Need A Good Pair Of Nursing Shoes?
Here's what you need to know, and where to get the lowest prices anywhere
Nursing is a tough job - probably one of the toughest in the modern workplace. One minute you're helping a patient, the next you're administering medicine and the next you're double checking medical records. And if you're like most nurses, you're probably doing this for 10 to 12 hours straight, as long shifts seem to have become the norm for nurses in the medical industry (for both RNs and CNAs).
The last thing you're probably thinking about during a stressful day on the floor is your footwear. But believe it or not, your choice of shoes can play a huge role in your success as a nurse and your overall health and well-being. That's why it's super important to find, buy and wear the best shoes for nurses while you're working. That's why I put together this list of the best shoes for nurses.
What Are The Best Shoes For Nurses?
The best ones are those that satisfy a number of important criteria: Comfort, durability, support, non-slip, low maintenance and, if it applies to your job, meeting a dress code. Brand name is less important than meeting these criteria. Don't let that list sound overwhelming, it's actually very easy to find good shoes for nurses, and they don't cost a fortune either. For example, if you shop on Endless (which is Amazon's shoe department) you'll find a near endless selection for pennies on the dollar compared to what you'd pay anywhere else, and you might even get free shipping.
(*Note: I highly recommend Endless; not only do they have a huge selection and low prices, the site is very easy to navigate, compared to other online shoe stores. All of the shoes on this list are available there. My next favorite is Amazon itself).
Male Nurse Shoes vs. Female Nurse Shoes
Rather than making this article longer than an encyclopedia, I've broken it down into sections so you won't have to waste your time reading about stuff that doesn't apply to you.
Best Nursing Shoes For Men
Both of those links will take you to articles with the best shoes themselves. The rest of this article will explain what makes a good nursing shoe, so I'd highly recommend reading it, then coming back and clicking through to the article that matches your gender.
Popular Brands Of Nursing Shoes
Many nurses have asked for a quick list of companies that make great shoes designed for nurses, so I'm including them here. But be advised that brand names aren't as important as meeting the requirements I spelled out earlier (and will go into further detail below).
That said, many nurses have reported success with these shoes:
- Comfort Clogs by Allheart
- Nike Shox
- New Balance
But let's get back to business and go into further detail about the qualities of a good shoe for nurses.
I put this one first because at the end of the day if your feet aren't comfortable, you'll be miserable. Your shoes could have all the other attributes, but if your feet aren't happy, you won't be either. And in the high-stress world of health care, hospitals, emergency rooms and even local doctor clinics, feeling miserable could affect your work, and that could have disastrous effects. As a nurse, you're wired to put the patients' needs first, but if you dont' take care of yourself, too, then you won't be giving your patients the care they deserve. As the saying goes, be sure to look out for number one.
Your shoes are going to take a beating while at work. You know as well as anyone that your job demands a lot - and much of that demand is manifested at your feet. You'll be helping patients, carrying equipment and medications, pushing carts, bumping into things with your toes, climbing stairs... the list goes on and on. The point is that if you opt for shoes that aren't up for the task, they won't last very long. And nothing is worse than spending money every few weeks or months on replacement footwear. What's worse is this: What if they "give out" at the worst time, perhaps when you're helping a patient one-on-one? You dont' want that!
When you work on your feet for extended shifts, the physical stress can really take a toll on your feet, toes and ankles. You want to minimize that stress at every turn, and the best way to do that is to make sure that the shoes you're wearing are supporting your feet in the best possible way. That includes high quality materials and a proven construction process. You'll want the arch support to fit your natural arch perfectly, and the toe should be flexible enough to allow movement, but not so flimsy that they fold.
I think this one goes without saying. The last thing you want is to slip and fall, or worse yet, let your patient fall. The working conditions in the medical field aren't exactly perfect. Floors get wet and slippery, things get spilled, stuff falls over. My point is that you'll need shoes that won't slip on smooth floor surfaces (which are common, especially in hospitals, because they are easy to clean) or spilled liquids or bodily fluids.
Your patients should require maintenance, but your shoes shouldn't. It's inevitable that you'll get stuff spilled on your feet, and your shoes will get scuffed up. Cleaning them up shouldn't require an intensive process. You want something that cleans up fast. That's actually why Crocks have become so popular in the medical field, they're made out of rubber/plastic and wipe clean super easy. But others are easy to clean, too.
Generally it's a good idea to avoid shoes that require polishing. Not only could to polish wear off on walls, floors and other things, but keeping up a polishing schedule is a real pain in the you-know-what. Why not concentrate on your job when you're at work and not your shoes. And when you get home, leave your work at the job site, don't bring it home with you, even if that means polishing your work shoes.
Some nurses must wear shoes that meet a company dress code policy. In that case, anything you wear must meet the requirements spelled out in that policy. Sometimes this makes finding shoes that meet the other criteria hard (some places require leathers shoes AND expect you to keep them polished at all times, for example).
If your job has a dress code, speak with your supervisor about what kind of shoes he or she would recommend. Just because you have some parameters doesn't mean you're out of luck finding the best shoes for nurses in your situation.