Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) are the true rock stars of the healthcare industry.
They take on some of the toughest jobs and assist doctors and nurses with many important tasks.
All that hard work means you need a shoe that will hold up well. These are 15 of the best.
*Disclosure: This article on the best shoes for CNAs may contain affiliate links. If you click and make a purchase, I may receive a commission. For more info, please see my disclaimer.
- Best Tennis Shoes for CNAs: Skechers Sport Women's Sneakers
“Tongue and collar have extra cushioning for added comfort.”
- Best Clog Shoes for CNAs: Dansko Women's Professional Clog
“Clogs are known for being one of the top shoe choices for medical professionals”
- Best White CNA Shoe: Nurse Mates Women's Dove Oxford
“They are easy to keep clean.”
- Best Nike CNA Shoe: Nike Women's Air Max Torch 4
“An athletic shoe with lightweight cushioning and mesh detail.”
- Best Shoe for Female CNAs: Dansko Women's Professional Clog
“Rocker bottom that provides a smooth glide so your feet won’t end up tired and sore at the end of a shift.”
- Best Shoe for Male CNAs: Nike Men's Lunar Fingertrap Cross Trainer
“Designed to provide a snug yet comfortable fit.”
Best Shoes for CNAs
1. Brooks Ghost 12
The best of everything in one shoe is what you’ll find with the Brooks Ghost 12.
It’s extremely lightweight but also very durable.
The BioMoGo DNA and DNA LOFT cushioning create just the right amount of responsiveness and support underfoot.
A nicely-designed mesh upper moves with the foot, and it’s also breathable so your feet stay cool, dry, and comfortable.
Extra shock absorption in the bottom and a Segmented Crash Pad means each stride you take is smooth and effortless.
Overall, a great shoe that provides just the right amount of comfort and support.
- Breathable mesh upper
- Perfect amount of cushioning
- Extra shock absorption
- Rubber outsole wears away quickly
- Too high on the heel
- Slightly narrow
Check the price of the Brooks Ghost 12 on Amazon.
2. Nurse Mates Women’s Dove Oxford
- Shock-absorbing EVA unit bottom features durable, slip-resistant rubber inserts.
- Outer heel shell has a polyurethane core that delivers powerful, shock-absorbing protection.
- Stain-resistant leather upper offers durability and unparalleled softness.
They’re made from durable leather so they are easy to keep clean and they also look very professional.
While they come in two colors- black and white- the basic white has been worn by nurses for decades.
The bottoms are slip-resistant, which is an important feature for busy CNAs.
Since they don’t have laces, finding the right size for your foot is crucial to avoid the shoe slipping off.
Thicker socks can be worn if this becomes a problem.
- Durable leather upper is easy-to-clean
- Slip-resistant sole
- Slip on design
- Only offered in two colors
- Squeaks loudly on hard surfaces
- Not very supportive
Check the price of the Nurse Mates Women's Dove Oxford on Amazon.
3. Calzuro Autoclavable Clog
- Italian made: * The bottom of the shoe sole lists UK sizing. US sizing is not marked anywhere on the Calzuro shoes. Please refer to the size chart link or 4th image for the Italian/ US conversions.
- Anti-static, eco-friendly, latex free, cruelty free & metal free
- 1.5" heel to reduce fatigue
This Calzuro Autoclavable Clog is high-quality and a breeze to clean thanks to its ability to be placed in the washing machine, dishwasher, or a special autoclave machine.
With all the messes you encounter as a CNA, the ability to clean these so easily is the top-selling feature.
Aside from that, they are also breathable because they have air vents on the top of the shoe to keep feet cool.
They’re made from durable rubber and are slip-resistant. A wide assortment of colors are offered, including a basic white and black and cool designs like pink or blue tie-dye.
- Machine washable
- Durable rubber material
- Over a dozen colors offered
- Minimal arch support
- Sizing runs a little big
- Material is very stiff
Check the price of the Calzuro Autoclavable Clog on Amazon.
4. Sanita Women’s Professional Clog
- Textured Oil leather upper
- Microfiber Insole
There’s nothing quite like the comfort of a great clog, and these Sanita Women's Professional Clogs definitely fit the bill.
They are made from genuine leather so the upper is soft and supple, but also extremely durable.
The heel is a thick 1.75 inches and provides plenty of shock absorption between your foot and the floor.
Like with most clogs, the top of the clog tends to be a bit tight around the foot.
