10 Best Nursing Shoes for Flat Feet 2020


Nursing is one of the most unappreciated professions in the medical field. You spend long hours on your feet all day, potentially exposing yourself to hazardous materials and chemicals. When you are a nurse with flat feet, your day usually ends with you in severe pain from shoes that do not support your feet correctly. Finding the right nursing shoe can be challenging because there are very few companies that manufacture them.

We’ve done the research, finding the best nursing shoes for flat feet. With such a demanding job, you deserve a comfortable work shoe to get you through the day.

Nursing ShoeFitPriceBest Feature
Gravity Defyer Proven Pain Relief Women's G-Defy Mighty WalkWomenHigh-pricedGreat cushioning throughout the whole shoe.
Nurse Mates Women’s DoveWomenModerately-priced; our pick for the best nursing shoe for flat feetSteel shanks for stability and arch support
Skechers Sport Women’s Loving Life Memory Foam Fashion SneakerWomenBudget-friendlyGood for those with foot, knee, and back pain
Crocs Men’s and Women’s Bistro Clog Slip Resistant Work ShoeUnisex; comes in men's and women's sizesBudget-friendlySlip-resistant synthetic outsole eith 1" platform

The Best Shoes for Nurses with Flat Feet in 2020

Gravity Defyer Proven Pain Relief Women’s G-Defy Mighty Walk

Gravity Defyer Proven Pain Relief Women's G-Defy Mighty Walk Salmon Gray Athletic Shoes 8 M US - Women's Walking Shoes for Heel Pain, Foot Pain and Plantar Fasciitis

The Gravity Defyer Proven Pain Relief Women’s G-Defy Mighty Walk are designed for extended pain relief and comfort for those with flat feet.  Gravity Defyer is a brand that has distinguished itself as an innovator in the comfort shoe space.  Gravity Defyer jam all the comfort features and shock absorption they can into their shoes because they know how painful it can be when you’ve got stubborn feet.  

Pros

  • Removable insoles for custom orthotics
  • Front rocking sole to help relieve plantar fasciitis
  • Sophisticated shock absorption
  • Multiple colors/styles
  • Slip-resistant
  • Roomy toe box

Cons

  • High Price
  • Quite bulky

Nurse Mates Women’s Dove

Understanding the demand for quality nursing footwear, Nurse Mates manufactures a complete line of products catered to the demographics of this profession. As the only shoe specifically made for nurses on our list, the Nurse Mates Women’s Dove Shoe has a specific design for nurses who spend long hours in the hospital. Elastic goring on the sides of the stain-resistant leather upper make sliding into this shoe more convenient. This lightweight nursing shoe has a slip-resistant EVA outsole with a 1.5” heel for impact diffusion. Steel shanks in the sole provide excellent arch support and stability for those fast-paced days at work.

The most important feature of the Nurse Mates Women’s Dove is their comfort. The padded collar cradles your whole ankle and a removable EVA foam insole forms to the shape of your foot. There is a mild break-in period that shouldn’t last more than a few days. These shoes run small and narrow, so you’ll need to order a size up. There have been some reports that they fall apart within a year, but these complaints were relatively minor. The Nurse Mates Women’s Dove is a moderately-priced shoe designed for nurses by nurses, making them our choice for the best nursing shoes for flat feet.

Pros

  • Moderately priced
  • Lightweight slip-on shoe made specifically for nurses
  • Leather upper with elastic goring for slip-on
  • Slip resistant EVA outsole with 1.5” heel
  • Steel shanks for stability and arch support
  • Removable EVA foam insole
  • Padded collar

Cons

  • Run small and narrow
  • Fall apart within a year
  • Break-in period

Dr. Scholl’s Shoes Women’s Kimberly Work Shoe

Dr. Scholl's Shoes Women's Kimberly, Black, 10 M US

The Dr. Scholl’s Shoes Women’s Kimberly Work Shoe are built for long term use and comfort.  They’re durable and moderately priced.  The shoe lacks the mesh upper that many others on this list have, but the leather it uses is durable and flexible.  The slip-resistant tracks should help keep you confident and stable in your walk.  The shoe runs a little small, so make sure you buy a size slightly larger than what you might normally wear.  We recommend buying through Amazon so that you can return them if need be.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Durable
  • Massaging gel for extended use
  • Slip-resistant tracks
  • Solid arch support

Cons

  • Runs small
  • Non-mesh upper

Skechers Men’s Cessnock

Skechers Men's Cessnock Shoe, Black, 9.5 W US

While Skechers Men’s Cessnock Shoe aren’t specifically designed for nurses, they are designed for extended periods of standing and walking.  They are lightweight with a flexible mesh upper that helps keep your feet cool.  The slip-on style helps with comfort, and make them more convenient for people who don’t like having to retie their shoes all the time. The tracks have been built with slip-resistance in mind and are best suited for tile/wood floors.  

