All products and services featured are independently chosen by editors. However, FN may receive a commission on orders placed through its retail links, and the retailer may receive certain auditable data for accounting purposes.
Let’s face it. Standing all day can be a pain, and few know this as well as nurses who are used to being on their feet for 12-hour shifts or longer. For medical professionals, their choice of footwear is crucial to their occupation.
Dr. Glenn Davison, owner of Advanced Podiatry in New York City and New Jersey and a Fellow in the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, knows all about this.
“A nurse is on their feet all day walking the halls of the hospital,” he says. “They are pulling and stressing and straining the foot just as much as a runner or athlete, but over a longer amount of time. Someone might assume that a runner training for a marathon needs more support than a nurse but I don’t believe that, because their work is so essential.”
The best shoes for nurses on their feet all day will provide support for the entire foot to alleviate and avoid back pain, plantar fasciitis, and other common ailments stemming from foot stress. While you would think that a nurse’s best walking shoes or most comfortable sneakers should suffice for a long day on the job, there are more things to consider.
Davison says nurses should look for shoes with “a thick, rubber-y bottom for shock absorption” and traction. The upper material should be durable to enclose the foot in a proper neutral position that will disperse weight evenly. Breathability is another important factor, as too much moisture can cause fungal infections.
Proper arch support is especially essential for nurses who have flat feet or high arches. The best shoes for nurses with flat feet and the best shoes for nurses with high arches are actually one and the same, Davison explains. Flat feet require good arch support to lift the feet, while high arches will benefit from that same arch support as their feet naturally settle into correct positioning.
Nurses should also be conscious of replacing their shoes as they notice them breaking down.
“Any sign of wear is an indication to replace it with a more solid shoe,” says Davison, particularly since a nurse’s work is too important for them to be derailed by foot discomfort.
“If their arch isn’t being supported, nurses can’t stop and drop what they are doing. It could be life or death for the people they are helping. There has to be a dependability in their footwear for them to make it through their shift without arch pain.”
Ahead, we’ve highlighted 15 pairs of the best shoes for nurses on their feet all day so they can focus on their jobs and not on their feet.
Dansko Professional Clogs
Best Slip-On Nursing Shoes
The Dansko Professional Clogs are a tried-and-true favorite shoe in the nursing world. The leather upper provides needed structure for your feet and they can easily be wiped clean with soap and water to remove a day’s worth of work germs. The inner frame combats pronation and keeps feet in the ideal position to avoid pain that can stem from standing all day. The outsole absorbs shock but has some flexibility. Reviewers note their comfort, saying they “never had the problem of breaking them in,” meaning “no blisters, rubbing, or any type of discomfort.” These are ready to go when you are.
On Cloudflow Shoes
Podiatrist-Recommended Shoes for Nurses
The On Cloudflow is podiatrist-recommended for foot and ankle support, which helps combat and avoid ailments like plantar fasciitis and back pain. “I’m a big fan of On Cloudflow sneakers,” says Dr. Davison. “The bottom line is there’s cushion. They’re supportive. They are doing the job of supporting the foot so you can focus on your job without suddenly being distracted by pain.”
Spring Step Ferrara Slip-On Shoes
Best Shoes for Standing All Day
Safety comes first for the Spring Step Ferrara Slip-On Shoes, which have a rubber outsole that is slip- and skid-resistant so nurses can be at the ready for any emergency. The removable insole has triple-density cushioning to provide all-day support, making these one of the best shoes for standing all day. These nurse shoes are shock-absorbent with a soft textile lining that’s earned a rating of over four stars on Amazon, with one reviewer noting this pair is their “go-to” for “running around in an ER for 13 hours!”
Klogs Naples Shoes
Best Shoes for Nurses with Flat Feet
,Available in a bunch of different colors and patterns, the Klogs’ Naples shoe also come in two widths so there’s a pair to suit any nurse. A round, structured toe box is podiatrist approved. “Avoid narrow shoes that will squeeze the toes,” says Dr. Davison. The removable latex-free footbed is meant to keep air circulating, while the midsole cushions each step’s impact and provides sufficient energy return. The outsole is suitable for any wet or oily environments. One reviewer lauded Klogs’ super soft heel cushioning and having just the right amount of arch support.
