Best Work Shoes For Nurses

Nursing is one occupation where employees spend the majority of their time on their feet each day. Experts estimate that time to be at about 90 percent of each day’s scheduled shift. Shifts can stretch into day long affairs and breaks are often few and far between. As a consequence, many medical professionals including nurses and doctors along with other hospital workers experience leg and back pain. 

One way to help alleviate the day to day aches and pains of being a nurse is to invest in a quality pair of nursing shoes. While many nursing shoes look and act similarly to day to day shoes, some brands are specifically designed to deliver additional support to the feet and legs.

They can also help with circulation and joint pain as well as help to improve posture. Helping to prevent health conditions such as slipped discs and arthritis, having a proper fitting pair of nursing shoes can make all the difference in daily and long term comfort.

Nursing Shoes Styles:

Today, nurses are able to purchase nursing shoes in several different styles and while most people appreciate style, when choosing nursing shoes, functionality can overweigh style in choosing a nursing shoe best fit for each individual’s needs.

Slip-On Style Shoes

A common type of nursing shoes is the slip-on style shoe. Similar to standard running shoes in style, slip-on nursing shoes are perfect for men and woman who are consistently on the go and do not wish to worry about laces coming undone in the middle of a long shift. With slip-on shoes, nurses do not have to worry about the risk of cross-contamination from having to repeatedly tie laces and can lessen the times spent washing hands before and after seeing patients.


The next type of nursing shoe may in fact be the most popular type. The clog style of nursing shoe is closed in the front and contains an open back. Considered to be the most comfortable nursing shoe style, they are ideal for nurses who prefer to have extra room in their shoes while providing the wearer with a design used to alleviate specific pressure points on the feet. 

Commonly, the clog style of nursing shoes will have a strap along the back adding to the comfort and ease of wear for the nurse. Many times, the clogs will be made from rubber or leather materials and are very lightweight, ideal for those nurses not looking for added bulk of their uniforms. Many great brands of clogs are available as nursing shoes such as Alegria and Crocs.


Many nurses in emergency rooms and intensive care units choose to wear nursing sneakers on a daily basis. Often known as oxfords, they are ideal for nurses who spend all day on their feet, and many oxfords come in various sizes and widths allowing for a truly customized sneaker experience. 

Furthermore, nursing sneakers can help to protect feet from fluid spills. Several brands make nursing sneakers in both black and white to compliment uniform requirements while serving the purpose of helping to alleviate aches and pains often experienced by nurses.

Top Nursing Shoes Reviews:

In today’s busy society, numerous nurses are looking for both comfort and affordability to get them through their long and strenuous shifts. Below are some of the best work shoes for nurses available for purchase:

Dansko is known for its all day comfort and the women’s volley clog is no exception to the rule. Offering superior arch support and a variety of heel heights these clogs are suitable for many foot types. 

Made of fabric with a manmade sole, the shoes are coated in a cotton canvas upper toe with a slip resistant rubber outsole. At only 12.6 ounces, the shoes are lightweight enough to be worn all day with comfort.

The clog is available in various solid colors and patterns allowing the purchaser to pick a color that best suits their personality or uniform regulations. 

Dansko’s Volley clog features superior shock absorption often found in athletic shoes and an anti-fatigue rocker bottom for added relief during long shifts. The Volley Clog, part of the Stapled Clog Collection from Dansko has received the Seal of Acceptance from the American Podiatric Medical Association as shoes which promote positive foot health. They are a small price to pay for all day comfort.

Timberland is another company best known for work boots that make surprisingly great quality shoes for nurses. The Timberland Pro Women’s Renova Clog is consistently one of the highest rated shoes by nurses. 

The Renova Clog comes in a variety of colors, styles, and materials allowing nurses to choose a shoe that fits their company standards or personality. Featuring a safegrip slip-resistant sole and a heal-to-toe rocker design the shoes help to not only improve traction, but reduce foot pressure as well. 

With superior shock absorption and anti-fatigue soles, the shoes also allow nursing professionals to stand for long hours while delivering proper leg and back support. Very lightweight at only 12 ounces, the shoes are almost weightless and also offer synthetic suede lining to help control odors. This Timberland design can even help to correct poor posture.

Coming in a variety of sizes and widths from a 5 up to an 11, the Nurse Mates Macie Design is a classical looking tie up nurse’s shoe with the comfort of an everyday sneaker. 

Available in both black and white, the shoes feature a one inch heel height and a padded collar. A four ply pillow top insole is removable allowing for additional arch support for extra-long days.

The full grain leather shoes are easy to wipe clean while the slip resistant bottoms allow for added safety. Very lightweight and great affordable shoe for women in the nursing field, this shoe will provide countless hours of comfortable wear for all types of nursing employees.

