Best Shoes For Nurses 2021: Top 10 For Men and Women

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Lindsay Smith
Last updated at September 14, 2021

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As nurses, we are on our feet for hours at a time. Loooong hours. Foot swelling, throbbing-pinky-toe hours. That's why I've put together this list of the top 10 best shoes for nurses in 2021.

Being on our feet all day is part of the job. In fact, I’m glad to be on my feet instead of at a desk. Nevertheless, I need a pair of shoes that are designed to be comfortable on my feet during long shifts. If you like what you see here, you can also check out my roundups of the best stethoscopes, best NCLEX reviewersbest scrubs, and best compression socks.

Taking care of your feet, legs, and back is important. If not taken seriously, you can end up with severe health issues of your own such as Plantar Fasciitis (i.e. heel pain). 

Plantar Fasciitis results in stabbing pain in your feet that tends to be worse in the mornings. While the pain typically subsides over the course of the day, it almost always returns the next day.

Choosing the right pair of shoes for your shift that gives you proper arch support, is slip resistant, and high quality will give you the foundation you need to tackle your shift with some spring in your step. The market has a ton to offer, so to make it easier I’ve outlined my list of the ten best shoes for nurses.

Editor’s Pick: Dansko Women’s Professional Mule Review

Dansko Women's Professional Black Box Clog 8.5-9 M...
17,589 Reviews
Dansko Women's Professional Black Box Clog 8.5-9 M...
  • Leather and or fabric uppers
  • Padded instep collar for comfort when walking
  • Roomy reinforced toe box for protection with plenty of "wiggle room" for your toes
  • Quality: 4.5/5
  • Comfort: 4.3/5
  • Durability: 4.6/5
  • Style: 4.4/5
  • Amazon Rating: 4.3/5

When I ask my female nurse colleagues “what are the best shoes you recommend?”, most of them answer “Dansko clogs”. Also known as Dansko Mules, the Dansko Clogs are made of 100% tooled leather and have a rubber sole for added comfort and durability.

These shoes also come with a padded insole and roomy toe box that comforts the wearer, cushioning the impact of the heel with the floor. They are easy to clean and look pretty nice too which are both important for medical professionals.

Highlights

  1. These shoes are currently available in sizes 3 – 13. Plus, they also cover all the +0.5 sizes to ensure a snug yet comfortable fit with good support.
  2. The shoes are optimized for stability by integrating PU outsoles to propel your feet forward.
  3. The outsole is further enhanced with a rocker bottom that provides the best shock absorption.

Summary

  1. My female colleagues love this shoe for its design, comfort, and practicality.
  2. Pros: These shoes are available in fifty different colors!
  3. Cons: You won't find all the color options in every size of these shoes.

Runner Up: Calzuro Autoclavable Clog with Upper Ventilation Review

CALZURO Black with Upper Ventilation Holes - 39/40...
821 Reviews
CALZURO Black with Upper Ventilation Holes - 39/40...
  • Italian made: * The bottom of the shoe sole lists UK sizing. US sizing is not marked anywhere on the Calzuro shoes. Please refer to the size chart link or 4th image for the Italian/ US conversions.
  • Anti-static, eco-friendly, latex free, cruelty free & metal free
  • 1.5" heel to reduce fatigue
  • Quality: 4.4/5
  • Comfort: 4.2/5
  • Durability: 4.7/5
  • Style: 4.1/5
  • Amazon Rating: 4.4/5

This pair of shoes is one of the best male nurses can buy. They're made of 100% rubber so durability is never a concern. Calzuro shoes guarantee the build material is anti-static, eco-friendly, and completely latex-free. So, you gentlemen can be confident that your choice of shoes will not harm nature either.

Highlights

  1. These shoes are entirely made in Italy. So, you can be sure about their practical yet trendy design.
  2. They come with slip resistant soles and are, of course, water resistant.
  3. These shoes can be sterilized in the Autoclave or even cleaned in commercial dishwashers.

Summary

  1. Male nurses love these shoes for the comfort they offer.
  2. Pros: Multiple air holes on the top allows the wearer better breathability.
  3. Cons: They're made of rubber, so these shoes may begin to smell after prolonged use.

Best for Back Pain: HOKA ONE ONE Women's Bondi 7 Running Shoe

  • Quality: 4.5/5
  • Comfort: 4.9/5
  • Durability: 4.2/5
  • Style: 4.3/5
  • Amazon Rating: 4.6/5

These Hoka sneakers are designed to provide plenty of support, and that's largely thanks to its special molded footbed. Although these are running shoes, their high-quality design makes them a great shoe for nurses.

“I work long shifts and need comfortable shoes. My Hokas gives me the back support I need from a pair of shoes to avoid back pain,” said Alquanetta Triplet, a nurse friend of mine based in Memphis.

