If you’ve ever purchased a bad pair of shoes than you know what a pain it can be both figuratively and literally.
Nursing shoes come in a wide variety of styles, shapes and designs, so it isn’t always easy to figure out which ones are the best to buy.
In addition to that each shoe functions differently and can impact how they feel and function throughout your work day adding to the stress and confusion of choosing a good shoe.
To make your search for the perfect nursing shoe easier we’ve put together a list of some of the most important factors you should consider when buying your nursing shoes.
Things you should consider:
- Weight and Comfort
- Support and stability
- Slip Resistance
- Design and shape
- Work function
- Price and warranty
Each of these factors is important and if you are having a negative experience in any of these areas with your current nursing shoes you should consider getting some new ones that address these issues.
So let’s get to these factors in greater detail!
Weight & Comfort
Since you’ll be wearing your shoes on a daily basis the weight of the show is very important.
Heavy and/or clunky shoes can have a huge impact on your overall comfort level and affect your mood throughout the day.
If you’re wearing nursing shoes that agitate you chances are it will show in your performance and how you feel at work, so make sure your shoes are ultra comfortable or at least don’t cause abnormal discomfort.
If you spend most of your time working at a desk then you may be able to get away with heavier shoes, however if you’re constantly on your feet consider choosing some lightweight nursing shoes or get a separate pair for when you do have to spend a lot of time on your feet.
Support & Stability
Because nurses often work long shifts having a shoe with good support and stability is extremely important for both health and comfort reasons.
The shoe should offer excellent ankle and back support during your work shift and reduce or eliminate back, foot and leg pain, otherwise you could run into back and leg issues in the future.
Factors such as the shoes heel height, shape, construction/design and material can have a huge impact on how it performs in this category, so consider these factors when choosing your nursing shoes and don’t be afraid to try different combination out (i.e. heel height, shape, material etc..) to find the shoe that works best for your needs.
Supportive shoes are not only comfortable may just save your back, literally.
It goes without saying that slip resistance should be a main factor in nursing shoes, especially if you work in an environment where there are opportunities for liquids to make contact with the ground.
If you’re looking for added protection there are a number of companies that sell shoe grips that you can purchase separately, however it is still recommended that the shoe itself has good slip resistance regardless of any additional anti-slip fit on’s or other shoe accessories.
Design & shape
Nursing shoes come in a variety of designs and shapes that can accommodate many different types of feet and medical conditions.
Some of the most commonly worn shoes in the nursing community include crocs, clogs, athletic sneakers and tennis shoes or running shoes.
Each shoe has its own advantages and disadvantages depending on your feet, medical condition and work surface.
It may be a good idea to ask your coworkers how they feel about the shoes they are wearing to get a sense of which shoes may be best for you, especially among individuals who wear different types of shoes.
You can also ask a podiatrist (foot doctor) what shoe is best for you based on your foot type (flat feet, normal or high arched) and any other factors that may contribute to your shoe type.
Depending on the healthcare facility you work for some employers may restrict the use of certain shoes based on their policy or safety concerns, so check with your job before investing in a pair of nursing shoes.
And lastly, if you have to choose between trendy and stylish nursing shoes or nursing shoes that look good, but aren’t comfortable or basic looking shoes will keep your feet happy and healthy go with the ones that help you maintain your health and ultimately keep your stress to a minimum. Your feet, legs and back will thank you for it.
As mentioned earlier you should choose a shoe or two that take into consideration your daily work functions.
- Are you standing or seated throughout the day?
- Are you frequently lifting heavy object?
- Do you have a specific medical condition?
Again, speaking with a good podiatrist can help you determine the best shoe for your needs and save you both money and health concerns later down the road.
Some nurses will bring two different types of nursing shoes to work with them and switch them depending on the task they are performing.
When seating for extended periods of time they may wear soft comfortable shoes, however when they have to get up and move around they may choose shoes that offer more protection and slip resistance.
Base your decisions on your work function and when in doubt try to different shoes out.
Price & warranty
Without getting to into the price and warranty the cost of a nursing shoe can be highly influenced by the shoes material, design/construction, features and brand.
While higher priced shoes may offer some benefits you should consider whether or not the shoe cost more simply because of its name brand.
Don’t be afraid to spend a little more money on a shoe that does offer great benefits, assuming the shoe will be better for your foot/back health and potentially save you money down the line.
In fact a high quality nursing shoe can last you 2x or more and may actually be cheaper than having to buy two shoes due to a lack of quality or durability.
Nursing shoes that offer a limited and/or lifetime warranty/satisfaction guarantee may also be a buying factor as you may be able to return, replace or refund your shoes if they don’t perform well, plus it can be a good sign that the company stands by its product.