Stressful, tiring, and demanding, the job of a nurse is one of the most challenging in the world. Nurses rarely ever have the time to sit down and rest, and if you’re not comfortable during your 36-hour shift, expect some bodily aches and pains once you clock out.
If you’ve been working as a nurse for a while, you probably already know how important it is to invest in a suitable pair of shoes. With the appropriate footwear, you can curb some of that pain and maximize your energy to see you through that tiring shift.
Now the only question is – what are the best shoes for nurses on the market? We weigh in with this definitive buying guide and review the top pairs.
Top 15 Shoes for Nurses Comparison Table
These Shoes Were Made for Working – Finding a Suitable Pair of Nurse Shoes
Ask any nurse, and they will probably tell you that they’ve used a number of different nursing shoe designs throughout their career; this is because there isn’t just one nursing shoe blueprint. The choices can be incredibly varied, and you might be surprised to find hundreds of suitable options out there that aren’t even marketed to nurses.
Don’t feel overwhelmed though – there is a suitable shoe design out there for you. Just narrow down the options by taking these major considerations into account.
As you may have guessed, comfort should be your primary consideration when searching for the best shoes for nurses. On the job, nurses spend most of their time walking, standing, and moving around. For that reason, their feet are prone to pain, discomfort, and even at times, injury as a result of chronic fatigue.
The comfort of a nursing shoe is determined by three factors – fit, cushioning, and ventilation.
- Fit – Takes into account the way the shoe accommodates the size and shape of your feet. Proper fit can be determined by assessing whether the shoe presses against bony prominences such as your ankles and the joints of your toes.
A properly fitting shoe should also give you just enough room around your foot to accommodate movement. Anything too tight can cause pain, and anything too loose can cause discomfort and unease.
- Cushioning – Refers to the padded surfaces of a shoe, including the insoles and the collar where it wraps around your ankle.
Plush padding and soft cushions make for a comfortable step. However, the downside to overly cushioned shoes is that they may sacrifice ventilation and fit. Some shoes are made from soft, pliable materials themselves, doing away with the necessity for cushions and padding. These fit much better and provide better breathability, but they are prone to losing their shape after some time of use.
- Ventilation – Shoes that are too warm can be very uncomfortable. As nurses are almost always on the go, any footwear that doesn’t permit air to move through can cause significant sweating and even the development of foul odors and bacteria.
Some nursing shoes feature ventilation holes around the sides of the shoes to air out your feet and prevent the accumulation of sweat. Others use special linings that wick away sweat to maintain a cool, dry comfort. Then there are those made from soft, breathable fabrics.
As each one of us might have a different set of standards and preferences, each of these designs might offer varying levels of satisfaction. Consider your standards for comfort and then choose the most appropriate ventilation mechanism from there.
Traction and Slip Resistance
Being a nurse means attending to hundreds of patients in a single day and doing it all as fast as possible. This job requires you to be quick on your feet to attend to each patient in a timely and efficient manner. Unfortunately, slipping is one of the major occupational hazards for nurses simply because hospital floors aren’t always 100% free from moisture.
That said, another feature to look at is traction. Shoes that resist slipping can save you from injury and accidents.
Traction can be determined by checking a shoe’s sole material and tread pattern.
- The soles are usually made of materials like rubber, synthetic mixtures, and polyurethane and offer substantial slip resistance in a variety of settings.
- Tread pattern, on the other hand, pertains to the design etched into the soles. It improves friction and gives shoes a more substantial bite on different surfaces.
Aggressive tread patterns with deep engravings and widely spaced sections are much better at resisting slipping. However, the trade-off is that these types of treads are prone to accumulating dirt, filth, and bacteria, which can become a hazard to your health.
Sanitation and Maintenance
Let’s face it – hospital floors are some of the filthiest in the world. They are exposed to different diseases, germs, and bacteria, and walking around a hospital all day means picking up these contaminants with your shoes.
