Best Nursing Shoes for Flat Feet
I’m sure you nurses are aware of how sore your feet are after a long shift, but those of you with flat feet are likely feeling the burn a bit more. You even may not realize that you have flat feet!
The shoes you choose to wear can make a huge difference in how comfortable and efficient your days are. This is true for normal feet, but if you’re aware you have flat feet, you’ll understand the struggle to find footwear that fits and is actually comfy.
The best nursing shoes for flat feet need to be tough, durable, and comfortable, all at the same time.
And so, here are my picks for the best nursing shoes for flat feet:
- Timberland PRO Women’s Renova Slip-On
- Nurse Mates Women’s Macie Low Top Lace Up Shoes
- Crocs Unisex Bistro Clog
- Skechers Sport Women’s Loving Life Memory Foam Fashion Sneaker
- Merrell Men’s Encore Gust Slip-On Shoe 0
The Medical Science Behind Flat Feet
Flat-footedness, or pes planus, is a result of the lack of formation or collapse of the inner arch of the foot.
This can be a genetic thing, or it can happen over time due to prolonged stress on the feet, an injury or just wearing really bad shoes for a long time.
It happens in up to 30 percent of the population, though, so it’s not uncommon!
Common Related Conditions
Living with flat feet can be as normal as being double-jointed or having poor posture.
You may not feel any discomfort at all, but in some cases, it can lead to aches, pains and other disorders or deformities.
Because the foot rotates inwards abnormally, it can put a strain on the feet, ankles, knees, hips and back. They’re forced to compensate for the strange foot position and can end up taking on a lot more pressure than they usually would.
This can lead to:
- Lower back pain.
- Achilles tendonitis.
- Plantar fasciitis.
Lower Back Pain
The foot bone’s connected to the… lower back, in a chain reaction kind of way!
The unusual positioning of the foot sometimes isn’t felt in the actual foot. It’s more commonly felt in the knees and lower back, as the joints are forced into an unusual position by the pronation of the feet.
If your lower back pain isn’t being improved by chiropractors or medication, your feet could be the root cause.
The overly pronounced inward turn of the feet can lead to painful bony bumps on the base of the big toe.
This can make shoes even more uncomfortable as they push against the protrusion, and makes being on your feet all day a complete misery.
The tendon that runs down the back of the leg can take extra strain and become sore and inflamed. This can make you feel like you have permanently tight calf muscles.
Stretching can alleviate this pain, and of course, wearing shoes that take that pressure off the tendon will make quite a difference, too.
This condition is a common cause of pain in the heel. The tissue that covers the underside of the foot, from heel to toes, becomes inflamed and can cause extreme discomfort, which is prominent in the early mornings or after long periods of being on your feet.
This is one of the reasons heel support is also so important in a great pair of flat-foot shoes.
Why Choose Special Shoes for Flat Feet?
Wearing any old footwear may not be a problem for a long time. But once your flat feet begin to give you grief, you may regret not choosing a flat-foot-specific shoe earlier!
Shoes for flat-footed wearers give extra arch support and cushioning and reduce a lot of the problems that can follow on from a pronated gait.
They help the foot to remain in a position that prevents the need for any other joints to compensate and run the risk of injury or pain.
What Should I Look for in a Pair of Nursing Shoes?
Making sure your new footwear ticks these boxes will make a bigger difference than you realize:
- Arch and heel support
- Cushioning Insert
Arch and Heel Support
Both of these supports are important. Although the arch—or lack thereof—is the cause of flat feet, having a well-supported heel is essential to keep your whole foot still and steady in the shoe while you’re moving around.
An insert made from memory foam, EVA foam or a gel base is great for cushioning. It’s also always a good idea to go for footwear that has removable inserts, so you can customize it to fit your arches perfectly or add your orthotic.
Footwear for those who are on their feet as much as nurses need to be solid and sturdy. You want it to protect your feet as well as cushion them.
The material makes a difference here. Tough, less bendable materials are preferred to keep the foot well-supported and lower the risks of turning an ankle or stubbing your toe.
