Best Shoes for Nurses [Top Choices Updated for 2019]

What Makes A Good Nursing Shoe?

Working as a nurse often goes hand in hand with long, strenuous shifts. And don’t forget the fact that nurses spend a lot of their time walking. Your everyday walking shoe doesn’t cut it when we’re talking about walking miles on hard surfaces every week.

Long stretches on your feet come with the territory of being a nurse, but painful feet don’t have to. Blisters, swollen feet, and overall strain can affect a nurse’s ability to do their job, so it’s essential that they’re using the right shoes. 

If standard shoes won’t do the trick, what should a nurse look for? It’s not as complicated as it seems, but it does involve individual needs based on your physiology, and the demands of your job.

Nursing can be a stressful job, and no one wants the wrong shoes to cause unnecessary hardships. The best nursing shoes are those that are still comfortable at the end of that double shift. They should offer support, comfort, and affordability.

#1 Best Nursing Shoe Available: Dansko Women’s Professional Tooled Clog

These clog-style shoes are made with 100% leather uppers. The Thermoplastic toe protection keeps your toes safe and comfortable without cramping them. 

Leather sock liners provide moisture-wicking against perspiration. A protective heel counter allows for natural movement while walking, as well as stability. 

The PU sole ensures shock absorption and makes it ideal for long hours standing or walking. Cool or warm temperatures alike are no match for these shoes - it works in both. 

Slip resistance is no trouble in these shoes. The solid outsoles also feature rocker-style bottom, which makes walking easy and painless, hour after hour.

What we liked

  • Comes in a wide range of sizes and colors
  • Some color/size combinations offer more affordable options
  • Received the Seal of Acceptance from the American Podiatric Medical Association

What we didn't like

  • Some colors and sizes are expensive
  • Can be difficult to size.

What Other People Are Saying

Although you might go through some trial-and-error finding the right size, these shoes are a popular choice for comfort. Many users report that standing and walking for extended periods is no trouble with these shoes on their feet.

Comfort and durability were highly rated overall, and seem to be an extremely popular choice for nursing shoes in this price range.

The broad range of colors is a big selling point. Traditional white is available, but nurses without strict dress codes find the best color options of all the shoes reviewed.

They are also considered a more stylish option among the shoes reviewed here. As mentioned, there are several color and design variations, so no matter your tastes, you can find one that fits your personality.

Runner Up Choice: Skechers Work Women’s Sure Track 

Slip-on style with memory foam to cushion your feet make for an ideal option for nurses. The stretchy upper material makes putting on and taking off these shoes effortless.

A fabric collar and lining will absorb moisture and keep your feet dry. The insole is removable - giving you a customized feel depending on how much cushion you need.

The midsole is made from FlexSole material, offering plenty of shock absorption. The rubber outsole is resistant to slippage, and OSHA compliant. Weighing in at just 9oz, it is an excellent lightweight option.

What we liked

  • Durable
  • Virtually no break-in time
  • Removable insoles

What we didn't like

  • Only comes in two colors
  • No wide size options

What Other People Are Saying

For those who experience swelling after long hours on their feet, these shoes are a solution. The design is a little more user-friendly and fashionable than comparable alternatives.

They also live up to their slip-resistant claims, providing extra protection on slick surfaces. These shoes are also very good at hugging and molding to the shape of the wearer’s feet.

In terms of comfort, simplicity, and price, these shoes had stellar ratings. Most users have no issues with sizing or overall fit.

Best Budget Choice: Crocs Women’s Mercy Work Clog 

The price point is an attractive factor for these shoes. The simple yet effective design provides ample support and comfort.

They’re made from 100% Croslite with a rubber, slip-resistant sole. The roomy design makes it easy to size, even for those with wider feet. 

What we liked

  • Lightweight
  • Easy to clean
  • Comes in four colors and designs

What we didn't like

  • No breathable vents like other Croc shoes
  • Can be too big for narrow feet

What Other People Are Saying

Crocs are a popular option when it comes to both simplicity and affordability. A lightweight and supportive design mean long periods on your feet are much more manageable. 

The slip-on feature is a popular selling point. Home-health nurses who have the option of removing their shoes during their shift will find favor with Crocs.

Though other Croc designs can be less slip-resistant, these are specially made for people working on slick floor surfaces, and provide ample grip.

These were the lowest-rated in terms of fashion, but wearers agree the overall look doesn’t detract from the support and comfort. The most common grievance was the bulky size being too big for those with petite feet.

#4 Choice: Alegria Women’s Keli Professional 

Slightly elevated heels and elastic gores provide shock absorption and flexibility. The removable footbed puts you in control of how much cushioning and support you’ll get from these shoes.

Stain-resistant on the uppers, and slip-resistant on the soles, these shoes offer a versatile and affordable option for nurses. The materials are long-lasting and made to hold up well under frequent wear.

What we liked

  • Stylish and unique designs
  • Customizable footbeds
  • Comes in wide sizes

What we didn't like

  • Heel area is too wide for some people
  • Can be squeaky

What Other People Are Saying

Regardless of the level of physical activity your work demands, this versatile option caters to all types of nurses. The comfort level has solved leg and foot pain for many users.

