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The subject of comfortable nurses’ shoes is something I hold close to my heart.

I have experienced first hand the discomfort of being on your feet all day in a pair of shoes that do not provide sufficient support and comfort.

However, with so many great options available there is no reason to end your shift feeling like your feet have been walking on rocks all day.

From slip-on clogs to extra sturdy tennis shoes, brands are now competing to be your go-to choice for ultra-comfortable work shoes. This is great news for us busy healthcare professionals.

Below I have pulled together 25 of the best shoes for nurses in different categories. There’s the top 10 nurses’ shoes for women, the top 10 nurses shoes for men and then finally a look at the best tennis shoes for nurses.

I have based this on personal experience, the opinions of many of my colleagues as well as the hundreds of user reviews you can find online. In short, this is the ultimate guide to the best nurses’ shoes available in 2020.


Top 10 Best Shoes for Nurses (Women’s)

TOP PICK: Dansko Women's Professional Mule
Alegria Women's Keli Professional
KLOGS Footwear Women's Naples
Leather Closed-Back Nursing Clog
Skechers Women's Sure Track
Slip Resistant Slip-On Work Shoes
Dansko Women's Pro Xp Mule Shoe
Crocs Women's Mercy Work Slip Resistant Clog
Alegria Women's Paloma Flat
Nurse Mates - Women's - Libby
Dansko Women's Ingrid Oiled Leather Clog

1. TOP PICK: Dansko Women’s Professional Mule

In my opinion, the Dansko Women’s Professional Clog is an excellent choice for nurses. I have bought 2 pairs of these over the last few years and have never had a problem.

They are perfect for those of us that are on our feet all day.

Designed to ease joint strain and pressure, they exude comfort even after multiple hours of wear. Compare this for instance to some of the tennis shoes I have used in the past, where actual heat build-up within the shoe can make your feet throb.

The airy Dansko professional Mule avoids this by providing a little extra space in the toe box, enabling you to move your toes helping blood circulate freely throughout your foot.

The midsole is ergonomically contoured so that your foot is fully supported. Another great feature sees the midsole and outsole combined to provide superior shock absorption; essential to comfort when walking from patient to patient all day.

To ensure that you don’t slip and slide as you go about your work, the outer sole is manufactured to be slip-resistant.

And of course, bad odors are kept at bay via a lining that is made from an anti-microbial material. Dansko really has considered everything a nurse needs in the design of this clog.

So much so the Professional Mule has received a seal of acceptance from the American Podiatric Medical Association. Wearing this clog officially promotes good foot health.

Ergonomic design, ultimate comfort and APMA approval – what more can you say? Our top pick nurses shoe for good reason.

2. Alegria Women’s Keli Professional

The Alegria Keli is a nurses shoe that has a top-notch approval rating among healthcare professionals.

The unique design here lies in the replaceable Perfect Fit Footbed and leather lining.

This really does extend the longevity of the shoe and helps keep odor at bay, (the replacement feature means you can keep on top of moisture management); with new leather linings being used to maintain comfort and cushioning.

Alegria has used premium leathers in the construction of the shoe, alongside a robustly designed padded instep and back collar – all of which adds to your overall comfort while also preventing any chafing.

A reliable footing is gained by the slip-resistant, polyurethane sole. Another nice feature is that the sole doesn’t squeak at all, even on wet surfaces.

Like our top pick Danska Professional Mule, the shoe has a wide insole ensuring your feet have plenty of room even after swelling during those long working hours.

Furthermore, the design of this work shoe actually accommodates orthopedics; a clear benefit for those that need this.

Overall, a top quality work shoe for nurses.

3. Timberland PRO Women’s Renova Professional Slip-On Clog

The Timberland Renova slip on clog is a well designed nurses shoe that evidently pulls upon Timberland’s knowledge of what it takes to manufacture comfortable footwear.

Listening to the demands of healthcare workers across the board, these convenient slip-on eliminate the aches and pains you can experience after being on your feet all day.

The Renova Professional clogs actually feature anti-fatigue technology via the heel to toe outsole. This rocker outsole is designed to reduce the pressure that is directed at the forefoot.

Anatomically shaped to support the full length of the foot, comfort is also increased via installed microsuede upper linings and a full-grain leather upper.

