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10 Best Shoes For Nurses 2021 – Review By Nurses

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Updated 7/22/2021

What are the best shoes for nurses and healthcare professionals? It seems like a simple question. But, the answer can get really complicated. Not just any old walking shoe will do for nurses. That’s why we asked nurses themselves. Here are the shoes that were most recommended by our online nursing community of over 133,000 nurses:

Top 10 Best Shoes for Nurses

If you want to jump to a specific shoe review, click on the link below. 

  1. Asics Shoes
  2. BALA Shoes – Twelves
  3. Brooks Running Shoes
  4. NIKE Vapormax
  5. Clove
  6. Hoka One One
  7. Alegria women
  8. On Cloud Running Shoes
  9. Vessi
  10. Dansko Nursing Clogs

Why High-Quality Shoes Matter to Nurses 

Nurses have quite a few things to consider when it comes to purchasing the best nursing shoes. It’s important to question if the shoes are,  

  • Slip-resistant, non-slip, and water-resistant to repel all sorts of liquids
  • Breathable with a good amount of cushioning 
  • A roomy enough toe box to allow for feet to expand during the day
  • Sharps resistant to protect vulnerable feet from needles and other sharp objects
  • Durable enough to last with a strong insole, midsole, and outsole – especially if they come with a high price tag
  • Provide lots of support, comfort, and shock absorption for standing, running, walking, and sprinting for all those long shifts! 
  • Easy enough to clean, and even better, if they are stain-resistant 

On top of that, each nurse has their own unique needs when it comes to foot, ankle, and even back health like, 

  • Plantar fasciitis 
  • Wide feet and footbeds
  • Arch support
  • Heel pain 
  • Flat feet 
  • Foot pain
  • Back pain 

When it comes down to it, purchasing a new pair of nurse shoes is a pretty big decision and could be quite an investment. There are so many questions when it comes to buying new high-quality shoes for work, 

  • Is that expensive pair of shoes really worth it, for a work shoe? 
  • Should nurses wear classic clogs to easily slip on or a nice pair of tennis shoes (sneakers)? 
  • Or should nurses go with Crocs, for their affordability and ease of cleaning?
  • What are the most comfortable shoes with the perfect fit? 
  • Which shoes are best for standing for 12, or more, hours a day? 

Choosing the Best Shoes For Nurses

To help answer these questions, and more, we put the top-rated nurse shoes to the test! And, by “top-rated” we actually mean TOP RATED BY NURSES! That’s right – we asked our online community of over 133,000 nurses to recommend their favorite shoes to wear to work. 

Instagram @nurse_org 

To narrow down the best shoes for nurses as recommended by nurses, we then took all the responses from our community and selected the shoes with the most recommendations. 

Items in this article may include affiliate links and ireview365.com will get a small percentage of the sales. 

10 Nurses Tested The Shoes At Work

We decided to put the 10 highest recommended nursing shoes to the ultimate test – on the feet of actual nurses who work at busy hospitals around the county. Our group of nurse product testers was asked to select a pair of shoes and to wear them to work (yes, they got to keep the shoes!)

After the nurses wore the shoes to work a few times, they rated them, ranked them, and gave us their honest review of the shoes. Their truthful responses just might surprise you. 

So, here it is! Our list of the best shoes for nurses, ranked on a scale of 1 to 5 – 1 being the worst and 5 being the best.

Overall rating: 5

Alice Benjamin, MSN, BSN, RN is a Critical Care nurse with over 20  years of experience and she tested Asics Novablast tennis shoes at work for 3 shifts. Follow @asknursealice on Instagram! 

Buy Asics Novablast running shoes on Amazon for $129.95

Asics Shoe Review 

Scale: 5=Best, 1=Worst

Q&A

  • Do you have any foot, ankle, or other medical conditions that usually influence your shoe purchase?

“No”

  • What shoes do you usually wear to work and why?

“I usually wear Nikes or some type of running shoe because they are comfy and don’t hurt when I am running all day”

  • How long are you usually at work during a typical shift?

“Over 12 -hour shifts”

  • What do you like about Asics shoes?

 “They are comfortable on my feet even after several hours of standing”

  • What do you dislike about Asics shoes? 

“They are lace-up. I hate having to re-tie my shoes often. They came with long laces.”

  • Is there anything else you think nurses should know about Asics shoes? 

“No”

  • Would you recommend them to a coworker? 

