Durable, comfortable shoes are absolutely essential for nurses. Twelve hour shifts can feel a lot longer if you’re not wearing the right footwear—and you can forget about showing up to work in heels.
Many nurses are wearing improper footwear and because of this they suffer from back pain, shin splints and numbness as well as the aching feet you typically associate with a long shift. Proper footwear must support not only the feet, but the knees, hips and back.
What types of shoes are good for nurses?
Nurses have lots of options when it comes to stylish footwear, but most top picks for nurses fall into one of these four categories:
Designed for athletes, tennis shoes are often the best shoes for your feet, but nurses shouldn’t waste their money on the department store brand. It might seem like a great idea, especially when you’re comparing the costs on brand name tennis shoes, but it’s a terrible idea. Sometimes you’ll notice the difference as soon as you start walking around in these shoes, but most of the time you’ll only notice after a week of twelve hour shifts has left you feeling crippled.
You might not win any fashion awards with them, but crocs caught the world by storm for a reason: they’re incredibly comfortable and light. It’s kind of like wearing durable bedroom slippers throughout your workday.
As a nurse, you’ll want to make sure you get the actual brand name crocs instead of a knock off, and choose a model without holes to keep your socks safe from spills. The models without holes seem to be more attractive than the ones with holes anyway.
Clogs are almost the stereotypical nurse’s shoe and for good reason. These shoes are easy to slip into and out of and their cut gives your feet more room to breathe during a long shift, meaning less stinky feet when you get home.
There are a few things to remember when you’re buying clogs: they need to fit snugly on your feet without being too tight and feature a no-slip bottom. You don’t want to be slipping around on hospital floors and you definitely don’t want your shoes flying off in the middle of a shift.
Some facilities do consider clogs dangerous(they believe the risk of these shoes flying off is too high) so they don’t allow them. Make sure you check your workplace’s dress code before you buy a nice pair of clogs.
High Tech Shoes
There are all kinds of crazy things you can get in your shoes these days: springs in the heel, special arches, air transfer chambers, all kinds of things designed to make your day more comfortable and your exercise more effective.
Some of these are good, but they’re rarely better than the low tech alternatives and can cost a lot more. Stick with ones that have already been around a while and make sure you read a lot of reviews before you spend a fortune on a pair of shoes that might only cause more pains and increase your risk of injury.
Popular shoes for nurses:
Considered by many to be the best shoes for nurses, these stylish clogs are incredibly durable and feature highly detailed traction, noticeably more than other clogs. The lining and soles of Dansko Women’s Professional Tooled Clogs are made out of polyurethane, a special material designed to withstand the penetration of oil and water. This keeps the shoes strong for longer and prevents smelly feet.
The thick platform of the shoe provides a gentle rocking motion, making for fluid steps. Most people will find the arch comfortable, although nurses with flat feet should consider other shoes. The Dansko Women’s Professional Clogs are also roomy enough to comfortably accommodate swollen feet at the end of a long shift.
If you care about style you’ll also be happy to hear that the Dansko Women’s Professional Tooled Clog comes in several different designs, so you can have work shoes that fit your personality.
Designed specifically with nurses and other medical professionals in mind, these are one pair of high tech shoes you won’t want to miss. Bi-Fit Tri-Density footbeds regulate temperature so your feet sweat less and smell better. Inverted cones in the base of the insole and shock absorbing materials in the sole help ward off muscle fatigue.
Timberland Woman’s Professional Slip-Ons are made mostly of high quality leather with rubber soles and SafeGrip traction to make these shoes safe on even the most slippery floors.
These shoes also feature 3 M of ScotchGardProtection to prevent stains and the smooth leather is easy to clean with a Magic Eraser.
Sanita has been designing and manufacturing high quality shoes for active professionals since 1907. All those years of experience have culminated to make the Sanita Women’s Professional Clog one of the most popular shoes in the nursing profession. These clogs are particularly popular among women with narrower feet as their toe box is roomy but not as large as many other professional clogs.
While most nursing shoes are designed for women with higher arches, even flat footed women can get a comfortable pair of Sanita Women’s Professional Clogs. These shoes also feature a stabilizing PVC insert to help you stay balanced throughout your day.
You can find Sanita Women’s Professional Clogs in several different colours and these shoes are affordable enough that many nurses even own them in two or three colours.
Like most crocs, these shoes are made entirely out of Croslite, a special manmade material designed to be incredibly durable, lightweight and comfortable. The Croc’s Women’s Mercy Clogs also feature extra arch support, making these shoes a favourite among women with high arches. Small nubs on the footbed massage your feet as you work, improving blood flow and increasing comfort.
The Croc’s Women’s Mercy Clog also comes with a special adjustable strap you can keep at the back to really lock your foot in or move to the front of the foot so you can wear these shoes more like clogs.
These shoes are also quite affordable compared to other models of nursing shoes, typically sold for around $30-40.
These lovely sneakers feature a smooth leather exterior and a smooth, padded lining inside. Extra cotton padding on the collar and tongue along with a special elastic in the front panels make these shoes comfortable to slip in and out of.
The EVA comfort insole provides extra padding and shock protection to help absorb long days of speeding along hard hospital floors. The arches are fairly high on these shoes so they should be avoided by women with flat feet. Easy rocking technology provides smoother foot movements, allowing you to all but glide around.
