13 of the Best Shoes for Nurses [2020 Buying Guide]

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Once you begin your career in nursing, you will find there is one thing that may stand out from the rest: you are on your feet a lot. Whether you are working in a busy ER, doing rounds, assisting surgeries or just happen to work in a busy office, you will likely find yourself standing or walking pretty often. This means that it is a very good idea to look after your feet and the best way to do that is to be sure you have decent nursing shoes.

Different environments may have regulations on what is required for shoes so be sure to check with your employer regarding any specifics, but in this list, we will take a look at 13 of our favorites. These range from our top picks for best tennis shoes for nurses to mules and clogs that are also obvious fits for the job.

In a hurry? Here are our top picks!

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Best Overall
Nurse Mates - Womens - Harmony
Best Sneaker
Skechers Sport Women's Premium Sneaker,White,8 M...
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Nurse Mates - Womens - Harmony
Skechers Sport Women's Premium Sneaker,White,8 M...
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Best Overall
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Nurse Mates - Womens - Harmony
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Nurse Mates - Womens - Harmony
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Best Sneaker
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Skechers Sport Women's Premium Sneaker,White,8 M...
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Skechers Sport Women's Premium Sneaker,White,8 M...
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Related: Can Nurses Have Tattoos?

The Best Shoes for Nurses


Dansko Women’s Pro Xp Mule Shoe

Dansko Women's XP 2.0 Slate Marbled Nubuck Clogs...

Dansko is a small company that makes incredibly comfortable shoes in all kinds of styles, but today the focus is on their nursing clogs.

The Xp Mule is a slip-on clog that is designed with comfort and performance in mind and the shoe is made from 100 percent leather upper that is quality stitched to the rubber sole. This is a full shoe, so it has a complete back ensuring your heel stays in place while quickly walking around.

The rubber sole is slip-resistant to give you confidence wet floors and there is a 2-inch heel to help prevent standing fatigue.

A memory foam insole fills the shoe to give full comfort and support to your foot, and a padded instep is also included.

There are 18 different styles to choose from so you have a lot of choices to express yourself with various colors and patterns that best suit your personality (or office policy).

Pros

  • High-quality shoe
  • Many color choices
  • Full foot enclosure including heel.

Cons

  • More expensive than other shoes
  • Leather requires a break in period

These clogs are best for a nurse who wants a complete and stylish shoe that will also have slip resistance and a higher level of comfort than other shoes. Dansko is a quality brand name and these have been recommended by many who are already in busy work environments.

Sale
Dansko Women's XP 2.0 Slate Marbled Nubuck Clogs...
  • Leather uppers
  • Padded instep collar for extra comfort when...
  • Roomy toe box to allow toes to move comfortably...

Nurse Mates Women’s Harmony

Nurse Mates - Womens - Harmony

Nurse Mates is a company that focuses primarily on nursing as their primary audience and they have done research into what is needed for footwear, scrubs and other apparel. They know a thing or two about what it means to be on your feet all day.

The Harmony is a part of the Align series, which means it contains a corrective orthotic that keeps the foot in correct position. The upper is a full grain leather and are stain resistant to keep them looking great. It’s also a full shoe that is a slip-on so you don’t need to worry about laces getting in the way or getting messy. A complete shoe heel is included to help keep it on your foot during busy days.

The sole of the shoe is done in EVA rubber and comes with additional rubber inserts on the bottom to ensure the best in anti-slip technology for wet environments. A density foot foam helps absorb shock and provide support for nurses who find the majority of their work hours on their feet. The top of the shoe is elastic for assistance in slipping it on and off while also keeping it snug while wearing it. There is also an additional EVA insole that can be removed if needed.

Pros

  • Supportive removable insole
  • Full-grain leather
  • Slip-resistant

Cons

  • Slightly more expensive than others on the list

These are the best shoes for a nurse who is concerned about their appearance.  They have a great style and shape to them and are still quite functional in a typical nursing environment.

