Being a nurse it is very important to wear a right pair of shoes for comfortably moving around 10 – 12 hours day/night shifts.  Reliable pair of nursing shoes are essentialy required for such all day standing jobs. To buy a quality pair of nursing shoes what you must look for.

After reading a lot of articles, we focused on problem areas that needs to be rectified. Based on design, durability, material, sole and other equally important points to be remember before buying a quality and reliable pair of nursing shoes, we prepared the best nursing shoes Guide: How to choose. This guide focuses on the basic and most important points that all healthcare and nursing professionals require.

Why Nursing Shoes Matter

The job of a nurse requires 8-12 hours of continuous working. This intense work schedule tends to put stress on the ankles, hips, back feet and knees as most of the job is entirely on the feet. There are times of heavy lifting or fast pace travel on foot.  Hence care of the body from head to feet is essential. It is better to buy nursing shoes from medical supply companies because  they are experts is creating shoes specifically suitable for working health care professionals.

Nursing shoes may be invisible to many, they may look plain and often colourless, but they need to provide comfort to tired feet. Ultimately, the right design means support for the entire body by preventing pain in the legs; ankle, heel and knees.Nursing shoes must be models on a low heel but not completely flat. The soles will benefit from slight elevation of the heel. The shoes must have broad toe box for additional comfort. They can be white, black or colored. Colored are mainly for the pediatric department. The shoes for nurses must proper arch support and non-slip bottoms to protect them from a slip on a wet floor. They must be lightweight and preferably of rubber which can be washed clean easily.

What to Look for When Choosing Nursing Shoes?

The best shoes that will benefit nurses should be one that will reduce stress on the feet. In ideal situation if one has normal arch with normal pronation, the only things to worry when choosing shoes for nursing job are comfort and stability.

The following tips should be kept in mind while choosing nursing shoes

  • Nursing shoes must have a great support system mainly in the arches, ankles, and other stress points.
  • There should be minimal ties, laces, fasteners that require lot of maintenance and adjustment from time to time.
  • The work of a nurse requires continuous fast running from place to place in the hospital in emergency. Cleaning is also a continuous process carried around. Hence the shoes should have non-slip soles for safety.
  • Nurse’s shoes are bound to get dirty and so the material of the shoe must be machine washable and breathable for the job comfort and quick to be worn after washing.
  • These shoes should have broad toes to accommodate padded insoles, orthotic inserts and woollen socks in winter.
  • The individual foot problems must be taken into consideration before choosing the shoe that is comfortable
  • Obese or pregnant nurses should choose shoes with soft bed which are provided by memory foam insoles.
  • High heeled shoes must be avoided but platform heels are recommended in place of flat heels.

 Styles of Nursing Shoes / which type of shoes should nurse wear?

  • Clogs

The clogs are loose, fit and spacious shoes without creating pressure points on any part of the feet. They are lightweight shoes that provide stability while being flexible for maximum comfort. Most are made of leather combined with polypropylene. This is the style preferred by many healthcare professionals. The advantage of rubber clogs are that they available in variety colors and patterns and are easy to clean.

  • Slip-On Shoes

They look like standard tennis shoes which are fully covered and are simple slip on with no laces or buckles . This eliminates the risk of tripping and toppling over if the lace opens or the buckle becomes lose.

  • Sneakers as nursing shoes

Sneakers, walking shoes or other athletic shoes are one of the best shoes for people who standing on feet all day, including nurses. They are light, comfortable, and one can find shoes, which will suit biomechanical needs of individual legs. Nursing sneakers are available in many brands in white and black, as well as in other colors. When buying nursing athletic shoes, be sure to choose shoes with wide toe-box for additional comfort.

  •  Oxfords for nurses

Lace-up oxfords are the classics of nurse sneakers. They look professional, neat, protect from spills, and stay on the foot securely due to laces.

 Features of Best Nursing Shoes.

The characteristic of a good shoe for nurses should fit the biomechanics of the individual’s feet.

Shoes for different feet types will depend on the arch and pronation of the feet. The following shoe characteristics need to be considered.

Stability look for this feature in the shoe if one has a normal arch.

Motion Control characteristic is the most important feature for over-pronators.

Cushioning effect is the most needed by people with high arches and obese or persons with excessive weight.

Other features include

Posture support– Posture support is important in preventing low back pain and leg problems. It is also important for nurses to maintain good posture for more endurance and efficiency.

Arch support– High or low arches have been a common problem for most people so shoes with stable arch support are preferred. A great arch support will also add more comfort while running and walking.

Prevention of fatigue-related problems– Nurses are prone to develop health problems like arthritis, muscle cramps and low back pain because they are always working on their feet. These problems can be easily prevented by wearing proper fitting shoes.

Speed and flexibility.   Nurses wearing comfortable and lightweight shoes will help them to work swiftly with ease.

Slip prevention. Spills in hospital floors are common and nurses should protect themselves from these with the help of water-resistant non-slip shoes. Ensuring safety is always important.


What type of shoes recommend for nurse depending on their feet problem?

Nurses with Wide Feet must buy the shoe with a wide bed. Clogs are best for this purpose as they have a wide base but are designed to look normal shoes. Crocs are the most preferred brand for wide feet.

Nurses with Plantar fasciitis which is a painful disorder affecting the heel part of the foot,  Nurses suffering from Plantar Fasciitis (PF) should know the cause of it. Those with flat feet and PF should choose shoes that are suitable for flat feet. If the Pf is due to high arches, one should choose sneakers for high arches. If PF is not caused by abnormal arches or pronation one must choose sneakers for normal arch. The choice must be made with the right combination of cushion and arch support

Nurses with High Arches can fix this problem by choosing shoes with great arch support. These nurses must wear custom fit shoes. Regular shoes may also work well but orthotic inserts or customized insoles should be used to support high arches and cushion pressure points

Nurses with Flat Feet require low arch support which is possible by an orthotic insert. Some manufacturer makes nurse shoes for flat feet persons. Flat feet can also be supported by therapeutic socks.

Nurses with Bad Knees– Bad knees usually result from foot arch problems, weight and bad posture. This problem can be relieved by wearing proper footwear that will support the weight and posture. Higher top shoes with stable support near the ankles are great in supporting the overall posture of the body.

Nurses with Low Back Pain—Sometimes low back pain is caused by wrong fitting footwear. It can be fixed with footwear that has a soft cushioned foot bed and sturdy out soles. Sometimes, low back pain can also be caused by over pronation due to arch problems so it will be best to see a podiatrist if you suspect too high or too low arches.


The bottom line is that the personal preferences may differ, but what must remain a constant is the high quality that should not be compromised. The point is to feel comfortable while on the job and to protect your feet and body. To do that, invest in good nursing shoes. Benefits of a Quality Pair of Nursing Shoes

Less foot pain

Less back pain

Assist in balance

Prevent spinal issues

Reduce stress and discomfort