Shoe Requirements for Nurses – Detailed Guide

Shoe Requirements for NursesNurses spend the better part of the day on their feet during each shift, which is why it is crucial for these professionals to have the most suitable footwear choices in rotation. Premium nurse shoes can help maintain the body’s correct posture and overall relative comfort throughout a grueling shift while ensuring that the full range of motion of the feet will not be compromised in the process. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has not released specific guidelines regarding the requirements for health care professionals’ footwear. However, the importance of protective footwear should be noted as health care environments have been recognized to pose a number of hazards including:

  • slippery floors
  • falling objects
  • items that can cause falling and tripping
  • things that can puncture footwear
  • bodily fluids or substances that are potentially infectious

Given these hazards present in the workplace, it is crucial to choose nurse’s shoes that come with the features that will ensure continuous comfort and safety while in a health care setting. The requirements for nurse’s shoes, especially when it comes to aesthetics, may vary depending on the workplace’s rules but there are non-negotiable qualities that should be present in the most efficient footwear for nurses and medical professionals.

Important Features for the Best Nurse’s Shoes

Shoe Requirements for Nurses

These are the most important characteristics that high-quality nurse’s shoes should have.


Nurse’s shoes are required to be close-toed to keep feet and toes protected from hazards in a health care setting. Some of these hazards include falling objects that might cause injuries especially when they are big or heavy enough, and bodily fluids or other substances that may result in the spread of infection or other forms of contamination. Choosing shoes that keep the feet enclosed can help protect the feet from being exposed to such risks in the workplace.

Strong Arch Support

A pair of nurse’s shoes with strong arch support can do wonders in keeping discomfort at bay so you can breeze through a 12-hour shift (or even longer). The right amount of support on the foot arch can prevent pain from developing on the arch, which is especially beneficial for those who have shallow feet arches or people who are already suffering from foot inflammation, such as plantar fasciitis. Some nurse’s shoes provide the option of having removable orthotic inserts that allow you to personalize how thick or high you want the arch support to be so you can achieve the most comfortable fit.


Shoe Requirements for Nurses

A liquid-repellent material will work wonderfully for shoes to be used in a health care workplace. This property will ensure that your feet are protected from potentially harmful liquids or substances that accidentally be spilled in the workplace, so you can be sure that your feet (at the very least) are safe from that particular hazard. Nurse’s shoes that are liquid repellant will also be easier to clean in the event that they are exposed to hazardous materials or bodily fluids that you may be exposed to as you go through your regular shift.

Easy to Slip On

One of the features that may be overlooked when looking for nurse’s shoes is the ease with which the footwear can be put on and/or removed. The top choices for nurse’s shoes should be easy to slip on so you can quickly be on the go again – which may be the case when you take your scheduled break and felt the need to remove your shoes for a few moments to ease your tiredness. Without complicated fastenings to deal with, you can quickly get back to your feet after a short breather, ready to deal with the rest of the shift’s challenges without wasting time on removing and/or putting your shoes back on.

Slip Resistant

The floors on a health care setting are not always left clean and dry, especially when you are working in the ER or in other parts of the hospital that deal with urgent cases. Substances such as body fluids, medications, and even cleaning substances may be part of your regular hospital or clinic setting, and you may encounter these materials on the floor numerous times during a single shift. Slip-resistant nurse’s shoes can make your life much easier and definitely safer as they help you maintain your stability in slippery floor conditions. The strong grip of these shoes can help protect you from slipping and incurring serious injuries that can happen when you step on liquids that may accidentally be spilled or left on the floor.

Comfortable Cushioning

High-quality nurse’s shoes offer maximum cushioning to ensure that the feet are cradled inside the footwear, preventing pressure points that can develop when the feet are pressed into a rigid surface especially for long hours on end. Footwear with generous cushioning can help keep the feet and legs comfortable for hours, which is crucial if you need to stand up, walk, or run around for the better part of a 10 to 12-hour shift in a health care setting.


Lightweight nurse’s shoes can significantly enhance your comfort level when you need to move around and stay on your feet for long hours during your shift. Without the additional weight or bulk on your feet, you can move more freely and more quickly so you can increase your efficiency in doing your tasks. With lightweight nurse’s shoes that do not require increased exertion, you will be able to do the job even for long shifts without sacrificing your comfort in the process.


