(*Post updated on 3/8/2022. *Contains affiliate links. You can find our disclosure page here.)
It’s no secret that nurses are on their feet for up to 12-hour nursing shifts (or longer!).
This is why nurses must wear shoes that can support their intensive and often arduous nursing shifts – and keep them safe in the process.
Having an excellent nursing shoe can make all the difference in how good you feel after a long 12-hour shift. Foot pain, back pain, and achy joints are just a few of the side effects that many nurses deal with regularly.
And having the proper footwear can make all the difference in the world.
What Makes A Great Nursing Shoe?
Here are a few things your nursing shoes need to do for you as a nurse:
- Give good support
- Protect your back
- Reduce stress on joints
- Be slip resistant
- Be comfortable
- Be stylish (OK, so this one isn’t going to help you physically, but it is nice to look great in your nursing uniform!)
Wearing a non-slip-resistant nursing shoe is an occupational hazard.
Nurses frequently walk around on hard and sometimes wet surfaces, especially in the hospital setting. The floors are regularly being cleaned between patients, and there are occasional spills that can sometimes result in unintended nurse falls.
Some facilities even pay for nurses to receive a new pair of nursing shoes every six months! In turn, this helps protect nurses from injuries that could have otherwise resulted in an injury or even disability from work.
Nursing shoes must be slip-resistant. This is a non-negotiable when it comes to choosing a great nursing shoe.
I have been wearing NIKE shoes at the hospital for as long as I have been a registered nurse, and I recommend them to other nurses looking for excellent support and durability. After all, our jobs are highly physical, and we need all the help we can get!
The NIKE shoes that made this list are offered in several different colors, so if you love the style but not the shade, then find the color that suits you!
The best NIKE shoes for nurses
Top 10 Best Nike Shoes For Nurses
The following list of Nike shoes are supportive and can help absorb the impact of walking on hard surfaces all day. They are great shoes for nurses because they have the potential to keep nurses safer from untended injury, and to top it off, they look fabulous too.
Also, many of these styles are offered in white for nurses who prefer a more traditional nursing uniform.
When it comes to picking a great pair of nursing shoes, impact absorption, secure fit, and flexibility are fundamental aspects to consider.
The Nike Women’s Shox Enigma Sneaker is a comfortable and shock-absorbing Nike nursing shoe for anyone who spends 12+ hours a day on their feet. Brand new in 2020, these shoes also make a stylish statement.
Features of the Nike Women’s Shox Enigma Shoe:
- Synthetic and mesh
- Flexible shoes with an expandable outsole to allow your foot to move naturally
- Breathable fabric in the forefoot and internal sleeve helps keep your feet cool and comfortable.
- Supportive fit: durable, lightweight cables provide support and secure fit
- Soft, responsive Lunarlon cushioning helps absorb impact.
- Offered in several colors
This shoe is excellent for the cross-fit type of workout, which is why they also make a great nursing shoe. The Nike Women’s Free Metcon 2 Training Shoe provides a level of balance and sturdiness that many other shoes do not. They offer a stable heel and flexible forefoot, making moving in many directions much more accessible.
- A Midfoot cage locks your foot in place without restricting movement.
- Rubber wraps up the sides to help resist abrasion during rope climbs
- The foam midsole has a firmer foam carrier for comfortable cushioning where you need it and stability for heavy weightlifting.
- Deep grooves along the outsole allow the shoe to flex and expand in every direction for a lightweight feel as you train.
Many nurses say that these are the best shoes for RNs on the market. Not only are they durable and quality-made shoes, but when they finally do wear out, many nurses purchase them a second time.
These are great shoes to consider if your feet are consistently tired after being on your feet for 12+ hours a shift. As a bonus, the Nike Women’s Air Max 720 shoes are cute outside of the workplace as well. You can wear them with almost anything, from athletic wear to skinny jeans!
- Nike’s tallest Air unit to date, the 720 Air unit, runs the length of the outsole.
- Molded lines in the upper appear to radiate out from the sides, creating a wavelike design.
- Rubber coverage on the outsole gives durable traction.
- Translucent rubber on the heel highlights the Air unit.
These shoes are perfect for nurses who are constantly on the move and for the gym on their days off. They offer great support, cushioning, and durability.
Nike React Infinity Run Women’s Flynit Running Shoes are designed for moving in multiple different directions, which is something nurses do all day long.
- Higher foam stack heights provide a softer feel. A wider shape offers a more stable ride, helping release energy with every step.