The shoes feature a Safegrip outsole allowing you to remain quick on your feet even in problematic, slippery conditions.

Timberland is clearly into labeling all of their shoe features; for protection against stains, the ‘Scotchguard’ shoe covering ensures you can wipe clean the surface with ease.

Finally, these slip-on clogs have an ‘Outlast Adaptive Comfort, Bi-Fit Tri-density Footbed’ (I agree, quite a mouthful).

This addition not only helps regulate temperature (keeping your feet warm and dry) you will also benefit from maximum cushioning and support.

4. KLOGS Footwear Women’s Naples Leather Closed-Back Nursing Clog

For the definitive clog, you always have Klogs. Their Naples Mule is the pick of the bunch in my opinion and is a pair of nurses shoes I have personally owned in the past.

Yes, they may be expensive, but there are comfort, strength and anatomical design in abundance here. A removable polyurethane outsole is very soft, yet sturdy holding the sole of your foot in place very nicely indeed.

Again, if bad smells take their hold (or you prefer a gel-based or memory foam insole) it is very easy to replace.

I liked the fact that the shoe leaves a bit of space around the edges of your feet, (mine tend to swell after several hours working). I would recommend these to fellow healthcare workers with bunions.

The tooled leather design is definitely aesthetically pleasing and another reason I liked the Klogs so much.

Overall fantastic Mule for those of us on our feet all day.

5. Skechers Women’s Sure Track Slip Resistant Slip-On Work Shoes

Skechers need no introduction when it comes to quality, stylish footwear.

They have taken their expertise into the nurses’ work shoe domain with the great ‘Sure Track, Slip-On work shoes’

Not only are these designed to provide comfort for all-day wear, but they are also actually quite attractive too.

A wonderful addition is the memory foam insole; this quickly molds to the shape of your foot while at the same time providing the kind of support you need when spending long hours on your feet.

The FlexSole midsoles also add shock-absorbing qualities to help keep joint strain and foot fatigue at bay.

They come with heel overlays and protective leather for increased durability. They are also slip-resistant too of course.

The rugged outsole is designed to prevent chemicals and oil from seeping through to your foot, the design also makes them safe from electrical hazards.

Overall a reliable and high quality pair of nurses work shoes from Skechers.

6. Dansko Women’s Pro Xp Mule Shoe

Another pair from Dansko makes my top 10 list, and for good reason too.

Catered for those with slightly larger feet, this mule features and extra generous toe box for added comfort and space.

Like the Skechers reviewed above, the Pro Xp shoes come with an insole made from dual-density memory foam. It is difficult to beat that on comfort, even after multiple hours on your feet.

As with my top pick from Dansko mule, the insole is also removable meaning you can add gel-based alternatives if you so choose.

This feature also helps the longevity of the shoe; no need to throw it away once the bad odors kick in, just replace the insole and you will be fine.

Danka has also gained APMA approval on these nurses’ shoes. Existing users have stated how comfortable these are if you suffer from back problems. They also provide superior support for those with a wide arch.

To top it all off, the shoes have an anti-fatigue rocker bottom and slip-resistant outsole. You will have no issues with potentially treacherous wet ward floors.

Another excellent pair of nurses shoes from Danka.

7. Crocs Women’s Mercy Work Slip Resistant Clog

No top 10 of nurses shoes for women would be complete without a set of crocs entering the mix. After all, the company is a world leader when it comes to creating innovative footwear for the work place.

They have a wide range of options available, but here I have picked out the Mercy Work Clog, (the link below will take you to Amazon where you can browse other work shoes from Crocs too).

All their modern work clogs feature the Croslite material we have become familiar with.

This proprietary technology from Crocs provides everything you need from a shoe in a demanding healthcare work setting; comfortable, lightweight and odor-resistant.

In fact, at the price many of their shoes retail at, (very affordable) every nurse would do well to have a backup pair of Crocs in their locker. That’s assuming they don’t want to use them as their main shoe.

All work-shoe features are present and correct, from slip-resistant outsoles and a sturdy footbed for arch support to the heel-hugging back strap to keep the shoes comfortable in place.

Crocs are a great option that combine intelligent design, an element of style and proven comfort. A pair of these will never do you wrong.

8. Alegria Women’s Paloma Flat

Another great offering from Alegria now. Their Paloma flat clogs are a very comfortable pair of work shoes that I have heard great things from various colleagues about.