Though they can become squeaky, they are generally regarded as durable and tough. Nurses who have issues with blisters or plantar fasciitis find relief in these shoes.

The biggest complaint among wearers is that these can have an awkward fit. Some reported the width being perfect except in the heel; others found them too roomy in general.

#5 Choice: Timberland PRO Women’s Renova Professional Slip-On Clog 

The Renova collection by Timberland boasts rocker, slip-resistant soles that are both comfortable and safe on even the slickest of surfaces. Using AntiFatigue technology has allowed Timberland to create a shoe whose support doesn’t stop with the feet - legs also reap the benefits.

The toe-box is anatomically shaped, allowing the foot to spread naturally, reducing pressure points and stress. Leather is protected from stains with 3M Scotchgard.

The slip-on design is breathable and cushy, making it ideal for long periods of walking and standing. These shoes allow for a roomy fit without unnecessary slippage or rubbing.

What we liked

  • Easy to break in
  • Really easy to clean
  • Broad range of sizes and widths

What we didn't like

  • A little pricey
  • Only comes in white so it's prone to scuffs

What Other People Are Saying

These are worth the money - as a pricey option, they also last a long time. The simple and easily cleaned design means there’s no need to replace them for aesthetic purposes. 

They are not too rigid - meaning swollen feet won’t feel constricted. Walking on even the hardest of floors is made easy with these shoes on your feet.

As far as overall comfort, this was highly rated among customers who work in the health industry. The main complaint is the price point.

What to Consider Before Buying

Weight and Comfort 

Some people need a light and extremely cushy shoe - others do better with less cushion and don’t mind a heavier option. It all depends on your individual needs. These needs should be taken into careful consideration when buying any shoe, but especially shoes you’ll have to wear for hours on end.

There are several viable options for you if you need something lightweight, and you won’t necessarily have to sacrifice any comfort in the process. Also consider if even a slightly elevated heel will cause your feet issues, as several options on this list have a higher heel as a feature.

Customizable shoes that have removable components are an excellent option for anyone who has finicky feet. You can find what works best for you through experimenting without having to buy multiple pairs to try.

If you’re not spending a lot of time standing or walking, you probably won’t have to be so particular about your shoes. But you’ll still want them to be comfortable.

Luckily, these shoes are good even if you won’t be walking in them all day. The added features are also helpful if you frequently alternate between sitting and standing or walking.

Comfort means no excessive rubbing or slippage. You’ll want a shoe in the correct size that doesn’t threaten to slip off your feet if you step a certain way. 

Any rubbing is setting the stage for blisters, so look for shoes that will properly hug your feet. A spot where your shoe is rubbing might not be a big deal at first, but after a long shift, it will cause you a lot of issues.

Slip Resistance 

Most nurses work on hard tile or linoleum type surfaces. There is also the potential for spills and biohazards on floors in their working environment.

Slipping - and becoming a patient in the hospital they’re working in - is the last thing a nurse needs. A fall is not only dangerous to the nurse but could cause delays in the treatment of their patients.

A good shoe is one you can trust not to betray you on slick surfaces. Each shoe listed in this review provides robust slip resistance and will leave you confident you won’t have any accidents due to slick floors.

Support 

The level of support each person needs may vary - but the longer you’re on your feet, the more important it is to have adequate support.

Foot pain will start if you have poor support in your shoes. There needs to be plenty of cushion, and a strong sole to keep your feet cradled while you’re on them for hours.

Your legs also need support, especially if you spend long shifts walking and standing. Shoes that support not only your feet but also your legs will provide you with more comfort. They’ll also cause less pain after spending a whole day (or night) in them.

Overall, proper support will save you from foot pain and leg aches. Your joints from your ankles to your hips rely on a supportive shoe.

Wrapping it Up

It’s not always easy finding a good shoe that you’ll be spending so much of your day wearing. After all, most shoes we buy, we buy thinking we’ll be wearing only part of our day, or while sitting at a desk.

But nursing shoes are different. There are some important factors to take into account when you shoe shop for something that will be on your feet for twelve hours - or more.

It can be daunting to commit to a pair of shoes that are intended to protect your feet (and legs) during those busy shifts. Knowing the difficulties you can face by being in the wrong shoes makes it even more stressful.

You don’t have to try every pair on the market. You only have to narrow down which features mean the most to you, and what levels of comfort and support are right for you.

While some need contouring and ample support, others might be more interested in cushy soles and skid protection. Luckily, there are plenty of options here to cater to a variety of needs.

My opinion? Skechers Work Women’s Sure Track meets the criteria for just about every nurse. Whether you’re sitting frequently or working a shift on your feet, the Skechers are sure to please. 

Their affordability and user-friendly design make them sell themselves. Toss durability and easy break-in to the mix, and there’s not much downside to these shoes.

As far as comfort, the Skechers outshine their counterparts. Stellar support, removable insoles, and anti-slip design all reflect positively in the user reviews.

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