Nurse Mates - Womens - Harmony
  • Full-grain, stain-resistant leather upper
  • Stabilizing composite shank
  • Align corrective orthotic

Allbirds Tree Runners

Allbirds has made a splash in the industry for their sneakers made from natural resources with a super simple design. With no flashy logos here, their sneakers are amazingly comfortable and can be worn all day without pain. We chose the tree runners as one of our top choices of sneakers for nurses because they are extremely light and breathable and also machine washable.

It’s shocking to have such a comfortable sneaker made from natural materials. This is a big relief to those who would like to be more environmentally-friendly but do not want to make large sacrifices in comfort, quality, or looks. The knit fabric is made from eucalyptus tree fiber, the midsole is made from Brazilian sugarcane, the insole is made from castor beans, and the laces are made from recycled polyester. Amazing!

These are some of the best tennis shoes for nurses as well as great tennis shoes for the planet. They are quite affordable and can last for a year if you take care of them.

Pros

  • Made and inspired from natural materials
  • Feels light and breezy
  • Flexible (conforms to your feet)
  • Machine washable

Cons

  • The colors are a bit limited
  • They are rarely on sale or sold on third party sites

These are perfect tennis shoes for a nurse who is looking to break free from popular sports brands and is looking for a tennis shoe that can be worn straight from work to the gym, to grabbing a drink with a friend, or for lounging on the weekend!

 Reebok Flexagon Force Sneakers

Although clogs make a really practical choice for nurse footwear, sneakers are always another option for those looking for something more casual. In our list of the best tennis shoes for nurses, we include our top favorite brands from Allbirds and Reebok. Reebok is a popular sports footwear brand known for quality and support. Unlike Allbirds, however, Reebok is not known for using environmentally-friendly materials or being extremely eco-conscious. That said, these are just downright amazing sneakers that feel great being word all day.

These Flexagon sneakers are among the best sneakers for nurses because of their breathability that can help feet keep cool all day (and also to avoid odors) as well as their comfort, utilizing a memory foam sockliner and midsole cushioning.

Pros

  • Breathable fabric keeps feet odor-free
  • Extremely comfortable memory foam sockliner and cushioning make standing all day comfortable
  • Cute design that comes in multiple color schemes
  • Can be worn for interval training or gym sessions

Cons

  • These are not made from natural materials
  • They can run small, so proper sizing can be difficult
  • Not advertised as machine-washable

These tennis shoes are perfect for nurses who enjoy a more sporty look and prefer a more athletic-looking sneaker as opposed to a casual tennis shoe.

Crocs Unisex Bistro Clog

Crocs Bistro Pro LiteRide Clog, black, 7 US Women...

Crocs are very well known for their shoes in many different shapes and styles. They have been used by countless nurses since their inception.

Like most Crocs, the Bistro has a one-piece construction to the outer shoe. The material is easy to clean and comfortable to wear with or without socks.

The Bisto has rubber inserts in the sole making these anti-slip and perfect for wet work situations like hospitals or travel nursing and a heel strap is included to help keep your foot in place at the back of the shoe.

This version does not have any open toe ventilation that helps to keep your feet protected in the event of spills or other foot hazards.

Pros

  • Durable construction
  • Heel strap
  • Anti-slip sole

Cons

  • No insole
  • The arch can be uncomfortable for some

These shoes are perfect for a nurse who works in very wet situations on tile or cement flooring. The anti-slip is helpful as well as the plastic construction making them very easy to clean if needed.

Crocs Bistro Pro LiteRide Clog, black, 7 US Women...
  • CROCS AT WORK: Clogs designed with food service,...
  • EASY TO CLEAN: Crocs Bistro clogs are fully molded...
  • SLIP RESISTANT KITCHEN SHOES FOR MEN AND WOMEN:...

Anywear Women’s Srangel Health Care & Food Service Shoe

Anywear Srangel Closed Back Plastic Clog, 7, Black...