“Yes”

Buy Asics Novablast running shoes on Amazon for $129.95

 

2. BALA Shoes

Overall rating: 5

Nurses do it all, and they deserve a shoe that can too. Tens of thousands of nurses pitched in to help design the BALA Twelves, which are uniquely crafted around female foot morphology and packed with nurse-specific features. The result is a perfectly fitting nurse shoe without compromises. 

Alice Benjamin, MSN, BSN, RN is a Critical Care nurse with over 20  years of experience and she tested BALA Shoes tennis shoes at work for 3 shifts. Follow @asknursealice on Instagram! 

Buy BALA Shoes starting at $130

Buy BALA Shoes starting at $130

BALA Shoes Review

Scale: 5=Best, 1=Worst

Q&A

  • Do you have any foot, ankle, or other medical conditions that usually influence your shoe purchase?

“I have flat feet and they’re big – a size 10 in women so there isn’t always a good selection in shoes.”

  • What shoes do you usually wear to work and why?

“I usually wear tennis/running shoes for comfort and support. I’m standing for long hours and have to move quickly so I need shoes that conform to my feet, provide support, and feel good.”

  • How long are you usually at work during a typical shift?

“Over 12 hours”

  • What do you like about BALA shoes?

 “I liked the snug fit and how comfortable they are. They are actually liquid resistant.”

  • What do you dislike about BALA shoes? 

“Nothing! I love my BALA shoes!”

  • Is there anything else you think nurses should know about BALA shoes? 

“No”

  • Would you recommend them to a coworker? 

“Yes”

Buy BALA Shoes starting at $130

3. Brooks Shoes

Overall rating: 5

Wali Khan, BSN, RN as an ICU/ER nurse with 10 years of experience and he tested Brooks Ghost 12 running shoes three times before writing this review. Follow @wali_khann on Instagram! 

YouTube Video

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Buy Brooks Ghost 12 running shoes on Amazon starting at $89.93

Brooks Shoe Review 

Scale: 5=Best, 1=Worst

Q&A

  • Do you have any foot, ankle, or other medical conditions that usually influence your shoe purchase?

“No”

  • What shoes do you usually wear to work and why?

“Nike Free Runs – They have provided sufficient comfort for the duration of the shift and have proven to be durable”

  • How long are you usually at work during a typical shift?

“Over 12 hours”

  • What do you like about Brooks shoes?

 “My feet did not hurt after an intense movement. The fit of the shoe was true to size and did not require a “break-in” period. I also ran several miles in the shoes to test comfort and durability and they proved to be great shoes.”

  • What do you dislike about Brooks shoes? 

“From a consumer standpoint, they are pretty expensive.  > $110.00”

  • Is there anything else you think nurses should know about Brooks shoes? 

“Allocate these shoes for one specific thing and utilize them to their full capacity. These are shoes intended for running, working out, and cross-training. They do, however, provide long-term comfort and can be used in the hospital setting for standing for long hours.”

  • Would you recommend them to a coworker? 

“Yes”

Buy Brooks Ghost 12 running shoes on Amazon starting at $89.93

Overall rating: 5

Everett Moss II, BSN, RN is a Critical Care/Vascular Access nurse with 5 years experience and he tested NIKE Vapormax at work for one full shift before writing this review. Follow @the_paramurse on Instagram!

Buy NIKE Vapormax on Amazon starting at $189.90

NIKE Vapormax Shoe Review

Scale: 5=Best, 1=Worst

Q&A

  • Do you have any foot, ankle, or other medical conditions that usually influence your shoe purchase?

“No”

  • What shoes do you usually wear to work and why?

“Running Sneakers”

  • How long are you usually at work during a typical shift?

“12 hours”

  • What do you like about NIKE shoes?

 “Very light and comfortable.”

  • What do you dislike about NIKE shoes? 

“I prefer shoes that are more fluid-resistant”

  • Is there anything else you think nurses should know about NIKE shoes? 

“They are very comfortable and light”

  • Would you recommend them to a coworker? 

“Yes”

Buy NIKE Vapormax on Amazon starting at $189.90

 

Overall rating: 4

Heather May, BSN, RN is a  Medical/Surgical nurse with over 10 years of experience and she tested Clove’s Nightshift shoe for healthcare workers two times before writing this review. Follow @nurse.heathermay on Instagram!

Buy Clove Sneakers for $129.99

Cloves Shoe Rating

Scale: 5=Best, 1=Worst

Q&A

  • Do you have any foot, ankle, or other medical conditions that usually influence your shoe purchase?

“No”

  • What shoes do you usually wear to work and why?

“I normally wear the Black Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 37 Running shoes to work because of the very supportive insoles which makes it comfortable to be on my feet for 12 hours. I also wear compression socks if I’m working two or more shifts in a row to help with circulation.”

