Best Shoes For Healthcare Workers 2021

When you’re working in the healthcare field, it can be difficult to know what to wear while you’re on the job. You have to consider your comfort, safety, and professional appearance—which can often seem like a balancing act. But don’t worry! We’re here to help.

We’ve put together a list of our favorite shoes for healthcare workers in 2021. This list is based on our own personal experience as well as research into the industry. We know that every day is different in this field, so we wanted to provide you with information on different types of shoes and some helpful tips for choosing them.

Best Shoes For Healthcare Workers 2021

11 Best Shoes for Nurses (and Anyone Else on Their Feet for Hours)

Medical professionals swear by these comfy kicks.

11 Best Shoes for Nurses

Health care professionals require shoes that are just as hardworking as they are—that’s why we went straight to the source to find the best shoes for nurses. We reached out to nurses of all kinds for recommendations on work shoes that manage to be comfy, supportive, and cute all in one. 

From lace-up walking shoes to clogs to running shoes with memory-foam midsoles, our experts have tried out many styles in pursuit of the One—the no-fail pair that can be slipped on with bleary eyes and still make you feel put-together for 12-hour shifts—and they swear by the picks below. (You won’t find ordinary tennis shoes cradling their feet, that’s for sure.) 

Whether you’re in need of a walking shoe that provides both shock absorption and arch support, a running shoe with removable footbeds that leaves room for high-arch orthotics, or clogs with slip-resistant outsoles, the options below reign supreme in the medical community. 

These comfortable shoes are the high-quality, high-functionality styles they rely on for long shifts and clocking thousands of steps a day—and they just so happen to look great with scrubs. Shop the 11 best shoes for nurses, recommended by nurse mates, below.

All products featured on Glamour are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

  • Dansko Professional
    • Courtesy of brand1/11Dansko Professional ClogsI am a big fan of clogs. This is a bit controversial because many people hate clogs, and the people who hate clogs are very vocal about it. Specifically, I wear the Dankso Professional clogs. I think they are comfortable and cute—another controversial opinion—although you do have to get used to the feel initially. They are the only shoes that prevent me from having low back pain. The other key to keeping your legs and feet from hurting is wearing compression socks, which are just as important as the shoes. Figs has some great, non-geriatric-looking varieties of compression socks. —Brittany Mize, RN $130 at Amazon
  • Hoka Clifton 8
    • Courtesy of brand2/11Hoka Clifton 8 SneakersMy new favorite work shoes are the Hoka Clifton 8s—they’re amazing! I sprained my lower spine while working in December, and now my shifts can be complicated by occasional lower back pain. The shoes I wear truly make a difference in how much that pain comes back, and these shoes have proven to minimize that discomfort the most. These sneakers have a cushiony heel that you almost bounce on when walking—perfect for me! I picked a super-bright, almost Creamsicle shade intentionally to make me smile when I look at them. (I have gotten a compliment on them almost every day.) Although to some they may seem expensive, they’re totally worth it. All we want to do as nurses is take care of our patients to the best of our abilities, and we can’t do that unless we take care of ourselves. Treat yourself—you won’t regret making this investment. —Alexis Paules, RN$140 at Zappos
  • Crocs Classic Clog
    • Courtesy of brand3/11Crocs Classic ClogsAs a medical student, I prefer wearing nursing clogs or Crocs for long days at the hospital. They provide a ton of comfort and are easy to slip on and off. They’re wide enough for my toes to feel free, which is an extra plus for people who have flat feet or wide footbeds like myself. I like the traditional style with holes best for breathability—and if you’re feeling fashionable, you can always go crazy with the colors. And they’re made of plastic, which makes them stain-resistant! —Heba Haider, final-year medical student$50 $35 at Amazon
  • Adidas Ultraboost 22
    • Courtesy of brand4/11Adidas Ultraboost 22 SneakersNurses know that even the best pair of shoes are still damage-control against the inevitable. We’re on our feet for 12-plus hours, sometimes missing lunch. We need shoes that are reliable, durable, and hopefully slightly cute. The Adidas Ultraboost are my mainstays after five years in a busy pediatric ICU. The socklike fit is my favorite feature, and the midsole base is somehow both energizing and supportive. I’ll always want a new pair of these. Hoka One Ones are the newest and trendiest addition, but the extra cushion [of the Ultraboosts] has made a noticeable difference in reducing my lower-back and heel pain at the end of the day. Invest in your feet! —Carol Pardue, RN, BSN$190 at Nordstrom
  • Ugg Sammy
    • Courtesy of brand5/11Ugg Sammy Slip-OnsMy go-to work shoes are Ugg’s slip-on sneakers. I love them because they’re super comfortable—and I can easily slide into them in the early morning. —Nour Chams, MD, internal medicine  $110 at Zappos
  • Nike Revolution 6 Next Nature
    • Courtesy of brand6/11Nike Revolution 6 Next Nature SneakersI love these Nike running shoes. They make me feel as though I’m walking on clouds, and they are very supportive. I move like lightning with them on. They’re comfortable and supportive—everything nurses need to get through long hours. They have gotten me through several tough shifts without the usual aches and pains. —Yolanda Jones, CMA$65 at Nike

Most Popular

  • Dansko XP 2.0
    • Courtesy of brand7/11Dansko XP 2.0 ClogsI’ve been wearing Dansko clogs for the past several years now, and my feet couldn’t be happier! I love the roomy forefoot, heel lift, and rocker-bottom outsole, which helps alleviate stress and strain on the foot. The overall stiffness of the shoe is surprisingly comfortable and has helped resolve my knee pain and plantar fasciitis. —Chanel Perkins, DPM$145 at Amazon
  • On Cloud
    • Courtesy of brand8/11On Cloud SneakersWhat impressed me most about these shoes is that they lasted me almost two years! This is the longest I’ve ever had a pair of sneakers with them not falling apart in some capacity—or beginning to hurt my feet. I loved the look of these and was often asked about them on shift because they looked different and interesting! These shoes helped me through two of the most challenging years of my nursing career in COVID ICUs, standing on my feet for hours on end before I had the chance to sit down. Despite the strenuous working conditions of the time, my legs and feet never bothered me, and that’s something I was always grateful for at the end of a rough shift. I’d definitely recommend them for nurses who spend a lot of their shift on their feet. These shoes have great arch and heel support and are built to last! —A.P.$130 at On
  • Nike Air Zoom Pulse
    • Courtesy of brand9/11Nike Air Zoom Pulse Nurse’s ShoeThese Nikes give a new definition to the term work shoes. They’re sleek yet still functional for the health care worker, plus easy to clean and laceless—no worrying about untied shoelaces during a long shift. —Courtney Glenna, RN$120 $103 at Nike
  • Rothys The Sneaker
    • Courtesy of brand10/11Rothy’s The SneakerThe soft fabric of this Rothy’s pair makes it a flexible shoe that is especially comfortable. I like the round toe box of this style since it allows space for the toes—as opposed to other styles that are narrower and cause the toes to cram excessively. —Leada Malek, PT, DPT, CSCS, and SCS$125 at Rothy’s

Most Popular

  • Softwalk Meredith Sport Clog
    • Courtesy of brand11/11Softwalk Meredith Sport ClogsAnother work-shoe favorite of mine is Softwalk’s Meredith Sport Clogs. They don’t slide on as effortlessly as my Danskos, but once I have them on, I feel like I’m walking on clouds since there’s so much insole cushioning!  The rubber soles are nonslip, which is a bonus safety feature when working in any health care setting, and the leather-upper clogs are easily cleaned with a bleach wipe when necessary. —C.P.

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