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It may seem trivial, but having the best shoe for surgeons is like having a best friend especially in the OR.

If you’ve got a long, involved 12-hour procedure ahead of you the last thing you need to be thinking about is your shoes.  You don’t need shoes that are going to slip in a liquid spill as you’re reaching for something.

If You’re In A Hurry . . . Here Are The Top Picks:

Or shoes that don’t give you the support and comfort you need and your feet start aching or hurting. And you definitely don’t want shoes that don’t breathe so your feet get all sweaty and swampy.

A surgeon’s shoes should be so reliable and comfortable that any thoughts about them slip right out of their mind so they can use all their mental powers to focus on the task at hand – cutting on their patient. You don’t want any distractions when you’re sawing into a skull for a craniectomy.

So we’ve gathered a list of shoes that surgeons across the nation swear by for comfort, safety and reliability and grouped them by type and the best for various types of feet. We’ve also included links to buying options if you’re in the market for great operating room shoes.

But first, let’s explore what makes a shoe perfect for surgeons and how you can make sure to get the best fit for your foot.


Best Shoes For Surgeons (Overall)


The Best Overall class includes all the classics with the brands that almost every healthcare professional wears. These are names you’ll recognize because the quality, comfort, safety, and heck, just about everything about them makes them a perfect shoe for surgeons.

These are in no particular order:


Dansko Professional Clog (Men’sWomen’s)


Worn by just about every healthcare professional both male and female, the Dansko Professional Clog is a tried and true shoe for surgeons. Made with a full-grain leather upper and lightweight EVA midsole, these provide protection, comfort, and fatigue reduction.




Men's Dansko Professional Clog review


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Women's Dansko Professional Clog review


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The soles are grippy and the raised heel takes the pressure off your foot.

The oiled leather is protective and easy to clean. The reinforced toe box is roomy, providing plenty of wiggle room. The Dansko Professional Clog will go the distance, providing all-day comfort.

  • Full-grain leather upper
  • EVA midsole
  • Raised heel
  • Padded instep
  • Slip-resistant, rocker-style sole

Pros: good quality, well made, comfortable, lots of room

Cons: can be hot for some people, may feel clunky


Crocs Specialist II (Unisex)


No list of healthcare professional’s shoes is complete without the Crocs. They make every list because of their comfort, durability and the fact that they wear well for long periods on your feet.


Crocs Specialist II review


The Crocs Specialist II is a unisex model designed especially for work settings that gives you all the things Crocs are known for: single EVA foam-injected design, super roomy toebox, super-cushy 1/2-inch sole, enhanced arch support, lightweight comfort with spill protection. Plus, they’re super easy to clean.

  • Enclosed, protective toe
  • Enhanced arch support
  • Nubbed Croslite foam footbed
  • Slip-resistant

Pros: nubs massage your feet, great support and comfort, easy to clean

Cons: not as breathable as other Crocs


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Merrell Encore Gust Slip-on (Men’s)


If you want a great shoe that provides top notch comfort and safety while feeling like you’re wearing house shoes, Merrell’s Encore Gust slip-ons are your choice. These get tons of rave reviews from surgeons their soft full leather upper and convenient slip-on design.


Merrell Encore Gust Slip-on review


The sole is cushiony and shock-absorbing plus the Ortholite footbed is removable. The interior is also treated with an antimicrobial so it’ll help keep the funk to a minimum.

  • Full-grain leather upper
  • Thick, cushiony sole
  • Removable Ortholite footbed
  • Shock-absorbing sole
  • Roomy toebox
  • Slip-resistant soles

Pros: easy to wear and slip off/on, toe protection, very comfortable

Cons: may be a little difficult to move fast in


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Skechers Work McAllen Slip-On (Men’s)


Another great slip-on offering that gets consistent mentions is the Skechers Work McAllen slip-on. Easy to wear, light, breathable yet providing the support and non-slip sole you need on the job.


Skechers Work McAllen Slip-On review


They’re very flexible and move well with their sportier design. Great support and stability is provided by the memory foam midsole and padded collar.

  • OSHA-compliant slip-resistant sole
  • Memory foam midsole
  • Lightweight, breathable mesh upper

Pros: flexible and sporty, lightweight, breathable, slip-resistant

Cons: not as easy to clean as full leather


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Alegria Debra Slip-On Clog (Women’s)


Another classic design that’s instantly recognizable. The Alegria Debra closed-heel slip-on clog hits all the marks: full-grain, hand-stitched stain-resistant leather upper, double-elastic gore to keep your feet firmly, yet comfortably held in place, a rocker-style sole to reduce fatigue, and an arch-supporting comfortable midsole.


