The Best Shoes For Nurses Reviewed & Compared
Searching for Shoes for Nurses? Take a look at the top rated shoes of 2017, Pros & Cons and what to be aware of before buying them in a store!
When working in a career field that requires you to be on your feet all day long, as is most often the case with nursing, finding the perfect pair of shoes becomes a required necessity. This is especially the case for those who work the twelve hour plus shifts.
|1||Skechers Sport Women's Foam Sneaker|
|2||Nike Womens Flex Experience 3|
|3||Reebok Women's Work N Cushion|
|4||Skechers for Work Women's 76576|
|5||"Nurse Mates Women's Lexi Lace Up|
In addition to many others, healthy feet are among their most important assets. For this reason, shoes worn for nursing must be able to provide a sufficient amount of long term support, comfort and overall stability. Nowadays, there are many different choices that are currently available the market, available in shoe stores and even online.
One of the most important considerations is making sure that the shoes properly fit the width of your foot. Shoes should provide ample support and fit the general shape of nurse’s feet well. The next important consideration is arch support.
Just paying attention these two factors can make a world of difference in terms of prolonged comfort, as well as injury prevention. This guide highlights a few of the best options for comfortable shoes which will also meet the requirement standards of the nursing environment.
Top Rated shoes for Nurses
1. Skechers Sport - Loving Life Foam Sneaker
The comfort of these shoes is owed to the lightweight construction and memory foam insole. Additionally, the FlexSole midsole aids greatly in making these shoes comfortable enough for all day wear. The mesh upper also lightens these shoes up and helps to keep your feet cool and comfortable.
The primarily mesh upper provides a god amount of airflow and ventilation. This makes these shoes a good choice nursing jobs, even in warm conditions.
The Skechers Sport Foam Sneakers are good for both casual wear or work attire. This style is perfect for those in the nursing fields because of its ability to provide incredible comfort and support. Their style is sporty, yet conservative enough for a medical environment.
These sneakers are built mostly of memory foam, mesh and other synthetic materials, all of which have been assembled well in a sturdy and good looking design, providing long lasting durability.
These shoes have good shock absorption, suitable enough for a 12 hour shift on your feet. Also, the memory foam insole supplies long lasting comfort for prolonged activities.
The sole of this shoe flares out slightly, adding an extra bit of stability. Additionally, the bungee securing laces are attached to lower part of the upper, which is made of a stronger synthetic material.
These are fairly inexpensive shoes. The comfort that they offer for prolonged periods of time spent active makes them a worthy investment.
- Memory foam sole allows comfort for prolonged standing.
- Breathable mesh upper
- Sizing runs a bit small
2. Timberland PRO Renova Professional
You just started the second half of your double shift, but your still feet feel like you’re on hour three because you’re cruising the hospital corridors in the cushioned comfort of the Timberland PRO® Renova™ Professional Slip-On. The Timberland PRO Renova Professional Series was designed specifically with the healthcare professional in mind, supplying the comfort and support needed to get through long and demanding shifts. The shoe is designed with an exclusive Anti-Fatigue Technology comfort system. In addition, the anatomically-shaped oblique toe box allows room for the forefoot to spread for all-day comfort. Overall, this shoe was designed to make spending all day on your feet as comfortable as possible.
The premium full-grain leather upper supplies a great fit and durability. These shoes were designed to last.
Heel-to-Toe Rocker profile reduces the forefoot’s job to flex, leading to less strain and a neutral, effortless gait. Additionally, Innovative design minimizes impact through shock-absorbing cones that compress and rebound to maximize support and reduce foot fatigue. Contoured insole offers maximum support at key pressure points and impact zones like the heel and ball of the foot.
Timberland’s anti-Fatigue Technology comfort system, which absorbs shock to the foot in key zones, delivering added strength and stamina. Especially, These shoes are also slip resistant. The SafeGrip slip-resistant TPU sole increases traction, reduces forefoot pressure. Additionally, the low-profile Timberland PRO thermal plastic urethane outsole for high surface contact, slip and abrasion resistance.
You will be pleased with the high breathability of Timberland PRO Renova Professional. Synthetic suede lining provides comfort and odor control. Bi-Fit tri-density insole with Outlast Adaptive Comfort temperature regulator maximizes support and cushioning, keeps your feet drier.
