Best Nurse Shoes for Back Pain: 2020 Nursing Shoes

There is no one out there who does not need a high-quality, comfortable pair of shoes and the profession of a nurse demands them too. One cannot imagine working long shifts back-to-back while wearing shoes that are just not right, it won’t be a surprise by the end of their shift if their feet are exhausted and they suffer in agony. Many nurses suffer from issues like back pain due to wearing shoes that do not fit. This article tries to throw light on the basics of buying nursing shoes and the health hazards of not wearing the right pair.

By the end of the article, you will also understand a few best nurse shoes for back pain.

Reasons behind Back Pain in Nurses

We often get so caught up in our maladies, we do not even consider the fact that nurses and doctors too could fall sick. LBP or Low Back Pain is the most common type of occupational musculoskeletal disease that nurses suffer from among all health professionals. LBP is a common occupational health problem that results in serious physical, cognitive, sensory and developmental obstacles for nurses which is also the cause for work-force loss and health expenses following cancer pain, according to a study by Ipek Kose Tosunoz.

  • Musculoskeletal problems like LBP have a significant relation with physical factors and repetitive movements, improper posture and excessive use of force. These are the three major factors that cause musculoskeletal problems (Buker, et al). 
  • These factors make excessive use of tendons, ligaments and muscles, static muscle loading and fatigue, which ultimately increase the probabilities of low back traumas.
  • Duties like carrying patients without getting support or any supportive equipment may also be the cause of LBP.
  • Long working hours could be another physical reason for LBP.
  • The excessive workload with inadequate personnel and equipment could too lead to LBP.
  • Inadequate breaks and having to stand up for long periods are reasons for LBP too.
  • Working in the wrong posture is another reason.
  • Also, disruptions of sleeping cycle and eating habits due to odd shifts are among the various reasons for an occupational health hazard that may result in LBP for nurses.
  • Occupational duties such as assisting patients’ daily lives that require positioning them on the beds, carrying and lifting them cause LBP.
  • Other occupational responsibilities such as carrying medical devices of various weights and sizes, tidying beds of various heights also increase the risk of low back pain for nurses. 
  • Psychosocial factors too, cause health problems and increase and result in various physical problems such as LBP.
  • Psychosocial factors may increase muscle tension, work-related mechanical tension and lead to pain attacks.
  •  Stress and anxiety are some of the other main psychosocial factors that cause LBP. Stress and anxiety in most health professionals are caused due to a lack of relaxation opportunities at the workplace and a lack of a supportive culture. Monotonous work-life, heavy workload and passive coping methods too may cause stress and anxiety for health professionals.
  • Other individual factors include age, low economic status and smoking increase the risk of LBP.

How to Choose Nurse Shoes for Back Pain


If you are a nurse, you would know the frequency of running around as a nurse in a hospital. Every time there is an emergency, you can expect to run from one end to another. And while in between the run, the worse of all would be your shoe to come out or it could b just so tight that you get a shoe bite which makes you limp around. The last thing you would want would be your shoe to come off in between you and your occupation. 

A right fit is important because it makes you walk around with the right posture without being too careful about the shoe coming off or you limping around. The right fit makes it possible for a nurse to be on their feet without putting much pressure on the back. A secure fit is what all nurses need. 


Treading is that important feature that directly affects the distribution of pressure and weight on the heel and arch. Tread should be made of good material. Cheap or soft material squishes and compresses rather fast, which leaves you without adequate support. Lousy support for feet and heel is always a reason for back pain.

The part of the tread that is in contact with the ground must also provide friction and so that the wearer can be confident of not slipping while on a run in a slippery or plain floor.


This is another important pointer and the most crucial one to pay attention to. You can compromise on everything else but this. Great support is what makes a good pair of shoes invincible. A pair of shoes that provide good support can cut down the risk of LBP in nurses. What is expected from a great pair of shoes is long hours of support even after hours of wear.


Weight of shoes can make more damage to your health that the weight of the body and no this is not made up, it is a fact! Heavier shoes can cause back pain as there requires more force to move feet around. To get a clear picture of the harm done, multiply the hours of standing by the weight of your shoes. The aim should be to keep your feet from exhausting and that can be possibly achieved only when the shoes are light.

