15 Best Shoes for Nurses (in 2019)

The nursing profession has so many benefits and can be very rewarding! Its effect on our feet is not one of them. Nursing is one of the most active and physically demanding occupations on the planet, and all that physical activity sure can have a negative impact on our feet.

Finding the right pair of shoes is important for everyone, but it’s vital for nurses. Without the right fit, comfort level, and arch support, your feet will give you more trouble than the doctors do!

But fit, comfort, and arch support are just the jumping-off point when it comes to finding the best footwear. 

And, since you’re a busy professional, the last thing you need is to spend hours and hours of your precious time researching the best shoes.

That’s why we’ve created this list of the best shoes for nurses along with an informative shoe-buying guide that will help you put your best foot forward.

*disclosure: this post may contain affiliate links. If you click and make a purchase, I may receive a commission. For more info, please see my disclaimer

Quick Look

Best Nike Shoes for Nurses: Nike Women’s WMNS Air Max 90 Trainers
“Provides great arch support.”

Best New Balance Shoes for Nurses: New Balance Women’s w940v3 Running Shoe
“Comfortable enough for nurses to wear their entire shift.”

Best Clark Shoes for Nurses: CLARKS Women’s Ayla Sloane Loafer
“Impact absorbent comfort.”

Best Brooks Shoes for Nurses: Brooks Women’s Glycerin 17
“Customers with high arches report the shoe felt good on their feet.”

Best Dansko Shoes for Nurses: Dansko Women’s Professional Clog
“Provides exceptional traction.”

Best Alegria Shoes for Nurses: Alegria Women’s Keli Professional
“Ideal for everyday wear.”

Best Asics Shoes for Nurses: Asics Women’s Gel-Kayano 23 Running
“Comes in a lot of styles and colors.”

Best Tennis Shoes for Nurses: K-Swiss Women’s Hypercourt Express Tennis Shoe
“Easy to slip-on.”

Best Shoes for Nurses-Men: New Balance Men’s M1540v2
“Wide toe box for extra room.”

Best Leather Shoes for Nurses: Nurse Mates Women’s Libby Slip On
“Lightweight.”

Best Dress Shoes for Nurses: CLARKS Women’s Linvale Jerica Pump
“Works well for day or night use.”

Editor’s Choice

Our list of the best shoes for nurses is packed with comfortable, affordable, and top-quality shoes. But you’re probably wondering if we have a choice for number one? 

Yes, we do. 

Our choice is #8 Dansko Women’s Professional Clogs. (Sorry, guys; this pick’s for the women.)

The Dansko Women’s Professional Clog is not only a winner with us but also with consumers. In our research and travels, we could find very few folks who didn’t love these wonderful shoes. 

And they’re especially highly rated among nurses. This shoe is not only attractive and stylish. It’s super comfortable, it wears well for all-day or all-night shifts, and it even works well for those who have foot and joint problems. 

Also, these shoes are durable and will weather even the worst shift well!  Dansko clogs will protect your feet from spills and minor accidents.  

If you’re a woman who’s looking for high style along with affordability and comfort, you’d be hard-pressed to find better.

But remember—all of the shoes on our “best list” are chosen because they’re exceptionally good for the hard, physically demanding, long shifts that nurses work. 

So, whether you’re a man or woman; whether you’re a fan of tennis or running shoes, clogs, loafers, or even pumps; whether you’re looking for great arch support, superb, cushiony comfort, lasting durability, style, or all of the above—our list of the best shoes for nurses is sure to have the ideal shoe for you.

The Best Shoes for Nurses

Nurses, get ready to see some really wonderful shoes that will knock your socks off

The shoes we’ve chosen for our ‘15- best’ list are all top-quality, top-rated, and top-notch footwear that will give you one less thing to worry about. 

After all, a comfortable nurse is a happy nurse is an effective nurse!

1) Nike Women’s WMNS Air Max 90 Trainers

If you’re a fan of an all-things sneaker, you’ll love these Nike WMNS Air Max 90 Trainers. They come in a ton of fun colors and styles.

Nurses need to run! at a moment’s notice, and these powerful kicks will afford you great style and comfort whilst getting you up and on your feet at the drop of a surgical cap.

Comfort and cushiony support are vital to nurses’ feet, and these have a plush foam midsole that will provide the support you need.

They’re made of leather and have a rubber sole that gives you great treading on those cold hospital tiles. Watch out for that chemical spill! No matter—with your Nike Air Max 90 Trainers, you’ll glide right through it.

What people are saying about these:

  • Like walking on clouds!
  • Very comfortable and supportive.
  • Very attractive—can’t wait to show them off!
  • So comfortable and great support.