What sets them apart is the stylish animal print upper. Who says work shoes have to be utilitarian and devoid of style hey. Combined with the subtle button details, this is a rare nurse clog that really does look great.

The shoes are designed with a removable insole allowing you to replace the existing one for something you either prefer, (or because things have started to smell a bit).

Integrated arch support allows for superior comfort even after many hours on your feet. Things have been anatomically designed in order to follow the curve of your foot.

Rocker technology on the outsole will is all about helping the natural rolling motion of the foot as you walk. This, of course, is there to prevent foot and back pain associated with a bad gate.

Highly recommended.

9. Nurse Mates – Womens – Libby

For an affordable, quintessential pair of bright white low-profile nursing shoes, this pair from Nurse Mate will likely fit the bill.

Designed specifically for healthcare workers, these shoes have all you need for a comfortable day on your feet.

A pillow top insole for arch support, a full-grain leather construction for durability, slip-resistant outsoles and a padded instep collar; that’s a lot of ticks in the right boxes.

They are also easy to clean and are designed to be roomy around the toes in order to prevent that horrible cramped swelling feeling at the end of a long shift.

At the same time, the internal fabric lining will keep your feet warm and comfortable throughout the day.

10. Dansko Women’s Ingrid Oiled Leather Clog

My final entry into the top 10 is yet another shoe from Dansko, (what can I say, they are the shoe manufacturer I have found most comfortable in recent years).

The women’s Ingrid differs from the shoes I have reviewed above in that you can either wear them as an open-back clog or as a sling-back.

What a great mode of versatility hey?

Beyond that, you have the excellent design ethos of Dansko; lightweight, comfortable and ergonomic for the wearer.

The upper follows the natural contours of your feet, the insole is soft right out of the box, (no trepidation as you wear them in over the first few days).

Furthermore, the breathable polyurethane foam footbed (complete with an antimicrobial treatment) ensuring your feet do not overheat or begin to generate nasty smells.

The uppers made of water-resistant leather and are stain-resistant while being easy to clean.

The excellently designed rocker-bottom outsole will help your feet move in the way they should while walking up and down the ward all day, meaning you will not be in pain at the end of your shift.

Overall, another top quality nurses shoe from Danko.

Top 10 Best Shoes for Male Nurses

male nurse doctor

TOP PICK: Calzuro Autoclavable
Clog with Upper Ventilation
Dansko Wide Professional Clog
Merrell Men's Encore Gust Slip-On Shoe
KEEN Utility Men's PTC Slip On Work Shoe
Crocs Men's and Women's Bistro Clog;
Slip On Nurses Work Shoe
Merrell Work Mens Jungle Moc CT
Birki's Super Birkenstock, Black
Dansko Men's Professional Mule
Merrell Men's Jungle Moc Pro Grip
Nubuck Slip-Resistant Work Shoe

1. TOP PICK: Calzuro Autoclavable Clog with Upper Ventilation

If clogs are your thing for the work place, look no further than the autoclavable clog from Calzuro.

These are my top rated clog for many good reasons. I have a number of male colleagues that have opted for this clog from Calzuro and they absolutely swear by them.

If you’re on your feet all day, you really should choose the best nurses’ shoe you can afford.

Not only is the fit great over a range of sizes, but these also feature very robust arch support for better posture and gate.

The plastic material used, along with the open-top allows for maximum breathability. The shoe is also extremely flexible and obviously very easy to clean.

This flexibility helps provide stress absorption as you walk and stand, and with the design being so wide, a good pair of socks can also be worn. (This extra space also means additional clog liners can be inserted.)

On top of all these great features, the Calzuro clog comes in a range of colors for you to add a little personality to your choice of footwear.

With so many customers singing the praises of these nurses’ clog, it really is difficult to fault them. In short, these are the ones to buy.

2. Dansko Wide Professional Clog

Another great Clog manufacturer is Dansko, (I rated their Mule clog as the top pick nurses shoe for women)

The same design ethos applies for these men’s work shoes too of course; if you are on your feet for up to 10 hours a day, you will want something of this quality to keep those aches and pains at bay.

These do exude a superior aesthetic to my top pick Calzuro, which is something to consider when choosing the best nurses clog for your needs.

