As a Nurse, Should You Wear Sneakers or Clogs?

Nurses spend most of their time moving around and lifting patients. Without a doubt, such lifting and moving around will place undue pressure on your back and feet. And since you spend the majority of your shift on your feet, it’s highly advisable to invest in a pair of supportive and comfortable nursing shoes.

Without the right pair of shoes, you might end up with various foot and back problems, which might escalate into serious complications in the future. A pair of supportive and comfortable nursing shoes will minimize stress on your muscles and joints, keep your feet comfortable, and provide you with a decent amount of protection.

When it comes to nursing shoes, there are thousands of options to choose from. However, most nurses opt for either clogs or sneakers. So, between clogs and sneakers, which type of footwear should you choose as a nurse?

Nursing Clogs

Clogs are the most popular shoes for nurses. They feature closed toes and a closed heel, which means that your feet have adequate protection from all angles. Most nursing clogs are also furnished with various work-related features like reinforced toe guards, improved slip resistance, arch supportive heels as well as waterproof materials, among others. Nursing clogs are available in different materials, including suede, leather, and resin. As a nurse, why should you wear clogs?

  • Support: Nurses spend most of their time running various errands in healthcare facilities. From carrying patients to fetching supplies for various medical procedures, your feet are forced to work extra hard, as you deliver your duties. Therefore, your feet require adequate support, to prevent overexerting your spine, knees, ankles and other joints. And this is where clogs come in. Nursing clogs provide great feet support. They are equipped with features such as arch supportive heels, thus helping to minimize stress exerted on your muscles and joints.
  • Comfort: Besides their great support, clogs also provide exceptional levels of comfort. And that’s why most nurses and other healthcare professionals love these shoes. Clogs come with a spacious toe area, thus giving your toes enough wiggle room. Also, clogs feature a design allows your feet to breathe comfortably. Even you spend the entire day wearing them, you will not end up with sweaty feet.
  • Easy to Slip on and Off: One of the reasons why most nurses opt for clogs, is their convenience. When you are working in a healthcare facility, you are exposed to all sorts of infections and germs. Therefore, it’s highly advisable to avoid touching your shoes as much as possible, to avoid spreading infections and germs. The good news is that you don’t have to touch clogs when you are putting them on or removing them. Whether you just want to air your feet, or you have to wear a different type of footwear for a certain medical procedure, clogs allow enable you to achieve all that with maximum ease. And when it’s time to head home, you simply kick them into the locker.
  • No Laces: As much as laces play a vital role in securing your feet when walking, they can also be annoying at times. Tying and untying shoelaces can consume a considerable amount of time. And when you are working as a nurse, you might not always have the luxury of time. Apart from the issue of time, you can easily trip over your untied laces. If you are carrying sharp objects, then you might end up with life-threatening injuries, just because of untied laces. With clogs, you don’t have to worry whether your laces are tied or untied. As long as you choose the right size, clogs will give you a perfect fit, and keep your feet secured at all times.
  • Prevent slipping accidents: Most hospital floors are made of tiles. And with the constant cleaning and mopping, they can be quite slippery. If you are not wearing proper nursing footwear, you might end up with injuries, due to slipping or sliding accidents. Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about such issues when you are wearing nursing clogs. Clogs come with rubber outsoles, featuring a textured tread pattern. Whether you are rushing to deliver treatments for a patient or some medical supplies for the surgeon, clogs will provide your feet with a firm grip on the surface you are walking or running on.
  • Easy to clean: When you are working in a hospital environment, you will come across various substances, greasy, wet and acidic materials. Clogs feature a plain, smooth surface, with minimal seams. Therefore, cleaning food materials, body fluids, as well as other spills on your shoes, is an easy and fast process. You simply need to wipe them with a soft piece of clothing at the end of your shift, and they will look as good as new.
  • Durability: Most nursing clogs are made of high-quality leather or rubber. This means that they will last longer, compared to trainers, sneakers or athletic shoes, which tend to lose their shape and functionality after a couple of months. Leather and rubber clogs are highly durable, and they will retain their shape, appearance and functionality for long a long period.
  • Safety: People with various infections and diseases, visit healthcare facilities for treatment and recovery. Therefore, nurses are exposed to a wide range of disease-causing organisms. Fortunately, if you are wearing a closed pair of rubber or leather clogs, then your feet will always remain safe, whenever you are discharging your duties. And as long as you disinfect your clogs regularly, there will be nowhere for harmful pathogens to hide and breed.

As much as nursing clogs are a great alternative to nursing sneakers, you should note that they are not created equal. For instance, you might come across some that are stylish. Unfortunately, they might not provide the level of comfort and support that you need. If remaining comfortable and pain-free during your shift is your priority, then it’s important to choose a pair of clogs that come with such features. If you choose fashion over support and comfort, you will eventually end up replacing them. Therefore, if you are serious about the health of your feet, then you should always prioritize comfort and support when buying nursing clogs.

Nursing Sneakers

Athletic shoes such as running sneakers and tennis sneakers are also a popular choice of footwear among many nurses. Most healthcare facilities across the globe feature hard floors such as concrete and ceramic tiles since they are easier to clean and maintain, compared to materials such as wood. But as much as hard floors are easy to maintain, they can be hard on your feet, especially for people like nurses who spend the whole day standing or moving from one point to the other. And this is where nursing sneakers come in. Some of the key benefits of wearing nursing sneakers include:

  • Breathability: Most sneakers are made of lightweight materials such as synthetic mesh. With such materials, your feet will breathe comfortably, thus preventing the build-up of sweat and unpleasant foot odors. Also, nursing sneakers are exceptionally flexible. Even if you spend your entire workday moving from one point to the other, you will not end up with blisters, aching joints or other discomforts when your shift is over.
  • Reliable support: Whether you spend your whole day working in the operation theater or administering treatments and medications to patients, a good pair of nursing sneakers will ensure your feet have adequate support – to deliver your duties. Without proper foot support, you might end up with foot injuries, which are not only painful, but they might also take a long period to heal. With the right pair of nursing sneakers, chances of getting foot injuries are almost zero. Nursing sneakers are designed for different types of feet. Some are meant for flat feet while others are designed for raised arches. Therefore, make sure that you choose the type that aligns with your foot biomechanics.
  • Versatility: Nursing sneakers are available in a wide range of styles, colors, and design options. If you are looking for nursing shoes that offer both comfort and style, then you should for nursing sneakers. Whether you are planning to take a casual walk in your neighborhood or you have a dinner date with your friends after work, a pair of nursing sneakers is ideal for all such occasions. With nursing sneakers, your options are almost endless when it comes to style and design.

If you are a nurse and you are used to wearing athletic shoes, then you should stick with the same shoes for your work. Apart from being familiar with these shoes, they will do a great job of supporting and keeping your feet comfortable throughout your shift.

Final Thoughts

As mentioned earlier, most nurses will either opt for a pair of clogs or sneakers. Each type comes with its own pros and cons. Whether you should choose nursing clogs or you should go for a pair of sneakers, will depend on your foot type, medical health, as well as personal preferences. But whichever type you choose, make sure it offers enough comfort, support, protection and slip resistance.

Sarah Shawman

is the webmistress of Footwear 4 Workers.

She started this website out of displeasure with the fact that there are so few good online resources especially dedicated to the 99%: working people. Having suffered from work related plantar fasciitis herself, she set out on a mission to help others.

She updated this page on and will continue to update it as time goes on.

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