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The comfiest shoes for an agency nurse

Nurses spend most of the time on their feet as a result of completing rounds, administering drugs to patients, or giving care. Because of this, their lower body endures a lot throughout the day and can lead to severe pain if left untreated. To help, we have sourced the comfiest shoes for agency nurses that do the job, so you can do your job.

The implications of bad footwear on your body

Our mood and intention have great impact on the way we walk, for example, if a child has a tantrum, they stomp their feet, or if you’re trying to be sneaky, you walk at a much softer and slower pace. If you are rushing somewhere, you may feel pain in your shin muscles, AKA shin splints.

If your shoes are worn out and have a lack of cushioning, the pain will worsen with each step as there is nothing to soften the blow of your footstep. To put this in a healthcare situation, nurses can be found running around the ward to different patients and if they aren’t wearing the correct and comfortable shoes, they too will feel pain. The pain may then hinder their productivity at work as they are struggling to get from place to place in a timely manner.

According to Fit My Foot, nurses walk upwards of 3.5 miles on a 12 hour shift, whereas the average person walks between 1 to 2 miles per day. Even if you are standing still with good posture or walking around the ward, wearing ill-fitting, uncomfortable shoes will impact your bones, muscles, muscle tissue and joints.

How to find the right shoe for you

Choosing the right shoe can be overwhelming as there’s so much to factor in. To make it easier for you, we’ve broken it down into the most important things to consider when choosing your nursing footwear.

The best nursing shoes are lightweight, support the back of your foot, easy to slip on and off, protect your feet from liquids, offer great support for your arch, easy to clean, cushioned and have good tread on the bottom to prevents slips.

A shoes cushioning becomes completely compressed after a constant six-hour wear, so we advise you to take two pairs of shoes to work with you. That way, you can switch them out during your shift and keep your feet comfortable.

The most practical & comfiest shoes for agency nurses

Nurse.org asked their online community of over 120,000 nurses for their top ten recommended shoes.

The most popular were then tested under vigorous conditions and rated in different areas out of a score of five. Below are the top seven, starting with the best rated. All are available to buy in or ship to the UK.

  1. Asics Novablast Running Shoes 5/5
  2. Algeria Dixi Professional Shoes 3/5
  3. Brooks Ghost 12 (most current version is the Ghost 13) 5/5
  4. Nike Vapormax 5/5
  5. Hoka One One Bondi 6 4/5
  6. Dansko Professional Clogs 3/5
  7. On Cloud Running Shoes 3/5

How much do they cost?

A good pair of durable shoes will mean you don’t have to repurchase them as frequently throughout your career. It is recommended that you purchase a new pair every 6 to 8 months – typically when a nurse’s shoe begins deteriorating.

Sadly, the requirements for a nurse’s shoe do come at a cost, but nothing to break the bank. After all, the shoes will become a part of you and will help to prevent pain. The recommend shoes in the above are priced between £50 to £180. If you want something more accessible and cheaper, Crocs are a firm favourite amongst healthcare workers and cost around £40.

Different pain alleviation methods

The best ways to tackle sore feet include soaking your feet in a warm salt bath, opting for compression socks, engaging in reflexology, and putting your feet up at the end of your shift. 

Other comfortable must-haves

Layering up, especially in the winter, is a must. The easiest way to do that is by wearing tights and socks. But like shoes, given the duration of time that they are worn for, they don’t have the longest life span, so it’s worth investing a little more into your layers.

Tights are often tipped as the single-use plastic of the fashion industry, throwing away on average 2 million pairs of tights every year, globally. Most tights are made of nylon, a synthetic polymer fabric that takes around 30-40 years to break down in landfill and release microplastics when washed. Sarah Borghi’s, a designer featured on Luxury Legs, green collection is going to help change this, degrading just after 5 years.

With nurses wearing tights almost daily, it comes as no surprise that when they wear out, you get rid. Borghi’s tights ensure nurses have one less thing to worry about and help them to be more environmentally friendly.

Established British shoemakers, Joseph Cheaney & Sons make shoes that last. Cork, a sustainable raw material used by Cheaney, is universally recognised as the best material to use as a footbed in the construction of Goodyear welted footwear. It is flexible, water-resistant, lightweight, shock-absorbing and most importantly comfortable. It moulds to the contours of the wearer’s foot to offer a truly natural, bespoke result.

The Goodyear welted Vibram Vi-Lite rubber sole is the most practical option for nurses who spend many hours on their feet, as it is lightweight and highly durable.

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