Nursing

The 7 Best Shoes For Nurses Reviewed – 2019

Nursing is a rewarding, yet no-doubt demanding profession. To keep up with those demands, it’s crucial that you’re as comfortable as you can be. To avoid burnout, your body needs to feel refreshed and ready for anything on your shifts.

You’ll need a pair of some of the best nursing shoes out there if you want to accomplish this. We’ve done the research so you don’t have to.

Now let’s cut to the chase and get started! Your feet are going to thank you!

Quick Answer: The 7 Best Rated Nursing Shoes For 2019

  1. Dansko Women’s Professional Mule
  2. Skechers Women’s Work Relaxed Fit Sure Track
  3. Merrell Men’s Encore Gust Slip-On Shoe
  4. New Balance Women’s WX608v4 Comfort Pack Training Shoe
  5. NIKE Men’s Air Monarch Iv Cross Trainer
  6. Crocs Women’s Mercy Work Slip Resistant Clog
  7. K-Swiss Bigshot Light 3 Womens Tennis Shoe

We’ve reviewed the top nursing shoes followed by a comparison table and buying guide to help you decide on a pair of shoes that will work best for you.

Best Nursing Shoes

 Dansko Women's Professional MuleSkechers Women’s Work Relaxed Fit Sure TrackMerrell Men’s Encore Slip-On Shoe
Uppers:LeatherLeatherLeather
Sole:PolyurethaneSyntheticM-Select GRIP
Style:ClogSlip-OnSlip-On
Sizes:4.5 M – 12 M5 M – 11 M7 M – 15 M

Nursing Shoe Reviews


Okay, so maybe you never imagined yourself wearing clogs. Perhaps you never felt drawn to wearing neon-colored, psychedelic-like patterns on your feet.

However, there’s a reason why these are still one of the most popular models for nurses. The Dansko Women’s Professional Mule are the best nursing clogs we could find, and that’s really saying a lot.

They come in a huge array of wild/eye-catching colors and patterns, such as: ”Metallic Cheetah”, “Blue Python”, and “Candy”.

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However, there are just as many colors that are solid and more sophisticated, like “Garnet”, “Taupe Milled Nubuck”, and “Cardovan Cabrio Leather”.

Made of 100% leather, they’re extremely durable yet flexible enough for walking all day.

Let’s talk a bit more about the design. These best clogs for nurses are made to ease joint strain and pressure, allowing for your natural stride to reduce fatigue.

Not only that, but the contoured midsole provides all-day support and comfort. Both midsole and non-slip outsole absorb shock incredibly well – on par with athletic footwear. The toe box won’t squish your feet and allow for proper toe splay, thanks to the roomy design.

The lining is also nice and breathable, and anti-microbial which means it isn’t going to create foul odors no matter how long you use them for.

Finally, they’re even approved by the American Podiatric Medical Association, which basically means they’re awesome for your feet!

 

Dansko Women’s Professional Mule at a Glance:

  • Sizes: 4.5 US – 12 US
  • Colors: 100+
  • Upper: Leather
  • Sole: Polyurethane
  • Style: Clog


If you’re suffering from foot pain, take a look at the best nursing shoes for plantar fasciitis: the Skechers Women’s Work Relaxed Fit Sure Track.

These highly durable, highly comfortable shoes are so amazing, you’re going to want to wear them whether you’re working or not!

The slip-resistant shoe is an all-star with service industry workers, but they’re also excellent for nurses. Made of smooth leather, these will last you for years.

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Both the leather upper and the sole are incredibly flexible, yet protective and durable. The FlexSole midsoles and memory foam-topped removable comfort insoles absorb shock while providing a comfy pillow for your feet to land.

This may be the only shoe we felt didn’t need breaking in at all. It was comfortable and supportive from beginning to end. They don’t dig into the tops of your feet, either, due to the stretch top panel which moves with you.

Heel overlays and protective leather are resistant to chemicals, and will also keep you safe from any possible electrical hazards. To clean them, you can take out the insole and wash separately, or wash it all with warm, soapy water.

 

Skechers Women’s Work Relaxed Fit Sure Track at a Glance:

  • Sizes: 5 M – 11 M
  • Colors: Black, White
  • Upper: Leather
  • Sole: Synthetic
  • Style: Slip-On


Don’t worry, men, we haven’t forgotten about you! While many nursing shoes can be viewed as unisex, men do typically tend to have wider feet, which many pairs won’t accommodate.

