Foot pain is the number one complaint of full-time nurses. There is a lot one can do after hours to try to mitigate that pain, such as soaking your feet in Epsom salts or having a comfortable pair of slippers to slide into at home.
But what can be done during working hours to lessen that pain and even prevent it? Well, a good shoe will do the job. The make, the material, the style, and what kind of cushioning included are all important to consider.
Do you go with a mesh, nylon, or Nike Air Zoom shoe option? What is the difference between TPU Coated shoes, Lunarlon cushioning, and Flynit? What shoes come with orthopedic support? We’ve researched the facts for you, and have some answers. No need for hassle or stress, read on for our best Nike shoes for nurses list and save those feet for time off and leisure activities.
|Top 5 Nike Shoes for Nurses||Why It's Best||Rating|
|Nike Men's Lunar Fingertrap||Banded laces and a snug fit make the Lunar Fingertrap a great pick for security and comfort.||★★★★★|
|Nike Women's Free Rn Flyknit 2018||Flyknit technology makes for a shoe that is super lightweight but comfortable. Hard to go wrong with a Flyknit.||★★★★★|
|Nike Men's Free RN 2018||A solid shoe made of nylon for water resistance and sporting a slick Nike look.||★★★★★|
|Nike Women's Reax Run 5||A solid shoe at a solid price. No wild bells and whistles here, but good old dependable tech will see it through.||★★★★★|
|Nike Women's Air Zoom Pegasus 34||Great technology and Zoom Air cushioned support make for a comfortable fit in a very fashionable design.||★★★★★|
Best Nike Shoes For Nurses
Nike Men’s Lunar Fingertrap
The Nike Men’s Lunar Fingertrap is a shoe built for long-hour comfort and a glove-like snug fit experience.
Weighing in at less than a pound, the Lunar Fingertrap is a pick for nurses looking for a comfortable and highly breathable shoe that they’ll hardly notice. The Lunar Fingertrap is made of synthetic mesh, comes in a variety of colors, and runs at a suitably mid-range price.
What makes this shoe a good fit for nurses is its snug and comfortable design. Mesh is a great material for people on the go as it allows foot perspiration to be absorbed into the fabric without creating a damp environment. In fact, when we say that a material is breathable what we mean is that the material it’s comprised of easily allows moisture to pass through it. Breathable is a less technical way to say that a material’s Moisture Vapor Transmission Rate (MVTR) is greater than zero.
To create the snug-glove-like fit that the Lunar Fingertrap brags about is a series of intertwined bands around the midsole of the shoe. This not only helps keep your feet in place to prevent excess foot movement within the shoe, but it also compresses your feet for long-term comfort and support.
Last, the outsole of this shoe is a rubber grip with small bump treads and deep groves. This tread design is not great for intense sports but should do fine for nursing professionals.
The last thing you need after a long day of nursing is blistered and injured feet. The Nike Men’s Lunar Fingertrap is a great pick for comfort and security and will go far in mitigating the rigors of the day.
Nike Women’s Epic React Flyknit Running Shoe
The Nike Women’s Epic React Flyknit Running Shoe is the second of many running shoes you’ll find on our list of best shoes for nurses list. There’s a reason for that.
Running and training shoes are built for durability, support, and to have a high MVTR (Moisture Vapor Transmission Rate). As it so happens, these same qualities are what nurses and on the go professionals need to survive their long days at work.
Toward that end, this shoe is made of Nike’s Flyknit fabric for the upper shoe with a rubber outsole with a molded heel.
Nike’s Flyknit material has a high MVTR, which makes for an extremely breathable shoe. They’re designed to be worn without socks, although if you wear a cushioned athletic sock, it’ll help your feet to feel even better during a long day. The collar sits low on the ankle for a comfortable fit.
The outsole being rubber is standard across the shoe industry. These Nikes have extra clear rubber at the toe and on the heel. The heel has an extended platform and a molded shape, which is part of the Nike React design. The responsive shoe will help lessen impacts and add some pep to your step.
The unique traction pattern on the bottom will help the shoes to grip solid surfaces easily. That means no slips or skidding as you run around out on the floor.
As for style, there are lots of colors and patterns to choose from, so you can match any pair of scrubs easily. For a mid-priced running shoe, this is a very lightweight, comfortable, and solid option.
Nike Women’s Free Rn Flyknit 2018
The Nike Flyknit 2018 is another running shoe on our list that focuses on creating a supportive high MTVR environment for your daily needs. Seeing a trend yet?
