Updated: January 22, 2021
Not all heroes wear capes. Some wear nursing shoes. Whether running alongside a gurney, taking vitals, or bathing a newborn, nurses are on their feet for long periods of time every day. Standing for most of their 12-hour shifts can result in foot, knee, hip, and back pain. The work environment for health-care professionals is both physically and mentally stressful. To get through the day, comfortable clothing and shoes are key.
When shopping for work shoes, nurses should keep a few different features in mind. To keep feet comfortable throughout the day, look for a wide toe box, which will accommodate the day’s natural swelling. Also look for a reinforced heel, which will hold the foot firmly in place, ensuring the shoe’s comfort features work as intended.
To keep joint pain at bay, cushioning and appropriate arch support are both crucial. Nurses who may run during their shifts, or who usually clock many miles, should choose lightweight shoes over heavy, clunky clogs. Those who work in environments where fluids may come in contact with their feet (such as in the ER or surgical suites) should always choose shoes made from leather or faux-leather, which provide a protective barrier and are easier to clean. And, finally, for all-over safety, a slip-resistant sole is vital.
When choosing a shoe, a nurse should keep each shoe feature in mind, and take her own health needs, style preferences, and work environment into account as well. The Dansko Professional Clog is highly rated and worn by many health-care professionals, but it is not the best choice for everyone.