Top 5 Best Nursing Shoes For Women Reviews & How To Find Them
New to nursing and wondering what the best nursing shoes for women might be? The fact that you are thinking about this is a step in the right direction. For both men and women in the nursing industry, shoes can be a deal breaker.
The wrong shoes aren’t only going to make your shift miserable, they can cause long-term injuries and chronic pain.
Before you start searching for shoes to wear to your new job, it’s important to understand that women have unique needs for their feet that need to be addressed. The nature of your work environment is also something you’d like to consider before you begin. Then you should know you and your personal needs: for example, the arch, length, and width of your own foot.
Quick Comparison: Top 5 Best Nursing Shoes for Women
* Below, you'll find out more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices and customer reviews on Amazon.com
Have You Heard about the Best Nursing Shoes for Women?
Nurses are always on their feet, aren’t they? And it’s not like they work a 9 to 5 shift like most of us. Nurses have a pretty hectic 12 to 15-hour shift and sometimes they even do double shifts. So you see the high level of risk their feet are being constantly put through. No wonder footwear is given so much importance when it comes to work.
There’s a lot of difference between men’s and women’s shoes in general. So it’s always a better idea to know the SHE from the HE.
The Features to Keep in Mind When Buying Nursing Shoes
Nursing shoes should provide the fit and comfort that you normally get with running shoes. While at the same time, they should also provide the stability that one’s feet experience with working boots.
Comfort and stability should be the two topmost priorities since you’re going to be either standing, walking, or running around in the hospital throughout the day.
Arch support is essential if you don’t want your feet to get damaged or injured due to standing and working for longer hours. Also, make sure that the nursing shoes you choose have a footbed that is anatomically shaped.
The best nursing shoes are the ones that have slip-resistant outsoles. Spills and wet floors in hospitals are very common, so it’s better to keep your feet and ultimately your spine protected.
All Types of Nursing Footwear
Personally, I have to admit when I began nursing I didn’t understand the need for appropriate shoes. I was wearing tennis shoes that were giving me lower back pain. When I found the right shoes, I was shocked at how the right foot gear reduced this pain almost immediately. It took me a lot of trial and error to find my style and fit, and a lot of research.
So I threw this guide together to help new female nurses narrow down their search for the perfect shoes to wear to work.
The guide offers tips, general recommendations, explains why women nurses have different needs than male nurses do and wraps up with a checklist of things to do as you hone in on the perfect pair. The important thing is to not get discouraged – when you find your “nursing shoe sweet spot” you will know.
How to Choose the Best Shoe for Female Nurses?
Step 1: Realize that the Best Nursing Shoes for Women are the Most Important Piece of Work Apparel
Heavy lifting. Fast paced foot travel. Nurses know more that everyone should care for their bodies, and that we are no exception ourselves. With improper footwear, you can expect feet aches and undue stress on your hips, ankles and your back – and that’s a best case scenario.
Slip on shoes with the wrong length of the heel, the wrong sole or shoes of the wrong size, and you can expect repercussions from the repetitive stress that comes packaged the job.
And yeah, we get it: nursing shoes are kind of a joke for people that don’t stand on their feet for hours. These people might find it humorous to crack wise about our colorless shoes and clogs that have unfashionably thick soles, but seasoned nurses know that proper shoes are paramount to doing the job right.
In fact, shoes are more important than any other item of clothes you put on when you head out to work.
Think about your body as a building and your feet as the foundation of this building. When the foundation of a building is inaccurately measured, the entire building will be misaligned. Your body is this building – the wrong shoes can injure your lower back, your knees or ankles. And unfortunately, sometimes you may sustain injuries that may be lifelong.
The Best Nursing Shoes - Do You Know?
Step 2: Realize the Repercussions of Wearing the Wrong Shoe to Work
Do you have lower back pain? You are not alone. The American Chiropractic Association tells us that more than fifty percent of employed Americans suffer from lower back pain every year. In addition to this, back pain ranks in at number two on the list of reasons why people seek help from a doctor.
Many times the cause of back pain is your feet and the things you put on your feet. The good news is, there are lots of shoes to choose from, and choosing the right shoe can make a world of difference.
Step 3: Get Your Priorities in Order
Ready to pick out the perfect pair of shoes? Maybe these recommendations can help you cut down on time and effort:
Things to Keep in Mind
- Your feet actually increase in size throughout a shift and may fluctuate with hormones, circulation or even age, so be sure to get fitted every year.
- Not only do your shoes need to fit you appropriately lengthwise, they need to fit width-wise too. Your shoes need to be able to expand throughout your shift if your feet swell.
- Get fitted at the end of your shift, and try on shoes at the end of a workday. If your feet are comfortable at this time, chances are you will feel comfortable in them the rest of the time too.
Essential Recommendations for Nursing Shoes
- Go for skid-proof shoes. This is a no brainer. Hospitals and medical buildings are a dangerous and slippery place to work. You don’t want to take a nose dive and hurt yourself when a patient needs you the most.
