Every nurse knows that all shoes are not created equal. When you’re on your feet for a 12-hour shift, the ache in your feet will let you know the difference between a good shoe and just any footwear. Here are our nurse-approved picks for the best shoes for nurses.
Hoka One One is a brand beloved by many nurses. Louise Long, a cardiac nurse, adores her Hoka One Ones. “I LOVE, LOVE LOVE them!! They are very comfortable walking shoes,” she says. “My orthopedic surgeon referred them to me because he loves them so much. They fit and wear well.” The Bondi 7 is perfect for nurses with extra thick midsole cushioning to give you maximum comfort, while sturdy rubber soles will help keep you safe on slippery surfaces. Their meta-rocker technology will have you “walking on sunshine” as you rock your favorite color from their palette of fourteen color combinations.
Nike may be the reigning king of sports shoes, but they can be a great choice for nurses too, as ICU nurse Chelsea Hoopes is quick to attest. We recommend the Air Zoom Pulse as one of the best shoes for nurses. Built for and tested by nurses, this shoe’s Air Zoom cushion will help keep your feet feeling good during those long shifts. They’re also easy to clean and feature sticky rubber on the bottom of the outsole, providing a firm grip on slick surfaces.
As a nurse you trudge through situations and messes that would break the rest of us. If you’re concerned about taking that home with you, you should consider Crocs. Pediatric nurse Ashley Radmill prefers Crocs “because they’re easy to slip on and off, plus you can easily clean them.” Although you can’t go wrong with just about any nursing croc, we love the classic style and quick on-and-off of the Bistro Clog. Croc’s “legendary” Croslite foam cushioning gives you all day comfort. You’re not limited on style either if you want to express yourself. With many of their styles, you can pick your favorite color and customize it with your favorite emojis and characters. Plus, for a limited time, Crocs is offering free shoes for healthcare providers who are fighting on the front lines of COVID-19.
In addition to her Nikes, ICU nurse Chelsea Hoopes’ other top pick for best shoes for nurses is Vessi. She loves that “they’re waterproof and comfortable.” We recommend the lightweight Cityscape Sneakers with their patented Dyma-tex 100% waterproof and breathable knit style. They have antibacterial insoles to keep your feet clean and cozy, and herringbone grip soles to keep you stable on slick ground. Like Crocs, Vessi is also stepping up to support healthcare workers during the COVID-19 crisis; they’ve already donated 1,000 shoes and 30,000 masks to keep healthcare workers equipped.
In another endorsement for running shoes, Brenda Toone, a women’s health nurses says she loves her Brooks: “Adrenaline and Ghost are super supportive.” With features like a BioMoGo DNA cushioning stacked above a soft DNA LOFT Crash Pad, the brand new Adrenaline GTS 21 will give you maximum support while working on your feet. Because your individual needs can vary, be sure to take their Shoe Finder quiz to find the perfect shoe for your specialty and work setting.
It’s no surprise that Dansko made it on our list! Many nurses maintain Danskos are the best shoes for nurses. Labor and delivery nurse Sara Schmid says, “Danskos are my favorites because my legs and back don’t ache after a 12-hour shift.” Dawn Quada, a home health and hospice nurse, says, “I am a die-hard Danskos fan. I have been wearing them nearly 15 years.” And Lisa Pett, another L&D nurse, says, “They’re comfortable, my feet don’t get tired in them, and they are long lasting.” Dansko XP 2.0 clogs feature memory foam, arch support, and are both slip resistant and stain and water resistant — crucial for a nurse working in nearly any specialty.