When it comes to choosing shoes for a specific occupation, choosing the best shoes for nurses is more difficult than most. Nurses have to deal with a number of hazards that other occupations do not have – such as highly polished floors that often have liquids spilled upon them and circumstances that require them to move quickly in order to respond – such as when a patient is coding and needs immediate treatment. This makes choosing nursing shoes difficult in itself, but when you add the fact that nurses also work longer shifts than most and spend the majority of the day on their feet, it makes the task exponentially more difficult. This guide will list a variety of shoes including cheap nursing shoes, men’s nursing shoes and more!
Why Are Nursing Shoes Different?
So, what makes nursing shoes different than the other work shoes that are out there? The main reason that this is the case is simple comfort. Comfortable nursing shoes are manufactured not with the average consumer in mind, but with nurses specifically, which means that they are engineered to be as comfortable as possible. This makes the price go up and often puts them out of the normal price range for the average consumer, but it also means that the person wearing them is going to be comfortable, safe and perhaps even stylish throughout the workday. Of course, the nurse wearing these shoes has to determine where the balance between price and comfort, safety and durability is for them.
Men’s and Women’s Nursing Shoes
It is also worth noting that there are both men’s and women’s nursing shoes available. However, most of the people that work in nursing are women. That’s why you will notice that the majority of the nursing shoes listed on various retail sites are either specifically for women or they are unisex – able to be used by both men and women. The problem is, women and men usually have very differently shaped feet and so unisex nursing shoes are not always optimal. That means that if you are buying for a male nurse, you definitely want to choose shoes that are specifically designed for male nurses rather than choosing a pair that claims to be for men or women.
The differences between these types of shoes are subtle but they are definitely there. For one thing, there are differences in the way that men’s and women’s shoes are numbered. Also, women’s shoes are generally much narrower than men’s, which means that a unisex shoe that fits a woman perfectly will be uncomfortable for a male nurse – who likely has much wider feet. There are also other major differences between men and women that make unisex shoes almost impossible to design. For example, the ball of the foot, the arch and the angle of the kneecap to the quadriceps are all different between men and women.
Factors to Consider When Buying the Best Shoes for Nurses
So, besides the gender of the person wearing the shoe, there are other factors to look at as well. Being able to evaluate the various aspects of the shoe can help you determine which one is best for you, because each person has different things that are important when it comes to footwear. One of the first considerations that you will be looking at is the size of the shoe and how it feels overall. Size is important when it comes to nursing because after a 12-hour shift, your feet may swell up and be a completely different size than your normal shoe size. You need to measure your feet after a shift to determine the correct size. Also, make sure that they are comfortable. Even if they are the right size, they might not be manufactured to be the most comfortable shoe.
In addition, you are going to have to look at arch support. This is another point where men and women differ – and in fact, people differ in the type of arch that they have in general, but women typically have higher arches than men. Because of the need for a shoe that fits a specific arch, you have to make sure that you choose high arches or low arches, depending upon how your feet are.
The material that the majority of the shoe is made from is also a consideration. Most of the shoe (usually everything except for the sole) is made of the same material such as suede or leather. Not only do you want to make sure that this material is high-quality and durable, but you also want to make sure it can be cleaned easily and it is comfortable as well. In addition, you need to make sure that the sole material that makes up your nursing shoe has a good grip and is going to last for a long time.
There is also a final consideration. While the style of your shoe is definitely not as important as the other factors – and may not be a consideration at all for some – it is something that might affect your decision when all the other factors have been considered. When it comes to nursing, you can never be sure what could be spilled on your shoes so how well they can be cleaned or blend in if they do get stained is someone important. As a nurse, you’re going to have to look clean and professional.