- The shape of the Nike React foam midsole is all about zonal performance, providing support for the 3 phases of a runner’s stride—flexibility at toe-off, a smooth ride at mid-stance, and cushioning at contact.
- Less material in the shoe means you’re closer to the foam, creating a softer, more responsive experience.
- Increased rubber at the outsole helps deliver traction and durability.
The Nike Women’s Revolution 5 Running Shoe is a great choice for active people, especially nurses! But the main reason this shoe made the list is that they have a zip pocket on the back to help your carry keys or money.
Nurses can wear these durable and comfortable shoes at work and for an outdoor run on their days off. And they come in 18 pretty colors to choose from.
- Synthetic sole
- Shaft measures approximately low-top from arch
- designed with lightweight material and a soft foam midsole, built to keep you running in comfort.
- They are built with a lightweight knit textile that wraps your foot in breathable comfort. A reinforced heel and no-sew overlays lend support and durability.
- The soft foam midsole delivers a smooth, stable ride. The textured outer wall of these women’s running shoes helps reduce weight and hide creases.
- The rubber outsole of these Nike women’s shoes offers durable traction on various surfaces. Spaces in the tread let your foot flex naturally.
- Lightweight knit, plush padding, soft foam midsole, and rubber outsole.
The Nike Women’s Air Zoom Pegasus 36 Running Shoes have great cushioning and are often worn by runners training for and running in marathons. They have great cushion and arch support without being too heavy.
Also, the cushion provides additional support for the knees and ankles. That is why these shoes are also great for nurses who often walk 15,000-20,000 steps or more in a single shift. There are over 25 other great colors to choose from.
- The full-length Zoom Air unit provides a smooth, responsive ride.
- The slimmer design offers a sleek, comfortable, conforming fit.
- Cushlon ST foam provides firm yet responsive cushioning.
- High-resiliency sock liner adapts to your foot for support.
- Available in several colors
The waffle outsoles on the Nike Women’s Reax Run 5 Running Shoes are great for durability and multi-surface traction. This feature is beneficial for nurses who are more frequently exposed to walking over wet floors and need a more slip-resistant shoe.
These shoes made the top 10 list because of their durability, supportive fit, and floor traction.
- Rubber sole
- Mesh upper, lace-up front
- Synthetic sole
- Available in several colors
The Nike Women’s Air Max Sequent Shoe is an absolute favorite NIKE shoe for nurses. Not only are they stylish, but they have a partial bootie, which gives them a more secure feel and fit. which is essential for nurses on their feet for long 12-hour shifts.
They are also lightweight and offer great cushioning – a helpful solution for achy joints and sore feet!
- Rubber sole
- Lightweight stretch-knit upper expands and contracts with your foot for adaptive comfort.
- Partial bootie design for a secure fit and feel
- Flywire cables deliver a secure locked-in fit
- Injected Phylon midsole for lightweight cushioning
- U-shaped Max Air unit provides responsiveness in the heel
Note: these Nike shoes are my absolute favorite! Who knew that Nike made such cute slip-resistant shoes that are also comfortable enough to move around in all day?
The Nike Women’s Air Zoom Vomero Shoes are very sturdy, durable shoes, which are exactly what the busy nurse needs. Also, the NIKE Women’s Air Zoom Vomero Shoes offer soft, plush cushioning – which can help with sore joints and tired feet.
- Rubber sole
- Flywire cables wrap the midfoot for supportive, custom lockdown
- Plush collar for a soft, comfortable fit
- Lunarlon foam midsole for soft, plush cushioning
- Rubber outsole for durable traction
- Available in several colors
The reviews on the Nike Women’s Air Max LW Running Shoes speak volumes. Customers use phrases such as “I love these shoes,” “super comfortable,” and “I just got my second pair!”
It’s a great feeling to know you found a great nursing shoe that you can stick with over the years as a nurse. Because let’s be honest, nurses are on their feet more than any other occupation. And we need to be taking better care of our feet, joints, and backs.
These are very modern-looking shoes that make a statement for style and practicality.
- Crafted with a mesh upper for lightweight breathability
- Forefoot flex grooves for natural range of motion
- Durable rubber outsole for multi-surface traction
- No-sew Swoosh design trademark and eyestays for a clean look
- Visible Max Air unit provides all-day comfort
- Molded details on the heel counter for a modern look
Additional recommended reading:
Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter below and receive a FREE COPY of The Nurses Guide To Self Care Ebook!