Comfort-wise there is a lot to like here. Featuring rich leather uppers, and a roomy toe box it is clear that these are designed for extended daily use.

A shock-absorbent outsole combined with the rocker bottom all helps maintain comfort while ensuring your posture is good.

A contoured leather insole continues the superior comfort levels, and it is worth noting that the extra room with the clog helps prevent pain from feet swelling throughout the day.

Considering I personally use the Dansko Wide Professional Clog for women, I am inclined to rate the men’s version very highly too. In all honesty you will not go wrong with a pair of these for work.

3. Merrell Men’s Encore Gust Slip-On Shoe

Another slip-on work shoe from Merrell now, (you will see a number of offerings from Merrell have made my top 10; these guys are consistently producing quality affordable nurses’ work shoes; their output is most impressive in fact).

Named the Men’s Encore Gust, these are actually a very stylish work shoe.

Featuring an upper made of genuine leather, the quality continues on the inside of the shoe with a mesh fabric treated with antimicrobial enhancers.

In other words, if your feet tend to get sweaty and a little pongy, these slip-on will help keep all of that at bay.

Furthermore, the removable insoles not only mean if things do get a bit rotten you can easily replace them, but you can also fit custom orthotics should you need.

The spacious toe box helps breathability and combats against the pain caused by swelling.

The midsole is made of M-Select EVA material; this increases the comfort levels and makes the shoe suitable for those that might have suffered from a foot injury in the past.

(This takes the shoe out of the realm of a work-based solution, to something that can be worn during injury recovery.)

This midsole is also designed with a shank to help arch support.

A sticky rubber outsole is exactly what you need for the demands of a healthcare working environment, (increased surface traction), while also making things nice and easy to clean.

Overall, another great slip-on shoe from Merrell.

4. KEEN Utility Men’s PTC Slip On Work Shoe

This Utility PTC work shoe from Keen is a good, functional choice for those that find themselves on their feet all day.

It is a slip-on, closed clog lined with comfortable breathable leather and features a strong, padded heel.

The upper is made from stain and water-resistant leather, making it an ideal candidate for healthcare environments.

For added comfort, the structure of the shoe (i.e the upper leather) is quite malleable, making this an easy shoe to slip on and off.

A touch that I especially like is the removable memory foam insole. Memory foam is a wonderful addition to any shoe for superior comfort, and the fact you can replace this if and when it becomes worn is a great feature.

The EVA midsole is designed to cradle and support your feet, (much needed if you are walking too and fro all day long);

The sole is slip-resistant which is a definite prerequisite for anyone looking for a safe shoe for work.

Overall, the Keen Utility Men’s Work Shoe will provide the comfort and durability you need as a busy nurse or doctor.

5. Crocs Men’s and Women’s Bistro Clog; Slip On Nurses Work Shoe

No top 10 work shoe for nurses would be complete without something from Crocs.

This well-known brand, with its distinctive styling, knows a thing or two about producing a comfortable clog that can withstand the demands of a busy working environment.

I have had a pair myself over the years, and I also know of male colleagues that swear by them.

Yes, you need to appreciate the aesthetic to go down the Crocs, Clog route, but if they appeal to you, you’ll definitely enjoy the comfort you need when on your feet all day.

Specifically designed for nurses and chefs, these clogs differ in that the shaft is almost a whole inch away from the arch.

Not only does this make the shoe very flexible, but it also provides the space you need for your feet to feel at home.

The outer is nice and thick, (adding to the durability and safety aspect), and like all good Crocs these are very easy to clean.

Fun and affordable, with comfort and durability in spades these Crocs come highly recommended.

6. Merrell Work Mens Jungle Moc CT

The Jungle Moc from Merrell ticks all the boxes when it comes to a comfortable work shoe for nurses.

Lightweight yet sturdy and well built, the slip-on design is perfect for a busy healthcare environment.

Featuring full-grain leather uppers, (which are water-resistant meaning any nasty spills will not seep through to your feet).

The lining is also designed to prevent moisture during a busy where your feet may begin to sweat. Breathability is an important aspect of any work shoe I am sure you would agree.

Other nice additions include abrasion-resistant toe caps and pull-on tabs at the rear to aid shoe removal.

Compression-moulded EVA midsoles assist with the overall comfort, (acting like shock absorbers to your feet). The dual-density sticky rubber outsoles will ensure you’re not slipping and sliding about the ward like an out of control ice-skater. J

Overall an excellent nurses shoe at an affordable price.