The Best Women’s Nursing Shoes
Here are some of the best women’s nursing shoes on the market today. This will be followed by the men’s to give you some recommendations if you are a male nurse or if you’re buying from. But let’s start with the women’s:
Dansko Women’s Professional Clog
The first nursing shoe for women that is on our list is rather unique because it comes in dozens of different styles and colors. This is a very comfortable shoe can be made out of leather or fabric, with a 1 ½ inch heel and a 1-inch platform. The Dansko nursing shoe is made of high-quality materials but it is also reinforced around toe to offer better protection and has a curved sole and a wider heel both of which help to distribute shock better. Dankso is well-known for making some of the most comfortable shoes that the world has ever seen and it sprang from humble origins as a shoe store in Denmark in 1990 and become one of the most respected shoe brands in the world.More Information/Purchase
Cherokee Women’s Exact Clog
The next shoe that is on our list is Women’s Exact Clog from Cherokee. Cherokee is a fairly well-known brand of clog that specifically makes comfortable shoes for nursing and other occupations where you are required to be on your feet all day. These clogs have a 1.25 inch heel and the platform is just a half-inch. This is a well-constructed shoe that is made to slip on and off easily and it allows for proper airflow and ventilation with insoles that can be removed and reinforced for maximum comfort. They are also one of the lowest-priced nursing shoes options on this list.More Information/Purchase
Alegria Tattoo Professional Print Shoe for Women
The Alegria tattoo shoe is the only other shoe on this list that offers a huge selection, just like the Dansko, with more than three dozen options to choose from. What is great about this shoe is that the designs are actually quite attractive on just about every single shoe there is. These are made of leather on the upper part and the sole is rubber with a heel of one-and-a-half inches and a platform that is about half that thickness. The inside of the shoe features an insole that is made of cushioned leather and memory foam for maximum comfort. There is also a back collar that is specifically designed to prevent chafing, making it a comfortable shoe to wear on long shifts like with nursing.More Information/Purchase
Merrell Women’s Jungle Shoes (Slip-Resistant)
These shoes may only come in the color choices black or brown, but don’t count them out just because of this fact. These synthetic nursing shoes have a rubber sole that measures approximately 1.5” and is very slip-resistant. The mesh that this shoe has inside is breathable and allows for good airflow. In addition, the solid construction means that the shoes are going to last for a very long time. They also have their own proprietary air cushion that absorbs shocks and helps the shoe not to slip, making a more comfortable and safer. This is the perfect shoe whether you are standing all day, walking or just need a comfortable pair of shoes. The Merrell Jungle Moc Pro Grip may have a simple design but they are still one of the best nursing shoes out there.
Timberland PRO Women’s Renova Shoes
With full-grain leather and micro-suede construction, these Timberland shoes offer the ability to stand for hours on end as well as terrific support for back, legs, ankles and more. This is due to Timberland’s anti-fatigue technology which no other shoe has and this company – which is famous for making some of the most high-quality work boots on the market – is so confident in the ability to create the perfect, comfortable shoe for you, that you have 30 days to try it out and get your money back if they are not the most comfortable shoes that you have ever worn.More Information/Purchase
Nurse Mates Women’s Dove Slip-On Loafer
If you want a great shoe to wear on a nursing shift, Nurse Mates is a terrific brand that knows how to design a nurse’s shoe. The price is fair on these loafers and they are solidly constructed with lots of five-star reviews proclaiming how comfortable these shoes are. With a combination of leather and rubber construction and a stain-resistant finish on the majority of the shoe, they are perfect for the nursing occupation. These shoes have a very light outer sole that not only lasts for a long time but also offers much more stability than many other brands. In addition, the insole is perfectly designed to cradle and cushion the foot for comfort all day long. The Dove slip-on loafer features a heel height of 1 ½ inches.More Information/Purchase
Skechers for Work Women’s Sure Track Slip-Resistant Shoe
With hundreds of reviews and a rating above four stars, this shoe should definitely catch your attention if you are looking for a comfortable and affordable nursing shoe. Skechers may not be the first brand that you think of when it comes to comfort, but they are as good as designing a shoe that keeps your feet from hurting all day as they are at designing stylish and cool athletic shoes. These shoes only come in black and white but they have a fair price and are definitely worth the money paid. Skechers has been making perfectly designed shoes since 1992 and have won multiple awards for the designs that they have created.More Information/Purchase
Skechers Sport Women’s D’Lites Original Non-Memory Foam Lace-Up Sneakers
Another highly rated shoe from Skechers is the D’Lites lace-up sneaker for women. This shoe has thousands of reviews and one of the highest ratings of all of the shoes available. In addition, the price is not only lower than other shoes in this category but lower even than some of the other Skechers shoes on the list. One of the terrific things about these Skechers is that they come in lots and lots of styles, designs and colors. Here are just a few: navy, white, pink, silver, black and blue – and combinations of those colors. These are perfectly engineered with an insole that has been cushioned for comfort, a midsole designed to absorb shock and weight from walking or running and a durable heel made to grip tightly.More Information/Purchase
Sloggers Women’s Tall Printed Boot
Although these are called “boots” they are actually shoes that have a little higher collar than some of the other nursing shoes that are on this list. This is good for ankle support and to create a snug and well-fitting shoe that is perfect for nursing. One thing that makes these sloggers stand out among just about every other shoe on this list is that they are in the $20-30 range, depending upon the size required. In addition, they come in a lot of different styles and colors and are very highly rated, even among all of the other nursing shoes on this list.
