Best shoes for nurses

A reliable pair of comfortable shoes are a staple that should be present within everyone’s wardrobe. However, nobody needs them more than medical professionals that spend their days selflessly working to help those in need.

If you’re a nurse who spends nearly the entirety of your shift standing up,  you’ll know a thing or two about how important it is to find yourself a pair of shoes that can guarantee comfort and durability throughout your busy day.

With so much choice out there, it can be tricky to find a pair of shoes that will get you through those long shifts. So, to help you, we have spent some time rounding up the best shoes that nurses all around the world swear by.

From sensible clogs to cushiony sneakers, this list won’t lead you astray. We’ve also included a buyer’s guide that’s packed full of information on what to look out for when shopping for a new pair of nurse-certified shoes. 

In a hurry? Take the pressure off with our top pick:

If you often find yourself swept off of your feet in the busy ER, you simply have to pick up a pair of Dankso Clogs. For starters, each has a polyurethane rocker-bottom sole, which is designed to protect your feet and lower body from the strain of standing or walking.

It is also built to position your foot in a way that encourages it to naturally propel forward, helping you stay on the move and active, while they work on providing you with stability and total comfort.

Here’s what sets this shoe apart from others:

  • The design of the sole offers exceptional Arch Support for all-day comfort and support, no matter how busy the day gets
  • Its padded instep collar works to enwrap the foot in supportive comfort while walking, which helps you to remain energized and responsive to patients 
  • The breathable PU Foam footbed offers temperature control to help you stay cool during your long shifts
  • To reduce fatigue, the sole is able to absorb shock, something athletic sneakers cannot offer

Our verdict? These are great professional nurses’ shoes that are not only extremely durable but look smart and stylish, too. 

Best Shoes for Nurses

OUR TOP PICK

Dansko Professional Clog Women's Slip On 40 N EU Black-Nubuck

The Dansko Women’s Professional Clog is not only a practical choice that will look great paired with your scrubs, but they are also extremely comfortable and durable, so it should come as no surprise that they are a must-have of nurses everywhere.

The Dansko is a leading creator of workwear shoes and the Dansko Women’s Professional Clog is one of the most comfortable on the market. Made from leather, these are extremely durable, water-resistant, and contain an antimicrobial sock liner. 

Ideal for nurses, the Dansko is extremely comfortable and features a padded instep collar and polyurethane outsole with a rocker bottom which delivers shock-absorption to reduce fatigue when standing, walking, or even running during an emergency. Additionally, thanks to the wide, comfortable, and roomy fit, this shoe fits all different types of foot shapes easily.

Made to serve you for many years, the Dansko is also very easy to clean and will stay looking professional (you can even use shoe polish to touch them up). The wide heel of these great shoes for nurses will keep you stable and the PU outsole with the rocker bottom will not only absorb the shock when walking but also propel your foot forward, allowing you to respond to your fast-paced working environment without missing a beat. The reinforced toe box protects your foot from falling objects.

Pros

  • The rocker bottom absorbs the impact of your heel strike while the wide heel keeps your foot stable

  • The reinforced toe box protects your foot from falling objects.

  • Firm arch support and contoured midsole

Cons

  • They are expensive (although they are a great investment that will last you a long time)

  • For women only

Dansko Professional Clog Women's Slip On 40 N EU Black-Nubuck
  • Firm arch support and contoured midsole
  • Superior shock absorption
  • Rocker bottom with Anti-fatigue technology

EDITOR'S CHOICE

Crocs womens Women's Neria Pro Ii | Slip-resistant Work and Nursing Shoe Clog, Black, 9 US

Next up on our roundup is the Neria Pro Nursing Shoe from Crocs. The Neria is a dependable, supportive, and comfortable footwear choice that will make all the difference for those long days and allow you to do what you love - free from aches and strain. 

The Crocs Neria Pro Clogs are fully molded to ensure optimum, cushiony support that won’t leave your feet feeling restricted, ensuring that they stay nice and cool throughout the shift. As well as this, they are also super easy to clean with a quick-drying time and only require soap and water. These Crocs slip-resistant shoes offer a generous, roomy fit with heels that meet workplace standards. They also feature updated style includes removable, washable footbed liners to ensure they stay fresh.

Designed with a Matlite foam upper, these clogs have a classic round toe that looks smart and minimalist, while their moisture-expelling lining helps to regulate temperature. The contoured footbed allows for intuitive and adaptive comfort that adjusts to your movements, while the Croslite Foam sole with Crocs Lock slip-resistant tread ensures reliable footing across all surfaces.

