7 Best Shoes For Nurses

Laci
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7 Best Shoes For Nurses
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Nurses are on their feet all day long. And without a proper pair of shoes, the feet and legs can feel strained. 

Support and comfort are the key elements of a great nurse’s shoe. However, there is a wide array of models that do just that. To help you, we have trimmed it down to the best shoes from different categories. We based our decision on the tests we carried out inside the lab and while wearing the shoes ourselves. We also made an all-embracing review so you could read all of our personal thoughts in an organised and comprehensible manner.

How we test walking shoes

We pride ourselves on giving out unbiased reviews. To do so, we rigidly follow these protocols: 

  • We buy the shoes using our own money. No sponsorships. No X-deals. We are as much consumers of these shoes as you are.
  • We test the shoes in actual walks and actual standing jobs and tasks. We also test them on different surfaces, but mostly on concrete and cement, like the ones in hospitals. We are a group of testers here, so our experiences are diverse. You’d know who reviewed that because we keep our author bios open.
  • We factor data and results from our lab tests. Additionally, we split the shoes in half to see all the layers and elements inside.

Best shoes for nurses overall

On Cloud 5
87
Good!

What makes it the best?

In our search for the best shoe for nurses, we looked for something that goes above and beyond for long hours of continuous walking. From many hours of testing shoes in the lab and on our feet, we found the On Cloud 5 to be the perfect partner for dashing around from one hospital stop to the next or from one room to another. Its finely-tuned cushioning, lightweight build, and secure fit sealed the deal for us.

When we had it on foot, we felt like we could keep going on and on! We tested this further in our lab by pressing our durometer against its midsole. After doing this five times to ensure accuracy, we found that it is 4% firmer than the average midsole. This provides an amazing one-two punch of a sufficiently soft underfoot feel and a sufficiently stable platform for surefooted strides.

Something that also helps for long hours is the On Cloud 5’s lightweight build. Its weight of 8.4 oz (238g) is 9.9% lighter than that of the average shoe, which helps in keeping feet fresh.

Slipping off shoes is something that’s unwelcome, especially for nurses who are already in their groove. The great thing about the On Cloud 5 is that it secures feet well. The On Cloud 5 was able to embrace our feet so well that we never felt any fear of slipping out of it, mostly because of its fully gusseted tongue. If there are any other further concerns with regard to this dimension, the On Cloud 5 comes with tie-able shoelaces that can further improve its lock-in fit.

The On Cloud 5 may be too narrow for some. We measured its toebox width in the upper at 89.5 mm, which is a whole 6.7% narrower than that of the average walking shoe at 95.9 mm. We don’t recommend this shoe for those with wide feet.

Pros

  • Perfect for all-day wear
  • Unbelievably lightweight
  • Can do low-impact workouts
  • Amazing in-shoe feel
  • Very breathable
  • Super easy on-off
  • Great flexibility
  • Regular laces are added
  • Sustainable materials (44%)

Cons

  • Not for wide feet
  • Lacks durability
  • Outsole catches pebbles
Full review of On Cloud 5

Shoes for nurses with the best cushioning

Hoka Clifton LS
88
Great!

What makes it the best?

Best believe we can last all day in the best cushioning offered by Hoka’s Clifton LS. Plush and supportive in the right areas, it's ideal for nurses enduring long shifts on their feet. Its premium materials ensure durability, letting nurses prioritise patient care without worrying about their footwear.

The Clifton offers generous padding at 35.2/27.0 mm for this feet-killing job, effectively absorbing landing impact. Its rocker geometry ensures smooth transitions from heel to toe, reducing fatigue. The cushioning strikes a balance, providing stability without sacrificing comfort, registering 21.3 HA, 14.8% softer than average.

The wide midsole enhances stability, measuring 122.8/95.5 mm in the forefoot and heel, among the broadest in our lab. The added support does the work of keeping tired legs balanced.

This Hoka is built with robust materials to lengthen its lifespan. It makes use of real suede and leather in high-wear areas and has the Durabrasion Rubber underfoot. Other than displaying reliable grip, the outsole proves its toughness with a high 80.5 HC measurement and less damage (0.6 mm) than average (1.4 mm) in our Dremel test.

