Expert Recommended Best Shoes For Nurses – 2017 Update

Nurse ShoesIf you’ve come across this page you’re probably looking for a pair of the best nursing shoes to help get you through those long shifts. Whether you’re a registered nurse, seasoned surgeon, or an up and coming student, there will come a time when new footwear is required to go with your medical scrubs.

Your shoes can be the difference between an enjoyable shift, or ending 12 hours with sore feet and blisters. Also, more importantly it’s the long term implications of wearing poor quality footwear that matters most. Having a pair of good nursing shoes can help promote proper spinal alignment and posture, thus reducing the risk of foot, knee and lower back pain in the future.

The generally expensive price tags combined with the limitation on style and requirement for the most comfortable nursing shoes tends to throw many men or women into despair when it comes to finding the right pair. However fear not, as we have scoured the web and put together a list of the best shoes for nurses, whether male or female, to help you along your shopping search. Our list of fresh shoe reviews include cherry picked five star contenders which are all fit for purpose and provide the qualities and characteristics required for a full shift. Read on for our buying guide and advice on choosing the best nursing shoes for women and men in 2017.

The Best Shoes For Nurses Compared

Top 10 For Women

Brand / ModelStyleUpperSoleHeelColors
Alegria DebraSlip OnLeatherSynthetic1.5"9
Alegria PalomaMary JaneLeatherRubber1.5"12
AnyWear ExactClogsManmadeRubber1.25"15
Dansko ProfessionalClogsLeatherSynthetic1.75"20+
Grasshoppers Stretch PlusSneakersManmadeRubberN/A3
Natural Uniforms Ultralite StraplessClogsSyntheticSynthetic1.5"2
Nurse Mates DoveSlip OnLeatherRubber1.5"3
Skechers for Work Sure TrackSlip OnLeatherRubber1"1
Skechers Premium-PremixSneakersLeather / Synthetic RubberN/A2
Timberland PRO RenovaSlip OnLeatherSyntheticTBC10

Top 10 For Men

Brand / ModelStyleUpperSoleColors
crocs Bistro Clog ClogsManmadeSynthetic3
DAWGS Tracker ProClogsRubberSynthetic2
KEEN Utility PTCSlip OnLeatherRubber1
Merrell Jungle Moc ProSlip OnLeatherRubber3
MOZO SharkzSlip OnSyntheticRubber1
New Balance MID526 Lace UpLeatherRubber1
safeTstep Blast RunnerSneakersSynthetic + MeshRubber1
Skechers For Work BalderClogsSyntheticRubber1
Skechers For Work Keystone 76690 SneakersLeatherRubber2
Under Armour UA Micro GSneakersSyntheticRubber16

Why Are Good Nursing Shoes Important?

As a nurse you know that a large portion of your shift is going to be spent standing, and when you stand you place all of your weight on your feet. So, what protects them the most? Your nursing shoes are the only thing that stand between your feet being in pain or feeling good at the end of a 12 – 16 hour shift. Therefore it is vital that you spend time determining the right type of nurse shoe for you. This means that you find the right size and fit. A simple foot pressure test used by the military could help you determine if you have flat feet, normal, or high arches. This is essential because it will help you select the correct shoe for the type of feet that you have.

Another important factor to consider when selecting best shoes for nurses is the ability to easily clean them. A nurse working in the Emergency Room should select a type of shoe that can be easily cleaned due to the fact that you never know what types of fluid you might come in contact with. A nurse working in surgery should pick a shoe that offers stability because you do not what to be unsteady in the operating room.

Whether female or male, comfort is extremely important when it comes down to selecting nurse shoes; these are tools that you will be relying on and wearing throughout your shift. Additionally, it is not the only consideration that will be an influencing factor when it comes to picking out the right footwear for you either. There are plenty more characteristics to look for when choosing the best nursing shoes which we discuss further below.

Nursing is one of the most stressful jobs that anyone can do. Long hours that can include extended hours of standing on your feet. Working with patients who are sick and maybe even dying adds a tremendous amount of stress to the job. So anything and everything you can do as a nurse to ensure you are comfortable throughout your entire shift is important. Proper hydration and nutrition is also extremely important. Ensuring that you have a proper avenue of stress relief can help to make sure that you do not suffer from a burn out.

