A nurse will spend nearly their entire shift on their feet running around on the hard hospital floor. If you combine that with the 12-hour shifts that many nurses have to work through, nursing becomes one of the toughest professions on your feet there is.
A poor pair of shoes can lead to severe foot pain, it can cause back pain, it can create discomfort throughout your shift, and it can affect your ability to focus on the work that you have to do. The long-term effects of improper footwear can lead to back and spinal issues. A comfortable pair of shoes can prevent all of these issues from happening.
You can get by with a normal pair of running sneakers or heavily cushioned walking shoes, but nothing compares to women’s nursing shoes. These shoes are specifically designed to stand up to the constant pounding that your feet will be put through the day in and day out as a nurse.
A good nursing shoe should combine comfort, support, and safety altogether. They should also look professional and not over-the-top flashy like some of the running shoes that everyone seems to be wearing these days. A great pair of women’s nursing shoes is easy to overlook, but they are going to be worth the investment.
What to Look For In the Best Nursing Shoes
When it comes to nursing shoes, lace-free is the way to go. This is beneficial for two reasons. For one, you never have to worry about tripping over on untied laces. Tripping, especially if you are carrying important medical supplies or sharp tools, can lead to disaster. Lace-free shoes will ensure that you never risk tripping over an untied shoelace.
The other benefit is that they are easy to remove. It’s very rare that a nurse will get to sit down and take a break for a meaningful amount of time during a shift. For the rare times that you do get a short break, being able to quickly take your shoes off can provide some great relief at a moment’s notice.
Slip Resistant Soles
Most hospitals use vinyl composition tiling on their floors. When something spills on them, it can get slippery pretty easily. A hospital is a hectic place where spills occur frequently. A slip-resistant sole will help you avoid falling in the event that you unexpectedly step on a slippery spot on the floor.
Common Mistakes When Shopping for Nursing Shoes
Finding the Right Kind of Comfort
A common mistake that people make when they are looking for the best shoes for work is confusing immediate comfort with the day-long comfort that a nursing shoe has to be able to provide. If you go with a shoe that is too soft and sacrifices support, your feet will be feeling worse than ever after a few hours of standing on them (a slipper is an extreme example of this).
How Heavy is the Shoe?
The weight of the shoe will play a factor in how fresh your feet feel as each hour passes. A heavier shoe may be very comfortable and supportive, but the added weight can cause foot fatigue. This could tire you out and slow you down as your shift goes on. A lighter shoe will prevent foot fatigue, but it will often come at the expense of support and comfort.
Below, we have selected three of the best nursing shoes that we found. They offer the best in comfort, support, and style. They are some of the most comfortable shoes for nurses.
Best Nursing Shoes Comparison Chart
Skechers Sport Women’s Premium-Premix Slip-On Sneaker
Why We Like It
The first of our best nursing shoes that we are reviewing is the Skechers Sport Women’s Premium-Premix Slip-On Sneaker. It’s a lace-free slip-on sneaker that is designed to be easily removed in the same way that a clog is. It offers the performance and comfort of a sneaker and the convenience of a clog, making it one of our favorite shoes for nurses.
If you look closely, you will find hidden ties on the shoes. The ties are not designed to be adjusted. Instead, they are used to hold the shoe together and prevent it from stretching too much after extended use. They will feel strange when you first put them on, but after a few days of walking around in them, they will adjust preferably to the shape of your foot.
The sneaker has heavy cushioning around the tongue and the collar of the shoe. When your ankle is moving around as you walk, this cushioning will keep them protected, even during those grueling 12 hours shifts.
There’s also more padding in the sole compare to what you will find in a clog. The extra padding provides additional support and cushion for your feet.
How We Like the Look
While it’s not the most beautiful shoe, it’s not the worst looking either. When it comes down to it, it’s still just a sneaker. As with all sneakers, you are going to sacrifice some of the aesthetics in favor of comfort and function. Overall, we think this sneaker looks pretty nice, but it doesn’t compare to the Dove or Dansko that we will review below.
