Standing On Your Feet For 12 Hours A Day?

shoes for standing all dayWhichever industry you’re in, there are some jobs which require a huge amount of time being spent standing. I personally am a Nurse, and can attest to the amount of time I spend on my feet each day. I would estimate spending more than 75% of the time on my feet whilst working 12 hour shifts three days a week. So the amount of time this equates to is 27 hours of my 36 hours spent at work, is time spent on my feet. While this is a lot, it doesn’t compare to the amount of hours spent on my feet when I was in the Army, but that subject is for another story.

As a nurse I am always on the move, answering the call of patients in need, and responding to emergency situations. There is always something happening that requires my attention. One thing that I have found which is extremely important is having the best shoes within budget. While it may not seem very important to some of you, ask any nurse and they will tell how important it is to have a pair of comfortable shoes through those long shifts at work.

Being a nurse is not for everyone, but every nurse needs a good pair of footwear. To help you along, here we review some of the best shoes for standing all day from a nurses point of view. Even if you’re not a nurse and have read this far, any of the below footwear can make such a difference to your shift if your dress-code allows.

The 10 Best Shoes For Standing, Quick Comparison

Make & ModelTypeSexColor OptionsPrice
KEEN Utility PTC OxfordOxfordMens1
Under Armour Micro G LimitlessRunningMens16
Salomon XR MissionRunningWomens6
Skechers For Work 76501ClogWomens3
Nike Flex 2015 RNRunningWomens1
Mizuno Wave Inspire 11RunningWomens2
Alegria Keli ProfessionalClogWomens4
Under Armour UA Micro G Assert 6RunningWomens8
Cherokee AnyWears Exact ClogClogWomens5
Natural Uniforms – LightweightClogWomens5

A Typical Shift

An example of how long and involved in terms of standing a typical nurses shift can be; my normal shifts go as follows:

  • It begins with getting the nursing report, this is usually done in either the nursing station or the patients room.
  • I am usually standing and taking notes.
  • Afterwards, I go and introduce myself to my patients, again, while standing.
  • I check on orders for each of my patients and as you may have guessed by now I am standing. Sometimes if the nursing station is sparsely populated, I may get a chair, but this doesn’t happen often.
  • Get each patients prescribed medications ready for administration.
  • Administer each patient their ordered medications.
  • Write a progress note on each patient and my interactions thus far with each of them. I usually get to sit through this part but sometimes there are no chairs in the nursing station and so would have to chart at the island computer which means again whilst standing.
  • Throughout the rest of the shift I will be answering call lights and administering any need medications and finishing up my charting.

As you can see, nurses spend a lot of time walking and standing so having the proper shoes is very important.

Shoe Buying Guide & Advice

Which Are The Best Type Of Shoes?

Nursing CrocsMany of my fellow colleagues have their preferred nursing shoes. Some prefer to wear crocs (see inset pic) which are probably the most common you will often see in the hospitals. While they are super comfortable, due to aesthetics they may not suit everybody’s taste. One of their main selling points is that they are extremely easy to clean which is important. As a nurse, we are bound to get a lot of fluids on us over the course of a shift. They are also breathable and relatively cheap too.

I personally prefer a pair of good running shoes (or sneakers); I have found they offer great support and don’t break down very easily. Running sneakers are great in my opinion and there are so many brands and types to choose from, that you would be hard pressed not to find the right pair for yourself.

What Shoes Should You Be Wearing?

While this of course is your own personal opinion, when it comes to choosing the best shoes for standing all day there are certain things to consider. For example, how easy are your shoes to clean? Do they offer support for long periods of time? Do they break down easily? Do they fit your personality? (Let’s face it, we nurses love to show the world who we are through our shoes, don’t believe me? Next time you are in the hospital check out the footwear on show).

From anyone elses point of view depending on the industry you’re in, logically it’s the same characteristics to look out for. Are they supportive? Are they breathable? Are they of good quality leather, synthetic or mesh? Do they have good grip? How about arch support or wide toe box? These are all questions we’ll cover in the reviews below.

Why Wear Good Shoes?

