The correct shoes are essential for nurses, not just for comfort during long shifts on their feet, but also for practical reasons. Shoes that are designed specifically for medical professionals are lightweight, and include practical features such as anti-static ESD (electrostatic dissipation), and anti-slip soles, making them safer on various floor surfaces and in high-tech working conditions, where static electricity can be an issue.
Unfortunately, many medical professionals suffer from the physical pressure of the job, and choosing the correct professional footwear is key to minimising the risk and alleviating symptoms.
Common Aches and Pains for Nurses
With long shifts on your feet all day, it is little wonder that there are a variety of painful conditions that can be common among nurses, doctors, and all healthcare professionals. Whether you are clocking up the miles on the ward, or standing for long periods in theatre; there are often painful side effects.
Among the most common complaints are: plantar fasciitis, back and leg pain, heel spurs, swollen feet, numbness and many other aches and pains due to wearing shoes that are an improper fit, or not fit for purpose, throughout long and demanding shifts.
The key to minimising theses common aches and pains is good shock absorption, first and foremost. With the many hours, we spend on our feet, and the various surfaces we walk over; we need the best shock-absorbing shoes to protect our feet and the rest of the body. All of our footwear styles feature excellent shock absorption in the heel.
Best Shoes for Nurses with Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis, is very common, affecting 1 in 10 people at some point in their lives, and is more common in women than it is in men. It is caused by an inflammation of the band of tissue (the plantar fascia) that extends from the heel to the toes, where the fascia becomes irritated, then inflamed, resulting in heel pain.
There are a variety of treatments available from ice pack and foam rollers to exercises and stretches, but wearing appropriate footwear can make a huge difference to recovery times and everyday comfort. The key elements here are good shock absorption and postural support. Good shock absorption disperses some of the force of heel striking when walking, and pressure while standing. A shoe with good postural support, such as the AWP Recovery Shoe helps to hold the foot in the correct position, as well as encouraging good posture.
Another common complaint, and often suffered in conjunction with Plantar Fasciitis, is Heel Spurs. Nurses with heel spurs may choose a slightly raised heel to reduce stress on the heel and increase comfort, such as the Oxypas ‘Move Up’ range
The Best Nursing Shoes for Sore Feet
Hot and swollen feet may benefit greatly from good ventilation, many of our footwear styles offer good ventilation, allowing air to circulate and help cool the feet, reducing swelling and discomfort. You could choose an EVA shoe such as the Oxyva washable shoe, or one of our leather styles with cut-out sections for better ventilation and ‘Coolmax’ lining to help keep the feet cool such as the Oxypas Move Lilia
Bunions and corns can be very painful, and footwear can often exacerbate the problem. The most comfortable option here would be to choose a shoe that is soft and stretchy and causes minimum pressure and friction on the affected area, the Oxypas ‘Anais’ is made with Lycra for added comfort, and can help relieve the discomfort of sore feet.
Washable Nursing Shoes
Medical professionals working in theatres, labs, sterile services, and any cleanroom or sterile environment often require washable nursing shoes. Within this category are shoes made of materials which can be washed at different temperatures, as well as a variety of sterilisation techniques.
Read more about our washable nursing shoe options in our blog here.
Nursing Shoes for Men
It is estimated that 1 in 10 UK nurses are men, which is a huge increase from 1 in 100, 50 years ago, this means that a record number of male nurses are now working in British hospitals. Experts expect this figure to double over the next decade, as more men are choosing nursing as a profession.
With the majority of UK nurses being female, the range of professional footwear available for men has been fairly limited compared to their female counterparts, leaving male nurses with a choice limited to basic clogs and trainers.
As the popularity of the profession has grown among men, so has the choice available in footwear, giving a variety of options that are stylish and practical, with many styles available up to UK size 13.
Rotating Work Shoes for Foot Health
As well as choosing the correct style of shoes for your needs; it is important to look after your foot health. Shoes can become hot and humid, particularly by the end of a long shift – this makes them a breeding ground for bacteria and can cause some very unpleasant infections and painful issues. It is recommended that people should change their shoes at least every two days in order to give their shoes a chance to dry out and breathe. Read our top 5 tips for happy healthy feet here.