Nursing students are on their feet a lot, whether it be walking in between classes or working on a clinical rotation.
A comfortable pair of shoes is a necessity for preventing tired, sore feet at the end of the day. These are 15 of the best shoes for nursing students.
*Disclosure: This article on the best shoes for nursing students may contain affiliate links. If you click and make a purchase, I may receive a commission. For more info, please see my disclaimer.
- Best Overall: Dansko Women’s XP 2.0
- Best for Male Nursing Students: ASICS Men’s Gel-Kayano 24 Running Shoes
- Best White Shoe for Nursing Students: Nurse Mates Dove Oxford
Best Shoes for Nursing Students
1. New Balance Women’s w990v4 Running Shoe
Breathable mesh-upper with superior midsole shock absorption.
The New Balance Women’s w990v4 Running Shoe is one that will last you throughout nursing school and beyond.
It’s made from extremely durable materials, like a suede and mesh upper and ENCAP midsole technology with a polyurethane ring in the heel.
The mesh upper is breathable and keeps the feet cool and dry while the suede upper looks great and resists tears and stains.
The midsole is where all the shock is absorbed, so the ENCAP midsole technology is ideal for nursing students who are doing a lot of walking.
- Breathable mesh upper
- Superior midsole shock absorption
- 3 neutral colors
- Sizing runs small
- Colors are inconsistent
- Stiff material
Check the price of the New Balance Women’s w990V4 on Amazon.
2. ASICS Men’s Gel-Kayano 24 Running Shoes
This Asics Kayano 24 Running Shoe contains an impact guidance system with a rubber outsole for traction control.
Running shoes are ideal for nursing students who often have to walk or jog quickly in between classes or patients.
These ASICS Men’s Gel-Kayano 24 Running Shoes fit the bill when it comes to comfort and durability for those fast-paced days.
Several features work together to bring comfort to the wearer, starting with a flexible mesh upper that hugs the top of the foot.
The Impact Guidance System technology keeps the foot in the correct place for a smooth transition from heel to toe.
A cushioned midsole and sturdy rubber outsole further enhance the wearing experience.
- Flexible mesh upper
- Impact Guidance System technology
- Rubber outsole for traction control
- Narrow toe box
- Complaints of sole separating
- Minimal cushioning in heel
Check the price of the Asics Gel-Kayano 24 Running Shoe on Amazon.
3. Dansko Women’s XP 2.0
Our Top Pick
Lightweight and made with genuine leather. Has a removable footbed so you can place your own arch support if needed.
Clogs are a great alternative to sneakers for nursing students who are looking for something a little bit dressier.
These Dansko Women’s XP 2.0 Clogs have several desirable features for nursing students, including a genuine leather upper that looks professional enough for class and clinical rotations.
The EVA midsole is responsive under pressure and incredibly lightweight, which leads to better shock absorption.
The footbed is removable in case you’d like to place your own arch supports, although the arch support included in the clogs is more than sufficient for a variety of arches.
- Genuine leather upper
- Lightweight, responsive midsole
- Removable foot bed for placing your own arch supports
- Complaints of feet being stained black after wearing
- Scuff easily
- Sizing runs large
Check the price of the Dansko Women’s XP 2.0 on Amazon.com.
(Further Reading: 5 Best Dansko Shoes for Nurses)
4. Brooks Women’s Adrenaline GTS 19 Running Shoe
- Good foot support and cushioned feel for nursing students looking for…
The Brooks Women’s Adrenaline GTS 19 Running Shoe is a modern and supportive shoe that all nursing students will love.
The 3D Fit Print upper keeps the foot in place while allowing it to breathe due to the mesh fabric.
Superior midsole support that Brooks is known for is provided by BioMoGo DNA and DNA LOFT cushioning.
Each step is fully supported by this cushioning in addition to the GuideRails Holistic Support System that keeps the foot stabilized so you’re less-likely to feel pain in other parts of the body, like the knees.
- 3D Fit Print upper
- BioMoGo DNA and DNA LOFT cushioning
- GuideRails Holistic Support System
- Complaints of ankle blisters
- Designed for normal arches
- Sizing runs small
Check the price of the Brooks Women’s Adrenaline GTS 19 Running Shoe on Amazon.com.