Support is the number one thing to look for in a pair of good shoes for standing. For nurses, the material being able to be cleaned is also important because nurses deal with some nasty stuff at times. Also, longevity is key so don’t buy cheap shoes that are unlikely to last the rigorous usage. Choosing something to suit your personality is important; as mentioned previously, we nurses like to express ourselves through our shoes. I am no different and will sometimes find some crazy designed footwear simply for this reason.

Where To Buy Your Shoes?

So where to buy your comfortable, cleanable and supportive nursing shoes which are also good for standing? Well, there is the obvious answer, online. It offers pretty much any shoe you could dream of. They have crocs, clogs, slip-ons, running shoes, and just about any other type of shoe you could ever want. Walmart and Target also offer a wide selection where you could easily find something you might like. There are even specialty stores that offer shoes for nurses to wear, however this is probably the most expensive avenue though.

How Often To Change Your Shoes?

Buying work shoes can be a topic of debate for many nurses. For starters when your clogs or sneakers do not offer you support any more, than it is time to buy new ones. If you do not, then you are setting yourself up to have foot and back pain. If you are on case where something happens where you getting body fluids on your shoes, it is probably time get a new pair.

One time I had a patient who asked me to help him get up. Of course I complied and while helping him, he had an episode of projectile vomiting. The vomit covered my scrubs and clogs. I threw them all away as there was no saving them. While vomit is not the worst thing I have gotten on me, it was a bad enough to warrant some new nursing crocs.


10 Shoes For Standing All Day, Reviewed

KEEN Utility PTC Oxford (Mens)

KEEN Utility PTC OxfordThese dark deep rich glossy black work shoes are composed of imported leather that are designed for comfort as well as anything which involves long periods of standing. The rubber sole is slip resistant shoes that meet and exceed the American Society for Testing and Materials F1667-96 Mark II non slip testing standards. The EVA midsole is made of compression molded materials that offer an unparalleled amount of comfort. The footbed is made of a KEEN memory foam that conforms to the shape of your foot. These Oxfords are also designed to be water resistant and stain resistant to ensure a longer lifespan which translates to you saving money. The makers of these shoes intended that these be one the most comfortable work shoes to grace your feet.

Under Armour Micro G Limitless (Mens)

Under Armour Micro G LimitlessThe extremely bright and hard to miss cross training shoes are made of imported mesh material that come in your choice of seventeen different colors. You are sure to be noticed in the Fuel Green / White / Black style whether at work, using as hip hop shoes, or working out at the gym. The mesh is designed to offer maximum breathability to make sure your feet never get too warm which means the ventilation on these shoes is unlike anything you have ever worn before. The structured seamless upper provides an amazing amount of support without making them too bulky and unwearable. The 4D padded footbed will form to each individual’s foot making sure that every wearer gets a unique experience. These shoes offer an excellent balance of support and comfort meaning when it comes to work or leisure these are a great choice of shoes for standing on your feet all day.

Salomon XR Mission (Womens)

Salomon XR MissionThese vibrant running shoes for women come in five very colorful combinations that are sure to stick out as most nurses like to do. It is made up of synthetic material and offers a slip resistant rubber sole. It is designed to hit the hiking trail as well as withstand the many hours of standing that nurses put in. The breathable mesh material is designed to ensure your feet never get too hot no matter where you are. A foam formed footbed reduces the overall friction whilst the quicklace system ensures that no matter the situation you will always be ready to go. Probably one of the best shoes for standing all day of the 10 on this list, the Conatgrip technology is designed to grip any surface with ease. Shipping weight is a mere 2.2 pounds making it one of the lightest running shoes on the market.

Skechers For Work 76501 Clog (Womens)

Skechers For Work 76501 ClogAnother basic set of closed back clogs that shows that sometimes simpler is better. These Skechers are made from leather and comes in three different color variations being Black, White, and a High Gloss Black. The leather is designed to feature a wood like texture flat form sole with a padded opening to prevent chaffing. The insoles are cushioned and removable while they offer a slip on and easy to clean design which is paramount for nurses. This particular model also offers electrical protection so an added layer of security. With a shock absorbing midsole and a slip resistant technology that meets OSHA standards these are definitely one of the safest nursing shoes on the market.

