Most Comfortable shoes For Nurses – How to Help yourself

nurse suffering lower back and foot pain

I have previously talked about how I have suffered with sore feet and back pain for a prolonged time ( around 10 years ) and it wasn’t until I took action that I managed to start to get my issues with my back and feet under control. The thing is at the time you don’t quite realize that it effects not only yourself, but all those around you when you are constantly suffering discomfort and pain. Its only now that I am free of this suffering that I can see I wasn’t being the best nurse, wife or mother that I could be through no fault of my own, but when you have constant pain and discomfort most of the time, it can be extremely difficult to give your full concentration to other things. If I only knew 10 years ago that finding the most comfortable shoes for nurses would be the start of me living and working without sore feet and back pain I would have taken action then. This was only the start of the process of living without pain and in turn being able to give the best of myself to my deserving patients, beautiful family and friends. So today I’m going to tell you how to help yourself if you also suffer with sore feet and back pain, and in turn you can give the best of yourself too.


Help yourself – most comfortable shoes for nurses

Its important that you realize that you don’t have to soldier on through your aches and pain, because that’s what us nurses, wives and mothers do. Everyone that cares about you and those that you care for, whether in a personal or professional capacity will benefit from you not suffering. It just is not possible for you to give the best of yourself as a mum, wife and nurse when you’re not 100% focused on those things. The good news is that there are many things you can do to help yourself and we are going to talk about them next.

The first thing you need to do is to decide to do something about it and end the suffering by taking action. No more suffering in silence!

First things to do – Find the right Footwear

The first step to easing your suffering is to find the right footwear for yourself. This could include the right type and shape of shoe for your foot and may also include compression/comfort socks if you need these as well. You may even need custom inserts for your shape of foot as well. There are many types of shoes that you can acquire for nursing these include

  • Clogs
  • Athletic shoes – trainers/sneakers
  • Crocs
  • Casual walking shoes – leather upper

This is not a one size fits all kind of thing. You need to find the correct type of shoe for you and your environment. Some shoes I have listed are prohibited in some hospitals due to their safety and dress codes and might only be allowed if you work in certain departments. Also, its very dependent on what your own personal role entails. For example if you have the possibility of coming in contact with fluid spills Crocs aren’t going to fit your requirements and if you suffer from sore feet you need to make sure your shoes have the correct support, cushioning and flexibility that your role needs.

Finding the right shoe with the right support and cushioning for your feet is quite dependent on the shape of your foot. You will need to distinguish what your shape of foot is. For example – High arched, extremely high arched and flat-footed. You can do this by visiting your doctor. You should be visiting your doctor if you’ve had a sustained period of foot and back pain anyway. My husband Peter has a High arched foot and suffers with Plantar Fasciitis so He needed a shoe that cushioned the heel and offered really good arch support so we found him a really good athletic shoe that offered those features.

For myself I suffered with heel pain and pain on the balls of my feet, this in turn would go up the backs of my legs and into my lower back. I can honestly say that as soon as we found me the right shoes, my discomfort halved immediately and if you don’t take any other advice from me today, please follow this one because I promise this really will make such a difference to your standard of life if you suffer like I did.

Stretching exercises – make it second nature

The next thing you need to do is to incorporate stretching exercises into your daily regime. Now don’t panic these exercises are’n’t taxing but if you do them regularly they will give you great relief from your sore feet and back pain and may even help to ease your discomfort completely.

Stretching Your Back

Stretches to do before you get out of bed – If you suffer from plantar fasciitis, the plantar ( the strip that connects the heel and ball of foot ) can tighten overnight and cause great discomfort when you first stand in the morning.

  • Foot lift stretch ,
  • Toe Stretch

Standing and sitting stretches to do at work – These can be done anywhere as they require very little space to perform.

  • Towel stretch
  • Toe curls stretch
  • Ball rolling stretch
  • Standing stair/step stretch
Stretches for Hip pain – These stretches are to help with hip, leg and lower back pain.
  • Hip flexor stretch
  • Standing outer hip stretch

When you incorporate these stretches into your daily life you will notice a huge difference in your feeling of well-being and general health. I have previously written about these stretches with instructions on how to do them in a previous post. Please check it out on my site.


Leave work at work – Find a way to relax

Finally, the next thing you have to do is learn how to relax after work and try to maintain a healthy work / life balance. You need to be able to leave your work behind you at the end of the day. This is especially important if you work in a stressful, fast paced environment that can leave you emotionally and physically drained such as a hospital. Your body and mind need to recover before your next shift so that your fit to fight another day.

One of the best ways to start the recovery/relaxation part of your day is to wash the work day away. A nice long soak in the bath or an invigorating shower will accomplish this. You can then try any of the following methods for relaxation.

Bath time


Taking care of your body – Massage, Exercising, Stretching ( a Must for recovery ), drinking plenty – Keeping hydrated and wearing comfy clothes.