Shoes that are designed specifically for a particular job are always good to check out and Anywear does a great shoe that is made with nursing (or cooking) in mind.

The Anywhere Srangel is a full synthetic clog-type shoe that is perfect for wet and messy situations and the ability to keep your shoes clean with a quick wipe is a great feature to have. These clogs don’t have a full back to them so they are recommended only if you are not looking for something with heel support.

The rubber sole has a great tread pattern to it to help in slippery situations, and both the toe and the heel have additional traction points to prevent slips when walking quickly and with purpose.

There is also a removable insert for cleaning, and there are vent channels on the inside to help keep your foot ventilated and comfortable.

Pros

  • Foot ventilation
  • Removable insole
  • Toe and heel traction

Cons

  • Not a full heel
  • Material will not conform to feet over time

These are the best shoes for nurses who don’t have to run or walk too much every day as they don’t have full heel support. They are great for keeping feet away from bad elements and even have a slight heel to them to help prevent standing fatigue.

Sale
Anywear Srangel Closed Back Plastic Clog, 7, Black...
  • NURSING SHOES FOR WOMEN: Ditch your old school...
  • CUSHION IS KING: High Rebound Injected Molded EVA...
  • STAY SAFE OUTSOLE: Non-Slip bottom gives you the...

Easy Spirit Women’s Twist Sneaker

Easy Spirit Women's Twist Sneaker, Black 001, 7

Sometimes, even in a busy workplace, you want to add a sense of style to your feet and Easy Spirit makes a very stylish low cut slip-on sneaker that is perfect for your nursing job.

The upper of the Twist is lower cut than some sneakers making it easy to slip on but also adding a touch of style to the shoe. The check pattern across the top and sides adds a unique look to the shoe without losing any of the functionality.

The Twist feature a full heel and even has a pull loop on the back for assistance in putting them on so you don’t ruin the heel of the shoe every time you try and push your foot into them.

The sole has rubber inserts that flow right to the tip of the toe to keep your feet firmly on the floor as much as possible.

There is a removable insole that can be switched out if the included one is not the level of comfort you are looking for.

Pros

  • Stylish and unique
  • 4 delightful colors available.

Cons

  • Textured top may be difficult to clean.

The Easy Spirit Twist is the best shoes for a nurse who wants wants a marriage of comfort and style.  They are a unique twist to their wardrobe yet remain functional in a busy workplace.

Related: 7 Easy Hairstyles for Busy Nurses [Ready in Under 5 Minutes]

Skechers Women’s Sport Premium 

Skechers Sport Women's Premium Sneaker,White,8 M...

Skechers is a well-known name brand when it comes to shoes. They started their business with work boots so it would make sense they continue the tradition and offer comfortable shoes for nursing as well.

Just enough balance between workability and style means you get a good work shoe that still looks great. The finger hole in the back of the shoe is helpful for when slipping the shoe on and off your feet. The Sure Track has a removable inner sole that is made from memory foam to help provide comfort and also include a shock absorbing FlexSole in the middle for support and durability.

Pros

  • 100% leather
  • Padded tongue and collar
  • Rubber sole

Cons

  • Only variations of black and white models

The Skechers Sport Premium is the perfect shoe for nurses who want to stick with a name brand and still get the right shoe for the job. Skechers is known for its performance and style and brings all of their experience to create a perfect nursing shoe

Skechers Sport Women's Premium Sneaker,White,8 M...
  • Leather sneaker featuring lace-up vamp and...
  • Easy-on loop at counter
  • Padded tongue and collar

Sticky Shoes Women’s Cute Nursing Shoes

Sticky Pro Shoes - Women's Cute Nursing Shoes -...

Made from a thermoplastic, these nursing shoes are water resistant to ensure you keep your feet away from damp and messy situations. They are a low cut slip-on shoe with a full-heeled back to keep your feet where they are supposed to be no matter the patient or conditions.

A large heel and front foot area of the sole are covered in an anti-slip rubber in an effort to keep your feet secure and the footbed is made with a highly absorbent material to help keep moisture away from your feet all day.