7. Birki’s Super Birkenstock, Black

The Super Birkis are another comfortable shoe that provide the stability you need for a busy day.

They are actually a Uni-sex option, however, I decided to add them here in the men’s section as I have male colleagues that wear them (and rate them), but haven’t tried a pair myself.

There’s good arch support of course, with replaceable and interchangeable insoles, meaning you can choose a different type of insole if you desire.

The shoe is manufactured using full-grain leather adding to the overall durability. Slip resistance is all present and correct, these are also nice and easy to clean.

Well worth checking out.

8. Dansko Men’s Professional Mule

The Dansko professional Mule are an excellent option for nurses. So much so, I have awared these as the best nurses clog for women in 2019.

Made with the same standards, the male version of these clogs exude quality.

The leather upper looks great while being sturdy too. The end of the foot with the toe box is roomy and made from an anti-microbial inner lining to keep those bad odors from setting.

The heel is made from a super-absorbent material that makes you feel you’re walking on air. You really can end your shift without the common aches and pains in the foot by wearing a set of these.

Overall a fantastic shoe for nurses, specifically designed for demanding work environments.

9. Merrell Men’s Jungle Moc Pro Grip Nubuck Slip-Resistant Work Shoe

I’ll finish this top 10 male nurse shoe round up with the superb Jungle Moc Pro Grip from, yes you’ve seen that right, Merrell. (Maybe I should take shares in the company, recommending so many of their offerings).

A lot of this is down to colleagues and general customer reviews I might add. These guys are definitely doing something right when it comes to workplace footwear.

Featuring water resistant uppers, this slip-on is comfortable and durable in equal measures.

The underfoot is designed to be flexible, and the sole constructed specifically for indoor use.

This is another shoe built to keep away the nasty odors, the Jungle Moc features M-Select FRESH antimicrobial agents to help you keep fresh all day every day.

The supportive nylon arch shank helps the wearer maintain a healthy gate and posture, which is important if you’re on your feet all day.

Overall, another worthwhile addition from Merrell in my top 10 list.

Top 5 Best Tennis Shoes for Nurses

nurse smiling

TOP PICK: New Balance Women’s Training Shoe
(available in white/black)
PUMA Women’s Tazon 6 Cross-Training Shoe
(available in white)
ASICS Gel Resolution 6 Woman’s Tennis Shoe
Nike Women’s Court Lite Tennis Shoe
K-Swiss Women’s Training Shoe (available in black)

1. TOP PICK: New Balance Women’s Training Shoe (available in white/black)

The New Balance Women’s Training Shoe is my top pick tennis shoe for nurses (for women) because it ticks every single box going.

I have a pair of these and when I am not wearing my clogs, this is what I go for. They’re extremely comfortable, affordable and stylish without being overt which Is exactly what you need in the workplace.

Not only that, but a ton of people also swear by them. The user reviews speak for themselves for this training shoe from New Balance.

A consistent best-seller, it is difficult to find a negative opinion about them. And considering the volume of shoes being sold, that is quite an achievement.

However, enough of the hyperbole, what exactly are you getting here?

First off this sneaker features what New Balance has labeled ABZORB’s rubber heel technology.

This, of course, is designed to increase comfort by adding superior support to the heel area of the foot.

Wearing these provides extra cushioning and compression resistance exactly where you need it most.

The sneaker also has an internal shank reinforced for improved stability and control.

The heel of the shoe is actually quite large at 1.75″. This does aid posture however, forcing forward mobility that will help keep you ‘bouncing’ through the clinic/ward on a busy day.

Superior comfort and design exist within the insole of course. Inside your feet will enjoy a breathable textile lining with a padded mesh tongue that helps stabilize the fit.

A removable EVA foam footbed also adds to the overall support and can be easily replaced should odors take hold.

A nonmarking rubber outsole complete with shock-absorbent qualities lines the bottom of the sneaker, ensuring long-lasting comfort and grip as you make your rounds.

Overall, this is a winning nurse’s sneaker from New Balance. These guys have been in the game for a long time, (over 100 years no less) and the design, comfort and price point of what we have here is self-evident.

My number one pick for good reason.