Alegria Debra Slip-On Clog review


  • Full-grain stain-resistant leather upper
  • Slip-resistant rocker-style sole
  • Double elastic gore

Pros: comfort, protection, easy to wear, rocker sole aids walking

Cons: not as breathable


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Most Comfortable Shoes For Surgeons


On this list, claiming to be the most comfortable is a big challenge. The shoes on the most comfortable list combine both support and cushioning with lightweight and breathability. Your feet will feel, or rather, not even notice just how comfortable these shoes really are after a long shift.


Crocs Crocband Clog (Unisex)


What makes the Crocs Crocband Clog one of the most comfortable shoes for surgeons? It’s not just the lightweight, a comfortable and cushy design that Crocs are known for.


Crocs Crocband Clog review


The Crocband Clog still has good ventilation with holes on the top, but they also have a thick band around the sole that extends up the front of the toe box for a little added protection.

  • Lightweight design
  • Heel-strap
  • Croslite foam
  • Grippy sole

Pros: light, well ventilated, easy to clean

Cons: heel is exposed


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Merrell Jungle Moc Slip-On (Men’s)


The Merrell Jungle Moc slip-on’s upper is made with soft suede leather with a padded collar. The inner lining is pigskin leather that keeps your feet cool as the removable Ortholite footbed supports and cradles your foot.


Merrell Jungle Moc Slip-On review


A compression-molded EVA footframe paired with the air-cushioned heel provides superb shock-absorption.

  • Suede leather upper
  • Removable Ortholite footbed
  • Air-cushioned heel
  • Highly slip-resistant outer sole

Pros: easy to wear, soft, good support and cushioning, lots of styles

Cons: a little harder to clean


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Skechers Men’s Go Walk Evolution


The Skechers Go Walk Evolution slip-on is a smooth comfortable ride. First of all it’s just easy to slip on and off while still feeling snug when you’re wearing it.


Skechers Go Walk Evolution review


The upper is a highly breathable textile mesh and the Ultra Go cushioning makes so you don’t feel a thing on the road. The molded midsole gives great support. They’re even machine washable.

  • Breathable textile upper
  • Ultra Go cushioning midsole
  • Rebounding, grippy outsole

Pros: very breathable and cool, cushiony, easy to wear, machine washable

Cons: not liquid or stain-resistant


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Alegria Keli (Women’s)


The Alegria Keli slip-on is another instantly recognizable classic. Premium leather uppers with dual goring to keep your feet snug on the shock-absorbing midsole and specially-designed sole.


Alegria Keli review


You’ve got choices of styles, but they all provide excellent comfort on the job.

  • Leather upper
  • Shock-absorbing midsole
  • Specially designed supportive sole
  • Slip-resistant
  • Stain resistant

Pros: comfortable, easy to wear, design choices, non-slip

Cons: less breathable


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K-Swiss Women’s ST329


You may see this lace-up tennis shoe in the middle of all these slip-ons and think there’s no way the K-Swiss ST320 makes the most comfortable list . . . however. This shoe has been a classic, not just for the sleek design.


K-Swiss ST329 review


This shoe rides at just the right height on your foot and ankle. The sole is thick, stable and shock-absorbent. Paired with the K-EVA cushioned midsole equals a very comfortable ride.

  • Leather/Synthetic upper
  • K-EVA cushioned midsole
  • Thick, grippy sole

Pros: stylish, cushiony, runs better than slip-ons, cleans easily

Cons: laces


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Surgeon Shoe With Best Foot Protection


Sometimes you need more protection from spills, falling objects, etc. Simple as that. What gets you extra protection is a fully-enclosed toebox – often leather or synthetic leather. If you need to keep your piddies safe, these are some great choices.


CALZURO Classic Autoclavable Clog (Unisex)


Yes, these are Italian made – but they’re not handcrafted leather. Instead they’re the only clog that you can autoclave. So in addition to fully-enclosed rubber toebox, you can also make sure all the cooties on it are dead.


CALZURO Autoclavable Clog review


The raised heel and nubby midsole gives plenty of support and comfort. While the entire top is enclosed, the sides do have small air vents for a little air flow.

