There are a lot of things that can cause back pain, but have you ever considered your shoes?
Most people know that the wrong shoes can really do a number on your feet, however, they don’t know the impact they can have on your back – especially for nurses who work on their feet for up to 14 hours at a time.
In A Rush To See Those Shoes? No Problem - Here Are Our Top 3 Picks
The wrong shoes can affect your feet, ankles, hips, and lower back – throwing them out of alignment and causing pain.
That’s why we’re going to look at the best nursing shoes for back pain. These shoes provide shock-absorbing cushioning and stability to keep everything in alignment while promoting a natural gait. And they’re pretty darn comfortable.
So let’s get to it and check out the most comfortable nursing shoes for nurses on their feet all day that’ll help prevent that annoying back pain. They all provide top-notch comfort and stability while being easy to wear on long shifts.
Best Nursing Shoes For Back Pain: Closer Look
Ten Best Shoes For Nurses With Back Pain
Alright, are you ready for the most comfortable nursing shoes for nurses with back pain? I know you are so here’s our list.
We scoured the internet checking reviews, comments and interviewed real nurses to provide feedback on the shoes and how they performed on the job.
Brooks Women’s Addiction Walker Walking Shoes – Best Walking Shoe
At the top of the list is the Brooks Addiction Walker walking shoes. Not only do they provide excellent support, but they’re also comfortable and probably the best Brooks shoes for standing on your feet all day.
The cushy custom sole is stable, promoting proper alignment and gait. Just a good, all-around performer that hits all the highpoints for back health.
Cons: not as breathable as mesh uppers – if you want a lighter upper, try the Alegria Duette.
HOKA ONE ONE Women’s Clifton 6 Running Shoe – Best For Nurses With Bad Knees
If you need ultimate shock absorption, especially for people with bad knees who have to stand all day, the Hoka One One Clifton 6 running shoe has best in class shock absorption and a running sole that ensures a smooth, easy ride.
They’ve got a snug, comfy fit but the lightweight mesh is really light and airy.
Cons: mesh doesn’t have the liquid protection as others – try the Dansko XP 2.0 Clogs instead.
Alegria Duette Women’s Professional Shoe – Best For Plantar Fasciitis (And Wide Feet)
If you’ve got the sore, stabbing pain of plantar fascitis – you know you absolutely need the best work shoes for your plantar fasciitis.
Cushioning is an absolute must, but another thing that makes the Alegria Duette so great for reducing that foot pain alongside any back pain is the way they wear so easily.
They’re slip-ons with a thick padded collar – just simply all-day comfort. The super-thick sole gives you extra shock absorption to take some pressure off your feet and lower back.
Cons: the full stain-resistant upper is great protection against spills, but not as breathable as the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36.
Nike Women’s Air Zoom Pegasus 36 Running Shoes – Best Nike Nursing Shoe
You know Nike is making the list and the Air Zoom Pegasus 36 running shoes do not disappoint. The patented Air soles have that nice sweet spot of cushion on the heel and the build is lightweight and breathable.
The soles are nice and grippy to keep your steps steady all day long while the mesh is nice and breathable. Best for nurses who want the best Nike shoes for nursing (and back pain).
Cons: may fit a bit narrow – if you like more room try the Alegria Duette.
Dansko Women’s XP 2.0 Clog – Best Protection
Dansko’s XP 2.0 Clogs make every list of best nursing shoes not only for the full feet protection and sturdy build, the thick sole and EVA foam insert really help to reduce pain and fatigue. The stable platform is a plus for your back pain.
Cons: maybe stiff for some tastes – for more flexibility try the Nike Zoom Air Pegasus 36.
Nurse Mates Align Harmony – Best Anti-Slip
The Nurse Mates Align Harmony slip-ons have probably one of the most stable soles that give excellent alignment support – perfect for nurses with back pain. The sole is also slip-resistant so no worries about slip-ups in spills.
Cons: the full-grain leather upper is nice, but for more breathability try the Brooks Addiction Walkers.
Crocs Unisex-Adult Bistro Clog – Best For The ER
You know the Crocs Unisex Bistro Clog had to make the list. You see Crocs everywhere in healthcare – and it should be no surprise. They’re comfortable, easy to wear, easy on the feet, and easy to clean.
The enclosed toe protects your feet from sharps and spills. And they’re so comfortable, back pain and foot pain are a thing of the past. Great for both women and men.
Cons: some people don’t like the open back – if you want a snugger fit, try the Hoka One One Clifton 6 running shoes.
Best Men’s Nursing Shoes For Back Pain
Guys, we didn’t forget about you. We found three great choices of nursing shoes that get great reviews about how comfortable they are to wear and how they perform with fatigue and back pain.
ASICS Men’s Gel-Kayano 27 Running Shoes – Best Overall Men’s
Do you need absolute shock absorption and a ride that’s smooth all day long? The ASICS Gel-Kayano 27 running shoes – I mean they’ve got gel in the name. The cushioning is like a high-tech bionic foot padding.
