Best Shoes for Hardworking Nurses

It's been said that the feet are the second-most important part of a nurse, the first being the brain, of course. You're on your feet all day, and if you're not in the right footwear, they are going to start barking at you. Support is key, and most nurses are in a never-ending search for the perfect shoe. 

The Nursing Shoe Marathon

The National Health Service in the UK reported that their nurses walk an average of 3 miles per day, and the longest daily journey was 11 miles!  What kind of toll do travel nurse jobs take on your feet? Well, that depends on the hospital layout, your specialty (due to it's "a little bit of everything" nature, expect Med/Surg travel nursing to be physically demanding) and staffing levels. 

Whatever your day is like, you want your shoes to be supportive, and you also want them to be lightweight. A heavy shoe takes a toll after a long shift. Look for the soles to be secure and non-slip and for the arch support to fit your feet. Also consider compression socks, ust one more way to keep a little spring in your step, even after the spring is gone. 

Just as no two pairs of feet are identical, so are no two hospitals' footwear policies. Almost all hospitals have a maximum heel height restriction and require footwear to be clean and in good repair. Some facilities still have restrictions on colors or style; others allow more leeway. All work shoes must meet certain safety standards, but if you're looking for a place to start, here are a few tried and true suppliers:

Crocs Mercy Work Shoes

Crocs' clogs feature Croslite material. This material makes the clogs comfortable, easy-clean, odor-resistant, and lightweight. The soles are also slip-resistant. Many of the Crocs shoes have openings throughout the shoe which can make them ideal for assignments in hot climates like travel nurse jobs in Florida.

Alegria Women's Flats

Many of the RN-friendly Alegria shoes feature a 'Mary-Jane' style, a strap that fastens securely across the bridge of the foot,  which makes them ideal for nurses who walk a lot on the job. 

Dansko Professional Clogs

Dansko makes shoes just for nurses, in men's and women's styles, and they are among the most popular in the field. Dansko shoes have supportive soles and wide toe boxes, and are recommended by podiatrists.

Merrell Men's Professional

The Merrell Company makes nursing shoes that are both durable and comfortable. Not every model is the most stylish shoe out there (although some do have a nice 'hiking-boot' look), but for many RNs comfort and support takes precedence, and these shoes are tried and true.


If your role in the hospital or healthcare employer allows you to wear athletic-style shoes, Kuru, Skechers, K-Swiss and Fila make shoes that are suitable for work and healthcare environments. 

Your friends and family may think that nurses just can wear any old clog or sneaker to work, but you know better. Your footwear must be lightweight, non-slip, easily cleaned from a variety of messes (you can't wear foot covers everywhere), and most of all, super-supportive. We wish you the best of luck finding the right shoes for your own very special feet!