“Nurses are the heart of healthcare,” says Dr. Joseph S. Tamburrino, a podiatrist. This is because of their long shifts spending many hours on their feet, and the hard floors they stand on. He concludes “a nurse’s feet are at risk every day.”
With this in mind, we have created ten top tips for nurses searching for comfortable, supportive and practical nursing shoes or clogs – that also look great!
1. Check out your employer’s rules before you begin
Most healthcare employers have requirements, or at the very least guidelines, about the footwear that nurses and other staff should be wearing in the workplace. These can include such standards as the colour of the shoe, the amount of the foot that should be covered, and the protective qualities of the shoe. If you don’t know what the rules are, take the time to find out before you spend money buying shoes that aren’t quite right.
2. Shoes or clogs?
Clogs can provide nurses with better support than shoes, because they help minimize foot, ankle, knee and back pain. This is extremely important as nurses spend long hours on their feet with little chance for rest. Most shoes require the wearer to tie and tighten their shoe laces which can restrict the foot and reduce the wearer’s level of comfort after a certain amount of time. Most nursing clogs do not have laces, so they tend to reduce pressure and help improve comfort.
3. Don’t let your shoes weigh you down
Every time you lift your foot, you’re increasing the weight of your shoe or clog on the foot. This means you’ll want the shoe to be as light as possible, but light should not mean flimsy. Nursing shoes designed specifically for an active healthcare environment are made from modern, high-tech materials that are both lightweight and strong.
4. Select the right fit from the start
Don’t compromise when it comes to choosing the shoe or clog that’s a perfect fit for your foot. All those hours of standing, walking and running can quickly become agony if your shoes or clogs are either too loose or too tight. Getting the best fit isn’t just down to choosing the right size; it’s also down to good design, good quality materials and the shape of the nursing shoe fitting the natural contours of your feet.
5. Get a grip and avoid a slip
It almost goes without saying that a nurse should wear shoes or clogs with high slip resistance, but we’ve included it on our list because when you’re presented with nursing shoes that look and feel great, it’s easy to forget the fundamentals.
6. Choose shoes that can stand up to stains
Spills and splashes are unavoidable in many healthcare settings, meaning your footwear needs to be washable. Shoes designed with nurses in mind will usually come with washing instructions; helping you to keep your shoes looking good while also addressing hygiene issues.
7. Be prepared for a few shocks
A shock runs through your body every time your foot makes contact with the ground. The harder the surface, and the firmer the contact, the more damage that shock can cause to your knees, spine and other joints. As a nurse on your feet all day, you’re looking for shoes that cushion against this impact. Look out for footwear that is specifically designed to include shock absorbent technologies, such as air cushioning.
8. Antistatic soles
It’s important to choose shoes with antistatic soles. Antistatic nursing shoes or clogs help to dissipate the accumulation of static electricity from the body, while still providing a reasonable level of resistance to electrical hazards from live circuits.
9. Protection inside and out
Some environments expose healthcare staff to risks from heavy or sharp objects, so it may be necessary to consider shoes toe caps. Often these are made from steel or aluminium which increase the weight of the shoe, but you can get shoes with really light, very strong toe caps made from a composite material. With this built-in shield, modern safety shoes can be functional and comply with appropriate standards, but without being heavy or ugly.
10. Hard working and good looking
Twenty-first century footwear technology means that a nurse looking for comfortable, hard-wearing shoes or clogs should not need to compromise when it comes to style. It is possible to enjoy attractive shoes that also do the job of protecting your feet, and indeed your entire body, against the wear and tear that comes with working long shifts.
Consistent and valuable input from the healthcare industry over 35 years has meant that Toffeln shoes are now trusted by nurses and other hospital staff for being superior in comfort, support and durability. Find out more about Toffeln, or browse the clog range.