Not all shoes are created equal. Male nurses, in particular, require footwear that’s reliable, supportive, and long-lasting. But how do you find that “perfect shoe” that gives you everything you need to take on each shift?
Since you’re busy on the frontlines, caring for patients in need, we got busy compiling a list of the best shoes for male nurses. We also put together a complete buyer’s guide to tell you everything you need to know about finding the right shoe.
Quick Look: Best Shoes for Male Nurses of 2020
- adidas Ultra Boost 20
- Nike Men’s Tanjun
- Asics Men’s Gel-Venture 6 Running Shoe
- Crocs Bistro Clog
- Skechers Men’s Afterburn Memory-Foam Lace-up Sneaker
- New Balance 574 V2 Evergreen Sneaker
- adidas Men’s Pureboost Go Running Shoes
- Nike Epic React Flyknit 2
- adidas Originals Men’s Swift Run Knit Shoes
- Dansko Professional Clog
Have a look at our favorite gear recommendations:
Buying Guide: How to Choose the Best Shoes for Male Nurses
Choosing the right shoe for the job comes down to quite a few factors. After all, everyone’s body is different, which means their feet will have different needs.
Understanding your own needs is what will help you find that perfect pair. Once you know what goes into proper shoe selection, you’ll have a better idea of what you need.
Here’s what you need to keep in mind:
The Right Fit
The wrong size shoe can and will hurt your feet. Most people don’t realize that their shoe size can vary depending on their activity level, the type of footwear, and the brand. Here are a few tips on finding the right size:
- Your feet change over time, which means your shoe size will change over time. Always have your feet measured first!
- It’s more than possible that your feet are two slightly different sizes. If this is the case, opt for the larger foot’s size to avoid any discomfort or potential injuries.
- Feet tend to swell from constant activity and the pressure of your body weight. If you’re going to be doing a lot of standing and walking throughout your shift, it’s a good idea to go half a size up.
- Not all shoes will accommodate the shape and size of your feet. Be sure to take a close look at the construction and overall shape of the shoe to see if it’s a match for your build.
- ALWAYS try the shoes on. They should feel comfortable from all angles right from the start. If they don’t feel comfortable and accommodating, they’re not the ones.
- Make sure you walk around with the shoes on for a reasonable amount of time. Take note of how they feel from toe to heel. The last thing you want is a shoe that hurts the top of your foot or a heel that slips and causes blisters from walking.
- Lastly, make sure your toes don’t rub against the top of the shoe. There should be a finger’s width of space between your toes and the tip of the shoe.
It’s always a good idea to ask for help from the store’s shoe specialist. They’ve most likely helped many other people with similar needs and understand how to accommodate your foot size and shape best.
Other Things to Consider
As mentioned before, there are quite a few factors that go into finding that perfect pair of shoes. While size is the single-most-important factor, it’s not the only important factor. Since everyone is different, the following factors will affect your feet differently.
Let’s take a closer look at the other things to consider when choosing your sole-mate:
Shoes are made in several different types of materials. Those materials will either agree with your feet—or make your life miserable. Some critical things to consider with these various materials is how well they allow your feet to breathe and how durable they are.
Shoes are most commonly made from one or more of the following materials:
- Rubber, which typically makes up the soles of a shoe. Rubber helps support feet during impact while also reducing noise and protecting the floors. It’s not exactly a breathable material, but it makes for a perfect sole.
- Memory Foam, which provides extra cushion on the insoles. Memory foam offers excellent arch and heel support, and many shoes are made with memory foam insoles built right in.
- Natural Fabrics and mesh allow your feet—and your shoes—to breathe. Air circulation is essential so that your feet don’t become damp, and your shoes don’t become odorous.
- Synthetic materials like nylon, polyester, acrylic, spandex, and so on, allow for a lighter shoe. In some cases, they’re more water and stain-resistant, making for a longer-lasting shoe.
- Leather is one of the most durable materials out there. However, leather is best for clog-style shoes because it’s not a breathable material.
The materials that make up your shoes can make a huge difference in how they fit and feel on your feet throughout the day.
Shoes do not stretch or mold to your feet over time. So, when you’re trying on a potential pair for the first time, what you feel is what you get. That’s why it’s necessary to take your time trying on the shoes and walking around in them.
Make sure your toes aren’t confined and squished by the toe box and that your soles are adequately supported. You shouldn’t feel any pressure on the balls of your feet or your heels as you move around. If you do, you’re not getting the arch support your feet need.
As a nurse, you work long shifts that involve a lot of standing and walking. Even the tiniest inconvenience or pinch from your shoes can become too much. Trust us; you’ll know pretty quickly whether or not your shoes are comfortable.
