Working on your feet for up to 14 hours at a time can be hell on your poor doggies if you’re not wearing the right shoes. Even though there are some great nursing shoes, there is no better option than tennis shoes for nursing.
In a Hurry? No problem - Good Tennis Shoes For Nurses: Our Top 3 Picks
The real secret to why tennis shoes, walking shoes, and running shoes are perfect for nursing is the simple fact that they’re designed to take the punishment of sports while keeping your feet snug and cushioned. Kind of like a 12-hour shift in the ER.
But there are so many to choose from – which brand, style, and type are good tennis shoes for nursing? Don’t worry. We’ve rounded up the ten best tennis shoes for nurses across the nation that give you performance and style with arch support, cushioning, and all-day comfort.
Our Top Picks: Best Tennis Shoes For Nurses
Ok – now that you’ve made your list, let’s get to those top 10 tennis shoes for nurses. The shoes have been field-tested in hospitals and clinics and worn by nurses daily.
They’re top-rated for comfort, performance, material quality, reliability, and durability. These are the shoes that are so good, that even after 8 hours on shift, you’ve completely forgotten you’re wearing them.
Hoka One One Arahi 4 – Best Support for Back Problems
Hoka One One isn’t just a shoe that’s lightweight and easy to wear all day long – their unique, cushy sole and footbed is perfect if you have back problems. They provide that extra support and cushioning perfect for shock absorption and keeping your posture in alignment.
Besides all the cushiony performance, the color schemes are classic and fit most uniform policies.
Best Fit: For nurses who have a back problem or need extra cushioning
Cons: Some have found the lightweight material less durable than others if you’re putting a lot of miles on them – try the New Balance 520v5.
Brooks Levitate 4 – Most Comfortable
If your feet get a workout and you’re walking miles at work, the Brooks Levitate 4 delivers otherworldly comfort. A thick, cushy grippy sole and the most lightweight, breathable upper make these shoes feel like you’re walking on springy, fluffy clouds.
No seriously. Nurses who wear them say the lightweight knit upper is as comfortable as your favorite pair of socks.
Best Fit: Nurses who need a lightweight, breathable nursing shoe with all-day comfort
Cons: The lightweight material doesn’t provide protection from liquids or sharps – if you need more protection, try the Dansko Paisley Sneakers.
Asics Gel-Challenger 12 – Best Arch Support
If you’ve got flat feet or suffer the pains of plantar fasciitis, you know how important arch support is to survive a long shift on your feet. The ASICS Gel-Challenger 12 tennis shoes have firm, but comfortable midsoles with excellent support.
They’re great out of the box, but the added feature of a removable sock so you can use your personal orthotic insert is a game-changer. The color schemes are great with low-key options that work for uniform regulations.
Best Fit: For nurses with flat feet, plantar fasciitis, or other foot conditions
Cons: Some people find them a little narrow, so if you need a wider toe box, try the Skechers Work Sure Track Trickel.
Skechers Work Sure Track Trickel – Best Non-Slip
If the chance that you’re going to run into liquid spills or slippery surfaces on the job is high, then the Skechers Work Sure Track Trickel will keep your footing sure. When they say slip-resistant, that’s just a polite way to say these soles are grippy as hell.
Spills on slick floors? These shoes don’t care about that. Besides the fact that they’ll keep you on your feet, the soles are cushy with great support. The toe box is roomy enough for even the widest feet (they’ve got X-Wide sizes).
And the leather upper protects your feet from sharps and liquids.
Best Fit: For nurses working on slick surfaces and those with wide feet
Cons: If you’ve got sweaty feet, these may be a bit stuffy – try the lightweight Brooks Levitate 4 instead
Reebok Sublite – Best for Protection
Ever drop an oxygen tank on your foot? Yeah. Well if you were wearing the Reebok Work Sublite Construction shoe, you could just laugh at your clumsiness and walk away. With an alloy protective shell for your toes, you’ll always be protected.
However, these shoes don’t wear like workboots. They’re surprisingly tennis-shoe-like with cushy soles and they’re fairly breathable. Protection and comfort for the win.
Best Fit: For nurses who need toe protection with comfort
Cons: Some people don’t like the stiffer sole – if you like more flexibility, try the Adidas Ultraboost 20.
Nike Tanjun Running Shoes – Best Lightweight
Lightweight? The Nike Tanjun running shoes weigh so little that you really can forget you’re wearing them. You know Nike brings the performance tech and these shoes have it all – the ultra-lightweight flyknit, lightweight EVA foam soles – it’s all lightweight.
These shoes are the perfect shoe for nurses who work the longest shifts, where at the end your regular shoes feel like they’re made of lead. The Nike Tanjuns won’t do that to you.
Best Fit: For those long shifts where you’re going to cover a lot of miles
Cons: The lightweight mesh doesn’t give much liquid or sharps protection – try the Dansko Paisley Sneakers.
New Balance 520v5 – Most Breathable
Okay, we say that the Brooks Levitate 4 was like walking on clouds. Well take that cloud and add a refreshing, cool breeze and you’ve got the New Balance Drft V1 running shoes.
The lightweight mesh effortlessly breathes, so no more sweaty uncomfortable feet after 10 hours. The cushiony sole has a good spring and return, almost like they’re helping you walk.
Best Fit: For nurses who need more breathability (sweaty feet)
Cons: Has average arch support – if you need extra arch support try the Asics Gel-Challenger 12.
Dansko Paisley Sneakers – Best Waterproof
Ok, you know you’ve spilled lots of different . . . . things, on your shoes. We don’t have to go into it. So if you want to keep whatever you’ve just spilled from seeping into your socks you want the Dansko Paisley Waterproof Outdoor Sneaker.