However, the Merrell Men’s Encore Gust Slip On are some of the best nursing shoes for men we’ve had the pleasure of wearing. They’re quite similar in both looks and functionality to the Skechers slip on, which is definitely a good thing.

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Made of full grain leather, they’re soft, polished, and fashionable while remaining durable and comfy. The cushioning around the collar keeps the fit nice and snug, while never being too tight or irritable.

The interior is lined with an anti-microbial fabric to keep away unpleasant odors and bacteria. It’s also quite breathable, thanks to the mesh lining which works to keep away moisture from your feet.

The Ortholite removable footbed is ultra-luxurious, with ample padding that will absorb shock and hug your foot from heel-to-toes. In addition, you’ll find a compression-molded EVA foot frame specially designed for comfort and stability – both crucial for nursing.

To add to the high level of stability, the bottom has a kind of sticky rubber material to provide superior traction and keep you upright in slippery situations.

If that weren’t enough, the use of air cushion technology will always reduce impact on hard flooring and absorb shock. Style, comfort, and durability all bundled into one!

 

Merrell Men’s Encore Gust Slip-On Shoe at a Glance:

  • Sizes: 7 M – 15 M
  • Colors: Smooth Black, Smooth Bug Brown
  • Upper: Leather
  • Sole: M-Select GRIP
  • Style: Slip-On


For many, wearing tennis shoes is just the more natural choice. Most of us have worn them throughout our lives, and are no stranger to what makes a quality design.

If you’re hunting for a pair of some of the best sneakers for nurses, then give the New Balance Women’s WX608v4 Comfort Pack Training Shoe a try.

The fact that New Balance is a well-reputed brand that many already trust, means that many will feel safe investing in the mode even if they’ve never worn them before.

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Coming in 14 different colorways, you’re sure to find a pair that suits your personality.

The thick-soled shoes are just as comfortable and sturdy as they look. The rubber sole will do well to prevent you from slipping, and the internal shank and injection molded EVA midsole will keep you supported all throughout your shift.

The 100% leather upper is smooth and pliable, yet durable and protective from any potential spills or Jello being tossed at you. The dual-density collar features a softer density foam which is like a little pillow against the foot, with a more solid foam for support.

 

New Balance Women’s WX608v4 Comfort Pack Training Shoe at a Glance:

  • Sizes: 5 M – 13 W
  • Colors: 13
  • Upper: Leather
  • Sole: Rubber
  • Style: Tennis Shoe


The Nike Men’s Air Monarch Iv Cross Trainer is our other selection for the best shoes for male nurses. Coming in 5 different colorways, they work with an array of nursing clothing.

Not only is it popular in the healthcare field, but it is a top selection out of the workspace, as well!

Consisting of a durable leather upper, you don’t have to worry about them falling apart, even with daily wear. They’re smooth and comfortable, and bend in all the right places.

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In addition, the design features supportive overlays for protection and to hold your feet in place. Leather can often be an issue in terms of breathability, but thanks to perforated air channels, air flow is excellent.

The breathable mesh tongue assists with this, as well. Removing and putting on the shoe is a simple task, with the lace-up design and pull tab at the rear of the shoe.

This is great if you find yourself constantly changing into other shoes when you’re getting on/coming off your shift. The extra padding throughout the length of the foot is nice and cushy, while still providing a good amount of stability.

The footbed also has additional cushioning to reduce fatigue from standing long periods of time on hard flooring. With air-sole cushion technology, you’ll always receive excellent shock absorption while still maintaining a very lightweight shoe.

 

NIKE Men’s Air Monarch Iv Cross Trainer at a Glance:

  • Sizes: 6 M – 14 XW
  • Colors: 5
  • Upper: Leather
  • Sole: Synthetic
  • Style: Tennis Shoe

Crocs Women's Mercy Work Slip Resistant Clog


Crocs may receive a lot of jokes, but the truth is, that if you’re looking for some of the best nursing shoes for women it’s one of the top.

They’re often known for the neon colors they come in, but in this particular model they keep things more conservative with black-and-white designs. A huge reason why Crocs are so popular among those who stand on their feet all day, is their Croslite material.

