It can be difficult to find the best shoes for male nurses when so much equipment is geared toward women. But you can’t ignore the importance of proper footwear. The best men’s nursing shoes serve important protective purposes as well as providing support during long shifts.
Different men will have different needs. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. So we’ve narrowed down our top 15 choices for the best nursing shoes for men, along with a guide to choosing the right pair for you.
Overall, our favorite option among the best nursing shoes for men is the Tree Dashers shoe. It’s machine washable, durable, and made of biodegradable materials.
Prepping for the NCLEX? Start Here.
The Top 15 Best Shoes for Male Nurses
Allbirds Men’s Tree Dashers
There’s a lot to love about these athletic shoes, which is why they’re our top pick for male nursing shoes. Originally designed as a tennis shoe, the Tree Dashers are used by healthcare workers across the country. The eco-friendly materials are durable and machine washable (and they’ve recently expanded into apparel, too). If you need white shoes, one of the 15 available patterns is a white tennis shoe.
- Eco-friendly, durable materials
- Machine washable for easy maintenance
- Available in 15 colors and patterns
- Supportive dual-density midsole
- Springy energy-returning sole
ASICS Men’s Gel-Kayano 26 Running Shoes
These shoes are the best for overall stability, providing support and gait correction to people with flat feet and overpronation issues. An all-black option is one of the 24 patterns available. Designed for runners, the shoes have supportive technology to help you stay on your feet through a long shift without pain.
- 24 patterns and styles including an all-black option
- Synthetic and mesh upper with a rubber sole
- Impact guidance system helps stabilize your stride
- SpevaFoam padding softens and supports the foot
- FlyteFoam padding is designed to maximize the energy return of each step
- SpevaFoam 45 Lasting - Employs 45 degree full...
- I.G.S (Impact Guidance System) Technology - ASICS...
- FlyteFoam Lyte Technology - ASICS lightest weight...
Dansko Men’s XP 2.0
These shoes are durable enough to last for years, even with hours of heavy use per week. That makes them a great choice for nurses who don’t want to replace their shoes each year. The genuine leather creates a waterproof clog design, while the foam midsole absorbs shock and stabilizes the foot.
- Genuine leather with a rubber sole
- Padded collar reduces friction against the ankle
- Roomy toe box allows the toes to spread without pinching
- EVA midsole absorbs shock and reduces muscle fatigue with long wear
- Available in your choice of stylish black or brown
- Leather uppers
- Padded instep collar for extra comfort when...
- Roomy toe box to allow toes to move comfortably...
Hoka One One Clifton 6 Running Shoe
This athletic shoe has a unique streamlined appearance. The support is so thorough that it feels like walking on a cloud, even when you’re walking on concrete or asphalt. For people with high arches, the corrective technology relieves pain and prevents fatigue.
- Breathable mesh and synthetic fabric with a rubber sole
- Available in nine colors
- Removable insole can be replaced with orthotics
- Foam padding supports and cushions high arches
- Shock-absorbing EVA midsole reduces joint pain
Adidas Ultraboost 20
These sporty sneakers are available in 38 colors, including an all-white option. Unlike stiffer designs, the shoes conform to the feet like a sock. The lace closure creates an even more customized fit. Meanwhile, responsive cushioning helps to conserve energy and absorb shock with each step.
- Snugly knit upper with stitched reinforcement for durability
- Elastane heel provides a comfortable, supportive fit
- Responsive midsole cushioning conforms to your unique needs
- Flexible design hugs the foot like a sock
- Your choice of 38 different colors
- Snug, sock-like fit
- Responsive Boost midsole
- adidas Primeknit+ textile upper
Brooks Men’s Addiction Walker Walking Shoes
This is the best walking shoe option on the list, providing the perfect mix of support and protection. You can also choose an all white or all black men’s nursing shoes option, so the shoes match most nursing outfits. A rollbar provides extra arch support, while a synthetic sole has strong slip-resistant properties.
