The 7 Best Shoes for Nurses of 2021

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First Look

Best Overall: Hoka One One Bondi SR at hokaoneone.com

"Known amongst healthcare workers as the holy grail of comfort and convenience meets on-trend footwear."

Best Budget: Slow Man Walking Shoes Sock Sneaker at Amazon

"Earn their name due to the fact that they are so comfortable, they are like walking in socks."

Best Tennis Shoes: Brooks Ghost at Amazon

"Incredibly lightweight—hence the name ghost."

Best for Being on Your Feet All Day: On Cloud at on-running.com

"Slip-resistant, featuring the brand's patented and cushioned CloudTec sole."

Best for Nurses with Plantar Fasciitis: Brooks Addiction Walker Walking Shoes at Amazon

"Uses the brand’s BioMoGo DNA technology, helping to reduce impact on the joints."

Best for Women: Women’s Clove Shoe at goclove.com

"constructed out of fluid repellent material and is designed to withstand industrial strength cleaners and wipes."

Best for Men: Oofos Unisex Clog at Amazon

"Utilizes the brand’s OOfoam Recovery Technology, absorbing over one-third more impact than traditional footwear foam."

Best Support: Bala Twelves at wearebala.com

"These sleek, stylish, and fluid-resistant shoes are great for both in and out of the hospital."

Anyone who works in the healthcare industry—especially nurses—are accustomed to being on their feet all day. This makes the right shoe a crucial part of their uniform.

“After having been a nurse for nearly a decade now, what I find most important in selecting the right shoe is drastically different than when I first became a nurse,” says Laura Kelly, an RN based in Virginia. While initially more concerned with variety and aesthetics, she quickly changed her shoe buying strategy: invest more money in a single, high-quality pair than in a few cheaper styles. In other words, “absolutely do not scrimp on how much you pay for a shoe.”

There are a wide range of styles to choose from, but there are some key features you should look for, according to Kelly. First, you want to make sure your shoe is going to securely stay on throughout your shift, and it's easily cleanable. And of course, comfort is key.

“I would recommend getting a shoe that is a half size bigger than you normally wear, because during a long 12 hour shift walking, our feet can swell,” says Kelly. “The extra half size helps to accommodate for that potential swelling.”

If you're looking to replace your pair of work shoes or just need another pair to add to your collection, there are styles for every type of healthcare worker.

Here are the best shoes for nurses on the market today.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Hoka One One Bondi SR

Hoka One Bondi Sr

Courtesy of Hoka One

While it might be on the higher end of your budget, the Hoka One One Bondi SR is a high-quality option you can rely on for daily wear. It is engineered with an EVA midsole making it plush and offering ample cushioning for the longest of shifts. It features an ultra-grippy, slip-resistant outsole, and has been tested on surfaces with water, oil and soap for slip-resistance—obviously an important feature in the healthcare setting. This shoe has the endorsement of the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) Seal of Acceptance to boot, meaning it has been reviewed by a group of APMA podiatrists to ensure it promotes foot health.

Best Budget: Slow Man Walking Shoes Sock Sneaker

Slow Man Walking Shoes Sock Sneaker

Courtesy of Overstock

Slow Man Walking Shoes Sock Sneaker is a fraction of the price of other more widely known brands. These slip-on sneakers earn their name due to the fact that they are so comfortable, they are like walking in socks. These shoes are uniquely designed in every aspect from their style to the fashionable-but-breathable knit material used to make them. They feature a MD outsole with added air cushioning that is both non-slip and water-resistant. The arch of the shoe is perforated, offering ample ventilation and breathability that is crucial for all-day wear. You will also love that the style is available in 25 color options, and in a variety of whole and half sizes ranging from 5.5 to 11.

Best Tennis Shoes: Brooks Ghost

Brooks Ghost 13

Courtesy of Brooks

Comfort is key when it comes to an all day shoe, and the Brooks Ghost is consistently picked as one of the best sneakers for everything from walking and running to standing. They are incredibly lightweight—hence the name ghost—while still managing to offer ample cushioning from your heel to toes. These shoes are made for running and will come in handy for those situations when you need to be quick on your feet.

