6 Tips for Choosing the Best Footwear for Your Nursing Shift
When you spend all day on your feet, having the best footwear and right support makes all the difference.
Anyone with a profession that requires long hours on the feet knows the importance of good footwear. And nurses, who are often on duty for long, 12-hour shifts, understand this problem more than most. The wrong choice of footwear can lead to foot pain, or exacerbate problems that already exist. Here’s six tips to help you choose the best footwear for your nursing shift.
1. Arch support and cushioning.
We’ve all heard about the importance of good arch support and cushioning for comfortable shoes. It’s not just important for your feet, however. Arch support can help improve your posture, preventing pain in your lower back. And the right cushioning will absorb impact from walking and running all day long. This keeps your other joints, such as your ankles, knees, and hips, from becoming sore and wearing down.
2. Look for a wide toe box.
Over the course of the day, your toes naturally want to spread out. But because of this, a shoe that felt perfectly comfortable when you tried it on in the store could begin to cause pain halfway through your shift. To avoid this problem, look for shoes that have a wide toe box, and don’t be tempted to buy a shoe a half-size smaller than your usual unless it offers plenty of space for your feet. You may also want to keep an eye out for shoes with reinforced toes, as this can protect your feet in case anything gest dropped on them.
3. Non-slip is key.
Hospital floors can get become slippery, and a fall can be dangerous for both you and your patient. This makes rubber-soled shoes with good treads an important choice for most nurses. If your best shoes wear down and start getting slippery, there are options on the market for non-slip pads you can stick to your soles to gain some traction back.
4. Mesh or leather?
Sneakers seem like an obvious choice for most active professions, but they come with a big down side for nurses. The mesh uppers on sport shoes may be breathable and light, but they’re hard to clean. For nurses, who often have messy bodily fluids to contend with, a sneaker doesn’t offer much protection against blood, urine, or vomit.
On the other hand, leather shoes are breathable and easy to clean. A quick wipe down with an antibacterial cloth is all they need, and they’re good to go. While they are often a little heavier than their mesh counterparts, but the right style can look a little more professional, making them a versatile option for nurses who have to transition from patient care to meetings.
5. Alternate footwear on different days.
Leather may be more breathable, but that doesn’t mean it won’t trap odors over time. And when feet spend long periods trapped in sweaty shoes, it can lead to foot odor, warts, and athlete’s foot. Leather also wears down more quickly if it doesn’t have a chance to dry out between uses. So, to get the most out of your footwear and keep your feet healthy, try giving each shoe a quick spray with an antiseptic cleanser to cut down on germs and bacterial, and alternate pairs of shoes so that they have a chance to dry out on their off-days.
6. Don’t forget about socks.
Finally, the right socks are a key component of your footwear choices. Breathable, moisture wicking socks will help keep your feet from becoming too sweaty and can cut down on foot odor. We also recommend nurses try compression socks to improve circulation in their legs and reduce muscle soreness at the end of a long shift.
The Uniform Outlet can supply your footwear needs.
Wondering where to find a shoe that fits all the criteria we just listed? We stock several lines of best footwear for nurses, including leather step-in shoes, comfortable leather clogs, and athletic trainers. We also carry a range of compression socks to help cut down on muscle soreness. Stock up on women’s scrubs and men’s scrubs today to take advantage of our free shipping on all orders over $75!