Nurses have a hard enough job without suffering on their feet all day. A good pair of shoes can make all the difference on the job, but where do you turn to know the right ones to buy? Don’t risk an untested shoe on the job.
We’ve put together a list of the best shoes for nurses to help you decide. These have been tried and tested, giving you the best chance of finding the right shoe for you. Here’s what you need to know about nurse shoes, plus the answers to some common questions.
Quick Look: Best Shoes for Nurses of 2020 (Women’s Edition)
Best Tennis Shoes
- Adidas Women’s Cloudfoam Pure Running Shoe
- NIKE Women’s Tanjun Running Shoes
- Skechers Women’s D’Lites Memory Foam Lace-up Sneaker
Have a look at our other gear recommendations:
Buying Guide: How to Choose the Best Shoes for Nurses Who Are On Their Feet All Day
Before we take a look at our top recommendations, let’s go over what to look for in a quality nursing shoe. Ensure that you consider each of these factors when you’re deciding on your shoe.
Each category helps you to build your perfect shoe. The categories ensure solid performance and build a reliable shoe that can stand up to your job requirements. Here’s what you should consider when picking the best shoes for nurses.
How to Find the Right Fit
When you’re deciding on the shoe, there’s more than just your overall size. In fact, if you aren’t wearing the right size, that can ruin the entire fit of the shoe. Finding the right size shoe is the first step to understanding how the shoe can work.
Your shoe size can change over time, so don’t sleep on this step. Here’s how you find the right size shoe.
- Have a professional measure your foot to find your exact size. Just because you’ve always worn a size, it doesn’t mean that time and age haven’t changed your overall spread. Double-check the size to get started.
- Your feet may not be precisely the same size. If that describes you, be sure you fit your shoes to the larger foot and not the smaller. You’ll be more comfortable and less likely to cause minor injuries over time.
- Wait until the end of the day to find the right size. Your feet can swell, so measuring at this time will ensure you can find the right shoe for those long shifts.
- Take a look at the overall shape of the shoe and the construction. An expert can help you find shoes that consider your foot’s unique print.
- When you try the shoe on, it should fit well from the first moment. Shoes don’t stretch or change over time, so a too-tight shoe is always going to be too tight.
- Ensure that the shoe encases your feet well. The toe box should be deep enough that your toes don’t rub the top. Ensure you have the proper shoe width. There should be a finger width between your toes and the end of the shoe.
- Take the time to walk around in the shoes to ensure they don’t rub your feet anywhere and that the heel doesn’t slip.
- If you’re choosing a clog, you’ll want to fit your pinky finger between the clog and your heel. You don’t want these to fit as tightly as sneakers because they’re stiffer and could cause discomfort.
Your feet change as you age and work, so it’s best to have your feet remeasured at least once a year to account for any changes. Head to your local shoe store for measurements or follow instructions online to get a better idea of what your shoe size actually is.
Features to Look For
Shopping for shoes is more than just size. Several factors go into choosing a shoe that can support you at work and keep your feet comfortable and healthy. All feet have slight variations in them that could make one shoe a better option than another. Here’s what you need to consider.
The materials of the shoe can help you or hinder you. You need things that will last even after heavy usage while encouraging your foot to breathe and stabilizing your gait. Some common materials are:
- Leather – Leather is a highly durable material, but it isn’t always breathable. For open-backed shoes like clogs, leather can help resist spills and provide support. For closed shoes, look for a blend of leather and fabric to encourage airflow.
- Synthetic materials – These materials often give shoes a lighter quality and allow you to be more thorough in your cleaning. In many cases, the synthetic materials will offer you the chance to lighten the load of your shoe.
- Rubber – Usually found on the soles, rubber helps protect floors, reduce noise, and cushion against impact. Rubber won’t breathe well on the upper part, but for a sole, it offers excellent protection for those hard floors.
- Fabrics – Natural fabrics and meshes increase breathability and help ensure that your shoe is comfortable to wear. Blending the materials helps ensure that you have plenty of air circulation and could help reduce odors.
- Memory foam – For insoles, memory foam is all the rage. It can help cushion your insteps and provide arch support while cradling your heels for stability. It’s even better if you can remove it to clean it thoroughly or replace it if you need to.
Take the time to walk around in your shoe as you’re trying it on. What do you notice? The toe box should be deep enough that your feet don’t feel squashed or pressed as you move around while the heel should easily stay in place.
Now pay attention to the sole of your foot. The inside of the shoe should gently support your arch where it is without leaving a deep impression, and you shouldn’t feel any pressure on the heel or ball of your foot as you move around.
It’s a myth that shoes will stretch over time, so a shoe that’s too tight across the bridge of your foot or too short isn’t going to become a better fit magically. The shoe should fit like a glove, snugly around your foot to prevent slipping but not so tight that you can’t wiggle your toes a bit.
