The Best Shoes for Nurses, According to Nurses (and Podiatrists)

Posted by Orthotics Direct on 2021 Aug 16th

A nurse can face a number of emergency situations on any given day, which often means neglecting their own wellbeing - including their feet. In fact, foot pain and discomfort is an occupational hazard for nurses if they don’t wear the right shoes. That’s why it comes as no surprise that nurses often deal with burdensome foot troubles. But they can avoid them with good footwear. This post will take a look at why nurses need the right footwear and what brands offer the best orthotic solutions.

Why Nurses Need Orthotic-Friendly Shoes

As was mentioned in the intro, nurses are prone to self-neglect, which unfortunately, includes foot problems. If you’re a nurse, you know it’s not your fault - you’re always on the go and attending to patient needs, making it easy to forget about yourself. It’s what makes the profession so noble. But that leaves you open to foot problems, especially if you’re on your feet for double-digit hours and running around in the wrong shoes.

Prevention Against Common Foot Troubles

  • Blisters - Blisters form due to excessive skin friction, especially in shoes with poor cushioning.
  • Bunions - Bunions develop on the underside of the big toe when the big toe joint pushes against the next toe.
  • Heel spurs - A heel spur is a growth of bone at the bottom of the heel that causes pain and other complications.
  • Heel pain - Walking on uneven or hard surfaces (such as hospital floors) can place stress on the heel bone, as well as surrounding nerves and ligaments, causing pain and discomfort. Poor fitting shoes only aggravate this.
  • Ingrown nails - You may have had first-hand experience with ingrown nails, but if not, they’re nails with corners and sides that forcefully dig into the skin, resulting in lots of pain. They can even become infected.
  • Plantar fasciitis - Often the result of heel pain and heel spurs, plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of tissue that runs on the underside of the foot.

It’s safe to assume that you don’t want any of these troubling foot conditions to hinder your work. Some of you may be more prone to some of these conditions due to genetics or injuries. Nevertheless, the best shoes for nurses combined with orthotic solutions can help you avoid them.

Hoka One One

Hoka One One shoes feature some of the best cushioning you can find, making them one of best shoes for nurses. They’re built to withstand all sorts of motion, whether it’s just walking, but also, running and other repetitive foot movements. They also come with supportive EVA midsoles making them a great orthotic solution against plantar fasciitis. One of the best Hoka One One offerings is the Bondi 7 series.


Brooks shoes may fly under the radar but they’re worth trying if you’re looking for nurse-friendly sneakers. Brooks shoes are highly durable and provide comfort for over 12 hours. They’re built to provide foot support even during intense or athletic movements, and can do so for nurses standing on their feet all day. Brooks shoes are especially effective at providing excellent ankle support.


When you think of Adidas sneakers, you probably might picture athletes or musicians (in ad campaigns) wearing them, not nurses. But some Adidas shoes are labelled as being among the best shoes for nurses. One reason is that they provide plenty of ankle support. But an overlooked benefit of Adidas sneakers is their ability to provide traction. That’s a big deal since nurses sometimes have to rush to help a patient (ie. crisis, labour), making slips and falls a risk. With better traction, nurses can run to a patient if they have to without falling.

New Balance

New Balance sneakers are champions when it comes to comfort, and are among the best shoes for nurses. They’re built for it. Some of their most nurse-friendly models contain a super-cushioned base, with foam around the ankle and flexible outsoles to provide foot support for the entire day (or shift). It’s the reason why New Balance sneakers are so popular among nurses, and why you should consider buying a pair asap.


They may not be the first shoe brand to come up in discussions, but Asics are one of the best shoes for nurses in terms of comfort and durability. They’re often praised for providing a high level of comfort even for 12 hours or more, which is ideal for those gruelling shifts. Asics also get recognized for being water/sharp resistant and they’re easy to clean. It also helps that they’re affordable too.

Your Feet Deserve As Much Care As Your Patients Do

As a nurse, your feet are highly valuable and essential to everything you do. Without healthy and comfortable feet, you’ll find it more challenging to meet the demands of your patients and you might end up with foot troubles in the future.

So be kind to them.

Consider buying one of the shoes considered best for nurses, ones that provide lots of cushioning, traction, and foot/ankle support. Also, consider adding custom orthotics to shoes that allow for removable insoles for extra support. You won’t regret making the effort to protect the only two feet you’ve got.

Are you looking for nurse-friendly shoes but feel unsure where you should start? Get in touch with us to help you find the perfect fit!