If medical dramas were actually accurate, nurses would get a hell of a lot more air time. From taking vitals to administering medication and working directly with patients, nurses are the heartbeat of the hospital. Whether they’re doing rounds, aiding in surgery or pulling overnight shifts, they spend hours on their feet. So when it comes to finding a good, quality shoe that’s supportive and comfortable for all-day wear, nurses know what they’re talking about.
“I look for comfort. I mean, that’s gonna be your biggest thing,” Jacquelyn Coles Bielich, a registered nurse and clinical specialist at Medtronic, told HuffPost. “You’re wearing these shoes for an extended period of time, whether you work eight-hour shifts, a full 12 or staying extra and doing the 16.”
As Coles Bielich describes it, the ideal nursing shoe isn’t just good for standing. They need to be comfortable and supportive for walking and even running if there’s an emergency they need to get to quickly. They also have to be comfortable and supportive when bending over and interacting with reclined or seated patients or grabbing things from low storage.
“When you’re standing in those positions for so long, your body changes,” Coles Bielich said. “Your lower back may sway out a little bit or your knees may bend, you might shift your weight back and forth from each leg to try to like alleviate those pressure points.”
With this in mind, Coles Bielich suggests really moving around in a pair of shoes before deciding to wear them. You want to get a feel for walking, bending, standing and feeling supported all the way.
Whether you’re also a nurse or you’re just in the market for a good pair of supportive shoes, Coles Bielich and other nurses shared their favorite kicks to wear at work.
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CORRECTION: A previous version of this story referred to the incorrect material to describe the Dansko clogs’ soles.
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