The cushioned design comes in plenty of colors, and men's sizes are also available.

Highlights

  1. Smooth and balanced shoe. Great arch support. Comfortable and breathable.
  2. Meta-Rocker technology designed to provide a smooth gate up and down those halls.
  3. The shoe comes in wide sizes for wide feet.

Summary

  1. These are arguably the best nursing shoes around. Their fan base is loyal and swears by their ability to reduce foot pain and absorb shock.
  2. Pros: Comfortable, good grip, and slip resistant shoes.
  3. Cons: Some say these shoes wear out quickly so make sure you watch your own mileage.

Best Quality: Sketchers Women’s Sure Track Review

Sale
Skechers for Work Women's Sure Track Slip...
5,668 Reviews
Skechers for Work Women's Sure Track Slip...
  • Slip-resistant work shoe with athletic cushion and comfort
  • Stretch top panel. Heel pull-on loop
  • Protective leather toe and heel overlays
  • Quality: 4.5/5
  • Comfort: 4.3/5
  • Durability: 4.3/5
  • Style: 4/5
  • Amazon Rating: 4.2/5

These shoes are one of my personal favorites. They're made of 100% genuine leather, which makes them both stylish and practical.

The design is simple, so you may not like them if you’re looking for something fancier. One drawback of these shoes is that you don’t have a lot of color options. They're only available in Black and White. That said, these are still some of the best shoes for nurses putting in long days.

Highlights

  1. These work shoes come equipped with athletic cushion foam insoles for more comfort.
  2. They even feature a mesh upper for easy slip-on.
  3. The shoe boasts double stitching to provide enhanced durability as well and solid support.

Summary

  1. These shoes are generally considered the best shoes for nurses and are preferred by both male and female nurses. 
  2. Pros: They are available in sizes 5 – 10 for women and 5 – 7 for men.
  3. Cons: Unfortunately, these shoes only come in two colors.

Best Value: Nurse Mates – Women’s Sling Back Review

Nurse Mates Libby White 8 B (M)
425 Reviews
Nurse Mates Libby White 8 B (M)
  • Full-grain leather
  • Manmade insole
  • Slip resistant outsole
  • Quality: 4.1/5
  • Comfort: 4.1/5
  • Durability: 4.3/5
  • Style: 3.7/5
  • Amazon Rating: 4.1/5

These are the most practical nurse shoes in the market. They're made of 100% genuine full-grain leather which gives added durability to these shoes. Moreover, they come with hand-made insoles, which offer a lot more shock absorption than a machine-made insole. This feature is unique and can be found only in this shoe for nurses. 

To top it off, these shoes also boast a slip-resistant outsole that ensures you don’t slip, even if you feel a sudden stabbing pain from being on your feet all day. Not only are they affordable and comfortable, but they also keep you safe — making them some of the best nursing shoes available.

Highlights

  1. These sling back shoes are made with 100% grain leather.
  2. They also have a minimalistic yet practical design appropriate for medical professionals.

Summary

  1. These sling backs are loved for their affordability. Plus, they cover all the sizes between 6 (wide) to 11 to accommodate wide feet.
  2. Pros: The Nurse Mates shoes are a lot cheaper than you think they’d be. They also offer excellent value for the money.
  3. Cons: This shoe does not come in a variety of colors, only white.

Most Expensive: Dansko Men’s Professional Clog Review

Dansko Men's Professional Black Cabrio Clog...
167 Reviews
Dansko Men's Professional Black Cabrio Clog...
  • Leather and or fabric uppers
  • Padded instep collar for comfort when walking
  • Roomy reinforced toe box for protection with plenty of "wiggle room" for your toes
  • Quality: 4.2 /5
  • Comfort: 4.4/5
  • Durability: 4.1/5
  • Style: 4.1/5
  • Amazon Rating: 4.2/5

These are some of the most expensive shoes for nurses you can get your hands on. That's because they're some of the best shoes for nurses. Made of Oiled Leather to offer a more finished look, the finish adds to their durability and makes each shoe easy to clean. 

They boast PU outsoles that propel your feet forward perfectly using the rocker bottom design. You also get wide heel strikes with these shoes that add to your stability and help prevent falls.

Highlights

  1. These shoes boast padded instep collars that provide shock absorption to your heels while walking.
  2. They even have a roomy toe box with reinforcements for comfort and durability for being on your feet all day.
  3. Their PU outsoles add the final element to being one of the best shoes for nurses.

Summary

  1. Nurses love these shoes for the comfort they provide.
  2. Pros: These are available in thirteen colors and twenty-six sizes, including the wide and narrow shoe options.
  3. Cons: They're categorically more expensive than the rest of the shoes mentioned within this list.

