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student nurses

As you start out as a student nurse and begin working on the ward for the first time, the subject of what shoes to wear will obviously come up.

When starting out you might not know what to expect, or even what type of shoe you should have.

Comfort and support are the most important factors. However, this can come in all sorts of forms.

Nurses wear everything from normal work shoes, clogs, sneakers, and slip-on shoes. Choosing the right ones for you as a student nurse can be difficult.

While I have created a very in-depth guide to some of the best nurses’ shoes available here. It is a good idea for you to know the pros and cons of each type first.

So that’s what we will look into today.

The Three Main Categories of Nursing Shoes


nurses clog close up

Clogs are one of the most popular shoes for nurses. You are probably already familiar with what a clog looks like.

They have a closed heel and closed toes, in a design that offers a nurse a lot of protection.

At the same time, clogs are spacious and easy to get on and off. Their popularity with nurses also means that you can find clogs specifically designed for healthcare professionals.

They offer greater support for daily use over a number of hours, while also being easy to clean and durable. Attributes suitable for student nurses and beyond.

There are two main drawbacks to clogs, however. Despite their suitability to nursing, you might find them slightly cumbersome to wear. They are clunky on the feet, and I will admit to preferring sneakers to clogs, despite the spaciousness of the latter.

Also, it is difficult to find clogs that are aesthetically pleasing. This is a minor flaw mind you, as comfort should always come above style, (it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t aim for both).


nike flat feet sneakers

If you are a student nurse entering a more fast-paced medical environment, ( ICUs and Emergency rooms for example), my recommended type of shoe would be the sneaker.

You will be on your feet and running around in this scenario, so grip and comfort and the factors to concentrate on.

Sneakers and/or tennis shoes are especially suited to this due to their design. They allow for maximum traction with the floor so that you can maneuver with ease.

Quality sneakers will also feature extra in-sole padding and be designed to fit the contours of your feet.

On the negative, sneakers are not as easy to clean when compared to clogs. They also offer less protection against spillages and sharp objects that may fall onto your feet.

From an aesthetic point of you, you will be spoilt for choice. The huge range of sneakers available means you will definitely find ones that suit your style preferences.

Slip-On Shoes

slip on shoe

Slip-on shoes are a good option in work environments where you need to change or remove footwear at regular intervals. (This could be due to hygiene issues in different sections of the hospital for example).

Again, it is possible to find slip-on shoes specifically designed for nurses.

This means they attempt to balance attributes such as grip, comfort, and protection, alongside the fact they have no heel at the back and are easy to get on and off.

Slip-on shoes also come in a range of colors and patterns, meaning whatever your student nurse taste might be, you will be covered.

Final Words

There’s a lot to think about when you start the practical side of your student nurse learning. Hitting the wards for the first time is definitely nerve-wracking.

By ensuring that you have comfortable footwear that you are happy with, you will definitely have an easier time as you begin this exciting stage of your career.

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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