Shoes play an extremely important role in a nurses work life and having the right pair of shoes can save a nurse from discomfort and potential foot/back pain.
Tennis and athletic shoes have become an excellent choice for nurses that want to have comfortable footwear without having to wear clogs or typical nursing shoes due to their strong build material, foot/leg support, shock absorption and overall comfort and feel.
If you’re reading this article chances are you’re looking for an athletic shoe to provide you with excellent foot/back support and comfort, so in order to make it easier for you to find a quality tennis/athletic shoe we’ve put together our list of the 10 best shoes for female nurses who need a quality work/exercise shoe.
1. K-Swiss Women’s Grancourt II Tennis Shoe
K-Swiss offers an excellent all around tennis shoe with their Women’s Grancourt II Tennis Shoe. This shoe weighs in at a light 11 ounces (size 8), has a rubber sole for excellent traction/grip and a padded tongue and collar for extra comfort.
For nurses looking for an all white tennis shoe this may be a great choice for you, however it also comes with bachelor button III and Silver accent options. Because of its atheistic build you can feel free to use this shoe on the tennis court on your days off and at work during long shifts.
2. Keds Women’s Spirit Leather Sneaker
If you looking for a sneaker that isn’t as athletic as the first two choices but still holds up well to lot’s of walking and usage then Keds has an excellent sneaker that will fit your needs. Keds Women’s Spirit Leather Sneaker is a nicely designed laid back sneaker built with MicroStretch technology that forms a comfortable fit around you foot.
The collar and footbed are padded for additional comfort and the rubber sole allows for good flexibility. This shoe comes in white, stone and black colors to match your style and situation.
3. ASICS Women’s Gel-Game Point Tennis Shoe
ASICS Women’s Gel-Game Point Tennis Shoe is a simple, yet functional tennis shoe that is designed with leather/synthetic materials and a solid rubber out-sole.
As the name suggests this shoe is designed with a Rearfoot GEL Cushioning System that helps absorb and attenuate shock as your foot makes contact with a hard surface such as a tennis court or hard work floor. It comes in a white/silver/white combination and is a great shoe for both authentic activities and work.
4. Skechers Women’s Go Walk Slip-On
Skechers Women’s Go Walk Slip-On is a lightweight laceless recovery shoe that is both stylish and functional. This slip-on has a simple design that makes it easy to put on/take off with a rear heel pull lightweight resalyte cushioning that makes walking in them a breeze.
While they may not be used as actively as some of the other shoes listed here they do a good job of traversing different types of terrain and are an excellent choice for walking and spending long days on your feet. Skechers Women’s Go Walk Slip-On comes in a variety of colors as well as black and white for healthcare centers that prefer solid colors.
5. ASICS Women’s Gel Upcourt Volleyball Shoe
ASICS Women’s Gel Upcourt Volleyball Shoe is another GEL Cushioning System shoe that combines comfort with an athletic design.
Because these shoes are designed for volleyball players they are made out of lightweight, shock absorbing, synthetic materials that ensure easy movement with minimal weight and maximal impact absorption. ASICS Women’s Gel Upcourt Volleyball Shoe comes in White/Raspberry/Silver (as pictured above), Black/Silver and Violet/Orange/Silver colors.
6. Easy Spirit Women’s Romy Walking Shoe
Easy Spirit Women’t Romy Walking Shoe is another excellent walking shoe that provides all day comfort and support.
The thickly padded lining, collar, insole and cushioned foam sock-liner help absorb shock whether your working out in the gym or running back and forth at work, and the rubber tread helps prevent the wearer from slipping on various surfaces.
This roomy walking shoe comes in black and white as well is in a number of accent color such as pink, blue and fuscha.
7. PUMA Women’s Tazon 5 Cross-Training Shoe
PUMA is a popular brand among the athletic crowd and are known for their durable, supportive training/exercise shoes. PUMA Women’s Tazon 5 Cross-Training Shoe has lot’s of technology built into it to ensure that you can put it through the paces without ruining the shoe or your foot.
T-toe construction, a high-rebound EcoOrthoLite sockliner, cushioned foam midsole and fit-enhancing midfoot saddle overlay make this an ideal shoe for both work and play. These shoes come in white with a variety of accent colors as well as in blue and black with accents.
8. New Balance Women’s WX623v2 Cross Training Shoe
New Balance Women’s Cross Training Shoe is another top contender in our list due to its design, materials, athletic performance and most importantly comfort.
This shoe sports IMEVA midsole cushions ABZORB heel and forefoot cushioning, and supports Internal stability shank for excellent all around protection and support. New Balance Women’s Cross Training Shoe comes in white, tan and black colors.
