Nurses spend many hours a day on their feet. Wearing the wrong shoes can cause discomfort and pain.
Nurses with plantar fasciitis will have an even tougher time. The best shoes for nurses with plantar fasciitis should have a thick and well-cushioned midsole for shock absorption, plus adequate arch support.
We chose the Hoka One One Bondi SR as our first choice. It’s extremely well-cushioned, has a comfortable memory foam collar, and a slip-resistant outsole. It is perfect for spending all day on your feet on hospital floors.
If you don’t like that model, we’ve reviewed ten excellent options for you to choose from.
Top 3 Best and Favorites
Hoka One One Bondi Sr
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New Balance Fresh Foam Roav
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SKECHERS Cessnock SR
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1. Hoka One One Bondi SR
The Hoka One One Bondi SR is the ideal choice for nurses who have plantar fasciitis. They feature a leather upper that’s water-resistant, which is perfect for wearing in a hospital setting and looks smarter than your average sneaker.
The plush, full-length EVA cushion absorbs shock, supports your arch, and keeps your feet feeling comfortable and at ease all day. It also features an early-stage meta-rocker sole, helping you stay on your feet in a high-pressure environment.
Around the ankle, a soft memory foam collar keeps your foot locked in and prevents movement in the shoe. This is key because any extra movement could lead to more strain on the plantar fascia.
To finish it off, a slip-resistant rubber outsole also keeps you safe no matter how slippery the floor is.
If you’ve never worn a maximum cushion shoe before, you may feel that the shoe is a bit bulky and even heavy on your feet. But this is where the extreme cushioning comes from.
- Early stage Meta-Rocker
- Full-length EVA midsole
- Padded memory foam collar
- Multi-directional traction outsole
- Some individuals may find the shoes to be too bulky
2. New Balance Fresh Foam Roav
The New Balance Fresh Foam Roav is lightweight with a well-ventilated bootie-like mesh upper.
It features a traditional lace-up closure and a lightly padded ankle collar. Stretch-webbing overlays in the midfoot provide extra support.
The Fresh Foam midsole is plush but lightweight and delivers good energy return. It absorbs shock adequately and reduces fatigue in the feet and legs when worn for extended periods of time.
There is also a removable insole. So if you use an orthotic or insert, it’s easy to add one. This makes it great for standing or being on your feet all day.
New Balance’s Ultra Heel technology looks unique and is designed to contour to your heel and lock the foot in. It’s not as supportive as a regular heel, some people may find their heel slipping.
The NDurance rubber outsole offers good traction on a variety of surfaces, keeping you safe in all environments.
- Ultra Heel technology
- Bootie upper construction
- Stretch webbing in the midfoot
- NDurance rubber outsole
- Heel slippage may occur when moving quickly in these shoes
3. SKECHERS Cessnock SR
A hospital can be a hazardous place, especially if you’re moving quickly and have feet that are already painful. These slip-resistant shoes keep you safe and help your feet feel good at the same time.
A woven mesh upper keeps your feet cool when you’re working. The upper is resistant to water and stains, making it a long-lasting shoe for a healthcare environment.
These shoes can easily be slipped on and off, with stretchy laces to keep them in place on your foot. The Relaxed Fit design gives your foot enough space to be comfortable for hours on end without chafing or feeling cramped.
A cushioned midsole absorbs shock on every step. The memory foam cushioned insole adds an extra layer of comfort and cushion. There’s also a heel overlay that helps to lock the heel in safely.
The slip-resistant rubber outsole keeps you safe no matter where you’re walking. It also has an Electrical Hazard (EH) Safe design, protecting you from all manner of hazards.
Take note that you can’t tighten the laces as they’re elasticated. If they become stretched over time, the shoes may not fit you snugly anymore.
- Heel panel fabric overlay
- Cushioned EVA midsole
- Padded collar
- Stain and water-resistant upper
- The laces may become stretched over time and not fit snugly anymore
4. Saucony Ride 14
Breathability is important, especially when your feet are in a pair of shoes for hours on end.
The FORMFIT mesh upper of the Ride 14 is designed to increase breathability, with large perforations across the upper for airflow. Light and thin internal construction allow for a customized fit.
Underneath your feet, a PWRRUN cushion is both soft and responsive, allowing your feet to feel comforted and cared for while they’re in these shoes, but still offering a bit of a bounce when you need to move from one place to another fast.
Saucony shoes feature a spacious toe box, so your toes can spread out naturally and comfortably. A rubber outsole offers good traction.
- FORMFIT upper
- PWRRUN midsole cushioning
- Spacious forefoot
- Durable rubber outsole
- Very long laces may need to be double-tied to be out of the way
5. ASICS GEL-CUMULUS 23
If your shoes start to feel heavy on your feet after a few hours and you’re looking for a lightweight pair to wear, we recommend the ASICS Gel-Cumulus 23.
A men’s size 9 weighs just 9.8 ounces and a women’s 8 ounces, which is unusually light and will be comfortable on your feet for many hours on end.
The GEL technology unit in the heel absorbs shock with every step, and the FLYTEFOAM midsole is 55 percent lighter than average, keeping you light on your feet all day. The heel extends out a little, to provide a very stable platform for your feet.
The shoe also makes use of 3D Space Construction, which is a set of gender-specific pillars strategically placed in the midsole to provide more compression in certain areas without compromising durability.
A multi-directional mesh upper provides support and structure while allowing for adequate ventilation.
- Gender-specific technology
- Rear GEL technology
- FLYTEFOAM cushioned midsole
- Multi-directional mesh upper
- May run slightly narrow
6. New Balance Fresh Foam Beacon v3
New Balance Fresh Foam is known to be the ideal balance between soft and firm.