Trying the shoe on in person is a huge part of choosing the right shoe, but if you’re purchasing online, make sure your store has a return policy. When the shoe arrives, try it on and walk around for a bit in your house to see if there are any pinches or uncomfortable sections.
Nurses work long shifts, so a small annoyance could turn into a big thing over time. Around hour nine, you may notice that the toe box is still rubbing the top of your foot or that your heel slipping is causing you to change your gait. Don’t ignore these little signs.
The arch of your foot can tell you a lot about why you tend to experience certain types of foot pain and why your feet tire the way that they do when you’re working long shifts.
Your arch may change shape as you sit or stand, so looking at a wet footprint can help you determine how high your arch is. Wet your foot and look at your print sitting down. Repeat and stand to make your print. This practice will give you a range.
An insole that matches your standing arch print is most likely to be comfortable. Try to match your insole arch to the contours of your individual foot to ensure proper support. While shoes may not have the customized support you need, for a medium arch, you’ll get close.
There are also products you can use to support extra high arches, such as added insole support and socks designed specifically for high arches. When you try on the shoe, make sure it’s comfortable and then assess additional support needs as you move around in the shoe.
People with extra high arches are at risk of foot pain in jobs that require standing and walking because of additional stress on the bones of the foot. Without the proper support, you could find yourself experiencing arch stiffness, pain in the top of the foot, painful corns or calluses, and even pain in the calf as you struggle to compensate.
If you have flat feet, you may not notice symptoms at all, but a small portion of people do have discomfort in the bottom of the foot, pain in the heel, or difficulties with the hips and ankles. If this is you, look for shoes that cradle and stabilize your heel and discourage over-pronation.
You’ll still need arch support for flat feet, but moderate support. Look for low arch contours and try the shoe on to determine if there’s too much pressure on the foot.
If you’ve never considered arch support before, shoes with proper arch support may feel a bit off for you. However, you shouldn’t experience any pain or discomfort with the new arch. Once you’ve gotten used to the arch, it should feel like part of your foot.
Nursing has its hazards, so your shoes should feel protective of your feet. The toe box needs to be flexible but substantial, helping protect your toes from bumps and cushioning them from accidental injury.
Using a well-fitting, comfortable shoe also helps protect you from injuries and chronic pain over time. As you stay on your feet day in and out, your shoe should offer support and protection that feels like a part of your body.
Well made shoes can help keep your ankles and hips aligned while ensuring that you don’t overcompensate for your foot type. You could experience less pain overall as you work, and your shoes will prevent those chronic issues that some people develop without supportive shoes.
Protection also helps shield the sole of your foot from the hard floors typically found in hospital and healthcare facility settings. The extra cushion shields your instep from bruises and helps ease the impact on joints and bones as you continue doing your job on your floor. The right shoes will be a help as you keep moving through tough shifts.
Another critical piece for nursing shoes is slip resistance. Those same hard floors that are easier to clean than something like carpet will also become a hazard with any liquids or spills. Slip-resistant shoes help maintain a proper grip even when there is something on the floor.
It will also allow you to continue to work as people are cleaning around you, ensuring you always have sure footing. Slip resistance is more than just a simple sneaker bottom. These offer extra grip and ensure that you don’t have any dangerous slips as you’re moving around.
Pay close attention to how your shoes react to different surfaces and test out your chosen pair on something more like your work setting if you can. You can also look for a rating from the American Society for Testing and Materials, which uses a scale from zero to one (with one being the most slip-resistant).
No footwear is completely slip-resistant, and as your shoes age, they may lose some of their grip. Keep an eye out for this lost grip and replace your shoes when they begin to slip while you’re on the job. Much like tires, worn treading can be a sign that you should replace the shoes soon.
Of course, you want your shoes to last longer than a few weeks, and that includes grip and support. Shoes designed for work in busy environments shouldn’t show signs of wear after just a few weeks.
These shoes are reinforced and have multiple, quality materials that make up their exterior. It can help to read ratings and ensure that others don’t notice low-quality seaming or separation from the sole and the shoe after a short period of time.
The type of nursing you do and your work environment can affect how quickly your shoes wear out. Consider this when you’re reading reviews and making your purchase. A desk job may not wear on shoes as much as your critical care position.
A blend of materials will provide you with the chance to balance your need for air circulation with reinforced materials. You’ll still want to replace your shoes relatively often as a nurse, but there’s no reason you should be replacing shoes before six or so months on the job.
Once you find shoes that are durable enough to keep up with your job, hold on to them. These professional shoes will help ensure that your feet are protected and that your frame is supported.
