Nursing is one of the most important jobs in healthcare all around the world if you ask me. The job is considered one of the most secure, demanding and overall greatest jobs in the healthcare business.
Different hospitals have different shifts, that means there are different schedules for the nurses. One thing that all nurses have in common is longer shifts with minimal breaks. They spend majority of the time walking around the hospital trying to assist as many patients as they can.
Keep in mind that there is no routine day in hospital when you work in healthcare. There is a wide range of tasks and responsibilities everyday and they are continuously prioritizing. This is why it is important for nurses to stay as comfortable as they can so they can work through their shifts effortlessly and end the day without getting some back and feet problems. The long shifts and long hours on your shoes have a way of getting to your feet and to your back.
What is the importance of comfortable nursing shoes?
Hospital floor have one thing in common; they are hard surfaces that are notoriously cold. This, together with the long hours takes a toll on your legs.
This is why it is important that nurses are offered some respite. This can also mean that they have comfortable shoes to work through their shifts. Comfortable nursing shoes are a large contribution to the well being of the nurses.
It is also important that the nurses understand the full importance of having great nursing shoes.
Qualities that make the perfect nursing shoes
- High tech midsoles
- Moisture wicking linings
- Anti-fatigue rock bottoms
- Ample foot and arch support
- Removable components
- Durable and easy to clean
Personal considerations / factors when choosing the right nursing shoe
The fit of the shoe – it is comfortable to wear for a long period of time?
The weight of the shoe – the perfect weight will depend on your strength, weight and working hours.
Your medical history – this includes past and current injuries on your foot
The personal biometrics – this means how your muscular and skeletal systems under the different conditions
The frequency of usage and how many pair of shoes you switch around with during different shifts– If you have multiple pairs to replace during different shifts you can mix cheaply made shoes with more expensive ones.
The qualities of a great nursing shoe
When compiling the characteristics of a great nursing shoe, we have to consider what would work best for a multitude of people. Keeping that in mind, here is a list of things you should look for when picking out your footwear.
Like you normally would, you really need to assess what the shoe is made of. The best nursing shoe should be made of a rubber sole and a leather body. Leather and rubber are well known for their longetivity and better than synthetic counterparts when it comes to comfort and health. Durable material is important because you will be wearing the shoe for quite a long time.
The style of the shoe
Essentially, there are two main types of styles that nurses will use in the hospital. The first is the slip on design and the second is tennis or sneaker design shoes. The differences between these two types of shoes are the laces.
Slip-on shoes (clogs) come with the ease of popping them in and out of your foot. You need not worry about the untied laces or tripping while doing rounds in the hospital.
Laces, on the other hand give you some space to fit the shoe more comfortable. you have the chance to loosen or tighten the laces to your comfort and the shape of the shoe. They are great for people who have swelling feet issues when they work on their feet on.
At the very least, it all depends on which style you prefer. Clogs are uniform wear and famous around most hospitals and sneakers are street shoes which mean they blend in with your outfit even when you are out of work.
Shoes with no slip soles
The chances of going through a wet floor are high, especially when you work in a large hospital. The floors are being cleaned regularly and if you do not have non slip shoes you may suffer injuries.
In a job where your main work is to help the sick and injured, it will not make any sense if you fall on a wet floor and hurt yourself.
This is the reason why the shoes you go with need to have some great traction. It is also why most nursing shoes are made to withstand any kind of slip on all kinds of floors.
A water resistant shoe
The nursing job is not as glamorous as it seems on TV and movies. There is plenty of blood or bodily fluids sloshing around you all through the day. You would not want to wear a pair of shoes soaking in water or fluids you do not even recognize. Even if you have an extra pair in your locker or bag, it will not benefit you in any way if they are not water resistant.
You need a shoe that repels water instead of absorbing it. Rubber and leather shoes are great for you. The only downside with leather is that you have to find a breathable pair to maintain the health of your feet.
Shoes that are easy to clean
Like I stated, you really have idea what will be falling on your shoe throughout the entire day. Also, if you pay a lot for your shoe you would want to maintain and use them for as long as you can. A water resistant shoe should be easy to clean. Nurses find crocs the easiest to clean because they are made of rubber.
This is where all the concepts get very tricky. While you do not want any type of holes in your shoes, you need shoes that will keep your feet healthy. You might want to look for a breathable mesh when you are choosing the running shoes for nursing but they will not do you any favours when it comes to spills.
You need to get a closed shoe, even when it means that your feet will stay cooped up throughout the entire shift. Again, you might want to go for the leather because it is manmade, water resistant and still made or breathable materials.
Comfortable shoes (with room for orthotics)
Averagely, a nurse walks for more than 4 miles in an average 12 hour shift. This is a lot of time on your feet and the reason why you need comfortable shows the whole time. There are two main options when it comes to finding the ultimate comfortable shoe.
The first option is to find a pair of shoes that has a great built in arch support of the insoles are cushioned. The second is to find a pair of shoes that has removable inserts to allow you to customize them with orthotics designs for your feet.
Like human beings, feet come in multiple shapes and sizes. This mean you are better off finding shoes that have removable inserts. Splurging on some fancy orthotics might be beneficial for you because it ensures that your feet remain happy for the entire day and for several years to come.
Find a reasonably priced shoe
Not going to lie; while nurses make a decent salary it does not make them rich. Shelling out 100 dollars for a pair of shoes is a bit too expensive when you have other needs to cater for.
For most people, the more expensive pair of shoes seems to be the greatest ones. But price is an important consideration when you are choosing the right kind of shoe. It is quite understandable to try and find nursing shoes that are cheaper to wear. The one thing common with buying expensive and affordable shoes is you have to inspect the sole to make sure it matches all the standards above.