Additionally, the Neria Pro Nursing Shoe has thicker toe regions to protect your feet from any accidental spills, ensuring your feet stay dry. Non-slip, supportive, and reliable, these are an excellent choice for nurses or anyone else working within an ‘on your feet’ industry.

Pros

  • These Crocs work shoes have a thick, rounded toe in order to protect feet from any spillages

  • They are fully molded and easy to clean by just using soap and water, allowing for a quick dry

  • The foam upper and supportive sole ensure maximum comfort throughout the busy days and long nights

Cons

  • For women only

Crocs womens Women's Neria Pro Ii | Slip-resistant Work and Nursing Shoe Clog, Black, 9 US
  • WORK CLOGS FOR WOMEN: Neria is dependable and ready to make the rounds with protection and comfort every step of the way. These are the work Crocs women need for long days and nights
  • EASY TO CLEAN: Crocs Neria Pro II clogs are fully molded and easy to clean by just using soap and water and allowing for a quick dry
  • ROOMY FIT: These Crocs slip resistant shoes offer a generous, roomy fit with heels that meet workplace standards The updated style includes removable, washable footbed liners

BEST VALUE

Skechers Women's D'Lites Memory Foam Lace-up Sneaker,White Silver,7.5 M US

If you’re a nurse who’s primarily situated in the ER or another fast-paced environment within the hospital, you might benefit the most from the Skechers Sport Memoryfoam Sneaker. 

The Skechers brand has long been known for its comfortable sneakers and the D’Lites Memoryfoam Lace-up Sneakers are no exception, doubling up as great shoes for nurses.

Thanks to their leather-synthetic, mesh upper, and cushioned mesh tongue, the D’Lites are sure to make a long day on your feet less strenuous and tiring. The rubber sole not only offers great traction on any surface, but it is also non-slip and offers great shock absorption to resist the effects of fatigue on your feet, legs, and lower back area.

When you put them on, these lace-up memory foam sneakers will contour themselves around your feet, protecting and supporting them, all the while helping to keep you feeling stable and secure on your feet. 

The padded collar offers an additional level of comfort and support, while the innovative memory foam works to not only make you feel as though you’re walking on clouds but also to keep your feet feeling non-restricted and cool.

All in all, these sneakers are ideal for all nurses, however, we do think that they are best suited to nurses that are situated within more busy, fast-paced departments as they are responsive and allow you to be quick and light on your feet while moving between patients. 

Pros

  • Multiple different colorways (including all black and all white) to meet different workplace standards

  • Memoryfoam sole will provide maximum comfort

  • They are breathable and help to keep your feet feeling cool 

Cons

  • They are less convenient to put on and take off than ‘slip-on’ types 

Sale
Skechers Women's D'Lites Memory Foam Lace-up Sneaker,White Silver,7.5 M US
  • Lightweight ; 1 1/4 inch built in heel.
  • Flexible sole
  • Lace up sporty training sneaker design

RUNNER UP

Merrell Men's Encore Gust Slip-On Shoe,Smooth Black Leather,8.5 M US

Slip-on shoes are also a super ideal choice for male nurses as they are quick and convenient to put on. In particular, the Merrell Men’s Encore Gust Slip-On Shoe blends the best features found in sneakers and clogs, creating a shoe that offers the best of both worlds.

The ease of this slip-on shoe combines with the durability and flexibility that the Merrell brand has come to build a reputation for. In fact, their durability is one the main reasons why these shoes such a great option for male nurses, as they will ensure that you’re supported throughout your busy day without compromising on quality or performance. 

The upper part of the Encore Gust Slip-On Shoe has been carefully made from 100% full-grain leather which has a breathable mesh lining integrated into the design. The leather lends a sophisticated look while the mesh lining wicks moisture away, preventing any discomfort and keeping your feet feeling cool and fresh.

As for the midsole, it is cushioned and supportive, with the heel area containing extra cushioning that is able to absorb shock and fight fatigue. The rubber outsole sticks firmly to any surface, keeping you feeling safe, and secure during each shift. 

Pros

  • The air cushion pocket within the heel absorbs shock and prevents fatigue in your feet and legs

  • Compression-molded EVA foot frame for stability and comfort

  • Polished slip-on with a supportive sole unit and padded collar

Cons

  • Some users have found that the sizing runs quite large

Merrell Men's Encore Gust Slip-On Shoe,Smooth Black Leather,8.5 M US
  • Polished slip-on with supportive sole unit and padded collar
  • Merrell air cushion in the heel absorbs shock. Compression molded EVA footframe for stability and comfort
  • Ortholite footbed

RUNNER UP

Reebok Classic Harman Run Sneaker, black/gum, 11.5 M US

The Reebok Classic Harman Run Sneaker is another great option for male nurses and blends the reliability of a pair of sneakers with the durability of leather.