There are three colors for you to choose: white, brown and black.Manufactured with UV aging to ensure white and light colors stay true. The brown pair is very nice and “dressy” looking.
At about 15 oz, this shoe is a little an the heavier side, however it is not huge problem, as it certainly provides enough comfort to make up for its weight.
- Durable leather construction
- Designed to reduce foot and leg fatigue
- Conservative styling make them ideal for different work environments, especially nursing
- They breath okay, but not as well as a shoe with a mesh upper
3. Reebok Work N Cushion
As far as comfort goes, Reebok’s Work N Cushion receives mostly positive ratings. The leather upper combined with Reebok’s Kwik-Close design allow for a sturdy and more customizable fit, aiding in the overall comfort and fit of the shoe. This shoe has all of the features necessary to provide prolonged support and comfort, meeting the needs of the nursing professional.
Support and stability
Some of the stability and support from its sturdy leather upper and Reebok’s Kwik-Close lacing, which helps to provide a more custom fit. Additionally, the shoe features an oil and slip resistant sole for increased safety and stability, required for the medical setting.
This shoe’s sturdy construction comes mostly from its leather upper. Not an incredibly fancy shoe, the Work N Cushion works very well for what it was design to do, provide comfort and support when spending long periods of time on your feet. Going back a long time, Reebok has earned a good name for durability throughout many of their designs.
- Designed for work environments such as nursing
- Oil and slip resistant
- Durable upper construction
- Limited breathability due to the sturdier upper materials
The Criteria Used When Finding The Best Shoes For Nursing
There are many features which can make a pair of shoes great, but when we are searching for something to use for a specific task, there are some attributes that are more important that others. When choosing a pair for nursing, style and aesthetics tend to take a backseat to other considerations such as comfort, support, stability and more.
Enough comfort for prolonged standing
As a nurse, you’ll be spending a majority of your shifts on your feet, and not just standing around either. The job requires constant movement back and forth between patients. Cushioning and support that lasts throughout the work day is an absolute must, as while on duty, the focus needs to be on the patients, not your sore feet.
Additionally, ignoring sore feet and continuing to wear footwear which may not be quite suitable for the task, can in many cases develop into painful foot problems down the road.
We look for things such as memory foam and other dense but giving materials. These tend to offer the typically appropriate amount of cushioning required.
The right kind of support
Support is extremely important. Not only does it factor in with longterm comfort, it is the way a shoe works to allow prolonged standing without creating stress related issues later on.
Footwear choosing for this particular career field should be supportive, but also maintain that support on a repeated daily basis. Shoes with an ultra soft or squishy sole might feel great at first, but as the shift goes on that once cushy sole make compress. The shoe then becomes less supportive, with the material under your feet becoming pressed into only a thin piece of foam.
There are many products which utilize memory foam, but with a more dense construction that will hold its form and maintain its provided support.
Are they protective enough?
Though nurses don’t need the same kind of foot protection that someone would need if the worked around heavy equipment, but there is some environmental risks that footwear for nursing should protect against.
Footwear with an open toe is not only a bad choice, it is typically prohibited in this particular field. An upper made from nearly see-through mesh would not be a super great choice either. The nursing environment has its own set of risks to be aware of such as trip hazards, plenty of equipment to bump into, bodily fluids, and we can’t forget to mention the risk of bloodborne pathogens. All great reasons to have the appropriate type of upper construction in the chosen footwear.
Textiles are just fine, as long as they still provide a barrier between your feet and the possible risks. Leather and synthetic materials which mimic it will give more protection, but at the cost of reduced breathability in most cases.
Another important factor to remember is slip prevention. Sometimes in hospitals, stuff spills. Shoes with adequate traction and slip resistance is an absolute must for the medical environment.
This factor isn’t quite as critical as the others above, but does matter a bit. Some hospitals require nurses to maintain a fairly conservative dress code, depending on the type of work they are doing. Just because your job wants you to wear only white or muted colored shoes, it doesn’t mean that they have to be ugly or boring.
Some models secure with laces, some are slip-ons with elastic or a bungee retention system. Some options are even backless slip-ons without laces or retention of any kind. The choice you make should ideally reflect what is most practical for you particular work environment.