Why Finding the Best Nursing Shoes Is So Important For Your Overall Health
Your feet are a critical part of your body’s overall support. Good quality shoes can make a huge difference in your chronic pain, your core support, and your ability to perform your job. Choosing supportive shoes helps encourage good posture and core.
Poorly supportive shoes can lead to chronic pain and permanent damage in your feet, ankles, and hips. If you’re putting the type of stress on your feet that nursing tends to do, you don’t want to risk having your shoes be a significant contributing factor to the degradation of your body.
A Harvard study of heel wearers found that people who wore poor shoes (heels) experienced permanent changes in their stride and shape of the feet. Wearing shoes that support your feet help in your long term health and well-being and assist you in a career you love.
The stress of nursing can also take a toll on the health of your body, so taking extra care not to make that stress worse with painful feet and musculoskeletal issues is critical. Your shoes can support you as you work and help you take care of the only body you have.
Without proper shoes, you could find yourself regretting the decision to take a nursing job on those last hours of a shift. There’s a lot that can happen for you to lose your enthusiasm over a pair of shoes. With the right options, you may have more energy and reduce your overall chance of chronic pain.
The Best Shoes for Nurses of 2020 Reviews (Women’s Edition)
These shoes are our top choices for the best nursing shoes. We’ve divided them into two categories — clogs and tennis shoes — to help direct you to the type of shoe you prefer for the job. These shoes are the result of our research and provide excellent support for the rigors of nursing.
Each one is supportive and well made, ensuring that you remain safe even in slippery situations. They provide excellent arch support and offer a range of sizes, as well as plentiful reviews and happy customers, ensuring they can withstand more than just your average walking.
Best Clogs for Nurses
Clogs are convenient shoes for nurses because they’re easy to get on and off. Typical clogs may not offer the type of support that nurses need, but these options will fit right in with your nursing gear. Here’s where you can start to find the right clogs for nursing.
1. Dansko Women’s XP 2.0 Clogs
PROS: Comfortable right out of the box, arch support and cushioning for heavy-duty shifts, stiff toe box but plenty of space to move
CONS: Sizing can be tricky to get just right, insole can stain easily
Dansko offers a supportive, covered toe, and heel clog designed to protect the foot from all kinds of work environments. The top is leather and comes in a few neutral colors to fit in with a variety of uniform requirements.
A synthetic sole offers excellent grip, helping you navigate the floors of your work setting with confidence. It provides a slight platform with cushion designed to provide a padded instep with arch support and comfort on all types of work environments.
The imported leather is easy to wipe clean, and the silhouette of the shoe remains true to form even with a lot of wear and tear. They’re highly durable, offering both a blend of comfort and a stiff exterior that can protect your toes and the top of your foot from injury, bumps, and scratches.
It includes a padded instep collar to help with jobs where walking is the norm. They offer an average width to accommodate some swelling throughout the day. Where other clogs may take some time to break in, these are more likely to be comfortable right out of the box, helping support your instep and arch while ensuring that you have enough room in the toe box.
They’re light enough for constant movement, but they do tend to turn your socks or feet the same color as the insole. They may also require some finesse to get the sizing just right, so be prepared to follow the manufacturer’s sizing guide carefully. There is no wide option.
2. CROC Unisex Bistro Work Clog
PROS: Waterproof, ultra-lightweight, deep heel cup for better support
CONS: Not breathable, the heel isn’t enclosed
The classic design of CROC is breathable and customizable for all types of wear. Lightweight material ensures that you don’t experience achy legs at the end of the day, and the synthetic material is easy to clean.
These shoes’ construction is 100% Croslite, a synthetic material designed to reduce weight and help your shoes feel like a part of your feet. The work clog design includes an extra grip on the soles, and the tread is certified to be comfortable and safe.
The back strap allows you to wear them open or closed in the back for extra support or depending on what you’re doing for the day. The contoured footbed helps support your arches and provide deeper wells for the ball and heel of your foot.
The bridge of the shoe is wide enough to accommodate most types of feet, and the fully molded exterior is easy to clean with soap and water. Immerse them completely to ensure that your shoes stay clean and sanitized after every shift.
They come in a neutral gray that goes well with most uniform requirements and conforms to safety standards. The heel is flat on the floor, and the heel cup offers about an inch of deep support, helping prevent heel slips and provide a more steady gait.
CROC’s clogs are also completely waterproof. The tradeoff is that the material isn’t as breathable, so you’ll want to consider the types of socks you wear to cut down on sweat. Crocs may shrink with dry heat, so when you wash them, be sure to place them in a spot where they can dry completely without the presence of dry heat.
3. Dansko Women’s Professional Clog
PROS: High-performance sole, anti-rocker bottom for less stress, wide toe box
CONS: Might take some time to break in fully, sizing is tricky
The Dansko Professional Clog is a supportive, encased clog made from leather upper materials and a durable synthetic sole. The non-slip, polyurethane sole helps ensure your safety and that you have a solid footing no matter the environment.