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Comfortable
  • Solid Arch Support
  • Designed for long durations of standing and walking
  • Flexible Mesh Design
  • Water Resistant

Cons

  • Conflicting user reports/reviews on slip-resistance 

Skechers Sport Women’s Loving Life Memory Foam Fashion Sneaker

Image of the Skechers Sport Women's Loving Life Memory Foam Fashion Sneaker,Black/Multi,9 M US

Skechers manufacturers active footwear for their customers who are always on the move. Although the Skechers Sport Women’s Loving Life Memory Foam Fashion Sneaker isn’t necessarily a “nursing” shoe, its comfort and reliability make it a favorite among nurses. The synthetic/mesh upper and a soft interior fabric lining help your feet breath throughout the day. The flexible rubber outsole is lightweight, helping with foot fatigue. These tennis shoes have bungee laces and a heel tab so that you can easily slip them on and off. The patterned outsole provides good traction for slippery conditions.

The memory foam insole supports your flat feet, making them ideal for those with chronic foot, knee, and back pain. The Skechers Sport Women’s Loving Life Memory Foam Fashion Sneaker runs small and has a tight toe box, so they are best for women with narrow, flat feet. There is a mild break-in period that usually lasts a few days. Over time, the ankle can loosen, altering the fit. The Skechers Sport Women’s Loving Life Memory Foam Fashion Sneaker is a budget-friendly, comfortable, and fashionable work sneaker that comes in a variety of styles and colors, making it an excellent choice for nurses who work long hours.

Pros

  • Budget-friendly
  • Synthetic leather and mesh upper
  • Flexible rubber sole with good traction
  • Lightweight slip-on walking and work sneaker
  • Memory foam insole
  • Fabric lining
  • Good for those with foot, knee, and back pain

Cons

  • Mild break-in period
  • Run small
  • Tight toe box
  • Ankles loosen over time

Crocs Men’s and Women’s Bistro Clog Slip Resistant Work Shoe

Crocs have built their reputation for designing quality shoes for several work scenarios. They are a favorite of nurses, chefs, and other professions. The Crocs Men’s and Women’s Bistro Clog Slip Resistant Work Shoe has an enclosed top to protect your feet from spills and other injuries. The leather upper has a thicker material around the toes for further safety. A synthetic, slip-resistant sole keeps you from sliding in wet conditions, while the 1” platform provides shock absorption. Croslite construction makes the shoe lightweight and tough enough to stand up to the hardest work conditions.

Crocs are known for their comfort, and the contoured footbed reduces foot fatigue after long days. The material is easy to clean for the messiest days, and a heel strap gives you a more secure fit. Crocs run large, so you’ll have to order up from your normal shoe size. There isn’t an interior lining, and the enclosed upper doesn’t breathe that well. If you have weak ankles, these probably aren’t the shoes for you. They provide very little ankle support. However, they are a popular, budget-friendly unisex shoe ideal for nurses with flat feet. 

Pros

  • Budget friendly
  • Easy to clean leather upper
  • Slip-resistant synthetic sole with 1” platform
  • Enclosed top with thicker material around the toes for protection
  • Croslite construction makes the Croc lightweight and tough
  • Contoured footbed with a heel strap
  • A comfortable work shoe that reduces foot fatigue

Cons

  • Don’t breathe
  • Run large
  • No interior lining

Merrell Women’s Jungle Moc Slip-On Shoe

Image of the Merrell Women's Jungle Moc Slip-On Shoe,Midnight,7.5 M US

Merrill opened for business in the early 1980s, with an idea to manufacture budget-friendly hiking boots. Throughout the next two decades, they would expand their footwear into casual footwear with the traction of hiking boots. A merger with Wolverine led to the design of a casual slip-on shoe with the aggressive tread of hiking footwear, which would become its signature design: the Jungle Moc. The Merrell Women’s Jungle Moc Slip-On Shoe has been on the market for over twenty years, with constant innovation to make them a casual shoe that is safe for a variety of environments. The synthetic suede upper and antimicrobial inner lining make them a comfortable shoe for all-day wear. The Jungle Moc’s real winner is the rubber sole with excellent traction that suits several work scenarios.