Relaxation methods – Visualization, meditation, Listening to music, reading, watching films and TV, socializing and engaging in your hobbies and interests. Whatever relaxation method you find that suits you it should help you to switch your mind completely off from the workday. ( My favourite thing to do is to read and I have recently started to draw and paint with watercolours. )

Time for bed – The end of the day – About 30 minutes before you go to sleep you should switch off any electricals that are engaging your mind and keeping it alert / active. This will give your mind time to switch off before you want to go to sleep.

a good nights sleep

Recovered and recharged – Ready to give the best of you

When you can incorporate the things that I have talked about today into your daily life I promise you that you will wake up the next day recovered, recharged and ready to give the best of yourself to everyone the next day, You’ll also notice that as time goes by your aches and pains will lessen and you should be aiming for a life with no discomfort at all.

So please find the right footwear, use the stretches, find a way to relax / switch off from work, rest and get a good nights sleep. When you accomplish these things you will notice a huge difference to your feeling of well-being.

I have covered all off the above topics in much greater details in previous recent posts, so please check them out. This post today is just intended as an overview of those posts.

If you have any questions or need a hand please drop a comment in the box or e-mail me at and I will be glad to answer.






Comfy Shoes For Nurses





10 thoughts on “Most Comfortable shoes For Nurses – How to Help yourself

  1. Stella Reply

    Hey Emma;

    You have included so many great tips here, and they’re good for many people and situations. I know what you mean about not being the best you when you are in pain and discomfort all the time. I have found that to be true with my digestion issues, and I take care of myself so that I can be there for my family.

    But, back to the shoes. I have a relative who is a nurse, and she is tired a lot. I’m going to show her this post. Hopefully it will help her with her issues, too.

    Thanks!  Stella 🙂

    • Emma Post authorReply

      Thanks Stella it is important that we can be the best of ourselves when caring for others professionally or at home. I really hope this can be of some benefit to yourself and your relative and please check in here from time tro time as I will be posting advice, reviews and tips on a regular basis.

      Thanks Emma

  2. Theresa Reply

    I have a high-schooler who is studying for her nurse aid certification right now and is planning to get her RN after she graduates. We have been through the hoops of finding quality scrubs that she likes, but I never thought about what she might need on her feet! She’s going to volunteer at our hospital this summer, so I will use the information you give out here to find her some quality shoes. Thanks for the heads up!

    Oh, and do you think going to a shoe store that offers foot/walk evaluations would help?

    • Emma Post authorReply

      Hey Theresa what she wears on her feet as of now is of paramount importance to her health later on in life. Nursing takes atoll on the body and starting off with the right footwear now could save your daughter a lot of pain and discomfort down the line and you never know perhaps she could avoid it altogether. I would always recommend seeking professional advice if your not sure of your walk/step /foot shape or arch shape at first. You generally only have to find this out once. You can always do the wet foot test on a piece of dark thick paper to see the imprint of your foot on the paper. If you type High arched foot test into your search engine you will find all of the information there.
      Thanks Emma

  3. Darren Reply

    Your right about what your writing about the back pain and sore feet especially for the nurses and the long shifts they do.

    In order to prevent repetitive soreness it’s best to combine treatments as you discuss.

    A few simple stretches during the day and the correct footwear will Definetely help along with rest to recharge as you say. 

    Along with trainers and crocs what’s your opinion on memory foamed soles? This could cushion the heal during the day perhaps ? 

    • Emma Post authorReply

      Hi Darren thanks for your question. I have just posted two reviews on my site of which shoes I believe are the best shoes for nurses so please go to and click on the links for my reviews. As for memory foamed insoles I swear by them and would not recommend a shoe without them. I am presently producing a post and review of custom inserts, compression socks, comfort socks and orthotics that I think will help people who need them and will be offering recommendations as well. So please check back in from time to time as I think this information may help you.

      Thanks Emma

  4. rufat Reply

    I really like your article. It contains so many practical recommendations in terms of what to wear and what to do to stop suffering from pain. But can you recommend any Athletic shoes? I mean you give general recommendations or can recommend some products too? Maybe you already tried one and know which one to buy and where to buy.

    • Emma Post authorReply

      Hi Rufat,

       Thanks for your feed back I have recently just posted two reviews on which shoes I think are the best shoes for nurses. I have reviewed both male and female nurses shoes and if you go to you will be able to just click on the link you need. I hope this helps you.

      Thanks Emma

  5. Jason Reply

    My wife is a nurse and I am on my feet all day in the collision repair industry. Both of us suffer from back pain. I agree that what you wear on your feet is vital not only to your comfort but also your productivity at work. I am required to wear work boots in my industry so custom inserts is really a great option for me. My wife took some time to find the right shoe for her and also added custom inserts to help out with her pain. We are not completely pain free but these decisions definitely improved our quality of life on a day to day basis.We both have also incorporated stretching into our daily routine.

    Thank You


    • Emma Post authorReply

      Hi Jason I suffered with back pain for well over ten years and it wasn’t until I incorporated stretches, learning how to relax and most importantly the right shoes for my feet and environment that I found some relief. Please check out the other content on my site as I think you will find it genuinely helpful. I will be adding content very soon that goes in to great detail about custom inserts, compression and comfort socks and orthotics so please check in from time to time. 

      Thanks Emma

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