What is it about a particular style or brand of shoe that makes it the best shoe for nurses? Is it comfort? A sturdy build or a non-slip sole? How about the shoes being easy to clean while still looking stylish? The answer is All of the above.

Nurses and healthcare professionals, perhaps more than any other profession, spend almost the entirety of their working day on their feet. And a working day for a nurse can be as long as 14-hours or more. And when you’re on your feet that long, you want a nursing shoe that definitely does all of the above.

This guide to nursing shoes is going to give you all the top-rated nursing shoes that get the best reviews from working nurses. We’re going to answer some of the most common questions nurses have when shopping for nursing shoes.

We’re going help you find the right fit, the right nursing shoe for your foot type, and nursing shoes for people with flat feet, bunions, and wide feet. And we’re going to break down the best men’s and women’s nursing shoes by style, use, and comfort. We even included the best shoes for pregnant nurses and nursing shoes for the OR. That’s why we’re calling this: The Last Guide To The Best Nursing Shoes You’ll Ever Need.

In A Hurry? Here’s A Quick List Of The Best Nursing Shoes

Best All-Around Nursing Shoe

  • Dansko Professional Clog

Best Running Shoes For Nurses

  • Hoka One One Bondi 6 – (Women)
  • Brooks Ghost 12 – (Men)

Best Walking Shoe For Nurses

  • New Balance 411 V1 (Women’s)
  • Rockport Chranson Walking Shoe (Men’s)

Most Comfortable Nursing Shoe

  • Naturalizer Marianne Sneaker
  • Merrell Jungle Moc Slip-On (Men’s)

Why Do Healthcare Professionals Need Good Shoes?

Like any working professional that is constantly moving, walking, standing, and spending a lot of time on their feet at work – you need to be wearing good shoes.  During long shifts, nurses are always on their feet and walking, walking – sometimes running.

So much walking that there have been studies done to find out exactly how far the average nurse will walk during a shift. (Spoiler: the answer is 4 miles.) That goes above and beyond the beating of hundreds of tons of pressure, the average foot takes a day. And nurses rarely get the chance to sit down on shift.

Your feet have more than 50 bones – about one-fourth of the bones in your body. They’ve got 60 joints plus 200 muscles, tendons, and ligaments. We say all this because a nurse’s foot takes more punishment than the average person. 

And if your feet are in the wrong type of shoe, not only could you be left with sore feet and blisters – you may also be setting yourself up for serious issues, like:

  • Chronic foot pain
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Bunions
  • Corns
  • Ingrown toenails
  • Knee and ankle pain
  • Lower back pain

A good nursing shoe goes a long way to helping prevent more problems down the road. So it makes sense to put a little thought into the best nursing shoe for you.

So what makes the best shoe for nurses that are going to fit right and stand up to the abuse? 

The Best Nursing Shoes Buying Guide

Alright, ready for a giant list of nursing shoes? These shoes all get great reviews across the board from nurses who wear them. You’re sure to find a pair (or three) that will fit both your feet and your style. We’re going to cover it all – and this is how we’ll do it. We’re going to break down the best nursing shoes by type, then give you women’s styles and men’s styles.

And make sure to go through all the sections, because we include different types in each one. For example, many of the best slip-on nursing shoes are included in the Best Shoes For Pregnant Nurses. We’ll also give you the best shoes for people with foot problems, including plantar fasciitis and flat feet.

What You Want In A Nursing Shoe

There are a lot of things that might go into your choice of nursing shoe. Whether you want traditional shoes or running shoes, plain or some with bright colors – there are 5 things that are absolute must-haves for every nursing shoe: fit, comfort, a non-slip sole, easy to clean, and sturdiness.

Fit

Fit and comfort go hand in hand –  if your shoe doesn’t fit right, it’s not going to be comfortable. But when you consider fitting separately, it includes how the shoe hugs your foot and how it feels when you walk.zYou want a shoe that is snug without feeling tight and feels natural when you walk.

Comfort

When you consider overall comfort in a nursing shoe, besides fit, the most important things are arch support and the cushioning of the sole. A good nursing shoe will provide your foot with good support and have a sole that cushions while being able to stand the abuse. Another comfort consideration: weight. If the shoe feels heavy and clunky to you, just think about lugging those heavy things around all day. You may want to go for a lighter nursing shoe.

Many nurses like their nursing shoes to be breathable. While this may be nice to keep your feet cooler and less sweaty, the tradeoff is often permeability – as in it will soak up any liquid spilled on it and may even get through to your socks.

Non-slip Sole

Whether you’re working med/surge or in the OR, you’re going to run into spills of all varieties. Shoes with non-slip soles are going to keep you from busting your butt while you’re carrying an armload of stuff.

Easy To Clean

Those spills that can make you slip and fall? Well, sometimes that stuff gets on your shoes – a nurse’s shoes can get everything from blood to puke on them and you definitely don’t want it to stay there. 