This shoe is comfortable because of its design. With an Air Cushion heel and a nylon arch shank, the Jungle Moc has good arch support and shock absorption. They do run small, so you’ll have to order a size up. The suede upper requires a break-in period to stretch to your foot. Even after this initial phase, the suede still doesn’t breathe well. The Merrell Women’s Jungle Moc Slip-On is best for women with flat feet who have a slight arch, or they have foot or back conditions that need extra support in their footwear.

Pros

  • Moderately priced
  • Synthetic suede upper
  • Rubber sole with good traction
  • Antimicrobial inner lining
  • Air Cushion heel for shock absorption
  • Mylon arch shank for shock absorption and foot support
  • Good arch support

Cons

  • Run small
  • Break in period for the suede upper to stretch
  • Don’t breathe well

Skechers Sport Women’s Premium Premix Slip-On Sneaker

Image of the Skechers Sport Women's Premium-Premix Slip-On Sneaker,White/Navy,8.5 M US

If you favor the tennis shoe for your workwear, the Skechers Sport Women’s Premium Premix Slip-On Sneaker may be your perfect match. This budget-friendly athletic shoe has a leather/synthetic upper with elastic goring laces and a heel tab for a quick slip on during your busiest days. Designed for ultimate comfort, the shoe’s padded collar and tongue cradle the foot. The Premium Premix has an EVA midsole for shock absorption coupled with a 1.5” heel with air cushioning to relieve foot pain. A slip-resistant rubber outsole with excellent traction finishes out the tennis shoe, making it safe in wet conditions.

As comfortable as the Skechers Sport Women’s Premium Premix Slip-On Sneaker is on your feet, it does have a few design flaws. There is a mild break-in period, so they aren’t comfortable right out of the box. You’ll have to wear them a few times to break them in. Even after the leather softens, the collar remains tight around the ankle. If you like a snug fit, then this won’t be an issue for you. The shoes run small and narrow, so remember to order a size up from your regular athletic shoe size. The Skechers Sport Women’s Premium Premix Slip-On Sneaker tend to fall apart after about a year of everyday wear, but they are so cost-effective that buying another pair won’t hurt your pocketbook.

Pros

  • Budget-friendly
  • Leather/synthetic upper
  • Padded collar and tongue
  • Slip-resistant rubber outsole with good traction
  • Cushioned insole
  • EVA midsole for shock absorption
  • 5” heel with air cushion for more impact absorption
  • Lace-free sneakers with elastic goring to stretch for pull on and take off

Cons

  • Tight around the ankle
  • Run small and narrow
  • Mild break-in period
  • Fall apart within a year of wear

Alegria Women’s Debra Slip-On Shoe

Image of the Alegria Debra Clog Women's Slip On 36 M EU Multi

Slip-on shoes are popular among nurses because they eliminate the need to tie up laces or re-tie them when they come loose. Alegria’s footwear is well-known for their supportive footbeds that include memory foam, cork, and soft polyurethane that gently cradle the foot for comfortable support, no matter how long you are wearing your shoes. The Alegria Women’s Debra Slip-On is a moderately-priced low-top slip-on shoe that is available in many different styles and colors. Elastic goring stretch the upper for a convenient slip-on. The stain-resistant leather upper protects the top and sides of your feet from your toes to the ankle. The supportive footbed forms to the shape of your foot, providing maximum comfort.

The synthetic outsole has a 1.5” heel and a 1” platform for shock absorption. The sole is slightly curved into a rocker sole, putting more spring in your step. These shoes do run large with a roomy toe box, so you may have to order a size down. The removable memory foam insole doesn’t provide that much arch support, but this isn’t that important if you have extremely flat feet. If you need more cushion, the insole slides right out for your custom orthotic. There have been a few complaints that the leather upper doesn’t breathe that well, and that the printed designs wear off with constant wear. Despite these issues, the Alegria Women’s Debra Slip-On is an extremely comfortable and convenient shoe for nurses.