Pros:

  • Provide great arch support.
  • Colors are true to the pictures.
  • Depending on where you purchase them, you can get free returns on some of the sizes and colors.
  • Very well-constructed.
  • Come in many attractive colors and styles.
  • Nike name is well-known and trusted.
  • Great for flat feet.
  • Extremely comfortable.
  • Great treading for the physical activities demanded of nurses.
  • Supportive heel, plush foam midsole, and cushiony construction give great comfort and arch support.

Cons:

  • Can be a bit pricey for some nurses’ budgets.
  • Some customers report disappointment in the box the shoes came in.

Check out the other reviews of the Nike Women’s Air Max 90 Trainers on Amazon.

2) Nike Men’s Lunar Fingertrap Cross Trainer

Men have come a long way in the nursing field. Back 50 years ago, male nurses were so few and far between that the actual term ‘male nurse’ was used for, well, male nurses!

The number of men in nursing has more than tripled in the past half-century. Men now make up about 10% of the nursing workforce—and those numbers are climbing.

In keeping up with this ever-increasing trend, a few of our top-rated 15-best are dedicated solely to the noble 10% of men who stand alongside the noble 90% of women in the nursing field. We’ll start with another comfortable shoe from Nike.

These attractive and uniquely designed cross trainers are wildly comfortable. They’re durable, and they can take the immense beating ‘male nurses’ will give them throughout their long, demanding shifts.

This shoe includes what Nike calls ‘Dynamic Fit’ technology, which enables guys to achieve a ‘glove-like’ fit and feel. The solid rubber outsole is reported by Nike as offering great treading for all the moving, lifting, and shifting that nurses must do.

They’re lightweight and breathable, and those deep, wide flexible grooves in their unique design make these almost as movable on your feet as not wearing shoes at all.

What people are saying about these:

  • My second pair and I love them!
  • Take a little time to break-in, but worth it.
  • Bought them for my husband and was so jealous of the design that I bought myself a pair!
  • Arch support is great.
  • Purchased these for my 8-year-old son, and he loves them.
  • Clean up nicely.
  • Have plenty of support.
  • Hold up well.
  • True to size.
  • Serious issues with the sizing chart, had to order smaller.
  • Shoes are super slippery in water.

Pros:

  • Unique, attractive design.
  • ‘Dynamic Fit’ technology provides a glove-like fit and feel.
  • Solid rubber outsole doesn’t leave marks on hospital floors.
  • Good traction for the physical demands of nursing.
  • Deep, flexible grooves allow natural movement of feet.
  • Very lightweight.
  • Multidirectional outsole pattern provides added traction.
  • Excellent for cross-training.
  • These shoes can run on the narrow side.
  • Moderately priced to fit many nurses’ budgets.
  • Excellent for everyday use.
  • Great built-in arch support.

Cons:

  • A few customers report slippery traction.
  • Shoes tend to run narrow.
  • Comes in very few colors and styles.

Check out the Nike Men’s Lunar Fingertrap Cross Trainer on Amazon.

3) New Balance Women’s w940v3 Running Shoe

New Balance is another respected and trusted name in the shoe business, particularly when you’re looking for comfortable shoes for nurses.

The NB Women’s w940v3 is a beautiful running shoe that we chose because of all the running nurses do!

Run from one patient’s room to the next; run for a call bell; run down the hall alongside a gurney—the running, sprinting, racing, and rushing never stops for our noble profession, and these babies will see you through from minute one to the end of your shift.

New Balance reports this running shoe as providing the ‘ultimate in stability,’ a must for busy nurses on-the-move.

It contains NB’s ‘ABZORB,’ which is an underfoot cushioning that offers exceptional all-day comfort. The breaking-in period is short due to some improvements the company has made from its last version to this product.

It only comes in a couple colors, but those colors are delightful, soft, and pleasing to the eye.

What people are saying about these:

  • I can walk farther with less pain than other shoes.
  • Highly recommend to people who use orthotics.
  • Wore them for my entire 8-hour shift with no problems.
  • Fantastic to find a New Balance shoe that isn’t white!
  • Very nice both in appearance and comfort.
  • Love the way they look!

Pros:

  • Cushiony and bouncy enough for nurses to wear their entire shift.
  • Just enough room in the toe area.
  • Enough room for orthotic inserts.
  • Great for walking
  • Mesh material is breathable and movable.
  • Don’t feel clunky on your feet.
  • Great for people with knee and other joint problems.

Cons:

  • Only come in a few colors.
  • Price can be a bit prohibitive to some budgets.
  • Some consumers report that these run a bit large.

Check out the NB w940v3 running shoe on Amazon.