  • How long are you usually at work during a typical shift?

12 hours

  • What do you like about Cloves shoes?

 “I like the water-resistance feature the most. While I was walking to work in the rain my feet stayed dry. It reassured me that this pair of shoes could protect my feet from any bodily fluid while caring for my patients.”

  • What do you dislike about Cloves shoes? 

“I think the shoe could improve by inserting more supportive insoles. The insoles are flat and I felt little support in the arch of my foot.”

  • Is there anything else you think nurses should know about Cloves shoes? 

“For better support, you could buy more supportive removable insoles and replace them. After wearing them for two shifts, I did notice crease marks at the top of the shoe. Overall, I would recommend these shoes to fellow nurses because they are water-resistant, have a great grip, easy to slip on and off, and are affordable.”

  • Would you recommend them to a coworker? 

“Yes”

Buy Clove Sneakers for $129.99

Overall rating: 4

Mariam Yazdi, BSN, RN is a Critical Care Nurse with 7 years of experience and she tested HOKA ONE ONE Bondi 6 sneakers for one full shift before writing this review. 

YouTube Video

Buy HOKA ONE ONE Bondi 6 shoes on Amazon starting at $119.95

HOKA ONE ONE Shoe Review

Scale: 5=Best, 1=Worst

Q&A

  • Do you have any foot, ankle, or other medical conditions that usually influence your shoe purchase?

“Weak ankles”

  • What shoes do you usually wear to work and why?

“I rotate between sneakers and orthopedic (Dansko type) styles to give variety to my footwear. It allows my feet to experience different pressure points instead of the same pressure points for 40 hours a week.”

  • How long are you usually at work during a typical shift?

“12 hours”

  • What do you like about Hoka One shoes?

 “I enjoyed the extreme support the sneaker has. It is instantly noticeable that the soul of the foot will be cradled throughout the day. I also took them running (they are primarily a running shoe) and the support on the foot upon impact with the floor is INCREDIBLE.”

  • What do you dislike about Hoka One shoes? 

“It is bulky and definitely tricky to style.”

  • Is there anything else you think nurses should know about Hoka One shoes? 

“This shoe definitely shines when used for running on concrete. I tend to get tired of landing on the balls of my foot when I run, even though it is “healthier” for your knees due to decreased impact. This shoe solves that. This shoe is reminiscent of the Sketchers sneaker that has a big foot cradle, but the distribution of support on the foot is MUCH better than the Sketcher line. It does not give me back or knee pain or discomfort. If you don’t mind wearing a bulkier shoe for the extra support, this shoe is it.”

  • Would you recommend them to a coworker? 

“Yes”

Buy HOKA ONE ONE Bondi 6 shoes on Amazon starting at $119.95

Overall rating: 3

Portia Wofford, LPN is an Infection Prevention and Control, Long Term Care nurse with 10 years experience and she wore her Alegria Dixi Professional shoes to work for one shift. Follow @thewritenurse on Instagram!

Buy Alegria Dixi Professional shoes on Amazon for $69.99

Alegria Shoe Review

Scale: 5=Best, 1=Worst

Q&A

  • Do you have any foot, ankle, or other medical conditions that usually influence your shoe purchase?

“No”

  • What shoes do you usually wear to work and why?

“Sneakers. I look for sneakers with some sort of padding inside and that will match any color scrub I wear. I also look for something with great leg and back support.”

  • How long are you usually at work during a typical shift?

“8 hours”

  • What do you like about Alegria shoes?

“I like the padding on the inside and that it gives leg and calf muscle support.”

  • What do you dislike about Alegria shoes? 

“Because of the shoe size, I feel they don’t fit true to size. They kept rubbing on the backs and sides of my ankles. I had to wear a bandage to prevent skin breakdown. They are also heavy.”

  • Would you recommend them to a coworker? 

“Yes”

Buy Alegria Dixi Professional shoes on Amazon for $69.99

Overall rating: 3

Kathleen Gaines, MSN, RN is a NICU nurse and Nurse Educator with 5 years of experience, she tested On Cloud running shoes at work for 3 shifts before writing this review. 

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Buy On Cloud Running Shoes for $128.17

On Cloud Shoe Rating

Scale: 5=Best, 1=Worst

Q&A

  • Do you have any foot, ankle, or other medical conditions that usually influence your shoe purchase?

“High arches, ankle issue from previous surgery, normally wear orthotics in shoes”

  • What shoes do you usually wear to work and why?