Alegria Keli Professional Shoes
Slip on the Alegria Keli Professional shoe with ease, thanks to flexible dual goring. The footbed combines cork, latex, and memory foam for a comfortable fit, though it’s removable if you prefer to insert custom orthotics made just for you in a podiatrist’s office. The sole is crafted to relieve pressure on the heel and metatarsal, plus it offers traction. Nab a regular or wide fit.
Timberland Pro Renova Professional Shoes
Best Shoes for Nurses with High Arches
Timberland’s Pro Renova Professional is a perfect nursing basic. Arch support helps feet achieve the ideal anatomical neutral position. This shoe is built to provide complete structural support while being lightweight. It’s packed with plenty of shock absorption to relieve foot fatigue. One reviewer compared them to “a soft puffy cloud.”
Nurse Mates Dorin
Best White Nurse Shoes
What’s more classic than a white nurse’s uniform? These white Nurse Mates Dorin Slip-Ons deliver on the functionality and style fronts. They feature a multi-lateral orthotic to support all parts of the foot and aid in equal weight distribution. The lining is moisture-wicking for breathability. And lest one be afraid of wearing white, this stain-resistant pair will put those worries to rest.
SoftWalk Meredith Sport Shoes
Best Shoes for Nurses with Back Pain
Say goodbye to back pain with these ultra-comfortable SoftWalk Meredith Sport shoes for nurses. They offer foot stabilization in a number of ways, including with a nylon shank for support, and a contoured footbed for aching arches. The slip-on style has a rounded, roomy toe as well as a padded collar.
Nike Air Zoom Pulse Shoes
When it comes to the most comfortable shoes for standing all day, don’t count out sneakers. Nike’s Air Zoom Pulse sneakers were actually built for and tested by nurses. The outsole is equipped for extra traction for wet or dry surfaces. There’s also lots of cushioning for comfort. This slip-on style is just as easy to take on and off as classic clogs.
Hunter Original Play Clogs
This full rubber pair of slip-ons is ideal for those who come into contact with unmentionable messes in their nursing line of duty. Hunter’s Original Play clog is easy to clean and 100 percent waterproof. A breathable polyester lining avoids trapping any moisture inside the shoe. These can even be worn outside and make an ideal gardening shoe.
Anywear SR Angel
Designed with nurses in mind, the Anywear SR Angel shoes have a slip-resistant outsole. The insole is antimicrobial treated to avoid foot fungus. There’s even a side vent hole to aid in breathability. The high rebound upper and midsole takes the stress off your feet by absorbing shock and impact.
Laforst Rachel Clogs
Laforst’s Rachel leather clog has a high-density foam insole to maximize your comfort. The rubber sole protects from slips and falls. With tons of five-star reviews and lots of colors and patterns, these are a nursing fan favorite. One reviewer said they are, “the most comfortable shoe I have ever worn.”
Snibbs Spacecloud Sneakers
Chef Daniel Shemtob created these sneakers for workers who require comfort and support while spending long days on their feet. Perfectly fitting the bill for nurses, the Snibbs’ Spacecloud sneakers are slip-ons but have adjustable laces the wearer can tighten or loosen for the perfect fit. The insole features arch support, while the outer is crafted for durability.
Brooks Launch 8 Sneakers
Hundreds of five-star reviews won’t lead you in the wrong direction. One reviewer said these Brooks Launch 8 sneakers “are definitely comfortable for a nurse who is on her feet for 12 [hours]” and have a super lightweight fit. Midsole cushioning and a rebounding rubber outer provide traction and responsive support.
Asics Gel-Venture 7 Sneakers
Best Shoes for Nurses with Plantar Fasciitis
Some of the most comfortable shoes for standing all day, the Asics Gel-Venture 7 are made to absorb shock impact. The outsole is highly durable for long days of work. Lighter than a clog, these sneakers still provide needed structure for anatomical support.