So for your safety and health, it is important that you choose nursing shoes that you can easily clean to prevent the further spread of disease-causing contaminants.
In fact, this is why some shoes don’t incorporate fabric at all. Rubber or synthetic materials are much easier to wipe down and sanitize minus all the tedious scrubbing and drying.
Shoes with too many textured surfaces are also prone to accumulating more filth. Unless you are prepared and willing to go through the task of cleaning such shoes on a regular basis, it would be in your best interest to look for options that have smoother surfaces that are simpler to clean.
Support and Special Considerations
Support refers to how well the shoe cradles the curves, shape, and contours of your feet to prevent injury from poor weight distribution. Naturally, our feet have arches along the medial border that helps distribute our weight evenly over the ball of the foot and the heel.
Contoured shoes that fit properly into these arches will help prevent poor or uneven weight distribution and will help guarantee a proper step every time. Some shoes also have specially designed choices for people with overpronation or flat feet, and oversupination or high arches.
Another special consideration you may want to think about is the width. Shoes that are too narrow can compromise weight bearing and cause pain over time. If you have a wider toe span, look for shoes that are explicitly labeled wide so you can steer clear of potential pain or injury.
15 Best Shoes for Nurses Reviews
1. Dansko Women’s Professional Mule – Best Nursing Shoes for Women
One of the most well-known brands of nursing shoes is Dansko. It has been around for over 20 years, specializing in manufacturing shoes for nurses that maximize comfort.
The brand has a lot of different designs under its belt, but probably its proudest nursing shoe to date is the Dansko Professional Mule. This shoe design, which is stripped of all the fancy bells and whistles, boasts a streamlined silhouette and a smooth texture for easy cleaning.
The uppers are made from premium full grain leather which does have some resistance to it. We thought this was great as it makes the shoe feel extra durable and well put together. You should also note that the leather does break-in over time, which makes the shoe feel more comfortable as the days wear on.
Speaking of comfort, the Dansko Professional Mule is also exceptionally comfortable to use. The insoles are soft and pliable, contouring just enough during weight bearing. Inside the shoe is a responsive rocker bottom which gives you a slightly springier step. It was designed to reduce fatigue, and we find that it definitely holds up to that promise.
Another feature that makes these shoes so comfortable is the soft, padded instep collar and footbed. We found that this subtle design feature didn’t only make it easier on the feet, but also helped keep the shoe from coming off unintentionally. Plus, the material used is incredibly light and porous, allowing substantial air circulation for cool, dry comfort all day long.
Regarding traction, the Dansko Professional Mules once again do a great job. The polyurethane outsole absorbs quite a bit of shock and gives you some bounce to your step. It puts your momentum to use, allowing you to get around without using as much energy as other shoes with less responsive soles. They also have just the right tread pattern to give you significant grip without making the shoes prone to accumulating dirt, grime, and filth.
Probably the only downside we found was the low shaft. Because the shoe doesn’t wrap around the ankles, it may not provide the ankle support some users need. Nonetheless, the Dansko Professional Mules are a dream to walk in and are pretty durable – perfect for nurses who want a long-term footwear investment.
In search of a shoe that can take you from work to play? The Sketchers Sport Women’s Elite Synergy Fashion Sneaker can be the right pick for you. This ‘fashion’ sneaker from the popular Sketchers brand has become a fan favorite in the nursing circle despite not actually being advertised as a nursing shoe.
The shoes are the perfect marriage of comfort and support. Soft, responsive Elite Memory Foam insoles contour perfectly against the arches of the feet. Combined with a lightweight, breathable, and flexible design, they almost feel like a second skin.
Inside the shoe, there’s more than enough vertical space to accommodate an extra insert. Users also have the option to remove the included insert to replace it with theirs. However, we don’t think too many buyers would since the inserts themselves are substantially comfortable right out of the box.
Of course, coming from a fashion and sports brand like Sketchers, the shoes do have impressive slip resistance. The rubber sole gives some satisfying bite, allowing users to make quick turns and stops without worrying about slipping.