This can be remedied by purchasing a half a size up from your normal size to ensure a proper fit.
- Genuine leather upper
- Supportive heel
- Slip on design
- Tends to fit tight across the top
- Only offered in 2 colors
- The higher heel may cause some instability
Check the price of the Sanita Women's Professional Clogs on Amazon.
5. Skechers Sport Women’s Sneaker
- Slip-on sneaker with polished hardware and cushioned tongue and collar
- Supportive sole
- Padded collar and tongue
Skechers are known for their super supportive sneakers, and these Skechers Sport Women's Sneakers are no exception.
They have a leather upper which keeps the foot securely in place and looks great. The upper also has tiny air holes to keep feet cool and dry while you work.
The tongue and collar have extra cushioning for added comfort at the top of the foot and heel.
There’s also a supportive footbed with EVA foam that provides superior bounce back with every step. A thicker heel also provides some added shock absorption and support.
- Durable leather upper
- Vented holes on upper
- Extra cushion at tongue and collar
- Only offered in 2 colors
- Sizing runs small
- Complaints of the soles splitting rather quickly
Check the price of the Skechers Sport Women's Sneakers on Amazon.
6. Sticky Comfortable Work Shoes
- WOMEN SIZES - Super comfortable and lightweight shoes! SIZE 10.5 - They typically run a little bit large.
- Made with a powerful non slip outsole! The upper and outsole are waterproof, so you don't have to worry about wetting your feet anymore.
- The footbed is made with an absorbent material to keep your feet dry all day long!
If you want a shoe that fits like a glove, you’ve found it with these Sticky Comfortable Work Shoes.
The name says it all- they are incredibly comfortable. The upper is made from synthetic materials and it’s super flexible.
All of the materials are waterproof, including the insole, so you never have to worry if your feet get wet.
The insole is made from a moisture-wicking material that keeps your feet dry all day long. It also has extra support at the heel and the arch so your feet feel comfortable and supported.
- Waterproof materials
- Insole keeps feet cool and dry
- Added support at the heel and arch
- Complaints of the soles cracking
- A little heavy
- Upper might be too flexible
Check the price of the Sticky Comfortable Work Shoes on Amazon.
7. Skechers Work Sure Track
- Slip-resistant work shoe with athletic cushion and comfort
- 1 inch built in heel
- Stretch top panel. Heel pull-on loop
These Skechers Work Sure Track shoes are perfect for busy CNAs who are always on their feet because they are very comfortable and also slip-resistant.
The upper is made from a high-quality leather that is both durable and stretchy. The addition of a stretchy panel at the top makes them even more flexible.
There’s also a heel loop at the back to make slipping the shoe on even easier.
As a busy CNA, you don’t want to have to spend any more time putting your shoes on than you have to and these are a breeze to slip on.
- Stretchy panel on upper
- Slip-resistant outsole
- Heel loop
- Only 2 colors
- May not provide enough traction on wet floors
- Minimal arch support
Check the price of the Skechers Work Sure Track on Amazon.
8. Skechers Sport Women’s Sneaker
- Laceless sneaker featuring perforated side panels with "S" logos
- Gore insets at tongue
- Padded collar
Fashion and durability combine in this Skechers Sport Women's Sneaker.
The leather upper looks more professional than synthetic materials, so even though it’s a sneaker, it’s still appropriate for work.
The small details are what really make this shoe stand out, like the silver details on the top and sides of the shoe.
This sneaker is also all about comfort. There are elastic gores on either side of the tongue so they easily slip on.
Extra padding is placed at the collar to prevent heel abrasions. There’s also a memory-foam insole so each step feels like you’re walking on a cloud.
- Slip-on design
- Professional-looking leather upper
- Cool silver details throughout
- Sizing runs small
- Narrow toe box
- Complaints of the sole separating
Check the price of the Skechers Sport Women's Sneaker on Amazon.
9. Dansko Women’s Professional Clog
- Available in a range of versatile leather uppers
- Anti-fatigue rocker bottom with energy return
- Firm footbed for full foot, leg and back support
The beautiful detailing on this Dansko Women's Professional Clog sets it apart from the rest.
Clogs are known for being one of the top shoe choices for medical professionals because of their durability and comfort, but they are often very plain looking.
These shoes are anything but, with their exquisite embossed detail on the genuine leather upper.
Besides looking great, they also feel great.