2. PUMA Women’s Tazon 6 Cross-Training Shoe (available in white)

Another great training shoe for nurses comes courtesy of PUMA, a brand that needs no introduction of course.

The Tazon 6 Cross-Training Shoe is a high-quality athletic sneaker that calls upon the legacy R&D that the company has invested in for the best part of 50 years.

The exterior features smooth leather and synthetic upper that include breathable perforations to allow for better airflow.

As I have mentioned above, there is nothing worse than that hot, swelling feeling you can get in your feet when wearing an inferior product for multiple hours.

No fear of that happening here.

Beyond the breathable exterior PUMA has fitted the sneaker with an EcoOrthoLite sock liner. Not only does this add to the comfort levels, but the inbuilt breathable mesh lining also keeps that airflow at a maximum.

You’d be forgiven to think that with all that breathability the show itself may be thin and lack strength.

Again, that’s not the case. The padded collar and tongue add stability and snugness, with the sturdy high-rebound cushioned midsole protect your feet while adding to the overall sturdiness of the sneaker.

The outer sole completes the robustness test, the rubber surface providing both the support and forward mobility for a busy day at the office.

PUMA has excelled in producing stylish, durable sneakers with the support and comfort required of today’s top athletes. That same technology and know-how allow for nurses to feel great on their feet over a long and demanding day.

A worthy addition to my top 10 tennis shoes for nurses and close contender for the number 1 spot.

3. ASICS Gel Resolution 6 Woman’s Tennis Shoe

Another well known sneaker brand now in the form of ASICS. Their Gel Resolution 6 Tennis Shoe is a no-brainer choice for those looking for a simple and affordable solution to their nursing footwear needs.

The ASICS gel resolution aspect of the tennis shoe helps provide a shock-absorbing rear and forefoot GEL Cushioning System.

This, of course, is all about reducing strain on all areas of your foot as you stand on them all day.

By helping to reduce the fatigue you stay comfortable for longer, making this an ideal tennis shoe for nurses.

The simple design means synthetic/fabric materials have been used throughout the construction of the shoe. These help keep things light and breathable.

A supportive, form-fitting midsole helps stabilize the feet both from a posture standpoint and the way pressure is spread across the sole as you walk.

A toe protector is another nice addition helpful to nurses, catching your nubs on equipment will no longer have you hopping around trying to contain the swear words.

The bottoms feature a non-marking, abrasion-resistant outsole. This made from rubber for improved traction. You can also expect increased longevity, even when used daily.

Overall the ASICS Gel Resolution 6 Tennis Shoe is a top notch choice for busy nurses. And if you’re feeling bold, these also come in a wide range of colors two. A way to brighten up your patient’s day.

4. Nike Women’s Court Lite Tennis Shoe

No top 10 list of tennis shoes for nurses would be complete without an offering from Nike.

And if you’re a true fan of the brand or after a comfortable sneaker with style, your search could very well end here.

Superior design is clearly the name of the game with Nike and you will not be disappointed with their Court Lite Tennis Shoe.

Featuring soft padding on both the tongue and heel you will notice the comfort levels as soon as you slide the shoe on.

As you would expect from a sports shoe, the tongue has an inbuilt breathable mesh to keep both circulations up and smells at bay.

The side of the shoe is also furnished with slots to increase that all-important airflow.

A Phylon midsole stretches across the full length of the tennis shoe for the kind of support an athlete or hard-working nurse requires.

This midsole also provides a spring to the step.

The GDR rubber outer sole features grooved traction for extra stability while running along shiny, polished ward floors.

Overall the Nike Women’s Court Lite Tennis Shoe provides exactly what you would expect from one of the world’s leading sports brands.

The shoe is a great choice for nurses that are looking for a sneaker with superior design, fit, comfort and functionality.

5. K-Swiss Women’s Training Shoe (available in black)

The K-Swiss Women’s CMF Training Shoe is ideal for a busy nurse who finds themselves on their feet all day.

Combining superior styling with comfort, this training shoe goes that extra mile when it comes to aesthetics.

The beautiful upper leather stitch detailing and classic K-Swiss branding ensure that this standout when on your feet.

A high-quality memory foam footbed provides the stability and comfort a nurse needs. Add that to the cushioned lining and soft yet sturdy insole and you have a sneaker built to be worn for extended hours.