Here are the best holiday gifts for pregnant nurses! These gifts are perfect for both baby showers and holiday gifts. We all know that nurses are amazing caregivers by nature. Why not celebrate with a gift the reflects all of her many talents? Give your pregnant nurse mama friend something that reflects both motherhood and her dedication towards helping others as a nurse.
Best Holiday Gifts For Pregnant Nurses:
Clothing For The Pregnant Nurse
The saying is true: when a nurse becomes a mom, nothing scares her anymore. By then, you have seen everything imaginable and then some. That’s just one of the reasons that nursing is such a great career for mothers.
The nurse mom is going to need something cozy and comfortable to wear while spending time with her new bundle of joy. These great gifts provide comfort while also reminding the nurse mom that she is capable of so many great things.
Coffee Or Tea Mugs
Once a nurse becomes a mother, sleep becomes even more scarce. In fact, it’s a little like working the day shift and the night shift, every single day! There is a very good chance that she will be drinking more coffee than ever before. These gifts will not only help her enjoy a warm beverage but are also be a reminder of the incredible courage that she possesses.
Children’s books are a thoughtful gift for any expecting mother. These books can help children understand what mom does at work all day. There is nothing better than opening communication with a child by sharing their mother’s experiences helping humankind.
Nurse Mom Gear For Work
Many nurse moms eventually go back to work after maternity leave ends. It can be a challenging time for mothers who are concerned with being gone from their babies for 12-hour shifts. These gifts are a reminder that nurse moms have many jobs, both in the workplace and at home.
Practical Gifts For The Pregnant Nurse
Here is how to help the pregnant nurse get more sleep once she brings her baby home! Nurses are used to working crazy shift schedules and not getting as much sleep as they should. But once a baby comes along, sleep becomes the most valuable commodity there is. Help the nurse mom get the maximum amount of sleep possible with these thoughtful gifts.
Additional recommended reading:
(This post contains affiliate links. See our disclosure page for for information. Post updated 7/29/19).
Nurses need to be wearing compression socks or stockings for every shift. Especially nurses who are on their feet for 12 hour shifts!
I have been doing a bit of research lately on the effects of standing/walking for long hours. The reason for this is that I am an emergency room nurse who has worked on my feet all the way through two entire pregnancies – until just a few weeks before I gave birth.
I had no idea that being on my feet for such long hours could actually be bad for my health. I figured that standing and walking all day was better then sitting for long periods. As it turns out, that may not be true. Even for those who aren’t even pregnant.
Compression stockings are often overlooked as a way to prevent some of the chronic issues that come from working in a profession where you are on your feet for such long hours. There are enough occupational hazards for nurses as it is and this is an easier way for us to take better care of ourselves on the job!
Nurses are standing or walking most of the time which is why it is so important to wear compression socks or stockings.
How Do Compression Socks Help Nurses?
#1. Prevention of varicose veins
Standing for long periods of time causes valves in the veins to become weakened, causing blood to collect in the veins. This causes the veins to enlarge and increase in pressure. The veins then stretch from the increased pressure and cause varicose veins. Fortunately, varicose veins are not dangerous however then can be very painful.
#2. Improved blood flow and decreased risk of blood clots
There are a ton of studies out there on using compression stockings to prevent blood clots in patients recovering from surgery. As a nurse, I have helped my own patients use them many times. As it turns out, nurses should probably be using them too.
A study by The Society of Occupational Medicine found that wearing compression stockings significantly decreased lower limb venous pressure in nurses who stood for very long hours. The data found that compression stockings protected against oxidative stress in those who work in long-standing occupations.
#3. Decreased swelling of ankles and feet
I have been wearing graduated 30mm compression stockings for about the last 4 weeks during my 12 hour ER shifts. It has been a drastically better experience for me. I wouldn’t even consider going into work without them at this point because my legs start to hurt so badly by the end of the day.
Pregnancy exacerbates the problem of varicose veins and other venous issues since being pregnant increases blood flow in women by 50%. There are days when I hardly sit except for my 1 hour lunch break. That is a long time for anyone, much less a nurse who is already 7 months pregnant. If I didn’t wear compression stockings at this point, I don’t think I would even be able to make it through a shift.
Compression socks help nurses by preventing varicose views due to standing for long periods of time.
How do compression socks work?
Compression socks help increase circulation of blood flow and oxygen by helping increase the velocity, or speed of blood flow. By squeezing on the legs, the veins carrying blood to the heart are compressed. Think of how when you squeeze a hose, it squirts the water out faster. With compression stockings, the same volume of blood is able to move up the leg, but it has less area in which to move.