The sole also features a single slice across the middle of the heel and midfoot to allow the shoe to flex and bend as you walk. Unfortunately, some users have said that the soles wear out pretty quickly, especially if you use the shoes frequently over rough terrain.
The uppers – made from mesh and synthetic – offer superb ventilation and are fairly easy to clean. There are some variations however that incorporate fabric into the design. However, because this can pose a sanitation issue, it is suggested that nurses stick to synthetic and mesh options instead.
Lastly, it is worth mentioning that the sneakers are unbelievably hard-wearing. The construction is superb, and the materials are sewn together well. So, except for worn out treads, there’is really no worrying about durability with the Sketchers Sport Elite Synergy Fashion Sneaker.
As the manufacturer of the Original Yellow Boot, many buyers have been conditioned to think that the Timberland brand doesn’t really offer anything other than boots. The truth of the matter is that Timberland has a wide selection of work footware that would suit a nurse’s needs.
Of their best options, the Timberland Pro Women’s Renova Slip-On Clog is a main contender. This shoe boasts a unique anti-fatigue technology that helps reduce the energy you spend while walking and standing for optimal daily work performance. The shoe achieves this by combining an anatomically-accurate interior and a heel-to-toe rocker sole that allows you to leverage momentum for an effortless step.
Traction and shock absorption are also very impressive. The soles which are made from synthetic feature a narrow-spaced clover-like pattern that creates superb friction so you can stop and turn with confidence. In combination with the responsive midsole, the shoes can significantly reduce shock upon heel strike. They are comfortable, natural, and energy efficient.
Inside the shoes lies a soft Bi-Fit Tri-Density footbed that cradles the heel and accommodates the arches of the feet. It is then lined with Dryz Intellitemp covers that help wick away moisture and maintain optimal temperatures in the shoes. It also helps manage bacteria and germs to prevent the development of foul odors.
The Timberland Pro Renova Slip-On boasts white leather uppers that look neat and clean, perfect for use in hospitals. However, what truly makes them ideal is the fact that they are coated in 3M Scotchguard. This super durable coating prevents stains, keeping your shoes looking fresh and presentable even after years of use. Despite this, some complained that the uppers loosen up significantly over time. So you may need to buy the shoes a size smaller to start as they will stretch when you break them in.
To top it all off, the Renova Slip-On uses impressive stitching to keep all the parts of the shoe securely attached to each other. In fact, compared to any other option on this list, we found that the Renova Slip-Ons were the most resilient in terms of construction, so they can easily withstand the daily wear and tear.
4. New Balance Men’s Mid626K2 Work Shoe – Best Shoes for Male Nurses
Another brand that’s making rounds in the nursing circle is New Balance. They are better known for their athletic gear, but they have also entered the market of workers, offering some pretty decent designs. Based on our research, the New Balance WID626V2/MID626K2 Work Shoe is their top contender.
At a glance, the shoe looks like your run of the mill New Balance shoes. It features a combination of leather, rubber, and synthetic, and comes in a solid black or white. You will also notice is that the heel region of the sole is impressively thick, and for good reasons.
Inside the heel is an ABZORBZ crash pad that reduces the impact as you walk. It limits the shock that travels up your leg and ultimately makes for a more natural, comfortable, and energy-saving walk. The midsoles are injection molded and are particularly lightweight despite their bulky appearance.
Uppers made from leather and synthetic are stubborn straight out of the box and do significantly resist foot movements at the start. However, with time, the shoes do break-in and achieve a comfortable pliability that makes them very easy to walk in. Plus, the collars have plush padding that rests perfectly around the ankles for superb support and stability.
We found the outsoles to be particularly outstanding with the New Balance WID626V2/MID626K2 Work Shoe. The rubber outsoles feature a chevron-like pattern and are oil and slip-resistant for superior safety on hospital floors. You can rely on the shoes to give you some substantial bite even with all the zipping, turning, and running you might do on the job.