  • Made from autoclavable rubber
  • Nubby, supportive midsole
  • Raised 1.5” heel
  • Slip-resistant sole
  • Unisex design
  • Made in Italy

Pros: can disinfect, easy to clean, comfortable, protective, lots of colors

Cons: some don’t like the rubber, may be hot for some people


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Keen Utility PTC Slip-On (Men’s)


The Keen Utility PTC slip-on is another offering that’s really easy to wear. The full-grain leather upper has a roomy, protective toebox with a padded collar for comfort.


Keen Utility PTC Slip-On review


The midsole is cork and memory foam that molds to your foot to give you all-day cushioning. The oil and slip-resistant thick outer sole provides a stable support.

  • Full leather upper
  • Oil and slip-resistant sole
  • Cork and memory foam midsole
  • Cushioning heel

Pros: comfortable, non-slip, cleans easily

Cons: only one color, not as breathable


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Timberland Men’s Barrett Park Slip-On Loafer


Timberlands Barret Park loafer provides a thick yet supple protective leather upper while still feeling like you’re wearing a loafer.


Timberland Barrett Park Slip-On review


The mocc-toe style loafer gives you great toe protection with plenty of room – if you need more they offer wide sizes. The removable anti-fatigue footbed provides great support and cushioning – or insert your own orthotics for a custom fit.

  • Full-leather mocc-toe upper
  • Removable anti-fatigue footbed
  • L7 lug design
  • Good traction

Pros: stylish and protective, good supportive footbed, easy to wear

Cons: not as breathable


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Dansko Women’s XP 2.0 Clogs


It’s no surprise to see Dansko’s Clogs pop up again. The XP 2.0 provides you will all the same features of the original professional clog plus a removable dual-density footbed that gives you Dansko’s Natural Arch technology – plus a lot more colors and designs.


Dansko Women's XP 2.0 Clogs review


The full leather upper gives you both great protection and a roomy toe box.

  • Full-leather upper
  • Memory foam insole
  • Removable dual-density footbed
  • Slip-resistant

Pros: full toe protection, comfortable, good support, easy to clean

Cons: not as breathable


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Klogs Mission Closed-Back Nursing Clog (Women’s)


Klogs Mission Nursing Clogs are yet another great clog that you may not know about. The full-leather upper provides excellent toe protection and a nice roomy toebox.


Klogs Mission Closed-Back Nursing Clog review


They’ve got great arch support and provide all-day cushioning with their removable TRUComfort insole. There’s plenty of interesting designs and prints to choose from and they offer wide sizes.

  • Full-leather upper
  • Removable TRUComfort insole
  • Oil and slip-resistant cushioned sole
  • 1.25” heel

Pros: roomy protective all-leather toebox, cushiony, slip-resistant

Cons: not so breathable


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Best Running Shoes For Surgeons


Running shoes are built for comfort, breathability, and performance – that’s why so many healthcare professionals wear them.

Lightweight designs, flexible cushiony soles, and athletic designing create exactly the type of shoe you need whether you’re on your feet concentrating on a suture or running down the hall for an emergency. What you get in sportiness, however, you give up in ease of cleaning since most running shoes have mesh uppers.


Brooks Ghost 12 (Men’s)


The Brooks Ghost 12 is just a great all-around neutrally-balanced shoe for surgeons. They’re comfortable, light and stable.


Brooks Ghost 12 review


The BioMoGo DNA + Loft cushioning system gives you ample support and a soft ride. Plus, they’ve got lots of colors and designs to choose from.

  • Lightweight, breathable mesh upper
  • BioMoGo DNA + Loft cushioning system
  • Crash Pad shock absorption
  • 3D Fit Print midsole
  • Wide sizes

Pros: lightweight, well-balanced, good support and shock absorption

Cons: not as easy to clean


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Saucony Triumph Competition (Men’s)


The Saucony Triumph Competition running shoes just melt on your feet. Super light, airy with excellent support and cushioning with the full-length EVERUN construction and ISOFIT, FORMFIT footbed that molds to your foot.


Saucony Triumph Competition review


These can definitely go the long miles while keeping your feet feeling comfortable.

  • Lightweight, breathable mesh upper
  • Full-length EVERRUN build
  • ISOFIT and FORMFIT footbed
  • Neutral construction

Pros: very light, good cushioning, excellent footbed

Cons: not so easy to clean


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Nike Revolution 5 (Men’s)


You know Nike has to make the list of best running shoe for surgeons. The Revolution 5 has a sleek, minimalist design while still giving you supreme cushiony comfort and performance.