Besides the comfort, these running shoes are lightweight, deliver performance, reduce fatigue and keep you moving.
Cons: the lightweight mesh upper is great for airflow, not so much for liquids – if you need more protection, try the Merrell Encore Gust slip-ons.
Merrell Men’s Encore Gust Slip-On – Best Protection
If you want a slip-on with a protective full-grain upper that’s easy to wear and easy on the feet and back, the Merrell Encore Gust slip-ons are your pick.
Great shock absorption and the open back makes them feel like your favorite pair of slippers (if you wear slippers). The sole is grippy on almost all surfaces and is extra stable. Best for nurses who need a little extra foot protection.
Cons: if you don’t like the open back, try the K-Swiss ST329 Cross Trainers.
K-Swiss Men’s ST329 CMF Training Shoe – Most Stylish
Hey, there’s no reason you can’t have a comfortable shoe to take care of your back pain that’s also stylish. K-Swiss has always kept that retro, classic style that’s perfect for a slick-looking nursing shoe.
The ST329 CMF training shoe isn’t just a looker though – it’s got true K-Swiss comfort with a molded EVA sole and sock liner that’s one heck of a cushy ride.
Cons: fairly tame color schemes – if you want some extra flash, try the ASICS Gel-Kayano 27.
Guidelines To Choose The Best Shoes For Lower Back Pain
Before you buy your shoes, if you’re really wanting to get a pair that’ll keep your back pain-free, you need to take a few features into consideration.
All of our shoes are great, but some focus on features like stability and comfort, while others have more shock absorption and lightweight breathability.
Here are a few things to ponder:
Are these shoes going to give me the most comfortable fit? Will they fit a wide or narrow foot? Is the sole thick and cushy? Are they breathable or more enclosed? All of these are going to affect overall comfort.
You want a pair with a snug, but not tight fit.
Support and Stability
These are the two most important features that will keep you in alignment and help to prevent back pain from starting in the first place. A solid, stable platform that promotes natural walking is ideal.
Spills (of every kind) are common in a clinic or hospital setting. You need to take that into consideration and check if the shoes have slip resistance. (all of ours are either slip-resistant or have grippy athletic soles)
Design and Shape
The shape and design of the shoe play a big factor in fit and comfort too. Narrower shoes may not accommodate a wide foot. And a flatter, less rounded sole can provide more stability.
If you wear orthotics, check for shoes that have the option of removable footbeds so you can use your own orthotic inserts.
What Triggers Back Pain For Nurses And How To Avoid?
Back pain comes in many stabbing, throbbing, and aching forms, but the causes of it are fairly common. Here are the 5 things that cause nurses the most back pain:
1. Overloading or strain injury
Nurses have to move and reposition patients constantly. If you try to lift someone too heavy without assistance, you may end up straining your back. Make sure to always have a partner to help you out.
2. Poor posture
Did your mother ever tell you to stand up straight? Well, she was right because poor posture puts undue strain on your back (mostly upper) and can inflame the smaller muscles, tendons, and spine.
3. Lack of exercise
Yep, regular exercise isn’t just to look great. Staying in shape helps to keep your core strong. If your core is weak, it puts a strain on your back when you stand or move as the muscles try to compensate.
4. Bad lifting technique
This is part of number one. If you lift with bad technique (not lifting with the legs and twisting), you’re going to hurt your back.
5. The wrong shoes
And yes, the wrong shoes. If you have shoes that fit poorly or don’t provide stability to your feet and ankles, your alignment will be thrown off and back pain soon follows.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Shoes Do Nurses Recommend?
Nurses everywhere wear the Dansko XP 2.0 Clog. When it comes to protection, comfort, and fatigue-reducing shoes, these are at the top of every list.
What Are The Best Shoes To Wear For Lower Back Pain?
Lots of nurses swear by the Brooks Addiction walking shoes for their stability, shock-absorbing heel, and overall comfort for reducing back pain after a long shift.
What Are The Best Shoes To Wear If You Are On Your Feet All Day?
Being on your feet all day, even if you’re just standing, can really take its toll on your feet, legs, and back. The Alegria Duette slip-ons are like your favorite pair of slippers with marshmallowy clouds for soles.
Are Dansko Shoes Good For Back Pain?
Absolutely. There’s a reason Dansko shoes are popular among nurses. They’re comfortable, durable, and have a very stable, cushioning platform. That’s why nurses everywhere wear them.
Having the right shoes is a major weapon in the battle against back pain. You can say that they’re the foundation that proper alignment and back health are built on. And you need a solid foundation.
Have you made it this far and are still unsure which one to choose?
Ok, here’s a quick reminder and links to our top 3 picks, the Brooks Addiction walking shoes, Crocs Unisex-Adult Bistro clog, and for guys, the ASICS Gel-Kayano 27 running shoes.
Just remember fit, stability, and alignment, cushioning, and comfort. If you’ve got the five fundamentals, you’ll have a great pair of nursing shoes without back pain.
And after a long shift, you may be tired, but your back won’t be aching, so find your pair of shoes from our list and say goodbye to pain.