Stain resistant leather and a sweet price make these an excellent choice for many nurses.
The only lace up shoes on this list, the Skechers For Work Women’s Soft Stride Lace Up feature an exterior made of soft, stain resistant leather and a durable manmade rubber sole. The interior lining is made out of a natural cotton blend with extra cushioning. They also come with a removable contoured PU insole many women love for the extra comfort it provides.
Skechers For Work Women’s Soft Stride Lace Up Shoes have lots of arch support for women with high arches but feature high enough arches that women with small arches or flat feet should avoid them.
Best White Nursing Shoes For Women
With most nurses spending at least 90% of their shifts on their feet, it is absolutely crucial to have the right footwear. A 12 hour shift is sure to lead to sore feet, but bad footwear can cause much more than that. Common injuries caused by bad footwear are back pain, numbness, shin splints and worse.
Most employers don’t care much what style of shoes nurses wear (as long as the feet are properly covered), but many require nurses to wear white shoes.
Some nurses are put off by this fact at first, but there are many stylish white nursing shoes available.
What should you look for in a pair of nursing shoes?
Your boss might only require you to wear white shoes, but there are a few other things you should be looking for in a pair of nursing shoes:
Raised platform – The best nursing shoes typically have a raised platform and heel. This helps reduce the shock of impact against hard hospital floors.
Great traction – As a nurse you’re almost always in a hurry, and hospital floors can be quite slippery.
Quality inner lining – You want a highly padded inner lining, ideally made out of a material that will allow your feet to breathe and prevent stinky feet as much as possible.
Easy to clean – The best nursing shoes rarely require cleaning but are easy to clean when they do.
Price – Many nursing shoes are quite expensive and only a handful are worth the expense. Establishing how much you’re willing to spend before you start looking will make the search much easier.
Of course, you also want to make sure the shoe fits your foot. Everyone’s feet are different and shoes that don’t fit right dramatically increase your risk of injury on the job. Buying online might be cheaper, but it’s always a good idea to get to a store and try the shoes on first. You can still decide to go home and get the better deal!
Top rated white nursing shoes for women:
The Timberland Renova Pro are definitely some of the most expensive nursing shoes out there but they are worth every cent. Top quality leather and microsuede uppers make these shoes stylish, durable and easy to clean. A special heel-to-toe sole helps create an easy rocking motion which makes walking almost feel like gliding around the halls.
Like other shoes in the Timberland Pro line, the Timberland Renova Pros come with special anti-fatigue technology that provides extra support and shock absorption.
If you can afford to invest in a pair of expensive nursing shoes, the Timberland Renova Pro is one of the best options you have—and it comes in multiple colours as well
Skechers is one of the most popular sneaker brands for nurses, providing excellent sneakers at a fraction of the price many competitive products go for. The D’Lite Lace-Up Sneaker is still pretty expensive if you don’t manage to get it on sale, but these mostly leather sneakers with heavy traction rubber soles are an excellent deal for the quality.
A cushioned midsole and two-toned heel pull give your steps a comfortable rocking motion while you walk and provide excellent shock absorption.
If you suffer from swollen feet at the end of a long shift or happen to have wide feet you’ll also be happy to hear that there’s a wide version of this shoe as well.
These incredibly stylish nursing shoes are among the most popular largely because of its cute Mary Jane style and lovely patent leather upper. The soles are made of rubber and have pretty good traction, although they definitely don’t match up to the D’Lite or the Timberlands.
The Alegria Women’s Paloma Flat features a special insole you will absolutely love—and if you don’t, it’s easily removable so you can install your own orthotics.
If you’re willing to spend some extra money to have the most attractive nursing shoes out there, these are definitely the shoes for you.
Cherokee is an excellent brand known for its high quality products, particularly shoes. These shoes are a great example, featuring vent channels to keep your feet from getting too sweaty and a specially cushioned insole you’ll love. If you don’t love the insoles you can easily remove them and replace them with your own orthotics. A special traction pad outsole prevents you from slipping on the smoothest floors or even wet floors.
Typically sold for $30-40, the AnyWears Exact Clog is also quite affordable compared to other shoes that provide the same level of comfort.
The Croc’s Women’s Mercy Clogs are made entirely out of Croslite, the durable yet comfortable material crocs are known for. Small nubs on the footbed massage your feet while you walk around, increasing blood flow and reducing muscle fatigue.
These shoes also feature an adjustable strap which you can use to make these feel either more like a traditional closed shoe or more like a pair of clogs. Many women love the ability to switch as their feet get swollen or sweaty.
Many nurses swear by these shoes as the absolute best for eliminating back pain. These fashionable stain-resistant leather shoes come with a special outsole designed to maximize shock absorption and minimize actual impact.
A contoured leather insole provides excellent arch support and is comfortable for most women, excluding those with flat feet. The wide toe box is roomy enough to accommodate swollen feet at the end of a long shift.
A pair of high quality white nursing shoes can help prevent injury and burnout, all while looking more stylish than you might have originally imagined. Stick with one of these respectable models and you won’t be disappointed.
The best way to figure out what the best nursing shoes are for you is to try on all the top reviewed shoes for nurses. Hundreds of five star reviews are great but you can’t know which shoes work best for you until you’ve tried them on yourself. Getting to a physical store might be a hassle and purchasing online is often cheaper, but trying on the shoes before you buy them will save you a lot of pain in the long run.