There’s no use buying a bad quality pair of shoes and having to replace them every month! Choose something made from durable material, such as 100 percent leather.
For nurses who are up and down all day, the soles can wear thin quickly if the footwear isn’t of a high quality. A thick, tough sole and a durable outer material are imperative if you want them to last longer than a few months.
Flat-footed people tend to also have wider feet than others. If regular shoes tend to feel a bit tight around the middle of your foot, try getting a wider shoe.
The Best Nursing Shoes for Flat Feet
If you’ve been suffering through long shifts on your feet and wishing for a solution, here are my top five choices for the best nursing shoes for flat feet.
This professional-looking footwear made by Timberland has everything a great pair of flat-footed shoes needs.
Made from premium quality leather, they’re durable and will protect your feet from bumps and bruises. They’re also non-slip, so no matter how much running around you have to do, you can feel super safe wearing these.
A molded footbed with fantastic arch support, heel stabilization, and shock absorption make these slip-ons incredibly comfy as well.
You can buy these in anything from size 5.5 to 11, men’s or women’s sizes.
- Durable and sturdy leather construction.
- Anti-microbial technology for odor control.
- Superior arch and heel support.
- Timberland’s Anti-Fatigue technology.
- Slip-resistant sole.
- Available in various sizes for men and women.
- No wide or extra-wide sizes.
As the name suggests, Nurse Mates are designed to look after nurses’ feet while they’re on the job.
They’re stylish and look quite professional, while also providing extra protection by way of a slip-proof sole and lace-up design for regulating tightness.
The memory foam insert is a moldable cushion to suit your feet and can be taken out if you happen to have an orthotic or want to use an insert you prefer.
Choose a size from 6 to 11, in regular or wide.
- Professional-looking design.
- Slip-resistant outsole
- Removable EVA/memory foam insoles.
- Padded collar for added comfort.
- Regular and wide options available.
- Made from synthetic material, which may not last as long as genuine leather.
Crocs are known as some of the comfiest shoes around. Crocs’ Croslite material is soft while still being firm and conforms to the shape of the foot to provide support for the arch and heel.
Their Crocs-Lock technology makes this design slip-resistant and safe. They’re also waterproof and very easy to clean, which is a big thumbs-up in the nursing environment!
Sizes are available from 4 (men) or 6 (women) to 10 (men) and 12 (women).
- Croslite material conforms to the shape of the foot.
- Waterproof and super easy to clean.
- Slip-resistant Crocs-Lock technology for increased traction.
- Lightweight and comfortable.
- No wider options available.
For something a little more casual, these sporty Skechers will do the job admirably, and in whatever color you wish!
They’re made of faux leather and mesh, which makes them light and easy to run around in. The rubber soles help reduce the chances of slipping, and the insole is made from memory foam, which will cushion your sore feet nicely.
They come in sizes 5 to 11, with most of those including a wide option.
- Sporty and stylish design.
- Memory foam insole.
- Lightweight and breathable.
- May be slightly difficult to clean due to the mesh design.
These shoes aren’t fancy, but they’re fantastic for men who spend hours on their feet at a time.
Their leather construction means they’ll last longer and take less of a beating than others may. Also, your toes will be well-supported, and the EVA-molded frame keeps them stable and comfortable.
The ortholite footbed and air cushion in the heel help immensely with shock absorption and keep you on the go for longer.
They’re available in sizes 7 to 15.
- Full-grain leather for extra durability.
- Merrell air cushion in the heel.
- Ortholite footbed and EVA frame.
- Easy to clean.
- No wide options for those with wider feet.
Nurses, there’s no need to be in pain while you’re on duty. Sore feet can ruin a good mood and make a shift seem three-times longer, but the shoe options on this list can make all the difference.
The Timberland PRO Women’s Renova Slip-On is my top choice for footwear that will help female nurses be comfortable, pain-free, and look stylish while on the job.
Men, I haven’t forgotten you! The Crocs Unisex Bistro Clog will make your shifts a breeze. Its design makes it easy to get on and off while providing high levels of comfort during extended use.