However, all the cushioning and durability come with extra weight on our feet. At 10.8 oz (305g), it’s 12.1% heavier than the average walking shoe.

Pros

  • Very generously cushioned
  • Smooth heel-to-toe transitions
  • Wider-than-average and stable platform
  • Exceptionally durable
  • Secure foothold with no heel slips
  • Excellent grip in various conditions
  • Amazing in-shoe comfort

Cons

  • Could be more breathable
  • Heavier than average
Full review of Hoka Clifton LS

Shoes for nurses with the best arch support

What makes it the best?

Skechers Arch Fit 2.0’s name already screams arch support but upon testing, we confirmed what an excellently supportive walking shoe it is. Its comfort and support left us satisfied all day long which is why we found it best especially for nurses. 

Boasting heel and forefoot stack heights of 39.2 mm and 24 mm, the Arch Fit 2.0 exceeded the other walking shoes we measured by 21.4% and 10.6%. This surplus of stack height alleviated the pressure in our heels plus it mitigated shock every time we landed our feet. The great thing about the midsole is it's also 30.4 HA firm based on our durometer. This means that it’s 21.1% harder than average and it’s ideal for preventing excessive foot rolling.

Skechers Arch Fit 2.0 might be over the top in arch support but not in breathability. With our smoke test, we found that its upper is not capable of permitting much air to pass through. We only rated its breathability a 2/5. If you wish for something that is more well-ventilated, pick other pairs.

Pros

  • Amazing support for overpronation
  • Wide and stable platform
  • Tonnes of cushioning
  • Lighter than the Arch Fit 1.0
  • Perfect for all-day wear
  • Padded and cosy interiors
  • True to size and fit

Cons

  • Very poor breathability
  • Lacks durability
Full review of Skechers Arch Fit 2.0

Best slip-resistant shoes for nurses

Hoka Bondi SR
85
Good!

What makes it the best?

We scrutinised walking shoes and the one that absolutely deserved the title of best slip-resistant shoes for nurses is Hoka Bondi SR. Being on our feet all day, standing, walking, and working - these are some of the demands faced by Bondi when we were testing them out. Amazingly enough, Bondi never slowed us down with stumbling accidents and weariness. Instead, we became unstoppable with every work shift!

We weartested Bondi on various surfaces and we noticed that it’s especially grippy on polished floors. We then justified this in our lab using our durometer. We pushed it against the outsole and it flashed 73.1 HC, which is 3.7% softer than average. This implied that the outsole latches onto smooth surfaces powerfully.

After 12 hours of wear, we remained as comfortable as we felt on hour one. In our lab, we inspected the midsole and once again used our durometer to know its level of hardness. Our tool recorded 20.4 HA, which is much softer than average by 27.7%. In our walks, this translated to a lovely underfoot plushness all throughout the day.

Another perk is the waterproofness of Bondi. We observed its upper under our microscope and discovered that no ventilation hole was present. While this afforded us moisture-free feet, it didn’t save us from being sweaty as it isn’t breathable. Therefore, we do not recommend wearing this shoe during humid weather.

Pros

  • Comfort is off-the-charts
  • Extra thick cushioning for all-day support
  • Smooth heel-to-toe transitions
  • Alleviates foot discomfort (podiatrist approved)
  • Stable for a neutral shoe
  • Slip-resistant outsole
  • Superior material quality
  • Water-resistant leather upper
  • Accommodating toebox

Cons

  • Heavy and bulky
  • Not breathable
Full review of Hoka Bondi SR

Shoes for nurses with the best in-shoe feel

On Cloudnova
89
Great!

What makes it the best?

After putting nurses walking shoes under scrutiny, we found On Cloudnova as the one with the best in-shoe feel. Even at work, we felt at home in Cloudnova. Moreover, everything about it, from stability to underfoot comfort, is pure stellar!

We felt over the moon with Cloudnova’s amount of cushioning, especially around the heel. When we checked in the lab, we were blown away by the 15.5 mm heel-to-toe drop, which is 48% higher than average. Tired feet love this "support" after hours and hours of standing. Moreover, with Cloudnova, standing on concrete left us pain-free. Instead, we were at ease even after our shift was up. Back in the lab, our durometer displayed a 29.9 HA midsole firmness. We found that this 4% firmer than average midsole submerged our feet to optimum foam for hours of wear.