4) New Balance Women’s W1260v6 Running Shoe

If you’re into style along with your comfort, you’ll love this running shoe. It’s another wonderful example of New Balance’s dedication to making attractive, comfortable shoes that last.

New Balance is most known for designing shoes for athletes, and isn’t that really what we nurses are?! Seriously, can you think of another profession that does more cross training than we do?

Running, jumping, lifting, vaulting, wrestling—every one of us is like a one-person, all-inclusive Olympic event!

Nurses, you’ll simply love the beautiful colors offered in this imported NB athletic shoe. Of course, style is nothing for a nursing shoe if you don’t have comfort and proper arch support, and these shoes surely have all that.

They’re made of 100% textile and synthetic, and they have an effective rubber sole that gives great treading. Plus, these have what New Balance calls, ‘Fantom Fit.’

This means they’re designed with lightweight material that doesn’t feel clunky on the feet like a lot of sneakers can. They deliver proper support that protects your feet during those long shifts.

What people are saying about these:

  • I have a flat foot, and my pain after standing long hours is gone.
  • Would definitely recommend this product!
  • I had foot surgery, and these make my feet feel better.
  • Single-threaded, not double-threaded like my last pair of New Balance shoes.
  • A little too expensive but worth it.
  • I’ve been running in these shoes for months, and I can’t believe the difference.
  • I overpronate, and these shoes keep my feet straight.
  • So much support and padding in the right places!
  • Great shoes for stability! I absolutely love them. A little pricey but worth it.
  • These hurt the bottom of my feet and caused them to get numb.

Pros:

  • Great for flat feet because they provide great arch support.
  • Come in a few attractive and feminine colors.
  • Moderately priced to fit into many nurses’ budgets.
  • Exceptional comfort.
  • Excellent support for overpronators.
  • Provide great stability.

Cons:

  • Price may be outside of some nurses’ budgets.
  • Colors may be too ‘neon’ for some hospitals and doctors’ offices.
  • A few consumers report numbness after wearing these shoes.

Check out the New Balance Women’s W1260v6 running on Amazon.

5) New Balance Men’s 990v4

Men, we haven’t forgotten you. You’re a driving force in today’s nursing industry, and we’re right behind you with another great New Balance shoe for you. 

And if you’re picky about the look of your shoe, stand back! … because this amazing NB running shoe comes in literally dozens of colors and styles!

New Balance originated in the early 1900s as a shoe company best known for its shoes that were exceptional for arch support. 

In fact, they were founded as ‘the New Balance Arch Support Company,’ and these shoes surely fit that description. The arch support of these wonderful men’s shoes will help make working those long nursing shifts more than bearable. 

The 100% leather and textile design, rubber sole, and the fact that these are made in the USA, make these a wonderful value. The price can be a bit high, depending on which ones you choose, but as with others on our list, that investment can be well worth it.

What people are saying about these:

  • I live in a hot climate, have been wearing these for years, and my feet never get hot.
  • Most comfortable and supportive running shoe I’ve bought in years.
  • I am completely sold to the New Balance 990v—have them in six different colors!
  • Very good shoes for standing long periods of time.
  • Finally, a running shoe with excellent lateral, roll, and ankle support.
  • New Balance never lets me down!
  • Great for my aging feet.
  • Fairly lightweight.
  • Retain enough mesh to provide great breathing and to minimize heat.

Pros:

  • Provide excellent arch support.
  • Come in dozens of styles and colors for every taste and office/hospital requirement.
  • Superbly designed.
  • Extremely comfortable.
  • Exceptionally breathable; feet don’t get hot in this running shoe.
  • Great for flat feet and overpronators.

Cons:

  • Priced a bit high for some nurses’ budgets.
  • Some consumers report the heels are stiff, don’t break in as easily as some other New Balance products.

Check out the other reviews for New Balance Men’s 990v4 on Amazon.

6) New Balance Men’s M1540v2

So, if men make up roughly 10% of the nursing workforce, we should include one and a half shoes for men on our list, right? 

Well, that’s just silly! Men need attractive, stylish, affordable, and comfortable shoes just like their female nurse counterparts do, and that’s why we’ve included this last one for the guys.

From New Balance comes these good-looking, no-nonsense, and super comfortable running shoes that are ideal for nurses. 

Guys, you’ll be very happy with these because of their construct, which is made up of 75% synthetic and 25% mesh for extra breathability. They have a roll-bar support system that makes for added support for all that excessive moving around you need to do on those long nursing shifts. 

Plus, they include a padded and breathable tongue that’s an added bonus for the physical demands placed on you throughout your entire shift, from beginning to end.

