We explore the best shoes for nurses in this article and hope it is of some value to you if you are in the nursing profession. Nursing is an interesting and rewarding profession but can be stressful and physically demanding. Nurses work shifts of from eight to twelve hours long, and they are on their feet for most of that time. As a nurse on a ward, you may walk up to seven miles during a busy shift, and if your feet hurt, it will feel like many more! Poorly fitting shoes can pose a safety risk while bad posture caused by wearing the wrong shoes can also lead to long-term problems in the feet, legs and back.
Shoes for nurses should be comfortable, supportive, protective, non-slip and easy to clean – quite a lot to ask of one pair of shoes! However, it is important to get the best-fitting shoes possible. Wearing the correct footwear can make a huge difference to a nurse’s long-term health, while wearing the wrong ones can lead to injuries and health problems, such as arthritis and slipped discs that can shorten a nursing career. Even if you do not suffer from any aches and pains, a good pair of nursing shoes will reduce stress on your feet.
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Shoe Types That Are Suitable For Nurses:
This classic shoe is an excellent all-rounder that is approved for wear in many different healthcare settings. Lace-up styles offer you a personalized fit that you can adjust as necessary during your shift by loosening or tightening the laces. This is very important, as your feet will swell after you have been standing for several hours. Try to buy shoes made from leather, as your feet will sweat during a long shift and leather allows moisture to evaporate more freely than synthetic materials. Leather also protects your feet from spills and can be cleaned easily. Do not buy shoes made of suede, as spills will soak in and be impossible to remove.
Trainers and sports shoes may be approved for wear in community and in care homes. They are well cushioned, comfortable, lightweight and protective. However, they can be difficult to clean, and may not be appropriate for wearing as part of a uniform.
When Crocs first came out, they were very popular with nurses, as they are very comfortable, cool and cheap. However, many Health Service trusts no longer allow them to be worn for work. This is mainly because Crocs and other backless shoes do not provide a stable base when you are carrying out manual handling techniques. Some nurses still choose to wear them when manual handling is not part of their job.
Theatre staff may wear clogs made from rubber, as they are the form of footwear that is most protective against bio-hazardous and chemical spillages. They are very easy to scrub clean. If you are going to be working in theatre, special footwear should be issued as part of your uniform.
The Best Shoes For Nurses To Treat Common Foot Problems
Many nurses have problems with their feet that can make it difficult to find shoes to suit their needs. Everyone’s feet are unique and it is best to choose shoes after trying on several different styles.
• Wide feet
Some people are born with wide feet while others find their feet become wider as they get older. If you have wide feet, look for nursing shoes that are constructed on a wider footbed. Clogs are a good choice, as they are naturally a wider fitting shoe. Choose clogs with a heel strap to provide stability. Some brands are designed for wider feet and while they have plenty of room for the toes they look just like normal shoes. Other styles come in two width fittings, and if you find a style you like it is always worth asking if it is available in a wider measurement.
• Painful knees
Painful knees often arise from bad posture, problems with the arches of the feet and being overweight. If you suffer from painful knees, you should look for shoes with good arch support. High top shoes with extra support for the ankles are a good choice. Choose styles with a small heel, as shoes that are completely flat such as sneakers and ballet pumps are not good for your posture when worn for long periods. If your knee problems do not improve, you should consult a doctor as they may be caused by underlying conditions.
• Flat feet
People with flat feet have very low or no arches to their feet. This may be something you are born with, or it can develop from injury, repeated stress and obesity. It can lead to painful feet, but by choosing shoes carefully, you can do much to alleviate the problem. People with flat feet should consult a podiatrist or chiropodist, who will suggest the best type of orthotic inserts. These can be worn inside the shoes to provide support for the arches, and when buying shoes you should try them with the inserts in place.
• High arches
People who are born with high arches often develop painful feet, especially if they work in a job, like nursing, where they are on their feet all day. Orthotic inserts and customised insoles to relieve pressure and provide support are recommended for high arches. Slip-on styles are not recommended unless they can be worn with an orthotic insert. Some people with high arches find that lace-up styles are best as the lacing can be adjusted to adjust the pressure on their feet.
• Low Back Pain
Low back pain is a very common problem for nurses, and not wearing the right footwear can make the problem worse. If you suffer from low back pain, look for shoes with plenty of cushioning and sturdy soles that will provide stable support.
Nurses new to the profession often fail to realise how important footwear is to the success of their career. A good way of finding the best shoes for nurses where you will be working is to ask your more senior colleagues for advice.
Good quality shoes are not cheap, but investing in comfortable and safe footwear is one of the most important things you can do to avoid pain and injury that could cut short your working life.