It offers a slight platform with a heel of two inches and a deep cup to accommodate most arches. It helps prevent the shoe from slipping and causing blisters or calluses on the heel. Plus, the deep cup cushions and molds to your unique foot.
The sole has the look of nicer dress soles but offers a standard grip designed for the work environment. They’re easy to wipe clean and resist scratches and stains. Wider heel widths and a roomy toe box ensure stability and comfort.
These protect your feet by encasing the heel and the toe, ensuring that your feet are protected from spills. You can wipe the surface clean using gentle soap and water.
The shoe features something called an ‘anti-rocker” bottom, designed to help stabilize the foot and provide gentle support for forward motion. With the right fit, your feet put forth less effort to move, giving you less stress and pain throughout the day.
A protective heel and padded instep collar ensure flexibility while preventing unnecessary movement within the shoe as you walk or pivot. They’re a small bit wider than average, but you can adjust that with your socks.
4. CROC Women’s Specialist II Clog
PROS: Ultra-lightweight and streamlined, massaging footbed, molded shoe
CONS: Not enclosed throughout the shoe, may not offer as much protection
The specialist clogs from CROC provide a streamlined look with an ultra-lightweight material. You can wipe them clean after each shift and never worry about what’s on your shoes after work.
The simple design features an enclosed toe with metatarsal support in a molded insole. As you wear the shoes, they conform to your feet, providing excellent support and reducing unnecessary movement within the shoe as you walk.
They offer a low platform with synthetic materials on the sole and the upper. The heel strap moves to the front of the shoe when you want something open or to the back of your heel when you need further stability.
The streamlined look of these shoes helps blend in with a wider variety of uniform requirements and ensures that your shoes don’t stand out when you don’t want them to. They can be a tad tricky to fit, but overall they offer enough room across the toe box to remain comfortable for feet spreading throughout the day.
The nubbed Croslite sole and footbed provide lightweight performance while gently massaging your feet to keep blood flowing. They’re a really comfortable choice but don’t offer quite the enclosed protection of full clogs.
5. Skechers Women’s Work Relaxed Fit Sure Track
PROS: Fits more like a tennis shoe, safety-tested no-slip rating of .5, molded memory foam insole
CONS: Will fit more snugly than a clog, may wear out sooner than other options
The Sure Track blends the functionality of a tennis shoe with the ease of a clog. It features a flexible leather upper for easy sizing with a grippy, performance-oriented sole designed to cushion your foot as you work.
If you have trouble getting traditional clogs on and off, but you want something with an enclosed heel, the stretchy top panel can help make things easier. Use the heel loop to slide the shoe onto your foot and enjoy full protection with an enclosed heel.
It offers a relaxed fit designed to mold to your instep and preventing unnecessary movement within the shoe as you walk and pivot. The spring feels more like a tennis shoe, and the fit is also a little less loose than a traditional clog.
Unlike regular tennis shoes, the sole has been tested and certified to a 0.5 no-slip rating. It protects from electrical hazards, and the insole features a memory foam cushion that customizes to your unique footprint.
This mode is a highly comfortable shoe but will fight a bit more snugly than a traditional clog. The shoes do allow your feet to swell a little as you work, but some models may wear out more quickly than a traditional leather clog. Follow the sizing guide carefully to ensure that your shoes fit correctly the first time.
6. CROC Women’s Mercy Work Clog
PROS: Lightweight and streamlined design. designed for high-fall professions and environments, semi-enclosed heel with an additional strap for support
CONS: Don’t offer vents for breathability, may be too lightweight for some dangerous shifts
This option is designed specifically for work and features 100% Croslite material for an ultra-lightweight choice. It has a molded interior designed to support your instep and prevent unnecessary movement inside the shoe itself.
The low profile heel gives you support while offering a deep well to ensure stability. The heel strap moves to the front or the back, depending on your needs and level of security. You simply wash the exterior of the shoe with soap and water and allow it to dry naturally, keeping your shoes clean and sanitized after each shift.
They’re designed specifically for high slip and high fall work areas, including healthcare and foodservice. They’ll help you make your way across slippery floors without losing your balance, and the semi-enclosed heel helps protect your foot on all sides.
These work clogs are waterproof and feature a completely enclosed toe to protect you from spills. You’ll appreciate the nobbed footbeds for a slight massage as you walk, and the toe box features plenty of room for even wide feet.
They’re supportive, flexible, and lightweight, cushioning your feet against hard floors without adding excess weight that can make walking difficult over long shifts. They aren’t vented and don’t breathe as well as clogs with air vents, but they are protective.