Grasshoppers Women’s Janey Leather Lace-Up White Nursing Shoes
One of more unique styles of nursing shoe on this list is the Grasshoppers Janey Leather Lace-up white nursing shoes for women. This synthetic shoe is easy to clean and extremely comfortable. It has a one-inch heel and has a common sneaker shape. One of the reasons why this is one of the more popular nursing shoes out there is that it is available in quite a few different sizes – many of them nonstandard, narrower and wider than the ones you find with other nursing shoes here. There are other features that come with this shoe as well. For example, it has a removable cushioned insole with PUREFIT technology and a sock liner that is anti-microbial. In addition, the collar is padded with memory foam and there is more besides.More Information/Purchase
Sanita Women’s Lindsey Clog
One of the most popular women’s shoes for nursing that is on this list is the Lindsey Clog by Sanita. That’s because this shoe is not only one of the most comfortable shoes listed here, but also because it is probably the best-looking women’s shoe on this entire list. These black nursing shoes have a fine leather construction and several different styles and colors to choose from, this is an absolutely gorgeous shoe, with highly polished upper material, and the Sanita signature on the side. This shoe has a platform of ¾ of an inch and a heel of 1 ¾ of an inch. It is an APMA orthopedics-approved shoe that can be combined with Sanita Koi scrubs for matching patterns and styles.More Information/Purchase
The Best Nursing Shoes for Men
Of course, since there are definitely many fine male nurses working in the healthcare industry there must be shoes for male nurses that offer comfort, style and will last for many years to come. Here are five of the best men’s nursing shoes.
K-SWISS Men’s ST329 CMF Training Shoe
The next shoe that is on our list of men’s nursing shoes comes from a company that is better known for athletic shoes and style than for making the most comfortable nursing shoes. However, they certainly have made a very highly reviewed pair of nursing shoes in the CMF training shoe. This leather shoe features a footbed made of memory foam and a heel that acts as a shock absorber. The design is of a standard tennis shoe but more stylish with the K-SWISS logo on the side and many different styles and colors, depending upon the size that you need. This nursing shoe features a thick, synthetic sole that has a tread designed for traction in the most precarious of circumstances. This is simply a terrific shoe.More Information/Purchase
Skechers for Work Men’s Balder Slip Resistant Work Clog
The next men’s shoe for nurses comes from the Skechers company, which has a couple of the nursing shoes on our list. This is a synthetic shoe with a rubber sole, perfectly molded to fit men’s feet and offering comfort and reliability as well as good ventilation and a number of other features. The first of these is the padded footbed, which is engineered to absorb just about any shock and still be comfortable, so that they can be used even in work environments where running is sometimes required. The padded collar helps to prevent chafing and the sole prevents slipping and is even up to OSHA standards.More Information/Purchase
Merrell Men’s Jungle Moc Pro Grip Slip-Resistant Work Shoe
Another terrific shoe for nurses comes from Merrell. It is the men’s Jungle Moc Pro-Grip work shoe. This is a slip-resistant shoe with a terrific rubber sole that has an iron grip on slick surfaces. The heel is an inch thick and it has some terrific features that make it one of the best nursing shoes on this list. For example, it has an air-cushioned insole, which creates maximum comfort throughout the entire day. The collar has been padded so that there is no chafing of the ankle or upper part of the foot and the goring is designed to be flexible rather than stiff. In addition, this is a great looking shoe that features high-quality leather and non-marking soles.More Information/Purchase
Skechers for Work Men’s 76690 Keystone Sneaker
Next up is the Keystone sneaker by Sketchers. This is a men’s work shoe that is made from high-quality leather and features a rubber sole that is completely slip-resistant. The footbed is cushioned with an EVA midsole, and you can remove it if you want to customize your footbed in any way for even more comfort. This shoe has another advantage that works well in some environments and not so well in others – it is a very stylish and sporty shoe. It is also compliant with Mark II slip-resistance testing and features padding on the upper part of the shoe that creates a very comfortable, snug fit. Even though this shoe is great-looking, don’t let it fool you into thinking that it’s not a solid and durable work shoe. This is a shoe that is designed to last for a very long time.More Information/Purchase
Birki’s Super Birki Unisex Clog
Finally, the last shoe on the list is a unisex shoe. However, while unisex shoes are usually not viable for nursing shoes as was discussed at length in an earlier section, these are from Birkenstock and Birkenstock is one company that does exceptionally well when it comes to creating shoes that fit both men and women. This is a slip-on clog that features a removable footbed made out of soft cork and covered in linen, and it actually does a great job of contouring to different foot shapes. The heel is about half an inch high and the interior lining is made of polyurethane which keeps the insole and other parts secure. This shoe offers comfort and stability and looks great as well.More Information/Purchase