- Leather upper with a synthetic sole
- Available in four neutral tones, including all-black and all-white
- Extra arch support using rollbar technology
- Balanced and slip-resistant outsole helps stabilize your stride
- Responsive cushioning changes depending on your weight and stride
- SHOE SIZE: "D" = Medium width, "EE" = Wide width,...
- MAXIMUM SUPPORT: Our Extended Progressive Diagonal...
- SLIP-RESISTANT, SECURE FIT: The forefoot MC Pod...
New Balance Men’s 608 V5 Cross Trainer
These shoes have a premium leather upper that shields against splashes, making them ideal for nurses. There are multiple layers of comfortable padding and support to relieve pain and cushion the joints. Meanwhile, flex grooves on the outsole allow for greater flexibility than with most support sneakers.
- Leather upper with a flexible rubber sole
- Removable memory foam insert
- Shock absorbing technology in the heel
- Dual-density foam collar prevents ankle friction
- Available in 11 different styles
- Cushioning on Cushioning: The New Balance 608v5 is...
- ABZORB Technology: These New Balance training...
- Dual-Density Collar Foam: Designed to help keep...
Sticky Comfortable Pro Work Shoes for Men
These professional shoes were designed for use by nurses, chefs, and other people on-the-go. They’re a great choice for the fashion-minded, with a sleek design and a wide variety in color. The non-slip outsole has been proven to provide stability even on slippery floors.
- Non-slip outsole designed for use on wet floors
- Tough and protective but lightweight materials
- Waterproof upper and outsole
- Absorbent footbed moves away moisture to keep your feet dry
- Shock absorbing sole reduces stress on the joints
- POWERFUL NON SLIP OUTSOLE - Will protect you from...
- LIGHTWEIGHT AND HEAVY-DUTY - They are really light...
- WATERPROOF - The upper and outsole are waterproof...
Nike Men’s Tanjun Sneakers
These sporty Nike shoes are stylish and versatile enough to be worn both in and out of work. They’re also available in a whopping 37 colors, so you’re sure to find a pair that suits your personal wardrobe, including a great all black men’s Nike nursing shoe option! The breathable mesh upper delivers fresh air to your feet with every step, while light foam cushioning supports you throughout the day. These sneakers made our list of the 12 Best Nike Shoes for Nurses this year.
- Textile upper with a rubber sole
- Breathable mesh keeps fresh air flowing
- Light cushioning cradles the feet
- High heel helps relieve strain in the calves
- 37 colors to choose from
ASICS Men’s Gel-Venture Trail Running Shoes
For people who already have a neutral stride, shoes for high arches and flat feet alike can be uncomfortable. These shoes are comfortably balanced for individuals with neutral arches. Available in 20 color combinations, the shoes feature a synthetic leather upper and a cushioning sockliner.
- EVA midsole with gel support technology
- Cushioning sockliner molds to the foot over time
- Synthetic leather upper provides extra protection
- Heel counter stabilizes your stride to conserve energy and prevent injury
- Midsole and sole designed for maximum energy rebound
- Asics Gel-Venture 7 features GEL technology in the...
- Gel-Venture 7 ORTHOLITE sockliner provides an...
- Extra support comes from the sturdy upper crafted...
Merrell Men’s Jungle Moc Waterproof Slip-On Shoe
For those who don’t want a complicated design, these clogs are an ideal choice. You simply slip them on and go. The waterproofing makes them great for both outdoor adventurers and nurses. An air cushion in the heel absorbs the shock of your steps, while an EVA foam frame molds to the unique shape of your foot.
- Easy and casual slip-on clog design
- Waterproof suede upper with a rubber sole
- Air cushioning in the heel to soften impact
- Compression molding EVA foam conforms to your foot’s needs
- Treated with odor prevention materials
- Casual, waterproof slip-on featuring M Select DRY...
- Compression-molded EVA foam footframe
- Molded nylon arch shank
Crocs Specialist II Clog
For nurses who are often around spills and potentially hazardous liquids, you’re in luck. These Crocs were specifically designed to protect healthcare professionals’ feet from spills and liquids.