More important things to consider when buying shoes for nursing
Get the shoe that works best for your feet
Shoes should fit your feet perfectly. each person has unique feet, so you need to know your own specifics in order to choose the most suitable shoes.
Let’s say you have a normal arch with normal pronation (foot motion). The only things you need to worry when choosing good shoes for nursing is the stability and comfort which they provide. However, there are other situations which require a little more attention when trying to choose a suitable shoe? Here are some suggestions:
In order To figure out what kind of arches you have, you can take the wet feet test. Step in the water, then put your leg on floor tile or a sheet of paper and look at your foot print.
To confirm your type of pronation, there are some things you can check:
You can take a photo of yourself from a barefoot perspective, and compare with pictures below. Or, you can check your old shoes and see where on the sole they show the most wear, on the inner edge of the sole would be a sign of this problem, and wear on the outer edge of the sole would mean supination/under-pronation.
Depending on your arch and pronation, you need to look for more specific shoe features, for instance:
- Stability – if you have normal arch, you should look for this feature in your shoe
- Motion Control – the most important feature for over-pronators
- Cushioning – the most needed by people with high arches and if you have excessive weight
However, you often have several features in one shoe. For example, shoes with good arch support are needed for high arches as well as for flat feet, and that’s normal.
- Athletic shoes should be your first choice for working all day, if your employer allows them. However, if you have a normal arch and pronation, you can find stylish shoes (oxfords or slip-ons), that will also be plenty comfortable. if not, let’s stick to the “comfort-over-looks” rule.
- Orthopedic shoe is another great option, but they should be worn with custom-made orthotics. If you suffer from Plantar Fasciitis (PF), you need to know what it caused. In case you have flat feet and PF, you should choose shoes suitable for flat feet. If you PF because of high arches, sneakers for high arches are the best solution for you. And buy sneakers for normal arch If your PF not caused by abnormal arches or pronation. Remember that all athletic shoes for Plantar Fasciitis should have enough cushioning to subside pain issue that is caused by PF. But even if you don’t have this issue you also need good cushioning that is the reason why all models of sneakers recommended by us are good both for feet of all types.
When buying shoes, you should also look for models which have a low heel, but not flat. You will benefit from the slight heel elevation. This parameter is also called “heel-to-toe” drop, which is often mentioned in athletic shoe description. Good nursing shoe should have 4mm “heel-to-toe” drop and higher.
- Choosing models with wide toe-box for additional comfort.
- In case you have diabetes and go with special diabetic shoes. A simple online search offer several suitable options.
You should buy a new pair of shoes around each six month, if you want to have healthy feet. That’s because shoes deforms with wearing and at some point they will not provide corrective help for you.
Choose a shoe with the appropriate level of protection
Depending on your working environment, you can have stricter or looser rules about what kind of materials your shoes should be carry out, however all types of shoe materials could be divided in such groups:
Synthetic mesh or canvas
These kinds of material are good for your feet, because they are light and breathable. However, if you work with bio-hazardous materials, they do not protect your feet from accidental spills therefore you should consider carefully before buying shoes with these materials
Genuine leather or Synthetic
If you work with bio-hazardous or just hazardous materials, Leather is the first candidate for you, because it is easy to clean and it will protect your feet from hazardous spills. Genuine leather shoe is a better choice than synthetic one, because it is breathable. However, Suede shoes are not recommended for the most of nurses because of their easy staining and poor spill protection.
Rubber shoes provide the highest level of chemical and bio-hazard protection, but only when they are solid and without holes. It is easy to clean it with water or brush with soap. But it’s not breathable and won’t be as much supportive and comfortable as athletic shoes.
It’s important that your shoes provide good traction with a ground. That means be non-slip. In such shoes you will feel confident to walk or even run on various surfaces. Athletic and rubber shoes usually offer the best grip with the ground.
Your shoes should stay securely in place
It is not only uncomfortable but even dangerous if a shoe would constantly slip of your foot. Your foot can be secured by the shoe by laces. However you need to make sure that they are good quality and won’t be untied by themselves. Snap-on is another securing choice, and it’s more preferable, because it’s easier to put shoes on and off.
