pain, discomfort, or even injury as we get older and less resistant.
A good way to improve your posture is to always remember the “heel to toe” rule. Step onto your heel then, in the exact same movement, roll onto the ball of your foot then simply lift your heel off the ground ending with your big toe to finish it off. This method will prevent injuries and help you remain balanced and stable.
Another small tip is to always be aware of your posture. Keep your head up and looking forward, keep the back straight by keeping those firm stomach muscles tightened but relax the neck, shoulders, and back.
Q: Why do people get multiple sclerosis?
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is one of those brain diseases that can affect the entire life of the patient by disabling the brain and central nervous system. Unfortunately, we do not yet know what causes it and it is considered an autoimmune disease because the body’s immune system is the attacker of its own tissues.
However, scientists have managed to identify an array of risk factors that could potentially increase the chance of a person to get it. It usually affects people between 16 and 55, seems to be influenced by family history, and women seem to be two to three times more likely to develop it.
Furthermore, white people of particularly Northern European descent have the highest risk of developing this disease while those of Asian, Native American, and African descent seem to be on the low pole. MS is also far more common in countries where the climate is stable and temperate.