When caring for the sick and injured, it’s important to keep on your toes. During an average 12 hour shift, nurses can walk up to four or five miles. This is a serious workout, even without the lifting, bending, pushing, and carrying that are part of a nurse’s regular duties.
Fatigue is a real problem, especially in a field where attention to detail can mean the difference between life and death. As with any job, having the proper equipment is key to a successful shift, and an essential part is using the best walking shoes for nurses.
Therefore, we have compiled a list of the top shoes available today:
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What to Look for in Nursing Shoes
Nurses’ shoes face a lot of demands, including the usual expectations (comfort, support, durability) and special requirements (ease of cleaning, traction). While it’s important to keep your arches supported and keep pronation under control, nurses work on slippery surfaces and can face any number of messy accidents during a regular shift.
If you invest in a good pair of shoes, it’s important to be able to clean them. Otherwise, you will have to buy a new pair every few weeks for sanitary reasons if not for smell and appearance.
We have reviewed some of the best walking shoes for nurses available in the market today. You can find more information about each pair, including pros and cons, listed below.
Reviews of the Best Walking Shoes for Nurses
Brook’s Women’s Addiction Walker Review
This shoe is available in a full range of sizes with variable widths to provide the perfect fit for any wearer. Although the default design features a basic lacing closure, a v-strap closure is also available for the wearer on the go.
A full grain leather upper eases cleaning while providing durability, and a slip-resistant outsole helps keep wearers stable. MoGo midsole cushioning, designed to help return energy to your feet, keeps you moving. A 90-day guarantee allows you to test the shoes in action and return them if they do not fit your needs.
Click here to see reviews and prices for the Brook’s Women’s Addiction Walker shoes on Amazon.com
The vast majority of former buyers praised the shoe’s level of comfort, although a few did note that the shoe is fairly heavy, and it might not feature enough padding to satisfy all wearers. The shoe is, however, great for those with orthotic inserts, has great arch support, and keeps pronation under control. Despite a few reports of poor traction, a high number of previous customers said the shoe performs well in wet weather, which goes contrary to the complaint about traction.
- 90-day guarantee
- Space for inserts to customize your stride
- Arch support and pronation control
- Fairly easy to clean exterior
- Good in “wet weather”
- Variety of widths available
- Questionable traction
- May not be padded enough for all users
Therafit Kathy Athletic Shoe Review
Although a range of sizes are available, wide widths are not available for half sizes. These shoes are specifically designed for not only walking, but long periods of standing. Cushioned insoles with built-in gel supports are removable for those who need less cushioning or more room for their own inserts or orthotics.
Like all Therafit shoes, these feature the patented 7-layer Personalized Comfort System, which makes it easy to adapt the shoe to your specific needs. The Aegis Microbe Shield treatment helps prevent mold and bacteria from making a home in your shoe, a great feature for nurses who have to constantly worry about sanitation. The shoes feature a leather upper and a slip-resistant rubber outsole.
Click here to see reviews and prices for the Therafit Kathy shoes on Amazon.com
Previous buyers seem to be blown away by the shoes’ comfort. Several users described previous chronic pains from the lower back and foot conditions that have eased or disappeared since they began wearing these shoes. The shoes seem to ease the pain of plantar fasciitis and heel spurs, specifically. The only critique is that the arch support may not be firm enough, which is easily fixed with proper orthotics or other inserts.
- Highly customizable
- Proven to combat foot and lower back pain
- Designed for not only walking but standing
- Fairly easy to clean
- Mold and bacteria resistant
- Slip-resistant outsole
- May not have adequate arch support
New Balance 813 Product Review
Unlike the shoes above, which are designed for women, these shoes are designed for men who work in the nursing field. A leather upper provides relatively easy cleaning and promises good durability. The shoe features ROLLBAR technology in addition to a soft foam midsole. The brand’s new motion control technology also helps control your stride. A stabilizing outsole helps secure and guide your foot through the walking gait cycle.
Click here to see reviews and prices for the New Balance 813 shoes on Amazon.com
Although the majority of previous users found the shoes comfortable, a portion of former users simply could not acclimate to the shoe, no matter how many times they tried to break it in. This shoe will let you know right away whether or not it is the perfect fit. Others said the shoe has good traction in wet weather, which is a must for nurses, who could encounter slippery floors at any time.
- More affordable than some options
- Easy to determine if the shoe works well for you
- Fairly easy to clean
- Stable in wet weather
- Technology helps guide your steps to save you strain and energy
- Does not work well for all customers
- Still fairly pricey
A good shoe is always hard to find, but finding a shoe that can take the kind of strain a nurse goes through on a daily basis is even more difficult. A good shoe, however, can help nurses perform their jobs better and enable them to take less pain home at the end of their shifts.
Since most shoes are tailored specifically for men or women, not all of the shoes listed above will work for every nurse. If you are female and can afford them, the Therafit shoes seem to be the best option. Unfortunately, the brand does not currently appear to make men’s shoes. Brooks, however, does, and that is likely your next best option.