Nurse tested, nurse approved: 5 best shoes for your long shifts

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6 basic foot care tips for healthy feet

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Your feet will go through a lot during a 12-hour shift: standing, walking, running, having things dropped on them and other things spilled on them.

Wearing the right shoe isn’t just about support, it’s also about protection. Nurses have a lot of things to consider when choosing a shoe, from water resistance and protection from sharp objects, to support and resistance to stains.

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Nurse.org recently surveyed more than 122,000 nurses in its online community about their favorite shoes, then put the top 10 recommendations to the test.

The product testers were actual nurses who wore the shoes a few times, rated them and gave honest reviews.

The shoes were rated on a scale 1-5 — with 1 being the worst and 5 being the best — for quality, cost, comfort, water resistance, sharps resistance, nonslip, style/fashion, foot/ankle support, durability and cleanability.

Here are the five they ranked the highest:

Asics Novablast: 5

RN Alice Benjamin, a critical care nurse with more than 20 years of experience, wore these shoes for three shifts. Benjamin gave the Asics a 5 in every category except water resistance and foot/ankle support. She rated them a 4 in those two categories.

“I usually wear Nikes or some type of running shoe because they are comfy and don’t hurt when I am running all day,” Benjamin told Nurse.org.

During her 12-hour shift, she said, the Asics were “comfortable on my feet even after several hours of standing.”

You can get these shoes for about $130 on Asics.com, Amazon and other websites.

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Brooks Ghost 12: 5

RN Wali Khan, an ICU/ER nurse with 10 years of experience, wore these Brooks three times before writing his review.

Khan rated the shoes a 5 for quality, comfort, foot/ankle support and durability. He gave them a 4 for cost, nonslip, style/fashion and ability to clean. Water resistance and sharps resistance weren’t applicable for Khan.

Khan said he usually wore Nike Free runs, because they “provided sufficient comfort for the duration of the shift and have proven to be durable.”

After working his shifts, which are more than 12 hours, he said: “My feet did not hurt after an intense movement. The fit of the shoe was true to size and did not require a ‘break-in’ period. I also ran several miles in the shoes to test comfort and durability and they proved to be great shoes.”

Brooks Ghost 12 cost about $90 on Brooksrunning.com, Amazon and other websites.

“Allocate these shoes for one specific thing and utilize them to their full capacity,” Khan told Nurse.org. “These are shoes intended for running, working out, and cross-training. They do, however, provide long-term comfort and can be used in the hospital setting for standing long periods of time.”

Nike Vapormax: 5

CRNA Everett Moss II, a critical care/vascular access nurse in Atlanta with five years of experience, wore these shoes for a 12-hour shift before writing his review.

Moss is a former Atlanta firefighter who became a paramedic, then “learned about the world of anesthesia from a mentor,” he posted on Instagram.

Moss said he usually wears running sneakers — Air Jordans, if his Instagram is an indication — to work, but he liked that the Vapormax were “very light and comfortable.”

He rated the shoes a 5 for quality, comfort and style/fashion. He gave them a 4 for nonslip, foot/ankle support and durability; a 3 for cost and ability to clean; and a 2 for water resistance and sharps resistance.

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Clove: 4

RN Heather May, a medical/surgical nurse with more than 10 years of experience, wore Clove’s Nightshift shoe for healthcare workers for two 12-hour shifts before writing a review.

May rated her Clove shoes a 5 for quality, sharps resistance and durability; a 2 for cost; and a 4 for all other categories.

“I like the water-resistance feature the most,” she wrote. “While I was walking to work in the rain my feet stayed dry. It reassured me that this pair of shoes could protect my feet from any bodily fluid while caring for my patients.”

May said she usually wears Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 37 running shoes, and she wrote the Cloves “could improve by inserting more supportive insoles. The insoles are flat and I felt little support in the arch of my foot.”

You can buy Clove sneakers for about $130 at goclove.com.

Hoka One One: 4

RN Mariam Yazdi, a critical care nurse with seven years of experience, tested these shoes for a full 12-hour shift.

She rated the Hoka shoes a five in every category except cost, water resistance, sharps resistance and style/fashion, for which she gave them a 4.

Yazdi told Nurse.org she has weak ankles and rotates “between sneakers and orthopedic (Dansko type) styles to give variety to my footwear. It allows my feet to experience different pressure points instead of the same pressure points for 40 hours a week.”

Although she said the shoes were “bulky and definitely tricky to style,” she “enjoyed the extreme support the sneaker has. It is instantly noticeable that the soul of the foot will be cradled throughout the day. I also took them running (they are primarily a running shoe) and the support on the foot upon impact with the floor is INCREDIBLE.”

She added: “This shoe definitely shines when used for running on concrete. I tend to get tired of landing on the balls of my foot when I run, even though it is ‘healthier’ for your knees due to decreased impact. This shoe solves that. This shoe is reminiscent of the Sketchers sneaker that has a big foot cradle, but the distribution of support on the foot is MUCH better than the Sketcher line. It does not give me back or knee pain or discomfort. If you don’t mind wearing a bulkier shoe for the extra support, this shoe is it.”

You can buy Hoka One One shoes for about $150 at Hokaoneone.com, Amazon and other sites.

You can read the full reviews on these and five other shoes at Nurse.org.