Why Do They Put Tennis Balls on Walkers? An Ingenious Solution Explained


You may have noticed a common sight in hospitals, nursing homes, or even among elderly individuals using walkers: tennis balls attached to the rear legs of these mobility aids. It’s a simple yet effective solution that raises curiosity: Why do they put tennis balls on walkers? In this article, we’ll explore the reasons behind this common practice and the benefits it offers to those in need of mobility assistance as per Surprise Tennis.

1. Improved Maneuverability

One of the primary reasons for putting tennis balls on walkers is to enhance maneuverability. Standard walker tips can be quite rigid, making it challenging to move smoothly over various surfaces, including tile, hardwood floors, and carpets. This can lead to difficulties in pushing the walker and may even result in accidental slips or falls.

By attaching tennis balls to the back legs of the walker, users can achieve a smoother glide. The soft, smooth surface of the tennis ball allows for easier movement, reducing the friction and resistance that standard rubber tips may encounter. This makes it simpler for individuals with mobility issues to navigate their surroundings more comfortably.

2. Protecting Indoor Flooring

Another crucial benefit of tennis balls on walkers is the protection they offer to indoor flooring. Standard walker tips, often made of hard rubber or plastic, can leave marks, scratches, or scuffs on hardwood or tile floors. Over time, this can result in damage that requires costly repairs or replacements.

Tennis balls, with their softer and more forgiving texture, are less likely to cause harm to indoor flooring. They help distribute the weight of the walker more evenly, reducing the impact on the floor. As a result, tennis balls act as a buffer, preserving the condition of the flooring and preventing unnecessary damage.

3. Cost-Effective Solution

Using tennis balls on walkers is a cost-effective alternative to purchasing specialized walker glides or skis. While commercial walker accessories are available, they often come at a higher price point. On the other hand, tennis balls are readily accessible and relatively inexpensive.

The affordability of tennis balls makes them a practical choice for individuals or healthcare facilities looking for a budget-friendly solution to improve walker performance. They provide the benefits of enhanced maneuverability and floor protection without breaking the bank.

4. Customization and Personalization

Tennis balls on walkers also offer a degree of customization and personalization. Users can choose tennis balls in various colors to add a touch of personality to their mobility aid. This simple customization can make the walker feel less clinical and more like a personal accessory.

Additionally, tennis balls can be easily replaced when they become worn or dirty. This allows users to maintain the appearance and functionality of their walkers without much hassle.

5. Enhanced Safety

Safety is a top priority for individuals using walkers, especially those who may have limited mobility or balance issues. Tennis balls can contribute to safety in several ways:

  • Improved traction: The gripping texture of tennis balls helps prevent slips and provides better traction, reducing the risk of accidents.
  • Shock absorption: Tennis balls can absorb some of the shock when the walker comes into contact with obstacles or uneven surfaces, minimizing the jarring impact on the user.
  • Heightened visibility: The bright color of tennis balls can increase the walker’s visibility, making it easier for others to see and avoid collisions.

6. Easy Installation and Maintenance

Attaching tennis balls to walkers is a straightforward process that doesn’t require any specialized tools or skills. Users or caregivers can easily cut a small slit in the tennis ball and slide it onto the rear legs of the walker. This DIY approach ensures that the tennis balls can be quickly replaced if they become worn or damaged.

Maintenance is also relatively simple. Tennis balls can be wiped clean or replaced as needed to maintain hygiene and functionality.

7. Reducing Noise

Another notable benefit of tennis balls on walkers is their noise-reducing quality. Standard walker tips can create loud, unpleasant noises, especially when the walker is used indoors on hard surfaces. This noise can be disruptive, particularly in quiet environments such as hospitals or residential care facilities.

Tennis balls, being soft and quiet, dampen the sounds produced when the walker is in motion. This reduction in noise levels helps maintain a more peaceful and comfortable environment for both the user and those around them.


The practice of putting tennis balls on walkers is a simple yet ingenious solution that offers multiple benefits to individuals seeking mobility assistance. From improved maneuverability and floor protection to cost-effectiveness and personalization options, tennis balls on walkers enhance the overall user experience.

Beyond the practical advantages, this practice underscores the creativity and resourcefulness in the realm of healthcare and mobility aids. It serves as a reminder that solutions to everyday challenges can often be found in unexpected places, transforming common objects like tennis balls into valuable tools for improving the quality of life for those in need of mobility assistance.

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