5. Brooks Women’s Glycerin 17 Running Shoe
The perfect shoe for nursing students who are obsessed with softness and cushioning.
Cushion and style is what you’ll find in this Brooks Women’s Glycerin 17 Running Shoe.
The breathable mesh upper has a cool geometric pattern on it that lends a modern look to the shoe.
The DNA LOFT cushioning is responsive and provides great shock absorption with each step, relieving sore and tired feet.
The OrthoLite sock liner hugs the foot and provides an extra layer of softness and comfort.
Ten attractive color options give you plenty of versatility when it comes to matching scrub sets.
A reinforced toe is an added bonus that makes the shoe last even longer.
- Breathable mesh upper
- DNA LOFT cushioning
- 10 color options
- Arch support isn’t firm
- Tight toe box
- Treads wear down quickly
Check the price of the Brooks Women’s Glycerin 17 Running Shoe on Amazon.
6. Nurse Mates Women’s Dove
Slip-resistant and slip-on design makes for a good shoe for nursing students. Wide-sizes are also available.
If you’re searching for a basic, reliable shoe for nursing school, your search stops with these Nurse Mates Women’s Dove shoes.
They come in two classic colors- black and white. Crafted from 100% genuine leather, they’re easy-to-clean, durable, and go with any uniform.
The synthetic outsole is slip-resistant for safety, a crucial feature for once clinical rotations start.
The slip-on design is aided by stretchy, elastic bands on either side of the upper that makes putting them on a breeze. Wide sizes are also available for those in need of a stretchier fit.
- Slip-resistant outsole
- Stretchy, slip-on design
- Wide sizes available
- Only 2 color options
- Complaints of the sole separating from the upper
- Shoes may squeak when walking on hard surfaces
Check the price of the Nurse Mates Women’s Dove Oxford on Amazon.
7. Allbirds Women’s Wool Runners
“Ethically made with ZQ Merino wool, our original sneaker is soft, moisture-wicking, and ready for anything.”
A shoe that’s great for nursing school and for the environment, these Allbirds Women’s Wool Runners are versatile enough to take you from school to the gym to dinner with friends.
The upper is made from soft, cozy Merino wool that is both durable and stylish.
The wool is offered in 4 classic colors and 13 limited edition colors.
The entire shoe is made from materials that are moisture-wicking so your feet stay dry and odor-free.
A midsole made from a green material called Brazilian sugarcane is resilient to frequent walking and provides the support nursing students need.
- Warm wool upper
- Moisture-wicking materials reduce odors
- Environmentally-friendly midsole
- Half sizes are not offered
- Shoe laces are short
- Complaints of tongue curling inward
Check price of the Allbirds Women’s Wool Runners on Allbirds.com.
8. Allbirds Women’s Tree Dashers
“Our most technical shoe yet, the Tree Dasher reimagines the traditional running shoe with natural materials engineered for serious performance.”
Flexible and breathable, these Allbirds Women’s Tree Dashers have been rigorously tested by professional athletes over the course of a year before ever hitting the market.
That makes them plenty sturdy for nursing students who are on their feet for extended periods of time.
The unique upper is made from FSC Certified eucalyptus trees for a flexible feel with a knit appearance that looks great.
The insole is made from castor bean for an environmentally-friendly design that fully supports the arch and heel- the two spots on the foot that withstand the most pressure.
- Tested by professional athletes
- Upper made from eucalyptus trees
- Insoles release less carbon
- Laces and insoles must be handwashed
- Outsole is not entirely rubber
- No wide sizes
Check the price of the Allbirds Women’s Tree Dashers on Allbirds.com.
9. Allbirds Women’s Wool Loungers
“Prep for an unpredictable day with our minimalist slip-on made with soft, temperature regulating ZQ Merino wool.”
These Allbirds Women’s Wool Loungers look great with a pair of jeans or with scrubs, making them the perfect shoe for nursing students who head straight to work or to run errands after leaving school.
The warm, wool material is ideal for those chilly spring or fall days.
