11 Best Shoes for Nurses & Standing All Day 2020, Say Podiatrists

When your profession involves anything from running alongside a gurney to standing for hours in the ER or operating room, the right shoes are a must. Being on your feet all day puts your lower extremities under a lot of stress. So if you’re consistently wearing unsupportive shoes, you could develop achy arches, joint pain, and other uncomfortable problems. Fortunately, there are lots of footwear options perfect for people who stand all day—you just have to know what to look for.

How to shop for the best shoes for nurses

“You now see all kinds of medical professionals on hospital floors wearing running shoes that are designed to stand up to a lot of stress and strain,” says Karen Langone, DPM, a podiatrist based in Southampton, New York. Clogs are also a good choice, says Howard Friedman, DPM, a Suffern, New York-based podiatrist. They tend to have a wide toe box, which helps accommodate feet as they naturally expand throughout the day. This is why you often see surgeons and other health professionals wearing them in the operating room, Freidman says. You also need a shoe that’s durable but also lightweight—after all, you’re probably clocking several miles a day around the hospital. Lastly, shoes with a slip-resistant sole are key, as you never know what messes will come your way.

To help keep pain at bay, Dr. Freidman suggests picking up at least two pairs of supportive sneakers or clogs. (Or one of each!) A shoe’s cushioning becomes completely compressed after six hours or so and no longer offers support, Dr. Friedman cautions. So having two great pairs allows you to change halfway through your shift.

The options below are perfect for nurses and anyone else—retail workers, servers, bank tellers—who spend most of their workdays on their feet.


Dansko Professional Clog


1. Best Overall: Dansko Professional Clog

4.3 out of 5 stars
5,500+ Amazon customer reviews

“I’ve often recommended Dansko clogs or similar clogs to nurses because they are very supportive,” Dr. Friedman says. This classic leather pair—which has a seal of approval from the American Podiatric Medical Association—features a roomy toe box, a comfy platform, and an antimicrobial lining to ward off odor after all-day wear. A reviewer writes: “I’ve worked in nursing for over 20 years. I was so thankful when I found these clogs over 15 years ago. I have multiple pairs. I have a high arch and narrow feet. It’s like these shoes were made for me!”


Naturalizer Marianne Slip On Sneaker

2. Best Value: Naturalizer Marianne Slip On Sneaker

4.3 out of 5 stars
1,000+ Amazon customer reviews

With three different width options, Naturalizer’s comfy shoes are designed for people on their feet all day. This pair features a contoured, dual-dense footbed that provides support to the arches and heels. Plus, it features a cooling lining to keep your feet dry. “I love these shoes,” one Amazon customer says. “I specifically wear them when I know I’m going to be on my feet all day. I have a really high arch and they give nice support while still being cushioned.”


3. Best Sneaker: Nike Tanjun Sneaker

4.5 out of 5 stars
3,500+ Amazon customer reviews

These timeless sneakers have a traditional black exterior, which can withstand lots of scuffing, and that iconic swoosh on the sides. People love the comfortable, roomy toe box and a thick sole that’s made to support your feet for hours. An Amazon reviewer says: “Amazingly comfortable shoes. I now own three in different colors. I work 12-hour shifts on my feet, and have never had issues from lack of support. Best work/ workout/ DisneyWorld walking shoes there is!”


Brooks Ghost 12 Running Shoe



4. Best Sneaker Runner-up: Brooks Ghost 12 Shoe

4.7 out of 5 stars
2,800+ Amazon customer reviews

When you’re a nurse, you want a shoe that can withstand the rigors of a marathon, Dr. Langone says. Brooks is known for its quality running shoes, and the Ghost 12s are no exception. They’re described in terms typically reserved for luxury cars: plush, with a smooth ride. One reviewer raves: “If you are in need of a soft, pillowy neutral shoe, these are it! If you have heel pain these shoes are the bomb diggity. Soft, supportive and just right.”