What people are saying about these:

  • These have been a godsend for my plantar fasciitis.
  • These have so much support.
  • Officially logged over 500 walking miles (exercise) on these, and they’re just starting to show signs of wear.
  • Excellent for everyday wear.
  • Excellent shoe for people with joint pain.

Pros:

  • Wide toe box for extra room for those who need it.
  • Great for people with arthritis, knee, and other joint pain.
  • Wear extremely well.
  • Cushioned and very comfortable.
  • Wide toe box for extra room for those who require it.
  • Very breathable.

Cons:

  • Some consumers report these run a half-size too large.
  • High price can be prohibitive for many nurses’ budgets.

Check out the New Balance M1540v2 on Amazon.com.

7) CLARKS Women’s Ayla Sloane Loafer

C. & J. Clark International Ltd., or ‘Clarks’ to most of us, has been around for nearly two hundred years! They’re a well-known, highly respected British shoe manufacturer notable for their attractive, comfortable shoes that are more than affordable. And these stylish loafers certainly are no exception.

Pretty, fun, and easy-to-wear, the Ayla Sloane Loafer comes in a few neutral-ish colors that can work for any female nurse’s hospital or doctors’ office’s requirements.

These imports are 100% fabric or textile, and their rubber sole makes them easy to ‘tread lightly’ from one patient’s room to another. One of the best things about this shoe is that they’re not only affordable; they’re a ‘Clark’s Cloudstepper.’

That means they’re so ‘featherlight,’ Clark reports you’ll feel like you’re walking on air and you’ll ‘barely notice they’re there’! The ‘cushion-soft’ technology of these shoes makes them ultra-comfortable.

What people are saying about these:

  • Love the style, color, and weight.
  • Did not provide enough arch support.
  • I am happy as it is very comfortable to wear as I have swollen feet.
  • The toe box was way too small.

Pros:

  • ‘Cloudstepper’ technology makes them ultra-lightweight.
  • Exceptionally low price that can fit into all nurses’ budgets.
  • Slip-on style is great for nursing because of its convenience.
  • Excellent cushioning provides impact-absorbent comfort.

Cons:

  • Some consumers report the toe box is too small and causes blistering.

Check out the other reviews for the Clarks Women’s Ayla Sloane Loafer on Amazon.com.

8) CLARKS Women’s Step Glow Slip Loafer Flat

Here again we’ve got a wonderful shoe from British-born Clark’s, known for their comfortable shoes that fit into all budgets. Nurses will be happy with this one because it comes in many lovely styles and colors that can easily transition from scrubs to pubs.

The soft fabric lining of this pleasing-to-the-eye imported loafer gives them an easy, breezy style that works all throughout your shift. The rubber sole makes for great tread-wear on slippery hospital tiles. 

Plus, here we’ve got another one of Clark’s ‘Cloudsteppers,’ which means it’s got ultra-lightweight comfort that helps you step lively throughout your entire long shift. 

These also have a removable ‘OrthoLite footbed with ‘Cushion-Soft’ technology, which is a Clark’s design that translates to cushiony comfort all day long.

What people are saying about these:

  • Very stylish and look great on the feet.
  • Clark’s did it again coming up with a comfortable stylish shoe which is perfect for spring and summer.
  • Not a huge arch support, but a very comfortable shoe.
  • Perfect for all summer clothes.

            So incredibly comfortable.

Pros:

  • Come in many colors and styles.
  • Exceptionally low price that can fit into all nurses’ budgets.
  • Cushiony comfort that lasts.
  • Very attractive and stylish.

Cons:

  • Some consumers report these don’t have great arch support.
  • Run a bit large.
  • A few consumers report tightness in toe bed.
  • Some consumers report these rub against the skin.

Check out the Clarks Women’s Step Glow on Amazon.com.

9) Dansko Women’s Professional Clog

Who’ da thunk it? Clogs have just about become a staple in nursing footwear, and these fun clogs prove why. Gone are the days of the ‘clunky’ clog, particularly when you’re speaking about shoes that are right for nurses. 

These attractive clogs from Dansko can make an ideal choice for nurses who want great style to go with their much-needed comfort. 

Dansko, an employee-owned Pennsylvania footwear manufacturer, is well-known for its comfortable shoes that are durable and affordable (source).

This wonderful shoe is made of 100% leather and has a suede sole for added style. They have a bit of a platform, which actually can make for easier moving throughout a nurse’s long shift than shoes that are flat. 

There’s a protective heel counter that helps heels freely bounce around while simultaneously providing ultra-stability—all a huge plus for the physical demands of nursing. The padded instep collar and contoured midsole provide exceptional arch support. 

