Choosing The Most Comfortable Nursing Shoes
It is not uncommon for several nurses to complain about aches, back pain, and shin splints for which an improper or poorly made pair of shoes is often responsible. Nurses tend to work on their toes for several hours continuously due to which it is essential for them to have a pair of most comfortable nursing shoes.
Just imagine moving quickly from here to there and lifting bulky stuff with short or narrow footwear and you will visualize nothing but only tired and painful feet at the end of the day. Wearing an uncomfortable pair of shoes that lack sufficient support or do not fit properly is the main cause of aching feet along with complex pain patterns in back and legs.
At times, these discomforting symptoms can convert into some serious disorders and/or long term pain, which are time consuming and expensive to heal. So, the main purpose of a nursing shoe pair is to provide lasting comfort.
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Benefits of Choosing Comfortable Shoes for Nurses
A comfortable pair of nursing shoes not only properly cushions the feet but also supports the back, hips, knees, and ankles. Obviously, this minimizes both fatigue and stress. Well, there are some more benefits as well.
- Reduced discomfort or pain in foot and back, if it was existing
- Increased comfort level
- Great aid in foot balance
- Ideal alignment
- Prevention of spinal disorders or pain
- Additional arch support
- Optimal absorption of shock or high impact
- Alleviated risks of reoccurring stress injuries and prevailing foot disorders such as plantar fasciitis, callouses, and bunions
- Better productivity or performance
Almost every nurse is likely to work for at least 12 hours on their feet. Therefore, these benefits are actually what any nurse would expect. Luckily, varieties of nursing shoes most comfortable are available for offering these benefits while working the whole day long. However, to choose the most suitable one, the first you need to know is that they are not normal shoes.
Nursing Shoes vs Normal or Other Women Shoes
Many people consider nursing shoes as tennis or generic sports shoes, which are specially designed to offer maximum comfort. Well, this belief is not true. Structurally, nursing shoes tend to differ from other shoes and have a special goal of high and continuous comfort for hours to fulfill for the nurses. In simple terms, these shoes have some exclusive features that other types of shoes lack.
Generally, people wear special shoes for jogging, walking, and other such exclusive purposes. Here, these shoes are worn only for some continuous hours, and not all the time. On the other hand, nurses work for several hours daily due to which they wear their shoes almost throughout the day.
As a result, nursing shoes are made to give the best level of comfort and well being to prevent any stress or pain at bay. Other than that, the best quality shoes are waterproof, softer, and more durable than other types of shoes.
One more distinguishing feature is the weight. Relatively comfortable shoes for nurses are very light to prevent the burden of carrying any kind of unfavorable load while strolling or ascending a staircase. Further, these shoes are more comfortable and safer than other shoes.
Due to all these unique features, the cost of these shoes is relatively more. However, it is still suggested to go for such shoes so that you do not spend heavily in treating the medical disorders. Once you are convinced to buy the comfortable nursing shoes, the second step is to know about the different styles available.
Nursing shoes are available in different styles and sizes. However, no single style is universally applicable to all nurses. Thus, it is essential to find out which type will be the most comfortable for you. At the same time, you also need to remember that some shoes are designed for both women and men. Here are the three styles to consider and choose one of them for having the most comfortable shoes for nurses:
- Clogs: Are perhaps looked upon as the most comfortable options. They come with closed front and wide opened back areas. The latter facilitates to take feet in and out easily at anytime. This is actually what makes these nursing shoes most comfortable for those who need spacious sized footwear. In case of any tight feeling, you can consider another clog variation with a strap for the right fit. Clogs do not have lace and are usually designed using rubber or leather. Some of their models come with holes for proper air circulation to prevent feet sweating.
- Sneakers: Are for those who remain busy with patients and spend maximum time in wards such as Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and Emergency. Regarded as the most stylish shoes, Sneakers for nurses feature a soft cushion to trigger the feeling of smoothness and comfort. They also ensure highest level of stability and grip. However, these shoes contain a lace-up panel for tying tightly to the feet, which might not appeal to sweating feet. In this case, a pair with holes is ideal.
- Slip-on: Are for those who do not want to tie a lace and often run to handle emergency cases. These shoes come with a closed back for a tight fitting and a toe box for relaxed feet. For ensuring optimal comfort and ground grip, these shoes have a leather lining and rubber outsoles. Many of them are also waterproof.
Apart from these styles, you may even come across backless and synthetic leather shoes for nurses. However, it is best to avoid them, as they do not take good care of health. While the backless ones are unstable although they give the convenience of no lace tying, the synthetic leather ones add up to a sweaty or hot feeling.