- Make sure your shoes flex when you walk. If they don’t you are going to have to deal with the unnecessary strain on your feet, ankles, and legs. Shoes that aren’t flexible also cause blisters and calluses.
- If you need extra cushioning and absorption in your shoes, think about inserts – there are a lot on the market. These are a God-send when you need realize that you are constantly walking on hard surfaces.
- Pay attention to the arch of your foot: is it low (pronation)? High (supination)? Or neutral? Find out, and get a shoe that works with the natural arch of your foot.
Watch a Triathlete Work out in Nursing Shoes!
Step 4: Realize that Not All Nursing Shoes are Created Equally
We need to understand that not all nursing shoes are created equally.
What Separates the Best From the Rest?
- Really great the best nursing shoes for women will be a perfect fit for your feet. This means the toe box accommodates the width of your front foot and offers enough cushioning in the heel. (Tip: Get your feet properly measured to make this process easier.)
- I can’t drive this home enough: good nursing shoes are slip resistant. You are working in an environment that has dangerous chemicals and bodily fluids on the floor at any given moment. (Tip: To prevent falling at work make sure you have a heel at least an inch long.)
- Good nursing shoes are made out of durable materials. You want to avoid mesh or porous material and opt for a material that is sturdy, easy to wipe clean and to disinfect.
- A good nursing shoe will fit comfortably as soon as you try them on. Is your foot pinching already? Look elsewhere! You’ll find the perfect pair for you in time.
- Just because the shoe isn’t marketed as a nursing shoe doesn’t mean that you can never wear it to work. Take a walking or running sneakers for instance. Some nurses may find that the sneakers have the right cushioning in all the right places that suits them perfectly for constant use.
- Make sure that the best shoe is the best shoe for you, and for what your professional needs are.
- After you have gained experience, buy shoes that you will be able to use long term - don’t be afraid to make quality a priority. A good go-to is leather with a rubber sole, with great stitching in the shoe
Step 5: Begin to Narrow Your Search by Shoe Type, and Stick to These:
Although I’m not going to make a sweeping statement about what might be the best shoe for everybody, some shoe types are better than others for the nursing profession. You can start your search by sticking to these types specifically:
Clogs: Although their popularity is fading, a healthy amount of nurses continue to wear clogs. Easy to slip on and off and helping you rise to the occasion when you need to spend a twelve-hour shift on your feet, clogs are still go-to for women.
Step-ins: Step-ins give solid flexibility for a busy nurse on the go. Comfortable and easy to put on, these shoes typically have soles that grip on – no buckling or falling in a pair of these. The soles of a step-in will ensure you have the balance and steadiness you need for your job.
Sneakers: Sneakers and athletic shoes are easy on your feet and great for mobility. If you get your foot measured properly and only wear these sneakers for the job they will last you for a while.
Loafers: While loafers don’t come in as many stylish designs as clogs and slip
Step 6: Narrowed Down on Type and Ready to Try On Shoes? Ask These Questions
- How is the arch support? At any given time during the day or night, your shoe should feel comfortable on the arch and support your foot well. The arch support of your shoe and how this support interacts with your feet is going to have a drastic effect on your posture, so make sure that you choose wisely.
- Does the shoe have a padded instep collar? It should. These protect the top of the foot and add to overall comfort that you experience while you are walking.
- Do the shoes breathe, or are they making your foot sweaty? Sweat in your shoes can cause a slippery and uncomfortable step. Make sure your shoes have a breathable footbed to help keep the overall temperature in the foot under control.
- Do the shoes absorb shock? If you are in a situation where you will need to make a sudden movement (and you will be) you do not want your feet to get injured and you want them to stay comfortable.
Step 7: Understand Your Needs as a Woman
Male nurses are on the rise, thanks to a changing economic climate and marketing from industry recruiters encouraging them to become nurses.
The Oregon Center for Nursing launched a campaign in 2002 called “Are You Man Enough to Be a Nurse?” It is easy to see that the impressions we have of nursing as a “women only” profession are rapidly changing.
Men and women may have the same professional needs, but personal needs differ when it comes to shoes. Although Women’s nursing shoes and men’s nursing shoes look similar, they are not the same.
Purchasing shoes designed for the opposite sex can result in a bad fit which will of course cause chronic pain and possibly injuries.
Why Do You Need to Purchase Women’s Nursing Shoes?
- From an appearance perspective, the best nursing shoes for women are smaller and more narrow. When it comes to style and design, women also have more options. Patterns and vibrant colors are available for women now, while men are confined to solid muted colors like white, black and brown, for the most part, at least.
- Women tend to have higher arches on their feet than men do. Women’s nursing shoes accommodate for this difference.
