Any nurse you can talk to, will tell you that this is a very rewarding occupation. But also a very stressful one, that takes a lot of patience and self discipline. Since nurses have to spend a lot of time standing straight up and walking around between patients, nurses often suffer from tired feet. Being tired from your feet and up is really bad. Once the exhaustion starts at the very bottom, it will quickly make its way up your body, all the way up to your head.
I always say… if something is worth doing, it’s worth doing right. So that’s why you have to make sure that you get your fundamentals right. And in the context of nursing, the ‘fundamentals’ directly translate to your footwear! So it is very important that a nurse buys him or herself the right kinds of shoes, that will protect you from everything that your work day is going to throw at you.
What To Look For In A Good Nursing Shoe?
Let’s have a look at some of things you need to keep in mind when buying the best nursing shoe for yourself.
You’ll have to take into account whether or not the shoes you are eyeing are able to accommodate socks of varying thickness. Let’s say that you want to wear thin socks in summer and thick socks in winter. You’re going to want to make sure that your nursing shoes of choice will be able to fit those in without becoming too loose or too tight.
Do the shoes you are wanting to buy support inserts? More often than not, stock inserts cannot hold a candle to third party, after market insoles, such as Tread Labs. If you are dead serious about standing comfortably with the best support you can get, then you should also probably also invest in really great insoles, along with your footwear.
Naturally, the nursing shoe that you are keen on will have to be the right size. It must be long enough so that it won’t cramp up your toes. Your feet swell up during the day. This is especially true if you are a nurse who is constantly on the move. Next to length, you will also have to take width into account. Some people have wider feet than others. When feet swell, they tend to do this in width, rather than in length. So especially for swelling feet, a wide enough shoe is important.
Nurses are always running about wards, where patients may create spills of all sorts of fluids that I’d rather not get into. But the reality is that hospital floors aren’t always as spic and span as you’d like them to be. Being a busy bee, a nurse can not afford to slip on a puddle of something icky. A good shoe for nurses should absolutely be completely skid proof. This is a good way of preventing the nurse from becoming the patient.
When your shoes are not flexible enough, they will create needless amounts of strain on your feet. When they are too flexible, they will not support your feet enough. You’ve got to have the right amount of flexibility, so that you can be sure that you are standing and walking as comfortably as you possibly can. Most new shoes will give you a good amount of flexibility out of the box. But still, keep this in mind.
The last, but certainly not the least, that you ought to keep in mind… is the comfort level of the shoes you want to buy. If you’re going to buy your shoes online, it’s very important that you know your exact size. Some online webstores have ‘expected fit’ charts, where you can see whether a shoe runs smaller or larger than expected. If it runs larger, then you can order (half) a size down. If it runs smaller, then you can order (half) a size up.
How To Get The Most Wear Out Of Your Nursing Shoes?
Hospitals are dangerous places, where there are plenty of footwear hazards that really mess up your new shoes. Some nurses opt to wear slip covers over their shoes, in order to prevent them from getting nicks and scratches that damage the surface.
It is also possible to cover your shoes with a thin layer of polish. This will protect them against scuff marks, making the finish and color last longer than they normally would. Nurse shoes are made to last by design, but that doesn’t mean you won’t have to maintain them. If you do, they’ll last longer than they would if you didn’t. And this, in turns, gets you more value for the money.
It can also help to buy two pairs of shoes, rather than one. The reason for this, is that you can let them air dry. This will prevent bacteria from building up in the shoes, and gradually destroying the complete inner lining. Exchanging a pair of shoes every day, can help in keeping them both last longer. It’s a bigger upfront investment, but one that will pay off in the long run.
The best nursing shoes are made by NurseMate, Dansko and Sanita. These brands have been around for quite some time now. They are known to produce quality footwear that lasts a long time. The last two that I linked to, Dansko and Sanita, both produce cloglike footwear. Some nurses prefer to wear tennis shoes. So if that’s you, then you may want to look at other brands instead.
How To Fit Nursing Shoes Properly?
Just when you think a lifetime of wearing the same shoe size has taught you precisely what shoe size you have, you’ll run into a situation where you get your hands on a shoe that has ‘your’ shoe size… but for some reason just doesn’t fit well. This happens more often than you’d care to admit.
Good fitting shoes are very important to a nurse in terms of workplace safety. So what can you do to ensure you’ll have a good fit for your new nurse clog?
The problem with shoe sizes, is that there isn’t any one standard that governs them all globally, let alone nationally. Shoes of a certain size from one brand might be very comfortable on your feet. But shoes of the same size from another brand, might not be at all that comfortable. Try to find out the ‘expected fit’ if you are shopping online.
When you are trying out your new shoes, always make sure to stand and walk on them. Your feet will get longer and wider when you are putting your full weight onto them. Never judge a shoe on your foot while you are sitting down.
Try out your shoes in the evening. This is when your feet are swollen the most. If the fit is comfortable in the evening, then the fit will probably also be comfortable in the morning and in the afternoon. If they don’t fit well in the evening, then you should probably keep looking for another pair. Their fit will not improve with wear.
Shoe size is not the whole story. The shape of the nursing shoe will have to conform to the natural shape of your foot. If you have wide feet, you’ll need a shoe that is wide. It is also possible that you have chunky toes. In this case, you’ll need to get a shoe with a high toe box.