Good nursing shoe should be easy to clean. Many are stain and liquid resistant – others like Crocs are rubber or plastic that is completely liquid-proof.

Sturdy

All that punishment your foot is getting on a 12-hour shift? Your shoe is getting it worse. A good nursing shoe will be sturdy enough to take the damage it’s going to take from both use and cleaning. When you start your search for the best nursing shoe for you, take these five things into consideration. These will help you narrow down the choices and find the perfect fit for you.

Speaking of fit – let’s talk about how you can get the best fit out of your nursing shoe.

How To Find Perfect Fit For Your Nursing Shoes

Everybody knows their shoe size right? You’ve worn the same size shoes since high school. And my right foot is a bit bigger than my left. Or just put your foot on the little metal thingy at the shoe store and measure it – good to go right? Not necessarily.

The foot you put into your nursing shoe at the start of a shift isn’t the same foot at the end of your shift. It’s not just the throbbing pain from having been on your feet all day.  It’s the swelling.

The longer you’re on your feet, the more your feet swell. So much so that it can affect how your nursing shoes fit. 

So here’s a pro tip: Try on your nursing shoes AFTER a shift or later in the day.

Sure, you may just want to crash on the couch, but if you want your shoes to really fit, the whole day long, you’ll need to try on those new shoes after you’re done for the day. That way you’ll get a fit that’s going to be more comfortable throughout the entire day – not just at the start.

Here are the 3 ways you want your nursing shoes to feel:

  1. You want them snug but not tight. They should hug your heel firmly.
  2. Your toes should have wiggle room without your foot being able to move from side to side.
  3. There shouldn’t be movement when you walk. The heel shouldn’t slide up and down and the shoe should stay in place.

Other fitting considerations:

  • Sizes vary by brand and style. You may need to go up or down a half-size or full-size.
  • Measure your feet regularly. As people age their foot size changes. You may also have one foot that is slight larger than the other. As mentioned above – measure your feet later in the day or after a shift.
  • There should be an extra space of 3/8” to 1/2″ beyond the longest toe. That’s about the width of your thumb.
  • Try on your nursing shoes with the type of socks or hosiery you’ll be wearing at work.
  • Walk around in the shoes to make sure they move well and feel natural. If you’re shopping online, spend the day wearing your shoes around the house – not outside – to see how they feel after a few hours of wearing them.

It may seem like a lot to think about when you just want a good fit, but a good fit is a primary thing that’s going to keep your feet comfortable and pain-free.

What Are The Different Types Of Nursing Shoes?

Gone are the days of the frumpy, boring all-white nursing shoes with orthopedic soles that squeak down the hallway. Today’s nursing shoes are anything but traditional. Nurses are wearing everything from slip-on and clogs to athletic shoes. And instead of plain ‘ol white, they come in a galaxy of colors. So let’s take a minute to talk about the most common types of nursing shoes being worn today in hospitals and clinics.

Traditional

Traditional nursing shoes are exactly what you think of when you think of nursing shoes. Simple, leather uppers that lace-up with a thick, sturdy sole. 

A good example is the Nurse Mates Anni Lo.

Clogs

Clogs have taken the medical profession by storm. And, no, clogs aren’t the wooden kind you see in Holland. They’re a type of slip-on shoe with a wide toe bed, molded insole with a slight heel which is good for your Achilles tendon.

Some may have a full heel; others may be backless like a true slip-on or have a heel strap.  They usually cover the entire foot, protecting you from injury and spills. They’re also very durable and easy to clean.

Clogs are recommended more for nurses and healthcare professionals who are standing in one place for long periods of time rather than for those who may need to do some running – like a nurse on a rapid response team. They can be clunky and a bit clumsy for some people.  Two good examples are Danskos clogs and Crocs.

Slip-Ons

Slip-on nursing shoes come in a lot of varieties. These are shoes without laces that you can just slide your feet right into. You’ve got the clog variety like the ones above and some that are more like a regular lace-less shoe. Or you can go for some that are more athletic.

Not recommended if you’re really active or have to run. Brands include: Sketchers, Dansko, Nurse Mates, Vionic

Running Shoes

It’s a tight race between clogs and running shoes as to which one nurses prefer. Athletic shoes are meant for action, flexibility, and movement while still being comfortable. Perfect for the nurse who is active on the job.

They’re often more lightweight, have good support, and provide good overall traction. Many have removable insoles making it easy to clean your shoes or replace the insole with your own orthotics.Popular brands include: Nike, Adidas, New Balance, Asics and Brooks.

Walking Shoes

Remember when we said nurses walk four miles a shift? What better shoes to do all that walking than shoes made for walking. 

Walking shoes are very similar to running shoes, except they’re dialed down a little bit. They tend to focus more on support and comfort rather than performance. They tend to have a stiffer, flatter sole.