Again, you have to do so much walking in one day. You need comfortable shoes but they also need to last you longer than just a couple of months. You will need to find a durable pair of shoes; shoes that will last you roughly at least more than a year or two.
When it comes to durability, you need to do plenty of research, here is where the reviews come in. They will help you with the most important information about the durability of the shoe. Thankfully, people who have worn the shoes before tend to leave some reviews about the shoes. You can check how many people were able to wear the shoe for a long time.
The materials come into play when you are thinking about the durability of the shoe. Generally, leather and rubber should last you the longest and you should expect to pay up if you want to get longer lasting shoes.
The weight of the shoe
Apart from the long hours, nurses also spend a good part of their shift or day supporting people, lifting them and helping them get around. This means that you will need an extra lug around weight on you.
Light weight shoes should keep you comfortable and walking comfortable instead of trudging down any hallways. Sneakers are very comfortable and lighter than clogs. They are perfect to walk around din after a heavy shift. If your feet feel heavy between or after a whole shift, you can do the switch up with some comfortable sneakers.
The color of your shoe will depend on the type of institution you work in. in some hospitals; there are strict rules about the color of the shoes. If you practice in a more lenient hospital, you can get away with a few more colors. It means you could find a colorful shoe with multiple patterns.
People looking for plain shoes have it easier because most shoes made for nurses come in solid colors, either black or while. People looking for a fun pattern will need plenty of research to find the right designs. all you have to do is ensure the pattern you go with does not shout too much and is at least matches your scrubs.
How cute is the shoe?
If you are going to wear the shoes on the daily, you should not only like how they feel but also how they look on your feet. A pair of shoes that you like and enjoy wearing can make your day, especially when you are having a hard time with some patients.
What are some of the commonly known worn nursing shoes?
There is no issue when it comes to finding multiple shoe options for nurses to choose form. The shoes can be separated or broken down to different sections depending on the situation and the benefit each shoe has for the nurses.
The requirements for the proper shoe in different healthcare centres may vary based on the location and healthcare centre rules. One thing most centres have in common is that they require the nurses to wear closed shoes and covered heels.
While there are a variety of shoes you can choose from, you should understand that not all shoes are made for nurses and everyone will have a different opinion on which shoe is the best and most comfortable.
Here is a guide on the different types of shoes to help you make an easy choice
Materials that make the perfect nursing shoe
Leather – leather shoes are considered some of the most long lasting shoes for nurses. You only need a soft dry cloth and a specially assigned product to clean them.
Rubber – while rubber is used to make the sole of the shoe, you can find shoes that are made entirely of rubber like the crocs. Rubber is long lasting and arguably easy to clean.
Patent leather – patent leather is associated with dress shoes. It is finished with a high shine treatment that makes them dressy. Patent leather is easy to clean; you only need soap water and damp cloth
Suede – this is no popular choice but perfect for people looking for textured shoes. They are soft and durable but very difficult to clean.
Fabric or canvas – this material is common in athletic and casual shoes. The materials are durable and easy to clean.
Resin – this is some form of plastic, can be hard or soft depending on the type of shoe.
These are very popular in the nursing community. They are very comfortable, have a protective design and an arch/heel support.
Typically, they are made with a closed toe and open back design plus an optional rear strap to keep the clog from slipping off. Most of the manufactures that make clogs design then with a closed/lifted back and they remove the strap for an added protection.
Nursing clogs should also have some slip resistance, waterproof materials, reinforced toe guards, and an arch/supportive heel. Clogs can be made out of leather, suede or resin. Clogs have multiple great aspects that make them a premium choice for most nurses. They offer support, comfort and build in protection.
Generally crocs are made with solid form resin. They feature a closed and vented front air portal with a low level or open heel design. They also come with option rear strap. Commonly, the shoe consists of a single structure or mold of solid resin.
Crocs are built with side or top vents that allow your feet to breath comfortably. Nursing/medical crocks however, are made without the vents so they can offer greater protection against germs and spills.
Crocs are also made of resin- foam material that is flexible and can easily conform to your foot. It is also waterproof. In addition to the comfort they offer, crocs are also known to provide medical benefits. Podiatrists actually recommend crocs to people who have certain medical issues. Crocs are actually very fashionable and will last you a long time.
Tennis of athletic shoes
Athletic shoes provide nurses with a balance between performance and comfort. They are designed to protect feet of people who are always on the move and making contacts with hard surfaces. Hospital surfaces can be easy to clean but are very hard on the feet. Tennis and running shoes are a great option for nurses in this case.
They are designed with shock absorption properties, are lightweight and built for flexibility and comfort. This makes walking around very easy, especially when you work in long periods of time.
You can get ankle support, slip-ons/lace-less entry, memory foam insoles, super grip outer soles and light materials depending on your needs.
They are a great alternative for nurses who do not spend long hours on their shifts. Casual sneakers are designed to be slip-ons and walking shoes. They are comfortable to walk around in the medical centre because they are flat ad have a grippy outer sole that complements a casual walking gait.
While casual shoes are made for walking, they are not comfortable enough to walk travel around in long distances. This means if you work for long periods of time per shift these are not the right shoes for you.
Being a nurse is not a profession meant for the faint hearted. Nurses have to deal with new life, death, long working hours and much more. Nurses are also responsible for assisting the physicians in patient care administration, educating patients and providing advice to family and patients on the medical conditions. The shifts can last up to 12 hours depending on the medical institution. This is why you need to be as comfortable as possible, which is achievable with the right type of shoes.