Once again, the arch of your foot will be the deciding factor in whether the shoes are the right fit. People with high arches tend to experience more pain in jobs that require hours of standing and walking. This is due to the additional weight and stress on the bones of your feet.
Medium to high-arched people usually experience stiffness, pain on the top of the foot, calluses, and even calf pain. Make sure the insoles of your shoes match your arches as closely as possible. If you still need extra support, you’ll want to look into purchasing special insoles.
Flat-bottomed people don’t typically experience arch pain. However, they sometimes feel discomfort in their heels, ankles, or hips. Either way, even flat feet need arch support to reduce over-pronation.
Once you have a shoe with the right arch support, you shouldn’t feel any discomfort.
Shoes aren’t cheap. The last thing you want is a pair of shoes that start to fall apart within a few weeks. The best shoes for male nurses are the ones that don’t break down easily, compromising your protection and grip.
The durability of your shoes depends on the materials used to make them. A blend of supportive and breathable materials are ideal, and they should be reinforced and stitched together properly.
The right shoes for the job will last you at least a year. When in doubt about a shoe’s durability, check multiple reviews to see what other people have to say.
Working as a nurse isn’t the same as a traditional desk job. Your shoes need to provide protection from injuries, chronic pain, and mishaps. For example, your soles should protect you from the hard tile hospital floors and falling objects while promoting good posture and alignment.
Most of that protection comes from the proper support. Shoes that cushion your feet appropriately can prevent chronic issues and ease joint impact, keeping you up and running at maximum efficiency.
Slip resistance is also incredibly important because you never know when you’re going to encounter a spill while rushing from patient to patient. No shoe is 100 percent slip-resistant, but finding a shoe with an added grip will add to its protection factor—and your safety.
Why Finding the Right Shoe Matters
According to podiatrists, wearing the right shoes is essential to your health. Less supportive shoes can be detrimental to your overall health, causing problems throughout your feet, ankles, shins, knees, hips, and spine. Foot pain from wrong shoes can also cause less apparent problems, such as head and stomach aches, and other physiological changes.
Our feet are the very foundation of our bodies. They bear the burden of supporting the entire body’s weight, which can change invariably as we move through our daily activities. Therefore, they need to have balance, stability, and support—otherwise, they won’t be able to carry us properly.
Without the necessary supportive footwear, you’ll find yourself deteriorating long before your shift is over. The last thing you want is pain and discomfort while trying to care for other people for nine or more hours.
The Best Shoes for Male Nurse of 2020 Reviews
Whether you prefer a tennis shoe or clog to get you through your long shift, we have you covered. Below are our favorite brands and styles of nursing shoes for men that are on the market today.
adidas Ultraboost 20
PROS: Comes with reliable boost cushioning, continental rubber soles for maxim durability and traction, soft and roomy
CONS: A bit pricey
The adidas Men’s Ultraboost 20 is the new and improved version of the Ultraboost 19—which was a complete overhaul of original Ultraboost.
The Ultraboost was meant to be an overall “lifestyle” shoe, and this version comes with more “Boost” foam to the midsole for added support. adidas uses their proprietary Primeknit 360 fabric for a more comfortable and snug fit on the upper, which almost feels like a sock.
The shoe also provides neoprene padding around the foot for more ankle side support. Plus, neoprene makes for a tremendous sweat-wicking material. The stitching of the toe box allows for more breathability and stability when the material stretches with your movement.
These shoes were designed for the all-weather runner, hence the Continental rubber sole that provides excellent grip. This fact has even been tested on steep inclines in the rain, which means you’ll get the slip-resistance you need if a spill should occur on your floor.
The Ultraboost 20 sizing runs true to size for the most part, but maybe a bit small for some (especially wide-footed people). The design of the upper makes for a tighter fit, especially in the toe area, so you may need to go up about half a size.
Nike Tanjun Men’s Sneakers
PROS: Lightweight and breathable, has a cushioned foam outsole and insole for extra support, rubber outsole for optimal traction
CONS: Not a waterproof or water-resistant shoe, nor can it be waterproofed
The NIKE’s Men’s Tanjun sneakers are affordable with an incredibly soft and thin textile upper. This is precisely what makes the sneakers so lightweight and breathable. They’re also made with wide-footed people in mind, as the upper is not attached to the midsole of the shoe, contributing to the comfortability factor.
The textile fabric also makes for easy cleaning. However, it’s not water-resistant, so you won’t want to get caught in the rain with them on the way to work. The outer soles are made of rubber. However, the treading wears down rather quickly, which makes sense for the price.
The actual cushioning inside the shoe is rather stiff and inflexible, which could be an issue if you experience frequent knee or overall joint pain. Of course, that can be remedied by purchasing an additional supportive insole.
