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Nurses share the comfiest kicks for a long shift — plus 8 other options to shop

TODAY logo TODAY 5/6/2022 Jillian Ortiz and Daniel Boan

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Everyone could use a reliable pair of comfortable shoes. However, perhaps nobody needs them more than the medical professionals who are hard at work for 12 hours at a time.

Since nurses spend most of their days on their feet, they know more than a thing or two about the importance of comfort and durability when it comes to shoes. With this in mind, Shop TODAY asked nurses for the exact pairs they swear by to get them through long shifts.

From athletic sneakers to practical clogs, these are the shoes that have the seal of approval from nurses who prioritize support and comfort.

Related: Bob Harper shares the best shoes for every fitness activity.

Best shoes for nurses, according to nurses

Hoka One One Arahi 6

Arahi 6

These Hoka sneakers are designed to provide plenty of support, and that's largely thanks to its special molded footbed.

"Nurses are on their feet most of the day, so the Hoka sneaker provides great support for nurses with bad backs or plantar fasciitis, which is inflammation in your feet," Monique Goguen, a nurse based in Boston, told Shop TODAY.

The cushioned design comes in plenty of colors, and men's sizes are also available.

Brooks Levitate 5

Levitate 5

Brooks Levitate 5 (Zappos / Zappos) © Zappos Brooks Levitate 5 (Zappos / Zappos)

"Brooks sneakers are extremely supportive but also extremely comfortable," Goguen said. "Being on your feet for 12 hours a shift, comfort is so important."

The Brooks Levitate series are running sneakers, so they are designed with a runner's comfort in mind. They feature a removable cushioned footbed that provides support and also aids in shock absorption.

Alegria Debra Professional

Debra Professional

  • Debra Professional $139.95 at Zappos
  • Debra Professional $139.95 at Nordstrom
  • Debra Professional $139.95 at QVC

Joanna Cannata, a nurse from Knoxville, Tennessee, recommends Alegria shoes for comfort. These shoes were made for all-day wear, as the combination latex and cork footbed is intended to conform to the foot. The footbed can also be removed to insert custom orthotics, while the outsole is designed to help prevent slips and also guides the foot in the heel-to-toe motion.

Asics Gel-Challenger 13

Gel-Challenger 13

ASICS Gel-Challenger 13 (Asics / Asics) © Asics ASICS Gel-Challenger 13 (Asics / Asics)

Gel-Challenger 13 $100.00 at Asics

“I use Asics. A lot of nurses I know wear tennis shoes for the support," nurse Katy Morgan told us. The Asics Gel-Challenger — which is also available in men's sizes — has a foam footbed, as well as two additional layers of foam under the heel that help to provide comfort and support. The mesh outer allows the foot to breathe, but also helps keep the foot sturdy and protected.

Dansko Professional Patent Clog

Professional Patent Clog

  • Professional Patent Clog $130.00 at Dansko
  • Professional Patent Clog $139.95 at Zappos
  • Professional Patent Clog $109.99 at DSW

If you want comfort without sacrificing style, Dansko offers plenty of eye-catching colors to choose from.

"Danskos come in lots of fun patterns and since we wear scrubs, it’s one place to express your personality," said Debbie Jok, a nurse in Novi, Michigan.

Dansko Paisley Sneakers

Paisley Sneakers

  • Paisley Sneakers $149.95 at Zappos
  • Paisley Sneakers $150.00 at Dansko

Audra Whitton, a nurse based in Chicago, says she recommends Dansko's sneakers if you're a fan of the popular brand but want something other than clogs. The outer material is waterproof, while the durable sole is slip-resistant to ensure safety.

Crocs Classic Clogs

Classic Clog

Several nurses recommended Crocs, noting that they're an affordable shoe that is easy to clean. The brand's classic clog style is a popular choice, and in their recently released 2021 Environmental, Social and Governance report, they declared their goal to become Net Zero and reduce emissions by 50 percent per pair by 2030.

Related: These shoes put a new "spring" in my step!

More comfortable shoes to consider

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38

Air Zoom Pegasus 38

These highly-rated sneakers are perfect for all-day wear with foam support that will keep you light on your feet and a spring in your step. The best part? They come in over a dozen different colors!

Allbirds Tree Dasher 2

Tree Dasher 2

Women's Tree Dasher 2 (Allbirds / Allbirds) © Allbirds Women's Tree Dasher 2 (Allbirds / Allbirds)

Tree Dasher 2 $135.00 at Allbirds

The second version of the brand's bestselling running shoe features a heel collar designed to keep your ankles locked in place and almost 300 five-star reviews. It comes in three neutral colors and four limited edition colorways.

Lululemon Blissfeel Running Shoe

Blissfeel Running Shoe

Blissfeel Running Shoe $148.00 at Lululemon

Popular workout brand Lululemon recently veered into shoe territory, debuting the first of four new styles to come this year. They quickly became a winner at this year's Women's Health Sneaker Awards for running. Designed by women, for women, they provide ample support and are described by the brand as "an everyday neutral running shoe."

Reebok DailyFit DMX Women's Shoes

DailyFit DMX Women's Shoes

This kick from Reebok was recognized as being the "best for all-day comfort" in Women's Health 2021 Sneaker Awards and it's easy to see why. Crafted with DMX TripleMax moving air technology, this Reebok sneaker includes a PU molded contoured sock liner to perfectly cradle your arches and give your soles long-lasting support.

Adidas Cloudfoam Pure Running Shoe

Cloudfoam Pure Running Shoe

Adidas Women's Cloudfoam Pure Running Shoe (Amazon / Amazon) © Amazon Adidas Women's Cloudfoam Pure Running Shoe (Amazon / Amazon)
  • Cloudfoam Pure Running Shoe $59.98 at Amazon
  • Cloudfoam Pure Running Shoe $70.00 at Adidas

These sneakers from Adidas have amassed over 56,000 verified five-star ratings on Amazon. They're lightweight but the cloudfoam midsole provides enough support for a "springy" feel. Whether you're heading out for a walk around the neighborhood or a quick errand run, they'll provide both comfort and function.

New Balance 411 Walking Shoes

411 Walking Shoes

New Balance 411 Womens Walking Shoes (Amazon / Amazon) © Amazon New Balance 411 Womens Walking Shoes (Amazon / Amazon)
  • 411 Walking Shoes $59.99 at Amazon
  • 411 Walking Shoes $59.99 at Kohl's

With a plush cushion and sturdy outsole, these walking shoes from New Balance are a top-rated option that prioritize comfort. "I had the cute heeled nursing clogs but at the end of my clinical rotation my feet were killing me, so I ordered a few pairs of all white sneakers on Amazon and these were the most comfortable out of them all," one verified reviewer said.

Vionic Walker


Vionic's Walker boasts a polished leather upper and a removable cushioned insole. They also feature padding, which helps provide additional stability on walks or runs.

Asics Gel-Kayano 27

Gel-Kayano 27

Asics Women's Gel-Kayano 27 Running Shoes (Amazon / Amazon) © Amazon Asics Women's Gel-Kayano 27 Running Shoes (Amazon / Amazon)

These running shoes from Asics feature maximum cushion and foam technology that provide bounce and absorb shock. Specifically designed for women, these shoes were crafted to offer support in the direction of forward motion, according to the brand. They're also available in a range of colors, so you can find one that best suits your style.

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