Perhaps the only issue we found with the WID626V2/MID626K2 Work Shoes is ventilation. The entire shoe is very enclosed, using materials that don’t permit airflow. So breathability is largely sacrificed, making them extra warm after a short period. Unfortunately, they also don’t have special linings for moisture and temperature control which can make them comfortable for some users.
Looking for something that will help you stay light on your feet? The Asics GEL Noosa Tri 10 Running Shoe was designed with athletes in mind, but it proves to be a top contender as a nursing shoe. Incorporating many different design elements for speed and ergonomics, the GEL Noosa Tri 10 was developed to propel you forward with effortless ease.
A lot of the magic happens throughout the sole construction. Firstly, a Propulsion Trusstic is embedded into the midsole to give the shoe greater responsiveness. With each step, this plastic piece returns energy to your feet so you can stride forward using less energy.
The midsole itself is also quite impressive. The design uses Asics lightest construction yet – the SoLyte Midsole technology which significantly reduces the weight of the entire shoe; this makes them incredibly lightweight, reducing fatigue and improving comfort.
The rear foot and forefoot of the shoe use GEL cushioning, which is one of the reasons for the design’s name altogether. It improves shock absorption to reduce the effects of heel strike impact on your ankles, knees, and legs. The WET Grip Outsole offers superb traction on both wet and dry surfaces, making the shoe incredibly stable even at high speeds.
The uppers are a combination of synthetic and mesh. They are designed to prevent blistering and irritation that happens as a result of friction thanks to the brand’s Seamless Construction technology that makes the entire upper interior stitch-free for a smooth and comfortable fit.
The forefoot of the uppers is made from a premium mesh material that gives the shoes astounding breathability. We found this to be particularly effective, allowing significant airflow and reducing sweating impressively. Finally, the shoes also provide superb support via the brand’s Dynamic DuoMax Support System which cradles the arches and curves of the feet for improved performance minus the pain.
The only issue we found with the GEL Noosa Tri 10 is maintenance. The textured uppers are prone to absorbing and accumulating contaminants in the environment. Since they are fairly difficult to clean, that might be an issue for some nurses.
Much like a few of the other brands on the list, Reebok started out in the business of athletic shoes. These days, the company has dabbled in other niches in the footwear industry, including shoes intended for work.
The Reebok Work N Cushion rubber shoes combine durability, superb construction, and intuitive design elements that make it an efficient footwear choice for hospital workers.
Most of the shoe incorporates the use of synthetic and rubber which makes it particularly easy to clean. The simple aesthetic doesn’t have too many textures, so it won’t accumulate dirt or grime. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for the outsoles.
The soles feature a unique chevron-like tread pattern with some dotted areas and offer a satisfying bite. The only issue is that because the patterns are so narrow, the soles may be difficult to clean and sanitize. Nonetheless, the design is slip-resistant and oil resistant, so there’s no issue with safety.
The uppers are made from synthetic materials stitched together very securely which can be seen from just a glance. It is this excellent stitching that gives the entire shoe superb durability, preventing wear and tear and allowing just enough flexibility for natural foot movements.
Comfort and support are both areas that the Reebok Work N Cushion excels in. A thickly padded collar perfectly accommodates the bony prominences of the ankles and keeps your foot well protected from inversion and eversion injuries. Inside, the footbed is especially soft. It responds perfectly to pressure and distributes weight evenly to accommodate the arches of the feet. Not only is this comfortable, but it also prevents poor foot positioning.
Based on what we have discovered with the Work N Cushion, it seems the only potential issue that some users might encounter is that the shoes can be difficult to wear. The midfoot can be a narrow fit, so people with wider toe spans may struggle a little with putting the shoes on.
It seems that the Sketchers brand is on a roll with all its work shoes, and we couldn’t agree more. Their Work Sure Track Slip Resistant Shoe is yet another premium model that has become a crowd favorite among lots of buyers in the nursing market.