Nike Revolution 5 review


The lightweight knit upper is, well light, and breathable. The sole absorbs shocks well and has a nice, grippy feel on most surfaces.

  • Lightweight knit upper
  • Thick, cushiony sole
  • Foam midsole
  • Grippy outer sole

Pros: sleek design, light and breathable, nice sole

Cons: not as easy to clean, may not last with heavy use


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Adidas Cloudfoam Pure (Women’s)


Why does the Adidas Cloudfoam Pure have more than 20,000 reviews and 90% 4 stars and up? Because these shoes really are like walking on a cloud.


Adidas Cloudfoam Pure review


So light and comfortable you’ll forget you’ve even got them on, feeling more like a sock than a shoe. The Cloudfoam is amazing at shock absorption and will make long shifts a breeze on your feet.

  •  Lightweight, breathable textile upper
  • Designed specifically for women
  • Easy to wear boot design
  • Cloadfoam shock-absorbent sole

Pros: extremely lightweight, comfortable, good shock absorption

Cons: not easy to clean, not much toe protection


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Nike Juvenate Runner (Women’s)


The Nike Juvenate isn’t just light and breathable – the entire upper is collapsible making them feel like you’re wearing no shoes at all.


Nike Juvenate Runner review


Add in the phylon foam midsole that hugs your arch and heel and you’ve got the perfect shoe for the active surgeon on long shifts.

  • Lightweight, collapsible mesh upper
  • Phylon foam midsole
  • Grippy outer sole

Pros: very lightweight, good support, cushy sole

Cons: not much protection, not so easy to clean


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Best Walking Shoes For Surgeons


Walking shoes, while still in the athletic category, are more geared to comfort and support rather than action (remember the Ferrari vs. Sedan metaphor above?).

That’s what makes walking shoes so great for surgeons and healthcare professionals. The sole is a bit stiffer, but many also provide a “rounded” sole that promotes the proper gait when walking.


ASICS Gel-Dedicate 5 (Men’s)


Though technically a tennis shoe rather than a walking shoe, the ASICS Gel-Dedicate 5 makes this list because it’s a sturdy, comfortable performer.


ASICS Gel-Dedicate 5 review


Another shoe with a simple, no-nonsense design that hides the GEL shock-absorbing system that gives you lots of support and comfort. The inner mesh is breathable to keep your feet cool and the outer sole is great on most surfaces.

  • Lightweight synthetic upper
  • GEL shock-absorbing system
  • Breathable inner mesh

Pros: simple design, good cushioning and support

Cons: can be a narrow fit for some feet


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Skechers Afterburn (Men’s)


The Skechers Afterburn excels at support and comfort with memory foam midsole and cushioned two-inch heel.


Skechers Afterburn review


The combination leather and synthetic upper is comfortable while providing great toe protection. It comes in wide and extra-wide sizes to fit any foot.

  • Combo leather/synthetic upper
  • Memory foam midsole
  • 2” heel
  • Rugged, grippy sole

Pros: toe protection, comfortable, good support

Cons: may be warm for some people


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New Balance 608 V5 (Men’s)


New Balance always makes the list when it comes to comfort and performance and the 608 V5 Cross Trainer doesn’t disappoint.


New Balance 608 V5 review


With understated design, ABZORB shock-absorbing crash pad, dual-density collar and flexible outsole, the hours will fly by for your feet. Great arch support, cushioning and a stable platform make the New Balance 608 V5 perfect all-around shoe for any surgeon.

  • Leather upper
  • ABZORB shock-absorbing technology
  • Dual-density collar
  • Flexible outsole

Pros: good support and comfort, toe protection, easier to clean

Cons: warmer than a mesh upper


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Dansko Paisley Sneakers (Women’s)


Dansko doesn’t just make great professional clogs – take the Paisley Outdoor Sneaker for example. The sturdy, leather upper provides great protection, plus it’s waterproof.


Dansko Paisley Sneakers review


It has a removable triple-density footbed and the Vibram outer sole is grippy and slip-resistant. Inside, the DuPont Sorona fiber wicks moisture away from your foot and the Cleansport NXT antimicrobial controls odor. Plus, the raised heel and sole is very shock absorbent.

  • Protective, waterproof leather upper
  • Triple-density removable footbed
  • Shock absorbing Vibram outer sole

Pros: sturdy, waterproof, good protection, easier to clean, good support

Cons: may be warm for some people


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New Balance 411 V1 (Women’s)


New Balance is known for comfort and don’t let the lowkey design of the 411 V1 fool you – these New Balance are all about comfortable performance.