These NIKE Tanjuns come in a wide variety of colors, a plus for those looking for both design and functionality at an affordable price. Overall, they’re a decent shoe for the price that will provide the necessary stability your feet need for a long day of standing and walking. They’re best suited as an alternative or back-up shoe since the simplicity of their design calls for lack of protection and durability.
ASICS Men’s Gel-Venture 6 Running Shoe
PROS: Constructed with breathable synthetic material, extremely durable and supportive, excellent grip and traction, affordable
CONS: On the heavy side
ASICS is a well-known brand that’s built its reputation on putting out some of the most supportive athletic shoes in the market. The Gel-Venture 6’s uses the company’s proprietary Rearfoot Gel-Touch technology in the midsole for maximum support, cushioning, and shock absorption.
The upper is made from a synthetic mesh material that’s highly breathable and maintains stability, keeping your feet in place as you move from patient to patient. The outsoles are made from ASICS’ AHAR (ASICS high abrasion rubber) material for excellent traction and a no-slip grip—and long-lasting durability.
The Gel-Venture 6’s were designed with trail running in mind, which is why the outsoles were not only made to be durable but also protective of the user’s feet from hazardous trail objects—which translates to dangerous hospital objects. While these sneakers were made to keep your feet stable, if you’re inclined to over-pronation, you’re going to need to purchase a supportive insole for added support.
The tongue and collar of the upper have a push padding for extra support around the ankles. The Gel-Venture 6 has a more narrow fit, so they may not be suitable for the wide-footed nurses. They also tend to be a bit stiff at first, requiring some breaking-in, but once you do, they’ll feel incredibly comfortable and supportive.
Crocs Bistro Clog
PROS: Slip-resistant, fully-molded for easy cleaning, toe protection, lightweight and flexible
CONS: No ventilation holes, runs a bit large
Crocs are well-known for their unique appearance, which garners plenty of criticism. However, they’re also renowned for being incredibly comfortable and supportive—despite their appearance.
The Men’s Bistro Graphic Clogs were designed with utility, comfort, protection, and affordability in mind. The overall design isn’t much different from that of their other clog offerings. However, this style, in particular, lacks the famous ventilation holes. While this isn’t something that hinders performance, it does slightly count against breathability.
The Bistro Graphic Clogs are made of a unique synthetic material that allows them to grip any surface imaginable, which is why they’re so popular among chefs and line cooks. The toe box of these crocks are made of a thicker material to protect your toes from spills and falling objects, and they have an ankle rivet to keep your feet in place.
Made out of Croslite material, these clogs were built to last—a very long time. They’re also incredibly easy to clean and extremely comfortable with a specially designed contour footbed. The Croslite material also makes for a lightweight shoe, which you wouldn’t guess from their appearance alone.
These Crocs are known to run on the bigger side, so it’s recommended that you size down when purchasing.
Skechers Men’s Afterburn Memory-Foam Lace-up Sneaker
PROS: Affordable, comfortable, available in multiple colors and combinations
CONS: Not very durable, may not be as long-lasting as alternatives
Sketchers are known for their innovative design and casual athletic style. The Men’s Afterburn Memory-Foam Lace-up sneakers are made with a combination of real leather, synthetic materials, fabric, and rubber. The fit fabric upper includes perforations for breathability and a padded tongue and collar for ankle stability.
The inside of the sneakers are lined with fabric and have an Articu-Lyte rubber sole with super-light memory foam. This gives the sneakers an all-over good feel while providing the necessary support and stability that a sneaker should.
The Men’s Afterburns are very affordable and run mostly true-to-size. However, it’s recommended that you buy additional insole inserts as the Sketcher’s memory foam is known to wear out within a six-month time frame. The rubber outsoles provide decent support and traction. However, they also tend to wear down faster than expected.
The Men’s Afterburns are an overall good shoe for the price point, providing sufficient support and comfort. However, much like the NIKE Tanjuns, they’re better suited as an alternate or back-up pair.
New Balance 574 V2 Evergreen Sneaker
PROS: Made from premium materials, affordable, excellent color variety, extremely comfortable
CONS: Not all that durable, lacks protective features
New Balance’s 574s have been one of the company’s most exceptional designs overall. The 574v2 Evergreens are considered an affordable luxury sneaker—that doesn’t slack on comfort or support.
The 574v2s are made with a non-marking rubber outsole with gripping lugs in all the right places. Not only will they prevent slips, but they won’t scuff up any floors either. The company’s proprietary EVA Foam is used for the sneakers’ midsoles fixed to the heel to provide maximum comfort and support. They also come with removable insoles.
The 574v2s also sport suede and mesh upper, for both structure and breathability. Of course, with the suede material throughout, these sneakers aren’t as breathable as the others. However, they do provide a decent amount of ankle stability.
