12 Best Shoes for Nurses in 2017

There are thousands of nursing schools in the United States and millions of nurses roaming hospitals and practices. You know the one thing they all have in common aside from working in the medical field? Footwear, as every nurse, needs comfortable shoes to keep their legs feeling like deadwood and get them through those long shifts.

The best shoes for nurses can be casual or sporty, and there is truly a style for everyone regardless of your gender. In the end, it all comes down to where you work, so before you get your sights set on a new pair of Air Max from Nike, you’ll want to keep a few things in mind.

Top 12 Shoes for Nurses Comparison Table

DesignNameTypeGenderRating (1-5)
  1. Brooks Men’s Addiction Walker Walking Shoes Walking Shoes Men 4.5
  2. New Balance Men’s MW877 Walking Shoe Walking Shoes Men 4.4
  3. Dansko Women’s Professional Mule Slip-Ons Women 4.4
  4. Skechers for Work Women’s Eldred Slip Resistant Shoe Slip-Resistant Women 4.3
  5. Alegria Women’s Keli Professional Shoe Slip-Ons Women 4.3
6. Brooks Women’s Addiction Walker Walking Shoes Walking Shoes Women 4.3
7. New Balance Women’s 496v3 Walking Shoe Walking Shoes Women 4.1
8. Skechers for Work Men’s Felton Slip Resistant Relaxed-Fit Work Slip-Resistant Men 4.1
  9. Grasshoppers Women’s Janey Leather Lace-Up Sneaker Sneakers Women 4.1
  10. Alegria Women’s Alli Flat Slip-Ons Women 4.1
  11. Nurse Mates Women’s Dove Slip-Ons Women 4.1
  12. Cherokee Women’s Harmony Step-In Padded Collar Shoe Slip-Ons Women 3.8

Nursing Shoe Requirements

No matter where you work, as a nurse there are certain criteria your shoes will have to meet. For starters, they will need to be comfortable as you’re going to be on your feet all day unless you’re lucky enough to reside at the nurse station. If you’re on rounds, you need extremely comfortable shoes. They will also need to have a closed toe, heel, and a sole that’s slip-resistant.

While that’s a great place to start when you being your quest to find the best shoes for nurses, if you are starting a new job, you need to check their requirements. It’s not uncommon to see Nike’s on nurses or other forms of tennis shoes, but you’ll need specialty footwear in some cases. Shoes that are spill and puncture-proof are popular, and you’ll find plenty of those on our list. If you are a pro, you already know what you need, but rookie nurses need to check the guidelines for footwear.

Sizes, Socks & Inserts

Unless you are buying a replica of a shoe you already own or stick with the same brand, choosing the right size can be tough when shopping online. If you plan to branch out and try something new, cross your fingers the manufacturer has an official sizing chart as that’s your best chance to find a proper fit. If not, you can use your usual shoes as a guideline but may want to size by a half-sized depending on your what you’re putting in your shoes.

Just like nursing shoes, there are specialty socks made to keep your feet feeling refreshed after a long day. Some are considerably thicker than regular socks, which can directly affect how your new shoes fit. The same goes for inserts. While it may seem unusual to buy inserts for a new pair of shoes, it isn’t if you already have a foot condition, weak arches or problems in the heel. An insert will take up more room in the heel area than anywhere else, something to consider if you plan on popping a pair in.

Easy to Clean?

If you have been to enough hospitals, you know they are dirty places despite constant cleaning. Germs are an obvious factor, and while you can’t Purell your shoes at the pump, you can make sure they’re easy to clean. Nurses lucky enough to wear tennis shoes all day can go with a canned cleaner or toss them in the washer more often than not. Just be wary of the dryer as always, air drying is your best friend.

Other styles of nursing shoes are far easier to clean due to their design. You can wipe down a pair of mules with a spill-proof exterior or similarly style shoes with rubbery uppers. When dealing with the insole, it depends on the shoe as some can be removed, washed or replaced. Shoes with a fixed insole may require powder or other cleaners if you can’t clean them using traditional methods. Regardless, if you’re a nurse, you want footwear that is easy to clean.

Top 5 Best Shoes for Nurses Reviews

1. Brooks Addiction Walker Walking Shoes

Some shoe manufacturers are known for making slick shoes with lots of flair or cutting-edge features like air pockets or wild materials. Brooks has made some attractive athletic shoes over the years although the Brooks Addiction Walkers are known more for comfort than style.

