Key Considerations When Selecting Your Nurse’s Footwear

In this article, we examine how to choose the best shoes for nurses. Probably not the first thing on the mind of a newly qualified nurse, but seasoned nurses understand the difference a great pair of shoes makes to the working day.

Why Is Shoe Choice Important for Nurses?

As a nurse, you are more prone to foot injuries because of your job than most other occupations. You work long hours, walk for miles every day, and sometimes have to stand for long periods of time without a break.

Constant shoe wear, and the physical stress your feet incur in them, can lead to excessive pressure on the feet and toes. You risk foot-related injuries ranging from blisters to plantar fasciitis. One way to prevent such injuries is by wearing the proper shoes that fit well and allow you to be comfortable as you do your job.

Key Considerations for Choosing the Right Nursing Shoes

Don’t underestimate the difficulty of choosing the best footwear for your job as a nurse. There are many factors to consider. Of course, you’ll want your nurse’s shoes to match your uniform and help set a professional appearance. And they must be comfortable to work in, as well as help you stay safe in your job.

Here are the considerations you should make for when you are choosing your next pair of nurse’s shoes.

Slip-Resistant and Water-Resistant

One of the biggest risks you face is slipping and falling on a wet floor. Therefore, you should select shoes that are slip-resistant, and water-resistant to repel all sorts of liquids. These shoes will keep your feet dry and protect them from slip accidents.

Breathable and Cushioned

Long hours spent in the same shoes puts a lot of stress on your feet. A good amount of cushioning will help to absorb this stress. Breathable shoes will help to protect against the sweating that leads to foot odor, fungal conditions, and athlete’s foot.

Room in the Toe Box

Your feet react to the pressure that is placed on them. They change shape during the day, swelling as they get hotter, for example.

One way of ensuring comfort and well-being of your feet is to choose a shoe that allows for foot expansion, especially in the toe area. If you find yourself wanting to remove your shoes toward the end of the day, a lack of expandability could be the reason.

Sharps Resistant

You work in a high-risk environment, in which needles and other sharp objects are part of the everyday risks. Choose shoes that are sharps-resistant to help prevent your feet to exposure to these risks.


Because you are constantly on your feet, you need durable shoes that have good cushioning and protection against hazards to avoid injury or pain during shifts.

The three most important layers of a shoe are a durable upper, strong insole, and supportive midsole. They ensure your shoe can withstand wear and tear of life as a nurse:

  • A well-designed upper will also help you maintain traction on uneven surfaces
  • Strong insoles help you to stay on your feet for long hours
  • The midsole provides support while you are standing and walking

Easy to Clean

You work in an environment in which spills are common. Your shoes are a reflection of your professionalism and the cleanliness of the hospital. They must be clean – but you don’t want to spend hours cleaning them.

You need easy-to-clean shoes. Better still if they are stain-resistant.

Keep Your Feet Healthy in the Best Shoes for You

As a nurse, you have a hard job. You spend most of your time on your feet, and walk a marathon every day!

We purposely haven’t given specific examples of footwear for nurses, because, like you, your feet are unique. Finding the best shoes for you really is a question of taking time to try several (probably many) pairs on, and make sure that they hit all the right notes in the key areas we have discussed in this article. If you’re looking for a good place to start, try Gales®, an easy-to-clean, antimicrobial, and comfortable shoe designed by nurses for nurses.

If you want to work for a nurse agency that is as unique as you are – one that considers your welfare from head to toe – apply to QS Nurses today.