The Flyknit 2018 is made of mesh and fabric knit to make for a breathable shoe that comes in at less than a pound in weight overall. The outsole is rubber with hexagonal treads for decent traction and durability.
There is not a ton to say about this shoe. It has a high MTVR, is lightweight, and is pretty standard across the board. It’ll get the job done, but perhaps a bit less so than other options with more advanced features.
A lot of the focus here seems to have gone into style over function, with a wide variety of neon and bright colors for a very cool look. I will admit, even though the Flyknit is not the most interesting shoe, I find my eye drawn to it on the colors and look of the knit alone. At a high and premium price though, the Flyknit might not be worth the cost.
Nike Men’s Free RN 2018
The Nike Men’s Free RN 2018 is a nylon and synthetic running shoe that weighs in heavy, at around three pounds.
Nylon is the opposite of mesh and other fiber materials in that it is mostly water-resistant. Rather than absorbing moisture, nylon pushes it away to the surface of the material. The end effect of a shoe environment safe from over moisturization is mostly the same between nylon and mesh, but nylon has the additional benefit of water resilience. That said, nylon weighs more.
This shoe’s outsole is rubber with a hexagonal and horizontal line patter for great traction, and it overall has a very classic Nike look. When most people think of Nike, they probably think of something that looks a whole lot like this. The Nike Swoosh is prominently displayed on the side, and the brand black and white is iconic all on its own.
Nike Men’s Free RN 2018 is a quality Nike brand shoe from another era. It lacks the new and fancy technology of equally high priced options on the market, but it is a fine shoe on its own.
I would look for a shoe with better tech and newer features, but that’s just me. I’m a bit of a shoe and technology junkie. For those just wanting a great shoe made of quality materials that will do exactly what you want it to do, the Free Rn 2018 would be a good buy.
Nike Women’s Reax Run 5
The Reax Run 5 is a standard shoe through and through for buyers looking not for fancy tech or interesting features, but a simple shoe at an affordable price that will do the job desired.
Reax Run 5 is made from mesh for breathing and to keep the shoe’s weight below the two-pound mark. A lighter shoe is good for people on the move as it means less impact, less energy output on your end, and decreased muscle strain.
The outsole is rubber with an air-cushioned heel for impact resilience and spring, and the traction design is sufficient for non-intense sports activity. It should be more than fine for a nurse’s daily routine. Rounding out the shoe is a padded insole for increased comfort.
Again, there is nothing fancy or amazingly eye-catching here. But, for an affordable shoe that will do what you need it to do and nothing else that’s really all you need.
Nike Pegasus 34
The Nike Pegasus 34 is a shoe with tons of innovative tech and interesting features to catch the eye and wrap your feet in.
Right off the gate we need to take note that the Pegasus 34 comes with front and heel Nike Zoom Air, which is amazing for impact resilience. Zoom Air is a Nike brand technology that inserts a small air-filled membrane into the foam bottom of your shoe. This membrane is compressed when you step down, cushioning you from the impact, and instantly springs back into place to give each step you take a bit of an extra snap. It’s great technology, and we highly recommend shoes with this feature.
That’s not all though, as this shoe also comes with Flymesh, a super high MVTR (Moisture Vapor Transmission Rate) material that combines the best of mesh with nylon for a near-perfect union of anti-perspiration technologies.
Adding great to already awesome is that the Pegasus 34 comes with a Fitsole sock liner which molds around your foot for better ankle comfort and support. And, rather than your standard memory foam cushioning for the insole Nike went the extra mile with Cushlon ST foam, a hyper-soft foam that screams comfort.
Nike crammed a lot of their brand tech into the Pegasus 34 and it shows. Zoom Air alone would have caught my eye, but when you add everything else going for this shoe I am floored that it comes in at a mid-tier price range. I can say for sure that this shoe is highly ranked on our internal list, and so far it’s the one I would go with.
For the fashionista at heart, the Pegasus 34 comes in a huge variety of colors and styles as well. This shoe has just about everything.
Nike Women’s Revolution 5 Running Shoe
The Nike Women’s Revolution 5 is specifically designed to be as lightweight as possible, and Nike succeeded in that front at the very least.
Revolution 5 weighs in at around half a pound. This is very light for a shoe. It’s actually surprisingly light when you consider that the outsole is reinforced with a thicker-than-average rubber plate for increased impact resistance.