“Nike Sneakers. NurseMates Compression Socks. Custom made orthotics”

  • How long are you usually at work during a typical shift?

“12 hours”

  • What do you like about On Cloud shoes?

 “It was very light on my foot. My feet didn’t feel heavy when wearing them.”

  • What do you dislike about On Cloud shoes? 

“I do not have a wide foot but these shoes were very, very narrow. They felt tight throughout the shift and I had to continue to loosen them. They also are not easy to clean. I would have to wash them in a washing machine to properly clean them if they got bodily fluids on them.”

  • Is there anything else you think nurses should know about On Cloud shoes? 

“These are not sharp resistant. As an ICU nurse, I wouldn’t normally wear these for nursing. They seem more like running or workout shoes and not something for nursing. Furthermore, for the cost – they are a lot compared to other sneakers.”

  • Would you recommend them to a coworker? 

“No”

Buy On Cloud Running Shoes for $128.17

9. Vessi Shoes

Overall rating: 3

Cameron Hershey, BSN, RN is a Flight Nurse/Critical Care Transport nurse with 5 years of experience and he tested Vessi waterproof sneakers for 5 shifts at the hospital and 2 shifts on the helicopter before writing this review. Follow @traumacam on Instagram! 

Vessi Shoe Rating

Scale: 5=Best, 1=Worst

Q&A

  • Do you have any foot, ankle, or other medical conditions that usually influence your shoe purchase?

“Flat feet”

  • What shoes do you usually wear to work and why?

“Normally, I wear Adidas NMD R1s while in the hospital or on the ambulance. I have multiple colors that I wear depending on my mood. If on the helicopter, I wear HAIX Airpower XR2 boots. I don’t place inserts in my shoes.”

  • How long are you usually at work during a typical shift?

“12 hours”

  • What do you like about Vessi shoes?

 “I liked that I was able to just slip them on and not tie/untie them each time. They are very pliable which is good for my wide feet. Also, I liked the appearance. I was able to wear them out after a shift and with normal street clothes without looking like I was wearing work shoes.”

  • What do you dislike about Vessi shoes? 

“They absorb and hold liquid easily. Even though they are supposed to be waterproof. Also, they are almost completely fabric so although this made them very comfortable, they are probably not a great choice for ER/Critical transport work as blood/secretions would seep through easily.”

  • Is there anything else you think nurses should know about Vessi shoes? 

“I will definitely continue to wear these casually and they are really comfortable, but I would likely not wear them on a shift in the ER or field. For ICU work, I would wear them again.”

  • Would you recommend them to a coworker? 

“Yes”

Buy Vessie shoes for $135

 

Overall rating: 3

Emily Bryant, BSN, RN is an Emergency Department travel nurse with 6 years of experience and she tested her Dansko Women Professional clogs for three shifts (36 hours) before writing this review. 

Buy Dansko Professional clogs on Amazon for $134.95

Dansko Shoe Review

Scale: 5=Best, 1=Worst

Q&A

  • Do you have any foot, ankle, or other medical conditions that usually influence your shoe purchase?

“Neuroma, I need wide shoes”

  • What shoes do you usually wear to work and why?

“I have really enjoyed my Altra Lone Peak 4.5 Tennis Shoes and Dansko clogs. I rotate between the two based on what other activities I have done that week, or just how my feet are feeling. I have learned that wearing the same pair for multiple shifts in a row, no matter what the shoe, always makes my feet hurt by the end.”

  • How long are you usually at work during a typical shift?

“Over 12 hours”

  • What do you like about Danskos shoes?

 “I love Danskos because they seem to distribute the pressure evenly across my feet, and they very rarely feel sore while wearing them. They are also extremely durable and have lasted me for years in the past”

  • What do you dislike about Danskos shoes? 

“They are very “clunky” and loud to walk in. You almost have to consciously work on not dragging the back of your heel and making a lot of noise. I have also learned that it is really difficult to walk quickly in them without feeling like you are going to trip and fall. In my opinion, they are not the cutest shoe out there, but they are so common that I don’t mind.”

  • Is there anything else you think nurses should know about Danskos shoes? 

“I did not realize that these were made of a “suede” like material. They are harder to wipe down, and I don’t want to ruin the look of them by using the wipes on the outside of them. They also take a while to break in, but they seem to get progressively more comfortable the more you wear them.”

  • Would you recommend them to a coworker? 

“Yes”

Buy Dansko Professional clogs on Amazon for $134.95

Do you know of an awesome, comfortable, and durable shoe for nurses that we should add to this list? Let us know on Instagram @nurse_org



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