What Makes Comfortable Nurse Shoes?

May 15, 2023

What Makes Comfortable Nurse Shoes?

If you’re a nurse, working hard in the hospital day after day, staying up late for 12-hour shifts or more, and giving your all to keep us safe and healthy, we are so grateful for you. It’s one of the toughest jobs there is. You’re on your feet; you’re sweating; you’re stressed. It’s a lot of work. 

All the nurses out there know that the job simply can’t be done without the right pair of shoes. If you’re going to be on your feet that long, your feet need to be protected and uninhibited. For some unfortunate reason, finding the perfect pair that keeps that foot pain away the whole shift can seem impossible. 

So we’ve come up with a quick guide on what healthcare workers should look for when buying their next pair of nurse shoes. It’s time to throw out the old, solid white, cliche pair and get something that’s more you, more comfortable, and a better fit for the job.

Comfort at all costs

Of course, the very first thing you think about is how they feel. If they feel tight or pinchy, they won’t work as nurse shoes. On the flip side, you’ve probably all got a pair of shoes that don’t look great, but they cradle your feet like nothing else can. 

What’s comfortable to one person might not be for another, but there are a few things we can look at to measure how comfortable shoes are. Let’s walk through some of those qualities now so you can find the best nursing shoes possible. 

A cushy insole

There’s nothing like putting on a pair of shoes and having your feet welcomed by a soft, comfortable insole that you know will get your feet through the day. Insoles with top-notch cushioning have a way of putting a spring in your step and making it feel like you’re walking on clouds. Supportive insoles can help alleviate pain associated with plantar fasciitis, bunions, and more.

They mold themselves to your feet, relieving pressure in key areas unique to your feet. This footbed makes it so you can be on your feet for long hours without worrying about pain. Soft soles are a must for nurse shoes! 

A supportive outsole

Then, your feet need to be supported, not just comfortable. It’s not enough to have a soft layer of foam underneath your toes and compression socks encasing your foot. The layer beneath that is just as (if not more) necessary. 

The outsole is the sole that you see when you’re looking at the shoe from the outside. It’s what provides things like arch support and shock absorption, spreading the weight across the whole of your foot rather than isolated parts. If your feet aren’t supported, other parts of your body will have to compensate, which isn’t ideal, to say the least.

For nurses hurrying around the ER, this type of support is absolutely necessary. These soles work to prevent foot pains and aches. Try Rabbit Foam™ for the extra pep in your step that takes care of you like you take care of your patients. 

Breathable materials

Nobody likes stinky, sweaty feet. It’s a great way to put a damper on your shift. Hot feet are uncomfortable, distracting, and inconvenient, so breathable materials in the shoe's body are vital. 

Your feet will be so much happier with you if the shoes you put them in aren’t suffocating ones. Look for shoes that will give your feet the air they need to stay cool and comfy. A knit or mesh upper is a great thing to look for here, and you probably want to avoid leather uppers. For knit uppers, there’s nothing like The Lima for a breathable shoe in fresh shades of your favorite colors. 

Your foot type

All of the above are super important, but we can’t neglect to mention foot type. As a nurse, you know that not all feet are created equally. When it comes to comfort, the general rule is that there are three types of feet that differ based on how your arch and heel are aligned: neutral feet, flat feet, and high-arched feet.

Most shoes are made for neutral feet, so these folks find it easy to get comfy shoes. Flat feet are pretty common in adults, but they need soft soles that help distribute the weight across your whole foot. Otherwise, they’ll feel some pain in the midsole. And high-arched feet put too much pressure on the heel and toes. If you have a high arch, you need shoes with proper arch support.


The next big thing to look for in nursing shoes is durability and functionality. These are going to be your everyday work shoes, after all, so they need to be up to the challenge of being used all the time. The last thing you want is for your shoe to rip or break in the middle of a long shift. 