9. PUMA Women’s Cell Riaze Cross-Training Shoe
Last but definitely not least is the PUMA Women’s Cell Riaze Cross-Training Shoe which is designed with a breathable mesh to keep your feet cool and a multi-functional design that’s great for exercise, playing sports or walking.
To assist with walking or cross-training this shoe has a cushioned midsole to provide optimum comfort and has an additional cushioning unit at the heel along with a gripped rubber out-sole for slip protection. This shoe comes in black, white, gray and pink with a variety of accent colors.
10. New Balance Women’s WX608V4 Training Shoe
New Balance is known for their high quality walking and athletic shoes and this training shoe is no exception. New Balance Women’s Training Shoe is made with textile and synthetic materials with an ABZORB heel and internal shank for stability and comfort.
It comes in white/navy and solid black for nurses that require a solid color shoe for work or play. Whether you’re at a healthcare facility taking care of patients or playing an athletic sport this is an excellent shoe for both occasions.
10 Tips to consider when buying shoes
In order to get the most out of your buying decision when purchasing a pair of nursing shoes there are a number of important things to consider.
Here are our top 10 tips that can help you make the best decision regarding which shoes to buy and how to improve/maintain your health in the process.
1) Determine your needs
When you begin searching for the perfect pair of nursing shoes it is important to determine your needs and identify what the shoe offers in terms of specific benefits.
For example a good tennis shoe is designed to be able to traverse hard flat surfaces easily and comfortable, however hiking shoes are designed to deal with more diverse and uneven surfaces.
Don’t try to make your shoes multitask when they are designed specifically for a particular use or surface.
When buying nursing shoes you’ll want a shoe that is comfortable and well suited to flat, hard and sometimes slippery floors.
If however you work as part of an EMT team or flight nurse crew you’ll want to consider the type of terrain you’ll be dealing with on a daily basis and choose shoes that will work well with that environment.
2) Measure your foot size in advance
Prior to buying a new pair of shoes it may be a good idea to measure your feet as your shoe size can change over time.
As you age the structure, size and position of your feet and bones may change causing your foot size to alter, which leads to you requiring new shoes that fit the size of your current feet.
In some cases if you have another pair of new shoes you can use them as a template for determining what shoe size you should buy when deciding on your tennis shoes, however if the shoes you are comparing are very different or are older and have been worn for a long time consider using a professional foot measurement tool to get an accurate measurement.
3) Determine your foot arch ahead of time
Understanding whether you have flat feet, arched feet or normal arches can save you a lot of pain and frustration in the long run as different arches will react different to particular shoes based on their design and arch support.
If you purchase a shoe that you really like, but feel the arch support isn’t well developed for your type of foot consider purchasing supportive insoles or trade those shoes in for a pair that is better suited to your feet in order to avoid potential foot, joint and/or back pain in the future.
4) Skip unnecessary bells and whistles
When it comes to buying shoes there are a number of different features and benefits or bells and whistles that are often touted as reasons to buy a particular brand/pair of shoes, however in many cases the majority of extra features won’t improve the way the shoe performs, at least not for most nurses.
Some of the most important things you can consider when buying a pair of shoes include the shoes weight, comfort, design and shape, arch and ankle support, slip resistance and protectiveness against potential work hazards.
Buying a shoe because it promises to make you a faster runner or jump higher isn’t really necessary as a nurse, especially if these extra bells and whistles come with a higher price tag.
5) Choose function over design if necessary
If you have to decide between two shoes based on their design/looks or function go with the one that is more functional for your needs as you’ll be spending a lot of time walking around and standing in them.
While the nicer design may attract your attention it is important to remember that comfort and support often triumph over looks when it comes to nursing shoes and the potential back and foot pain you save yourself from over the long run will be well worth it.
On the flip side if you can find an excellent shoe that offers both function and design style go for it and if you have to choose function over design go with a neutral color that blends in well with your uniform rather than one that stands out and draws attention to your feet.
Neutral colors can be your friend, besides you can always dress yourself up with a nice scrub top and pants if you’re really into fashion, just don’t sacrifice your feet for fashion.
6) Buy based on quality not price
Buying based on quality not price simply means choose the shoes that offer the best benefits for your needs instead of the ones that are the least expensive.
Price alone does not determine the best shoes, but you don’t choose shoes that sacrifice quality in order to save a few dollars.
When a maker/manufacturer offers shoes at a very low price there is a good chance that the shoes material and even its construction are made using lower quality goods in order to make up for the difference in price.
Over time your feet and back will thank you for choosing a shoe that is made of high quality material and construction over one that is more cost sensitive, but also lower in quality.