These shoes combine leather, rubber, and some synthetic material to come up with one durable design. The uppers achieve the perfect balance between flexibility and resilience, pliable enough to move along with your feet minus the risk of giving up to wear and tear.
The rubber sole connects to the uppers with superb stitching; this prevents peeling and breaking that often occurs close to the seam of the soles and uppers. The treads feature a similar pattern used with other Sketcher work shoes. Small cuts around the edges of the outsoles allow greater flexibility for a comfortable and natural step.
A memory foam footbed lies across the entire span of the interior and provides satisfying comfort and support, accommodating your weight and curving just right to meet your arches. Perforations along the front and sides of the toe box offer satisfying breathability, allowing air to pass through the uppers for a cool, dry fit for extended periods.
Why didn’t the shoes rank higher on the list? Unfortunately, creasing issues with the uppers can cause problems with fit. Commonly, the creases develop over the toes and the counter, creating tension on the uppers that pulls the nose and the heel closer together. Ultimately, this sacrifices the length of the shoe, making them feel much shorter than they were when they first came out of the box.
What’s more, the treads can wear out quickly, sacrificing traction after just a few months of use. It is also worth mentioning that the interior of the uppers aren’t quite as comfortable as the rest of the shoe, causing some friction on the feet and toes that can develop blisters.
8. Nurse Mates Women’s Dove – Best Nursing Shoes for Wide Feet
The Nurse Mates brand – as their name suggests – caters specifically to nurses with shoes that are designed to make hospital work easier and more efficient. The Dove is probably one of their best and has earned quite a following throughout nursing communities.
Its best feature has to be the uppers. The pliable uppers are made from tumbled leather that is comfortable, soft, and forgiving. It eliminates the need for a break-in period so you can enjoy a perfect fit straight out of the box. Discreet goring elastic bands on either side of the uppers offer room for wide feet, making the Dove easy to don and doff for all foot shapes.
Keep in mind that the uppers do give in to light grain creasing around areas that are most exposed to movement. Creases will usually appear over the toe box, and the sides of the ankles and may look unappealing to some.
On the overall, the shoe doesn’t offer impressive breathability, but it is workable. Wearing an appropriate pair of socks should be a good enough solution to answer for the ventilation and moisture-wicking properties that the shoes seem to lack.
The outsoles are made from rubber and offer slip resistance that’s most effective on dry surfaces. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for wet surfaces, as the tread pattern doesn’t work too well when exposed to moisture and fluids.
The plush padded collar feels very comfortable and supportive around the ankles. Inside, an ultra soft footbed greets your feet and responds ever so slightly to changes in weight distribution. They really are satisfying to start. However, they may require replacement after some time as the insoles can lose their shape and density.
Finally, it is worth mentioning that the Doves are not the easiest to clean. Despite their leather uppers and rubber outsole, the shoes seem to accumulate dirt and grime quite easily, so expect some of the parts to give in to discoloration and stains after some time.
With so many other well-established athletic brands in the market of nursing shoes, you would expect juggernauts like Nike to follow suit. Now, while the company hasn’t actually introduced a line of shoes for the working class, some of their designs make suitable choices if you know how to seek out the right qualities.
Many nurses who have explored the Nike brand in search of viable nursing shoes have come to find that the Nike SHOX SE Running Shoe is a very worthy footwear choice for the hospital scene.
These shoes feature a unique sole design using Phylon foam and a four-column heel at the rear. The design was intended to give superb responsiveness, allowing your feet to bounce back effortlessly after each step.
Because the columns don’t cover the entire surface area of the heel, the shoes also incorporate a hard plate just between the midsole and the insole to give you a stable surface that supports the entire foot.
The result is outstanding cushioning, responsiveness, and comfort, allowing the shoe to retain most of your energy so you don’t get too tired of walking or standing.
The uppers are made from a combination of synthetic and fabric. No doubt, they are comfortable, soft to touch, pliable, and breathable. However, from a sanitation and maintenance stand-point, they may not be the best choice. The textured fabrics are particularly hard to clean and accumulate a lot of grime over a short period.