7. Alegria Women’s Keli Professional
PROS: Offers more style than some standard nurse clogs, encloses the foot for complete protection, full no-slip protection with low sole noise
CONS: Don’t move as well for fast-paced shifts, watch for sole separation in constant, heavy use
This professional shoe features a highly architectural design meant to elevate a uniform beyond the standard clog. It has a leather upper and rubber sole making it easy to clean and highly durable.
The no-slip sole ensures you can complete shifts safely while the enclosed foot helps protect your feet and toes from accidents, spills, and other hazards. These are comfortable to get on and off with stretch panels on the sides and an easy slide upper design.
The material is stain-resistant and wipes clean with gentle soap and water. They don’t provide the flexibility of movement the way tennis shoes or lightweight clogs will, so if you spend a lot of time running (hello, code nurses), these may be a little too clunky.
For traditional nursing shifts on slower-paced floors, these offer plenty of function while ensuring that you have plenty of protection. The pattern is long-lasting and provides a bit more style for nurses looking to match uniforms without going all out.
They’re platformed just a bit and offer a nice heel well to help stabilize your foot. The sole design helps your foot walk a little more comfortably, and the rubber soles help reduce unwanted noise as you move around.
8. CROC Women’s Neria Pro II Clog
PROS: Fully enclosed heel with a classic CROC design, a lightweight, sleek option, fully washable with removable insert
CONS: The top may fit too tightly for those with high arches, sizing can be challenging to get just right
This pro clog takes the classic CROC look and encloses the foot completely for better protection from spills, injury, and other hazards. The shoe features a synthetic material for upper and lower parts for a lightweight shoe.
You can gently wipe the shoe clean on all parts or immerse in gentle soap and water for a complete clean. You can even remove the footbed liner entirely to clean. This allows you to revitalize your shoes after a particularly harried shift.
The thick material helps ensure you don’t have to worry about the rigors of nursing, while the non-slip bottom keeps you from getting injured on the job due to spills or floor cleaning. Overall, the shoe is sturdy yet lightweight, bringing together the form and function nurses need to stay comfortable.
They have a generous fit designed to meet OSHA requirements without causing too much sliding within the shoe itself. Toss them on quickly and get them off in one movement in case of emergency. They offer a neutral color scheme and blend into a variety of uniform requirements.
While they fit true to size, you may need some trial and error to get exactly the right fit, blending the generous fit you need from a clog without too much loose area in the heel. While this can be a challenge, it is worth exploring a handful of sizes if you have trouble the first time.
9. KLOGS Footwear Women’s Naples Leather Closed-Back Nursing Clog
PROS: Latex-free material is appropriate for allergies, antimicrobial, removable inner liner, true to size lengths
CONS: Material scuffs easily, especially in lighter colors, the width may cause some challenges for narrow feet
The genuine leather upper combined with the oil-resistant, no-slip bottom provides a blend of durable materials designed to stand up to a wide variety of work conditions. It uses a latex-free, antimicrobial material that’s useful for healthcare facilities and positions.
It provides a TruComfort insole that you can remove altogether to ensure the best cushioning and allow your feet to breathe. The insole and the enclosed heel help prevent unnecessary movement within the shoe while stabilizing the foot.
The length fits true to size, but the width allows you more space across the bridge and ball of your foot. The material is easy to clean with a simple washcloth. The insole removes for a thorough cleaning as well.
The surface of the clog sometimes wears thin, showing more scratches or wear than other models. However, it comes in a neutral color that blends well with a variety of uniform types, and they are suitable for shifts where you won’t be running around.
10. Natural Uniforms Ultralite Women’s Clogs with Strap, Nursing Medical Work Mule
PROS: EVA foam for an ultra-lightweight fit, high arch support, shock dispersion sole to reduce the impact of hard floors
CONS: Sizing can be tricky based on the width to length of your foot, the spongy insole may take some getting used to
This ultra-comfortable nursing clog features 100% EVA foam for a lightweight shoe that protects your toes and upper foot. Synthetic materials are easy to clean, and the adjustable heel strap helps you get a comfortable yet secure fit.
The design features a high arch and ensures that you have plenty of support across the length of your foot, helping to reduce stress as you walk or stand on your feet all day. The non-marking sole is quiet and slip-resistant, ensuring safety even when the floors are a hazard.
A shock dispersion sole helps reduce the impact of your movements across hard floors and reduces overall strain over the lifetime of the shoe. If you have trouble with your joints — ankles, and hips, for example — these could be a good option for reducing discomfort.
They are slip-resistant, but you’ll have to watch the thread carefully to ensure that they remain so. The soles wear down and lose that feature more quickly than some other shoe models will, requiring more diligence. The strap flips up and down to give a tighter or looser fit, depending on your preference.