New Balance 411 V1 review


The DynaSoft midsole not only cradles your foot, it gives you a nice shock-absorbent ride. These are just simple, reliable shoes that give you the support, comfort and performance you need on the job.

  • Mesh fabric upper
  • DynaSoft foam midsole
  • EVA insert
  • Grippy traction

Pros: good support and comfort, easier to clean, simple design good for most uniforms

Cons: may be stiff for some


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Best Surgeon Shoes For Flat Feet


If you’ve got flat feet, you know how important a shoe with good support and plenty of room is. These shoes make the list for flat feet because they all sport superb midsoles and get great reviews.


Birkenstock Unisex Professional Tokyo


Perfect for both men and women with flat feet, the Birkenstock Unisex Professional Tokyo work shoe has that EVA molded cork footbed that fans of Birks have come to love.


Birkenstock Unisex Professional Tokyo review


The full leather upper provides protection and plenty of room for your toes while the Super Grip sole keeps you firmly planted.

  • Full leather upper
  • Heel strap
  • EVA molded footbed
  • Super Grip sole

Pros: comfort, cork footbed, toe protection

Cons: heel is exposed, may be warm for some feet


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Dansko Viktor (Men’s)


Dansko does it again combining laid-back slip-on styling with a triple-density EVA footbed and TPU arch support and heel protection.


Dansko Viktor review


The full leather upper provides toe protection and the shock-absorbing soles give you slip-resistance or wet or oily surfaces.

  • Full leather upper
  • Triple-density EVA footbed
  • TPU arch support and heel protection

Pros: easy to wear, toe protection, good support and comfort

Cons: may be warm


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Nurse Mates Dove Slip-on (Women’s)


One of Nurse Mate’s top-selling styles, the Dove Slip-on is a favorite among healthcare professionals all around.


Nurse Mates Dove Slip-on review


With a full-grain pebbled leather upper plus a snug fit and a molded footbed your feet will forget the word “aching”. The heel gives you nice shock absorption and a stable support. Plus – no laces? Score.

  • Full-grain pebbled leather
  • Molded footbed
  • Non-slip sole
  • Padded collar

Pros: lightweight, toe protection, good support and comfort

Cons: may be warm for some feet


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Best Surgeon Shoes For Plantar Fasciitis


Plantar Fasciitis is an aggravating foot condition. It comes and it goes – and it stays. Plantar Fasciitis can make working and even doing things in your everyday life more difficult.

One of the best ways to combat plantar fasciitis is with a shoe that gives you the arch and ankle support, shock absorption, and cushioning your feet need. These shoes will do just that – perfect to help keep your feet pain-free.


New Balance 411 V2 – (Men’s)


New Balance always nails comfort in every one of their shoes – the 411 V2 is no exception. Clean, understated styling with a CUSHNB midsole and heel pillow insert to give you a very nice ride.


New Balance 411 V2 review


A comfort collar adds comfort to the fit while keeping your foot snug in the shoe.

  • Leather upper
  • CUSHNB cushioned midsole
  • Heel pillow insert
  • Grippy, rubber sole
  • Insert is removable

Pros: all-leather protection, good support and comfort

Cons: few color choices


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Easy Spirit Women’s Punter Sneaker


Thousands of great reviews can’t be wrong when it comes to Easy Spirit’s Punter sneaker. Part of the Classic Collection, this walker gives you a lightweight shoe that gives you back cushiony support.


Easy Spirit Women’s Punter Sneaker review


With the extra arch support, the Punter goes above and beyond in terms of comfort.

  • All leather upper
  • Removable insoles
  • Arch support
  • Shock-absorbing midsole

Pros: arch support, comfort, shock-absorbing midsole, easy to clean

Cons: few color choices


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Best Surgeon Shoes For Wide Feet


Trying to find a good-fitting shoe when you’ve got flippers for feet can be frustrating. When you’ve got wide feet, every shoe feels to narrow – and the ones that have extra-wide sizes aren’t very . . . (what’s a nice word? Stylish).

But thanks to these selections, you can either go back to the 80s or go sporty, either way you’ve got great shoes that’ll perform well.


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


New Balance takes it back to the 80s with the 577 V1 with hook & loop straps. Not only can you adjust the straps to fit your feet, there’s a whole lot of comfort features too, including the ABZORB shock-absorbing cushioning.