They easily slip on so you can be on your way quickly. The shoes are machine-washable for added convenience, which is a must for any busy nursing student. Although they are a slip-on shoe, the castor bean insole is still just as supportive as a running shoe.
- Wool keeps feet warm and dry
- Convenient, slip-on design
- Supportive castor bean insole
- All insoles are gray
- No half sizes offered
- Sizing runs a little small
Check the price of the Allbirds Women’s Wool Loungers on Allbirds.com.
10. Alegria Women’s Debra Slip-On
Easy slip-on on design for a nursing student needing to put on their shoes in the morning in a hurry.
There are so many color and design options to choose from with these Alegria Women’s Debra Slip-On shoes, you’ll want to buy more than one pair.
There are 37 styles in all, from the basic Black Napa to the vibrant Water Baby.
Each shoe is made from genuine leather with a sturdy rubber outsole for a slip-resistant design.
The platform heel is 1-inch high so there’s plenty of shock absorption while still keeping the heel at a professional height.
The shoes can easily be slipped on thanks to the double-elastic gores on either side of the tongue.
- 37 color options
- 1-inch platform heel
- Double-elastic gores make them easy to slip on
- Scuff easily
- Complaints of the outsole separating
- Tight on top
Check the price of the Alegria Women’s Debra Slip-On on Amazon.com.
11. Reebok Women’s Crossfit Nano 8.0 Flexweave Cross Trainer
A cushioned heel with soft and breathable upper.
Cross trainers are excellent for those that need added mobility while walking and running.
This is something that can help nursing students once they enter their clinical rotation and start working with patients.
These Reebok Women’s Crossfit Nano 8.0 Flexweave Cross Trainer shoes provide the flexibility and mobility busy nursing students need.
There are other safety features as well, like the rubber outsole and added cushioning at the heel.
The woven upper is soft, flexible, and breathable so the foot feels stabilized and supportive the entire time they’re worn.
- Sturdy rubber outsole
- Cushioned heel
- Soft and breathable upper keeps foot supported and dry
- Feel slightly heavy when walking
- Those with high arches may need additional inserts
- Narrow toe box
Check the price of the Reebok Women’s Crossfit Nano 8.0 Flexweave Cross Trainer on Amazon.com.
12. Reebok Women’s Nano 9 Cross Trainer
This footwear has forefoot flex grooves for flexibility; Low-cut design for increased ankle mobility…
A wide toe box and flexible upper are just a few of the features that make these Reebok Women’s Nano 9 Cross Trainer shoes an appealing option for nursing students.
Standing on your feet for long periods of time can cause cramped toes, but the wide toe box on these shoes allows you to freely wiggle your toes to avoid cramping.
The flexible upper is weaved from stretchy and durable fabric that’s both breathable and stylish.
Twenty-three great color combinations give you plenty of choices when it comes to coordinating with your favorite nursing scrubs.
- Wide toe box
- Stretchy fabric upper is breathable
- 23 color choices
- Minimal arch support
- Slip resistant but not slip-proof
- Sizing tends to run small
Check the price of the Reebok Women’s Nano 9 Cross Trainer on Amazon.com.
13. Brooks Levitate 2
Ideal for nursing students with a medium to high arch looking for neutral support…
You’ll literally feel like you’re walking on air in these Brooks Levitate 2 shoes.
No more tired, sore feet after a long day of classes or clinical because the midsole cushioning in these shoes springs back with each step you take.
The more pressure you put on your feet, the more supported they will feel.
Additional comfort and support can be found in the knit upper that slips on like a sock and hugs the foot all day long.
A lace-closure allows you to create a custom fit so your feet don’t slip or slide.
- DNA AMP midsole cushioning
- Fit Knit upper
- Neutral arch support
- Flat arches may need additional inserts
- Complaints of outsoles cracking
- Wide feet may require a size up
Check the price of the Brooks Levitate 2 on Amazon.
14. Sketchers Women’s Slip Resistant Clog
The heel measures 1.5″ while the platform measures 0.25.
The comfort of a clog combines with the safety of a sneaker to make these Sketchers Women’s Slip Resistant Clogs a must-have for any nursing student.