As these shoes are made specifically for nursing, they have a small exclusive pin that is only available on their healthcare line.

Pros

  • 18 awesome colors to choose from
  • Made specifically for nursing
  • Very lightweight

Cons

  • Insole can be too thin
  • Rubber sole can separate from the shoe

These shoes are perfect for the person looking for that cute nursing shoe that will match their scrubs but is also super functional. Waterproof and anti-slip mean these shoes are ready for business and they look good doing it.

Sticky Pro Shoes - Women's Cute Nursing Shoes -...
  • SIZE - Please check size chart below on product...
  • NON SLIP and WATERPROOF - Made with a powerful non...
  • MOISTURE WICKING INSOLE - The footbed is made with...

Related: The Best Nursing Clipboards

Skechers D’Lite Memory Foam 

Skechers D'Lites - Fresh Start White/Navy/Red 5.5

Sometimes comfort needs to take a front seat when it comes to our choices of work shoes, but that doesn’t mean your shoes can’t be comfortable and cute! Available in a variety of colors and inlay design, the Skechers D’Lite memory foam series can easily make the transition from a casual sneaker to a work shoe to a gym shoe. 

Designed with a soft, cushioned, memory foam insole, these shoes are great for those who spend long days on their feet or who require a bit more support and cushion for issues such as fallen arches or Plantar Fasciitis. With a shock-absorbing athletic midsole, you can wear these shoes straight from work to the gym or on long walks.

Pros

  • Available in a variety of colors
  • Thick midsole for shock absorption
  • Memory foam cushioned insole
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Not available in all colors/sizes

These shoes are perfect for the nurse who can wear a sneaker in their workplace and wants to stay comfortable all day.

Skechers D'Lites - Fresh Start White/Navy/Red 5.5
  • Charm your onlookers with your casual-chic look in...
  • Leather upper features a smooth finish with...
  • Lace-up construction for a secure fit.

Sanita Women’s Lindsey Clog

Sanita Women's Lindsey Clog

Sanita does a great looking classic clog that is perfect for your rounds while still keeping a touch of class.

The 100% leather upper is a full clog with heel support and a full top. The toe is nice and wide to accommodate feet without the fear of blisters or feeling tight on your toes.

The sole is made from polyurethane to keep it water resistant and slip resistant and there is a 2-inch heel with a 1-inch lift to the whole shoe to keep feet safe from standing fatigue. The sole is designed to be used with a rocking motion for a natural feel when walking or standing.

The footbed is anatomically shaped to keep feet in proper place and has a good amount of arch support and is approved by APMA for its orthopedic construction and its arch support.

Pros

  • Orthopedic construction
  • 4 great colors to choose
  • High style clog

Cons

  • Leather takes time to wear in
  • Sizing can be a little off

These shoes are perfect for the nurse who likes clogs but does not want to wear the traditional models seen everywhere. They are a little more expensive than your standard basic clog, but style and comfort should make up for that.

Sanita Women's Lindsey Clog
  • Slip resistant outsole
  • Polyurethane (pu) outsole reinforced with a hard...
  • Anatomically shaped footbed for arch support with...

Timberland Pro Women’s Renova PROfessional Slip-On Clog

Timberland PRO Women's Renova PROfessional Slip-On...

Timberland is well known for their walking and hiking footwear so they should know how to keep feet comfortable when they are standing and walking all day long.

The PROfessional Slip-On Clog is a full heel nurses clog with elastic goring on the upper to allow for easier slip on and off of the shoe. The upper is made of full grain leather for comfort and outstanding style.

The sole has a heel-to-toe rocker to keep feet happy while walking and is anatomically rounded to prevent tough impact of your heel strike. The rounded front of the sole reduces forefoot pressure and the soles use a SafeGrip to ensure they are slip resistant on both wet and dry surfaces.

The inside is molded to offer all-day standing support and superior shock absorption. Anti-microbial technology is used on the insole to prevent odor and to keep feet feeling fresh and comfortable.