In addition to having thick toe protection, the shoes are also easy to clean with a simple sanitizing wipe.
- Synthetic upper and synthetic sole
- Extra-thick construction to protect against workplace spills
- Can be cleaned with soap and water or a wipe
- Footbed supports the arches while massaging the feet with each step
- Roomy, comfortable fit
- THE PERFECT WORK CROCS: Do your shoes live up to...
- EASY TO CLEAN: Crocs Specialist II clogs are easy...
- WHAT SIZE SHOULD I BUY?: These Crocs for work...
Skechers Men’s Cessnock
These shoes were built for food service workers and other individuals who work in wet conditions. They’ve received an official ASTM F1677-2005 Mark II slip resistance certification, which means that they provide adequate resistance in oily and wet conditions. The breathable mesh and memory foam insole also keep your feet comfortable during hours of standing.
- Breathable mesh upper with a rubber sole
- Bungee lacing system makes the shoes easy to slip on
- Memory foam insole provides support
- Certified slip-resistant on oily and wet floors
- Designed specifically for food service and healthcare workers
- Water and stain resistant, knit mesh fabric upper
- Stretch bungee laced front panel
- Memory Foam full length cushion footbed
Fila Men’s Memory Workshift Slip Resistant Shoe
These shoes have received an ASTM F2913-11 certification for slip resistance, meaning that they provide some friction on wet floors. The design uses more durable materials than many fabric options, but it has perforations to increase breathability. Both the midsole and sockliner are crafted from memory foam.
- Strong leather upper with a slip-resistant rubber sole
- Has been certified as slip-resistant on wet floors
- Memory foam midsole and sockliner provide relief
- Breathable perforations keep feet cool and dry
- Lace-up closure allows a customized, roomy fit
- Be bold and provocative. Remain vintage, but never...
- Radiate sophistication and style without...
- Inspired by vintage athletic wear. Retro looks,...
Birkenstock Professional Birki
We’d be remiss not to include at least one pair of Birkenstocks on this list of the best nursing shoes for men! A unisex design, these German-made clogs come in normal or wide options to fit any foot needs. Their sizes are adjusted for male/female sizing.
- Comfortable Alpro-Foam footbed and sole
- Remain comfortable throughout a 12-hour shift
- Durable full heel
- Regular width (, W, Normal)
- Manufacturer: Birkenstock Material: Alpro-Foam...
- Color: Brown
Men’s Nursing Shoes Buying Guide & Tips
Clog or Sneaker Design
Nursing shoes, men’s or women’s are almost always clogs or sneakers. Sneakers tend to be more athletic, while clogs have a stiffer and more professional aesthetic. Both types of shoe can provide support and protection, so the one that suits you best mostly depends on your preferences.
Pros of Clogs:
- Easy to slip on and off without needing to worry about laces
- Sturdy and roomy design gives your foot room to breathe
- Professional appearance
- More likely to use waterproof materials
Cons of Clogs:
- Not as flexible or responsive as sneakers
- May be heavier than sneakers, though this varies by the pair
- Don’t conform as tightly to the foot as sneakers
Pros of Sneakers:
- Athletic shoes designed to support the muscles and joints
- Often contain removable liners and room for custom orthotics
- Laces allow for a tight, customized fit
Cons of Sneakers:
- May not be as sturdy or protective as clogs
- May not be approved according to certain dress codes
- Athletic support sneakers are often pricey
Shoes are tested in a range of different conditions and given a slip resistance rating. An ideal slip-resistant shoe will provide traction and stability on wet and oily floors.
Slip Resistance Standards Explained
The slip resistance scale goes from 0.00 to 1.00. Zero refers to “no friction whatsoever,” while 1 refers to the maximum possible traction. Shoes have different ratings depending on the testing conditions. For example, a shoe might perform at a 0.90 on dry asphalt, but only at a 0.30 on smooth wet floors. More on this scale here.
