Nursing is an admirable job, but it’s also a very difficult profession for more reasons than one. The number one complaint among most nurses is that their feet hurt, and it’s hard to find the right shoes for the job.
This is because not all shoes will work for nurses. I want to help you find the best shoes for nurses, so you can keep your feet well protected during those long shifts or help a nurse you know to stay comfy.
The job of nursing requires a lot of walking and general movement. Most nurses are on their feet for the majority of their long shifts.
All of this activity takes a heavy toll on the feet and presents those in the nursing field with a huge problem. Staying comfortable and keeping your feet and legs healthy is difficult if you don’t get the right shoes to support yourself.
Not all shoes are designed for this kind of heavy walking and standing usage. So, nurses need to look for specific shoes that cater to the right areas of need. Both form and function need to fit into a particular set of needs that is mostly unique to the field. Getting the wrong pair of shoes for your nursing job might be a costly mistake!
Different Types Of Shoes For Nurses
What are the types of shoes that are good for nurses? There are four main categories of shoes that work well for this profession:
These shoes are generally slip-on types that are made of a suede, leather, or resin material. Clogs can have flat or raised heels and usually have a small platform to raise your feet up an inch or so. They are easy to get on and off and can provide great arch and heel support.
- Athletic Shoes
Many athletic shoes such as tennis shoes and walking shoes are well designed for a profession like nursing. They provide great support and are usually comfortable. The downside is that athletic shoes will not look as professional as most other types of shoes.
These foam resin shoes are usually well vented and comfortable, although they lack some of the firm support that you may need for your feet. They are good shoes for nurses, depending on the workplace requirements for shoes.
Similar to athletic shoes, sneakers are comfortable and supportive. Normal sneakers are not designed for walking in the same way that athletic shoes are, but they are still a great option if your job allows them.
Characteristics Of The Best Shoes For Nurses
Once you know which types of shoes you’re most interested in, how can you know what to look for? Sometimes this is subjective depending on what your individual needs are, but in most cases the best characteristics are similar. These are the things that make up the best shoes for nurses:
For improved safety on the job, nurses’ shoes need to be partially or fully enclosed. The toes and all around the edges need to be sealed to prevent dirt and germs from getting to the feet.
Thick and Resilient
Whatever material the shoes are made from needs to be sturdy enough for the job. It should be able to protect your feet from liquids, falling objects, and other sorts of accidents. Materials like leather, suede, some foam resins, and thick cloth are all generally appropriate.
Since you will be on your feet for long hours each shift, comfort is a priority with shoes for nurses. This means no high heels, no thin bottomed shoes, and no uncomfortable clasps or buckles. Nurse shoes should have comfortable, orthopedic soles and should accommodate the shape of your feet well.
Many hospitals and private practices advise nurses to wear shoes that will look professional at their workplace. This means that the color and material also need to fit into designated professional standards.
Foot support is important for nurses, because of the long hours on your feet. Get shoes that support your arches and heels properly, or else you could end up with foot and leg problems later on in life.
Easy To Clean
With all the messes you have to deal with on the job, having shoes that are easy to lean can be huge advantage. This isn’t a deal-breaker feature, but it’s certainly nice to have it.
Nurse shoes need to be slip resistant to help you avoid accidents in the workplace.
These classic shoes have been around for years, and there’s a good reason for it. Many different professionals use these Dansko clogs on the job, because they have a professional appearance and all the requirements to meet most job standards.
If your feet don’t do well in solid shoes, these might not be the best choice for you. You can put insoles in for yourself, but the standard insoles are a bit harder than others.
The overall effect of the shoe is a solid, long-lasting build that keeps the foot stable and well supported. However, you may not find it comfortable until it’s well broken in or an insole is added.
Slip resistant bottoms, leather exteriors, slight heel elevation, and a 0.75’ inch general platform are some of the most attractive features of the shoe. They are easy to walk in, comfortable on the feet, supportive, highly durable, and professional.
Highly durable. These shoes will last for years
Available in a wide variety of colors
Total foot support
Good for both standing and walking
There is a break-in period for most people that is uncomfortable in the beginning
Upper leather instep is tight on most people until they have been worn a few times
Alegria has a few varieties of comfortable work shoes, and this pair is especially good for nurses. These are buckle shoes with a comfortably tight clasp on the top that holds your foot steady while still allowing some ventilation from the top of the shoe.
There is a 1’ inch platform on the whole shoe, with a slightly raised 1.5’ inch heel for greater leg support.
The reason these Alegria flats make great nurse shoes is because they offer a lot of comfort and support for the feet, whether you’re walking, standing, or sitting.