Different Types Of Nurse Shoes


Nike Nursing SneakersDepending on which country, state or department you work, some medical institutes are much more lenient with uniform than others. Therefore, if you work in a particularly fast paced department, or perhaps suffer from back pain, heel pain, flat feet or plantar fasciitis you may want to ask your employer if they’ll allow you to wear sneakers. Nursing sneakers are literally most commonly running shoes or also referred to as nursing tennis shoes. They are great because manufacturers have designed and produced these for long lasting and continual usage whilst providing utmost comfort, which is exactly what a nurse needs during those long tiresome shifts.


Nurses Slip-OnsSlip-on nurse shoes are perfect for a busy environment where there is no time to worry about tying laces or securing straps. Also the added danger of undone laces getting caught in casters, or picking up any unwanted spillage in your laces doesn’t sound too appealing right? Whether it’s to wipe them clean before or after shift, or even to just air them for a few minutes whenever possible, swiftly taking shoes on and off is fairly common practice for most nurses. When it comes to footwear, a comfortable and reliable pair of slip-ons are definitely a nurses best friend. They tend to be cheap and effective at providing the required comfort, support and anti-fatigue that’s required to fulfill even the longest shifts.


Unisex Nursing ClogsImmortalized by the likes of Crocs, Alegria, and Dansko Professional clogs, these type are extremely common and for good reason too. Stylish and comfortable due to their open back and spacious front, they allow for plenty ventilation, provide pressure point relief in the foot, and additionally promote good posture and gait. Also, considering a slightly wider toe box is almost default in clogs, they tend to be a good choice of shoes for bunions for those experiencing the deformity, which may have appeared through years of previously poorly fitted footwear. Nursing clogs have always been a popular choice throughout history and things don’t like they’re about to change anytime soon.

Mary Janes Flats

Mary Jane FlatsMary Janes flats aren’t a bad option when it comes to selecting a pair of good nursing shoes. Generally easy to put on and take off, they are convenient and comfortable too. Although good, they are not exactly the number one voted choice as best nurses shoes unfortunately, simply because a large part of the upper foot is left exposed due to the strap design. Too much bare exposure can lead to unwanted spillages on your feet which is not advisable.

Characteristics Of The Best Shoes For Nurses

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Running around at work on your feet all day can be a real pain, literally, especially if you’re not wearing the correct footwear. There is an old saying that goes “wear the right shoe for the right activity.” That statement can’t be stressed more in this case because whether it’s a hospital, doctors surgery or dentist you work in, comfortable shoes for standing all day requires a specific set of requirements:

1. Support and Balance

It goes without saying that the best nursing shoes for women and men alike are ones that provide plenty of support and balance to keep those feet strong, protected and healthy throughout the lengthy shifts. Most footwear designed for this industry has tailored features which caters for moving safely on hard, slippery surfaces, altogether whilst combining each of the other characteristics to deliver a fine shoe which is fit for medical professionals.

2. Comfort and Padding

These two properties are paramount because sore feet are usually caused by inappropriate padding and lack of comfort, and so can be avoided if wearing comfortable nursing shoes. Comfort and padding can be achieved in many ways from the kind of material, to the inner architecture of the heel box, arch support and toebox.

3. Safe Grip

Reliable slip-resistant outsole grips are essential for wet and dry conditions enabling the ability to move quickly and confidently without harming yourself or others. The most common outsoles are either rubber or manmade (synthetic) but can be polyurethane too. Each are as good as the other; if anything you’ll notice more a difference in price as opposed the noticing a degradation / improvement of grip.

4. Good Ventilation

Plenty of airflow is important; for example, wearing the same nursing clogs for 12+ hours in some cases can cause very sweaty feet, which not only could lead to embarrassingly smelly feet but also make way to infections like athletes foot. Odors and hygiene aside, keeping your feet cool is almost paramount for some people, especially for those who suffer from conditions such as burning feet as a result of diabetes or certain vitamin deficiencies.

5. Choice of Material

The outer material is very important; generally it’s the white leather nursing shoes which are extremely common as they allow the feet to breath freely unlike synthetic options. There are also rubber types which are perfect for the healthcare industry as they are much cheaper and provide better safety for spillages, but on the downside they’ll offer less ventilation and comfort than leathers.

6. Good Fit

The fit should be as expected. What this means is when you buy a U.S size 6 for example to match your sneakers and pumps, the size 6 nurse shoes you bought should have the consistent same fit as everything else in your shoebox. Occasionally with some manufactures a U.S 6 may fit too tight or too loose, so that would mean it’s not true to fit. This characteristic is usually measured as a percentage, and the higher the figure the better, because this means that more people voted for the fit, as opposed to against.