What helps this shoe meet its low weight class is all the little things Nike did to cut out excess material where possible. The outer texture of the midsole is ribbed, which removes some material overall and helps hide creases from wear, and there is very little stitching on this shoe at all. That means even less material weighing the shoe down, but it also increases durability as there are less possible tear lines where stitching could give out.
The upper shoe is build of a lightweight knit textile, which often has a lower MVTR than mesh, but it’s generally a lighter material to work with.
The outsole has a decent design for traction, but we’ve seen better. It will be fine for non-sports activity though.
Revolution 5 gets points for how lightweight and durable it is, but it loses some score with me for a lack of new technology and color. While it does come with some variation options, overall this is a rather drab shoe that clashes with my visual tastes. For nurses who care more for function and less for color that won’t be a problem though.
Nike Women’s Free RN 5.0
The Nike Women’s Free RN 5.0 is a minimalist shoe focused on flexibility and traction.
RN 5.0 is made of mesh for the upper sole and support straps, and rubber for the outsole. Different from most shoes, this shoe only has a single-layer of mesh for its midsole. This change from normal makes for a more stretchy and flexible feeling shoe, but it sacrifices durability and protection. The overall style of the shoe is that of a bootie, meaning the tongue and collar have been integrated into the upper sole for a tight and snug fit.
Inside the midsole, the RN 5.0 has memory foam for cushioning, but at a low density. While this decreases shoe weight and might make the wearer feel more connected to the ground, this decreases overall impact resistance.
Most strikingly different than other shoes on this list is the heel-to-toe groove section of the outsole. The outsole design mimics the shape of the foot more than most shoes, and has omni-directional lines and segments for strong reflexive strength and traction.
Ultimately, the RN 5.0 is a different kind of shoe for a different kind of nurse. It offers less protection and durability than most if not all of the shoes on our list, but it will breathe very well and will have great traction. If you’re in a specialization that is on the go a lot more than your peers, this might be a good option. Just be sure to not drop anything on your foot though, the RN 5.0 will do little to lessen the impact.
NIKE Women’s Shox Gravity
The NIKE Women’s Shox Gravity is a shoe made for comfort and durability that looks strange and interesting to catch the eye.
Shox Gravity’s upper section is made from textile and synthetic materials for a decent MVTR, which decreases excess moisture trapped around your foot. Too much moisture in your shoe can make for all sorts of issues, like foot fungus and bad shoe odor. Its sock line and collar are also padded for increased comfort and support.
Inside the shoe, foam cushioning via Nike’s Shox creates a lightweight support system that protects from impacts. Shox was first introduced by Nike in 2000, and is a series of interconnected hollow tubes made of polyurethane within the midsole that supports the wearer’s heel. Polyurethane (TPU) is a leather-like synthetic material that is used to cushion and waterproof all manner of goods across many industries.
Unlike most shoes, the Shox Gravity comes with a lacing cinch system for a more secure fit. This will not only help keep your shoelaces from becoming untied, but will also further secure your foot within the shoe. Last, the outsole of this shoe is rubber and a has varied tread pattern. Like most shoes on this list, we’ve seen better designs for traction elsewhere, but it will do the job.
This is a visually and technologically striking shoe. It has some features we haven’t seen in use a lot recently, and it comes in a huge variety of bright and dark colors to fit your style. Overall, a good product.
Nike Women’s Lunarepic Low Flyknit 2
The Lunarepic Low Flyknit 2 is not only visually striking, but technologically impressive with some features we don’t often see.
We’ll start off with what is standard. The Lunarepic has a rubber outsole with good multi-directional lining for traction. And, that’s it. Everything else about this shoe is new and innovative.
Lunarepic is made from Flyknit fabric that is super breathable and partially water-resistant. Flyknit is a material and knitting process made especially to be lightweight and to instill a second-skin feeling to those who wear it. This interesting material is comprised of polyester, nylon, and sometimes spandex fibers. Fiber is one of the most breathable material on the market, giving it a high MVTR, and nylon is very water-resistant. This hybrid mix of materials makes for quite an interesting feel, and for a very low moisture environment.
Part of the Flyknit design includes that the entire upper section of the shoe is one piece and wraps around your foot. This makes for a very snug glove-like fit, and greatly decreases tearing from wear.
Moving on, we get to some really cool stuff. Lasers!
One issue when you have Flyknit is that the seam line between upper shoe and outsole needs to be as minimal as possible. Toward that end, Nike decided to employ articulated laser cutting technology for a super smooth and exact transition. They also utilized lasers for cushioning pods within the insole, enhancing comfort.
