When it comes to healthcare and hospitals, doctors usually get all the glory. While their jobs are quite tough and require years of extensive schooling and training, nurses are truly the unsung heroes of the hospital. They spend much more time with the patients than doctors, always checking on them and making sure they are comfortable.
All of this checking in on patients means that nurses are almost constantly on their feet, rarely getting the chance to sit down, even while doing paperwork. Since many healthcare workers take on long and even double shifts, this could mean spending 12 hours or more a day on their feet. Needless to say, this is very taxing on the feet, which is why healthcare professionals need the utmost in comfort and support from their shoes. That’s why it’s important to take your time finding the best shoes for nurses in 2017.
Best Nursing Shoes for Women in 2017
Best Nursing Shoes for Men in 2017
Cushioning is key when it comes to picking out nursing shoes. However, the amount and location of the cushioning is what you should concentrate on when deciding which footwear to purchase. Not all padded shoes are created equal, so not all of them will provide the right support, or support the areas that need it the most.
Shoes that are too tight will make your feet throb, and could even cut off the circulation to your feet, which is dangerous. Shoes that are too loose could slip off while you are walking, causing you to trip and possibly injure yourself. Avoid all of this by finding the proper size.
One of the most overlooked aspects of buying shoes is the width. While a standard ‘C’ size, or medium width, is often purchased, you may actually need a narrow or wide shoe instead. In fact, some people buy a shoe size larger than they need to compensate for the width, which could cause discomfort or even injury.
If you are not sure what width your feet are, have them measured professionally. Many shoe and department stores offer this service. They have special devices that not only measure the length and shoe size of each foot, but the width as well. You may be amazed to find that you have been wearing the wrong size all these years. Many stores provide this service free of charge, but ask about any fees before measuring, just in case.
The arch of your feet have lots of tendons that help it flex and bend with ease, which facilitates your walking. Failure to support this area properly could put undue stress on the tendons, which causes you to change your gait or even limp. This in turn could lead to other, more serious injuries if it continues. The easiest way to avoid all this pain and potential injury is to get shoes that properly support your arches.
You should also keep in mind the size of the arch of your feet, since no two people’s feet are exactly alike. For example, if you have high arches, then you should look for shoes that specifically support a high arch, or your feet will likely ache by the end of the day. If you have low arches or flat feet, then buy shoes with little to no arch support instead.
The arches aren’t the only part of your foot that deserve special attention. The heels are equally important, as they help provide some of the flexibility and motion needed to walk.
There are two main things to look out for when it comes to your heels. First, the shoe should cradle the heel. If you find that your heel slips in and out of the shoe or slides back and forth, then it is not being supported enough. Failure to properly support the heel could lead to ankle injuries, which are not only painful, but may require you to stay off your feet for several days.
The other thing to look for is whether the shoes into the back of the heel or not. If the back of the shoe is too high, it can cause cuts, abrasions, or even blisters on the back of the heel, which are very painful.
Another thing to look out for is flexibility. The constant bending of the foot as you walk means that stiff shoes will hurt your feet, while also forcing you to exert more energy bending them with each step. The result is that your feet will not only hurt, but you’ll feel tired much quicker, making those last hours of a long shift agony. Shoes should not impede on the actual bending and flexing while your feet are in motion. There are many shoes that are supportive while still not being overly stiff. Many people need to ‘break in’ new shoes, but if you buy ones that are not stiff in the first place, there will be no need for breaking in your shoes.
Soles and Grip
The bottom of a good pair of nursing shoes should have lots of grip. Hospitals take great pains to ensure their floors are always clean and dry, but accidents and spills still happen frequently. These accidents become a potential hazard if your shoes have slippery soles. Good soles grip the floor so that you never slip, no matter what the floor conditions are.
Also remember that you will also be wearing these shoes outside when walking from your car to the building, so the soles should give you all-weather grip. Even though it may be a short walk from your car, your shoes should still be safe to wear under any weather conditions, even rain or snow.
The soles should also have lots of tread. You walk constantly as a nurse, which means the soles will wear down over time. Cheaply-made shoes with a thin sole will wear down the fastest, which means they need constant replacing. Opt instead for thicker soles that will take months or even years to wear down. They may cost more up front, but in the end they will be more cost effective than cheaper shoes that need more frequent replacement.
