Why Do Nurses Wear Clogs Like Dansko and Crocs?

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why do nurses wear clogs

It was the end of a busy 12-hour shift. I was in the locker room changing. My back and feet hurt. All I wanted to do was go home and fall into bed. But first, I had to get my shoes off. I looked down and saw the double-knotted laces. After walking and standing all day, the last thing I wanted to do was bend down.

Do you ask yourself, “Why do nurses wear clogs?” I wondered too until I tried them for myself. We have put together the following list describing clogs and the top ten reasons we like them.

10 Reasons Why Nurses Wear Clogs: Quick Look

  1. Arch Support
  2. Comfort
  3. Reduces Stress
  4. Durable
  5. Easy to Clean
  6. Protects Feet
  7. Slip-Resistant
  8. No Scuff Marks
  9. Easy On and Off
  10. No Laces

Have a look at our nursing footwear recommendations:

What Are Clogs?

At their most basic, clogs are closed-toe shoes, generally with an open back and no laces. They are easy to slip on and off and are comfortable for all-day wear. The soles tend to be platformed, with a slightly higher heel area.

When we talk about clogs for healthcare professionals, we don’t mean the wooden shoes popularized by Dutch folk stories! Nor the hippy footwear of the 1970s.

Various styles of clogs have been found all over the world. For centuries, clogs were used as protective footwear. Traditionally made of solid wood, or wooden soles with leather uppers, they remained popular because of their ease to make and use.

Now some clogs are still made from wood and leather, but many also have canvas and fabric uppers. Clogs adapted to specialized uses are formed in one piece from plastic or rubber.

Why Do Nurses Wear Clogs Like Dankso and Crocs: Here’s Our Top 10 Reasons

As an alternative to sneakers or sandals, there are many things we love about clogs. They are functional for both men and women. These are our top ten reasons to choose clogs:

1. Arch Support

Being on your feet all day and moving fast puts a strain on the arch of your foot. Symptoms usually include shooting pain or burning in the middle of your soles. The pain can also start to radiate up your legs to your lower back. While there are various causes of arch pain, many people can find relief through proper arch support.

When trying on a pair of shoes with adequate arch support, you should notice even contact with the footbed across your arches. There should be no pressure points. Clogs one-piece construction provides support through their ridged sole and molded footbed.

2. Comfort

Along with support, you need comfort. Standing and walking all day is tiring. Foot, leg, and lower back pain are common complaints of medical staff. Pinching, pressure points, and blisters can be signs your shoes are not sufficiently comfortable.

Clogs check off many boxes when looking for comfortable footwear. The rubber material is soft and has natural cushioning. There is enough room for your toes to spread in the ample and rounded toe box. The soles are usually flat or have slight heel elevation. The mostly open back provides breathability.

3. Reduces Stress

You have a lot to think about while at work, lower body pain shouldn’t be one of them. Your patients depend on you to give them your full attention. This often means you ignore your own needs.

Wearing comfortable and supportive shoes is one way to reduce stress at work. When you don’t have to think about your footwear, you can focus on your job. Prioritizing your needs can lead to greater job satisfaction.

4. Durable

Being on your feet all day, shift after shift wears down your shoes quickly. Frequent washings also take a toll on footwear. It would help if you had a shoe to stand up to heavy, daily use.

Most shoes start to look old after a few months of wear. They get dingy, and little bits of the upper sole can begin to peel off. The high-quality rubber in clogs is long-lasting and maintains a new appearance longer than other materials.

5. Easy to Clean

During a shift, any number of gross, potentially hazardous materials can fall or splash onto your shoes. Traditional running shoes are fabric that can let liquids get onto your socks and feet. Cloth shoes also tend to stain.

Many clogs are made from waterproof rubber and are molded in one piece, making them easy to wash with soap and water. Also, spilled liquids are less likely to seep into your shoes that way.

6. Protects Feet

Heavy and sharp objects are prevalent in medical offices and hospitals. Wheelchairs and carts are rolling around. Any of these things could cause injury by striking your feet.