Nurse’s shoes that are made with breathable materials can help reduce discomfort when staying on your feet for long hours. These shoes prevent heat from being trapped within the footwear by allowing the excess moisture and heat to dissipate. This will help keep your feet dry and cool for the duration of your shift so you will not need to endure the unbearable warmth that can increase your discomfort while working for long hours.

Color Appropriate for the Workplace

Color requirements for nurse’s shoes will depend on the specific workplace or health care setting’s existing guidelines. It is best to check your workplace’s rules regarding the requirements for the appearance of nurse’s shoes to ensure that you are getting a pair in the correct color. The top choices for closed-toe nurse’s shoes come in the most commonly used and appropriate colors in the health care setting, such as white, black and brown. Depending on the rules in your workplace, you can also go for bolder colors to jazz up your scrubs.

Main Brands Used as Nurse’s Shoes

These are just some of the popular brands that offer the most preferred nurse’s shoes.Shoe Requirements for Nurses


Dansko ranks high in the list of brands that are most preferred for nurse’s shoes. The brand features professional clogs that come with a roomy and reinforced toe box that allows enough wiggle room for your toes to prevent discomfort from a cramped space. The clogs also have thick outsoles that are slip-resistant to keep you protected from slipping even on slippery surfaces, with a rocker bottom for efficient shock absorption. These clogs are offered in a variety of colors and styles that will let your personality shine through even when you are ready to take on a grueling 12-hour shift clad in scrubs.


Alegria offers high-quality clogs that are perfect for use as nurse’s shoes, offering long-lasting comfort that can last for the duration of your shift. These clogs have removable insoles that keep your feet cushioned and supported all day long, while the slip-resistant outsoles work to maintain your stability in various surface conditions. The rocker bottom absorbs most of the shock to prevent discomfort while you move around and also to ease joint pain while you do the necessary tasks all night or all day long.

Nurse Mates

This brand is specifically designed for nurses and feature a slip-on style for your absolute convenience. They come in a lightweight structure that will not impede your natural movements and are offered in different width options to suit varying anatomical requirements. These slip-on nurse’s shoes are available in white or black for that fuss-free aesthetic that will go well with your scrubs – whatever their color or prints may be. The leather material of these shoes is stain-resistant so it will be easy to wipe off any liquids or other substances that may have spilled on Shoe Requirements for Nursesthe surface.


This brand features running shoes that are often included in the most favored nurse’s shoes lists. The shoes are perfect for those who prefer an athletic style to keep them comfortable and supported throughout their shift. They come with a lightweight construction that will allow you to walk or run around freely without the additional footwear weight that will increase your exertion. The upper material offers superior flexibility to enable a wide range of motion, while the heels and soles are designed for maximum shock absorption.


Crocs offers footwear that ticks all the boxes required for the best nurse’s shoes. They are built with a proprietary lightweight material that maintains a comfortable feel even with long hours of staying on your feet. The material is also slip-resistant so you can confidently breeze through hospital corridors and rooms without worrying about slipping hazards. The footbed is designed to provide ample arch support to prevent discomfort from setting in during your shift. These footwear options come in various designs and colors so you can choose the one that is most appropriate for your workplace – or the one that lets your creativity shine through.


Shoe Requirements for Nurses

Q: What types of nurse’s shoes can I choose from?

A: There are 3 general types of nurse’s shoes that are being offered nowadays – clogs, slip-on shoes, and lace-up sneakers (running shoes or tennis shoes). You can choose from these types depending on your personal preference and/or the requirements of your workplace.

Q: Can open-toed footwear be used as nurse’s shoes?

A: It may not be the best idea to wear open-toed footwear as nurse’s shoes because they will not keep the toes protected from hazards in the health care setting, such as falling objects, sharp items, and hazardous substances.

Q: Why is slip resistance an important feature of high-quality nurse’s shoes?

A: Nurse’s shoes need to be slip-resistant so you can freely move around the hospital or clinic even when spilled substances make the floor slippery. Slip-resistant footwear can help protect you from serious injuries resulting from slipping on wet and/or slippery surfaces.

Q: Will a lightweight pair of nurse’s shoes be more comfortable to use?

A: Yes, since these types of nurse’s shoes will not force your feet to exert more effort to carry around the additional weight of a bulky pair. Lightweight nurse’s shoes can also help you move more freely so you can go about your duties in an efficient and comfortable way.


High-quality nurse’s shoes are designed to make your movements more efficient without sacrificing your comfort. Choosing nurse’s shoes that have the most crucial features will help you get the most out of your footwear selection and can make your work in a health care setting easier to do in the long run.