Footwear Facets: The Comfiest Shoes for Nurses to Wear

Footwear Facets: The Comfiest Shoes for Nurses to Wear
Footwear Facets: The Comfiest Shoes for Nurses to Wear

Comfortable footwear is important in any industry, but it is particularly critical in nursing. Nurses frequently take shifts that last overnight or even for days, working diligently the entire time. In such a tiring environment, the last thing that you should worry about is foot pain. Thus, as a nurse, you will need to find a shoe that gives you full support and comfort throughout the day without limiting your movement. The better you are at choosing your shoes, the easier it will be to stay focused no matter how long you have to stay on your feet.

Shoe Types to Ensure Success


Nurses often choose backless shoes so that they can easily slip their footwear on and off, but such shoes often place too much stress on your arches and toes to stay in place. Instead, opt for clogs, which offer the same convenience as backless shoes while staying put without any extra strain. Clogs also tailor themselves to your specific support needs more effectively than most other shoes. Because they offer a lot of soft material underneath your feet, they make it easy for your foot to find the right amount of support. This limits the amount of pressure they put on sensitive parts of the feet while still cushioning them completely.

The best types of clogs include Dansko, Croc, Cherokee and Timberland. All provide large amounts of space and heavy cushioning for your feet and are resilient against a wide variety of different sources of strain. With these shoes, you will be able to keep your feet comfortable and mobile on even the longest shifts.

The only major disadvantage of clogs is that they can put excess pressure on your ankles if you have high arches, raising the risk of a rolled ankle. If your feet have high arches, include an orthotic insert to keep this risk to a minimum. This relatively simple and inexpensive enhancement will align your foot more effectively with the rest of the shoe, keeping it stable during work.


The most effective footwear choices are often the simplest, and this is never more clear than when considering the value of sneakers. Thanks to their design for running and power walking, sneakers provide considerable traction, no small matter when you’re racing from one side of the hospital to another or navigating a room full of medical equipment. They also provide plenty of cushioning and sole support, reducing the strain on your feet while you work. Sneakers are a particularly good choice if you often walk, bike or run to work, since you won’t have to switch shoes when you reach the hospital.

For female nurses, the best sneaker brands include Brooks’ walkers, which offer slip resistance and rubber and foam sole support, as well as Skechers Women’s Premium-Premix, which are renowned for both their stability and their comfort. For male nurses, consider buying Skechers Keystone or K-Swiss Men’s CMF sneakers, both of which combine EVA midsoles for comfort and support with leather for style.

Hospital Shoes

Brands like MOZO sell hospital shoes, which are designed specifically for use by nurses and other medical professionals. Like sneakers and clogs, these shoes cushion the foot for comfort and support, but they go a step further through enhanced ventilation. By allowing air to flow freely in and out of the shoe, this footwear reduces the amount of heat and moisture that build up around your feet. Heat and moisture are among the most common sources of discomfort that you will encounter during extended periods at work, so ventilating them makes for a much more pleasant walking experience. Ventilation also reduces odor and prevents bacteria from building up around your feet.

Step-In & Slip-On Shoes

In addition to ventilation, support and foot pressure, the weight of your shoes also impacts how comfortable your feet are. Step-in and slip-on shoes tend to be among the lightest options on the market, allowing you to move around your workspace without tiring your legs out. Like clogs, they also have the benefit of being easy to take on or off, allowing you to rest your feet during breaks without any extra trouble. The best brands in this category for women include Alegria, which uses elastic materials to give your feet plenty of room, and Nurse Mates, which offer lasting resistance against slipping. For men, consider Dickies leather shoes, which are washable, or Keen Utility, which offer memory foam cushioning to match the shape of your feet precisely.

Selecting the Best Nursing Shoes for Your Specific Needs

While each of these shoe types can offer valuable support for nurses, there is no single style or brand for everyone. Thus, before you select a shoe, make sure to take into account:

  • Surfaces & Slippage — Consider the types of surfaces you have to walk on at the hospital or clinic where you work. If most of the surfaces are hard or there are frequent spills, traction should be a major factor in your choice of footwear.
  • Shoe Support & Foot Shape — It is essential to find shoes that will support your feet, keep them comfortable, and absorb any shocks they encounter. Their ability to do all this, however, depends on the shape of your feet. Consider the size of your arches, toes and heels, and select a shoe that will cushion each appropriately.
  • Shift Length — Consider the length of your typical shift and how frequently you will have to work longer than that. If you expect to work more than eight hours at a time, you should have shoes that are ventilated or that you can wash easily after work.

As important as shoes are to success in nursing, they are only one of the many issues you must master in this field. Walsh University Online offers quality education on flexible schedules for all prospective nurses. For more information on earning your online MSN degree and succeeding once you have it, contact us today.