Brooks Addiction Walking shoes are geared for consumers that do a lot of walking; something nurses are very familiar with. It has a leather upper, so it will be easy to clean, and you won’t have to worry about any clashes with HR over your shoes being too wild. Even the strings match the shoes as the sole is the only thing that stands out on the brown and white variants. That sole is synthetic, but the footbed’s built with support for folks with low arches. These are extremely comfortable, and ones you should consider if you’re a male nurse in need of new footwear.

While these shoes will not stand out in a crowd, they will keep your feet fresh. They are available in the classic “nurse white” sporting a black sole or in your choice of brown or black. There’s really nothing we don’t like about these shoes when it comes to comfort; the style may just not be for everyone.

2. New Balance MW877 Walking Shoe

You’ll quickly notice a trend as some of the best shoes for nurses are also “walking” shoes. These are neck and neck with the Brooks when it comes to comfort but not when it comes to style. You could easily wear these shoes without raising an eyebrow when you’re off the clock, something that’s a rarity in the nursing world.

These shoes have a traditional rubber sole with the company’s ABZORB cushioning system set in the midsole. The upper is a blend consisting of mesh & suede, which won’t be spill-proof, but is still easy to clean as the suede is minimal on this particular shoe. There is something called Strike Path tech baked into the bottom of this shoe as well. This keeps your foot stabilized and guides your gate throughout the day, something you won’t find on other shoes.

The New Balance MW877 Walking Shoe is another piece of footwear that we can find no issues with. Comfort is top-tier and so is the build quality as they will last longer than the rest. We also liked the fact these have a thick padded tongue and collar; something that’s great if you like to wear short socks or chaff around the ankles.

3. Dansko Professional Mule

Our first women’s shoe comes from Dansko and is a Pro model. It’s also a Mule, a style that won’t be for everyone as they can be an acquired taste. That said, they are going to be your new best friend working late nights at the hospital and are hands down the easiest shoes to clean.

Dansko’s Mule is a spill-proof shoe, so blood and other liquids can be wiped away in seconds. They have a reinforced toe box and rocket bottom as well. The latter is especially useful when you’re continually in motion considering it’s designed to work with your natural walking motion to increase efficiency. They have a thick synthetic sole with a 2” heel and non-slip tread on the bottom. On the downside, these shoes are just as heavy as they look.

Nurses have known about Dansko shoes for ages, and they are still a popular option in hospitals around the country. Even if you’re a bit put off by the style of Mule’s you have to appreciate the fact these are available in over 60 different patterns and colors sized from a 4.5 to a 12.

4. Skechers for Work Eldred Slip Resistant Shoe

There was a time when Sketchers were considered kids shoes or mainly worn by skateboarders. The company now makes footwear for every occasion including dressy shoes, boots, and even flip-flops. That includes some of the best nursing shoes like the Sketchers for Work Eldred Shoe.

This particular shoe quickly became a favorite of ours for several reasons. It’s a comfortable shoe made for consumers that need to be on their feet all day but still likes like an ordinary tennis shoe. Well, one with a slip-resistant sole and an insanely comfortable footbed. They also use memory foam in the top of the insoles for additional cushioning to help keep those aches and pains away. The design of the Eldred makes it easy to wipe down although they are not resistant to spills or punctures by any means.

The comfy relaxed fit insole and the certified slip resistant sole should make the Sketchers for Work Eldred shoes an instant option for nurses or students learning the profession. They will meet almost any dress code requirements in medical offices or hospitals and are available in white or black sized from a 5 to an 11.

5. Alegria Keli Professional Shoe

Alegria is another company well versed in making shoes for professionals, especially people in the medical field. Their Keli Professional Shoe is a beauty that comes in a wide array of hues to match almost any set of scrubs in your closet. As you’d expect, they are extremely comfortable as well.

This sassy slip-on if built to last both inside and out. The exterior’s made from Nappa leather with stain fighting properties while the sole helps to keep your legs fresh thanks to shock absorbing features. You’ll get plenty of traction from the Keli’s, a must for any good nursing shoe. The outside is resistant to stains, but you can say the same of the insole. It’s removable and made from an exotic yet comfortable combination of memory foam, cork, and latex.

These shoes have plenty of support where it counts although they aren’t exactly budget-friendly if you want some of the more popular variants. There are over 40 patterns to choose from although your selection  is limited by the size of your foot.