A final technological touch on Nike’s part comes in the inclusion of Lunarlon foam. This moon themed foam gets its name in part from how it “will leave you feeling like you are walking on the moon”, but also from how it was inspired by footage of astronauts during various moon landings.
Lunarlon is made from high-density phylon foam wrapped around a lightweight core. Phylon is made up of EVA (Memory Foam) compressed pellets. This design makes for more responsive than average foam with a high density that will cushion you from impacts to a greater degree than standard EVA methods.
Lastly, we just love the look of this shoe. Amazing technology aside, the way the laces blend into the coloring and knit almost reaches the level of optical illusion, and we doubt anyone could argue that this is a very unique looking shoe.
Unique looking, and unique in design. It comes at a premium price, but it would be well worth it.
Nike Free Metcon 4 Women’s Training Shoes
The Nike Free Metcon 4is a great shoe that combines several strong design techniques to make for a stable and comfortable shoe for the long haul.
Metcon 4 is made with Nike’s “chain-link” mesh via a fairly rare method in the shoe industry, 3d-printing. The upper section of the shoe was designed and printed in a 3d printer for an exact cut and fit. Like laser, 3d printing technology when done right is incredibly precise. This means less room for flaws and internal issues within the shoe, and increased durability and longevity. The lower section, the outsole, has a rubber tread for non-slip stability on those slick hospital floors.
The embracing strap on the upper was inspired by the comfortable Huarache shoe and helps to give stability to the heel. Also here, you’ll find a rubberized sidewall that molds to and conforms to your heel and midfoot so that you can be supported while standing, lifting, and whatever the day brings. The wide heel design was originally designed to help in weightlifting, so you know it offers solid structural support.
Moving inside the shoe, Nike included their Free technology in this updated Metcon design. This uses a flexible and soft foam core and allows much more movement in the forefoot of the shoe, which is great for things requiring agility or flexibility. There’s also an internal webbing system spanning the shoe, which helps to distribute pressure throughout the middle of the shoe and gives a sense of security when making quick movements or stopping movements.
Style is spot on with the Metcon 4 as well. This shoe comes in a variety of colors, each sporting the Nike swoosh and keeping a more tame classic look.
How We Selected The Best Nike Shoes For Nurses
Material, Comfort, and Fit: Nike Zoom and Air Max
Foot comfort and long-term impact resistance are our number one priority for nurses. You need a shoe that you can stand and walk on all day long without killing your feet in the process. With that in mind, we looked for shoes that had strong cushioning support and provided a snug fit.
EVA Memory Foam, TPU Coated Impact Tubes, Nike Zoom and Air Max, all of these are good way to protect your feet from the impact your feet and legs take from each and every step. We most highly recommend products with Nike Zoom or Air Max, but any shoe with reasonable cushioning will do. One other highlight is Nike’s Lunarlon cushioning technology.
For a snug fit, there are several routes you can take. Booties are great for a tight and glove-like fit. This type of shoe is designed for the upper sole to be all one piece, including the collar and tongue. This makes for great ankle support and for a shoe that hugs your foot. Other options include banded laces that wrap around the entire upper sole, lace cinches for added security, or strap reinforced mesh or nylon.
Safety, Durability, and Breathability: Flynit, Mesh, or Nylon
Durability and safety are right up there with our first consideration as important for nurses. You need a shoe that can be easily cleaned, will protect against any fluids or workplace hazards, and will keep together through long hours of wear.
Shoes with thick outsoles are good for protecting against sharp objects or workplace hazards, and while breathability is important, suitably thick materiel is needed to guard against drops or unexpected conditions around your feet. Nylon is great in both regards. It’s mostly waterproof, easy to clean, and if reinforced enough can be very durable and protective. Mesh is second in this category, but as long as its sufficiently layered, you should be fine.
It’s hard to balance a shoe’s weight with durability. Generally, the lighter a shoe is the less protective and durable it is. Thankfully, Nike has some technologies to help. If you want a lightweight shoe above all else, look for shoes made with Flynit Mesh. This material is specifically made to be lightweight but durable and will give you a good mix of the two.
FAQs About Best Nike Shoes For Nurses
What are good Nike brand shoes for nurses?
Any Nike brand shoe that comes with Zoom Air will be good as it helps cushion your every step.
