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The index of motives to look up to nurses is infinite, but there’s one lesson everyone can grasp from them: discovering a pair of comfortable shoes. Working in a high-speed medicinal setting is demanding enough without the added annoyance of tender arches, blisters, and swelling. And when it concerns 12-, 14-, and even 16-hour shifts, healthcare practitioners depend on a dependable pair of cozy, supportive footwear to carry them through a complete day of standing and walking. We contacted five nurses to observe what shoes they wear for extended hours on their feet. Whether you’re a fellow healthcare practitioner or are simply seeking some incredibly comfortable sneakers, these nurse-admired pairs merit a spot in your wardrobe. Shop them below.
- Adidas Ultraboost 5.0 Footwear, $190, zappos.com
- Crocs Classic Clog, $50, zappos.com
- Nike Air Max 97 Footwear, $175, nordstrom.com
Adidas Ultaboost 5.0 Trainers
One of Adidas’ most timeless styles, the Ultraboost is highly cushioned and incredibly responsive. It prevents the impact from hours of standing on tough surfaces from affecting your joints, restoring that energy to provide you with an added spring in your step. “These shoes are resilient and extremely comfortable during my 12-hour shifts,” said Melissa (@mylifeasanrn), an ER nurse. “They feel like I’m walking on clouds and my feet never get fatigued.” (Interesting fact: Carrie Underwood is also a supporter of these plush trainers.)
Crocs Classic Clog
“I’m certainly a crocs aficionado,” said pediatric trauma nurse Ashley (@hello.nurse.ash), noting that these durable rubber shoes feel “particularly comfortable” on her broad feet. Anyone who’s ever slipped into a pair of Crocs already knows the soft, cushioned feeling that accompanies each step thanks to their roomy fit, ventilation openings, and grippy soles. “I can work a 12-hour shift and [not] endure back and foot discomfort when wearing Crocs,” Ashley continued, adding that “having the option to wear charming trinkets on them can make me appear more playful and fun,” while working with her young patients.
Nike Air Max 97 Trainers
Showcasing a sturdy leather upper, streamlined figure, and multiple layers of lightweight padding, this bulky sneaker is the preferred choice of nurse Thea (@purposenursethea) for her 12-hour work periods. “I adore the ease of slipping these shoes on and off, [and] the comfort they provide when standing for extended periods,” she shared with Shape. What’s more, these cozy shoes are available in five different shades, giving you plenty of options to match your scrubs.
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 Sneaker
These Brooks Adrenalines are also a preferred choice for runners, as they offer ample support for your ankles, knees, and hips with their plush, shock-absorbent padding and durable mesh upper. “These shoes are incredibly comfortable” and “have greatly helped my issue of overpronation,” said Heather (@naturally_heather), a nurse in the neonatal ICU. This specific pair has even received the seal of approval from the American Podiatric Medical Association for promoting “optimal foot health.”
FIGS x New Balance 996 Sneaker
“For the past couple of years, I have been wearing the FIGS x New Balance 996 women’s and 327 unisex styles, and they are undoubtedly the most comfortable work shoes,” stated Sarah (@shesinscrubs), a nurse in the surgical progressive care unit, during an interview with Shape. This ultra-cushioned sneaker is a collaboration between New Balance and Figs, a renowned healthcare apparel brand known for its cozy scrubs, making it specifically designed with nurses in mind. “The arch support and long-lasting comfort are essential for 12-hour shifts on my feet! The longest shift I’ve ever worked lasted 14 hours, and I can confidently say that I’ve never experienced foot soreness after wearing these shoes!” Sarah added.
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