Whether you’re a registered nurse (RN), a licensed practical nurse (LPN), or a certified nursing assistant (CNA) the title and job duties differ, but one problem is seen across the board. Achy feet, falling arches, fat pad atrophy (when the cushioning pads of your feet begin to wear thin), plantar fasciitis, and spider veins around the ankles and up the legs are all common problems.
That should come as no surprise, when you consider that for almost the entirety of your shift be it eight hours, ten, or twelve, that you’re standing, walking, or even running. So, what’s a nurse to do? Take care of those feet! How’s a nurse do that? Well aside from indulging in foot massages, pedicures, and putting your feet up for a solid 4 hours (which is impossible), investing in quality shoes is the most important thing you can do for your feet.
Not only will your feet thank you, but your knees, hips, and back will thank you too. Quality shoes should provide shock absorption, cushioning, and arch support. Yes those qualities in a shoe mean you may have to pay a bit more than you’d like, but to be able to finish a shift and walk without limping or grimacing your way to your car or whatever public transit service you use, will make it worthwhile.
Here, I’ve put together a list of the five best shoes for nurses. The prices vary, as do appearances, but hopefully this guide will help you find shoes that fit your style, fit your budget, and fit your foot!
Top 5 Nursing Shoes Adored By Travel Nurses
The clogs created by Alegria include cork and memory foam for maximum cushion and comfort and have a slip-resistant sole. The colors and styles range from bright and flowery, to no-nonsense black. The clogs are slide-ons and while some styles have a back that covers your heel, others leave the heel open. This leaves a lot of choices up to you to determine your taste, your comfort and appropriateness for your facility. This is one of the more expensive options on this list, most come in over $100, but there are a few more basic options starting at around $70. I don’t mind spending a good amount for these shoes because when the insoles eventually do wear down, they can be removed and replaced. This line is geared towards women clinicians, but their Alegria Men’s Bender is a black slip on that has all the benefits already described. These shoes have the acceptance seal of the America Podiatric Medical Association (APMA).
This is my top pick if you prefer a sneaker. These are available in men’s and women’s sizes (sorry to the guys my first pick left out). The footbed of these Asics is foam, and in both the heel and the front the cushioning is a gel system that will absorb shock. These sneakers are actually tennis shoes, a sport that is very hard on ankles with sharp stops and quick darting lateral movements. You won’t roll your ankle in these. This is a sturdy sneaker that will support your foot and ankle, but the outer layer is mesh and will allow for breathability. The sock liner can even be removed if you use a medical orthotic. You can have fun with bright color combinations, or go with simple black or white. The price will vary based on the gender of course but plan to spend $80-$100 for a pair of these.
Yes, of course, Crocs made this list. The main lines of these shoes may be controversial because of their color and sizes, but there is no doubting the comfort these provide. Crocs has a line especially for nurses, that have their typical cushiony comfort combined with Crocs LockTM Tread for slip resistance. Buying Crocs doesn’t mean you have to be buying bright colors either. These work clogs are available in white and black as well. These are the most affordable option on this list, most of the nursing clogs ranging in prices from $45-$60. They’re lightweight on your feet, and of course due to their material, easy to clean. The Crocs company even teamed up with shoe retailer Famous Footwear earlier this year to donate their shoes to over 240,000 healthcare workers.
I’m excited about this great looking sneaker by Hoka One One. I recommend the Clifton 7 for women, or Clifton 7 for men. This sneaker is actually a slip-on, and the tab behind the ankle an easy grab for pushing your heel is cushioned to also relieve pressure on your Achilles tendon. This sneaker is surprisingly lightweight, and comes in a variety of color patterns, although the men’s color options are brighter. It has what is called a Mega-Rocker that provides your foot with a smooth ride as you walk. It provides full compression cushioning to your foot and is also APMA accepted.
This clog is probably the most commonly known aside from Crocs. These clogs by Dansko take a while to break-in, but once you’ve done that part, these clogs will be your friend for years. Plan to spend around $130 for a pair, these are not cheap. My Dansko clogs are over 10 years old, and while I don’t wear them every single day, they are in my regular rotation, and I still love these shoes. These have the acceptance seal of the APMA as well. One thing to be mindful of, these clogs are heavier than your crocs or even sneakers will be. They may take some getting used to. Wear them around the house or when you go out grocery shopping to get used to the feel of them and break them in. Dansko also has a line for men, so check them out!
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