- Generally, men have narrower hips than women do, meaning they also have narrow Q-Angles in comparison. (The Q-Angle is the angle of the kneecap against the quad muscle). This causes women to pronate more, necessitating extra support on the interior soles of their nursing shoes.
- Finally, women need to have shoes that support the entire length of the sole.
Journey into Nursing and Nursing Shoes
Step 8: Recap – Check off Every Item on this List
After you have completed the first seven steps, you are ready to make your first purchase. Already you know many of the concepts there are to know about buying the best nursing shoes for women. Make sure you check off every item on this list when you go online or go to the store:
- 1. Check your employer’s dress code before you begin looking for shoes. Do shoes have to be solid? Must they be white? Must they be a particular style?
- 2. Measure your feet. Take both length and width into consideration. When you go to get fitted, wear the socks that you plan to use on the clock.
- 3. Place your priority on comfort and quality. You are dressing to heal, not dressing to kill. Make sure your insole is soft and fits without squeezing. If you need it, you can go ahead and look for extra padding at your pressure points. Gel cushions that are built into shoes might be an option for more comfort.
- 4. Keep safety in mind. I’ve mentioned this a few times. Specifically, make sure that the outsoles on your shoes are made from quality, durable rubber to get a good grip on slippery floors. Don’t assume that if it is being marketed as a nursing shoe, it will be non-skid. Check before you purchase.
- 5. Keep the shoes lightweight. If your shoes are light, walking or running at the drop of a hat won’t be a problem for your legs. When you walk around in heavy shoes, your legs strain, preventing you from moving around quickly.
- 6. Remember the arch of your foot. Look at your feet and take note: what do your arches look like? Low, neutral or high? Select a shoe that accommodates your foot shape: for example, people with flat feet might want to use orthotic inserts.
- 7. Get durable nursing shoes. Make sure your shoes are heavy duty and good quality, made of solid materials like leather and rubber. If you can, avoid materials like suede, synthetic leather or canvas which are difficult to clean.
- 8. Pick the right shoe for you. What is your work environment like? Do you work in the ER where you will need to walk or run a lot? Look into sneakers. Do you work in a closed environment where sterility is most important? Check out slip-on. Or perhaps you work in a ward area, where many nurses will recommend clogs.
Top 5 Best Nursing Shoes for Women
1. Skechers Sport Women’s Premium-Premix Slip-On Sneaker
These are the kind of best nursing shoes for women that look like laced shoes but are in fact slip-on. The footbed is equipped with optimal cushioning along with padding around the ankle collar. And nursing shoes with such cushioning and padding are great for the feet in terms of all day comfort.
- Pros: Strong elasticity and non-skid outsoles.
- Cons: Not suitable for nurses with high arches.
2. Alegria Women’s Debra Slip-On
These shoes are constructed with leather that is stain-resistant and outsoles that are slip-resistant. They may look a tad bulky in shape and design but are extremely light in weight, which means nurses can wear them all day long.
- Pros: Great support and comfortable footbed.
- Cons: Scuffed around the edges.
3. Sanita Women’s Professional Celina Clog
Clogs are considered to be one of the best nursing shoes for women and this one is truly exceptional. Thanks to its remarkable traction offered by the outsoles. With unique qualities like anti-shock and anti-static along with an anatomically shaped footbed, these clogs hand over phenomenal comfort.
- Pros: High-quality construction and perfect fit.
- Cons: A tad too stiff.
4. Dansko Women’s Professional Clog
The greatest part about these strikingly attractive clogs is its rocker bottom that is equipped with anti-fatigue qualities.
They reduce shock and once the shock is minimized, it automatically reduces fatigue, which is quite a common and serious problem that affects millions of nurses across the world.
- Pros: Wide toe box and snug fit.
- Cons: Heel is a bit unnecessary as it can cause knee problems.
5. Timberland PRO Women’s Renova Professional Slip On
If you want to wear nursing shoes that make you feel like you’re walking on air, then these slip-ons are perfect for you. Equipped with Scotchgard protector and anti-fatigue technology, the shoes have the capacity to keep your feet as well as you back in good condition due to the exceptional support that they provide.
- Pros: Maximum breathability and great cushioning.
- Cons: Squeaky shoes.
By now you should have a much better idea of what you would like the best nursing shoes for women. Remember that there are general recommendations I can make, but every foot is different. Also, keep in mind that different positions call for different footwear. As a woman, you are going to want to purchase appropriate shoes for your body and, of course, use the laundry list in the recap to check off requirements as you begin to search for shoes.
I know that there are countless options to choose from when it comes to the best nursing shoes for women, but so far the best of the best is the Skechers
Finally, don’t forget to have fun. Although your priority should be quality and comfort, find a pair of shoes that you really love.
After all, you’ll be spending a good portion of your time at work. The perfect pair of shoes for you is out there, good luck in your search! Seasoned nurses, do you have any tips or advice for new female nurses searching for shoes? Newbies, did you find this blog useful? I’d love to hear your opinions!