Yes, even the weight of the shoes must be considered before purchase. Some shoes that have thick soles are also inexplicably heavy. While this may not seem like a big deal, over thousands of daily steps it could become an issue. Heavy shoes can cause leg muscles to fatigue faster, which makes getting through your day that much harder. Look for lightweight shoes that still have all of the features you need to avoid muscle fatigue.
For years, nurses have turned to clogs as their everyday shoe. Several brands make shoes specifically for nurses or jobs where people are constantly standing and walking. One of the biggest reasons why this is a nursing standard is that clogs tend to have thick soles. As previously mentioned, thick soles wear down slower, so your shoes will last much longer.
These thick soles usually have phenomenal grip as well, even under wet conditions due to a spill. They are also usually padded well inside, which means they provide both comfort and safety, two things nurses need in spades from their shoes.
One of the best features of clogs is that they allow you to simply slip into your shoes. This means you do not have to sit down and tie or untie laces or knots. You can just slip into a pair of clogs while still standing, which is very convenient and helps cut down on your total dressing time. This is why clogs are some of the best shoes for nurses in 2017.
You have likely worn sneakers since you were a child, so you are already familiar with how they work. The great grip of the soles and ample cushioning inside combine to give lots of support and comfort for demanding jobs.
In fact, sneakers often have lots of high-tech padding and foam that really cradle the foot like nothing else. Decades of research with athletes has helped these manufacturers come up with lots of shoe technology that benefits athletes as well as nurses or anyone else who is constantly walking or running each day. The result is some of the best shoes for nurses in 2017.
Slip-Ons vs Laces
Slip-on shoes are faster to put on than their lace-up contemporaries, but there are some advantages to laces. Shoes with laces allow you to tighten or loosen your shoes as the day progresses to help support them properly. If your feet tend to swell as the day goes on, this could be important, since you can just loosen the laces to compensate for the swelling.
Some sneaker companies do make slip-on versions of their popular shoes. Look out for these if you really want the convenience of slip-ons but don’t wish to buy clogs.
Styles and Colors
Many of these shoes come in a wide variety of colors, patterns and styles to suit your needs. This is fun because it allows you express a little bit of individuality when you pick shoes that reflect your personality.
Though wearing a pair of bright fuchsia shoes is a lot of fun, you also want to be sure you are not violating your dress code should your employer have one. Some hospitals only want a particular color, or only allow solid colors instead of patterns. Check out your employee handbook or manual before buying. If there are no shoe guidelines, then go ahead and buy those purple sneakers and have a little fun at work.
There are thankfully many shoes on the market that are appropriate for the daily wear and tear that nurses put their footwear through. All you need to do is decide which features are most important and find shoes that meet those needs.
Remember that you may save money in the short term by buying a less expensive pair of shoes. But in the long run, you will pay more because cheaper footwear generally need replacing more frequently, the cost of which really adds up. Buy the best, highest-quality pair that your current budget allows. As you make your budgets moving forward, put a little bit of money away each month to save up for your next pair, that way you always have enough to get the highest-quality shoes when the times comes for a new pair.
Also remember that you may be wearing the wrong shoe size or width. Have your feet professionally measured and only buy that size and width moving forward. This will make it infinitely easier to find shoes that not only fit properly, but will help you perform your job better. Ill-fitting shoes can cause injuries and missed work days. Not only is this hard on you, but it could put your employer and even your patients in a bind as well. Your employer will have to scramble to find a replacement for your shifts, and your patients will have to deal with a different nurse whom they are unfamiliar with.
One of the best ways to take care of your patients is to take care of yourself, so that you do not get injured and can serve them better. When people think about caring for themselves, they generally think of a healthy diet and exercise. They rarely think about their shoes. But your feet are one of your most important assets as a nurse, so you must take care of them as you would the rest of your body.
In addition to looking after the health of your feet, you should also pamper them once in awhile. Give yourself a weekly pedicure, or splurge once in awhile and go to a salon or spa to have someone else give you one. Your feet will feel silky smooth, and you will get to relax after long day on your feet in your supportive, comfortable shoes.