Nurses recommend comfortable shoes for standing all day

If medical dramas were actually accurate, nurses would get a lot more airtime. From taking vital signs to administering medication and working directly with patients, nurses are the heart of the hospital. Whether they’re doing rounds, assisting in surgery, or working night shifts, they spend hours on their feet. So when it comes to finding a good quality shoe that is supportive and comfortable to wear all day, nurses know what they are talking about.

“I seek comfort. I mean, it’s going to be your biggest thing,” Jacquelyn Coles Bielich, registered nurse and clinical specialist at Medtronic, told HuffPost. “You wear these shoes for an extended period, whether you’re working eight-hour shifts, full 12-hour shifts, or staying over and doing the 16-hour.”

As Coles Bielich describes, the ideal nursing shoe isn’t just good for standing. They need to be comfortable and supported to walk and even run if there is an emergency they need to get to quickly. They should also be comfortable and supportive when bending over and interacting with reclined or seated patients or when grasping items from low storage.

“When you stand in these positions for so long, your body changes,” Coles Bielich said. “Your lower back may sway a bit or your knees may bend, you can shift your weight back and forth on each leg to try to alleviate those pressure points.”

With that in mind, Coles Bielich suggests really getting around in a pair of shoes before deciding to wear them. You want to get a feel for walking, bending, standing, and support along the way.

Whether you’re also a nurse or just looking for a good pair of supportive shoes, Coles Bielich and other nurses have shared their favorite kicks to wear on the job.

HuffPost receives a share from retailers on this page. Each item is independently selected by the HuffPost Shopping team. Pricing and availability are subject to change.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story referred to the incorrect material to describe the soles of Dansko clogs.


Dansko Professional Clogs

“[The first time] Tried on Danskos, they felt like heaven. I know that sounds really weird because they’re wooden clogs, but the support he had, and he had like a higher arch, so I didn’t feel like my ankles or knees were flexing towards the inside. So that’s what I stayed with. I’m heading straight for the classics with the wooden sole. I have a few different pairs in different patterns and colors; one of them is cheetah print. I think it has a bit of personality too, which I like.” – Coles

Dansko Professional clogs are available in 10 colors in women’s sizes 4.5-13 and men’s 4.5-10. This popular style has PU soles printed with a wooden pattern.


Nike Air Max 270

“I’ve been wearing the brand’s Nike 270s for a year! I love them! I do surgery all day and feel like I’m walking on air! I originally bought them for the look and I’m put in work one day and NEVER LOOK BACK!” — Shakira McNeal, Surgical Assistant

The Nike Air Max 270 is available in 11 colors in women’s sizes 5-12 and men’s 6-15.


Adidas Ultraboost Shoes

“I wear Adidas Ultraboost sneakers. They are my favorite, they help me when I’m on the run and see more than 20 patients a day!” — Gina Grube, Registered Nurse Practitioner specializing in Pediatrics

Adidas Ultraboost running shoes for women are available in eight colors in women’s sizes 5-12 and nine colors in men’s sizes 4-18.


Brooks Ghost sneakers

“[These] are the most comfortable wake-up shoes, they are very comfortable for all occasions.” – nurse Victoria Comeau

The Brooks Ghost 15 running shoes are available in 18 colors in women’s sizes 5-13 and 16 colors in men’s sizes 7-15.


On Cloud sneakers

“[These] are also fantastic. Especially after having a baby, I really care about comfort.” – Comeau

These On Cloud sneakers are available in 15 colors in women’s sizes 5-11 and men’s 7-14.


Hoka Bondi

“I love my Hokas for breastfeeding. They look like clouds and [come in] fun colors! I had Clifton Hokas because I was obsessed with the canteloupe color, but now I have the Bondi, again, mostly chosen by the colors available. …They aren’t waterproof, which isn’t great for the messy ER, but they did work fine in the washing machine a few times!” — nurse Aly Thibault

The Hoka Bondi is available in 11 colors in women’s sizes 5-12 and 12 colors in men’s sizes 7-16.


ASICS running shoes

“For shoes, I love ASICS, anything bright and colorful, perfect for running.” —Nurse Bethany Gayda

These ASICS Gel-Venture 8 running shoes are available in 28 colors in women’s sizes 5-12, with wide options, and 25 colors in men’s sizes 7-15 with wide and extra-wide options.


Veja sneakers

“My favorite shoes for work are the Veja trainers. I wear them when I go upstairs for close/wound care. They [contain] ethically [sourced] materials [and are] done responsibly. Very comfortable and have now lasted for about 4 years.” – Jen Field, nurse at a drug and alcohol addiction rehabilitation center

These Veja Rio Branco sneakers are available in four colors in women’s sizes 5-11 and men’s 8-12.



“I love wearing Crocs when I’m at work! Personally, I find them comfortable, great for long periods of walking and standing, and they’re easy to clean at the end of a shift. Love them in fun colors and “themes” so I can express myself with my leopard print, super glitter or Lisa Frank print shoes. They really speak to my personality and my patients and their families have something to laugh about for an extremely difficult! another way to stay comfortable and cool, and to bring some light in the darkness to my patients.” — Keri Georgilas, Critical Care Nurse

These Lisa Frank style crocs are available in women’s sizes 5-12 and men’s 3-13.


classic clove

“Cloves are the ones that qualify as ‘nursing shoes’ because they’re waterproof, easy to clean, etc. I wear them, they’re relatively comfortable. The fact that they’re waterproof is one reasons why I love them. My socks!” — nurse Katherine Glick

Clove Classics is available in 26 colors in women’s sizes 5-12.5 and men’s 7-13.


Clarks Un.Loop Slip-On Shoes

Although not specifically recommended by any of the nurses we interviewed, longtime comfort shoe brand Clarks is a known favorite brand among healthcare professionals – or anyone whose job involves standing for long hours. The brand’s Un.Loop leather slip-on is a comfortable and even stylish option that features a removable padded footbed and a breathable interior that promises all-day support plus a bit of flair.

Promising review from Amazon: “I’m an ER nurse who works standing for 12 hours, so I’m always on the lookout for COMFORTABLE shoes. I have decided after many trial and error that the Clarks are the best. I have 4 pairs of their shoes and this was my last purchase. The problem with some comfortable shoes is that they are hideous. They are stylish and comfortable to work with. Although I also wear them for running on my days off too. You can’t go wrong with these shoes. — cdafft

Promising review from Clarks:
“I’ve been buying this style for what I think is the last decade. I’m on my third pair. Just picked up my 4th as my others are finally showing wear. So comfortable. Durable. I can wear them. wear to work where I can stand for 8-10 hours I have slightly narrow feet and a narrow heel which makes finding shoes that fit me a bit difficult Pretty dressy but still casual I hope that this style will never be abandoned! — LH-MN

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