Best for Being on Your Feet All Day: On Cloud

On Cloud Shoes

Courtesy of Zappos

On's ultra-light and uber-cushioned On Cloud is made to perform whether you spend your days in the ER, training for a marathon, or are simply looking for a super stylish sneaker to stroll in. Aesthetically, the shoe is totally on-trend and is available in a bunch of amazing hues. They are also slip-resistant, featuring the brand's patented and cushioned CloudTec sole, and are incredibly fuss-free due to their elastic speed-lacing system. Additionally, they are made out of a breathable, antimicrobial mesh which helps to keep your feet cool.

Best for Nurses with Plantar Fasciitis: Brooks Addiction Walker Walking Shoes

Brooks Walker Walking Shoes

Courtesy of Zappos

Brooks Addiction Walker Walking Shoes is one of our top picks for anyone with plantar fasciitis. It's constructed with extra cushioning in the heel and forefoot using the brand’s BioMoGo DNA technology, helping to reduce impact on the joints. It also offers ample arch support and an Extended Progressive Diagonal Rollbar that cradles your tendons for added security. It is available in three colors—bone, white, and black—in an easy-to-clean, full-grain leather.

Best for Women: Women’s Clove Shoe

Women's Clove Shoes

Courtesy of Clove

This stylish sneaker is constructed out of fluid repellent material and is designed to withstand industrial strength cleaners and wipes. They are also lightweight, feature strong-grip soles, slip on in seconds, and include high-performance Ortholite inserts to keep odor and bacteria at bay.

Best for Men: Oofos Unisex Clog

Oofos clog

Courtesy of Oofos

Oofos is another comfort-focused footwear brand that's perfect for nurses. Their Clog style is one of their more popular styles for healthcare workers, who swear they are significantly more comfortable than other brands. They utilize the brand’s OOfoam Recovery Technology, absorbing over one-third more impact than traditional footwear foam. They also cradle your aches, reducing stress on the feet, ankles, knees, and lower back. They are also made out of closed-cell foam, meaning you can throw them in the washing machine for an easy cleaning solution.

Best Support: Bala Twelves

Bala

If you're standing on your feet all day, you need shoes that can keep up. Bala's Twelves are designed with comfort in mind. These sleek, stylish, and fluid-resistant shoes are great for both in and out of the hospital. Their high-traction outsoles help prevent slipping and their thick cushioning heel keeps ankles supported through long shifts.

Final Verdict

Nurses today have a lot more options when it comes to comfortable, functional, and fashionable footwear to pair with their scrubs. If you are looking to invest in a high-quality shoe that checks all the boxes—comfortable, designed to support your feet all day long, easy to clean, style-savvy, etc.—we suggest the Hoka One One (view at Hoka One One) as the first one you try on. If you suffer from plantar fasciitis, the Brooks Addiction Walker Walking Shoes (view at Amazon) should be your first pick.

What to Look for in Nursing Shoes

Budget:

If you have it in your budget, you should try and invest in one high-quality shoe you can wear every day versus a few pairs of less expensive ones, as Kelly suggests. But you don't need to break the bank for a good pair of shoes. Remember too that you may need to regularly clean your shoes if you work with fluids, so be prepared to invest in more than one staple pair for your work attire.

Comfort and Functionality:

Everyone has a different definition of comfort. But since you are going to be wearing these shoes all day, you want to find a shoe that is supportive, keeps your feet cool, and cradles all the right places. Before you wear your shoes to work for the first time, test them out around the house first to make sure they feel right. Make sure they have good grip so you won’t have to worry about those slip-and-fall moments. 

Material:

The type of material your shoe is made of matters, as you are working in an environment where fluids are going to spill. Look for shoes that are easy to clean and disinfect, or can even be tossed in the wash. If you suffer from plantar fasciitis or other foot pain, look for a pair with a memory foam-like insole to help support and cushion your feet.

“I would recommend getting a shoe that is a half size bigger than you normally wear, because during a long 12 hour shift walking, our feet can swell. The extra half size helps to accommodate for that potential swelling.”—Laura Kelly, RN based in Virginia

Why Trust Verywell Health?

As an internationally recognized health writer and product guru, Leah Groth understands that nobody wants to waste their time or money on products that fail to rear results. Over the years, she has interviewed the world's top health experts and reviewed hundreds of items, to help readers like you discover the most effective health gadgets, goops, and aids that will help you look and feel your very best.

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