Nurses have one of the most demanding and tiring occupations. Most of their time is spent on their feet, which are probably their biggest assets. However, these assets get abused round the clock, with endless shifts and continuous walking. Nurses may also need to run, so they need durable, dependable, and comfortable shoes so that they can focus solely on their patients and not their hurting feet.
Statistics should that about a third of all nurses in the United States have back pain or feet pain. This is mostly due to wearing uncomfortable or misaligned shoes. As this could adversely affect the way they do their job, a nurse should seriously consider which shoe to wear before they use them for the daily grind. We’ll discuss how to choose the best nursing shoes below:
Considerations for the Best Nursing Shoes
According to certified orthopedic doctors and surgeons, the most important consideration for a shoe is the accommodation of the width of your foot, along with good arch support. As a general rule, a shoe should fit the shape of your feet well. As all feet differ in shapes, sizes, conditions, and particular needs, the shoe brand that works for one nurse may not work for you. This usual daily activity can be very difficult for people who have developed deformities in their feet. A post by Lilly Harvey on ShoeAdviser stated that “there’s a chance that you’ll have a slight deformity, medical issue or long-term injury that stops you from using regular shoes properly, and these can develop at any stage of your life for a multitude of reasons”.
Nurses must know exactly what they’re looking for in an ideal pair of nurse shoes. These shoes will enable them to make it through the day without experiencing back pains and spinal issues, leg pains, and of course foot pains, among many other kinds of discomfort. These shoes should hence fit their feet well, be comfortable, durable and easy to clean. You don’t have much time to spend on shoe maintenance when you’re a busy nurse!
Tips for Buying the Ideal Walking Shoes for Nurses
Whether you’re a male or a female nurse trying to find an ideal pair of shoes, you must remember these general tips when buying them:
- Buy shoes that are closed in front and back. This will help you avoid injury, especially from falling sharp objects such as needles.
- Shoes made from smooth leather are still the best bet. They will offer your feet total protection against sharp objects as well as your patient’s body fluids.
- Spills are a common occurrence inside the hospital, so your shoes must have a solid sole to protect you from slipping.
- Contrary to popular belief, flat shoes are never good for your feet, especially if your feet have remarkable arches to them. Low-heeled shoes (measuring up to two inches the most) with good arch support will help stabilize your feet.
- Since nurses tend to run when there’s an emergency, their shoes should have cushioning to absorb shock as well as proper weight distribution to prevent twisting or spraining.
- You must buy shoes that are approved by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA). Dansko and Crocs are among the APMA-approved footwear for nurses and home health aides
- Consider slip-ons instead of laces in order to save time.
- If you’re working in fast-paced departments like the ICU, consider wearing sneakers in order to provide the best cushioning and protection from spills.
- Make sure your shoes are lightweight so they won’t become a burden from long-term wearing.
Now that we know what to consider when buying the best nursing shoes, let’s take a look at some of the top pick in the market today. We’ll discuss choice for both men and women below, as there’s a wide range available for everyone:
Shoes for Female Nurses
Dansko shoes and clogs are among the very best options for professional women on the go. Since they’re hand-crafted, they might have some complaints with regards to size. However, their main concern is your comfort, which their reinforced toe box and smooth leather provide.
There’s also a rocker bottom attached to these shoes, which absorbs the maximum amount of shock. This way, you can run around all day without worrying about your feet getting tried anytime soon. Since they run wide, you don’t have to worry about the shoe tightening when your feet swell from standing up.
When you want shoes that look stylish and feel good all day long, Skechers should be among the top choices. These slip-ons are made of solid leather and have a sturdy construction to give you confidence at any job, especially a demanding one such as nursing.
These shoes might seem snug to some at first, but they expand after a short wearing period. They also ride a bit high, so you can be sure of them staying firmly on even if you have to bend and stretch. On the downside, though, some reviews state that these shoes may not last more than around a year.
These work shoes might need some breaking in, but the leather and synthetic combination will make sure they last you a long time after that. Along with some very functional features like a memory foam insole and great arch support, these shoes also have a very unique, attractive look.