Best Nurse Shoes for Back Pain

Nurse Mates women's harmony white

Nurse Mates – Women’s – Harmony White

This pair of shoes is made of full-grain leather with the man-made insole and slip-resistant outsole. This is a basic pair of shoes. This shoe features a perfect fit since it is entirely closed, it hugs the foot snugly as it should, and there is no chance of slipping or unwanted movement and the shoe is stretchy enough which keeps the upper part seems strong enough to endure several years of wear.

This is one standard shoe when it comes to material. On top, we have full and leather with mesh padding underneath that aids breathability, and EVA foam made tread that makes it lighter. Leather is one of the best materials that provide proper ventilation and the manufacturer did an excellent job by adding the mesh.

Tread, since EVA foam is soft, makes it an excellent feature but after an extended period of pressure, it tends to get compacted which could be considered one weakness. The rubber sole gives excellent friction, so there is no fear of slipping either.

Since leather is used in making these shoes, they tend to get a tad bit heavy. Still, this is not negative a pointer at all, and you won’t be able to tell the difference. Undoubtedly, there is no severe impact on quality.

The price is reasonable and there has been recorded no complaint as of yet. 


  • It is made of leather. 
  • There is Mesh underneath that provides air circulation
  • It provides a great fit
  • It keeps the foot in place


  • The sole includes EVA foam which makes it gets compacted after long hours of wear
Brooks Women's Addiction Walker Walking Shoes

Brooks Women’s Addiction Walker Walking Shoes

We all need at least that one pair of “those sneakers.” which endures ages of wearing and remain usable even afterwards. This is one such pair.

Brooks doesn’t need any introduction as they have been present for some time now, and they have a good knowledge of the material. Therefore, the material used here is leather to make sure these shoes are strong and durable and rubber/foam combo to provide the best stability for the foot.

Speaking of stability, the lacing on this model is worth mentioning. Although it is an average one, it keeps the foot stable. Because of it, you can adjust how tight you want it to be. Hugging of the foot is therefore incredibly snug.

The tread is what struck us the most. It is thick, but not too much to be unstable. The heel is well cushioned so that it eases the pain even after long hours of standing. Rubber tread enables you to run if required while maintaining an amazing grip and control at the same time.

The price, however, is a bit on the higher end. Also, the shoes are a bit heavy, so you might feel slight discomfort.


  • Leather and rubber is used in making the shoes
  • Lacing is featured to adjust the fitting according to need
  • Great heel support is provided.
  • Good airflow to keep the feet breathing.


  • The pair is a bit expensive
Dansko Women's Professional Tooled Clog

Dansko Women’s Professional Tooled Clog

If you are a professional nurse, your work demands long hours of standing and walking. Therefore, you need a comfortable pair of clogs. The Dansko Professional clog offers not only that but much more. These clogs are designed to reduce the strain on your feet and legs. The leather upper gives the clog a look that also makes you look dressed to the nines, while the toe box construction makes sure that you have durable protection all the time. The toe box construction also provides to your feet plenty of room inside.

The advanced heel design allows the natural movement of the heel as you go through your work routine work during the day. The outsole is shock absorbent, thereby allowing you to remain on your feet for long. The sheer ease with which you can slip in and out of them is one of the best things about these clogs. It’s easy to take them whenever you feel your feet need some fresh air for a few minutes. These clogs are great for people who work on wet or slippery surfaces. 


  • They reduce strain on your feet.
  • The outsole absorbs shock.
  • It is easy to slip in them and off them.
  • These are slip-resistant.


  • A tad bit expensive if you choose the ones which are not plain.
  • Have been reported of shoe bites.

Final words

Safety and comfort are important when nurses select shoes to keep up a professional appearance. Some nurses also wear basic tennis shoes, but in most cases, nurses are okay with trying several different kinds of shoes before settling with that one pair that offers them the most benefit. Not just any shoes, nursing shoes are an important part of the entire nursing profession. Therefore, choosing the right pair is important.

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A Londoner, extreme sports and shoes aficionado whose been dealing with flat feet I have plenty of experience looking up for information and trying out the best shoes to perform sports at the highest level. Not trying to give medical recommendations just describing what has worked for me. Enjoy!

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