The shoe comes in two different styles. Both styles are white. One is completely white and the other has navy blue accents along the top and the sole of the shoe. If you like a clean cut shoe, we suggest the all-white version. If you want your shoe to stand out a little, the navy blue accents do a perfect job of that.
This is one of the cheapest high-quality shoes that we came across. We found plenty of options that were selling at a lower price, but their quality was unacceptable. As far as the quality that you get per dollar, this is our top choice.
Nurse Mates Women’s Dove
Why We Like It
If you jump on the Nursemates.com site, you will find a variety high-quality nursing specific products. One of our favorite items that they offer is their Dove Nursing Clog Shoes. These slip-on shoes are comfortable, simple, and lovely on your feet. Since they are made specifically for nurses, you know they will be able to withstand the wear-and-tear that 12 hours on your feet will do to a shoe.
No matter how tough your shift is, these shoes will be able to handle it. Our favorite thing about the shoe was the look of it. If you like something that looks clean and not flashy, you will love this shoe.
The shoe is extremely light. It’s not going to be noticeable at first, but it will make that 11th hour of your shift feel a little easier. It doesn’t have the same type of padding that a sneaker can provide, but it is still just as comfortable.
There are no laces or Velcro straps on these nursing white shoes. It’s a shoe that’s easy to slip on and off. It has a slip resistance sole and a steel shank that provides added stability below your foot. The steel shank adds to the overall weight of the shoe, but it allows a lot of the cushioning to be removed without sacrificing support. The shank is responsible for how light the shoe is.
How We Like the Look
These shoes come in two different colors: white and black. The design of the shoe is clean and solid. There are no contrasting colors aside from a blue heart that is located on the heel of the white shoe. On the black version, a small heart appears in the same black material. It is not very noticeable, but it is enough to provide a hint of style to an otherwise plain shoe.
Although it has no real designed to it, we think they were able to make it work without coming off too boring and plain with the look of the shoe. The back of the sole rides high in the heel which separates this type of shoe from what almost looks like a dress shoe from the front.
The shoe is a little more expensive, but still very affordable. It’s selling at a touch more than what we found the Skechers sneaker at.
Dansko Women’s Professional Tooled Clog
Why We Like It
Of the three most comfortable shoes for nurses that met our recommendation standards, this shoe is the only one with an actual design on it. This clog is also the only raised heel that we are reviewing today. The Dansko brand is well known for the blend of style and comfort that they combine into their shoe. The only catch is that the shoes tend to be a little pricier than some alternative options.
This shoe has a 2” raised heel and a 3/4” raised platform. The toe has added reinforcement. This provides added protection and helps to disperse the shock of each step throughout the entire foot better.
The sole is slip-resistant, which is important since it has a raised heel. There is not as much material that is in direct contact with the floor which can make slipping more likely (in theory). When we tested the shoe ourselves, we didn’t feel like we were any more likely to slip in this shoe than we were with any of the others.
The shoe has an extra wide toe box that allows you to move your toes freely inside of them. This is a huge relief compared to shoes that squeeze your toes tight together all day. It gives your feet wiggle room without sacrificing anything in its support or stability.
How We Like the Look
As far as the aesthetics of the shoe go, we absolutely love it. We love how they were able to create a great looking shoe that has a heel without sacrificing any comfort. When comparing the comfort of the shoe against the others, there is no drop-off. The main difference is that this shoe beats out the others as far as the look of it goes.
If you are looking for a shoe on a budget, this is not your best choice. These shoes tend to cost a bit more than others. This shoe offers the best in both comfort and design. The only downside is that it will cost you more.
Our Final Thoughts
It’s tough for us to recommend a single shoe over the others because of how great each choice is. When it comes to each of these shoes, it is hard to go wrong anywhere. It will depend on what factors are most appealing to you between comfort, style, and price.
If price is not a factor, we recommend the Dansko Women’s Professional Tooled Clog. If you are looking to stay on a budget, the Skechers Sport Women’s Premium-Premix Slip-On Sneaker provides the best support and comfort. If you experience foot fatigue during your shifts, the Nurse Mates Women’s Dove Shoe should put an end to that.