Example: New Balance, Brooks, Sketchers

Orthopedic shoes

If you’re already dealing with foot issues, an orthopedic nursing shoe is exactly what you’ll need. Even if you don’t have, orthopedic shoes provide excellent support and comfort to help prevent foot, leg, and back pain. Many of the other brands like Dansko already have some orthotic features, but some brands specialize in them.

Examples: Alegria, Hoka One One

Other Buying Considerations Plus A Recommendation

Ok, we’re almost to the nursing shoes. But there are a few more things to consider before you start trying on shoes. Here are three, plus a recommendation.

  • Hospital regulations

Every hospital is different when it comes to their dress code. Some may require shoes with closed toes and heels. Some may allow any athletic shoes. Others may stick strictly with neutral colors and leather uppers.

Make sure you know what your institution allows before you spend any money.

  • Budget

You want the best shoe without breaking the bank. Shop around and find a pair that fits your budget – because as we’ll see in the recommendation below, you may want to buy two pairs.

  • Health conditions

If you already have a foot problem, like say plantar fasciitis, you may want to focus on brands that have extra support and specialize in orthotics. You might even want to visit a podiatrist to have your feet looked at.

Recommendation: Podiatrists say that after 6 hours, your shoe’s cushioning becomes compressed and doesn’t provide adequate support. Their recommendation is to change shoes half-way through a 12-hour shift.

If your shoes get heavy use, you’ll also want to think about replacing them after 6 months.

Best Nursing Shoes For Women

This selection of nursing shoes is an all-around best of. These are some of the most commonly bought and worn by nurses in hospitals, ORs, and clinics around the country.

Dansko Professional Clog

The Dansko Professional clog is at the top of the list because thousands of nurses have given rave reviews. They’re easy to wear – just slip them on. These clogs have a nice snug fit, with the enclosed toe and heel protecting your feet from falling objects, hazards and the occasional spill. 

The oiled premium Cabrio leather is soft and cleans easily. Your little piggies will have plenty of room to wiggle in the roomy, reinforced toe box and the slip-resistant rocking outsole is shock absorbent and eases walking. A wide heel promotes posture and stability for long periods of standing.

  • Lightweight EVA midsole to reduce fatigue
  • Padded instep collar for comfort
  • Lots of colors and designs
  • Shock-absorbing, rocker sole
  • Large, reinforced toe box

Pros: well-made, good for standing, fun designs/colors, roomy and comfortable

Cons: price, can feel clunky and clumsy to some people

Nurse Mates Anni Classic

The Nurse Mates Anni wedge lace-up is a classic because they’re comfortable, easy to clean and meet most hospital dress codes. They have that retro hand-stitched moccasin style, hey you may like it. 

The uppers are soft leather with a stain-resistant finish and the shock-absorbing bottoms provide plenty of support and comfort. Comes in both low and hi styles.

Veteran nurses swear by these shoes and won’t wear anything else on shift.

  • Full-grain leather
  • Slip-resistant bottom
  • Cushioned foot bed
  • Available in wide sizes

Pros: hand-stitched design, lightweight, durable, meets most dress codes, fits true

Cons: not everyone likes laces, not as stylish

Skechers Work Sure Track Erath

The Erath from Skechers Work Sure Track line is the perfect combination of work shoe meets the athletic shoe. This sporty safety shoe has a leather upper and relaxed fit for roomy comfort. The removable memory foam footbed provides all-day support and helps to ease fatigue. The slip-resistant outsole has probably the highest traction of all.

  • Safety shoe
  • Highly Slip-resistant
  • Removable memory foam insole
  • Flexible sole

Pros: slip-resistant sole, comfortable design, lightweight, sporty

Cons: laces, no rocker bottom, not the best for foot problems

Best Nursing Shoes For Men

Male nurses may make up only about 30% of nurses nationwide, but they are a growing force in healthcare, proving that men are just as capable as their female peers of providing top-notch, compassionate care to their patients. 

And with this revolution, men’s nursing shoes have changed as well. Now you’ve got way more selections to choose from.

Here’s 3 for you:

Merrell Encore Gust Slip-on

The Merrell Encore Gusts slip-on is almost like wearing a house shoe. It’s got a great stride, roomy toe box yet secure feeling. The air-cushion heel is super shock-absorbent and the compression-molded EVA foot frame provides good stability and comfort. A full leather upper, it’ll keep your feet safe from spill while being easy to clean.

  • Full leather upper
  • Air-cushioned 2” heel
  • Compression molded foot frame
  • Roomy toe box
  • Breathable mesh lining

Pros: roomy (good for wide feet), good for standing long periods, easy to clean

Cons: not the best for fast travel, heel unprotected

Skechers Work Flex Advantage

The Skechers Work Flex Advantage is a fine shoe for nurses at a great price. Featuring a relaxed fit for a roomier fit with a Gel Infused Memory Foam cushioned removable insole. The leather upper is durable and makes for easy cleaning. The Advantage’s sole is grippy and OSHA compliant slip-resistant while the heel works to stabilize your foot.