Pros

  • Moderately priced low top slip-on shoe
  • Available in many different styles and colors
  • Stain- resistant leather upper that protects the top of the foot from the toe to the ankle
  • Synthetic sole with 1.5” heel and 1” platform
  • Rocker sole springs your step
  • Removable memory foam insole
  • Elastic side goring for easy slip on and off
  • Roomy toe box

Cons

  • Run large
  • Don’t breathe
  • Poor arch support
  • Prints wear off with constant wear

Birkenstock Professional Unisex Profi Birki Slip Resistant Work Shoe

Image of the Birkenstock Professional Unisex Profi Birki Slip Resistant Work Shoe,Black,43 M EU

Birkenstock is one of the oldest shoe companies in the world that is still in business today. Since 1774, the company has been creating quality footwear in Europe, eventually spreading into a global presence. One of the few shoe companies whose products are recommended by podiatrists and foot specialists, Birkenstock has introduced their trademark flexible footbed to their line of work shoes. The Birkenstock Professional Unisex Profi Birki Slip-Resistant Work Shoe is a polyurethane shoe with a synthetic, slip-resistant sole that protects against work hazards. While it is labeled unisex, the style comes in both men’s and women’s sizes to ensure the right fit.

Known for their arch support, the Birkenstock footbed molds to your foot, distributing your body weight. This relieves foot pain, making the workday less irritating. A 1.5” heel absorbs impact while you walk. Birkenstocks run large, so ordering a size down is best for the best fit. There is a substantial break-in period, during which the shoe will squeak. This moderately-priced work shoe may feel bulky at first, but they are so comfortable that you won’t care.

Pros

  • Moderately priced
  • Polyurethane shoe
  • Synthetic sole
  • 5” heel
  • Come in men’s and women’s sizes
  • Slip-resistant
  • Molds to your foot
  • Distributes your body weight over the whole foot, relieving foot pain
  • Good arch support

Cons

  • Run large
  • Squeaks during walking
  • Substantial break-in period
  • Feel bulky

Buying Criteria

Arch Support

Each of the shoes on this list provides a good amount of arch support, this is an important feature of any shoe that is meant for people with flat feet.  Since flat feet can realistically result in back pain, your shoes need to be designed to combat this.  Proper cushioning can make or break an experience with a shoe, if your current shoes are lacking in this department then you should really include this in your criteria for a new pair.  

Price

Nobody wants to spend a fortune on a new pair of shoes and let’s be honest, nurses in America aren’t being paid what they probably deserve to be.  For this reason, we wanted to make sure that our list was budget friendly.  We included a range of prices, but too high of a price is a deal breaker for most shoe shoppers. We want to respect your time and money, so our options are all meant to be in a price range that you can afford while still maintaining a quality level you can respect. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What shoes are good for people with flat feet?

You want a strong heel with plenty of arch support.  Lots of cushion for the whole foot but with an emphasis in the midsection.  The shoe should be moderately flexible, as in it should be able to bend in the middle without the use of a hydraulic press.  If your shoe is lacking in any of these dimensions it opens you up to the potential for lower back pain or knee pain. 

Can you reduce back pain with better shoes?

For many people, lower back pain is a significant issue that can be easily avoided.  Shoes that are appropriate for your foot type will help reduce not only back pain, but knee pain as well.  It’s important to remember that there can be many different things wrong with your feet, and that knowing what’s actually wrong requires the assistance of a podiatrist.  

What are some good shoes for nurses?

Our article on the best nikes for nurses may give you some good insight into the types of shoes that are good for nurses.  In general you need shows that will feel comfortable for hours of standing and walking.  It’s important to find shoes with proper arch support that will arch your foot for you with a sufficient amount of cushioning.  

The Bottom Line

When selecting a quality nursing shoe, you should always choose a model that has proper shock absorption and cushioned insoles. Having safety features, such as slip-on capability and non-slip outsoles are also great qualities. Since you will be spending so much time on your feet, your shoes need to be comfortable. Although most hospitals have their own dress code, and they will recommend particular brands, not many of them are designed for nurses with flat feet.

All of the options on this list will suit you well, but our choice for the best nursing shoe for nurses with flat feet is the Nurse Mates Women’s Dove Shoe. They are specifically engineered for the profession, and they are comfortable enough to wear them all day, even if you have flat feet. They have the safety features that almost all hospitals require, and they are moderately priced. The Nurse Mates are the best investment you can make, and your feet will thank you after your long shifts.

 

Resources:

“OSH Answers Fact Sheets: Nurse (Registered).” Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety. CCOHS. https://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/occup_workplace/nurse.html

“Back Pain: A Health Concern for Nurses.” Nebraska Spine Hospital. https://nebraskaspinehospital.com/nurses-back-pain/


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