Nurses work long hours on their feet, and know the importance of choosing good sneakers or shoes. The wrong choice of footwear can lead to pain and worsen existing problems. This guide will not only provide the tips on selecting the proper shoes and show different types of nursing footwear, but also how wear and maintain your shoes to get the most out of them.


Finding the Right Fit

You shoes should fit snuggly, they shouldn’t be too loose or tight. It they are too tight at the heel or toe it can result in chaffing and blisters. However, if they are too loose it can result in reduce traction and slipping.

The Right Shoes Require Minimum Breaking-In

The right shoes do not require a long break-in period. If they don’t feel comfortable after 3-4 days, we suggest either replacing them, or follow these tips on how to break-in shoes without the pain of wearing them for weeks. .

The Importance Of No Slip Soles

Rubber-soled shoes with good treads are a must, since, hospitals floor often fall victim to bodily fluids, and can get slippery, a fall is dangerous both you, your colleagues and patients.

Arch Support or Padded Instep

The sole is the most important part of the shoe. If the sole isn’t supported, you won’t last a long shift. A shoe with a padded sole absorb shocks and decrease ankle, knee and hip pain.

Arch support or a padded instep is vital if you have problems like plantar fasciitis or just flat feet. Flat feet can benefit from greater arch support, and the degree of arch support depends on the height of your arches. This helps to put the foot in a more neutral position to cancel out the shock of impact. However, people shouldn’t spend a lot of money on custom orthopedics.

Look for a Wide Toe Box

Buy a shoes with a wide toe box, and don’t buy smaller size shoe, a shoe that might feel comfortable at the store might not after a long shift.

Rocker Bottom

For people who have ankle arthritis should think about getting shoes with rocker bottom soles. Rocker Bottom has a thicker sole where toe and heel areas curve upward. This reduces the pressure o the ball  and heel 

Mesh or Canvas?

The advantage of sneakers with mesh is they are breathable and light. However they are hard to clean. If you work in specialties or situations where you don’t come in contact with a messy bodily fluids, they might be OK; however, for most nurses this might be a good option.

In contrast, canvas sneakers are easy to clean, and can be cleaned by wiping down with antibacterial solution. Depending on the style, you can wear for patient care and for meetings. The downside is they are a little heavier than mesh sneakers.


Hi Tops

Wearing Hi Tops is really a matter of style and preference. There hasn’t been any studies done on Hi-Tops and the medical profession. However, there have been many studies done on athletes wearing Hi Tops. In a 2001 Australian study they looked at over 10,000 basketball, and found no difference in the level of injury for low and high top wearers 


They are needed in high paced areas where people are on their feet like Emergency Room (ER), where nurses are always on the move. Sneaker are built for running and have grips so you don’t slip. Canvas sneakers are ideal, since they also protect you from bodily fluids.

Slip Ons

Slips Ons are the type of nurse shoes that one can get in and out of quickly. This is critical in operating theaters, where no external footwear is allowed, this means that nurses have to change his/her footwear every time she enters and exits the Operation theater. more practical here.


Clogs are also a popular choice. They are comfortable, and the front is enclosed, protecting you from spills. The back of the clog isn’t close, and they can function like slip-ons. The back strap makes them secure. Hence, they are ideal for the operating room.

The back of the shoe is open and hence the clog can function as a slip on shoe too. This makes it great for use in the operation theaters. They have a strap at the back which makes them even more secure


If you are working in an environment with a lot of bodily fluids, sometimes even canvas sneakers aren’t enough, and you need the protect only boots can provide We offer a selection of normal and ankle boots that are great as a permanent replacement for your nurse sneakers, or to be worn for a particularly messy situation


Don’t Forget About Socks

Just as selecting the right footwear is important for your feet, picking the right socks to go with them are just as vital. Socks that absorb moisture and breathable, cut down on odors and prevent your swear from becoming too sweaty. Nurses should wear compression socks to increase circulation and lower soreness during the typical 12 hour shift.

Have Different Types and Alternative Footwear

You should have different types of footwear, especially if you work in different environments, You should have set of footwear for formal occasions, one for everyday use where you are walking/running all the time and another set for operating theater or where you are standing in one position for a long time. We suggest plain color canvas shoes for the formal occasions, mesh/canvas sneakers / hi-tops for everyday use and clogs/slips on for operating theater.

Secondly, you should buy two pairs of each footwear. Particularly for canvas sneakers, they need a break so they don’t trap odors over time. When you spend long hours on your feet, your feet can get sweat, and developed odors and on rare occasions athlete’s foot. Canvas wears down quickly if it doesn’t have time to dry out. You should alternate pairs of shoes so that they have a chance to dry out on their off-days.

Stretch and ice

There are some measures you can do to stop aliments like Achilles tendonitis from forming. 1) Stretch your calves your before and after a shift, by placing your leg on chair/stool with your heel hanging off 2) Push the heel down while keeping your knee straight and stretch. 2) Night splints can help stretch your calves while you sleep 3) Icing can help reduce swelling. If the pain continues after 4-5 weeks of stretches and icing, consider seeing a doctor.

Give them a Break

If your feet and legs are getting tired and are starting to ache, get someone to cover you for 5-10 minutes, so you can stretch your legs, go to break room to sit down and take a break and take off your shoes. Your feet and legs will thank you.

Clean your Shoes

It is important to keep your shoes clean, and that is why we recommend getting nurse sneaker/shoes that are made of canvas, leader or other material that are easy to clean with a simple wipe.