Designed for movement

Because of this, you won’t want to come to work in a pair of dress shoes or heels. You need shoes that are designed to work with your feet and help you move around. Active shoes are pretty much every nurse’s bread and butter. If you can wear them to work out, they’re probably suitable to wear to work.

Athleisure shoes help you move around freely and efficiently and are made to last. With high-quality materials and flexible designs that flow with your movements, they’re the perfect shoes for healthcare professionals. You might also want a slip-resistant shoe to keep you safe if there are any spills.

Quality materials

The quality of the materials is another vital detail. Sure, some cheap shoes might have the right blueprint, but if they’re made with cheap fabric or weak insoles, they’re going to fall apart in the blink of an eye. 

For work shoes, you shouldn’t compromise on material quality. Invest in a quality pair that can take the heat and won’t break under pressure. 


Finally, convenience is a huge factor. You want shoes that you can throw in the back of your car with your scrubs and that maximize your time so you can use them in a hurry.

Easy on, easy off

Nurse shoes should be easy to put on and take off. That’s why lots of the old-school nurse shoes were clogs or shoes that used velcro. Convenience is key. 

When you’re rushing out the door for an overnight or early morning shift, you don’t want to fiddle around with putting on your shoes. You want to put them on and go: Look for a pair that can get on easily every single day, like hands-free shoes. 

Blend professionalism with comfort

And finally, you want to get shoes that will look good and feel good. You want a shoe that can help you be and look professional while also meeting your needs. 

Something as simple as professional-looking shoes can let patients know that you’re confident and you know what you’re doing. That simple thing can put their minds at a bit more ease when they need it most. 

Your next nurse shoes: Kiziks

So, now you know what to look for in a quality nurse shoe, but what options are out there that are the right shoes for the job? The answer is “Kiziks.” 

Kiziks are quality, attractive-looking, slip-on sneakers that are changing the game in the active shoe world. And, for so many reasons, they make for the ultimate shoe to accompany you on your shift as a nurse. 

They’re comfy

For starters, Kiziks are some of the most comfortable shoes out there. Shoes like our best-selling Limas are specifically designed to keep you comfortable while going about your day non-stop. We trade out normal rubber outsoles for our Rabbit Foam™ outsoles, which are designed with support in mind. They have substantial rebound to keep that spring in your step throughout the day. 

On top of that, the insoles are super soft, the body of the shoe is made of incredible, breathable fabric, and the toe box has plenty of room in it, so it’s perfect if you have flat feet and need to be on your feet all day.

They’re strong

Kiziks are made only with the best materials. We build shoes to keep up with the fast-paced lifestyle of a medical professional, no matter what that may be, so everything from the outsole to the body is made with high-quality materials that will last. 

They’re convenient

Finally, one of the biggest appeals about Kiziks is how convenient they are. Kiziks are 100% completely hands-free shoes that still maintain that classic lace-up look. Yes, you read that right! No bending down to tie these beauties, no fumbling with laces; just slip your foot in the shoe and get going. 

This is all made possible with our HandsFree Labs® technology. We put our flexible Cage™ or Internal Cage™ on or inside the heel of the shoe. It’s sturdy but flexible, allowing you to slip your toe in the shoe, push your heel down, and snap into place around your foot. Perfect for throwing on when you’re rushing out the door in the morning, and it’s a major step up from your traditional slip-on shoes. 

Not to mention, the insoles of our shoes are removable and washable, so you can easily and conveniently keep your shoes clean or substitute the insole for the orthotics your podiatrist gave you.

So if you’re in the market for a new pair of nurse shoes, get rid of those nursing clogs or old tennis shoes and check out our amazing selection of Kiziks. They’re the best shoes for nurses out there!


Combating Sweaty Feet | Syracuse Podiatry 

Flat Foot and High Arches Treatment | Penn Medicine 

Why Is It Important to Wear Good Walking Shoes? | Maine Department of Transportation

Written By: Chris Fry

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