The outsole has a thick rubber traction pattern, that not only adds to the shock-absorbent qualities, it will also ensure you don’t slip and slide about the floor when things get rushed.

What more can I say, if you’re after high-styling, superior comfort at a good price, the K-Swiss brand has delivered.

Well worth checking out.

The Four Main Types of Nurses Shoes Explained

nurses clog close up


Nursing clogs appeared frequently in our top 10 and there is good reason for this. Not only are they designed to be comfortable, they also provide superior support to the arch and heels.

Furthermore, their protective design suits the demands of a busy medical environment.

The most common clog type will feature closed toes and an open back. Depending on the design, the clog may also have an optional rear strap to help secure the shoe in place.

(Newer designs have seen the introduction of a closed-back in order to provide a more stable fit).

Appropriate clogs for nurses will also provide increased traction and slip resistance.

Manufacturers often use waterproof materials, alongside superior arch support as well as reinforced toe guards; all of these improvements have helped make the clog a very popular choice for nurses.


nurses croc

Crocs have proven to be another popular choice for healthcare professionals.

Made from a solid foam resin, crocs are designed with a low-level or closed heel design, yet feature an ingenious closed vent air portal at the front in order to aid air circulation.

This closed air portal design helps to protect the wearer from germs or accidental spills. (Note, crocs or also available with open front end portals; some medical institutions do not allow these as the foot is not sufficiently protected).

Similar to clogs, the open back variants will often include rear strap support. Due to the manufacturing process, these straps are made from a solid resin that is part of the single mold that actually creates the shoe.

Podiatrists will often recommend crocs to people suffering from certain medical issues, due to their increased comfort and support.

Athletic (tennis and sport) shoes

athletic shoe for nurses

Athletic shoes are so widely available they have naturally become a popular choice of footwear for nurses.

Due to the billions of dollars well-known manufactures of sports shoes have spent on R&D over the years, performance and comfort levels are usually very high.

Not only that, but with the wide range of style and designs, there are naturally athletic shoes available that are able to provide the superior support, traction and safety elements that a nurse requires.

Essentially, athletic shoes feature optimum shock absorption, while also being lightweight, flexible, and very often stylish too.

Casual shoes

casual shoe

For nurses that only spend a moderate time on their feet every day, a casual walking shoe or slip-on can be a sufficiently comfortable solution.

Widely available and often very affordable, these attractively designed shoes very rarely feature optimal levels of comfort, safety or support, however in a low-stress environment they are a good choice.

What to Look for When Buying a Pair of Nurses Shoes

Nurses and doctors at work

Buying a new pair of nurses’ shoes is no simple task. The highest quality shoes do not come cheap and considering you’ll be wearing them all day and naturally want them to be as comfortable as possible, well, you will want to make the right choice.

There are of course some constructive ways you can go about buying the best pair of nurses shoes for you. And even if you are purchasing them online, (without the chance of trying them on first) the following points will help you even more.

Let’s take a closer look…

The correct size

Buying a shoe that is the correct size may seem an obvious point to make, however, it is something you shouldn’t take for granted.

For this, you should pull out the tape measure and actually measure your feet. Be sure to do it after your feet have been out of a shoe for a few hours, (and definitely not straight after work).

To measure your true shoe size, you do not want your feet to be swollen or have experienced any other stress from you walking on them all day.

Also, remember that a hard-wearing clog will not have any ‘give’. If you opt for something a fraction too tight, there is no opportunity to wear them in. They will remain tight during the lifespan of the shoe.

Material & Build Quality of the Upper

sports shoes for nurses

As you may have read throughout the reviews above, the quality of the shoe upper is important for both durability, safety, and comfort.

Check the specifications of the shoe to ensure that the upper part is made from a material that is both simple to clean, (you’ll experience all sorts of spillages on the medical frontline) and hard-wearing.

Try not to be too seduced by a classy looking suede or leather number; they may hit the mark stylistically, however cleaning up certain stubborn liquids will become an issue.

Material and build quality of the sole

Just as the upper needs to be durable and easy to clean, the sole of the shoe does too. Furthermore, the material used here needs to offer plenty of traction.

Good nursing shoes generally have a rubber sole and it is easy to see why; it ticks the boxes of being both easy to wipe clean and hard-wearing. As long as the manufacturer has added a suitable tread to the bottom, you will have all the grip you need too.