  • Full leather upper
  • Gel Infused Memory Foam inserts
  • OHSA-compliant slip-resistant soles
  • Breathable mesh for cooling

Pros: price, OHSA-compliant, comfortable and roomy

Cons: may not take heavy use, only comes in black

Dansko Men’s Professional Clogs

There’s a reason so many nurses wear Dansko Clogs on shift – they’re comfortable, durable, and great for being on your feet for extended periods. The leather upper comes in a variety of styles and is super easy to get stains and spill off of. Great for guys with wide feet and the rocker bottom really saves you from fatigue.

  • Full grain oiled leather upper
  • 2” wide, cushioned heel
  • Rocker bottom for easier walking
  • Roomy, reinforced toe box 
  • Grippy sole

Pros: well-made, easy to clean, comfortable, easy to put on, lots of colors

Cons: may be hot for some people, price

Did we get you looking for more? Our curated list of cool nursing shoes for men will get you more excited.

Best Running Shoes For Nurses (Women)

More nurses and healthcare professionals than ever are opting to wear running shoes on the job. And why not? A busy nurse can walk as many as four miles per shift – remember? That’s a sport unto itself.

Running shoes are made for high activity. They’re light and flexible, have large shock-absorbing soles and are breathable. Perfect for the nurse running for a code call. What you get in movement, flexibility, and breathability you give up in ease of cleaning.

Most running shoes are cloth uppers. That means that they’re not stain and liquid-resistant. Also meaning cleaning them will be a bit more difficult.

Hoka One One Bondi 6

The Hoka One One Bondi 6 took their road shoe and turned it up to 11. It’s definitely a game-changer with its Meta-Rocker rocking sole which gives you a smooth gait and reduces fatigue. Yeah, they’re a bit pricey but they’re worth it after a long day on your feet.

You can also check out the Bondi 7.

  • Breathable mesh design
  • Compression-molded EVA midsole
  • Rocking sole
  • Internal heel counter for a locked-in fit

Pros: rocking sole, extra support, durable, very lightweight

Cons: price, may not meet regulations, may wear out quickly with heavy use

Brooks Levitate 3 – Best Shoes For Nurses With Heel Pain

The Brooks Levitate 3 will definitely have you feeling like you’re walking on air with its springy, rebounding midsole. It has a very light fit, feeling like you’re wearing socks with big soles on them. Perfect if you have heel pain. That four miles that nurses log in a shift? No problem with these babies. You’ll be ready to run a marathon but OK to stand for hours.

  • Knit upper
  • Cushioned heel collar
  • Partially-integrated tongue
  • Good support
  • Springy feel

Pros: awesome sock-like fit, springy energy-returning sole

Cons: knit top not liquid resistant, may be a bit bouncy for some people.

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36

Nike’s Air Zoom Pegasus 36 running shoes are a great, lightweight knit upper with a good stable heel and sole. It has sock liners for a snug fit and the mesh knit will help prevent sweaty feet. The beefy sole has good traction, stability and support plus a contoured design that’ll help your foot naturally rock.

  • Mesh knit upper
  • Good breathability
  • Flywire cables for a snug fit
  • Cushion ST foam provides comfort and stability

Pros: lightweight, snug fit, comfortable

Cons: can be narrow for some, knit not liquid-resistant

Best Running Shoes For Nurses (Men)

Brooks Ghost 12

We put the Brooks Ghost 12 first because it’s just a great running shoe for nurses. Well-balanced, comfortable, cushiony and stable – it goes for the full 12-hours. The neutral sold gives you a lightweight comfortable ride that’s versatile. Also very breathable and has a nice toe box.

  • Mesh upper
  • Soft, secure fit
  • BioMoGo DNA and DNA Loft cushioning system
  • Grippy sole

Pros: excellent comfort and stability, lightweight, low-profile design, lots of styles

Cons: price, mesh not easy to clean

Saucony Triumph Competition Running Shoes

Those 4 miles you’re going to average during a shift – you won’t even notice them in the Saucony Triumph running shoes. So lightweight, so cushiony, so breathable. Of course, they’ll go the distance because they’re designed for marathon runners. The EVERUN midsole system returns power with every step while cushioning your entire foot from heel to toe.

  • EVERUN midsole
  • Supreme cushioning
  • Grippy sole
  • Synthetic mesh outer
  • Good lacing system

Pros: extremely light, breathable, lots of cushion, nice color styles

Cons: may not handle extreme punishment well, not liquid/stain-resistant

K-Swiss Men’s Classic Vn

OK – the K-Swiss Men’s Classic technically isn’t a running shoe – it’s a tennis shoe. But it’s so perfect for a nursing shoe. They just wear well and the sole is springy and comfortable. The full leather upper can handle spills and liquids without being hard to clean. Plus, it’s just got that classic style. 

