Sole mates: 4 shoe brands earning 5 stars from nurses

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These Bala Twelves were designed with input from nurses.“I liked the snug fit and how comfortable they are. They are actually liquid resistant,” the reviewer said.They are based on female foot morphology with a high traction outsole for hospital floors.The sneakers come in five color combinations and have a protective coating that repels water.The reviewer, Alice Benjamin, gave the shoes a 5 in every category

Health care workers wear a pair for one or more shifts before rating them

Nurse “uniforms” have changed dramatically over the decades — good riddance to white tights — and that includes the shoes.

Today’s nurse can express their individuality while protecting themselves from heel pain, plantar fasciitis and other ailments. Having so many choices, however, can make it difficult to pick a pair that keeps up with your pace while protecting your feet.

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Each year, asks its online community of more than 133,000 members for shoe recommendations, then has actual health care providers wear and rate the more popular ones.

Four brands rated a five — the highest score — this year. Here’s what the testers had to say about them.


Alice Benjamin, MSN, BSN, RN, is a critical care nurse and host of the Ask Nurse Alice podcast. She wore the Asics Novablast SPS for three shifts

“I usually wear Nikes or some type of running shoe because they are comfy and don’t hurt when I am running all day,” said Benjamin, who usually works shifts of 12 or more hours.

Of the 10 categories in which the shoes were rated — quality, cost, comfort, water resistant, nonslip, style/fashion, foot/ankle support, durability and ability to clean — Benjamin gave the Asics a 5 in eight of them. For water resistant and foot/ankle support, she rated the shoes a 4.

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Benjamin also tested and rated Bala Twelves. This shoe is designed by nurses and is crafted around female foot morphology. The result is a perfectly fitting nurse shoe without compromises.

“I liked the snug fit and how comfortable they are. They are actually liquid resistant,” said Benjamin, who gave the shoes a 5 in every category.

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Wali Khan, BSN, RN, is an ICU/ER nurse with 10 years of experience. He wore the Brooks Ghost 12 running shoes three times before rating them.

Although he usually wears Nike Free Runs, Khan said his 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.”

Khan rated the shoes a 5 for quality, comfort, foot/ankle support and durability. For cost ($110), nonslip, style/fashion and ability to clean, he assigned them a 4. the other two categories were given an N/A.

See Khan’s YouTube review below:


Atlanta’s Everett Moss II, BSN, RN, is a critical care/vascular access nurse with five years of experience. He wore the Nike Vapormax at work for a full shift.

Moss rated the Vapormax a 5 for quality, comfort and style/fashion, saying they are “very light and comfortable.” However, Moss also prefers “shoes that are more fluid-resistant,” and rated these only a 2 in that category.

You can check out the other seven shoes at

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