Otherwise, you are looking for as lightweight of a shoe as possible that retains the support and durability you need for long hour workdays. Removable sock liners are good if you need orthopedics, and a shoe made of nylon or mesh would be ideal. Nylon might rate higher for a nurse as it’s a very water-resistant material and cleans easily. Nylon is heavier though.
Are Nike Air Max Good for nurses?
Yes! Air Max is an air-filled membrane within the sole of a shoe that when compressed helps to absorb ground impact for you. It then springs back into shape, giving you a bit of a snap to each step you take.
It’s considered to be one of several groundbreaking technologies in the field of shoe impact resistance and is very much a part of what put Nike on the board.
Nike Air Max is an iteration of the classic Zoom Air technology that Nike released to the world in 1978 by Marion Franklin Rudy. Air Max is essentially the same product, but it’s visible. Rather than being buried deep inside the insole of your shoe, Air Max is placed within a clear section of the outsole to enable you to see the technology at work.
Either Zoom Air or Air max will work, but some find being able to see the process at work a tad cooler.
What Kind of Shoes do Nurses Most Often Wear?
Nurses tend to stick to one of four types of footwear for the workplace: Crocs, Clogs, Athletic Shoes, and Casual Sneakers.
- Clogs are popular due to how this type of shoe often focuses on arch and heel support, and many options come with slip-resistant outsoles. While a good clog will offer great comfort and support, some nurses feel that they lack certain features common to other shoe styles, such as a fully closed environment and impact resistance.
- Crocs are very similar to clogs in that they focus a lot on arch support and comfort, but they more often come comprised of foam and resin where logs are mostly leather. The issues present with crocs is the same as that in clogs, in that they are not always fully closed and can be considered a hazard in certain nursing environments.
- Athletic shoes are mostly what we have covered on our list, and there is a real reason for that. A lot of what makes a good running shoe great doubles for nurses. These shoes focus on impact resilience, a highly breathable environment, and strong outsole traction.
- Casual Sneakers share many benefits of the athletic shoe, but taken to a lesser extreme and are more focused on arch support and durability. These are a good pick when you’re less interested in the fancy tech of athletic shoes and more just want a good shoe with good arch support.
Are Nike Shoes Good for More than Just Running?
Yes! Very much so. Nike specializes in athletic shoes and made their name in the basketball and running arenas, which just so happen to be the same kinds of shoe that are good for nurses. While the brand does support your more run of the mill average sneaker, a ton of their technology and innovation has gone into making shoes for those in high-energy and impact environments.
Some such innovations that make for a great nursing shoe are Nike Zoom Air / Air Max, Flyknit Mesh, Lunarlon Cushioning, and Shox Chamber Support Tubes.
It makes sense that Nike is so sports focused. Nike founder Bowerman was a sports and field coach prior to his founding of the company in 1964. At that time the company was known as Blue Ribbon Sports, but quickly was re-branded to the Nike that we know today. A big part of what made Nike the world-renown shoe company it is today was early and vocal support from star athletes in their various fields, such as Micheal Jordan, Mia Hamm, and Tiger Woods.
How Much Should a Good Nursing Shoe Cost?
The answer to this question depends a lot on the level of use you’ll be putting your shoe through, and what kind of technology requirements you have. We have shoes on this list that go for as little as $50, and some as high as $200.
When considering your price range, think about your workplace. Do you work long hours standing in one place, are you on the move constantly, or do you do a mix of both? Is there a lot of risk of slipping or fluid/water in or around your feet? Do you need a nursing shoe that will put work safety and durable protection first, such as if you’re a field nurse or working in dangerous locations?
Once you have your answers, take a look through our list and hone in on those requirements. We have shoes from all categories listed, and the right fit will be out there for you.
Recommendations on The Best Nike Brand Shoes For Nurses
There was a lot to think about when choosing our favorite of favorites, but in the end, we have to go with the Lunarepic Flyknit 2 as our top pick.
The Lunarepic comes with the amazing Flyknit method for a highly breathable shoe that mixes the best of several technologies. It offers a super secure fit through its bootie-style construction. And, frankly, it plain looks cool. This was the most unique design we’ve seen, and it stuck with us through our list.
A close second selection was the Nike Pegasus 34 with its Zoom Air technology and great design.
All of the shoes on our list offer great support for long days of work. Some key things to look for in a best Nike shoe for nurses is a high MVTR material such as mesh or nylon, a strong support structure that hugs the foot, and an outsole with sufficient traction for wet floors and hazard protection.
Happy shoe shopping!