  • Full leather upper
  • Molded EVA midsole
  • EVA & CMEVA heel cup sock liner

Pros: comfortable, stylish, lots of colors including white

Cons: doesn’t breathe as well as mesh runners

Best Walking Shoes For Nurses

Walking shoes are the perfect combination of athletic shoes and casual shoes which makes them perfect for nurses. When you wear a walking shoe, you’re generally going to have a bit stiffer sole than running shoes and more stability. Shaped to promote an easier and more balanced walking gait, they’ll make sure your feet stay fresh all shift long.

Best Walking Shoes For Nurses (Women)

Dansko Paisley Sneakers

Dansko makes more than great work clogs – the Paisley Outdoor Sneaker is also great for healthcare professionals. Sturdy, waterproof with a grippy sole, these shoes are tough enough for the longest shifts. The triple-density footbed with arch support will keep your feel feeling great.

  • Suede, waterproof upper
  • Grippy sole
  • Triple-density shock-absorbing footbed
  • Accommodates most orthotics
  • Odor control

Pros: sturdy, good support, grippy sole, arch support, odor control, waterproof

Cons: price, can be a little hot for some people

ASICS Women’s Gel-Contend 5 SL

The ASICS Gel-Contend 5 SL is another shoe that may look basic but performs like a pro. Light, flexible and provides outstanding support – especially for neutral to under pronated feet. The breathable mesh will keep your feet cool and the Ortholite insert will fight fatigue and soreness. Their AmpliFoam midsole is durable and won’t lose its springiness.

  • Good support
  • Ortholite insert
  • AmpliFoam midsole
  • Light and flexible

Pros: lightweight, great support, improves stance and posture

Cons: basic style, too stiff for some people

K-Swiss Women’s ST329 Heritage

The K-Swiss Heritage sneaker gives you both classic style and comfort. This shoe is a staple of the K-Swiss line, and it’s easy to see why. With a full leather upper, custom midsole and premium memory footbed, this classic trainer is everything you need for a busy hospital shift.

  • Full leather upper
  • K-EVA cushioned midsole
  • Custom memory footbed

Pros: classic design, good stability, premium footbed

Cons: may be hot for some people

Skechers Performance Go Walk Joy

Another great offering from Skechers, the Performance Go Walk Joy slip-on is lightweight and flexible with a very comfortable 5Gen cushioning system. A mesh fabric upper and interior keeps your feet cool during those long shifts.

  • Fabric mesh upper and lining
  • 5GEN cushioning midsole
  • Springy, grippy sole

Pros: lightweight, breathable, cushy sole

Cons: not so easy to clean

Best Walking Shoes For Nurses (Men)

Rockport Chranson Walking Shoe

The Rockport We Are Rockin Chranson Walking Shoe (with a long name) features high quality manufacture and a premium suede and synthetic leather upper. The sole has a raised heel and EVA shock-absorbing midsole for comfort. It’s a shoe that performs great with a stylish flair.

  • Leather upper
  • EVA midsole
  • Grippy sole
  • 1.25” heel

Pros: comfortable, smart style, bumper toe, well-made

Cons: may be hot for some people, only two colors

Skechers Energy Afterburn

If you want a walking shoe that’s comfortable, stable and has a good style all at a reasonable price, the Skechers Energy Afterburn are for you. A good all-around design with a grippy sole that’s wide, providing good stability. The leather upper is easy to clean but the mesh lining keeps it cool.

  • Leather upper
  • Padded shock-absorbing heel
  • Non-slip rubber outsole

Pros: price, casual look

Cons: may wear easily with hard use

ASICS Gel-Dedicate 5 (Men’s)

The ASICS Gel-Dedicate 5 tennis shoes are comfortable, even without a break-in period. Their light, low profile and GEL Cushioning system will have you forgetting they’re even on your feet. You need the right nursing shoe with a dash of athletic spirit – or is it the other way around?

  • Lightweight design
  • GEL shock-absorbing system
  • Breathable inner mesh
  • Good traction

Pros: lightweight, good cushioning

Cons: none

Best Shoes For Pregnant Nurses

Being pregnant on the job is hard enough without doing a shift in shoes that aren’t taking into account all the things a pregnant nurse is going through. Like morning sickness – and swollen feet. That’s why we’ve added a couple of great shoes that give you extra comfort while being easy to take on and off (hint: no laces).

Nurse Mates Dove Oxford Slip-on

Oh, yeah – no laces. The Nurse Mates Dove Oxford Slip-On is the perfect shoe for the mom-to-be still working her nursing shifts. The full leather upper is comfortable with a padded collar and heel. They’re easy to clean and the soles are big and spongey providing extra support and comfort. They’re also slip-resistant to help prevent falls.