As with all clogs, the sizing can be tricky, but these fit relatively true to length. You’ll have to play with half sizes depending on how wide your foot is and what type of socks you prefer. They would also make great backup shoes if you need a second pair to keep on hand.
Best Tennis Shoes for Nurses
The other option for nurse shoes is a good pair of tennis shoes. If you work in critical care or are a code nurse, tennis shoes make running easier than clogs, giving you the flexibility you need to get places quickly. Here are our top picks for tennis shoes.
1. Adidas Women’s Cloudfoam Pure Running Shoe
PROS: Ultra-lightweight, breathable fabric, no skid, low noise soles, easy on and off design
CONS: Not waterproof, won’t protect against drops or toe stubs
Adidas makes excellent tennis shoes all around, and their Cloudfoam running shoe is a performance-oriented option. It features a lightweight construction with an easy to clean material that won’t scuff floors and is low noise.
It uses 100% textile upper for a breathable layer designed to reduce sweat and account for swelling over a period of your shift. The elastic laces are durable, and the foam sole cushions your foot to reduce impact.
Getting them on and off is a cinch with stretchy lacing and a heel loop. A platform offers as much cushion between the floor and your foot as possible without changing your stride. They don’t have as much arch support as some, but unless you have extra high arches, you may not notice.
Overall, they’re lightweight and go from your shift to the gym or walking in no time. You can toss the shoes in the wash and allow to air dry for a complete refresh while the reinforced seaming is forgiving yet protective.
They do have a soft toe, so you won’t have spill protection, and you’ll feel the full impact of things dropping on your foot. However, their streamlined design is perfect for nurses who can’t stand the extra weight of clogs.
2. NIKE Women’s Tanjun Running Shoes
PROS: Fits snugly with little slipping, highly breathable option for sweaty feet, suitable for a variety of foot arches
CONS: The toe box is tighter than average, Nike tends to run narrow in sizing
These Nike options are highly breathable and offer excellent performance for people who can’t stand sweaty feet. Light soles provide excellent cushioning between you and the floor while reducing noise and scuffs.
They’re easy to care for and forgiving for foot swelling, but Nike can run a little bit narrower than other shoes. The rounded toe does give you a bit more space if your toes spread out, and the lightly padded top and tongue protect the top of your foot.
A textile insole and fabric liner provide further comfort as you move around and helps reduce rubbing and potential blisters. The phylon midsole also provides extra comfort through a molded interior that gently takes the shape of your individual foot.
They come in a variety of colors to match your personal preference but also blend with various uniform requirements. They’re also suitable for a wide range of arch types. Just be aware that the toe box is a little bit smaller than average.
3. Skechers Women’s D’Lites Memory Foam Lace-up Sneaker
PROS: Better ankle support than streamlined tennis shoes, full impact resistant soles, suitable for high arches
CONS: Bulkier than lightweight sneakers, in some cases the sole doesn’t last very long
If you want a more substantial tennis shoe, this option from Sketchers could be your answer. It features a leather and synthetic shoe with a one-inch sole, cushioning your foot from the hard floor. They’re a bigger, more robust version of the work shoe and help protect your entire foot.
It has a padded collar and tongue for more comfort as you move and to help create a more customized fit. The insole is suitable for a variety of arch styles, and the thick sole provides shock absorption even when you’re running on hard floors.
The shoe provides more protection than lightweight sneakers and offers plenty of room on the toe box. They’re a little heavier than some of the lightweight sneakers on our list, but not so much that they cause pain.
The insoles are thick memory foam, but they aren’t removable, so you’ll have to get creative with cleaning. Otherwise, you can wipe the shoe down with a soapy rag to remove stains and grime and allow them to air dry. They’re slip-resistant and offer a good amount of tread.
The style of tennis shoe offers a little more ankle support thanks to higher uppers that hug the ankle joint more closely. This does add some bulk, but overall, they’re a comfortable shoe. Be careful to watch for the sole portion; in a small number of cases, the heel will separate from the shoe sooner than expected.
4. Under Armour Women’s Charged Assert 8 Running Shoe
PROS: Good all-purpose shoe, impact-resistant, compression-molded insole, leather overlay for better stability and durability
CONS: The insoles don’t remove to allow other inserts, will not protect against drop injuries or spills
Under Armour offers a neutral shoe designed to work with a variety of shift types. This design blends lightweight materials with a thicker sole for impact resistance. It’ll take you from your triage duties to floor duties in no time.
The synthetic sole offers plenty of cushion against hard floors and is moderately slip-resistant as you’re moving around. The fit runs true to size and provides arch support for regular to high arches with more support through lacing styles for flat feet.