If you’re working long shifts at the hospital and suffering foot pain even while wearing sneakers, these shoes might be the solution. Overall, it’s a shoe made from premium leathers and shouldn’t even give you any squeaking problems.
Crocs are a well-known brand across the world, mostly for their lightweight quality and ultra-comfort. The usual Crostlite material for these nurses’ clogs presents an attractive appearance along with the same qualities that make Crocs a favorite everywhere. The pivoting heel strap gives both support and adjustability.
The treads here are slip-resistant, while the enclosed toe will keep your feet safe from spills. The synthetic material is not just long-lasting, but extremely easy to clean with just a soapy cloth and water.
These mules have a leather construction, with a low-top shaft that won’t chafe your ankles. The heel is about 2 inches, which is just right for professional work. The polyurethane insoles are removable, though you should leave them in for that shock-absorbing cushioning.
If you have a history of plantar fasciitis, these shoes are the ones to consider. The cushioned comfort is perfect no matter what kind of climate you live in. Those with this foot issue have used these Klogs and reported that they were able to stay on their feet for even 12-hour shifts.
Shoes for Male Nurses
These shoes have a synthetic sole, with a shaft measuring about 3 inches from the arch. Their leather construction is a durable one that provides a decent amount of protection from any spills or weather elements. Plus, the interior comfort is enough to keep you moving smoothly throughout your shift.
While the toe protection and synthetic sole can keep you safe on the work floor, the full-grain leather of these shoes also cleans up well for more formal settings. According to reviews, this is also a very lightweight option, ensuring that you won’t be uncomfortable during the hot months.
These slip-ons are mostly made up of leather, though the sole is rubber. The patented toe protection is probably their best feature, as the outsoles provide a thick toebox for proper safety. These outsoles also have a very strong grip, making the shoe slip-resistant even if there’s an oil spill on the floor.
This show is on the low side, without a heel. It’s hence a good choice for men as well as women who don’t feel comfortable in heels. It’s also recommended that you order about half a size up as these tend to run a bit small.
This Dansko option is again made by hand, so the fit might not be perfect every time. If you do find your fit, however, this is by far one of the best choices on this list. The shoes itself is made of 100% leather, though the sole is understandably synthetic to provide traction.
The arch support and contoured midsole here will make sure your feet comfy and supported throughout the day. The shock absorption is much like athletic or sporty footwear, which is necessary for professions like nursing. With the smoothness of the finished result, many users say that they don’t even have to break in these clogs.
These rubber clogs come in a wide range of colors and have a 1.5-inch heel. The material and construction are Italian, which says a lot about its quality. An added bonus is that these shoes are latex-free and also anti-static, thus preventing a lot of discomfort.
The width here is a medium one, so they might feel a bit small until you stretch them out. On the bright side, the rubber material also means that you can wash these easily, using sterilization, a washing machine, or simply disinfecting them with bleach (if they’re white).
This garden clog provides a decent comfort and a high durability level, but the arch support is what really makes it worthwhile. There’s a removable footbed which you can wash sparely, along with a toe gripper and footbed edging for stability. These functional shoes are available in several colors, so you can buy according to your personality or the dress code.
The cork footing makes for a lightweight result, ensuring that you’d be able to stand all day without feet pain. However, it’s quite hard and cold when you first put it on and gets a bit sweaty after a few hours. Regular washing is hence recommended after removing the cork part.
Investing in a good pair of shoes after some detailed research is important for nursing jobs and any other occupation that keeps you on your feet. Not only shoes but also boots also placed a great role for any hard working jobs. According to Footwear Weeks, muck boots are the best alternative and budget-friendly work boots with great comfort. Some of the options above might be a trifle expensive, but the investment is worth it for the everyday comfort you get.
The Dansko and Crocs are especially safe options, so get a pair as soon as possible. It’s likely that you’d be wondering why you didn’t buy a proper pair of shoes earlier!