  • Full leather upper
  • Thick, cushioned sole
  • Slip-resistant

Pros: easy to wear, good cushion and support, non-slip sole

Cons: may be hot for some people

Vionic Avery Pro

Another great slip-on, the Vionic Avery Pros are a lot like Vans, but with cushioning and support. The full leather upper has elastic at the arch to provide a snug fit while allowing for swollen feet. The sole has podiatrist-designed technology, so you know they’ve got good arch support and comfort. The sole is slip-resistant and they’re easy to clean.

  • Leather upper
  • Slip-resistant
  • Vio-Motion footbed
  • Weather resistant

Pros: easy to wear, easy to clean, comfortable, lots of color choices

Cons: may be narrow for some feet

Best Shoes For Nursing School

What makes the perfect shoe for nursing school? Well, there’s really no consensus, but we’re grading these nursing shoes on their ability to be versatile, going from the classroom to clinicals with comfort and style. Some of these are straight nursing shoes, others take a sportier track.

Best Shoes For Nursing School (Women)

Alegria Paloma Flat

The Alegria Paloma Flat is a dedicated nursing shoe, but it has enough cute style that makes it perfect for campus too. They’ve got lots of great designs and the hand-stitched leather upper is soft and well-made. The strap across the top is hook and loop for easy comfort – yay! No laces. The sole provides great support and cushioning for all-day support while the rocker design naturally supports walking.

  • Hook & Loop fastener
  • Stain-resistant leather upper
  • Cushioned insole
  • Rocker sole

Pros: cute style, comfortable, rocker sole

Cons: doesn’t cover the top of the foot

Skechers D’Lites Biggest Fan

The Skechers D’Lites Biggest Fan are a great set of sporty walking-style shoe that easily transition to a clinical setting. They’re lightweight with a 1-inch heel that is soft and cushy with a padded collar and tongue for extra support. A shock-absorbent midsole keeps your feet from taking a beating on those long days.

  • Full leather upper
  • Sporty design
  • Grippy sole
  • Cushioned shock-absorbent midsole

Pros: sporty, comfortable, walk well, good support

Cons: may not take heavy abuse

Best Shoes For Nursing School (Men)

Dansko Viktor

Don’t let the laid-back slip-on style fool you, the Dansko Victors are seriously comfortable shoes that do double duty as a nursing shoe. The understated style hides the fact that these are serious nursing shoes with a removable, triple-density EVA footbed and TPU arch and heel stabilizer. The full leather upper is well-made and easy to clean.

  • Full leather upper
  • Removable EVA footbed
  • Grippy, non-slip sole
  • Water resistant 

Pros: laid-back style, easy to wear, comfortable

Cons: can be too hot for some people

Under Armour Men’s Charged Assert 8

Yeah, the Under Armour Charged Asser 8 is a running shoe, but it’s still great for the classroom or clinicals. Super lightweight design and high breathability makes it disappear on your foot. A balanced, flexible design and a Charged Cushioning midsole that uses compression molded foam for extra comfort and responsiveness. Bonus: they’ve got lots of great designs and colors.

  • Lightweight, breathable mesh upper
  • EVA sock liner for comfort
  • Charged Cushioning midsole
  • Outsole covers high-impact zones

Pros: super breathable, lightweight, good cushioning

Cons: not so easy to clean, may not do well with heavy use

The Most Comfortable Nursing Shoes

If you’re looking for the most comfort in your nursing shoe, here’s a couple of options that are recommended by podiatrists for people who spend a lot of time on their feet at work.

New Balance 411 V1 – Best Orthopedic Nursing Shoe For Women

Don’t let the basic design fool you – the New Balance 411 walking shoes are built for all-day comfort and can log the miles. Comfortable and reliable, these walkers include the DynaSoft midsole that’ll help you move right along. They’re also cool, with an EVA foam insert and breathable mesh lining. The sole is also EVA with good traction on most surfaces.

  • Light and comfortable
  • Excellent arch support
  • DynaSoft Midsole
  • Good traction
  • EVA insert

Pros: Price, durability, comfort, lightweight, size for narrow and wide feet

Cons: style, can fit small

Adidas Cloudfoam Pure – Most Lightweight and Breathable

There’s a reason that the Adidas Cloudfoam Pure has more than 25,000 reviews that are 90% four-star and up. This runner is so soft and light, you’ll forget you’re wearing shoes. Its full textile upper fits like a comfy sock and the Cloudfoam sole absorbs even the heaviest shocks. Being on your feet for a 12-hour shift will be no problem in these babies.