7. Orthopedic Insoles

If you have a foot condition and some comfortable running shoes or your podiatrist recommended plantar fasciitis shoes aren’t an option, ideally you should look for footwear with removable insoles. Most types of footwear nowadays come with the ability to remove the current insole, however if this is something which you’ll be doing, it’s worth querying and not assuming. That way for example you can be sure to swap the standard insoles by purchasing your own arch support inserts to compensate for normal flat feet shoes.

8. The Color

Color may or may not be of importance. Most health institutes will state that part of the uniform is to wear white nurse shoes. This is most common in school and generally is just tradition which harkens back to times when in the US they wore all white. Lots of places no longer require white footwear, and can often be any color provided they meet health and safety requirements and also have a closed heel. Most branded versions are available in a multitude of colors to cater for everyone.

Still Unsure What To Wear?

Watch below for a professional take on what Nurse Heather wears for her shift and why she considers her recommendation to be the best shoes for nurses.

Top 5 Reviews: Women’s Nursing Shoes

Timberland PRO Renova Professional

Timberland PRO Renova Professional Slip-OnThe best nursing shoes for women which are made by big brands aren’t always the cheapest options, but they are priced this way for a reason; the Timberland PRO Renova Professional slip on is one of those which you wont mind paying that little extra for. The anti fatigue technology offers all day standing comfort, leg and back support, and superior shock absorption. A full-grain white leather upper and synthetic sole combine utmost comfort with plenty of grip. Timberland say this range was created to address the specific needs of those who work in the healthcare industry, and so what more could you ask for, a big brand targeting a specific niche means they have probably spent huge amounts of money on research and development of these perfect nurses shoes, which has reflected positively in all who own a pair. Offering a 30 day comfort guarantee, the PRO Renova slip-ons come highly recommended.

Alegria Paloma

Alegria Paloma FlatThese Mary Jane’s are fast becoming one of the most popular choices among colleagues in all departments. The trendy design is ageless; you can wear these at work or after hours too, and at such a great price they’re hard to resist. However what makes these among the most comfortable nursing shoes for women fit for purpose is the ultra soft leather interior which helps promote good foot health by keeping moisture away in order to keep feet dry. The Alegria Paloma molds to the contours of your foot for ultimate support, which also makes walking more comfortable. Like most of the others here, the removable insoles come with great arch support, and there is plenty of room in the toe box too. A flat cushioned rubber sole provides plenty of traction which is also engineered to aid proper posture and gait by maximizing contact with the floor. Overall a great choice which will not disappoint.

AnyWear Exact

Cherokee AnyWears Exact ClogIn terms of cost, when it comes to cheap nursing shoes you can’t get much better than these clogs. That doesn’t mean they are of inferior quality in any way whatsoever, they are infact a durable set of squeak-free slip resistant clogs which are extremely popular among students and doctors alike who require medical shoes. The AnyWear’s are waterproof and easily washable, extremely lightweight, flexible and also have removable insoles which is great for upgrading to orthotic inserts if required. They fit perfectly as expected and are known to be very comfortable, even during a 12 hour shift. Priced correctly and proven by our reviewer to hold up well, even after months of battering around, these should keep you happy.

Dansko Professional

Dansko Women's Professional ClogsIn a nutshell, the Professional from the hugely popular range of Dansko nursing clogs are a saving grace for those hard working people who are on their feet all day. The dual-density memory foam insole absorbs much of the shock from walking on hard surfaces, and being removable allows for custom orthotics if required. The hard wearing and slip resistant synthetic outsole consists of a comfy 0.75″ platform and 1.75″ block heel which combine to give lift and improve posture. Not only are these slip-ons beautiful being made of a supple leather upper with a classic clog look, they are unrivaled in comfort, lightweight, durable and sturdy making these Dansko’s some of the best nursing shoes around and a highly recommended purchase for 2017. Trendy enough for work or casual wear and available in a plethora of different style and color combinations, although these aren’t the cheapest on the market, they are rated as one of the best.

