Walking a mile in a nurse’s shoes might feel rougher than the average mile, considering the long hours standing and running around required from the profession. Travel nurses especially need to be on their toes as they manage typical nursing demands along with getting to know a new environment — perhaps exploring your new neighborhood or inadvertently taking an extra lap around the unit your first week on the job as you get acquainted with the hospital’s geography.
When it comes to your on-the-job footwear, don’t wait for the other shoe to drop. It could end up affecting your job performance, according to a 2012 study published in MEDSURG Nursing, the Official Journal of the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses, which reported that nurses should replace their shoes at least every six months. The study found that foot pain can definitely take the professional pep out of a nurse’s step, which will in turn have a negative effect on patient care.
Nurses tend to fall into two camps when it comes to athletic runners versus nursing shoes. (For a fun article on this age-old debate, click here) Both have pros: runners absorb shock quite well, while nursing clogs provide excellent arch support. Regardless of your preference, just make sure that you find footwear that complements your daily routine and keeps you comfortable, allowing you to provide stellar patient care. Also, keep in mind that due to heavy use your shoes may need to be replaced before they show visible wear, so the six-month rule is a good one to follow.
For inspiration, here are some links to a few nursing shoe outlets — Danskos, Crocs, and Klogs, oh my!