Finally, this model has what Dansko calls ‘anti-fatigue rocker bottom,’ which they report helps to set the feet in forward motion, providing energy and superb shock absorption. And can you think of any profession that needs more forward motion than nurses?!

What people are saying about these:

  • My 29-year nursing shoe favorite!
  • I have plantar fasciitis, and have never had another flare [since buying these shoes]!
  • I work four 12-hour shifts—my feet and legs only survive thanks to Dansko.
  • Dansko is the benchmark!
  • Hadn’t worn Danskos in a few years and I had forgotten how amazing they felt.
  • They are a sturdy shoe and my last ones lasted about 10 years.
  • Have received a lot of compliments on these.
  • I wear these for 12-hour shifts as a nurse and they are the best shoes for their purpose.
  • Don’t have sore, tired, aching feet by the end of the night.
  • These shoes are everything I wanted them to be.

Pros:

  • Provide exceptional traction for the wide array of physical demands placed on nurses.
  • Nicely priced to fit into nearly all nurse’s budgets.
  • Excellent for everyday wear.
  • Work well even for plantar fasciitis and other foot conditions.
  • Exceptional all-day comfort for nurses’ long shifts.

Cons:

  • A few consumers report that the instep is too narrow.
  • Some consumers state creasing occurs after only a few months of wear.

See the price of the Dansko Women’s Professional Clog on Amazon.

10) Dansko Women’s Xp 2.0 Clog

Dansko is simply on fire with amazing, attractive, and affordable clogs! 

The Dansko Women’s XP 2.0 Clog is another example of the comfortable shoes this company can come up with—and they’re all ideal for the nursing profession. 

The physical demands heaped on nurses can equate to a never-ending story of foot, ankle, leg, and knee pain for nurses, and here we see Dansko coming to the rescue again.

Nurses, you might just end up being a clog hog when you purchase a pair of these. In fact, they’re our number-one pick out of this entire list of the best and most ideal shoes for nurses! 

These are very affordable and fit into the budgets of most nurses. These are 100% leather, have a platform that gives extra arch support, and they have a super-roomy reinforced toe box for what Dansko reports as extra ‘wiggle room.’ 

Plus, these too have the Dansko ‘anti-fatigue rocker bottom’ that’s shock-absorbent and provides super energy throughout a nurse’s arduous shift. 

Finally, this comfortable shoe comes in well over a dozen of the most attractive styles you’ll ever see in a clog!

What people are saying about these:

  • I’m an operating-room nurse, and I won’t work a shift without them!
  • I stand on my feet 8-10 hours a day & am constantly either running around or standing still. These are fantastic & I swear by these!
  • Made very well.
  • Less break-in time than other clogs.
  • I have problems with my knees, and wearing these clogs makes walking a couple of miles pleasurable.
  • I stand up straighter and have better posture in general.
  • The sole is so soft!

Pros:

  • Very cushiony and comfortable.
  • Great for nurses who have knee problems.
  • Excellent arch support.
  • Superior traction for potentially slippery hospital floors.
  • Spongy but firm and cushioned heel.
  • Comfortable fit with just enough room in the toe and heel.
  • Moderate price can fit into many nurses’ budgets.

Cons:

  • A few consumers report that these can stretch out over time.
  • Moderate price doesn’t fit into all nurses’ budgets.

See the price of the Dansko Women’s Xp 2.0 Clog on Amazon.com.

11) Alegria Women’s Keli Professional

If you’re looking for an attractively styled shoe that’s both comfortable and no-nonsense, the Keli Professional from Alegria may be the one for you. 

This company boasts that it ‘started with a simple idea in mind—to create comfortable shoes that invoke happiness.’ 

The simple fact here is that this little comfortable shoe will give nurses ‘happy feet’ all through their shifts. 

The secret, as this trusted shoemaker reports, is the ‘Alegria footbed,’ which is made of specially formulated soft polyurethane, cork, and yes, memory foam. 

All of this combines to give you an ergonomically designed fit that works ideally for the natural contour of your feet.

This shoe is considered a clog, but it’s smaller and surprisingly lightweight. It’s sturdily constructed with a leather upper with man-made outsole. 

The comfort level on these is through the roof, according to reports directly from consumers. And the slip-on style makes it extra convenient for busy nurses.

What people are saying about these:

  • Pliable but stiff. Definitely holds their shape.
  • I have two pairs of these and absolutely love them.
  • Love, love, love, these shoes!
  • On my feet all day, and these are my second pair because they’re so comfortable.
  • These are perfect for the concrete floor I work on.