Up front, the shoes boast a spacious toe box, giving enough room for users with wider feet and toe spans. The reinforced toe bumper prevents any trauma or injury to your toes as a result of accidental impact. Inside the shoes, the footbed and linings are incredibly comfortable and soft, making it easy to wear them for extended periods.
In terms of traction, Nike definitely did impress with the SHOX. The outsole features a unique tread design that utilizes small, circular nodes distributed across the surface of the mid and forefoot. The heel area features four distinct circular nodes that fall directly below the soles’ columns. This tread design isn’t only easy to clean, but also highly reliable on both wet and dry surfaces.
Another entry from the Sketchers brand caters especially to male nurses and comes in the form of the Sketchers for Work Felton Slip Resistant Relaxed-Fit Work Shoe. This shoe was specially designed for workers who are constantly on the move, promising to give satisfying comfort, support, and protection for day to day work.
The upper material is particularly durable and feels very hard wearing straight out of the box. We found this to be true, as the shoes barely scuff up, bend, or flex along with foot movements.
Of course, this can significantly extend the lifespan of the shoe, but comfort ultimately takes a dive and makes the shoe feel too stiff and stubborn to achieve a natural step.
To provide better comfort, the shoes boast memory foam insoles that work the same way as typical bed mattress material. The collar and tongue also feature plush padding that helps support and protect the delicate parts of the feet. Ultimately, these features do give exceptional comfort where they exist.
Unfortunately, the memory foam insole stops after the heel. So the mid to forefoot region of the midsole doesn’t use the same material; this sacrifices comfort towards the ball of the foot and toes, giving an inconsistent feel throughout the footbed.
The soles – made from synthetic materials – feature the usual chevron pattern seen on most other Sketcher work shoes. It does provide pretty aggressive grip and works well on all types of surfaces. Because the tread pattern isn’t too exaggerated, it doesn’t get worn out too quickly.
In the support department, the design of the Felton shoe has a few hits and misses. The ankle region is definitely impressive, with just enough structure to prevent different types of ankle injuries. Unfortunately, this fails to translate throughout the arch as the insoles fail to accommodate the natural curves of the feet properly. It won’t be a problem for individuals with normal arches, anyone with slightly higher or lower arches might experience significant pain and discomfort after some time of use. What’s more, because the insoles are not removable, fitting your inserts could cause the shoe to become too tight.
The Dr. Scholl’s brand is dedicated to developing footwear and foot care products that maximize comfort and support. Their footwear designs have become particularly popular among individuals who require that extra cradling comfort.
While the company does cater to all types of individuals, they have also come out with specially designed work shoes that are geared towards serving workers like nurses who may need specialty footwear for on-the-job comfort and support.
Based on our research and experience, the Dr. Scholl’s Women’s Dynamo Work Shoe is one of their premier designs. This work shoe features a seamless silhouette, curving up slightly towards the toe box to rock the feet during toe-off for less energy expense.
Leather uppers give the shoe a sophisticated and classy appeal, ideal for nurses who pride themselves in their professional appearance. Aside from looking neat and clean, the uppers are also easy to maintain. Smooth leather requires very little cleaning, so wiping down the entire shoe with a damp cloth could be more than enough to have it looking like new.
The oil and slip-resistant outsole incorporates Lock Step Technology, keeping your feet firmly planted once your shoe makes contact with the ground. The soles have been designed to comply with Shoe and Allied Trade Research Association standards, guaranteeing reliable traction and workplace safety in a variety of situations.
Inside the shoe is a memory foam insert that completely encompasses the entire span of the footbed; this doesn’t only appropriately cradle the feet and the user’s weight, but also provides a cool, dry comfort that lasts all day long.