  • 100% textile upper
  • Cloudfoam shock-absorbent sole
  • Women’s specific design
  • Easy to take off and on with boot design

Pros: extra lightweight, comfortable, shock-absorbent sole, flexible

Cons: may not hold up to heavy use, can be narrow for some feet

Naturalizer Marianne Sneaker – Easiest Shoe To Wear

The Naturalizer Marianne Sneaker hits all the high points for comfort. The slip-on design, plenty of width options and contoured extra-dense foam footbed gives your arches the support you need while cupping your heel. Bonus: the mesh cooling lining will keep your feet dry and comfy.

  • Leather upper
  • Lightweight
  • Cooling lining

Pros: lightweight, slip-on design, cooling interior

Cons: not so easy to clean

Most Comfortable Nursing Shoes For Men

Keen Utility PTC Slip-On – Best Orthopedic Nursing Shoe For Men

If you want an easy to wear, simple straightforward slip-on with great comfort, the Keen Utility PTC slip-on is perfect. The 100% leather upper combined with Keen’s patented toe protection keeps your feet safe while the Memory Foam footbed contours to your feet. The oil and slip-resistant soles are very stable and work well with the compression-molded midsole.

  • 100% leather upper
  • Oil and slip-resistant sole
  • Compression molded midsole
  • Memory Foam insole

Pros: light and cushiony, non-slip, easy to clean

Cons: only comes in one color

Hoka One One Rincon – Most Breathable And Lightweight

The Hoka One One Rincon 6 isn’t just one of the lightest running shoes on the market, it’s also nice and breathable. Coming in at only 8 oz per shoe, it’ll be easy to forget you’re even wearing shoes. They didn’t compromise on comfort however; these runners have a generous and cushiony EVA midsole and heel that absorbs all the shock with each step.

  • Breathable, single-layer mesh upper
  • Padded collar with heel pull
  • Full-compression EVA midsole
  • Meta-Rocker sole design

Pros: very light and breathable, great cushioning, rocker sole

Cons: price

Merrell Jungle Moc Slip-On – Easiest Shoe To Wear

The Merrell Jungle Moc slip-on gives you the comfort of a slip-on with the stability, comfort and durability of work shoe – no wonder it has thousands of 5-star ratings. The suede leather upper and Ortholite footbed are all about comfort. The air cushion in the heel absorbs all the shocks to keep you going.

  • Suede leather upper
  • Ortholite footbed
  • Moisture-wicking lining
  • Protective toe caps

Pros: sturdy design, easy to wear, versatile, lots of styles

Cons: not slip-resistant

Best Shoes For The Operating Room

Crocs Bistro Unisex Work Clog

No list of nursing shoes would be complete without the Crocs Bistro Work Clog. Light, springy, waterproof – it’s like walking on a spongey cloud. Works for both men and women in the operating room keeping your feet safe and accident-free

Yeah, they’re not going to win any beauty pageants, but tons of nurses swear by them. The inside has plenty of room and the outside is super easy to clean with just some soap and water. Lots of room for the toes, plus you can wear them as a slip-on or put the heel strap down.

  • Crocs Lock slip-resistant tread
  • Pivoting heel straps
  • Certified comfort
  • 1.3-inch heel

Pros: Light and springy, roomy toe box, easy to clean, waterproof

Cons: no heel, may not meet some uniform regs, can feel hot or sweaty

Propét Wash & Wear (Women’s) – (Men’s)

The Propét Wash & Wear slip-on sneakers are perfect for the OR setting. They’re easy to pull on, have no laces to tie and the stain and liquid-resistant suede upper is easy to clean. The cushioned sole and heel will make standing on your feet for hours easy. The outer soles are slip-resistant for safety.

  • Suede upper
  • Slip-on
  • Cushioned sole and heel
  • Washable

Pros: light, easy to wear, comfortable

Cons: may be tight for some feet

The Best Nursing Shoes For Back Pain

Easy Spirit Women’s Romy Sneaker

The Easy Spirit Romy has thousands of rave reviews. It has a suede and fabric upper with adjustable lace-up closures and a cushioned tongue for comfort. The breathable fabric lining keeps your feet cool while the removable shock-absorbing footbed keeps you on your feet without pain. The rubber sole has great traction for all surfaces whether it’s the operating room or at the nurse’s station.

  • Suede/fabric upper
  • Adjustable closure
  • Removable, shock-absorbing footbed
  • Breathable lining

Pros: comfortable, snug fit, great for all-day wear, lots of style choices

Cons: may be narrow for some feet

New Balance 623 V3 Cross Trainer (Men’s)

The third offering – New Balance 623 V3 Cross Trainers perfectly combine athletic technology with an understated style perfect for the workplace. They’re lightweight, stable, and move well. The EVA footbed, IMEVA midsole, and ABZORB heel handle all the shock and punishment a 12-hour shift can dish out, warding off pain and fatigue.