Accepted by the American Podiatric Medical Association for allowing normal foot function and promoting good foot health, the Crocs Mercy Work clogs come in a variety of colors and patterns and are designed for all day comfort. 

With roomy interior and tiny nubs along the foot bed, the shoes give a pseudo massage every time you take a step. The design features a heel back strap allowing the shoe to stay on the foot and also has enhanced arch support and footbed.

Including the Crocs Lock slip resistant tread, the shoes are specifically designed for work environments including various medical facilities and laboratories. Manmade and extremely light at only 6.1 ounces, the Crocs Mercy Work Clogs are an affordable option and they are often ranked among the best shoes for nurses with wide feet.

Sketchers may be most well-known for reasonably priced athletic shoes; however, they also have a wide range of shoes tailored to nurses. The Men’s Relaxed Fit Cottonwood-Goddard Sr comes in both medium and wide width and is available in full and half sizes from 7 to 10.5 and full sizes from 11-13. 

A bit dressier than previous listed shoes; they contain a Memory Foam comfort insole to help sustain stamina throughout the work day. A one inch heel helps to properly align the spine while the Relaxed Fit design helps to provide comfort. 

Made with slip resistant nitrile rubber traction outsoles, the shoes are both OHSA compliant and shock absorbing. Smooth leather makes the shoes easy to clean while the classic loafer look allows the shoes to go from work to play. Moderately priced, these shoes can do double duty while living up to the high expectations of shoes set forth for nursing shoes.

Another quality shoe from Dansko which is perfect for nurses is the Elise shoe from the Sedona Collection. In a variety of colors, the shoe is sporty and a great alternative to traditional sneakers. 

These shoes lace up while featuring a neoprene collar helping to keep feet snug without constricting movement. Smooth, water-resistant leather is easily cleanable with a damp cloth and the material will not break down in environmental conditions.

Offering all day support, the shoes feature a low-profile side and have been given the Seal of Acceptance from the American Podiatric Medical Associate. They have also been rigorously tested for slip resistance by Precision Labs. The Elise model from the Sedona Collection is an ideal shoe for nurses with bad knees as their superior arch support helps to straighten posture which helps to eliminate knee pain. Weighing at about 11 ounces, the shoes come in both solid white and black.

At only 8 ounces per shoe, the Dawgs Men’s Working Destination PMW Clog is ideal for nurses on their feet all day. This shoe is known for its amazing molded arch support and can be used with or without orthotic inserts. 

Helping to prevent foot odor, the insole material is constructed from anti-microbial properties. The cushioned heels add to the shoe’s shock absorption ability while the rubber outsoles are designed to prevent slips and falls.

Available in solid black and solid white, this lesser known brand is designed for extended wear on hard floors and is easy to clean and maintain. Due to their superior arch support, these clogs are recommended for men suffering from planter fasciitis. Water resistant clogs, Dawgs are proud to be a company produced in the USA and proudly partner with Firestone to create their slip resistant design.

Since 1907, Sanita has been providing Danish clogs perfect for the nursing profession. Genuine leather with a shiny finish, the outsole is designed of polyurethane offering superior traction which is both slip resistant and oil resistant. 

A heel of 1 ¾ inches provides added back support and has helped this shoe to receive the Seal of Acceptance from the American Podiatric Medical Association for its exceptional foot support and has also been certified for the American Society for Testing and Materials.

A unique feature to the Celina clog is its anti-static and anti-shock features. An anatomically shaped footbed also aids in ensuring daily comfort. Exceptional stitching on the shoe helps to increase its durability. The Celina clog is a great everyday shoe for nurses.

Birkenstock shoes are a very well-known brand for everyday wear. However, the company also has a professional line of footwear perfect for nursing professionals. 

A removable, anatomically molded polyurethane footbed helps to absorb shock while the Alpro foam outsole is designed to be long lasting and repairable, a unique feature of this shoe. 

The removable insole helps to prevent moisture build up while keeping feet cool and dry.
Available in both medium and wide width, the heel measures approximately 1.5 inches to allow for proper posture and lessen the strain on the lower back. Coming in several different colors and designs, the shoe is easily washed. 

A treaded outside helps to prevent spills and ensures a firm grip on a multitude of surfaces. A bit expensive, these shoes are more of an investment than several others, but the ability for the soles to be repaired helps to extend the overall life of this shoe, perfect for nurses.

Factors To Consider When Looking For The Best Nursing Shoes:

Choosing the best shoes for nurses may seem like a tedious task with the variety of options available in today’s market. However, there are a few key factors when choosing the appropriate shoes for your personal career use.

1) Material

The first feature to consider when purchasing nursing shoes is to take careful consideration to the material used for the construction of the product which can help narrow down footwear options. For example, nurses who spend the majority of their time in an emergency room or operating room may choose a design made from leather or rubber as these materials easily wipe clean and are easy to maintain. 