Nurse Mates Dove

Nurse Mates Dove Slip-OnsNurse Mates shoes are renowned for making some of the best shoes for nurses, and no doubt that’s why the Doves made our shortlist. The Dove slip-ons we reviewed ran exact, and after a 12 hour shifts you’ll be sure to have no complaints whatsoever; extremely comfortable and well worth the money in every sense. They are extremely light, and have no problem gripping in wet or dry as the long wearing, non squeeking outsoles provide all the traction you’ll ever need in the workplace. The stain resistant leather upper is easily wiped clean and comes in white, black, and metallic navy so a good choice of colors if you require. The removable insoles are a great addition especially if orthotics are required. Yes these are relatively cheap nursing shoes on sale at the lower end of the spectrum, but they easily compare to some of the best and most expensive out there. Not bad at all for the price.

Top 5 Reviews: Men’s Nursing Shoes

Merrell Jungle Moc Pro

Merrell Jungle MocAn extremely popular pair of slip-ons, the Merrell Jungle Moc men’s nursing shoes are composed of imported leather with a rubber sole, and a heel that measures in at 1” inch of height. The easy slip on design makes getting ready for work extremely easy. A padded collar composed of supple leather will ensure the shoes fit like a dream. These shoes contain a flexible comfortable insert that is made to be replaceable adding a longer lifespan to your shoes. The suregrip outsole designed with a cutting edge distinctive pattern of specialized grooves ensures that the nurse will not be slipping and sliding all over the place even when dealing with spillages or other lurking dangers. The shipping weight comes in at an impressive 1 pound meaning they are one of the lightest around. These impressive shoes come in three distinct color variations of a rich deep black, a dark strong brown, and a glowing espresso color making them suitable for most tastes. Overall these are widely considered to be one of the best nursing shoes for men in 2017.

safeTstep Blast Runner

safeTstep Blast RunnerThe safeTstep Blast Runner are an ideal set of nursing sneakers which are composed on leather and a breathable mesh layer that offers comfort twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. They are designed to be worn in any environment and offer a water resistant surface that repels liquid with ease. The outsoles are slip and oil resistant that will make sure the wearer stays on their feet whether in the Emergency Room or the Intensive Care Unit. The mesh layer ensures that a cool breeze will reach your feet and keep you cool. The laces are designed for snug fit with a padded tongue for extra comfort. Users have reported that these shoes do fit as expected so feel free to order your normal shoe size. The insoles are removable and can be replaced with your preferred insole. Trendy in design and very practical too, they make a great pair of men’s nursing shoes without a doubt.

Under Armour UA Micro G Assert 6

Under Armour UA Micro G Assert 6These stylish running shoes make a great pair of nursing sneakers due to the imported synthetic material upper and the rubber slip resistant sole. Featuring a soft layer of supportive and breathable mesh means the wearers feet to stay cool throughout. The rubber traction covers are placed in locations so that it will protect the nurse from impact situations. There is also a line of EVA that runs the full length and offers a custom fit feel that is different for any and all individuals. If color isn’t an issue, this particular model comes in six vibrant colors that ensure you will be able to find just the right pair that fits your personality. Under Armour used their specialized Micro G foam that promises cushioned landings and explosive takeoffs to help keep even the tiring nurse bouncy on his feet.

Skechers For Work 76778 Balder

Skechers Oswald BalderThe Skechers 76778 men’s nursing shoes are a trendy set of clogs which are composed of synthetic leather with a rubber sole. The footbed is designed with shock-absorbing padding that is sure to withstand the abuse of a nurses shift. The slip resistant outsoles are OSHA complaint and are designed to ensure that you will stay on your feet no matter the environment. The research and developers of these at Skechers were thinking about the wearers comfort and hygiene by inserting ventilating ports on the side of shoe. The slip on design ensures that getting on the go has never been easier. Users have stated that these nursing clogs may appear rigid but offer an unparalleled amount of comfort making them a worthy choice for purchase.

DAWGS Tracker Pro

DAWGS Tracker ProThese men’s nursing shoes are composed of imported rubber with a synthetic sole. It is a traditional slip on designed with comfort in mind, and has a low impact heel that works to prevent any pain associated with standing on your feet all day long as nurses are prone to do. This particular shoe comes in two distinct colors which are a deep black, and a glowing vibrant white. The slip resistant tread is a signature design by the DAWG company called “Tracker Tread” that works to cover arch support and gripping action in any situation. The padding is extra reinforced to ensure the comfort of the wearer throughout the entire day no matter how long you end up on shift. The shipping weight of is 2.6 pounds, so as you may have guessed these particular nurses shoes are extremely light which is always a bonus.