Nurses, doctors, and medical workers are our heroes in blue every day of the week. In 2020, they’ve worked even harder than ever. It’s no secret that healthcare practitioners are on their feet all day, so comfortable shoes for nurses and medical professionals are an absolute must.
For this list, I interviewed my aunt and cousin (who are both nurses) to understand the brands that they (and their colleagues) turn to for comfort and support. Here are the 7 best shoes for nurses based on real-life nurse feedback and online customer reviews.
- 1 Best Clogs for Nurses
- 2 Best Trainers for Nurses
- 3 The Best Shoes for Male Nurses
- 4 Nurses, Doctors, and Medical Professionals (Thank You!)
Best Clogs for Nurses
There are two types of nurses, ones that prefer trainers, and ones that prefer clogs. Clogs and mules are a popular option for nurses due to their comfortable but stylish fit. They all have a high platform and curved edge to reduce impact and fatigue on your lower limbs. That said, not shoes are up to the same standards, and we interviewed nurses to discover which ones faired well in the medical professional community.
The Dansko Women’s Professional clog steals the number one spot. It’s the most popular nursing shoe by far, with numerous beautiful designs available. It’s real leather, so expect some give after a little wear, and it’s easy to wipe down from any slips and spills. They definitely pass the comfort test. One reviewer on Amazon wrote, “I work 12-hour shifts in a hospital, and my leg and foot pain has decreased since wearing them.”
The platform is 0.75 inches, complemented with proper arch support and breathable foam padding. You’ll notice that the bottom of the shoe is significantly curved. This creates a rocking effect to reduce fatigue and impact on those overworked feet. You can expect your Dansko shoe to cost around $135 – the prices vary a bit on Amazon, so keep your eyes open, and you could score an absolute steal.
Calzuro takes our second place with a clog that opts for no upper ventilation. These are the best shoes for nurses and medical professionals who come into contact with biohazardous material (or bacteria) who need to autoclave their shoes regularly. Many Calzuro wearers are post-Dankso buyers who needed some extra support. With lugs (grip) that rivals the best trail running shoes, you definitely won’t be slipping in these nursing shoes.
The heel is 1.5 inches, which reduces fatigue, and the rubber makes it easy to wash. One medical professional reviews, “I work in the operating room and need something supportive, comfortable and washable.” As of June 2020, the Calzuro Autoclavable clog is a very reasonable $103 considering the amount of wear medical professionals are receiving from them.
Crocs tend to be quite polarizing (any Nickleback fans in the house?), yet they’re one of the most widely known shoe brands worldwide. Believe it or not, they’ve made a Clog (specifically for nurses), which takes the #3 spot on our list of shoes for medical professionals. They’re easy to wipe down with soap and water. You’ll also be able to make it through those long nights with a removable footbed if you prefer orthopedics.
They are rated 4 stars on Amazon, and many recommend that you order a size up. If you’re prone to sweating, it’s best to go with a Dansko or Calzuro because the lack of ventilation was a complaint from a couple of nurses. One reason to choose the Neria is that they have a thick surface to protect your feet from dropped objects. Another huge perk of the Croc Neria Pro is the price. Ranging around $50-$55, this is the best option for medical professionals on a budget.
Best Trainers for Nurses
Not a clog kind of girl? Many nurses and medical professionals are wearing sneakers on the job. In fact, these shoes are so supportive they can double as a running shoe. Most of these also come in men’s versions for our male nurses. There are a lot of incredible shoes on the market, and these were the best for comfort, slip-resistance, and value.
The Brooks Ghost 11 are designed to minimize impact and keep your feet secure. They have a segmented crash pad, which reduces the impact your feet experience on those extended hours up and down those hospital corridors. These shoes were designed for responsiveness while still providing a cushioned ride. At 8.8oz, you’ll feel light on your feet as you work.
With over 4,000 reviews, the Brooks Ghost 11 has been a massive success at 4.7 stars. Many happy customers rave that it’s become the perfect fit for high impact activities such as jumping, running, and HIIT. But, does it fair well for the 12-hour graveyard shift? Yes indeed, as they boost comfort, responsiveness, and support for a smooth night’s work. At $85, the Brooks Women’s Ghost 11 is the best shoe for nurses who prefer trainers over clogs.
Who says the slogan “Just Do It” is only reserved for professional athletes? Nike’s Revolution 5 is a slip-resistant shoe designed for some of our nation’s hardest workers. Nike has left convenient spaces in the traction to allow your foot to flex naturally while maneuvering between patients.
One buyer said, “I am a nurse and on my feet most of the day…One thing I really like about them is ankle support, it just feels good around my ankle.” You can expect support, comfort, and stability from the Nike Revolution 5. There is a range of buying options, but the median is $75, making it a solid choice for such a reputable brand.
The Skechers Work Sure Track Trickel is Skecher’s answer for those serving our communities for hours on end. With a 1 inch heel and a slip-resistant grip, you can expect comfort and stability as these shoes are equipped with the famous Skechers memory foam. Speaking from experience, I bought a pair of white Skechers (trainers) for an 80s party not long ago. The party shoes quickly became everyday sneakers because it genuinely feels like walking on a cloud! As if for whatever reason walking on clouds isn’t your thing, rest assured that the memory foam pad is removable too.
The Work Sure Skechers are highly rated at 4.4 stars from over 3,300 customer reviews. They are referred to as the “holy grail of work shoes” and “the most fantastic shoe I have ever worn.” The listing price is $75, but right now, you can score a pair for an incredibly cheap $52 (June 2020).
The Best Shoes for Male Nurses
2018 research from the Kaiser Family Foundation tells us that there were 333,350 male nurses in the USA. That’s around 9% of the nursing workforce. While women still dominate the nursing workforce, there are still plenty of options for men to find a specialized shoe. If you don’t want to opt for a pair of trainers, here is the most comfortable slip-on for our male nurses.
The Merrell Encore Gust slip-on is the ideal shoe for male nurses who prefer a bit of luxury. With a leather outer and a compression-molded fit, you’ll feel both secure and comfortable in these slip-ons. They’re designed with safety in mind (with a gripped sole for those slippery surfaces). The heel measures a high two inches providing plenty of shock absorbance as the days and nights roll on.
These are a popular shoe for men in both hospitality and medical professions. They’ve been purchased and rated by over 1,500 happy customers. Lots of men with “tricky feet” or orthopedic issues comment on their lasting support. The median price for the leading brand’s slip-on is around $100. If you’re a male nurse who is sick of wearing trainers, the Merrell Encore Gust slip-on is the best choice for you.
Nurses, Doctors, and Medical Professionals (Thank You!)
We’d like to thank all of our nurses, doctors, healthcare, and medical professionals for all those long hard hours spent saving lives. Most of us will never fully appreciate the scope of what it means to put your life on the line day in and day out. With that said, we hope some of these shoe recommendations come in handy, and from all of us at Elite Feet (and on behalf of our readers), thank you!