While most nurses choose rubber as their go to material, nurses who spend time in a doctor’s office as opposed to an operating room often choose canvas type material often associated with running shoes. This material is more likely to stain and can be harder to clean. 

It is not recommended to wear vegan leather nurses’ shoes as they can make the feet sweat nor is suede a good choice for nursing shoes as the fabric is exceedingly difficult to clean. Shoes that promote breathability can also sound appealing, but are less likely to protect socks and feet against fluid spills.

2) Style

Aside from material, the style of the shoe is also a factor to consider when choosing the best nursing shoes. Clogs, Oxfords, and slip on shoes are the three most common types of nursing shoes and are known to stay firmly put on the foot in ways backless shoes may not be able to. Choosing the style nursing shoe you are most comfortable with is the first step in making your selection. Next, you can look into factors such as price, work environment, and dress code.

3) Dress Code Rules

An often overlooked aspect of choosing quality nursing shoes it to check with your employer regarding any dress code rules in place. Many hospitals implement rules concerning colors of nurses and most locations require a solid white shoe. However, even with strict dress codes, some positions such as nurses in scrub suits are not always required to abide by the rules. When in doubt, it is always best to first check with your location about the allowable types of shoes allowed for your current position within your organization.

4) Safety and Security

One of the most important features, if not the most important feature, when choosing a quality nursing shoe is to look for a product that will keep you safe while you are performing your job duties. Doctor’s offices, emergency rooms, and intensive care units can often leave surprises on the floor throughout the day just waiting to be stepped in. 

Slippery flooring is a potential safety issue and many shoes designed with nurses in mind can helps prevent spills, even on slippery floor. Shoes made from durable and high-quality rubber allow for better traction for those moments you are running from patient to patient. While most nursing shoes are designed to be non-skid, it is best to check with the manufacturer specifications when purchasing shoes. 

5) Comfort

The amount of fatigue placed on your feet and legs is another factor when choosing the best fit nursing shoes. Most nurses prefer to choose a design which is lightweight which causes less strain on legs while giving you more speed while completing your daily rounds.

6) Arch of Your Feet

An additional feature to consider when purchasing the ideal nursing shoes is the arch of your feet. While some people are born with a condition known as flat feet, where the person does not have a natural arch in the inner part of the sole of their feet, most individuals do have some variation of arch to their sole. A great nursing shoe should comfort your arch to further relieve pressure points in your feet. For those with flat feet, you may wish to consider high quality insoles or a customized shoe.

7) Durability

Another often overlooked feature of a quality pair of nursing shoes is the durability of the product. Nurses experience extreme conditions each day in hospitals and doctor’s office and shoes which are not heavy-duty may show signs of wear quickly and need replacing more often. When shopping for your ideal shoe, look for shoes with thick outsoles which have been well-stitched to the body of the shoe. This will help assure that the sole of the shoe will not easily separate from the body of the shoe.

How To Maintain Your Nursing Shoes:

Investing in a high quality pair of shoes will help you to rest assured that the shoes will last and not wear quickly. However, there are several steps you can take once you purchase your shoes to make sure that they wear gracefully overtime. While it is easy to toss shoes into the washing machine for a cleaning, the motion of the washer and dryer can wear out shoes faster. 

The best way to clean and maintain your nursing shoes is to scrub them by hand as soon as you notice stains. This allows you to treat the stain promptly, while not allowing it to soak in to the point of no return. Another way to maintain the quality of your nursing shoes is to place newspaper in them each night. Newspaper has been known to draw odor out of shoes, can help to dry them out if they become wet, can prevent dry rot, and helps to preserve their overall shape.

Especially important for nurses, is to use water repellent on your shoes, even for shoes that claim to be water resistant. Waterproofing your shoes will help to protect them from a variety of substances and will make them easier to clean if stains do occur. For nurses who choose to go with a leather shoe, it is also a great idea to purchase a high quality shoe moisturizer. While the idea of apply moisturizer to shoes may seem a bit out there, this can help to nourish leather shoes and prevent them from cracking due to environmental elements.


Choosing the correct shoe for nursing professionals can seem like a daunting task, but with a little research, you can make the best purchase for your individual foot type. It is important to remember that no two people have identical feet and what might work best for your co-worker may not be the best shoe for you.

Also, while shopping online can be very convenient, it can be beneficial to visit an actual shoe store before placing your online order. This will help you to be sure you are ordering a product that will meet all of your needs and expectations.

Be sure to take into consideration factors such as your safety, fit, comfort, support, and company guidelines when choosing your next pair of nursing shoes and most importantly, have fun while choosing a pair of nursing shoes that reflect your personality and love of your job. 

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