Lightweight and high-performing, these classic sneakers feature a synthetic upper that is both supportive and comfortable to ensure that you do not suffer from any strains, fatigue or muscle aches.

Ensuring optimum foot support, the Reebok Harman Runner features a midsole made of die-cut EVA to ensure that the foot is protected while walking quickly or running, making it ideal for those who work within the nursing industry. 

Plus, thanks to the low-cut, freestyle design, these sneakers also offer total mobility at the ankles to allow you to move freely without feeling restricted, while the padded foam sock liner adds an extra layer of cushioning so that every step feels comfortable and soft.

The non-slip rubber outsole provides plenty of traction on a variety of surfaces so you always remain on your feet and take care of the patients that need you. As well as this, the design of these Reebok sneakers provides the ideal mix of cushioning and support for nurses with all types of arches, making them a choice suitable for all foot types.

Pros

  • The padded foam sock liner

  • Die-cut EVA midsole

  • Non-slip rubber outsole

Cons

  • The leather is prone to cracking

Sale
Reebok Classic Harman Run Sneaker, black/gum, 11.5 M US
  • DURABLE AND LIGHTWEIGHT MATERIAL: These sneakers feature synthetic upper that is supportive and comfortable
  • EFFICIENT FOOT SUPPORT: These stylish trainers with die-cut EVA midsole provides support which lasts many strolls and jogs
  • COMFORTABLE AND STURDY DESIGN: This footwear with the Low-cut, freestyle design offers mobility at the ankles so you keep moving all day long

Best Shoes for Nurses - Buying Guide

There are some fundamental differences between shoes that are suitable for nurses and those that are not. Read on to learn more about them below:

The Design

Believe it or not, one of the most important factors to always keep in mind before making a purchase is the design. When buying a pair of shoes for nursing, we recommend always putting a pair of shoes that offer the most comfort and support at the top of your list. Therefore, we recommend keeping an eye out for shoes that offer a wider toe box (for a roomier feel) a heel that is able to absorb shock, as well as a sole that (preferably) has memory foam or some other kind of cushiony material. In addition, the design should also fit you well and be easy to put on and take off. 

The Materials

As well as the design, the shoes you end up purchasing should also contain material that is going to be able to withstand a busy shift that could last up to 14 hours, so you don’t want to feel unsupported, hot or uncomfortable in them. Shoes that contain mesh fabric uppers are particularly great at wicking away moisture quickly, so, therefore, shoes that contain mesh are widely known for being ideal choices for nurses. On the other hand, if you’re situated in the busy ER or ICU, you’re going to need something waterproof that does not let you come in contact with bodily fluids or any spillages. If that’s the case, we recommend going for a pair of shoes made of leather or some other kind of water-resistant material. 

The Comfort Level

The amount of comfort your shoes offer is also vital. The best shoes for nurses are the ones that will be able to see you through a long day or busy night shift free from pain, aches, and strain. We recommend going for shoes that contain memory foam insoles,  shock-absorbing midsoles, and shoes that are able to regulate temperature and keep your feet cool and fresh.

The Grip

The amount of traction that your shoes offer is also of the utmost importance. Ideally, the soles of your sole must be able to easily offer enough slip-resistance to be able to allow you to maneuver around slippery hospital floors with ease, as well as being able to provide solid grip and prevent you from falling if a spillage occurred, for example.

The Level of Arch Support

This is another critical factor that you must check because different people have different types of arches. Take a look at the specifications mentioned by the manufacturer and ensure that your shoes are genuinely suitable as well as supportive. This can go a long way in keeping your feet relaxed and happy, even during the most stressful shifts.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best shoes for Nurses?

The most comfortable shoes for nurses will be able to effectively reduce the amount of stress placed on your feet, lower legs and back.  As a nurse, you’ll already know how intense your day (and sometimes night) can be. As running, walking and a lot of standing around is often one of the inevitable aspects of your job, a lot of demand is placed on your feet and lower body in general. Therefore, if you have the wrong style, you could find yourself suffering from foot, back, and leg pain, which is the last thing that you want to occur. 

Like we’ve talked about above, the best shoes for nurses will offer great traction, maximum comfort, as well as being able to regulate temperately, so keep this in mind before making your choice.

What are the best shoes for male nurses?

Apart from perhaps the size, male nurses require the same features in a shoe that women nurses do. So, a shoe that is slip-resistant is important for being able to remain responsive and stable while walking or running across a slippy hospital floor.  You’ll also want to make sure that the shoe is easy and convenient to wear (such as a slip-on) as well as being very comfortable, so memory foam soles are recommended. 

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