New Balance 577 V1 review


They’ve got sizes all the way to extra wide to fit almost any foot smaller than Bigfoot’s.

  • All leather upper
  • Hook & loop straps
  • ABZORB cushioning
  • Grippy soles

Pros: hook & loop straps, very cushiony, can adjust for wide feet

Cons: don’t like the 80s look??, less breathable than mesh


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Brooks Addiction Walker (Women’s)


The Brooks Addiction Walker gives you all the performance of their running shoes plus a little extra dash of comfort with their sizes that include wide and extra-wide.


Brooks Addiction Walker review


You get the BioMoGo DNA cushioning footbed that conforms to your foot and an innovative very stable slip-resistant outsole. A stabilizing rollbar provides superb arch support and balance.

  • Full leather upper
  • BioMoGo DNA cushioning midsole
  • Stable, slip-resistant outsole
  • Arch stabilization rollbar


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Best Surgeon Shoes For Sweaty Feet


Some people’s feet just sweat more than others – sometimes a lot more than others. Even if you don’t have to deal with hyperhidrosis, you can still have sweaty dogs.

And there’s nothing worse that having to wear a shoe all day that doesn’t have good air flow – extra pair of socks anyone? Here’s some choices that’ll give you max comfort and max airflow for a comfortable, breezy ride.

All three choices come in either unisex or both women and men’s styles.


Crocs Classic Clogs (Unisex)


Showing up again, Crocs Classic Clogs are everywhere because they’re just great shoes for the healthcare workplace. What makes these Crocs Clogs different from the Specialist II? Air holes.


Crocs Classic Clogs review


With the air holes in the toebox you get much more ventilation, which is one of the complaints with the fully-covered toebox of the other styles. But what you gain in breathability, you give up in spill resistance and protection – you still get unbelievably, roomy comfort.

  • Lightweight, EVA foam
  • Traction outsole
  • Ventilated design

Pros: good support and comfort, light, cushiony

Cons: little spill protection


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Free RN Flyknit (Women’sMen’s)


When it comes to breathability, Nike’s Flyknit leads the pack. The Free RN gives you that maximum air flow from the Flyknit with a super shock absorbent sole and EVA foam midsole.




Free RN Flyknit Women’s review


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Free RN Flyknit Men’s review


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Sporty, flexible and comfortable. You won’t need an extra pair of socks with these.

  • Breathable Flyknit upper
  • EVA foam midsole
  • Grippy, flexible sole
  • Natural fit

Pros: lightweight, air flow, dynamic sole, cushiony

Cons: durability


Epic React Flyknit (Women’sMen’s)


Another offering from Nike with a Flyknit mesh upper, the Epic React not only keeps your foot cool, but a three-stage customized sole guides your foot through the gait for a more natural and energy-saving movement.




Epic React Flyknit Women’s review


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Epic React Flyknit Men’s review


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You get the EVA foam midsole and a grippy, stable outsole for long-lasting comfort throughout the day.

  • Flyknit upper
  • EVA foam midsole
  • Three-Stage customized sole
  • Grippy, stable outsole

Pros: super air flow, a natural feel, stable foot platform

Cons: durability under heavy use


Why Surgeons Need Good Shoes


Yes, surgeons sometimes have to stand for extended periods of time while they’re operating. However, many surgeries only take two or three hours.

But surgeons don’t live in the OR. They’re also sprinting to an emergency or walking around checking in on their patients.

That means that their shoes don’t just have to perform in the operating room – they need to be versatile for whatever the day has in store. And most of that day is going to be spent on their feet.

Just like nurses, doctors and surgeons don’t get much time (if any) time to take a load off and rest their feet. They’re active all throughout their workday.

All that activity adds up to a ton of punishment on your feet. If you’re wearing ill-fitting, uncomfortable shoes without any cushioning or support – your feet are going to pay for it. And not just your feet. The wrong shoes can contribute to conditions like plantar fasciitis, bunions, and ankle, knee, or even lower back pain.

A good shoe isn’t just comfortable – it’s going to help keep you functional and free from any possible foot problems. And if you already have foot problems, you know how important the right pair of shoes is.

Besides the comfort angle, there’s a safety consideration. Shoes that have a slippery sole or unstable footbed can pose a safety hazard for falls and foot injury from a falling object.

So let’s transition to the most frequently mentioned qualities that surgeons look for in a shoe.


