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If the shoe fits…

We all know finding good shoes for work is essential, as you’ll be on your feet a lot, but here we’ve pulled together some useful tips for making sure your shoes are fit for purpose and stylish!

  1. Check out the rules before you begin. Most healthcare employers have requirements or at the very least, guidelines about the shoes that nurses and other staff should be wearing in the workplace. These can include anything from the colour and amount of the foot that should be covered, to the protective qualities of the shoe. If you don’t know the rules, take a moment to ask before you spend time searching out the ideal shoe.
  2. Don’t let serious shoes weigh you down. Every time you lift your foot, you’re raising the weight of your shoe, so you want it to be as light as possible. But light doesn’t have to mean flimsy. Many shoes, designed specifically for an active healthcare environment, are made from modern, high-tech materials that are both lightweight and strong.
  3. Select the right fit, right from the start. Don’t compromise when it comes to choosing the shoe that’s a perfect fit for your foot. All those hours of standing, walking, and running can quickly become agony if your shoes are either too loose or too tight. Getting the best fit isn’t just down to choosing the right size; it’s also down to good design, the materials used in the shoe, and the quality of its construction.
  4. Get a grip and avoid a slip. It almost goes without saying that a nurse should wear shoes with high slip resistance, but we’ve included it on our list because when you’re presented with shoes that look and feel great, it’s easy to forget the basics. Be on the lookout for shoes with a TPU sole, a form of plastic commonly used in footwear because it’s strong, durable, and can be moulded for high slip resistance.
  5. Choose shoes that can stand up to stains. Spills and splashes are unavoidable in many healthcare settings, meaning your footwear needs to be washable. Shoes designed with nurses in mind will usually come with washing instructions, helping you to keep your shoes looking good while also addressing hygiene issues.
  6. Be prepared for a few shocks. A shock runs through your body every time your foot makes contact with the ground. The harder the surface, and the firmer the contact, the more damage that shock can cause to your knees, your other joints, and your spine. As a nurse on your feet all day, you’re looking for shoes that cushion against this impact. Look out for footwear that’s specifically designed to include shock-absorbent technologies, such as air cushioning.
  7. Be on the lookout for inner sole. However good a shoe might be, you may still need to insert an inner sole for extra comfort or to provide orthopaedic support. Inner soles can also absorb moisture and help reduce odour. Some shoes come with replaceable inner soles from new.
  8. Protection inside and out. Because some environments expose healthcare staff to risks from heavy or sharp objects, it may be necessary to consider shoes with steel or aluminium toe caps. With this built-in shield, modern safety shoes may be functional and comply with appropriate standards, but that doesn’t mean they should be heavy or ugly.
  9. Hard-working and good-looking. Twenty-first-century footwear technology means that a nurse looking for comfortable, hard-wearing shoes should not need to compromise when it comes to style. It is possible to enjoy attractive shoes that also do the job of protecting your feet, and indeed your entire body, against the wear and tear that comes with working a long shift.

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