Arch Size and Support

foot arch types

Generally speaking, people fall into two categories of foot shape, those with a high arch and those with a shallow arch.

And while many shoes opt for a middle-ground yet provide cushioning so that the comfort levels are universal, there are shoes around that cater specifically for those aforementioned foot shapes.

You need to bear this in mind when choosing which nurse’s shoe to buy. Unintentionally opt for a high arch shoe when your foot shape is a low arch, and you will not find it very comfortable at all.

In fact, one very common condition nurses experienced from wearing ill-fitting footwear is plantar fasciitis. The result is inflammation of the band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes.

As explained by podiatrist Julia Overstreet, DMP, FAPWCA, (Director of the American Foot Care Nurses Association); this can be remedied by either correcting the footwear with arch supports or opting for a shoe that provides the correct shape arch in relation to your foot.

In cases such as this, there is no better test than actually trying the shoe on first to ensure that your arch is fully supported.

Style, patterns, and color

tennis shoes for nurses

The overall fashion and style of a shoe will have little bearing on the comfort level, however, it could help narrow down your choices should you find a number of options to go for.

That being said, a darker color can be more practical in a medical setting, just because the inevitable stains and marks will not show up so much.

Other practical issues such as going for a slip-on style for easy removal, or a wider-soled shoe because your feet tend to swell during the day are all worth considering too.

All said and done, a little bit of research will go a long way to ensuring that you buy the right nurse’s shoe for you.

Why Finding the Right Pair of Nurses Shoes is so Important

nurse and baby happy

A busy nurse can spend over 50% of their working day on their feet.

Wearing uncomfortable shoes under such circumstances can lead to a wide range of ailments.

Ill-fitting footwear that doesn’t provide the right type of support for your specific foot shape, size and weight is a common cause of complex and long-lasting leg, knee and back issues.

In fact, Epidemiological investigations indicate that nursing professionals experience a higher prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) than most other occupational groups.

Not only that, but your overall performance can be impeded too.

Spending time to find the right pair of nurses shoes can lead to the following benefits:
  • Less severe (and even the complete avoidance of) foot & back pain,
  • Prevents more serious spinal issues and injuries
  • Helps reduce stress and discomfort, (resulting in better performance)
  • Assist your balance making you more secure on your feet, (helpful in a busy medical ward)

Comfortable feet has a large impact on your daily well-being

In the 2017 study, “Nurses’ Perceptions of Their Foot Health: Implications for Occupational Health Care“, 14 operating room nurses participated in a series of in-depth interviews on the health of their feet.

The results showed that participants regarded foot health as a significant part of work well-being. Furthermore, it was recommended that nurses have annual foot health assessments, and that foot self-care education should be provided by occupational health professionals.

A recommendation that has seen little take-up over the last 2 years, unfortunately. This is something that needs to change, however.

That being said, a recent study has shown that the closed heel nursing shoes market has and will continue to demonstrate growth through to 2025, indicating that today’s healthcare professionals are taking their choice of footwear more seriously.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the problems that can occur should you buy the wrong pair of nurses shoes, and suffer prolonged discomfort.

Most common foot problems from wearing the wrong nurse’s shoes

While every healthcare worker will have experienced arriving home after a long day of work with, aching and tired feet, for many people this can be an underlying symptom of something more serious.

Common Foot Problems

The most common foot problems initiated by bad shoes include:

Knee and Spine Injuries

It is not uncommon for knee and even spinal problems to occur after sustained use of ill-fitting nurse’s shoes.

Footwear that does not provide adequate support impacts your posture and can end up misaligning your entire body. If your feet are not supported correctly, the knee will be affected due to excessive force being directed to the joint.

More often than not, this level of force is disproportionate between the two knee joints, creating problems with one’s posture.

This can then trigger a shift in the pelvic position, which misaligns the base of the spine and can eventually lead to a condition called Vertebral Subluxation.

All of this can be alleviated by wearing the right pair of nurses shoes.

About Hannah Drake

Hannah Drake, RN, CSP is a registered nurse and owner and founder of Nurse Focus. Her nursing career spans almost two decades, and in that time she has developed her skill base across a variety of settings, including med surg nursing, clinical informatics system administration and implementation, and healthcare community management. Contact Hannah.

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