What Are The Features Of A Good Shoe For Surgeons?


There are only so many features a shoe can have – after all it’s just a shoe. But is it? I mean you’ve got slippers, boots, running shoes, sandals, clogs, high heels . . . get the picture?

There’s a ton of different types of shoes, but only a few types of shoes that meet the requirements a surgeon needs. Most surgeons generally look for these 5 qualities in a shoe:


1. Non-slip sole

It was a tight race between comfort and a non-slip sole, but the non-slip sole had the most mentions. Rightly so, because in the OR you can’t afford to slip in the middle of a procedure.

And not just slips in the OR. You’ll be walking around other places that may have a liquid spill or other slip hazard and a fall isn’t something most people do for fun. It’s a potential chance for injury.


2. Comfortable

Coming in at a close second is comfort. Mostly the type of comfort mentioned was having enough support and cushion to make standing on your feet for extended periods a snap. Another good reason, why nurses wear clogs including other health practitioners too.


3. Supportive

Part of that comfort is having good arch and ankle support. That support contributes to a stable footbed that’s going to give you a sturdy standing platform.


4. Protective

A good surgeon’s shoe should have some protection for the feet, whether it’s an enclosed toebox like a clog or a full lace-up shoe. There’s always the risk of dropping a sharp surgical instrument or a liquid spill. You want your feet covered.


5. Easy To clean

Yep, spills happen and you can get some unpleasant things on your shoes. Having shoes that are easy to clean up is often highly underappreciated and a great attribute for a surgeon’s shoe to have.

Our list of best shoes for surgeons to meet all these 5 criteria. So no matter which style or brand you decide to go with, you’re going to get a shoe that’s ready to meet the demands you’ll put on it.

So let’s look at another list of 5 things – these being the 5 types of most common types of shoe surgeons love to wear.


What Types Of Shoes Are Best For Surgeons?


Of that long list of shoes, I rattled out earlier, which ones do you think are the most popular? You probably already know.

Of all the types of shoes, clogs are the most common to see worn by surgeons alongside nurses, doctors, and healthcare professionals.

There are five types of shoes that fit all the requirements a good surgeon’s shoe needs. To review, that list includes a non-slip sole, comfort, support, protection, and ease of cleaning.

Surgeon Wearing Clogs

As there are five attributes that a surgeon’s shoe needs, there are also, coincidentally, five types of shoes, regardless of the brand, that hit all the marks. We’re going to define each one for you:



Not the wooden kind the Dutch used to wear, but similar. The clog is a one-piece shell of either full-grain leather or synthetic fabric connected to a thick footbed and sole. Sometimes a clog can be a single piece of injection-molded EVA foam (like Crocs).

Clogs have no laces and the back is open. You just slide your foot in. Sometimes there may be a low lip to cup your heel or a strap to help keep your foot in place.

Brands include: Dansko, Crocs, Alegria



Mules look just like clogs but they have an enclosed heel. You’ll get more protection with a mule and less likelihood of your foot slipping out. Often, mules will have a raised heel for support and shock-absorption. Sometimes they may be open-backed like a clog but with a higher heel plus strap and less-chunky build.

Brands include: Dansko, Alegria,



A slip-on shoe is any shoe that doesn’t have laces that your foot slides right into. I guess that technically makes a mule a slip-on, but when people generally think of slip-on it’s ones with a sportier design.

Some slip-ons will have a full-grain upper; others opt for a more breathable mesh fabric. These are probably rated as the most comfortable type of shoes for surgeons. Bonus: you never have to worry about your laces coming untied.

Brands include: Skechers, Dansko, Doves


Running Shoes

Running shoes are built for comfort with their fat, cushy soles, molded footbeds with good arch support, and lightweight, breathable design. Running shoes are about as common as clogs are for surgeons, nurses, doctors, and healthcare workers. An avid supporter of the iconic “swoosh” design? If yes, get excited as we have a wide variation of the best Nike shoes for nurses too.

For all the high points running shoes hit for comfort, their one drawback is the fact that most are made with breathable mesh fabrics. While these are great for airflow, they’re not so easy to clean and don’t protect your feet from spills.

Brands include: Nike, Saucony, Hoka One One, Brooks


Walking Shoes

If running shoes are Ferraris, then walking shoes are the roomy, comfortable touring sedan. While they still have many of the features of a running shoe, a walking shoe focuses more on arch support, stability, and cushioning. They also tend to have a bit stiffer sole and a “rounded” sole design that’ll help promote a natural walking gait.