Pros

  • Rocker sole
  • 3M Scotchgard protector for stains
  • Elastic side panels

Cons

  • Leather can be stiff

These clogs are perfect for nurses who are walking more than average. The Timberland technology is put into these shoes to ensure your feet are in the best possible condition even if you are on your feet all day.

Timberland PRO Women's Renova PROfessional Slip-On...
  • Slip-on work clog featuring concealed goring...
  • Anti-fatigue technology
  • Anatomically shaped toe box

Softwalk Women’s Meredith Clog

Grey's Anatomy Softwalk 'Meredith Sport' Footwear...

Sometimes style has to come above all else and Softwalk has you covered. With 54 different styles to choose from, you are sure to find something that will fit your look and personality. From tiny dogs to outrageous colors and outlandish patterns, Softwalk tries to bring something for everyone.

The shoe is made from a leather upper that is a full slip-on clog with a complete heel. A belt across the top adds a bit of style to the top of the shoe.

The sole is a lightweight EVA with rubber inserts to keep the shoes from slipping and there is a dual density footbed that helps to cushion with every step.

Pros

  • So many choices
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Leather can crack or peel

These are a Grey’s Anatomy branded shoe and are perfect for those who don’t want to sacrifice style for a decent nurse shoe. These have all the requirements of a model designed for nurses but offer a plethora of styles for those who don’t want to sacrifice their own uniqueness in the workplace.

Grey's Anatomy Softwalk 'Meredith Sport' Footwear...
  • Grey's Anatomy Softwalk
  • light weight, slip resistance

Related: 15 Funny Nurse Shirts That Will Make You Smile

The Benefits of Nursing shoes

When it comes to shoes there are so many styles and brands to choose from but the most important factor is that the shoes are made for nursing.

Here’s why:

  • Comfort – Nurses are on their feet all day and are perpetually in motion and it’s a good idea to have shoes that address that level of activity. Having an insole that prevents foot and back fatigue is important as well to help you ward off injuries or tightness.
  • Cleaning – Keeping your shoes clean and free from stains is very important in a hospital environment. It is a good idea to have shoes that are easy to clean and use a material that is resistant to staining.
  • Simple design and style – Slip-on shoes are used often to ensure that laces and other flairs do not become an issue. Laces can get caught on things and equipment as you are moving past them and you don’t want to create a disturbance or knock something over by accident.  Many offices also have a dress code that nurses must follow.
  • Safety – Being sure your shoes are anti-slip mean you’re able to walk and do your job in slippery settings. Floors can get wet with fluids in a nursing environment and the last thing you need is to lose your balance at a critical moment. Having the right amount of ant-slip lets you work in confidence without the fear of falling.

What to Look for in the Nursing Shoes

There are some features of a good nursing shoe that help you decide if the shoe is right for you:

  • Durability – the upper should be well constructed and be able to take some abuse. Shoes that are poorly stitched or have an excessive amount of stitching can come apart after some wear and soles with rubber inserts can separate over time if the shoe is not flexible enough.
  • Insole – a removable insole can be important to make sure you are getting enough support for your foot and back. Also, a removable insole can be cleaned or replaced as needed. If you need additional support and your insole is not removable, then the shoe may not have enough room inside for an additional insole.

Being sure the insole has enough arch support is also important as not all nursing shoes come with insoles like clogs that are single piece of material. It is important to be sure these shoes have enough support for each individual so make sure you check how your own feet feel with the arches and insoles.

  • Fatigue-reducing sole – a heel on your sole is actually quite helpful when standing for long periods of time as it helps to keep your feet and your back aligned properly for good posture. This enables you to stay on your feet for longer periods of time.  A good rocker sole helps when standing for long periods as it enables you to move the pressure on your feet from your heel to the ball of your foot and back to your heel without a lot of resistance to help keep fatigue away.

We hope you found this list of shoes helpful and there is something on this list that works for you!

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