However, because there is no perfect shoe, we found there to be a few flaws with the Dynamo design. Firstly, the curving silhouette sacrifices vertical space along the region of the midfoot, so it may apply pressure downwards on the dorsum of your feet. Secondly, the shoes aren’t necessarily the most durable option out there, so you should expect to see some signs of wear and tear after a few months of use.
Finally, the Dynamo lacks ankle support, leaving the bony prominence of the ankle above the shoe’s collar. Not only does this leave room for injury, but it also digs into the skin for an uncomfortable fit.
The Sketchers for Work Slip Resistant Clog is the last Sketchers branded shoe on our list of the best nursing shoes. The silhouette is sleek and sophisticated and offers a much higher heel compared to other options.
The uppers are made from premium leather which curves slightly upward towards the toe box to give the toes more room as you walk. They also feature a large opening to make it much easier for you to slip your foot in and out of the shoe for effortless donning and doffing.
Connected to the uppers via superb and discreet stitching, the soles on these slip-on clogs are much thicker compared to other choices on our list. The treads are specifically designed to resist slipping on a variety of surfaces and give substantial grip that makes the sole safe despite their height. However, it is worth mentioning that the high platform might risk some ankle injuries.
Regarding comfort, these Sketchers clogs have a well-padded interior that makes them a dream to walk in. The soft collar also adds significant comfort to the shoe, preventing pain to the dorsum of your feet.
Sadly, we found this comfort to be compromised by the stiff leather uppers. Inside the shoe, the tight midfoot region can press down on the dorsum of your feet, just above the toes. This can cause chaffing and friction, leading to the development of skin irritation and blisters over time.
Support wise, the shoes may not meet certain users’ standards. The shaft is very low profile, exposing much of the ankle and leaving room for eversion and inversion injuries. Plus the fact that the entry for the foot is rather wide and spacious, there’s very little that holds your foot in place to prevent injuries to the ankle.
Because the soles are thick, it is easier to lose your balance. The surface area of the soles are very small compared to the size of the shoe overall. This combination further increases the chances of ankle-related accidents that often occur during fast-paced walking or moving.
The clog design is particularly popular among female nurses because it’s classy, clean, and easy to wear. So the Nurse Mates Women’s Bryar Slip-On Clog is yet another top choice that features this common nursing shoe favorite.
Compared to other clog silhouettes, however, this particular option is much leaner, making it slightly more aesthetically pleasing. Towards the toe box, the uppers and sole curve upwards and create a rocking mechanism that makes walking more effortless especially during toe off.
The material of the uppers, although durable, can be very unforgiving in terms of flexibility. The shoes can feel very stiff and may restrict flexion of the feet to make walking slightly uneasy. This remains to be true even after some use as the leather doesn’t seem to break-in too well.
The footbed of the shoe features a soft cushion that’s responsive and pliable. These accommodate shifting weight and cradle the arches of the foot both for comfort and support. Sadly, this satisfying standard of comfort doesn’t apply to the collar which lacks the padding necessary to prevent it from digging into the skin. This problem is particularly pronounced where the shoe uses goring bands.
The area around the opening of the shoe features two slices to accommodate discreetly incorporated elastic bands for easier donning and doffing. Stitches over the bands and leather are used to create a durable seal. While they do get the job done in terms of keeping the bands in place, the stitches are exposed without any trimmings. This causes the stitches to dig into the dorsum of the feet.
Traction on the clogs is reliable and effective, working well on both wet and dry surfaces. However, because the surface area of the outsole is particularly small relative to the actual size of the shoe, they may pose a risk in terms of balance and stability. The heel area is particularly small, creating almost a kitten heel style that compromises safety.
Another issue worth talking about is breathability. The uppers and sole don’t have any features that prevent moisture build up, and airflow is very restricted inside the shoe. The insoles themselves are covered in a lining that tend to absorb sweat instead of wicking it away. You may have to deal with the development of foul odors and bacteria build-up after a few months of use.
While you might think that this issue can be easily resolved by cleaning the shoes, it’s important to note that the insoles can’t be removed. Any moisture, sweat, and consequent odors that develop may require complete washing of the shoe or may even entail an entire replacement altogether.