Constantly bending our feet while walking in Cloudnova didn’t strain us at all – thanks to its 29.9N resistance to bending, which is 2.6% less stiff than average! Our only gripe is the foot ventilation. Although it is moderately breathable, as evidenced by our smoke test, we prefer something with superb airflow for hotter environments. We think this would matter the most for travel or wilderness nurses, so we advise them to seek more breathable pairs than Cloudnova.

Pros

  • Perfect for all-day wear
  • Great travel shoe
  • Attractive design
  • Comfortable in-shoe feel
  • Fits well straight from the box
  • High quality
  • 10% recycled materials

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Sole catches debris
  • Mid-cut is not for everyone
Full review of On Cloudnova

Best shoes for nurses with a sock-like fit

What makes it the best?

Being a nurse is such a back-breaking and feet-killing job. With that being said, we tested for waking shoes that can keep up with the challenge and pressure of being on the feet all day. The one that comfortably conformed to our feet and was an exquisite pleasure for prolonged use is the Skechers GO WALK 6, making it also the best with a sock-like feel.

Thanks to the stretchy upper of the shoe, the material hugged our feet very nicely without feeling so compressed. One of the test results in our lab also established the same thing. We measured the widest section in the toebox and our calliper read 98 mm, which sits around the 97.9 mm standard and gives us enough room for our toes.

GO WALK 6 not only feels sock-like against our feet but also in terms of weight. We got a low weight of 8.78 oz (249g), which is 2.8% when set side by side with the average. Moreover, walking feels effortless with this pair. That is why, we aren’t surprised when it easily caved in when we folded the shoe using our digital force gauge. The tool reflected 12.9N, which means it’s 28.3% more flexible than most walking shoes.

However, this is not something overpronators can wear, especially since we broke down the shoe and there isn’t any stabilising element inside. We advise nurses with foot issues to seek more supportive pairs of shoes.

Pros

  • Pillow-like comfort
  • Cushioned for all-day wear
  • Amazingly lightweight
  • Surprisingly durable upper
  • Snug sock-like fit
  • Easy on and off
  • Super flexible
  • Very affordable

Cons

  • Not breathable
  • Outsole lacks durability
Full review of Skechers GO WALK 6

Best budget shoes for nurses

Skechers Summits
91
Great!

What makes it the best?

Frequent overtime and spending long hours on foot is no joke, which is why we tested walking shoes for the nurses out there to try. The pair that left the strongest impression with budget considered is the Skechers Summits. For an economical price of £70, which is 26.6% more competitive than most, this is totally a can’t-miss offer as it kept our feet at ease even after wearing it for an entire day.

One less thing to worry about in Summits is having to carry a load on the feet. Substantiating this is our digital scale, which shows that the shoe bears a weight of 6.95 oz (197g). Being 23% lighter, this made walking a delight.

Speaking of delightful walks, we never have to force our heel-to-toe shifts in Summits, on account of its pliability. In our lab, we tested the shoe’s flexibility and found that it effortlessly yielded with a 6.6N force. This is 63.3% lower than the average, signifying that it’s also 63.3% more flexible.

The bad news is because of this, we couldn’t recommend this to nurses who need extra supportive shoes. Additionally, we observed that this shoe did not have torsional resistance when we twisted it, which indicated an absence of rigidity for support. We suggest searching for other bolstering pairs if you strictly require stability.

Pros

  • Like walking on soft clouds
  • Super lightweight
  • Easy to put on and off
  • Very affordable
  • Highly flexible
  • Surprisingly durable upper
  • Suitable for casual attire

Cons

  • Lacks breathability
  • Exposed foam wears out fast
  • Memory Foam doesn't last long
Full review of Skechers Summits
Author
Laci
Laci
Laci is a contemporary dancer turned shoe aficionado. She is the most knowledgeable person when it comes to athletic shoes, size conversions and details people nitpick about footwear. She keeps the RunRepeat content gears turning 24/7. And she walks 20miles/week.