A sports shoe designed with the needs of nurses in mind?
There are thousands of different types of shoes on the market designed for various athletes.
But until now, sports shoes didn’t exist for nurses. (Even though the physicality required to be a nurse can be just as strenuous as any other athletic performance – but without the recognition).
The Nike Air Zoom Pulse is here and will be the first athletic performance shoe for medical professionals.
Nike Air Zoom Pulse: Nike Shoes For Nurses & Other Medical Professionals
Nursing is a sport of its own
It requires the same hustle, grit, and tenacity that many athletes are portrayed as having every single day in the media. But its more than just sweat and tears – nurses are also saving lives and helping humankind in the process.
There are 3 million nurses in the United States – many struggle with chronic foot pain, back pain, and generalized pain as a result of the intensity of our careers. Primarily because, as nurses, we are on our feet for so many hours a day.
In fact, as an Emergency Room nurse, I am always standing and moving for 12 hours a shift. And after only seven years in the profession, I am already struggling with chronic back and knee pain.
The Nike Air Zoom Pulse shoes: occupational hazard prevention for nurses?
Nike says this shoe is for the everyday hero: nurses, doctors, home health providers and other medical professionals who are working round-the-clock to provide patient care.
At first glance, the shoe appears to be a hybrid of a cross trainer and a clog – making it easy to slip on and off, but still sturdy like a tennis shoe.
They are lace-less, which most nurses can appreciate. Working in the hospital setting means coming in contact with fluids and nasty germs – and shoelaces are impossible to get clean.
Also, Nike states on its website that the upper section of the shoes have a protective coating, which makes them easy to clean.
Working in the hospital setting can get slippery
It is no surprise that not wearing a slip-resistant nursing shoe is an occupational hazard for nurses. We are frequently walking around on hard and sometimes wet surfaces. The floors are regularly being cleaned in between patients, and there are occasional spills that can sometimes result in unintended falls.
It happens so frequently that 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 and disability from work.
The #1 feature of these shoes that caught my attention was how NIKE is promoting them to be especially slip-resistant on hard surfaces, such as hospital floors. (I once slipped in a patients room and sprained my ankle when I was wearing running shoes that I had been wearing for only a month).
The NIKE Air Zoom Pulse shoe: designed with medical professionals in mind and engineers even worked one-on-one with nurses in the hospital setting during development.
Product testing with nurses in a hospital
What I appreciate most about what I have read about this shoe is that it has been tested on actual medical professionals during working hours at a hospital. All of their product testing was done at OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital located in Portland, Oregon. The NIKE Air Zoom Pulse designers worked with nurses in the healthcare environment to create a shoe that works for long stretches of standing and quick movement when emergencies strike.
Can a shoe be both comfortable for long stretches of standing and versatile enough to support the fast movements required in emergencies? The NIKE website states that the Air Zoom Pulse shoes have the following features
- Easy to get on and off
- Super simple to clean
- Have the right cushioning and traction to secure the foot in all hospital conditions
- Slip-resistant “water dispersive traction”
Nike Air Zoom Pulse: game-changer for the nurse athletes?
Time will tell how well these perform on nurses, but I am very interested in finding out. The release date for the Nike Air Zoom Pulse is on December 6, 2019. It is perfectly timed for right before the holidays.
If you are a medical professional who has wear shoes in the workplace, please share your thoughts!
Additional recommended reading:
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I have a few favorite nurse essentials that I keep with me each day I go to work.
I am a registered nurse who has worked in several departments in the hospital setting taking care of ER, 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.
I created this list of my favorite essentials I use as a nurse to help other nurses keep their professional nurse game on point.
(This post contains affiliate links. You can find my disclosure page here.)
12 Nurse Essentials I Can’t Live Without
I bought a 3M Littmann Classic in nursing school, and I have been using it ever since. They are available in many different colors and have a “non-chill” rim, so you don’t shock your patients with a cold stethoscope. Whether you are trying to obtain a manual blood pressure or listening to lung sounds, every nurse needs to have a stethoscope.
Keeping your stethoscope around your neck can get in the way sometimes. I love the Koala-Qlip stethoscope holder because it attaches firmly to my scrubs and it takes the weight of the stethoscope off my neck.
Nikes are my favorite shoes to wear for 12-hour shifts when I know I’m going to be on my feet all day long. Wearing sturdy, no-slip shoes that help cushion your feet during 12-hour shifts is an absolute must!
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. Wearing compression socks helps to prevent varicose veins, improve venous blood flow, decrease the risk of blood clots, and decrease swelling of the ankles and feet. I have found that compression socks with 20-30mmHg are the right compression strength for me as a nurse.
At work, I use the Apple Watch as a stopwatch, a timer, and as an 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 having to carry 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!
Comfortable under scrub t-shirts are great because it can get cold in the hospital. This brand is especially great because they have thumb holes in the sleeves. I have several so that I always have a clean one to put on under my scrubs.
As a nurse and mom, I start my days very early, usually by 0530. And then I’m usually on the road to get to work no later than 0600. Which doesn’t leave a lot of time to sit for coffee. I have used the same Contigo coffee mug for over a year, and it is still in great condition. It is 20 oz, is stainless and has a lockable lid that is leak proof. Best of all, it keeps my coffee hot for up to 7 hours!
My Hydro Cell Water bottle is another item I have with me at all times. It is 32 oz and has a leak-proof wide mouth lid. Nurses often forget to drink enough water during busy 12-hour shifts, but having this water bottle helps me stay hydrated.
I have this crossbody bag, which is technically not a bag that is just for nurses. But I love the design. I use it to hold my nursing badge, stethoscope, water bottle, coffee mug, breast pump, pens, and all work-related paperwork that I need.
Making my lunch everyday has several benefits. I eat healthier, I don’t reach for junk that is in the break room because I pack my healthy snacks, and I save a lot of money. I’m also a foodie, and hospital food just isn’t my cup of tea. So I pack my lunch in my favorite lunch bag every evening before my shifts, and I’m good to go.
The Raptor Shears look like a fancy pair of scissors. But these functional and handy shears are 6 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 emergency situations. 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. They also make a great nursing gift for a new graduate!
These retractable four-color pens are great in case you need something to stand out in your work notes. Or use different colors for different patients when taking report. These pens are also great for color-coding notes and flashcards for when you are studying for certifications! I always have a few in my work bag and one on me while I am at work
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Additional Recommended Reading
What nurse essentials do you use at work that you can’t live without? Leave a comment!
(*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:
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