7) Replace your old shoes when the time comes
We all have our favorite pair of shoes that we love and never want to throw out.
While hanging on to them may seem like a good idea it can eventually become rough on your feet.
As a nurse you spend countless hours walking around, moving from room to room and standing on your feet, and despite how much you love your shoes they can become worn out, the soles can thin and break, and durability can wane leading to a shoe that is substantially less beneficial to your foot health.
If you just can’t see yourself throwing out your shoes consider buying a second pair of quality shoes and use your favorite shoes more sparingly to maximize the quality of your foot health.
8) Invest in a second pair of shoes
As we just mentioned investing in a second pair of shoes is a great option when you have a pair that you love, but just don’t want to give up.
However, buying a second pair of shoes goes well beyond simply helping you break the habit of wearing your favorite, old shoes.
Owning an extra set of shoes can also be a great way to alter how your feet make contact with the ground and change the way your feet feel throughout the day.
Some nurses have mentioned that buying an extra pair of shoes allows them to be as comfortable as possible while at work.
When sitting at a desk or working in an isolated area switching to another pair of shoes that are more comfortable can make work more pleasant and reduce foot stress during the shift while switching to shoes appropriate for constantly walking on a hard and potentially slippery surface allows the nurse to remain safe and well supported when necessary.
So if you haven’t previously thought about investing in an extra pair of shoes before, now is a great time to think about how your day is structured and buy a second pair that will properly accommodate you throughout your long day.
9) Consult a podiatrist or foot specialist
If you find yourself having a difficult time finding a pair of shoes that suit you well or you are suffering from foot or back pain consider seeing a podiatrist or foot specialist that can help you identify the issue and purchase a pair of shoes that are suitable for your needs.
A good podiatrist will be able to measure your foot properly based on its size, shape and arch to ensure you find a proper shoe and can take into account any existing medical conditions or concerns you may have to help you recover from existing medical issues or physical pain.
If you have any symptoms or issues potentially related to your back or lower body it may benefit you to see a podiatrist as soon as possible to prevent furthering your condition, which can ultimately save you money and pain in the long run.
10) Shoe accessories
Lastly, consider looking into buying some accessories for your shoes based on your needs such as insoles, therapy wraps, compression socks, shoe trees and cleaners as these products can help improve your comfort and support as well as keep your shoes clean and pristine.
The better you take care of your feet and your shoes the better off you’ll be when working long, arduous shifts.
Narrowing down your shoe choices
Sometimes choosing a shoe isn’t a question of which benefits one offers over another, especially when you have several comparable shoes that seem to provide the same level of comfort and utility.
In these cases narrowing down your choices may come down to reading reviews, asking your coworkers about their personal choices and seeing if your healthcare facility has any particular shoe recommendations based on their experienced and policies.
To help you narrow down your choices once you’ve found several shoes you like here are some additional steps you can take to simplify the process.
Read online reviews
Online eCommerce sites such as Amazon, Zappos and others offer valuable user reviews from others who have purchased tennis shoes that likely fit what you’re looking for.
By reading the reviews submitted by others you can learn a lot about the shoes you’re thinking about buying such as the shoes size accuracy, fit, arch support, comfort and durability, which are all very important factors in a quality shoe.
Learning the ins and outs of each shoe will help you determine which one is best for you and help you identify potential issues you may not have thought about prior to your purchase.
In many cases a good review can make or break a shoe choice and you may never know about certain important aspects unless you take the time to sit down and read the reviews.
A handful of good reviews can save you from making an uninformed choice and potentially save your feet / back from unnecessary pain.
Aside from reading reviews you can also ask popular nursing forums such as those on AllNurses.com for additional help and valuable insight.
Get advise from coworkers
Coworkers can be some of the most valuable and informative people to go to when looking for quality nursing shoes, especially nurses who have a similar foot structure and (if applicable) medical conditions.
Experienced nurses who have worked for years in the field have likely tried and worn numerous shoes throughout their career and are familiar with which shoes you should buy and which ones you should avoid at all cost.
If you find a number of coworkers recommending a particular type of tennis shoe then it may be well worth giving some consideration to and checking out.
Healthcare facility recommendations
Healthcare facilities often have policies for the types of shoes they allow in the workplace and in some cases they may recommend a particular brand or type of shoe based on their experience and the work environment you operate in.
The healthcare facility you work for may be able to provide you with several recommendations to help you choose an appropriate shoe that’s safe, comfortable and supportive for given situation.
By combining online reviews with advise from coworkers and recommendations from your healthcare facility you’ll be in a better position to choose a shoe that works well for your needs.