The rounded, close-toe of clogs protects your feet from dropped items. The rubber is thick and resistant to punctures, unlike cloth. The soles of clogs are elevated, making it harder for wheels to run over your toes.

7. Slip-Resistant

Slip-resistant shoes are a requirement when working in safety-sensitive positions, such as hospitals. In 2011, 25% of reported caregiver injuries came from slipping or tripping. You are moving at a fast pace, and spills can happen at any time. Preventing accidents keeps you and co-workers safe.

Most medical facilities have smooth tile or concrete floors to adequately clean, but they reduce friction with shoes. The soft rubber outsoles on clogs, with an aggressive tread pattern, grip a slick floor better than traditional shoes.

8. No Scuff Marks

As you move through your day, you bump your feet together and run them into carts, beds, and corners. The dark coloring of medical clogs makes these scuffs less noticeable, keeping your shoes looking good. And any scuff marks are easy to remove with a little toothpaste and a soft cloth.

Older black-soled shoes would often rub off on floors. Shoes now, even with non-slip soles, are designed to resist leaving marks on flooring. Your custodial staff will thank you.

9. Easy On and Off

You can’t remember everywhere you have been and what may have spilled on your shoes throughout a shift. What could you be touching when you remove your shoes?

Slip clogs on quickly, and you are ready to start your shift. Kick them into your locker, and go home at the end of the day.

No more bending to remove your shoes. No need to contact one more potentially dangerous substance.

10. No Laces

Shoelaces can be uncomfortable and dangerous in hospitals and medical care facilities. Laces can come untied and pose a tripping hazard. When carrying sharp or heavy objects, or moving quickly in an emergency, you aren’t able to stop and check your untied shoes.

The laces can put uncomfortable pressure on the tops of your feet. You also have to lean down to untie them, something most of us do not want to do after being on our feet all day.

Clogs stay securely on your foot without needing to be tied. No tripping. No bending.

The Right Nursing Clog Can Prevent Back, Knee, and Foot Pain

Is the pain in your lower extremities making work difficult or causing you to consider early retirement? Changing your shoes could be a solution.

As a healthcare professional, you know the systems of the body are interrelated. The impact from walking can send shock waves up your legs, through your knees, and into your back. Not addressing these issues could lead to long-term health complications.

nurse with back pain

Experts are looking at the connections between back, knee, and foot pain and the types of shoes worn by nurses. Long hours standing and walking on concrete, lifting heavy loads, and leaning and twisting are all conditions experienced by healthcare workers.

Shoes made for walking and standing provide the support specific to health care’s working environment. Running shoes are not recommended, as they hold your foot in an awkward angle for walking and standing. They are also not as durable as professional-grade footwear.

Fit plays an integral part in choosing shoes, and you should try them on before buying. Or ensure the store has a return policy. See our shoe guide for complete recommendations.

Research has been done specifically on the impact of shoes on knee health. In one study, researchers analyzed different footwear to judge the effect they had on knee joint loads in participants with osteoarthritis of the knee. Each subject was measured while barefoot and while wearing four common types of shoes.

Of the shoes measured, flat walking shoes and flip-flops provided the same impact to the knee as walking barefoot. Clogs and stability shoes provided much better cushioning and support, proving that shoe construction can affect lower body pain.

Addressing sources of pain as soon as they happen, or ideally, before they become an issue, is beneficial to improving your working life and long-term health.

Final Thoughts

In a profession where standing and walking are significant parts of your day, proper footwear is essential. Clogs are an excellent option for their safety, utility, and endurance.

Need help picking the best clogs for you? See our guide on how to choose the best shoes for nurses, where we recommend our favorites.

Make sure your shoes are working as hard as you. Investing in quality footwear will help you feel and look good as you go through your day.

Photo of author

Written By

Stephanie Corrales

Stephanie Corrales is the Founder and Managing Editor here at HeyScrubs. As a former director of a career college for entry-level medical professionals, she offers valuable insights to aspiring healthcare professionals. In her free time she loves spending time with her husband and two children.