It is an unquestionable truth that most nurses are on their feet all day and an uncomfortable pair of shoes can make the time crawl by. Finding the perfect pair of shoes seems like it should be a simple task, however with the seemingly endless variety to choose from, ever changing requirements from hospitals & other employers, and all the new “shoe technologies” that are out there, it can quickly become a little overwhelming. To help out here are a few tips to think about the next time you are purchasing medical shoes.
- Understand any employer requirements. These can vary from color requirements to what type of sole your shoe needs to have. A common new trend is to disallow any shoes with holes in them (no more of those traditional Crocs!). You don’t want to settle on the perfect shoe just to find out you can’t even wear it to work.
- When it comes to work shoes, comfort > style. Here are a few key elements to comfort. A soft soled shoes is almost always more comfortable than a stiff inflexible one, as a side bonus they are also quieter. Make sure you pick a shoe with proper arch support. Arch support can make or break your comfort so don’t settle. Don’t go for anything with a raised heal…it is not worth the few extra style points. Many of the new medical shoes have moisture wicking material. This can be a real bonus to help keep your feet dry.
- Don’t be afraid of “support socks.” No matter how old you are, it has been tested and proven that these help keep your legs and feet from tiring our and becoming sore. Like shoes, support socks come in a wide variety and are sometimes sized in strange ways. Start with the easy to purchase support socks that are sized by shoe sizes (Sigvaris has a great option) and if you really enjoy them think about asking a podiatrist about what they may recommend. They are fairly in-expensive and are undoubtedly worth a try.
- Don’t fret over $5.00. If you are purchasing work shoes it isn’t worth saving $5 or $10 at the expense of your feet. Buy what is comfortable, not what is cheapest. Many times you can even write off your uniform purchases when tax time comes around (make sure you talk to a tax professional about this!).
Buying shoes can be a tricky thing. If you are shopping online make sure you choose a site that offers free returns or exchanges with no re-stocking fee. It also helps to purchase from a site or store that specializes in medical uniforms. They tend to have a much broader selection of the types of shoes you may be looking for. Always remember that your day’s comfort starts and ends with your feet, so take care of them!