This particular shoe is great especially for those that have jobs requiring a lot of standing, as they have the right type of insoles and support needed
Good for helping treat plantar fasciitis
Full support provided for long hours on and off your feet
Comes in cute color patterns or plain professional colors
Comfortable rubber insoles
Some customers complain of a squeaking noise as they walk in these shoes new
Size is sometimes small, so it’s suggested you order 1/2 - 1 size up from your usual
These Timberland shoes are slip-on style clogs that are both comfortable and well-designed for long shifts at work. The anti-fatigue technology built into the shoes keeps your feet from getting too tired as you’re walking around. A slight platform of 0.25’ inches and an elevated heel work together to give your feet the support they need all day.
One thing that is good for many people, but may not work for everyone is the anatomically shaped tow box area. If your toes don’t fit the average shape as other people’s do, they may not fit well into these shoes because of the front design. Also, the way the toes are slightly pointed upwards may not be comfortable for those with turf toe or other foot injuries.
Heel to toe soles help promote proper walking positions
Comfortable synthetic heel materials
Slip resistant and sturdy
Little to no break-in period for these shoes
Easy to clean
Insole is non-removable, so insoles cannot be inserted easily
Shoes can squeak when you first start wearing them
As a mix of leather and rubber shoes, these Nurse Mates are a lightweight alternative to all of the heavy leather or suede shoes usually available. They feel more similar to sneakers than slip-on clogs, but they don’t offer quite the same level of support.
Nonetheless, these shoes are a good choice if you do a lot of walking and you need something that’s resilient, water-proof, slip resistant, and also comfortable.
They are great for women with average or slim feet and are not really meant for women with wide feet or medical issues that require a little more room inside the shoe.
Very easy to clean all over
Decent high arch support
Well-made and durable
Some colors can show cracks in a short period of use
These are classy looking nursing shoes that are a good fit for men in the profession. There is a slight elevation in the heel that’s great for blood flow and keeping feet from swelling during a long shift at work.
As slip-on clog style shoes, these Merrell brand nurse shoes are easy to wear and comfortable for a lot of walking and standing.
A smooth leather exterior with slip resistant rubber bottoms make the shoes attractive and professional, without sacrificing functionality and comfort. The instep collar on the upper inside is padded to help you get used to the shoes without a long break-in period getting used to the feel of the shoes.
Slip resistant bottoms work excellently on all hard surfaces
Great professional appearance for the workplace
Easy to clean
Comfortable for the knees
Little ventilation, so your feet can get hot and sweaty easily
Heel bases are a bit smaller than on previous versions of the shoe, causing ankle
The synthetic materials used to make this Anywear shoes cause it to be priced much lower than many of the other nurse shoes, which is great if you need multiple pairs of shoes for work.
There is a slight platform of 0.5’ inches all around with a raised 1.25’ inch heel. All manmade and synthetic materials are used in making these shoes. Bottoms are slip resistant and feature an excellent tread for nursing environments.
Removable insoles can be replaced easily with orthopedics or other comfortable insoles. This can help you accommodate any injuries you have or foot issues that might be present, or just to allow for more comfortable feet during a long shift.
Good for dealing with plantar fasciitis
Lightweight, great for walking a lot at work
Many vibrant color choices as well as basic professional colors
Medium-hard rubber insides make the shoes comfortable and mildly supportive all over
Slip resistance does not work well on all surfaces
Most people know Under Armour for their athletic wear, but these shoes also work very well as nurse shoes. They are designed with great support and ventilation, so your feet will be comfortable whether you’re walking or standing.
These are meant to be running shoes, meaning they are very stable even if you’re taking sharp turns, pushing around equipment, or walking on slick surfaces.
The rubber soles are removable; you can add in your own to make them more supportive or comfortable, depending on your needs. Laces help the shoes to fit more tightly and hug your feet a bit more than slip-on shoes.
Many color choices
Available in sizes for average feet and wide feet
Great build quality and materials
Very stable and great for active workplaces
More difficult to clean in the event of liquid spills
Rubber slip-on clogs like these DAWGS brand clogs are great for nurses because of the light weight and comfort of the rubber materials. These are made with slip resistant tread on the bottoms as well as comfortable insoles.
Heels have a slight elevation to improve blood flow and keep your feet and legs more comfortable throughout the day.
Orthotics can easily be inserted into this shoe, so even if you need a little extra insole support you will be able to get it. However, they are not well ventilated. If you have issues with sweaty feet, these shoes won’t be able to help with that.
Quick and easy cleaning
Soft, comfortable insides with low heels and arches
Easy to move around in
No firm support for heels and arches
Slip resistance is not effective on all surfaces
It may be difficult to find the best shoes for nurses, but I hope after reading this guide you feel better prepared to make your choice. Make sure that if you have any specific requirements, such as strong support for arches or slip resistance, that you search for shoes that meet these needs and others.
Not all shoes that work for others will work for you, but if you look hard enough you will find the best nurse shoes!
Hi there ! I’m Anna Smith, chief editor at Healthankering. I'm a proud mother of three passionate about health tips, beauty and ways to live healthier with more energy !
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