Compression socks and stockings help nurses by preventing varicose veins due to standing for long periods of time.
Waring compression takes some getting used to.
When I first started wearing compression stockings during my pregnancy I wasn’t happy about it. My doctor recommended them for me because she knew I was a nurse. I wore the ankle to waist 20-30mmHg compression stockings, and they are tight! It is not an exaggeration to say that it took at least 5 minutes to pull them up and get them situated. They are especially difficult to put on with a 7th month pregnant belly. I felt (and probably looked) like an awkward whale putting them on.
Compression socks or stockings are a non-negotiable for pregnant nurses… unless you enjoy varicose veins!
Now that I’m used to wearing compression stockings, I love them. I can’t believe I used to work 12 hour shifts without them.
I have spoken to a lot of other nurses who say the same thing. A male co-worker I spoke with recently in the ER wears knee high compression stockings and says his legs “still feel energized at the end of a shift.”
It makes sense that standing up and working on your feet all day would be problematic in a matter of time. Swelling, varicose veins and decreased blood flow seem like an obvious result of being on your feet for 12 hours a day. Why wasn’t I wearing compression stockings sooner?
As long as I am working as a nurse, compression stockings will be a part of my life. Having pain or discomfort due to my hard work as an RN is so not OK with me. I don’t want future circulation and venous issues due to the fact that I worked hard as a nurse.
As a mom of small babies and an ER nurse I certainly don’t need any more wear-and-tear on my body!
Please sign up for our newsletter exclusively for nurse moms! Sign up below.
Additional recommend reading:
(This post about important nurse supplies contains affiliate links. You can find our disclosure page here.)
What are the most important nurse supplies you need as a nurse?
I am a registered nurse who has worked all over the hospital, taking care of E.R., Med Surg, and ICU patients. As a result, I have seen it all and then some. And I still see new things that shock me every day! That is why it is so important to be prepared with the correct nurse supplies you need to succeed.
This list is excellent if you are looking for gifts for nurses (especially a new graduate nurse!). Or if you are looking to keep your professional nurse game on point!
The following items are linked directly to the product on Amazon. I love purchasing my nurse supplies from Amazon for three reasons: free shipping with Amazon prime, I can find the best-discounted price available, and, most importantly, the EASY return policy.
Here are are the seven most important nurse supplies you need:
Whether trying to obtain a manual blood pressure or listening to lung sounds, every nurse needs to have a stethoscope. I bought a 3M Littmann Classic in nursing school, and I have been using it ever since. They are available in many colors and have a “non-chill” rim, so you don’t shock your patients with a cold stethoscope.
The Raptor Shears look like a fancy pair of scissors. But they are one of the most practical and essential nurse supplies. These functional and handy shears are six tools wrapped into one:
- medical shears
- strap cutter
- ring cutter
- oxygen tank wrench
- carbide glass breaker
Many nurses I work with in the emergency room have the Raptor Shears, and we use them frequently in emergencies. You can hook it to a belt or secure it using the pocket clip. It also has a 25-year limited warranty and will last you throughout your nursing career or longer. This is high on my list of great gifts for nurses!
Otherwise known as the “medical gear hip pack,” the fanny pack is a staple of the nurse uniform. Every nurse needs a way to carry their most important nurse supplies with them at all times.
When I started working as a new graduate nurse, I used a fanny pack every day to carry syringes, alcohol swabs, pens, a penlight, my notes, and extra needles and syringes. But after about six months, I got comfortable on the unit and stopped using it (mostly because I felt a little dorky).
But just this past year, I pulled it out and started using it again. And you know what? I do a lot less walking back to the supply room because I can carry the items I need in my fanny pack. And I always have my supplies on me when I need them fast. Embrace your inner nurse dork with a fanny pack!
Additional recommended reading: The 6 Best Nursing Pocket Organizers and Fanny Packs
These retractable four-color pens are great if you need something to stand out in your work notes. Or use different colors for different patients when taking reports. These pens are also great for color-coding notes and flashcards when studying for certifications! I always have a few in my work bag and one on me while at work.
It is essential to have a nurse penlight when assessing extraocular movements. And these are especially great because they have pupil sizes right on the pen for more accurate assessment!
I got used to carrying a penlight when working on a neurology/stroke unit and needed them to check my patient’s neurological status at least every 2 hours during my shift. You can’t complete a neurological exam correctly without them!
(If you are looking for great gifts for nurses, a fanny pack with a penlight and retractable color pens in it would be so perfect!)