A lightweight mesh upper allows full air circulation, keeping your toes dry and comfortable. They won’t be a waterproof option and will put you at greater risk for toe injuries, but for swift movements, these are unbeatable.
It features a leather overlay to help reinforce lacing and locks your midfoot into place for less movement within the shoe as you’re running or pivoting. Responsive, compression-molded foam provides an excellent response, and the rubber outsole helps with energy transfer. You’ll work less hard to move forward.
The insoles are not removable, but they do gently mold to your unique foot overtime providing support where you need it. The design can help reduce ankle and knee pain from impact injuries, and the shoe is easy to wipe clean with a damp cloth.
5. Skechers Performance Women’s Go Walk Slip-On Walking Shoe
PROS: Resists odors thanks to a unique insole material, comes in a variety of colors, combines the performance of a sneaker with the ease of clogs
CONS: Not as much arch support, allows in a lot of air (cold or otherwise)
So you want the convenience of a clog with the performance of a sneaker. These slip-in walking shoes provide excellent performance without the hassle of laces.
They use a stretchy fabric upper with no laces and a heel loop to allow you to get them on and off without any challenges. They’re ultra-lightweight, and the Ortholite insole helps resist odors while gently conforming to your foot.
This pair is highly responsive, meaning you’ll get little extra boosts as you move around, reducing drag and weight. You’ll also have better impact resistance against solid floors and a low noise sole that helps you move around.
They have less arch support than some other tennis shoe styles, but the memory foam insoles do conform to your individual foot. The insoles do remove if you decide to replace them, and they allow you to clean into the crevices of the shoe.
They don’t add a lot of weight to your foot, and they come in a few different colors to help you find something that suits your preferences and your uniform requirements. Plus, the classic tennis shoe style moves with you no matter what your shift is like.
They are breathable, but if your workplace is unusually cold or hot, they’ll allow that temperature through. Change your socks accordingly.
6. ASICS Women’s GEL-Venture 5 Running Shoe
PROS: Suitable for a variety of surfaces due to high abrasion rubber soles, comes in a variety of colors and widths, high performance, gel cushion system
CONS: The colors may be too bright for some healthcare centers, they aren’t as slip-resistant as shoes explicitly designed for work
The Asics running shoe has a performance-oriented design featuring a no-skid sole with impact-resistant cushioning to help keep your feet safe and supported. The GEL cushioning system is designed to conform to your unique foot and ensure that your heel and arch remain comfortable throughout your shift.
A removable sock liner can accommodate alternate insoles, but the included option is forgiving of almost all arch types. The sole reduces noise and skids but is forgiving of a variety of surface types. It’s a high energy shoe designed to help reduce friction and help you get moving.
The upper uses a blend of mesh and fabric to help protect your foot while ensuring that the inside has good air circulation. High abrasion rubber and a reinforced overlay prevents wear and tear even in the most punishing work environments, taking you from critical care duty to the walking track in no time.
They come in a variety of widths as well, giving you more customization for your particular foot needs, but the standard width does offer a roomy toe box for comfort. They’re true to size as far as length, and it’s not super hard to find the right size for your foot.
Wipe them clean with a gentle cloth or toss them in the wash on a gentle cycle and allow them to dry naturally to keep clean. This gives you some flexibility for cleaning and sanitizing, enabling you to clean shoes after accidents and come back to work with a refresh.
7. New Balance Women’s FuelCore Nergize V1 Sneaker
PROS: Lightweight, synthetic material suitable for heavy use, flexible enough to accommodate swelling, slip in trainers are easy to use
CONS: Doesn’t protect against spills, may not be slip resistant enough for high traffic shifts
This slip-on style sneaker provides lightweight support for stressful work environments while ensuring that your feet remain protected. They have a mesh upper for better air circulation to reduce odor and sweat.
They feature the New Balance mid-sole, RevLite, and a memory foam under sole to provide maximum cushioning and impact resistance for your foot, even on hard floors. IT’s responsive and low noise while also offering some skid protection and slip resistance.
It’s sleek and streamlined, fitting in with a wide range of uniform preferences and requirements, but it will leave you open to spills because of the breathable material. Just ensure you’re taking proper precautions.
The shoe is a convenient option for a slip in, and it offers a performance-oriented design to keep you light on your feet. It moves well and accounts for any swelling that occurs over your shift.
These are considered cross-trainers, giving you flexibility for surfaces and usage. They travel well and clean up thoroughly. Plus, the mesh allows your toes to stretch and breathe under lots of different conditions.
They help reduce weight on your feet, but won’t protect from spills or other events. The rubber sole provides a low noise, scuff-resistant option for working on hard surfaces, and a 100% synthetic upper for durability.