There’s a rocker bottom that provides a smooth glide so your feet won’t end up tired and sore at the end of a shift. The footbed provides firm support for all arches.
- Pretty embossed detailing on upper
- Rocker bottom
- Firm arch support
- Feet may slide inside the shoes
- Slip-resistant but not slip proof bottom
- A little heavy
Check the price of the Dansko Women's Professional Clog on Amazon.
10. Alegria Women’s Debra Slip-On
- Double elastic gore for easy in-and-out
- Leather upper and lining
If you’re looking for a cute and comfy shoe, these Alegria Women's Debra Slip-On shoes are made for you.
They come in dozens of fun colors and designs so there’s something to appeal to every personality.
Each design features the signature butterfly logo that adds a sweet detail to this durable work shoe.
They are also very versatile. While the included footbed provides plenty of cushion and support, it’s also removable so you can add in your own custom inserts.
The appeal of this shoe is complete with a rocker style outsole that’s also slip-resistant.
- Dozens of attractive colors and designs
- Removable footbed
- Slip-resistant rocker bottom
- Slip-resistant but not slip-proof bottom
- Upper tends to scuff easily
- Complaints of the sole separating
Check the price of the Alegria Women's Debra Slip-On on Amazon.
11. Dansko Professional
- Leather and or fabric uppers
- Padded instep collar for comfort when walking
- Roomy reinforced toe box for protection with plenty of "wiggle room" for your toes
This Dansko Professional clog is a traditional clog with some modern features.
It has all of the basic features that clogs are known for, like a slip-on design, platform heel, and roomy toe box, but it also has updated features like a durable leather upper, a shock-absorbing polyurethane sole, and a padded instep collar.
CNAs are faced with many challenges throughout the day, including lifting patients and walking or running on hard surfaces in between patients.
A slip-resistant bottom with a wide base is essential for keeping your feet firmly planted on the ground during these tasks, and these shoes have it.
- Slip-on design
- Roomy toe box
- Wide heel
- Tight across the top
- Difficult to get the sizing right
- A little clunky
Check the price of the Dansko Professional on Amazon.
12. Merrell Women’s Work Shoe
The synthetic upper on this Merrel Women's Work Shoe is super durable and very simple to clean.
It just needs to be wiped clean with a damp cloth to remove any dirt and grime that accumulates during a work shift.
The footbed is also removable and can be washed when needed.
These shoes easily slip on and off thanks to the double elastic gores on either side of the upper.
Although there are no air holes for ventilation, the lining of the shoe is made with an antimicrobial material which resists unpleasant odors.
- Easy-to-clean synthetic upper
- Removable footbed can be washed
- Antimicrobial lining resists unpleasant odors
- Only comes in 3 colors
- Design is very basic
- Loud squeaking occurs on hard surfaces
Check the price of the Merrel Women's Work Shoe on Amazon.
13. Nurse Mates Women’s Lace-Up
- Shock-absorbing EVA unit bottom has rubber inserts that offer durable slip resistance.
- Inner polyurethane core provides shock-absorbing protection from heel to toe.
- Soft leather upper resists stains for easy maintenance.
If you appreciate the classic look of a Nurse Mates shoe, but want something a bit more modern, this Nurse Mates Women's Lace-Up shoe is an excellent option.
It has the traditional look of a Nurse Mates white leather upper, but in lace up form instead of a slip on design.
There’s still the same comfort you’ve come to expect from Nurse Mates, including a shock absorbing polyurethane core and EVA foam inserts.
There’s also a sock liner for added comfort and the leather upper is easy to clean so you don’t have to do a lot of extra work.
- Lace up design
- Easy-to-clean leather upper
- Shock absorbing core
- Only offered in white
- Toe box is almost too wide
- Squeaks loudly
Check the price of the Nurse Mates Women's Lace-Up on Amazon.
14. Klog’s Nursing Clog
- Contoured polyurethane footbed can be removed to accommodate orthotics.
- Slip-resistant polyurethane outsole absorbs shock and returns energy for a smooth, easy stride.
- Odor-absorbing microfiber linings wick away moisture and help keep feet dry and cool.
The variety of design options offered with the Klog's Nursing Clog is what makes them so appealing.
There are dozens of great designs, all with different style uppers.
Everything from suede to matte leather to shiny leather is offered in these awesome clogs.
The genuine leather upper is super durable so these shoes are sure to last a long time.