Dansko is a well-known name when it comes to great nursing shoes and work shoes. These add a waterproof leather upper that will keep your feet dry.
But they didn’t scrimp on comfort. Great support and cushy comfort are included.
Best Fit: Nurses who need protection against liquid spills and sharps
Cons: Not as breathable as the lightweight knits – if you want more breathability try the New Balance 520v5 or Nike Tanjun.
Adidas Ultraboost 20 – Most Stylish
There’s no reason why your nursing shoes can’t have performance . . . and style. The Adidas Ultraboost 20 has some seriously lit color schemes. You want signal green? Got ‘em. How about red, white and blue or orange digicam?
Yep. They’ve got all that and more. But don’t let the looks fool you. They’re also bringing some serious performance with a lightweight knit upper and thick shock-absorbing sole.
They perform all shift long and look good while they’re doing it.
Best Fit: For nurses with a sense of style plus great for foot problems
Cons: The lightweight mesh upper doesn’t provide too much protection – if you need more try the Skechers Work Sure Track Trickel.
New Balance 411 – Best Value
Need a good nursing shoe that performs but doesn’t want to break the bank? Then you need to check out New Balance’s 411 V2 Walking Shoe.
Simple classic design meets a very cushiony sole to create a solid, stable shoe that helps you get the job done with comfort – all at an affordable price. They’re like the reliable (if a bit boring) four-door family sedan.
It’s not going to win a beauty pageant or road race, but it’ll get you to work and back every day without a hitch.
Best FIt: Nurses who want a reliable, comfortable shoe at a good price
Cons: Not as stylish – if you want something with a little more flash, try the Hoka One One Arai 4.
How To Shop For The Best Tennis Shoes For Nurses
I know you’re impatient to get to those nursing tennis shoes, but first, there are a few considerations you need to take into account before you start searching for a really cute neon purple pair that matches your favorite scrubs.
You may need slip-resistant soles or better arch support for plantar fasciitis. Here are a few things to think about first:
Arch support and design
Good arch support is crucial if you’re going to be on your feet for up to 14 hours at a time. On average, nurses walk four miles a shift – that’s a lot of steps. If your shoes have poor arch support, your feet are going to hurt.
There art a lot of different types of spill nurses have to deal with, from water and blood to, *ahem*, other things. Slip-resistant soles may be the difference between a clean-up and a slip-up.
It’s not just liquids you need to protect your feet from. If you’re regularly working around sharps hazards, you need a shoe with a thick, full toe box.
The second ingredient for preventing foot and leg pain on a long shift besides good arch support is a shock-absorbent sole and heel.
When you’re putting 4 miles per shift on your shoes, you need them to be made of high-quality knits, leather, and EVA foam. Poor-quality shoes might be cheaper, but they’re also not going to last as long.
If you have a foot condition such as plantar fasciitis, flat feet, bunions, wide or narrow feet, heel pain, or back pain you need to also make sure you find the shoe that will give you a fit that won’t hurt.
Benefits of Having The Best Nursing Shoes at Work
When you’re a nurse, good shoes can be the one thing between you and serious foot pain. That’s why we chose the shoes we did. They all offer the 5 most valuable benefits of a good nursing shoe. These include
- Less foot, calf, and leg pain
- Prevents sweaty feet
- Helps to relieve foot problems like plantar fasciitis and flat feet
- Reduces foot and leg fatigue
- Better performance
While they’re all slightly different, allowing you to find the shoe that fits your needs, all of our top 10 lists give you the best in class performance.
How To Narrow Down Your Choices
Still need a little help narrowing your decision down. Well, here’s a couple of things to give you a hand:
- Get an accurate measurement of your feet. Even if you’ve worn the same size for years, it’s always good to get an up to date measurement because our feet change over time.
- How far do you walk during your shift? If you’re always on the move you might want to go with something more sporty to get that extra performance.
- If you have a foot condition like plantar fasciitis, flat feet, or wide feet, you want more room, good arch support, and cushioning.
So keep these things in the back of your head, check out the features and you’ll find the right nursing shoe for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s The Best Nursing Shoe For Flat Feet?
Asics Gel-Challenger 12 – the stiffer sole and arch support is great, plus the sock liner is removable if you want to add your own insert.
I Need Shoes With Extra Grip That Can Handle Slippery Floors?
Skechers Work Sure Track Trickel – the only shoe with industry-standard non-slip rated soles.
How Many Pairs Of Nursing Shoes Do I Need?
Most nurses recommend at least two to three pairs. That way you can let the shoes air out/dry out between uses and it will help your them last longer.
What Are The Most Comfortable Shoes To Stand In All Day?
Lightweight, a snug fit, and patented J-Frame stability technology, these perform all day or all night helping you avoid the foot and leg pain of a 12-hour shift. Hoka One One Arahi 4
What Tennis Shoes Do Podiatrists Recommend?
The thick, rolling sole that helps promote proper gait, superb arch support, and stability, is just what the doctor ordered. New Balance 520v5 New Balance is known for comfort, support, and all-around comfort. With the cushioned midsole and heel-pillow insert, you’ve got the comfort to spare.
A good pair of comfortable shoes is the most important part of a nurse’s uniform. Not the scrubs, undershirts, or compression socks. If you don’t have the right shoes, you not only are going to end up with sore feet – you may even develop a foot problem.
Nobody needs that when they’ve got three back to back 12 – 14 hour shifts ahead of them. If you’re still unsure which nurse’s running shoe is for you – try one of our top three picks. No matter what shoe on our list you end up choosing, your feet are going to thank you.