Pros:

  • Ideal for everyday wear.
  • Moderate price can fit into many nurses’ budgets.
  • Super comfortable and lightweight, especially for clogs.
  • Non-skid soles great for quick movements nurses must make.
  • Sturdy and durable.
  • Well-made.

Cons:

  • Some consumers report the cloth behind the heel wears out quickly.
  • Moderate price doesn’t fit into all nurses’ budgets.

The Alegria Women’s Keli Professional is available on Amazon.com.

12) ASICS Women’s Gel-Kayano 23 Running Shoe

If you’ve got a style all your own, you’ll love this running shoe from ASICS, a Japanese footwear and sports equipment company whose name is an acronym for a Latin phrase that translates into, ‘Healthy soul in a healthy body.’ 

Highly appropriate, considering we’re always making other people healthy. And that’s why we’ve included this great running shoe from ASICS—so nurses can remain healthy while they’re running around taking care of everyone else!

ASICS knows footwear so well that their shoes have been ranked among the top-performing in the entire industry, and this wonderful shoe definitely is no exception. 

First, there’s this thing ASICS calls, ‘FluidFit Mesh,’ which is a mesh surface that’s partially reinforced with non-elastic material. 

This, reportedly, permits the elastic portions of the shoe to stretch in direct correlation to the changing shape of your foot as you move. 

What a great concept, particularly for nurses who are constantly moving this way and that. 

This shoe has a myriad of other technologies, including ‘impact-guidance system,’ ‘fluidride midsole,’ and ‘heel-clutching system technology’—all included in the design of this shoe in order to provide ultimate comfort, bounce, cushion, and durability. 

Talk about shoe engineering! 

Plus, these come in so many wonderful colors and styles, there’s bound to be one every nurses will love.

What people are saying about these:

  • I’m a die-hard Asics Kayanos fan.
  • Can wear them right out of the box.
  • I ordered half a size up as recommended and they fit perfectly.
  • Love the print!
  • Love the cushioning!
  • I have moderate overpronation, and the cushioning on these works well for me.

Pros:

  • Amazing shoe technology that translates into excellent fit and comfort.
  • Excellent for overpronators.
  • Cushiony and comfortable.
  • Made of sturdy and durable materials that last.
  • Come in myriad styles and colors.
  • Moderately priced to fit many budgets.

Cons:

  • Can be wide in the toe box.
  • Moderate price won’t fit into some nurses’ budgets.
  • Run a bit short, so ordering up may be necessary.

Check out the Asics Gel-Kayano 23 on Amazon.com

13) K-Swiss Women’s Hypercourt Express Tennis Shoe

Many nurses find sneakers to be the way to go. For them, we’ve included this wonderful tennis shoe from K-Swiss, an American shoemaker based in California that’s known and respected for its dedication to making fine athletic footwear.

This attractive tennis shoe made our list for many reasons. First, there’s its flexible upper that helps nurses move in every way and every direction required of them. 

The rubber outsole and molded sock liner make for great fit and comfort. The lace closure keeps them as tight as you need them.

What people are saying about these:

  • Surprising find for hospital nursing shoes.
  • I’m a floor nurse in a hospital and these are so comfortable and wear well.
  • Non-staining.
  • Literally, have no pain when wearing them.
  • No break-in necessary; can be worn right out of the box!

Pros:

  • Very comfortable.
  • Great for those with bunions and other foot problems.
  • No break-in time needed.
  • Easy to slip on.
  • Generous toe box without being too big.
  • Wear extremely well.
  • Top-quality and very durable.
  • Moderately priced to fit many budgets.

Cons:

  • A few consumers report these shoes wearing out after several months of wear.
  • Moderate price does not fit into all nurses’ budgets.

The K-Swiss Hypercourt Express tennis shoe is available on Amazon.com.

14) Nurse Mates Women’s Libby Slip On

If you’re a nurse, you likely know the name ‘Nurse Mates,’ a company that prides itself on bringing the nursing industry top-quality scrubs, accessories, and, of course, footwear. 

Their ‘comfort technologies’ are designed to make nurses comfortable from top to bottom so you can do your work unencumbered by pain. 

This is why we’ve included the ‘Libby Slip-On,’ a lovely shoe made especially for the hard work you do day and night.

You won’t find these in a million different styles and colors, but what you will find is all-day, everyday comfort that will get you through your shift with exceeding energy and without pain. 

That’s because these are made of full-grain leather that fits your foot with no slide-out all during your long shift. 

They’re super durable and comfortable, and they’ll last a good long time so you won’t have to go out anytime soon and buy another pair due to wear.

What people are saying about these:

  • So comfortable!
  • Not the cutest shoes but I will sacrifice style for comfort any day.
  • Cushion my feet well.
  • My feet never get tired.
  • I’ve worn these for two years, working as a nurse, and they’ve held up well.
  • Feel like I’m not wearing shoes at all—so lightweight!