Different suitable styles
Depending on your safety rules or preference at your work place, you can choose such styles: oxfords, sneakers, clogs and slip-ons.
Sneakers, other athletic shoes or walking shoes are one of the best shoes for people who standing on feet all day, especially in the medical and nursing industry. They are comfortable, light, and you can find shoes which will suit biomechanical needs of your legs.
Nursing sneakers are available in many brands in black and white, as well as in other colors. When buying nursing athletic shoes, you should make sure to choose shoes with wide toe-box for additional comfort.
Lace-up oxfords are the classic sneakers. They look neat, professional, protect from spills, and stay on the foot securely thanks to laces.
Clogs and rubber clogs are popular productions among medical staff, but they are not the best perfect choice. Foot can slip out and to be injured or twisted because of Lack of laces. If you still choose clogs, nursing clogs with a strap is a smart choice, as they offer some foot security. Available variety colors and patterns are the pros of rubber clogs to give you unique and fun look, additionally they are very easy to clean.
Nursing slip-on shoes are the great choice. they are often called clogs, but the distinct is that slip-ons have solid back that support to keep your foot secured. there are not laces in slip-on shoes, and you won’t have to spend time to tie them.
Shoes can vary by color and usually divided into three groups: White shoes, Black shoes and Colored shoes.
- You can look for shoes from brands such as: Nurse mates, Dansko, Merrell, Alegria, Sketchers, Timberland, Reebok, and in athletic shoe brands (Saucony, Asics, Nike, Brooks, Mizuno, New Balance)
- Online stores are probably the best bet for finding the widest selection and the lowest prices for suitable options.
In order to provide the most complete and helpful information, we have put together some frequently asked questions regarding proper footwear for nurses. We hope some of your questions can be answered here, or maybe you will find answers to questions that you might not have known to ask.
Q: I am a nurse but also fill an administrative position. Are there options which are suitable for both?
A: From all of the styles available out there, options exist which possess the features required for this particular field. Some styles are also more conservative, and more fitting for a formal environment.
Q: I live and work in a place that stays hot, pretty much all the time. I want my shoes to have a protective barrier against spills and bodily fluids, but leather makes my feet sweat. What will work for me?
A: Synthetic mash uppers will work just fine, as long as they are constructed in multiple layers. It isn’t the same protection that leather or similar will offer, but should provide an adequate amount. Just make sure that the pair you choose isn’t put together with almost see-through material.
Q: I have flat feet, are there any options that will support my needs?
A: There are brands and styles available which doe possess the required necessities for a nursing shoe that also offer proper support for flat feet, and even overpronation or plantar fasciitis. Many models will also accept orthotic inserts that provide the needed support.
Q: I do a lot of walking back and forth quickly throughout my shifts. I like the style of backless clogs, but are they going to be a problem for my type of work?
A: Without a good amount of retention, they may tend to slip off while you’re on the move. It is probably a good idea to consider something with a back, or some means of keeping them secured on the feet.
Q: In the assisted living facility where I work, there are frequent spills on the tiled surface floors. What type of sole would be best for me?
A: As a rule, the ideal footwear for nursing or a hospital environment should have a sole with good slip resistance.
At the end of the shift, if you notice a hugely positive difference in how you feel, then it’s the first sign that you have found a pair of the best shoes for your kind of work. It’s usually a wise decision to invest in a quality shoe that will hold up well and serve its purpose. Footwear is very important because if you wear low quality or cheap shoes, it can actually affect your entire body, and in some cases, cause health issues. In other words, if you try to save money and buy a cheap pair of shoes, it could actually cost you more in the long run, in terms of health and medical care.
Here are some sources that were used during our research
While researching the requirements for the most suitable options for nursing shoes, we used many different reliable sources that we found online. Here are some of the sources we used:
- The Most Comfortable Shoes For Nursing, Nursing website, ,
- The Best Shoes for Nurses, Healthcare industry online publication, Apr 30, 2015 ,
- Choosing Perfect Nursing Shoes, Nursing website, Jan 05, 2016 ,
- Help Your Working Needs With The Best Shoes For Nurses, Foot care website, ,
- How To Choose The Right Nursing Shoes, Nursing website, ,