Best Seller: Crocs Unisex-Adult Bistro Graphic Clog Review

Sale
Crocs Unisex-Adult Men's and Women's Bistro Clog |...
34,802 Reviews
Crocs Unisex-Adult Men's and Women's Bistro Clog |...
  • CROCS AT WORK: Clogs designed with food service, hospitality, and healthcare workers in mind, making great Nursing Shoes or Chef Shoes. They’re light and supportive enough to get you through even...
  • EASY TO CLEAN & SLIP RESISTANT: Crocs Bistro clogs are easy to clean by just using soap and water and allowing for a quick dry. Crocs Lock slip-resistant treads come together to serve up the best...
  • WHAT SIZE SHOULD I BUY?: These work shoes offer a roomy fit and we recommend ordering a size down to the next largest whole size
  • Quality: 4.4/5
  • Comfort: 4.5/5
  • Durability: 4.7/5
  • Style: 4.6/5
  • Amazon Rating: 4.6/5

Crocs are basic, no fuss, no muss shoes. They are made of 100% Croslite, which is a good material for shoes. They also feature a synthetic sole that lasts way longer than its counterparts. In short, they're your go-to shoes if you're looking for a comfortable, easy to maintain pair of nursing shoes.

Highlights

  1. These Crocs designed to look like professional nursing shoes.
  2. They have slip-resistant outsoles to keep you from slipping accidentally.
  3. They're super easy to maintain and are completely spill-proof.

Summary

  1. People working in healthcare units, kitchens, and even the hospitality industry love them for their practicality and comfort and consider them some of the best nursing shoes.
  2. Pros: They're available in twelve trendy or straightforward color options.
  3. Cons: They might not provide you much breathability due to the lack of any air vents on top.

Best Running Shoe: Brooks Women's Levitate 2

Brooks Women's Levitate 2, Pink/Purple, 6 B
35 Reviews
Brooks Women's Levitate 2, Pink/Purple, 6 B
  • SHOE SIZE: "B" = Medium width
  • FOOT SUPPORT: Ideal for runners with a medium to high arch looking for neutral support.
  • ENERGIZED FEEL: Delivers a responsive and springy ride to add extra lift to your stride without compromising support or speed.
  • Quality: 4.5/5
  • Comfort: 4.8/5
  • Durability: 4.2/5
  • Style: 4.8/5
  • Amazon Rating: 4.5/5

The Brooks Levitate 2 are running sneakers, so they are lightweight, have great arch support, and are some of the best shoes for nurses. They feature a removable cushioned footbed that provides high quality support and also aids in shock absorption.

Highlights

  1. Their design and color patterns make for a more fun pair of nursing shoes.
  2. Because they are running shoes, they are made for miles – aka, long shifts, long hours.
  3. If you happen to be a runner, you can get double the use out of a few different pairs of these running shoes.

Summary

  1. My friends love them for being such a lightweight pair of shoes.
  2. Pros: They come in a variety of colors.
  3. Cons: For those who like more cushion around the ankle of their shoe, this shoe could use more.

Highest Amazon Rating: Alegria Women’s Paloma Flat Review

Sale
Alegria Paloma Womens Mary Jane Shoe Rainbow...
3,810 Reviews
Alegria Paloma Womens Mary Jane Shoe Rainbow...
  • Adjustable hook-and-loop closure
  • Hand stitched
  • Stain resistant upper
  • Quality: 4.5/5
  • Comfort: 4.3/5
  • Durability: 4.2/5
  • Style: 4.8/5
  • Amazon Rating: 4.5/5

If you're looking to spend your day in comfort and style, these have to be your nursing shoes of choice. These shoes come in Patent Leather Suede build that gives them a unique look. Plus, the leather upper and lining and abstract design make them a good choice even after work.

Highlights

  1. These shoes stand out with their unique design patterns.
  2. You can fetch a pair of these shoes in any of the sixty-five designs they come in.
  3. They're versatile to wear and not only limited to your workplace.

Summary

  1. Nurses love these shoes for the style they offer.
  2. Pros: They're available in over sixty different shades and have a comfortable toe box.
  3. Cons: Considering all the design patterns for these shoes, the outsole remains the same in all.

Best for Plantar Fasciitis: Merrell Men’s Encore Gust Slip-On Review

Merrell Men's Encore Gust Slip-On Shoe,Smooth Bug...
2,477 Reviews
Merrell Men's Encore Gust Slip-On Shoe,Smooth Bug...
  • Polished slip-on with supportive sole unit and padded collar
  • Merrell air cushion in the heel absorbs shock. Compression molded EVA footframe for stability and comfort
  • Ortholite footbed
  • Quality: 4.0/5
  • Comfort: 4.0/5
  • Durability: 4.2/5
  • Style: 4.4/5
  • Amazon Rating: 4.4/5

Merrell makes the best shoes for male nurses with plantar fasciitis. These are made up of 100% grain leather and feature an M-select grip sole complemented by an approximately 2″ high heel. So, these fit perfectly and are one of the best nursing shoes for men.