The Apple Watch was a big purchase for me, but I use it several times a day during my 12-hour shift, and it is so handy!
While working, I can use the Apple Watch as a stopwatch, a timer, and I can set the alarm to remind myself of tasks I might forget when my shift gets crazy busy. I can also receive and send text messages on it without carrying my cell phone with me.
But my favorite thing about the Apple Watch is that it records how much I stand, exercise, and move throughout my shift (it breaks them down into colorful rings) and tells me how many total steps I get in a shift.
My record so far is 22,000 steps during a single shift! (Those who know me well know that I am a big advocate of nurses staying healthy and taking good care of themselves!)
As an E.R. nurse, it is a regular practice for me to start several I.V.s a day. Sometimes up to 7 or 8 in a single shift! For patients who are a difficult “stick” (as we call it in nursing), it is so helpful to have a vein finder in my back pocket.
Patients need an IV stat to give them the proper medications and IV fluids they need. You could look for a vein finder on the unit, but why waste that precious time when you can carry one with you?
Additional Recommended Reading:
*Article contains affiliate links.
If there is anyone who NEEDS to be wearing compression stockings or socks, its nurses (or anyone who is on their feet for 12+ hours a day!). There are 3 reasons for this:
- Prevent or reduce varicose veins
- Improve blood flow and decrease the risk of blood clots
- Decrease swelling of the legs and ankles
Nurses already put a lot of stress on their bodies, we don’t need more! (Read more about the benefits of compression stockings here). Since I started wearing compression stockings my legs feel noticeably better and more energized at the end of a shift. I started wearing them out of necessity when I was pregnant and was able to continue working as an ER nurse until I was almost 8 and a half months pregnant! I have always felt good about the fact that I have a job that is not sedentary. But as it turns out being on my feet for such long hours can actually be worse for your health than sitting all day. So how are we supposed to continue working as busy healthcare professionals AND prevent some of these insidious chronic issues? Cue, compression stockings!
How do compression stockings work?
Compression stockings help increase the circulation of blood flow and oxygen by helping increase the velocity or speed of blood flow. By squeezing on the legs, the veins carrying blood to the heart are compressed. Think of how when you squeeze a hose, it squirts the water out faster. With compression stockings, the same volume of blood is able to move up the leg, but it has less area in which to move.
Understanding compression stocking levels:
I know, I know. This is SUPER boring information. But its good information to know for your leg health! Choosing the right compression stockings can be difficult if you do not understand what the levels of compression actually mean. Compression stockings have a range of numbers to indicate how much graduated compression the garment has. Here is a quick and dirty breakdown:
- 15-20 mmHg
- Good for everyday wear to help with welling and fatigued legs due to long periods of travel, sitting or standing.
- Medical grade compression. Good for managing swelling, spider veins, travel, sports and after some surgeries. Also good for pregnant mothers to alleviate swelling and achy legs.
- 30-40 mmHg
- Recommended when you have a blood clot, deep vein thrombosis DVT or lymphedema.
- 40-50 mmHg
- very strong compression for severe venous stasis, wound management, and lymphedema.
(The unit of measurement (mmHg) is called “millimeters of mercury” which is a measurement of pressure, also used in blood pressure. It is basically a measurement for how tight the compression on your legs is.) The sweet spot for medical professionals on their feet all day falls in the 20-30 mmHg range or sometimes 30-40mmHg depending on how much compression you are looking for. You should discuss compression stockings with your doctor, especially if you have any medical issues. Keep in mind that you get what you pay for. Generally speaking with all products, if the price seems too good to be true, then it probably is. The same concept applies to compression stockings. Trust me when I say I learned this the hard way!
How do I find and review the best compression stockings for nurses?
So glad you asked. The best compression stockings for nurses are the ones you actually wear! Here you go…
The Best compression socks for nurses:
Best compression stockings for nurses:
Expecting? The best compression stockings for pregnant nurses:
There are enough occupational hazards being a nurse already. Sacrificing my leg health is just not worth it. I can’t believe I wasn’t wearing compression stockings sooner. As long as I am working as an nurse I will wear compression stockings or socks for every single shift. Pain and discomfort due to my hard work as an RN is so not OK with me. I refuse to have future circulation and venous issues due to the fact that I worked hard as a nurse. Are you a nurse concerned with effects of being on your feet all day? Have you tried wearing compression stockings? What are your thoughts? I love hearing from other nurses! Sarah, Mother Nurse Love