As a nurse, you’re going to be on your feet for upwards of 12 hours a day; attending patients, doing rounds, or running after a code. But you don’t need us to tell you that.
You’re in one of the most demanding professions on the planet, and this means that you need reliable footwear to get you through the day. A good pair of shoes is critical for taking care of yourself while you take care of others.
Luckily, the market for nursing shoes is vast, and there are a wide variety of styles, shapes, and medical accommodations to choose from to fit your specific needs.
What Makes a Great Nursing Shoe?
The best shoes for nurses to wear are going to be supportive, sturdy, well made, slip-resistant, light, and most of all comfortable.
A high-quality shoe designed specifically for medical professionals will ideally be a combination of all of these factors, and will keep you happy and healthy while you’re working.
Here’s why it’s important:
- Supportive shoes are going to benefit your whole body during a long shift, not just your feet. Nurses standing all day can avoid fatigue and pain in your legs and back by choosing stable footwear that’s easy to walk in.
- Well-made shoes might just last you a lifetime. Not only will this save you money in the long run, but shoes that are durable and well-constructed will typically be more supportive, and therefore more comfortable. Leather and rubber are popular materials known for their quality and endurance.
- Slip-resistant shoes are a must-have in any medical environment. A hospital floor at any given moment might be covered in liquids and spills, and would be perilous without a pair of soles designed to carry you through it.
- Light shoes are better for conserving energy and maintaining productivity during your shift. A heavy or chunky shoe may slow you down, and will definitely force you to do extra work while you’re dragging it around with you.
- Comfortable shoes are the full package, combined with a design or style (from clogs to crocs to running shoes) that’s right for you and your body. And nurses with high arches or plantar fasciitis will be able to augment whichever shoe they choose with inserts designed to transform a basic shoe into a custom wearable. Just remember to always choose comfort over style.
Best Black Patent-Leather Nursing Clogs and Other Clogs for Nurses
By far the most popular shoe on the nursing market is the black clog. It’s stylish, comfortable, and typically made of high-quality material. These are a few of our favorites on the market right now:
- Dansko Professional Clog -- This is arguably the original professional nursing shoe. High-quality, comfortable, and built-to-last this classic clog from Dansko boasts a range of colors and materials to choose from (although black is the classic choice.) Black leather options include: oiled, cabrio matte, and shiny patent. They range from $120 - $135 on the Dansko website.
- Alegria Paloma Mary-Janes -- Alegria medical shoes are designed specifically for nurses, so all the boxes will be ticked on these ones. Best for OR nurses, they’re made for standing long hours in. Like Dansko, Alegria nursing clogs come in a variety of colors, and are often topped off with a stylish and unique detail. Prices range from $119 - $129.95 at Alegriashoes.com.
- Nurse Mates Bryar Clog -- From Nurse Mates, a dedicated nursing clothing brand, these classic black nursing shoes received a glowing 4 - heart review on their parent website, and can be purchased for $72.95.
Best Running Shoes for Nurses
Running shoes double as great nursing shoes because they’re made for someone who is going to be on their feet and moving for long periods of time. These are some of the best sneakers for nurses that’ll keep you lean and mean while on your rounds.
- Nike Women’s Cheer Unite -- These athletic shoes are designed for maximum grip and arch support, putting a pep in your step during a long shift. Available in all-white synthetic leather for $119.99 on Amazon.
- Nike Flex RN 2018 -- Super lightweight, super flexible, these runners are available in a number of subdued but attractive colors on the Nike store site for $67.97.
- Skecher Sport Loving Life -- Runnerclick.com gave these shoes a 95.6 out of 100 review for female nurses, citing their lightness, comfort, and breathable material. They are available on Amazon for between $34.95 - $97.09.
Best Affordable Nursing Shoes
Affordable footwear for nurses doesn’t have to sacrifice quality or comfort. Some of the cheaper products available are also the most popular. Below are some options recommended by nurses from Reddit, Alegria, and Allheart.com.
- Crocs Unisex Classic Clog -- Vouched for by reddit user FootGearHub, these are the ultimate lightweight champions of comfortable shoes, regardless of your profession. They are available for as little as $14.99 on Amazon.
- Unisex Closed Black Clog -- A basic black clog, made from molded EVA and featuring antimicrobial inserts and anti-slip soles, you can purchase these in either black or white for $12.98 on the AllHearts online shop.
- Cherokee Women’s Exact Clog -- Another extra-light clog, completely synthetic and with rave reviews, these are available starting at $14.15 on Amazon.
- Alegria Clearance -- Not a specific plug, but they always have their high-quality products on sale. Sandals go from $49, with boots on sale for $99.
Best Rated Nursing Shoes
Don’t just take our word for it -- these professional nursing shoes are what everyone’s talking about (and they love them).
- Alegria Belle Mary-Janes -- The little sister of the Paloma, Alegria’s ‘Belles’ are slightly lower to the ground, with a subtle rocker outsole. Reviews are always 4-star and above. These are compatible with any Alegria replacement insert, and can be found on their website and at any Alegria retailer for $119.95
- Women’s Meredith Sport Clog -- Inspired by the popular medical drama series, Footwear by Grey’s Anatomy ranks high as one of the most comfortable and durable nursing shoes. And they come in leopard print too! Retailing at $119.98 on the AllHearts website.
- Timberland PRO Renova Slip-Ons -- Widely reviewed at a near-unanimous 5 stars, this sleek pro shoe is available on the Timberland site for $120, or for as little as $65 on Amazon.
Best Shoes for Nursing Students
As a student, you’ll probably be adhering to a more rigid dress code while going through training. The footwear in this section represent some of the best shoes for nursing school, and will keep you comfy an professional without sacrificing style.
- Alegria Classic Delicut -- A slip-in twist on the Mary Janes of the same brand, this is a classic cut-out model going for $129.95 on Alegriashoes.com and at retailers in the U.S. and Canada.
- Skecher’s D’Lites -- A sporty option to pair with your scrubs, this high-quality sneaker goes for $65 on the Skechers online shop.
- Dansko Professional White Box -- The sleek white clog; comfortable, professional, and super high-quality. These retail online for $120.
Comfortable and durable shoes are essential tools for nurses, who walk miles through the halls of hospitals and care facilities each day.
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