According to one 2006 study published in MEDSURG Nursing, nurses walk an astonishing four to five miles per day during a 12-hour shift. In contrast, a poll of 2,198 adults conducted by YouGov and Cancer Research found that, on average, 52% of UK adults only walk a mile a day or less per week, which is the equivalent of 2,000 steps.
The figures clearly show just how busy our nation's nurses are compared to average folk, spending their days rushing between wards, providing life-changing care for patients and moving with a feline, razor-sharp precision. While the work's rewarding, it undeniably takes a physical toll. In extreme cases, nurses suffer from performance-threatening conditions such as bad backs, flat feet and plantar fasciitis.
To prepare your feet for all-day use, it pays to do your research around the best nursing clogs on the market. Instead of taking a one size fits all approach, which will only lead to disappointment further down the line, it's much better to consider your unique anatomy and gait, style preferences and specific safety requirements.
Best all-round clogs for nurses on their feet all day
For non-stop shifts with little time to breathe, it's crucial to find a clog that maximises comfort and durability. Alongside this, you need something slip-resistant and enclosed, lessening the likelihood of dangerous slips, trips and falls.
For everyday use, we recommend the Toffeln SmartSoleClog. Despite being sturdy enough to keep up with the busiest healthcare worker, they're surprisingly lightweight, made from a vegan-friendly combination of mesh, nitrile rubber, microfibre and EVA. The non-bricky feel minimises stress on tired legs and feet, while the smooth inner lining combats overuse conditions such as blisters, bunions and fungal infections.
Arguably, these are the best shoes for midwives too, who are subject to slightly more chaotic work environments. The GripSafe Extreme technology affords extra stability on a variety of wet and dry surfaces while the fabric is easy-to-wipe clean and machine washable
Best trainers for nurses
Everyone needs a reliable pair of trainers. However, for nurses on their feet all day, generic versions prone to holes just won't do. Instead, you need something that combines fashion and functionality.
The Toffeln AktivFlex looks like a regular trainer yet meets all the on-the-job safety regulations. It's the UK's first EVA enclosed trainer, specially designed to deliver all of the wear with none of the tear. Alongside great durability, it comes with an impressive range of features including side ventilation, Grip-Safe® sole, ComfortTech insole and elasticated gusset.
Another great sporty option is the Toffeln SmartSole Trainer. Designed with busy shifts in mind, this lightweight trainer is both slip-resistant and shock-absorbing, with a raised heel for added comfort. This stylish yet practical trainer is also breathable, antibacterial and wipe-clean, or they can be machine washed if particularly grimy.
Best shoes for women
Gone are the days of bulky, unattractive nursing shoes. For those seeking a slimmer more feminine design, the Toffeln AktivLite is the perfect solution. Designed specifically for women, this ultra-light shoe with ComfortTech insole moulds to the shape of your foot and the closed in heel provides enhanced support and protection for all day wear. It even comes in pink!
For fashion-conscious women (and men), the Toffeln FlexiKlog exudes retro glamour, coming in a range of show-stopping colours and patterns including sky blue, floral and butterfly print. As well as this, the chic buckle strap gives the clogs a casual edge, making the transition from work to weekend effortless.
We know what you're thinking - why should nurses care about style? It may seem superficial at first, especially in a sober environment like a hospital or doctor's office, but how a person dresses has a remarkable impact on workplace performance. If you look and feel good, you're far more confident in your interactions with patients and colleagues.
Best shoes for men
Of course, all clogs are suitable for both men and women. But some male nurses find them a little feminine, preferring a more gender-neutral shoe in subtle tones. Cue the understated Toffeln SmartSole Trainer in a choice of black or white, with three customisable cushioned insoles to choose from.
These sporty unisex nursing shoes take inspiration from your everyday trainer. With a breathable upper, shock-absorbing sole and smooth lining to prevent any rubbing, they’re ideal for long days on your feet. They are also antibacterial, slip resistant and anti-static, making them suitable for use in a range of different work settings.
Best shoes for back pain
Research shows 77% of nurses experience back pain throughout their lifetimes - a distressing figure that's likely to rise thanks to our increasingly sedentary home lives and prejudice against orthopaedic footwear. However, clogs that combat bad backs don't have to be unfashionable and clunky.
Back pain often occurs when a person unevenly shares weight throughout their feet as they walk, often landing heavily on the outer edge or heel. Every time this happens, the spine receives a shock and falls out of alignment. Thankfully, the shoes in Toffeln’s SmartSole range help to prevent this.
Whether you prefer a clog, shoe or a trainer, our collection of SmartSole shoes with free customisable insoles will make your shift more comfortable. Designed to absorb impact and reduce pressure on your feet and legs, their cushioning provides stability for your back and knee joints, while the GripSafe sole reduces the chance of slips.
Best shoes for flat feet
Flat feet, also known as fallen arches, is a common gait problem that occurs when the base of your foot slams into the ground as you walk. Much like back pain, you can remedy it by finding a cushioned shoe that encourages even weight distribution.
The Toffeln AktivLite completely encloses your foot in resilient, shock-absorbing material, shielding joints from high impact. As well as this, it's a wide, low-heeled shoe that creates a larger surface area as you walk, combatting the wobbliness associated with collapsed arches.
Best shoes for plantar fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the plantar fascia, a ligament that connects your heel to your toes. When this rope-like structure overworks, people experience intense pain around their heel and arch. Besides rest, ice and painkillers (which aren't long-term solutions), you’ll need to look for comfortable shoes that will support your feet during the work day.
Thanks to its shock-absorbing sole, raised heel and choice of three cushioned insoles, Toffeln’s SmartSole Trainer is a great option here. You won't need to worry about landing heavy on your feet and the lightweight design will lessen the strain on your lower body. Plus, the lace-up style and closed-in heel ensures maximum safety during busy shifts, preventing excessive movement and any further aggravation.
We’re here to help you
At ToffeIn, we’ve devoted our time to creating an exceptional range of fully-compliant, lovely looking footwear for healthcare professionals, led by the latest biomechanics research.
If you still haven’t found what you’re looking for, visit our website to browse the full range of ergonomic clogs, trainers, shoes and boots, or contact us today.