Brands include: New Balance, Brooks, K-Swiss

Ok, we’re almost to the best shoes for surgeons. But before we hit the list, now that you have an idea of what kind of shoe you want, let’s see about getting the best fit for the shoes you do choose.


How To Get The Best Fit From Your Shoe


Everyone knows their foot size right? Which foot is larger and how wide your feet are – simple. And of course, you know that different brands have different fits – obviously.

And unless you’re having your shoes custom-made in Italy, that means you’re trying shoes on. But trying on shoes is more than just sliding your feet in them. If you’re going to get the best fit out of your shoes, you need to remember a couple of things:


1. Try On Shoes At The End Of The Day

Your foot swells as the day goes on, so that foot you started your shift with isn’t the foot in your shoe at the end. If you don’t take that into account, you may end up with a shoe that’s too tight. So try your shoes on at the end of the day when your foot is its biggest.


2. Fit Should Be Snug With Wiggle Room.

You want a snug fit so the shoe doesn’t slide around on your foot and cause blisters. But snug doesn’t mean having your foot in a death-grip. You want your midsole, arch, and heel to feel snugly locked in place while your toes have some wiggle room. There should be no movement of the shoe while you’re walking.


3. Try On Shoes With The Socks You Wear At Work.

Common sense right? Try on your shoes with the type of socks you wear at work – especially if you wear compression socks. Otherwise, you won’t get a true fit. Or you may want to try on the shoes with a variety of socks to test the range of comfort is.


4. Give Yourself Some Space.

Most shoe companies recommend 3/8 to 1/2 inch of space beyond your big toe to the end of the shoe. You don’t want your toes crammed into the end of them. If you’re trying on a running shoe, you may want to go to the high end. The width of your thumb is a good indicator.


5. Walk Around.

Everyone walks around in their shoes before they buy them – it’s almost instinctual. But put your shoes through a wide range of motions from standing, stretching, walking – even running – to see how they’re going to respond and how flexible they are.

Those are 5 simple things to remember that if you do them will ensure that you’ll get the best fit out of your new shoes. So let’s get to it – finally, the Best Shoes For Surgeons. We’ve grouped the shoes by top-rated overall then by type and foot conditions. You should have enough styles (and then some) to find exactly what you’re looking for.


BONUS TIPS: Footcare Secrets For Happy Feet


Since you made it this far through our tome of best shoes for surgeons (unless you skipped here from the top) – we’d like to share some secrets we’ve learned from healthcare professionals on how to keep your feet happy and pain-free, despite all the punishment they take.

These are some really simple things you can do – and you may already know these “secrets”, but it never hurts to review:


Wear Compression Socks

For anyone who spends long hours on their feet, compression socks are a must-have addition to the wardrobe. Why?

Compression socks – well, compress. They’re made with a high-grade elastic that applies gentle, but firm compression to your lower extremities from the calf-down. C’mon, if you’re a healthcare professional you already know. So make sure you’re sporting a pair every shift.


Stretch Your Feet

Just like warming up before you work out or go for a run, you should also give your feet a stretch before a shift. It’s something no one really ever thinks about. You just wake up, get dressed and get gone. Your feet never got the chance to stretch out.

So when you wake up, before you go to work, during work and when you get home, find 5 minutes to stretch your feet. You should stretch them forward and backward, then side to side and finish by rolling them around. Stretching your calves is also a good thing to add in.


Practice Foot Care

Another thing that many people overlook is proper foot care. You should inspect your feet at least once a day – especially people who are on their feet all day for work. Any foot issues need to be dealt with quickly before they get worse. You should also:

  • Keep your toenails trimmed, straight but not too short
  • Massage your feet
  • Soak your feet in an Epsom salt bath
  • Moisturize daily
  • Soak in hot and cold baths

Using these three simple tips on a daily basis can mean the difference between normal sore feet at the end of a shift and real foot problems. And sore, aching feet is the last thing a surgeon needs in their head as they scrub up for an operation.

So take care of your feet and they’ll take care of you.

Well, we’ve done our best to help you find the best shoe for a surgeon plus given you some tips and tricks. Hopefully, you’ve found something useful in our selection that caught your eye and will provide you with all the comfort, support, and traction you need whether you’re doing microsurgery in the OR or checking on a recovering patient and their family.

What shoes do you like to wear? We’d love to hear from you.

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