  • Heel tab for easy on and off
  • Breathable mesh lining
  • Grippy sole

Pros: lightweight, shock-absorbing heel, breathable

Cons: might not be best for wide feet

The Best Shoes For Nurses With Plantar Fasciitis

Alegria Debra – (Women’s)

The ever-popular Alegria Debra closed-heel slip-on clog provides superb comfort and protection. They have a roomy toe-box and the rocker-style sole aids walking to reduce fatigue and promote proper posture – great for people with foot or back problems.

They come in several colors and the stain-resistant leather cleans up easily.

The breathable moisture-wicking interior will help keep your feet dry and the latex/cork footbed molds to fit your feet or can be taken out to use your personal orthotics.

  • American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) Accepted.
  • Hand-stitched stain resistant upper
  • Elastic at the instep for a snug, secure fit
  • Slip-resistant Rocker outsole rolls naturally, reducing pressure on your feet
  • Comes in wide widths
  • Replaceable footbed

Pros: makes walking easier, slip-resistant sole, excellent support, lightweight, good for people with foot problems

Cons: not suited for hard use, sizing can be inconsistent

New Balance 411 V2 –(Men’s)

Yeah, you may have seen the New Balance 411 V2 for women above. That’s because this is a shoe that’s great for both male and female nurses. It’s got a classy, understated design and cushy interior and sole providing stable comfort. You can remove the insert to use your own for even more comfort. It’s got a great roll to it that makes walking a breeze.

  • Leather/mesh upper
  • Removable insert
  • CUSHNB midsole
  • Heel pillow insert

Pros: comfortable, roomy toe box, walks well

Cons: not as easy to clean

The Best Nursing Shoes For Flat Feet

Birkenstock Unisex Professional Tokyo

The Birkenstock Unisex Professional Tokyo work shoe isn’t just perfect for both female and male nurses with flat feet, it’s got all the features you need in a work shoe. The leather upper protects your feet and is easy to clean. The footbed is EVA molded to fit flat arches and the outsole is grippy and slip-resistant.

  • Leather upper
  • EVA molded sole
  • Slip-resistant

Pros: good for flat feet, slip-resistant, comfortable

Cons: heel is exposed

Best Nursing Shoes For Wide Feet

Brooks Addiction Walker (Women’s)

With choices all the way up to extra wide, the Brooks Addiction Walker is perfect for nurses with wide feet. The midsole with its Extended Progressive Diagonal Rollbar supports your arch and guides walking. The outsole is slip-resistant and the BioMoGo DNA cushioning adapts to your stride, weight and speed.

  • Leather upper
  • Wide sizes
  • BioMoGo DNA cushioning
  • Slip-resistant

Pros: fits wide feet, good cushioning, easy to clean, durable

Cons: plain style

New Balance 577 V1 Hook & Loop (Men’s)

Look at that – another offering from New Balance with the 577 V1 Hook & Loop. You’re seeing that right – hook and loop straps, straight 80s style. But you’ll never have to stop and tie your shoes during a shift. In addition to the retro straps, you’ll also get the ABZORB cushioning system for a smooth ride. The full leather upper is easy to clean and built to last.

  • Hook & Loop straps
  • ABZORB cushioning
  • Grippy, stabilizing sole
  • Wide sizes

Pros: hook & loop straps, comfortable, well-made, wide sizes

Cons: don’t like 80s style?

Best Nursing Shoes For Sweaty Feet

New Balance FuelCore Nergize V1 (Women’s)

The New Balance FuelCore Nergize training shoes mashes up style and comfort. They’re sleek, bootie-style runners that feel more like a slipper than your shoe, hugging your foot nicely. The mesh upper is very breathable and keeps your feet cool. The Memory Sole Insert gives you support and all-day comfort. They move well, are light, and won’t tire your feet out.

Recommended that you buy a half size bigger.

  • Breathable mesh upper
  • Memory Sole Insert
  • Sleek design
  • Easy to slip on

Pros: light, snug fit, comfortable

Cons: mesh upper isn’t liquid-resistant, can be narrow for some people

Nike Revolution 5 (Men’s)

The Nike Revolution 5 is not just one of the most popular running shoes out there, nurses love them too. A super lightweight minimalist design with a full-mesh upper makes them feel barely there. The thick foam sole cushions even the biggest shocks and has a wide, stable footprint. Grippy soles have good traction on a variety of surfaces.

  • Full mesh upper
  • Minimalist design
  • Thick foam sole
  • Grippy tread

Pros: lightweight and breathable, low profile, good comfort and support

Cons: full mesh isn’t liquid-proof, hard to clean

We hope we are able to provide you with all you need to find the perfect footwear a.k.a. foot buddy at work. If you are most likely a fan of some of the popular brands we made sure to mention above then our Nike shoes for nurses is a bonus for you. In case you didn’t see your favorite shoe or have a suggestion to share? We’d love to hear from you.

Share This