Factors or Features to Consider
Now that you know about the different styles and their unique features, it is time to consider the factors that tend to influence your buying decision. For example, if you choose clogs, it is vital to note that all clogs are same. Similarly, there is no best pair of clogs that is appealing or suitable for all nurses.
In simple terms, one pair of clogs is different from the other. So, what makes them different? Well, they are the buying factors that make each pair different from the other within the same category of style. So, it is best to consider these factors for making an informed decision of selection. They are as follows:
Level of Comfort
Even if you are looking in the famous and branded collection of nursing shoes most comfortable, the level of comfort is likely to vary. One very apparent and highly influencing reason behind this is the foot size.
So, it is wise to know your foot type by carefully measuring it in a professional way. You can then use these measurements to pick a shoe pair that is in alignment with your feet. Otherwise, you will be unable to even stroll comfortably.
Apart from the right size, the nursing shoes you choose should help in moving spontaneously from toe to heel, just as the athletic footwear. However, this should be such that it does not trigger a feeling of discomfort even if you were to roam around throughout the day.
Well, the aforementioned requirements translate into a pair having a well designed sole and good amount of cushion to alleviate stress inducing pressure on joints and feet. Many models come with rocker bottoms featuring a round shape for moving around spontaneously. Some pairs also come with powerful arch support and foam cushioning.
Well, the key to unity in this diversity is to have the right balance between cushion and structure. These two aspects differ from the feet of one nurse to another, as all feet are unique in terms of shape.
Another point to consider for the best comfort level is the ability to make your feet remain cool. This is exactly where most leather models fail to be the best choice. Well, the best quality pairs are resistant to odors and sweat, due to the embedded anti-heat linings or holes.
Experts recommend models having mesh uppers as the coolest collections. However, you can even choose open heel designs and clogs, as they also have a good resistance level for sweat accumulation and heat.
This is another critical factor to look, which tends to co-exist with comfort level. In reality, it is this co-existence that makes nursing shoes most comfortable. Such shoes tend to give god support to both back and legs. In other words, this means that such pairs ensure you a good level of stability throughout those several hours, thus making it safer to wear, particularly while handling heavy items such as stretchers.
Well, it is common in some healthcare clinics to work with heavy or delicate machinery or tools, which inherently has a risk of falling or rolling over. While you might be unable to do anything to overcome these risks, you can protect your feet from them by wearing a protective pair of most comfortable nursing shoes. Such shoes tend to cover your upper feet and toes fully.
In a few situations, nurses tend to keep two different pairs of shoes for switching between the two with the change in work settings. This is also a good idea to gain protection with overall comfort during the shift hours. Alternatively, instead of buying two pairs, you can even consider having only pair but that should be able give you the right balance between the two.
Another aspect of protection to consider is slip resistance. In technical terms, this means to consider a pair whose sole is constructed using a material that is resistant to slipping. Such a sole is useful for those nurses who usually have to walk on slippery floors or polished ground, which are quite slippery and consequently increases the chance of falling and injuries.
So, in this situation, it is wise to have a comfortable pair that offers anti-slip protection. The sole that you choose should also be versatile enough to give a comfortable feeling while strolling. What this also means is that the sole should not be too slim or soft to increase the possibility of getting hurt.
For ensuring protection with support and comfort, it is also advisable to check for some more factors such as thickness (high), flexibility (good), good level of traction, supportive heel, and strength (high). With the blend of all these factors, it actually becomes easy for you to walk and lift things around without the risk of injury or accident.
Cleanliness and Maintenance
Comfort should not only be in terms of walking and lifting things up but it should also be in maintaining the shoes. While nursing people, chances are high for you to come in contact with some stuff due to which it becomes mandatory to wash your shoes. This means you need a pair whose surface can be cleansed. In this case, synthetic uppers win, as they are easy to wipe and cleanse well even with a heavier duty cleaner.
You might even need a waterproof pair. The fact here is that fabric models such as a few from Sketchers can be machine washable but will not be 100% waterproof. So, do keep an eye on that! In case the working area is a bit messy, it is best to avoid investing in a fabric or patterned leather pairs.
Well, here style refers to your personal style or preference. For most of us, a pair that is suitable for work and comfortable is ideal. However, for having a work-suitable pair, you may have to focus on factors such as design aspects such as closed toe, color, finish, stain resistance, and material.
Brands such as Danskos and Alegrias offer many visually appealing pairs, while Merrells and Timberlands have simpler options but with functional design.
Nursing aims to heal someone’s life and bring back the smile on their faces. However, this happens only if the nurse is comfortable and healthy. For this, having the most comfortable shoes is essential for which considering the above factors is indispensable.