8. Easy Spirit Women’s Traveltime Mule
PROS: Open design helps make quick changes easy, thick sole for excellent impact resistance, fabric and leather upper for a durable construction
CONS: Open back may cause some instability, may not comply with some uniform requirements
The Easy Spirit mules are a fabric-based slip-on option with a synthetic sole that mimics standard tennis shoes. They have a cushioned sole and offer an easier on and off system for those of you who may need a quick change.
The cushioned collar helps protect the upper part of your foot while a thicker sole offers higher impact resistance for your feet while working on hard floors. The upper material is a blend of leather and fabric, designed to reinforce weak points and build durability.
The padded insole is removable to accommodate a wide range of alternate insole options, and the entire design is meant to make changing shoes easier in emergencies. The rubber outsole can help reduce slips and scuff marks while ensuring you remain stable.
These open shoes don’t protect your heels and may not be eligible for your healthcare facility if it requires a wholly enclosed footwear. However, for quick changes and lightweight coverage, this one is a great option.
They’re easy to wipe down to clean, and the insole helps reduce movement inside the shoe. If you have particularly narrow feet, the opening may be too big to be comfortable, especially if you’re running often or making quick pivots.
They could make a good choice if you need a backup pair or if your floor is particularly peaceful. The design is bright, but it could still fit into a variety of uniform styles and needs.
9. PUMA Women’s Tazon 6 WN’s FM Cross-Trainer Shoe
PROS: Solid performance sole for reducing impact, blend of leather and synthetic materials for a durable upper, size tends to run true and standard
CONS: Not quite as breathable as a full mesh, the heel may be a little too high for some wearers
The Puma slip in features a fully enclosed heel and toe box with stretch laces designed to make getting the shoe on and off quickly. The upper mesh material is highly breathable and offers a good amount of stretch to accommodate your feet swelling over the course of your shift.
A synthetic leather upper is durable and resists scratches and scuffs while the proprietary sock liner offers excellent air circulation and molds to conform to your unique foot. The part EVA, part synthetic sole provides enough cushion and shock absorption to reduce pain and discomfort.
The sole itself is moderately slip-resistant, and the elevated heel helps cushion and cradle heels to stabilize your foot. It offers a few different colors for your preferences and uniform requirements and a high-performance design for athletics and shifts that feel like athletics.
The fit is secure with space in the toe box for a variety of sock types. The length is true to size, but these may not stretch as much to accommodate swelling as true mesh options will. However, you do have more protection from spills and impacts.
Wipe them down to keep them refreshed and to reduce the buildup of grime. The design of the shoe helps reduce unnecessary movement within the shoe and can help provide a more responsive feeling as you move through your shift.
10. Slow Man Women’s Walking Shoes Sock Sneakers
PROS: Fits snugly around the ankles, the thick sole provides excellent shock absorption, the air-filled sole and conforming insole
CONS: Bulkier than streamlined tennis shoes, the heel is much higher than other tennis shoes on the list
These “sock sneakers” offer users the chance to wear sneakers without pesky socks by attaching a bootie-like sock feature to the opening. The fabric is stretchy and helps conform to your foot and ankle while the mesh fabric ensures excellent airflow.
It has a higher heel and sole to reduce impacts as you’re moving through your shift. It features excellent arch support. The air sole also helps reduce impact, and the rubber material is also suitable for working on hard floors.
They’re slip-resistant and suitable for a variety of circumstances. They’re not heavy despite their fully enclosed design, and it’s easy to wipe them down to reduce grime. They may need to air out from shipping because of the synthetic material, but overall, they do resist odors reasonably well.
The heel cushions and is wider to build stability. The shoe is much bulkier than some of the others on the list, but lightweight materials do help cut down on the strain as you move around. Plus, a responsive sole will help you get more from your steps and help reduce the strain.
Overall, this is an excellent shoe for a variety of situations and shift types. It comes in a few different colors and styles to suit your preferences and your uniform requirements.
So there you have it, the 20 best shoes for nurses. We love the Dansko XP 2.0 Clogs and the Adidas Cloudfoam tennis shoes for our top picks. They both feature a streamlined look that blends well with most uniform requirements while also standing the test of time when you’re on your feet.
They provide durable construction and shock-absorbing soles to provide cushions for feet and joints. As you work, they help reduce the pain and discomfort of being on your feet all day while also ensuring that you have the support you need. Plus, they’re closed toes and heels to protect your feet while you work.
Your nursing shoes should help and not hurt you. There are so many good options on our list to cover a range of needs, shift types, and uniform requirements. Each one can be something you use to make your shifts a little less hard on your body.
Once you’ve settled on your perfect shoes, you’ll be able to take care of yourself as you work. You’ll gain the tools to keep doing a job that you love, and you’ll ensure that nursing won’t take such a toll on your feet and skeleton. Get back to doing what you love with a little less strain and be the hero we need.