Nike Flex 2015 RN (Womens)

Nike’s Flex 2015 RNThis mesh imported synthetic running shoe offers great support and protection for those of us who are on their feet all day. The Nike Flex 2015 comes in more color combinations than I could count and I am quite certain that anyone could discover the right design and color for themselves. The upper is comprised of a light weight mesh material that offers breathability, flexibility and featherweight comfort which is almost expected from any Nike running shoes. The midsole is comprised of an adaptive and supportive fit that is formed of a webbing system. The insoles are removable and replaceable if custom orthotics are required by the wearer. Users reported a great deal of support throughout the entirety of the shoe from heel to toe box. Not only are these shoes great for running but also for getting through your 12 hour shift.

Mizuno Wave Inspire 11 (Womens)

Mizuno Wave Inspire 11The Mizuno Wave inspire 11 running shoes for women come in six different color variations and is created of imported synthetic material. These do run small so is recommended that you order a half a size bigger than you normally wear with other brands. Users reported that they seem to fit wider than other brands, so they are a great pair of shoes for wide feet too. The heel measures at approx 1.75” inches while the platform measures at 0.75” inches. Composed of a mesh material on the outer layer offering the required breathability for your feet, the foot is also cleverly guided by a supportive fan that is located in the midsole. This Mizuno is recommended for those who are going to be moving around a lot while on their feet.

Alegria Keli Professional (Womens)

Alegria Keli ProfessionalDefinitely one of the most colorful shoes on the list, not only does the Alegria Keli come in 48 different color combinations it also offers various patterns to choose from. They are made from imported leather offering a slip resistant rubber sole to prevent any slipping and sliding in the workplace. The heel measures at 1.5 inches high while the platform measures at 0.75 inches, so they are not too tall. The insert is a latex and memory foam material offering an extremely comfortable fit. There is also a leather lining for added support. The toe box is one of the largest in the field so great for people with bunions. The Keli also offers a padded instep and a back collar which works to prevent any foot chafing which could lead to a great deal of pain. With a shipping weight of only 2 pounds this is an extremely lightweight shoe that still has plenty more to offer the wearer.

Under Armour UA Micro G Assert 6 (Womens)

Under Armour UA Micro G Assert 6 (Womens)Under Armour has sure come a long way in recent years. One area in particular that they have great improved upon is their womens running shoes. The Micro G is made of imported synthetic material and offers a rubber sole that comes offered in six color variations. The upper portion is created with a light supportive foam that is hidden underneath a layer of breathable mesh material. The mid shoe is a durable leather overlay that locks for stability. Rubber traction covers are placed in strategic high impact locations. Although users did report arch support, some users stated it was not made for those with high arches. The overall lightweight material offers one the lightest running shoes that will ever grace your feet; each shoe only weighs a total of 9.0 ounces which is almost as light as some of the best on the market, meaning those long tiresome shifts on your feet will be less of a drag.

Cherokee AnyWears Exact Clog (Womens)

Cherokee AnyWears Exact ClogThese closed back clogs come designed with female nurses in mind, and offers 12 different color variations so that you can find just the right color to match your personality. It comes with an easy to clean synthetic sole and a heel which is 1.25 inches, while the platform measures 0.5 inches. Not only is it designed to be slipped on with ease, the Cherokee AnyWears has a removable and replaceable insole insert too. The sole is composed of slip resistant tread that is sure to grip even in the wettest of conditions. Socks can and should be worn with these clogs for hygiene and comfort purposes. Overall, whichever your department or profession, they are a great choice for women who require comfortable work shoes for standing all day.

Natural Uniforms – Lightweight Nurse Shoes (Womens)

Natural Uniforms – Lightweight Nurse ShoesCheap nursing shoes at their best, these clogs will get the job done. Composed of synthetic material and comes in two colors, black or white. They offer easy slip-on technology and again please wear socks for the obvious hygienic reasons. Like with most medical shoes, these are also extremely easy to clean and offer waterproof protection, which is a must in the medical profession. Users have reported that these do run small so when thinking about purchasing please keep that in mind. As with most nursing shoes the Natural Uniforms offer a more than adequate arch support to help prevent the likes of collapsed arches or other foot pain from developing. Not a bad choice for the money.


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