When looking for men’s nursing shoes, it’s best to seek models with a resistance of 0.40 or higher on slippery floors. You can expect to work in slippery conditions in a hospital, and you don’t want to injure yourself due to improper footwear.
Another factor that contributes to slip resistance is the materials used. Rubber is most common, but it’s not the only slip-resistant choice. PVC and PU are synthetic compounds that are used as well. The Addiction Walker shoes have a synthetic sole engineered for slip resistance.
The tread matters as well. A smooth sole is more likely to slide across the floor. But if the material has ridges, spikes, or grooves, it’s easier to “grip” the ground rather than moving.
That’s why soccer cleats are so spiky: they’re designed for playing in wet, slippery grass. You obviously don’t need spiked cleats to navigate a slippery hospital floor, but rougher treads are better.
External Heel Counter
Some shoes come with an external heel counter, which is vital for support.
A heel counter is a piece of plastic that reinforces the heel cup. The thicker the heel counter, the better it supports the heel and arch. The piece can keep your foot from sliding in your shoe, and it can also help protect against overpronating.
The heel counter is usually placed within the shoe. But athletic shoes may have an external counter as well, such as the Asics Gel Venture. This plastic molding wraps around the heel and can be seen on the outside of the shoe. It prevents the heel from turning askew, which helps correct your stride.
Not everyone will need an external heel counter. But if your natural stride tends to overpronate, the stability is a good choice. It can help conserve energy, reduce the risk of injury, and reduce the chances of developing inflammation.
Most clogs have a slip-on design. Some sneakers do, too, when they use bungee laces instead of traditional laces.
Not every male nurse will prioritize a slip-on design. But if you hate having to spend time pulling your shoes on and lacing them up, a slip-on model can remove a lot of the hassle.
The caveat is that it’s important to get slip-ons that are well fitted. Without a lacing system to secure the shoe, you need to be sure that your ankle is supported, your foot is snug, and your toes have room to move.
Waterproofing is a big concern for healthcare professionals. Spills, wet conditions, and contact with bodily fluids are a day-to-day occurrence. Not only are waterproof shoes more comfortable, they’re also safer. And they’re much easier to sanitize.
Leather shoes like the Dansko XP 2.0 are waterproof. Both genuine and synthetic leather have waterproof properties. A shoe made from leather and rubber will be waterproof. PVC soles are also waterproof.
Besides these, truly waterproof materials are rare. That’s why some people opt to treat their footwear with a waterproof coating. Gore-Tex waterproofing uses advanced technology to repel water from shoes, backpacks, and general apparel.
Ease of Cleaning
You should always double-check the washing requirements before you purchase shoes. Leather cannot be washed in a machine. Similarly, make sure that you can truly sanitize your footwear. Some fabrics are so absorbent that it’s difficult to remove dirt, grime, and fluid.
Arch Support and Other Foot Needs
You might have certain support needs due to medical conditions, the shape of your feet, or injuries you’re recovering from.
Men with high arches often develop plantar fasciitis because of the lack of support. This painful condition makes it difficult to stand and walk. Shoes with arch support can lessen the effects of plantar fasciitis or prevent it from developing.
Men with flat feet, on the other hand, are more likely to overpronate. This can have a negative effect on their stride, and it may increase the risk of injury. It’s important to know whether you have high or flat arches, as the wrong type of support shoe can worsen existing issues.
Those with neutral arches don’t need gait-correcting shoes. It’s best to look for neutral shoes with balanced support throughout the midsole.
For joint conditions like arthritis, shock-absorbing padding is helpful. It keeps your steps from jarring your body as you walk and run. Padded shoes can have a significant positive impact on hip and knee pain.
When it comes to the best shoes for male nurses, it’s important that you understand your needs. Someone who works in a clinic will have different footwear needs than someone who often carries around heavy or sharp equipment.
We believe the best nursing shoes for men are the Men’s Tree Dashers. They have everything you need for long-shift support and protection. You can also get them in white, so they comply with most hospital dress codes.