Featuring proprietary technology, they’re soft, lightweight, comfortable, as well as odor-resistant. That means that you can wear them on a daily basis and your feet will never get tired of them.

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While they’re so lightweight, it’s a bit surprising at how supportive they are. They even have a heel strap which works to keep your shoes on snugly, moving with your feet rather than against them.

The comfort doesn’t stop there, either. The foot bed is made to support your arches, and little nubs give you a mini massage as long as you have them on.

As you know, nursing involves a lot of spills which is why it’s so important to keep steady. The slip-resistant material the sole is made out of is perfect for labs and hallways.

 

Crocs Women’s Mercy Work Slip Resistant Clog at a Glance:

  • Sizes: 4 M – 12 M
  • Colors: 4
  • Upper: Croslite
  • Sole: Synthetic
  • Style: Croc


You may be a bit surprised to see K-Swiss on here. While it’s by no means a “bad” brand, it’s just not as well-known for being top athletic wear outside of tennis.

However, when it comes to the best shoes for nurses on their feet all day, the Bigshot Light 3 hits a perfect match. The retro design is actually trendy right now, so if you want a pair that you can wear from work to the gym seamlessly –  this is it.

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Coming in 7 different stylish color schemes, you’re bound to find something to suit your personality. So, why are they so popular with tennis players and nurses?

Thanks to their supreme stability and support. Tennis players need a shoe that’s going to accommodate their weaving and turns-on-a-dime.

As a nurse, you need this as well. It may as well be considered a professional sport with all of the stress nursing places on your feet! The upper is a combination of lightweight mesh and synthetic leather.

They work to simultaneously provide you with structure, comfort, and breathability. The toe box is nice and roomy, so you don’t have to squish your toes in there like sardines. What’s more, is that thanks to the upper composition, the shoe is exceptionally lightweight.

The rubber outsole assists with stability, mainly because it delivers a good amount of traction while absorbing shock from hospital floors. The tongue and collar are both cushioned to ensure your ankles are protected and there’s no chafing.

 

K-Swiss Bigshot Light 3 Women’s Tennis Shoe at a Glance:

  • Sizes: 5 M – 12 M
  • Colors: 7
  • Upper: Synthetic Leather/Textile
  • Sole: Synthetic
  • Style: Tennis Shoe

Nursing Shoes Comparison Table

  UppersSoleStyleSizesRating
Dansko Professional MuleLeatherPolyurethaneClog4.5 M – 12 M4.2 / 5.0
Skechers Relaxed Fit Sure TrackLeatherSyntheticSlip-On5 M – 11 M4.1 / 5.0
Merrell Men’s Encore Slip-On ShoeLeatherM-Select GRIPSlip-On7 M – 15 M4.4 / 5.0
New Balance WX608v4 Training ShoeLeatherRubberTennis Shoe5 M – 13 W4.3 / 5.0
NIKE Men’s Air Monarch Iv Cross TrainerLeatherSyntheticTennis Shoe6 M – 14 XW4.4 / 5.0
Crocs Mercy Slip Resistant ClogCrosliteSyntheticCroc4 M – 12 M3.9 / 5.0
K-Swiss Bigshot Light Tennis ShoeSynthetic Leather/TextileSyntheticTennis Shoe5 M – 12 M4.2 / 5.0

How to Choose the Best Nursing Shoes – Buying Guide

best nursing shoes

A little over a third of nurses in the US experience serious back and foot pain. You shouldn’t be just another statistic! We can provide you with the best shoes for nurses, but it’s up to you to select the pair that fits you and your needs just right.

If you’re still undecided as to which ones you should get, there’s no need to worry. We’ve created a user-friendly buying guide to lead you through every step of the way, ensuring you success on your endeavor. If all else, we hope to at least help you narrow down your choices.

Shoe Weight

This is an aspect often overlooked by nurses. More commonly, they’re looking for comfort and stability, which is understandable.

However, the weight of your shoes is going to have a large effect on your level of comfort and fatigue. Clunky, heavy shoes are going to make you expend more energy on a daily basis. This means that you’re going to become fatigued more rapidly, which can affect your performance and productivity.