Sure Track Trickel Slip Resistant Shoes


5. Best Traction: Skechers Work Sure Track Trickel Slip-Resistant Shoe

4.4 out of 5 stars
3,000+ Amazon customer reviews

Skechers garner high praise from online reviewers for their comfort and durability during long work days. They’re also water-resistant with memory foam insoles and non-slip rubber bottoms. One Amazon reviewer who is on her feet for 10+ hours a day says: “I bought these shoes as the best I could afford with slight the hope that they would help. To my pleasant surprise, I was able to work on them for 10.5 hours the first day and no swelling.”


Dove Lites Slip-On Nursing Shoes

Nurse Mates


6. Best Slip-ons: Nurse Mates Dove Shoe

4 out of 5 stars
750+ Amazon customer reviews

This line was explicitly designed with nurses in mind. The lightweight rubber soles will keep you from slipping on slick hospital floors, while the steel shanks on the sides of the shoes provide extra stability. But that’s not all! These slip-ons also feature a stain-resistant finish—perfect for when things get messy. “You need a shoe that doesn’t allow blood and bodily fluids to penetrate,” Dr. Langone says.


Nike Revolution 5 Running Shoe

7. Most Stylish: Nike Revolution 5 Shoe

4.6 out of 5 stars
940+ Amazon customer reviews

These Nike sneakers have style and stamina. They feature a soft foam cushion, a breathable mesh upper and lining, and a flexible rubber outsole that have a decent amount of traction. They also come in more than 10 exciting designs. One happy reviewer said: “These are my holy grail shoe! I have large, extremely wide feet and I am an underpronater. I ordered these on a whim, and holy crap I need more. They help me walk/run more correctly too which is awesome!”


Birdies The Starling Flats



8. Best Flats: Birdies The Starling Shoe

5 out of 5 stars
640+ Birdies customer reviews

These incredibly cute flats have all the makings of a great shoe that can stand the test of time with a seven-layer footbed design for ample shock absorption and comfort. While most flats have little to no support, these feature memory foam cushioning and also provide extensive arch and heel support while looking stylish as ever, making it ideal for hours at the hospital. “Comfort is so huge when working a full shift in the clinic, and these are the absolute best!” one customer writes. Another reviewer who is always on her feet at work says, “They did not let me down. After one day of breaking in, it is like I have worn them forever. Love them.”


Professional Oil Textured Clog



9. Sanita Professional Texture Oil Clog

4 out of 5 stars
200+ Zappos customer reviews

Thanks to their durable leather frame, these clogs are ready for anything. If you tend to have achy arches after a long day, the American Podiatric Medical Association recommends these kicks because of their top-notch arch support. One Zappos customer writes: “Love these shoes! I’m an RN and they are perfect for my long hours. My feet don’t hurt. I really like how they are less bulky than Danskos so my feet don’t look huge. Also the arch support is perfect for my feet—not too high or too low.”


Birkenstock Boston Soft Footbed Clog



10. Birkenstock Boston Soft Footbed Clog

4.5 out of 5 stars
640+ Amazon customer reviews

You can wear these clogs from the OR to the street. Birkenstock’s famous footbeds mold to your feet over time, providing customized support. These shoes also have a sturdy rubber sole that offers traction on a variety of surfaces. One Amazon customer says she only wears Birkenstocks with the soft footbed to appease her plantar fasciitis and “never looked back.” She raves: “I’m a nurse of 40 years in surgery, so I run around a lot and these have saved me. The soft footbed gives enough cushion on hard floors and enough arch support for me.”


Avery Pro Metallic



11. Vionic Avery Pro Slip-ons

4.5 out of 5 stars
20+ Vionic customer reviews

If you’re looking for something a little dressier to wear on special days (you don’t want bodily fluids near these), give this pair try. Lightweight and supportive, these leather slip-ons have a durable, slip-resistant outsole and supportive cushioning on the inside that conforms to your feet. A Vionic customer writes: “Perfect shoe for a nurse! Was concerned about the heel being a bit tight initially, but they are perfect now that I’ve worn them for a couple days.”

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