There’s a slip-resistant polyurethane outsole which absorbs shock in two ways- naturally with the polyurethane material and also due to the fact that the heel measures around 2 inches.
The larger heel means more shock absorption between your foot and the floor.
- Dozens of designs
- Slip-resistant outsole
- Thick heel for shock absorption
- Outsole isn’t flexible
- Sizing runs big
- Complaints of designs fading
Check the price of the Klog's Nursing Clog on Amazon.
15. HKR Womens Walking Tennis Shoes
- [STRETCHABLE FABRIC UPPER]: Whether it's naturally breathable materials, technical membranes and meshes or Active Air technology, our shoes help you move more comfortably
- [EASY ON AND OFF]: Are you tired of just lacing your darn shoes every time? These women's walking shoes feature elastic slip-on closure with a small tab at the backs to help users pull them on
- [REDUCE HEEL PAIN]: The women's walking shoes with Arch Support insole as well as Memory Foam construction which are a great option for women who suffer from plantar fasciitis, bunions, and other foot...
Talk about a unique shoe! These HKR Womens Walking Tennis Shoes are a real show stopper.
The stretchy fabric upper fits like a sock and it looks super sleek.
They may seem like they’re hard to get on, but there’s a handy loop at the back that makes slipping them on easier.
There’s a memory foam insole with plenty of arch support to keep your feet happy.
The rubber outsole provides plenty of traction on slippery surfaces without making a loud squeaking noise that can be quite obnoxious. These shoes look and feel great!
- Unique looking upper
- Back loop to put them on
- Rubber outsole
- Upper is not very stable
- Difficult to wear with socks
- Complaints of upper material unraveling
Check the price of the HKR Womens Walking Tennis Shoes on Amazon.
Shoe Buying Guide for CNAs
1. Breathable Upper
One of the most important features of a shoe is its breathability.
Shoes that aren’t breathable can cause sweating, foul odors, and even medical problems like athlete’s foot.
Since the athlete’s foot is a fungus, it thrives on warm moist places, like the insides of shoes.
Shoes with air holes for venting are ideal because they allow air to flow in and around the foot, keeping them dry.
Mesh fabric is another good option because it is lightweight and breathable.
If neither of those are possible, find a shoe with an antimicrobial sock liner that wicks moisture away and prevents fungus from forming.
2. Shock Absorption
You may have heard shock absorption mentioned frequently when runners talk about shoes, and that’s because it’s so important.
Without sufficient shock absorption, the joints in the lower body can become very sore and more prone to injury.
Shoes can help absorb the impact of a foot hitting the ground in several different ways:
- Having a thicker sole to provide more surface area between the foot and the ground.
- Using materials that absorb shock like EVA foam and polyurethane.
- Add extra layers of cushioning to soften the blow of each step. Memory foam is a great option for this.
3. OSHA Compliant
OSHA is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, an organization that ensures safe conditions for workers.
One of the ways they ensure employees have safe working conditions is by enforcing a certain dress code.
A particular dress code can help prevent injuries to employees.
Some examples of an OSHA compliant dress code are proper eyewear, hard hats, clothing that won’t become entangled in equipment, and shoes that provide the right amount of traction on slippery surfaces.
Shoes made with rubber outsoles are almost always OSHA compliant because they grip slippery surfaces and help prevent slips and falls at work.
Replace: How to Clean Your Shoes
4. Slip-On Versus Laces
Slip-on shoes are super easy to grab on-the-go, which is a bonus for any busy CNA.
While slip-on shoes are convenient, they don’t always provide the same support that a shoe with laces does.
Laced shoes can be tied tighter to create a custom and secure fit.
Shoes that are too loose can slip off and cause a tripping hazard while at work. Laces can keep shoes securely on the feet.
Laces can also be easy to trip over, which can cause a safety issue in and of itself, so make sure they are tied securely to prevent injury.
5. Removable Footbed
Not all shoes come with a removable footbed.
Ones with a memory foam footbed are usually not removable. Removable footbeds are ideal for several reasons, including:
- Allowing the wearer to remove them and place their own inserts in.
- Being easier to clean.
- Can easily be replaced if they become worn out or damaged.
If you wear orthotics, a removable footbed is a must-have.
Related: When to Replace Your Shoes
One of the hardest working group of people in the medical field deserve a comfortable pair of shoes to work in.
All of these shoes offer their own unique benefits, so which one you choose depends on what your personal needs are. Your feet will be happy you bought them.