You know that it’s important for athletes to be light on their feet if they want to play their best game. Nursing is very similar, in this sense. You should be prepared for anything, as it’s such a physically (and mentally) demanding job.

Comfort

This kind of goes along with our previous point. As a nurse, you’re going to spend the vast majority of work on your feet. Running from patient to patient requires a lot of energy.

With such a physical job, you owe it to yourself to be as comfortable as you possibly can while doing it. Cushioning is going to be your new favorite thing. Cushioning provides you a soft place for your feet to take up residency.

You ideally want a dense material that provides a good amount of support, but also allows for a bit of give. Cushioned collars are also a bonus, as they prevent chafing and the digging into your feet or ankles. If you’re liking your own personal inserts, make sure the footbed is removable!

Support

That brings us to our next point, which is support. We’re talking about support of the entire foot – not just arch support. However, arch support is crucial in maintaining a happy work day and happy body.

Having a lack of support can cause not only short-term issues, but more serious long-term problems as well. You should be looking for a model that provides you with a sturdy midsole and ideally, a memory foam layer for comfort.

There are plenty of inserts or included footbeds out there that look wonderful, but end up getting squished into oblivion. A thin piece of nothing isn’t going to do much for your feet under stress.

Durability

We think this kind of goes without saying, but in your field, your shoes are put through the ringer. You’re literally putting miles into these shoes on a weekly basis, if not daily.

That means that they need to be made to last and to hold up to various spills. A leather upper is always a good idea. The material is tough to the outside world, yet soft and smooth to the foot.

They may not be as breathable in some cases, but they’re also going to protect your feet more than a synthetic or textile material.

Protection

As with just about any medically-related career, some kind of personal protection equipment is important. For your feet, choose a nursing shoe that is well-suited for use around heavy equipment, chemical spills, and more.

With that being said, you should never be wearing open-toe-style shoes. They are probably already prohibited in your place of work, anyway.

Having a shoe made of primarily mesh isn’t a great choice, either. Rather, you should have a kind of construction that acts as an effective barrier between you and potential risks.

FAQs For Nursing Shoes

Q: Which size should I purchase? Most, if not all of the best nursing shoes are true-to-size.

Q: Do my shoes have to be non-slip? This is typically up to your employer, and/or jurisdiction where you work. However, we highly recommend selecting a non-slip model, anyway.

Q: Will Crocs be an issue since they’re not closed-heel? They’re not often an issue, but it’s best to check with your employer. For safety reasons they may require you to wear a closed-heel design.

Q: Can I use my custom orthotics/inserts? You sure can – as long as the model you select has a removable footbed.

Tips For Nurses Shoes

Tip #1: Search for a shoe that has a wide toe box

Even if you have more narrow feet, this is a must. After a while of being on your feet, they will start to swell up a bit (some more than others). This means that they’re not going to have any room to be comfortable and splayed out properly if the toe box is only meant to fit the size of your non-inflamed feet.

Tip #2: Alternate footwear on various days

You don’t have to do this every-other day, but at least twice a week is a good idea. There are various reasons why you it would behoove you to do this. One, is so your footwear lasts longer. Leather, for example, breaks down at a faster rate if it doesn’t have the opportunity to dry out between wears. In addition, this gives you time to hit them with an antiseptic cleanser to get rid of unwanted germs and bacteria.

Tip #3: Don’t ever forget your socks!

As you probably already know, not wearing socks is a bad idea for those on their feet a lot. You’ll ideally want some that give a good amount of air flow and wick moisture away from your feet. You don’t want muggy feet, and definitely not smelly ones. To take things a step further, go ahead and get yourself a pair of compression socks to boost circulation in your feet and legs and reduce muscle fatigue.

Tip #4: Shop for your pronation style

You should know if you have normal pronation, or not. You can get tested if you’d like, but choosing a style with proper stability can help overpronation. Reduce muscle soreness and help properly align your spine just with the right shoes!

Final Thoughts

So, which one of these best nursing shoes will be making their way onto your shifts? No matter which ones you select, know that each one is one of the top on the market today.

All that matters is that they suit you just right. We hope that our guide has helped you out, and that your body gets treated the way it deserves. Thanks for tuning in, and we’ll see you again here soon!

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The Dansko Women's Professional Mule are our Editor's Choice for the best nurses shoes with their combination of comfort, support and value.

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