Best Shoes for Female Nurses and CNAs Header Graphic

The Best Shoes for Female Nurses and CNAs

As a Clipboard Health health care professional, you know how important it is to have comfortable shoes on for your shift. Nurses, CNAs, lab techs, and other health care workers require supportive shoes to help prevent knee and back pain. You’ll want to focus on selecting shoes that offer quality, comfort, and support. To help you remain safe, slip-resistant soles are also a necessity.

One way to select a pair of shoes that will serve you well is to look toward the advice and experiences of others in the same career field. Here are the top five shoe selections for nurses:

Best Overall Shoe for Nurses: Dansko Professional Clog

The Dansko Professional Clog will provide you with the support and quality needed to get through long and busy nursing shifts. The Dansko Professional Clog offers excellent arch support and a roomy toe box. Additional benefits the clog offers include a wide heel for greater stability, easy-to-clean leather, and an anti-fatigue rocker bottom. Nurses continually vote the Dansko Professional Clog as the best shoe for the job. Reviews of this brand will suggest sizing up or ordering the wide width option for an extra roomy fit. Other reviewers say these shoes require a period of breaking in as well. The clog can be purchased in a large variety of colors and patterns for about $130.   

Best Budget Shoe for Nurses: SKECHERS Sport Memory Foam Sneaker

Sketchers Sport Memory Foam Sneaker Image

Nurses with sensitive heels or plantar fasciitis will love SKECHERS Sport Memory Foam Sneakers, which are specifically designed to reduce pain. This shoe is an affordable, fashionable, and comfortable option for nurses who suffer from foot pain. The SKECHERS Sport Memory Foam Sneaker also boasts a breathable mesh fabric, bungee laces for an adjustable fit, and a flexible outsole. Like most options, customers say the shoe must be broken-in, but the memory foam insole offers tremendous support. Reviews note that the sneaker runs a bit large, so you may want to order a size down. Depending on your desired size and color, the shoe can be purchased for about $50.

Best Lightweight Shoe for Nurses: Alegria Debra Slip-On

Alegria Debra Slip On Image

The Alegria Debra Slip-On is another closed-heel clog option nurses love. This shoe offers many of the same benefits as the previously mentioned Dansko clog; however, this clog also features double elastic side gores, making it easy for the clog to slip on and off. It’s also a lightweight option, that’s still durable. Reviews claim that the Alegria Debra Slip-on clogs offer the perfect combination of structure and all-day comfort. Like many clogs, sizing runs small. In addition to multiple colors and patterns, the Alegria clog features a footbed of memory foam, hand stitching, and a 1.75” heel height. You can scoop up a pair of Alegria Debra clogs for about $130.

Best Wide Shoe for Nurses: Nurse Mates Women’s Dove

Nurse Mates Dove Shoe Image

Designed specifically to meet the needs of nurses, the Nurse Mates Women’s Dove brings comfort and traditional style together. The shoe is lightweight, easy to wear, and is available in solid white or black. The leather is stain-resistant and is available in medium or wide width. Some reviewers say the Dove shoe squeaks when worn; however, numerous reviewers mention that this shoe is the best traditional nursing shoe on the market. Nurses who desire extra support will enjoy the thick soles with rubber inserts, which provide additional cushioning. Priced at around $80, the Dove is a great mid-range option.

Best Arch Support for Nurses: ASICS GEL-Venture 5

ASICS GEL Venture 5

ASICS offers a full line of performance-driven athletic shoes proven to meet the demands of a career in nursing. The ASICS GEL-Venture 5 provides a sporty appearance coupled with a GEL cushioning system. If you have prior foot injuries or concerns, this tennis shoe might not be the best option for you, but it remains a top pick for nurses with weak arches or flat feet. The foot sole is removable, making it easy to insert your own custom inserts, if desired. Designed to perform in hospital halls or on the trail, the Venture 5 features a high-abrasion rubber sole coating. While many nurses prefer a slip-on option, the ASICS GEL-Venture 5 provides a padded tongue and lace-up design that allows you to adjust to the right fit. The ASICS GEL-Venture 5 is a reasonably-priced option, available for $65 in several vibrant color schemes.

Which Nursing Shoe Is Right for Me?

Happy feet will serve you well during long shifts, so choosing the right shoe matters. Style and fit preferences will be different for each individual. You might have to try several options before finding the best match for you.

If you have had previous foot or ankle injuries, seek the advice of a doctor before purchasing a nursing shoe. Podiatrists specialize in accurately assessing your foot problems and can recommend the best footwear for you. 

Health care professionals recommend owning and rotating through multiple work shoe options and replacing shoes yearly. Rotating your shoes can also increase the longevity of each pair. Some health care facilities help their nurses purchase quality shoes yearly. Ask your employer if this is a benefit available to you.