7 best nursing shoes of 2021


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Everyone in the healthcare industry, especially nurses, is used to being on their feet all day. This makes proper shoes an important part of your uniform.

"Having worked as a nurse for almost ten years, what I consider most important in choosing the right shoes is very different from when I became a nurse," says Laura Kelly, a nurse from Virginia. Initially, she was more interested in variety and aesthetics, but she quickly changed her shoe buying strategy: she invested more money in a high-quality pair than in several cheaper models. In other words, "absolutely do not save on how much you pay for shoes."

There are a wide variety of styles, according to Kelly, but there are a few key features to keep in mind. First, you need to make sure that your shoes remain secure during your shift and are easy to clean. And, of course, comfort is the key to success.

"I would recommend buying shoes half a size larger than what you usually wear because our feet can swell in a 12-hour shift," says Kelly. "The extra half size helps control this possible swelling."

Whether you're looking to replace your work shoes or just need another pair to add to your collection, there are styles for every type of healthcare professional. We've researched dozens of shoe models and rated them based on reviews, materials, available sizes, arch support, prices, and designs. Each of the products selected in this article was rated the best of these factors.

Here are the best nursing shoes on the market today.

Final verdict

Today's nurses have many more options when it comes to comfortable, functional, and fashionable shoes that can be paired with scrubs. If you are looking for a high-quality shoe that meets all requirements: comfortable, designed to hold your feet all day, easy to clean, stylish, etc., we recommend the Hoka One One (see Hoka One One ) as the first Try it on. If you suffer from plantar fasciitis, your first choice is Brooks Addiction walking shoes (see on Amazon ).

What to look for in nursing shoes

Body responses

When considering which shoes are best for long shifts, think about how your body reacts. These pains that come from the feet and legs can indicate what is missing in your current shoe and what you need in a different pair. "If at the end of the day there is severe pain in the forefoot or midfoot / arch joints, then I would recommend a tighter narrowing of the shoe," says Diane Koshimoun, MD, member of the Medical Association Communications Committee. Pediatric American. and Kaiser Permanente Orthopedic Surgeon. For people with heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendonitis, I would recommend shoes with a heel higher than the forefoot, he adds. Talk to your podiatrist if you feel pain in your feet or legs after your shift and want to better understand what you can do to prevent these symptoms.

Shoe type

A range of different shoe styles are available to suit long work shifts. It's just a matter of finding which style works best for you. "I'm looking for style, comfort, and neutral colors to match a lot of outfits," says Alyssa Schiffer, a Colorado-based pediatric intensive care nurse. "Where I work, we can wear any scrubs and blouses we want, so good neutral colors help with that." Some may find that tennis shoes provide maximum support and comfort during the workday. "An example of a shoe that I often recommend is the Hoka One One rocker sole. It is lightweight and very well cushioned, which is optimal for many types of patients who are on their feet for long hours," says Dr. Koshimune. But the style of shoes is not for everyone, he adds.  

Clog shoes are also a popular choice for nurses, as they are easy to put on and take off, are durable, and can be comfortable for extended periods. "But the problem is that they can be heavy and don't always work well for people with a high instep or people with ankle instability," says Dr. Koshimune. For Schiffer, he prefers tennis shoes to clogs when he works. "I have worn tennis shoes my entire nursing career," she says. "I've also seen a lot of healthcare workers trip and twist their ankles in these clogs, which turns me off."


Depending on the nurse, they may be exposed to a variety of bodily fluids while working a regular shift. "If you work in an area like delivery or in an operating room (operating room) where there is a lot of body fluids during a change, crocodiles may not be the right fit for you," says Schiffer. "But always choose comfort over style, because those long 12-hour days are sure to get the point." Shoes made from an easy-to-clean material should be a priority for nurses dealing with bodily fluids. This will help prevent unwanted stains from forming on the surface of the shoe. Also, some nursing shoes are resistant to liquids, which means that it is difficult for liquids to penetrate the material.

Frequently asked questions

  • The answer to this question depends a lot on who will be wearing the shoes. People have different types of structures in their feet that can change the size of their arch. Therefore, while one type of arch support may work for a nurse with high arches, it is potentially unsuitable for those with flat feet. The interaction between arch support and shoe must also be considered. For example, a more flexible shoe may benefit from a stiffer footbed, while a very stiff shoe may not need a rigid footbed, ”says Dr. Koshimune. "But it also depends on the structure of the foot, the physique, the walking surface, the number of hours worked, the number of steps taken during the shift, etc." Generally, a person with a flatter foot will benefit from a stiffer footbed with minimal arch support, while a person with a higher arch will benefit from a softer footbed. Talk to your podiatrist if you are unsure which arch support might be best for you, based on your body and personal circumstances at work.

  • This, again, depends on the type of tennis shoe being worn and who will be wearing it. "Not all sneakers or even tennis shoes are the same," says Dr. Kosimune. When comparing tennis shoes, consider what type of cushioning they offer in different designs based on your preference. Also pay attention to the construction of the sole and inner sole of the shoe. "Some are specifically designed to be minimalist, with very little cushioning and even built-in cushioning," says Dr. Cochimune. "Others are quite strong and contain a lot of material in the sole and inside the sole, which helps limit movement in the joints of the foot, which may be better for people with certain types of feet." An expert can advise you on what type of running or tennis shoes to look for when choosing a pair.

What the experts say

'The final choice really depends on how the owner feels at the end of the shift. Some nurses may find that they can wear any shoe and feel the same at the end of their shift. However, others may notice a difference in foot / leg fatigue after wearing different types of shoes. " Dr. Diane Koshimune , American Podiatric Association Communications Committee Member and Kaiser Permanente Orthopedic Surgeon.

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