An occupational inevitability of being a healthcare worker is that you spend countless hours on your feet every day.
These hours take a toll on your body in all manner of ways. I have spoken in-depth about some of the health risks that can arise here. I have also talked about how to remedy sore feet here.
Today, though, I am going to take a different approach. Rather than treatment of the symptoms, there are ways you can help to head them off at the pass, so to speak.
That’s through buying the right type of shoes for you. NurseFocus is full of reviews on shoes that can help in this regard. But what should you be looking for when purchasing shoes for standing all day?
That’s exactly what I am going to discuss today.
So if you’re ready, let’s jump to it.
Factors to consider when buying nurses’ shoes for standing all-day
What exactly is different about a pair of shoes that are suitable for standing all day?
The fact is, a helluva lot!
Manufacturers have spent billions of combined dollars on research and development into their shoe designs in an effort to help with posture, gate, and comfort for workers such as nurses (and anyone that stands for long hours).
At the same time, these “ergonomic” design features are created so that the risk of developing injuries to muscles, joints, and other health issues is severely reduced.
These design features come in a number of forms.
- Related Content: Student Nursing – Choosing the Right Type of Shoes
1. Heel and Arch Support
Let’s start with one of the important areas, heel and arch support. Standing all day creates a lot of pressure on the base of the foot and around the ankles, including the fragile tendons and ligaments of the plantar fascia.
It is this strain that causes a lot of the pain that is experienced from standing all day. It is also the weakening of this area of the body that causes relevant long-term damage.
Arched support is crucial here, with in-soles and the base of the shoe shape designed to offer as much support as possible.
Look for shoes that have in-sole shapes designed to mimic the plantar fascia. These offer far superior support, (many Asics sneakers have what’s called TRUSSTIC system technology that purports to do just that).
Flat soles are a real problem for standing all day and should be avoided.
2. Shock absorbent Qualities
Work shoes designed for standing all day need high shock-absorbent qualities.
The reason is quite obvious. The impact made from walking (and sometimes running) with your feet constantly hitting the floor, needs to be absorbed by your shoes, not your feet.
An outer sole that is too thin or does not have the right qualities will relay that impact strain directly onto the soles of your feet.
Many manufacturers use fancy terms for the shock absorbent qualities of their shoes, however, it is relatively easy to filter through the bull to see the benefits that such design elements bring.
Using Asics as an example once more, they have a dynamic Duomax support system, that offers greater stability for the foot and helps to ensure impact strains are absorbed by the shoe’s material rather than you.
3. Lightweight Construction
Another factor that helps make a shoe suitable for all day on your feet is a lightweight construction.
When you are tired during a long shift, your feet can feel like lead at the best of times. The last thing you want is to compound the issue with heavy, cumbersome shoes.
You, of course, have to balance the lightweight shoe with other important attributes, however, the technology today means that lightweight does not mean less in the way of support, strength, and longevity.
4. Sufficient Padding and Comfortable Cushioning
Padding and cushioning are vital, however, it does need to be part of the shoe in the correct way.
Breathability is important, (see below), as is roominess and correct fit. I.e the padding should work to the contours of your feet, not against them.
To a degree, it can be difficult to understand this completely, without trying on the shoe.
That being said, the varying levels of extra cushioning and padding provided by manufacturers, do mean that as long as you look out for brands that take this seriously, you will be in the right place for shoes suitable for standing all day.
Some shoe brands actually utilize dedicated insole technologies to bring the latest advancements to their designs. Spevafoam is one such breakthrough that offers enhanced cushioning attributes.
5. High Traction Outsoles
While high traction outsoles are more a factor of workplace suitability rather than something that will help you on your feet all day, it is still very important for a nurse.
Floors get slippery, and sometimes you are in a rush. This is where a number of work-related injuries can occur, by simply falling over because of a slippery surface.
This means you need to pay attention to the tread of your shoes and look out for that all-important non-slip sole.
Finally, there is the issue of breathability.
With your feet cooped up in those shoes all day, they are going to get hot and sweaty. Not only can this cause your shoes to smell, but it can also actually make your feet swell too.
Breathability will reduce the chances of all of this and the discomfort associated with it.
A well-ventilated shoe (normally achieved by being made from breathable materials) allows for the free circulation of air within the shoe.
This carries away the moisture from inside the shoe, leaving your feet dry, comfortable, and hopefully odor-free.
- Related Content: Compression socks for Nurses: Tips and Questions Answered
And there you have it, my top pointers to consider when buying a new pair of nurses’ shoes. It is important to ensure that all of the above is sufficiently achieved by the shoes that you buy. Only then can you hope to achieve ongoing comfort when on your feet all day.