Looking for a budget-friendly nursing shoe that will give you substantial comfort and ease of use? Then the Natural Uniforms Ultralite Clog might be the right pick for you. This simple and seamless one-piece design is lightweight, comfortable, and straightforward, eliminating a lot of the fancy styles and design tech that other shoes tend to use.
This clog is made from EVA foam that is bacteria-resistant, making it ideal for use in the hospital setting. The one-piece clog is molded into its actual shape as a single unit, so there are no stitches, glued pieces, or parts that could risk falling apart or peeling away. That said, the clog is particularly durable and hard-wearing.
Ventilation wise, the shoes do have a relatively wide entry, allowing room for efficient airflow, preventing the accumulation of sweat. Despite this, the material itself does somehow encourage greater moisture production. Wearing the appropriate socks can hopefully help prevent over-stimulation of sweat glands in the feet.
Comfort wise, the shoes are soft and pliable, giving in to movements of the feet and allowing flexion for a natural gait cycle. However, certain parts of the shoe can dig into the skin, including the hard plastic along the sides of the opening that connects the optional back strap to the uppers.
Although the shoe is hard-wearing, it is not necessarily long-lasting. The design can take on wear and tear and retain its original construction. The issue is the shoes’ density. Weight-bearing on the insoles for long periods of time over several months can flatten the material and cause it to thin out; this makes the clog uncomfortable over time.
Unfortunately, as the design does not accommodate inserts, it may be necessary to replace the shoes altogether after a few months. Even then, the shoes are pretty inexpensive so that might not be too big of a problem.
Similar to the Natural Uniforms Ultralite Clog is the Crocs Unisex Specialist Clog. While the Crocs brand is best known for their line of casual footwear, their signature design has also been deemed appropriate and suitable for certain types of work. That is why the company has decided to leverage the opportunity by coming out with a number of options for buyers who want shoes for fields similar to nursing.
The Crocs Unisex Specialist Clog features the same look and design as many of their other signature casual footwear models. The shoe features a closed forefoot design that was intended to block grime and dirt and keep your feet protected from filth while on the job.
The entire design uses one-piece construction, save for the one moving part that functions as a back strap. Lots of nurses who put their shoes through demanding daily duties prefer this type of design as it limits the chances of damage that more complicated shoe designs are prone to.
The synthetic material is pliable, flexible, comfortable, and lightweight, so comfort really isn’t an issue with the design. However, inside the shoe along the footbed, the textured pattern can stimulate sweat production and cause moisture to accumulate over the insole.
This can lead to the development of foul odors and bacteria. Fortunately, the shoe is very easy to clean, requiring nothing more than a good hose down to get rid of dirt and grime. Despite this, however, stains aren’t quite as easily resolved. Once the material starts to become discolored, there’s very little you can do to restore its original appearance.
Safety and protection wise, the Crocs might not be the best companion. Stepping on sharp objects can pierce through the material. What’s more, because the shoe doesn’t really have too much resilience to it, heavy objects that fall on your feet may cause injury.
Regarding traction, there’s really not a lot to be said about these clogs from the Crocs brand. The treads are good enough at the start and may prevent slipping on dry surfaces, but the same can’t be said for wet areas. Plus, because the soles use the same material as the overall shoe, the clog can lose traction over a short period after the soles lose their density and wear away.
A Few Final Thoughts
The work of a nurse isn’t easy, so it is important to equip yourself with the right gear to at least make that daily workload a little more bearable. With a suitable pair of nursing shoes, you can give yourself extra energy, comfort, and safety that can greatly benefit the way you accomplish your daily duties as a healthcare provider.
Remember – there is no such thing as the perfect shoe, but with the right know-how and careful deliberation, you might be able to find the perfect shoe for you. So be sure to check out these options and take your standards, needs, and preferences into account to find yourself a work companion that will see you through the challenges of daily hospital duties.