Although these sneakers don’t run true-to-size, they are offered in wide and extra wide to accommodate all types of feet. Unfortunately, they don’t provide much protection other than their slip-resistance, and they tend to wear out somewhat quickly.
adidas Men’s Pureboost Go Running Shoes
PROS: Lightweight with good traction, super comfortable, breathable, offers excellent stability
CONS: Not the best option for people with high arches
The Adidas Pureboost Go running shoes offer a cushioned sole and a breathable, flexible knit upper that fits the top of the foot effortlessly. The outsoles were made with durability in mind, with rectangular indents and round lugs positioned in a grid, which protects the midsole from wear and tear. This also protects you from slipping.
The midsole features Adidas’ famous BOOST material for maximum comfort and support. The material was designed to be responsive to your feet, so the support moves in every angle that your foot moves. The knit upper material is thin, yet fits snuggly like a sock. It also has extra overlays to provide more stability.
The tongue is thin and unpadded, creating extra wiggle room for your upper foot. Keeping that in mind, these sneakers run on the bigger side, so you may have to size down. Additionally, the price point of these sneakers enters into the three-digit territory. It’s reasonable for what these long-lasting and comfortable shoes offer, but they may be pricey for some.
Nike Men’s Epic React Flyknit 2 Running Shoe
PROS: Modern and sleek design, smooth fitting upper, made with energizing react foam
CONS: Exposed foam reduces traction
NIKE’s Epic React Flyknit 2 Running shoe features the company’s REACT Foam, which is made from a thermoplastic elastomer—which is fancy for a better and lighter version of EVA foam. The REACT Foam makes for a very lightweight yet very cushioned support. It’s especially supportive for people who tend to drive their heels into the ground while walking or running.
These Flyknits fit true to size, thanks to their knit fabric upper that allows for a snug yet adjustable fit once broken in. There are no overlays on the sneakers except for the NIKE logo, making them incredibly breathable. They also offer more stable ankle support compared to the other versions of Flyknits that came before.
Despite the lightness of the foam and the sock-like knit upper material, NIKE’s Epic REACT Flyknit 2s were designed to last, so you won’t have to worry about replacing them every six months and wasting your money. The only downfall to these Flyknits is that the REACT foam reduces traction, making these sneakers less than slip-proof.
They also come in a variety of colors, so there’s something for everyone.
adidas Originals Men’s Swift Run Knit Shoes
PROS: Lightweight, comfortable, responsive with excellent traction
CONS: May not be very durable, tight-fitting for some wearers
Adidas’ Originals Swift Run Knit shoes are made with the company’s Primeknit woven synthetic fabric contributing the shoe’s lightness and breathability. The only cumbersome part of these sneakers is found underfoot, which is made of hard rubber for maximum support and durability.
The overall foot protection stops at the supportiveness of this sneaker, however, since the knit fabric can’t offer much protection against falling objects. The midsole is made from EVA foam, which is flexible yet sturdy, providing high-quality arch support without adding weight to the sneaker. The insoles come with OrthoLight sockrunner, adding to the shoe’s overall comfortability and breathability.
The durability of these sneakers is questionable, as they seem to hold up well over time with light use. That means intense, everyday use will have you buying a new pair within six months or so—which explains the low price. This seems to be a trend with the more stylish sneakers on the market, sacrificing function for form and affordability.
Dansko Professional Men’s Clog
PROS: Roomy toe box, super comfortable, padded instep and collar
CONS: Tight fit that takes some getting used to, not suitable for high arches
The Dansko Men’s Professional clogs are very similar to the Crocs mentioned earlier in this review. They’re also a renowned company for making some of the most supportive and comfortable chef shoes.
The first thing you should know about these Danksos is that they wear differently than most shoes because they allow your heel to move up and down as you walk, making their break-in period sort of a rite of passage. It also provides better lateral stability.
These clogs are made with a leather upper, but don’t let that fool you—they’re perfectly breathable. Not to mention, extremely durable. These clogs also have a roomy toe box reinforced with thermoplastic for maximum protection.
They also sport a memory-foam footbed that provides excellent arch support for people with flat feet. Unfortunately, the memory foam isn’t removable, so if you have high arches, these may not be suitable for your feet.
Out of the best shoes for male nurses, the adidas Men’s Ultraboost 20 sneaker remains our champion. With their reliable boost cushioning, Continental rubber soles, durability, and incredible comfort, what’s not to love?
A sneaker that’s designed for all-terrain and all-weather translates perfectly to the hospital floor. These are the sneakers that will provide you the necessary support and stability while keeping your feet safe from the elements—and falling objects!
Remember, what you wear on your feet has the potential to affect your overall health. You should never sacrifice function over form—no matter how ugly the functional shoes may be (cough, cough, Crocs). If you want to give your patients the best care, you have to take care of yourself first—and that means investing in your footwear!