Pros:

  • Very comfortable.
  • Hold up well for all the physical demands of nursing.
  • No break-in period.
  • Lightweight yet durable.
  • A nice price that can fit into all nurses’ budgets.

Cons:

  • Seem to run a bit large.
  • Don’t come in a lot of colors.
  • Not as attractive as some other shoes.

The Nurse Mates Libby Slip-On is available on Amazon.com.

15) CLARKS Women’s Linvale Jerica Pump

Nurses can’t work 24/7—we’ve got to go out and have some fun sometimes, right? That’s why we’ve included this attractive, affordable, and very comfortable pump—because every nurse needs a little night life! 

And because Clarks is such a well-known and trusted name, this lovely pump has made our list of the best shoes for nurses.

These come in several lovely styles to go beautifully with that little black dress you’ve been dying to debut. They’re 100% full-grain leather, so they’re comfortable and wearable without hurting your feet. 

After all, you’ve got to get right back into the thick of it tomorrow, right? They also have an ‘Ortholite footbed,’ which makes them lightweight and breathable. 

Plus, the ‘cushion-soft technology’ makes these ultra-comfortable enough to dance in for hours!

What people are saying about these:

  • First time I walked in these, I literally had to run in them for 20 minutes, and they were shockingly comfortable!
  • Barely feel like heels.
  • Seriously comfy.
  • I’m on my feet all day, and these are amazingly comfortable!
  • Great heel height.
  • Comfortable insole.
  • Hold up well.
  • Great for work and other occasions.

Pros:

  • Extremely comfortable.
  • Don’t feel like you’re wearing heels.
  • Ideal height for heels.
  • Work well for both day- and night-wear.
  • Durable and sturdy, yet lightweight.
  • Nice price for heels.

Cons:

  • Consumers report that even the wide width runs narrow.
  • Heels can slip out.

Check out the other reviews of the Clarks Linvale Jerica Pump on Amazon.com.

Shoe Buying Guide

Finding the right shoe is about more than just fit and style. And it’s vitally important that nurses find the right shoe. 

Your patients are counting on you to provide top-notch care, but you can’t care for others if you’re in pain. 

For this reason, we’ve compiled this helpful guide that will provide important information to lead you to your next pair of nursing shoes.

Okay, nurses, it goes without saying, but we’re going to say it again anyway—nursing is extremely physically demanding. That’s why you can’t buy just any old walking or even running shoe to do it in. 

You’re not just walking. You’re not just running. And you’re certainly not sitting at a desk all day or answering the phone all day or doing any other activity that some other jobs end up doing all day every day. 

You’re doing all of these things and so much more. That’s why you need a special shoe that’s designed to allow you to do all of these things in the span of hours and sometimes even just minutes. 

You have to be able to jump at a moment’s notice. You have to be able to sprint quickly or even “run” a long distance. You have to be able to bounce up while lifting another human being. 

And all of these things must be done in a shoe that provides the following: appropriate fit; traction; cushiony comfort (but not too much cushion); proper arch support; durability; everyday wearability; affordability; and wouldn’t it be nice if they weren’t too too ugly?

1. Fit

Try to find shoes that give you enough space for your longest toe when you are standing. This means about 3/8” to 1/2” from toe to end of shoe. And never purchase shoes that are tight believing they’ll stretch!

2. Traction

Proper traction is vital to nursing shoes! You’re running around all day in high-traffic areas that can have all manner of spills and slippery spots. 

Finding a shoe that has the proper amount of treading on the bottom is not just important; it can mean the difference between getting through your shift unscathed or falling flat on your face and ending up a patient yourself!

3. Comfort

Nursing shoes have to be heavy enough to last, but they shouldn’t be too heavy that they feel like weights on your ankles. 

If you buy them in person, don’t rely on those flimsy little stockings they provide for you at shoe stores; always wear the same type of sock or stocking as you’ll wear when you’re at work. 

And, by all means, walk around in them as much as possible. 

The only way you can know if the shoes will be comfortable enough is if you try them on, walk around in them, jump up a bit, and try to do some of the same things you’ll be doing when you’re working your shift.

4. Arch support

Arch support can make or break your day. In fact, if you don’t have the right arch support fit, your feet can be a disaster in just an hour or two. 

