Sometimes I get asked for advice by new nurses who want to learn something they might not have been taught in school. One of the first things I always say is: Don’t buy cheap nursing shoes! I know from experience the damage that these can do to your feet.
Nursing is hard on many parts of the body, most of all our back and feet. The back is the obvious body part to care for but the feet often get neglected. And because the body is so connected, bad shoes don’t only affect your feet. They end up affecting your hips and back as well.
So how do you go about buying good shoes? The first thing we have to realize is that a good pair of nursing shoes for me is not necessarily a good pair for you. How many times have you heard someone rave about how wonderful a brand of shoes is and yet when you try them you hate them?
Here are some tips on how to make sure your shoes fit you properly:
Measure your feet. We think we know what size we are. But even as adults, our feet can change in size. The change may be small, but can make a big difference in shoe size and comfort.
Measure both feet. Everyone has slight size differences in their feet. Make sure you shop for the larger foot.
Measure your feet while standing and towards the end of the day. This way, if there is any swelling, this has been taking into account in your sizing.
Pay attention to your arch. Some people have differing arch lengths and heights. This can make a big difference in the fit of the shoe. This is also one reason why a good name brand that’s a perfect fit for one person may not be for another.
Shoes do not have to be broken in. Seriously. If the shoes are snug, don’t make the mistake of thinking you need to break them in. Good shoes should fit properly when you buy them. Don’t let a salesperson talk you into buying them if they don’t fit properly at the store.
Consider going to a store that caters to runners. Many sports stores can analyze the way you walk and suggest the right pair of sports shoes for your gait. If your hospital or institution doesn’t ban the wearing of sports shoes, they are often a great choice for someone who is on their feet for hours at a time.
Take the time to take care of your feet by choosing the best nursing shoes because, as one Montreal podiatrist says in her radio ads, “Without healthy feet, you don’t have a leg to stand on.”