Highlights

  1. These shoes come with a molded nylon arch shank.
  2. They also feature a compression-molded EVA foot frame for more stability and arch support.
  3. The breathable mesh lining in these shoes also helps keep your feet dry.

Summary

  1. Nurses report that they are the best shoes for plantar fasciitis.
  2. Pros: Super comfortable to wear and provide the perfect grip and foot position.
  3. Cons: These shoes are only available in black.

Best for Women: Alegria Women’s Keli Professional Review

Alegria Keli Womens Professional Shoe Bronze Swish...
2,670 Reviews
Alegria Keli Womens Professional Shoe Bronze Swish...
  • Double elastic gores for easy on-and-off
  • Leather upper and lining
  • Stain-resistant upper
  • Quality: 3.8/5
  • Comfort: 4.0/5
  • Durability: 4.2/5
  • Style: 4.8/5
  • Amazon Rating: 4.2/5

Alegria makes some of the most beautiful looking professional nursing shoes. And these are certainly no exception. Considered the best shoes for women, the Keli Pros are easy to take on and off, stain resistant, and slip resistant.

Highlights

These shoes come with a slip resistant polyurethane sole to reduce pressure on the central metatarsal and heel, thereby providing greater comfort.

Summary

  1. Available in thirty different color options. Excellent arch support.
  2. Pros: The best shoes for getting the perfect fit due to being available in multiple sizes.
  3. Cons: You need to take care of these shoes regularly for prolonged wear.

Best for Men: Merrell Men's Jungle Moc Merrell mens Jungle Moc Ac + Pro Shoe Review

Merrell Work Jungle Moc AC + Pro Black 10.5
163 Reviews
Merrell Work Jungle Moc AC + Pro Black 10.5
  • SMART PROTECTION: Waterproof full grain leather upper for comfort and protection
  • SUPERIOR COMFORT: Merrell Air Cushion+ heel to toe comfort in this air-ride system with strategically placed lugs for the ultimate lightweight cushion
  • SLIP RESISTANT: Merrell M Select Pro Grip outsole with increased surface contact for superior grip
  • Quality: 4.1/5
  • Comfort: 4.3/5
  • Durability: 4.2/5
  • Style: 4.4/5
  • Amazon Rating: 4.2/5

Three words, best comfortable shoes. These nursing shoes are built to help nurses stand the entire day without tiring their feet at all. In short, these shoes are a great alternative to the casual shoes you prefer wearing in your work environment and offer good arch support.

Highlights

They feature an EVA couture footbed that comes with added cushioning for enhanced comfort.

Summary

  1. These shoes show off a leather upper for easy clean-up.
  2. Pros: They are slip-resistant and enhanced for superior grip and comfort.
  3. Cons: These shoes are only available in one color.

Nursing Shoes Best Sellers

SaleBestseller No. 1
Crocs Unisex Men's and Women's On The Clock Clog |...
14,727 Reviews
Crocs Unisex Men's and Women's On The Clock Clog |...
  • THE PERFECT WORK CROCS: Do your shoes live up to your career specialty? The Crocs On-The-Clock Work Slip On Clogs are the Crocs work shoes men and women need for long days and nights
  • EASY TO CLEAN: Crocs work clogs are easy to clean by just using soap and water and allowing for a quick dry
  • WHAT SIZE SHOULD I BUY?: These shoes offer a relaxed fit and we recommend ordering a size down to the next largest whole size
SaleBestseller No. 2
Anywear SRANGEL Women's Healthcare Professional...
5,422 Reviews
Anywear SRANGEL Women's Healthcare Professional...
  • NURSING SHOES FOR WOMEN: Ditch your old school heavy clunky clogs for this super lightweight, very cushioned, slip-resistant supportive nursing shoe clog.
  • CUSHION IS KING: High Rebound Injected Molded EVA upper & midsole provides exceptional cushion and shock absorption for your feet all day, every day.
  • STAY SAFE OUTSOLE: Non-Slip bottom gives you the added traction you need.
SaleBestseller No. 3
HKR Womens Walking Shoes Slip On Light Weight Mesh...
  • [STRETCHABLE FABRIC UPPER]: Whether it's naturally breathable materials, technical membranes and meshes or Active Air technology, our shoes help you move more comfortably
  • [EASY ON AND OFF]: Are you tired of just lacing your darn shoes every time? These women's walking shoes feature elastic slip-on closure with a small tab at the backs to help users pull them on
  • [REDUCE HEEL PAIN]: The women's walking shoes with Arch Support insole as well as Memory Foam construction which are a great option for women who suffer from plantar fasciitis, bunions, and other foot...

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