Clogs are a desirable shoe choice for any nurse because they are easy to put on and provide plenty of wiggle room for toes.
Not all clogs are slip-resistant like these ones are, though.
The leather upper is easy-to-clean and can be wiped with a damp cloth.
The insole is sufficiently cushioned but can also be removed so you can replace it with your own inserts if desired.
The basic black color goes with any outfit.
- Slip-resistant rubber outsole
- Easy-to-clean leather upper
- Removable insole
- Tight across top of foot
- Sizing runs large
- Shoes are heavy
Check the price of the Sketchers Women’s Slip Resistant Clog on Amazon.
15. Crocs Women’s Mercy Work Clog
Light and supportive. Slip-resistant and easy to clean.
The Crocs brand has become synonymous with nursing footwear, and for good reason.
These Crocs Women’s Mercy Work Clogs are the perfect example of why they make for the perfect nursing shoe.
They slip on easily and can be worn two ways- as a traditional backless clog or one with a backstrap.
The rubber outsole on these clogs sets them apart from others because they are sturdy and slip-resistant.
The best part is, you can wash the entire clog in soapy water and allow it to air dry for an easy cleaning experience.
- Slip-resistant rubber outsole
- Easily clean them with soap and water
- Can be worn two ways- backless and slingback
- Only 5 color options
- Sizing runs small
- Minimal arch support
Check the price of the Crocs Women’s Mercy Work Clog on Amazon.
Shoe Buying Guide for Nurses
Nursing students are often busy working in addition to attending classes and performing their clinical rotations.
Finding time to handwash shoes can seem nearly impossible.
Shoes that are machine-washable are a huge time saver for busy nursing students.
Since they encounter many germs and spills throughout their nursing school career, washing shoes regularly is a must.
While shoes may be machine-washable, you never want to put your shoes in the dryer.
Certain materials like leather can crack when exposed to the heat of the dryer. Shoes banging against the dryer walls can also damage it.
Whenever possible, air dry your shoes.
Further Reading: How to Wash Your Nursing Shoes
2. Wide Toe Box
We don’t always take into consideration the width of a toe box when we’re buying shoes, but we should.
A narrow toe box can cause cramping, blisters, pain, and even permanent deformities.
Toe boxes should be wide enough so you can freely wiggle your toes.
There should also be at least 1-inch of space between the top of your big toe and the front of the shoe to provide ample space for toes when walking.
Running back and forth between classes and clinical rotations can be a danger if your shoes aren’t slip-resistant.
Slip-resistant shoes can hold up to any hard surface that may become slippery when wet, such as hardwood, tile, or linoleum.
Since many classrooms and medical facilities have hard surfaces instead of soft like carpet, slip-resistant shoes are an important safety feature for nursing shoes to have.
Carpet can be difficult to keep clean, which is why many medical facilities and schools avoid it.
Rubber is the best option for slip-resistant shoes because they provide the most traction on hard surfaces.
4. Crocs Vs. Clogs
Many people call clogs Crocs, or vice versa.
The difference is that Crocs are a manufacturer of clogs while clogs are the specific type of shoe.
Clogs have several features that set them apart from other shoes, like sneakers:
- They slip-on
- They are usually made of leather
- They can be washed with soap and water
- They may not have inserts like other shoes do
- They often have minimal arch support
5. Arch Support
There are three different kinds of arches:
- Flat or fallen
Medium arches are the most common and don’t call for a specific type of arch support.
Any type of shoe usually works for medium arches.
Flat usually need firm support found in inserts like orthotics. High arches do best with soft cushioning at the midsole that bounces back with each step, offering shock absorption.
Nurses care about their patients, so naturally, they may be concerned with using environmentally-friendly products.
Shoes that are good for the environment are ones made from natural materials. They leave a smaller carbon footprint than traditional shoes.
Many of these nursing shoes can be worn even after you graduate.
While nursing students have different needs than practicing nurses, one thing remains the same- supportive, comfortable footwear is a must-have item to prevent tired, achy feet.
All of these shoes offer those benefits and more for nursing students.
Frequently Asked Questions
Our top pick of the best shoes for nursing school is the Dansko XP 2.0.