A shoe with the right arch support for your particular feet needs to properly distribute pressure throughout your foot, heel, and toes. The best way to learn about your arches is with the wet foot test:

The Wet Foot Test

What you’ll need:

  1. Shallow pan (deep enough to fill water and cover the entire bottom of your foot)
  2. Brown or colored paper or cardboard (flattened paper bag or construction paper both work well)
  3. Water
  1. Start with a shallow pan. Pour enough water into it to be just deep enough to cover the entire bottom of your foot.
  2. Step one foot into the pan, then carefully remove. (Put all your weight onto that foot.)
  3. Step onto the flattened brown paper, then carefully remove.
  4. Take a photo, then repeat this entire process with your other foot.

Now, look at your footprints. Which of these do you see?

Normal arches: If you see toes, heel, and a noticeable curve about halfway up, you have normal arches. 

This means your weight is properly distributed as you walk and perform other physical activities. 

You should probably choose shoes that have good cushioning and thick, firm, durable soles that will stabilize your heels.

High arches: If you see your heel, toes, and ball of your foot, but you don’t see very much watery mark in between, you have high arches. 

This means your weight is not properly distributed, and you should purchase shoes that have more cushion inside. 

You would do well to choose shoes that are a little heavier on the cushioning but are a little more lightweight and not as rigid; they have a little give to them.

Flat feet: If you see a whole foot, meaning there isn’t much curve in the middle portion, you probably have flat feet. This means your foot rolls inward as you walk (also referred to as ‘pronating’). 

Flat feet act as great shock absorbers, but they also tend to bring on problems with knees, legs, and even plantar fasciitis. Those with flat feet typically do better with shoes that keep their feet from that rolling-inward motion that happens with less arch. 

Choose shoes that have thick, cushiony soles. Also, shoes that have laces will allow you to change the restriction on your foot’s movements. You also may want to try heel seats or cups—inserts that provide a natural reinforcement which will help to prevent collapsing mid-foot.

5. Affordability: 

Nursing can be a lucrative industry, but that doesn’t mean we nurses are millionaires. We have other things to do with our money besides spend it on thousand-dollar footwear. 

Thankfully, today’s nursing and athletic shoe industry is loaded with more-than-affordable shoe styles, many fitting into every nurse’s budget.

6. Wearability and durability

For nurses, wearability isn’t just about comfort; it’s about intense foot protection. You have to take into consideration the fact that you’re spending your day jolting from here to there, lifting patients, and running from one demanding task to the next. 

You also have to consider the sharp and falling objects you’re working with throughout the day that could easily pierce your skin or pummel your poor foot. 

That’s why we combined ‘wearability’ and ‘durability’ into one category. Find shoes that will protect your feet all day from the disasters that could befall them if they’re not properly protected by a durable, wearable, and well-constructed shoe.

7. Style

Okay, so it’s not the most important component for a nursing shoe, but it’s still important. Luckily, today’s nursing shoes aren’t like ‘your mother’s nursing shoes.’ 

Today’s nursing shoes come in thousands of colorful and beautiful styles that aim to please. In fact, you’ll probably have trouble choosing just one or two. But isn’t that the fun of it?!

8. Return policy

The last—and perhaps most important—thing you need to think about when purchasing the right nursing shoe is the store or website’s return policy. 

Have you ever tried to return a pair of shoes only to have the salesperson say, “Did you wear these?” 

Of course you wore them! 

That’s how you know they’re uncomfortable! Funny as it seems, many shoe stores frown on people returning shoes after they show any signs of wear on the bottom, even just the tiniest bit. 

This is why you need to find out the store or website’s return policy beforehand. Can you get your cash back? Or must you accept a store credit? 

And, if you’re purchasing online, the return policy can be even more important, since you’re not trying on the shoes before you buy them.

Conclusion

a nurse's shoe

Nurses, your founder, Florence Nightingale, once said, 

“Humane management of the patient is the best safeguard against infection.” 

Let’s take this one step further. In order to provide the best possible care to your patients, you must provide ‘humane management’ to yourselves—from the feet up. 

Your jobs are tough, but they’re rewarding. Nursing is, undoubtedly, one of the noblest professions on the planet—but you can’t be an effective nurse if your feet are taking a beating. 

Be sure to use the shoe-buying guide provided here the next time you purchase a pair of shoes for work. Print it out and take it with you to ensure you’re taking every important detail into consideration. 

And, by all means, nurses, if that pair of shoes you bought yesterday hurts you today, return them and try again. Your job is far too important to do it standing on sore feet.

Related Questions on Best Shoes for Nurses

The following are some FAQs. 

1. Are some of these shoes good for nurses with high arches or flat feet? 

Yes, some of these shoes are really good for flat feet or high arches. Keep in mind you might have to mix and match them with good shoe inserts also.

Ultimately you need to try on the shoe to make sure it will work for you. For more information see your primary care. 

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