The softness makes them extremely comfortable but they are responsible enough to move quickly in when necessary. It also has a removable foam insole which allows you to add an orthotic if necessary.
The Ultra Heel hugs the heel and keeps it in place. There may be some heel slippage when walking in these shoes, but in most cases they keep the heels locked down and are comfortable.
The mesh and synthetic upper make the shoe both breathable and supportive. There are midfoot overlays for extra support and the lace-up closure allows one to get a customized fit around the foot.
Thin rubber sections are placed strategically on the outsole in the areas most prone to wear and tear. The outsole pattern can be prone to getting stones or other debris stuck in it if one runs on rough terrain.
- Fresh Foam midsole cushioning
- Ultra Heel design
- Mid-foot overlays
- Molded foam insole
- Stones can get stuck in the outsole tread
7. Brooks Ghost 14
If you’re looking for a pair of shoes that will last you ages, the Brooks Ghost 14 might be the right one for you. A 3D Fit Print technology upper allows the upper to stretch with your foot while remaining supportive.
The midsole is a blend of two different foams: DNA LOFT, which is soft underfoot and BioMoGo which is more responsive.
This combination means that you get the best of both, comfort and responsiveness. Your feet will be protected so that your plantar fascia isn’t aggravated, and when you do need to move quickly the responsive foam helps you to do so without extra strain on your feet.
There are flex grooves in the midsole and outsole that allow for natural flexion of the foot, which also means that your feet don’t stay cramped into an unnatural position all day without being able to move freely.
Some may feel that the non-gusseted tongue is an inconvenience and they may have to readjust it many times during the day.
- Dual foam cushioning
- Flex grooves
- Removable insole
- 3D Fit Print technology upper
- The non-gusseted tongue may become an annoyance
Best Plush Shoe
8. Brooks Glycerin 19
The Brooks Glycerin uses DNA LOFT foam in the midsole, which is Brooks’ softest foam.
This makes the shoe extremely plush, which is excellent for those with plantar fasciitis who need to be on their feet for many hours. It feels luxurious and shock-absorbing, easing pain and strain on the feet throughout the day.
A plush interior lining hugs the foot and moves with your foot. The 3D Fit and engineered mesh upper further enhance the fit for maximum comfort.
The rubber outsole is durable and keeps you stable on any surface. A heel counter keeps the heel well locked down so that your foot doesn’t move around within the shoe, keeping it in the right position and preventing any unnecessary straining of the plantar fascia.
But the plush cushioning does come at a small price. Some may feel that the shoe is too heavy to be comfortable.
- Full-length DNA LOFT midsole cushioning
- Multi-layer mesh upper
- Sturdy heel counter
- PlushOrthoLite® sockliner
- Some may find the shoe to be heavy
Best For Women
9. Nurse Mates Align Velocity
These aren’t just running shoes. They’re designed specifically to be worn by nurses in a medical setting.
They’re also great for plantar fasciitis relief, featuring a dual-density foam footbed and designed with an Align orthotic to keep the foot properly aligned and prevent fatigue.
The built-in orthotic provides the necessary support and cushion, as well as extra arch support in the footbed. Composite shanks are also embedded in the shoe for extra stability.
You can choose from leather or printed polyurethane, so you can select something that appeals to you and is durable and smarter than a regular sneaker. The uppers are also stain-resistant.
They come with both stretchy laces and traditional laces so you can choose which would suit you. A slip-resistant outsole increases the safety of these shoes. They also come in a wide size for ladies who struggle to find shoes to fit.
The custom orthotic may take a few days to a week to break in, so wearing these shoes may be uncomfortable or even painful at first.
- Ergonomic Align orthotic
- Stain-resistant upper
- Dual-density foam footbed
- Slip-resistant outsole
- May need a break-in period of a few days to a week
10. Hoka One One Cavu 3 Slip
If you prefer slip-on shoes, the Hoka One One Cavu Slip-On is our choice. An adaptive stretch-knit upper eliminates the need for laces, either traditional or stretchy. It fits securely and adapts to your foot.
While not as drastic as others, the full-length EVA midsole provides the plush cushion Hoka is known for. Also in the midsole you’ll find an Active Foot Frame, which is a “bucket seat” for your foot, keeping it locked down but comfortable.
The outsole features rubberized sections for extra cushion and durability. Up top, perforations in particular zones on the upper improve the breathability of the shoe, and it’s also unusually lightweight, weighing just 6.8 ounces.
- Adaptive stretch knit upper
- Deeper active foot frame
- PROFLYTE midsole cushioning
- Rubberized EVA outsole
- May not be suitable for people with a narrow foot
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
The plantar fascia is a thick ligament that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects the heel bone to the toes.
This ligament absorbs the shock of impact from every step you take and supports the arch of the foot. When this ligament becomes inflamed, one may experience pain in the bottom of the midfoot or heel.
This can be a burning sensation or be a dull or sharp pain and it usually feels worse in the morning when you take your first steps. One may experience pain after they’ve been sitting for a while and then get up to walk.
The pain of plantar fasciitis may also flare up after prolonged activity, as this can increase the inflammation.
The treatment for plantar fasciitis depends on the severity but can range from orthotic shoe inserts to physical therapy, steroid injections, or surgery.
What to look for in shoes?
People who will be standing all day should buy shoes with good arch support and a thick, cushioned midsole. Running shoes are the ideal option. Slip-resistant shoes are also a good option.
What exercises and stretches can relieve pain?
A strengthening and stretching routine can reduce plantar fasciitis symptoms. One can do the following exercises and stretches 2 to 3 times a day.
Make sure that you’re an arm’s length away from the wall and then take a small step forward with your right leg—there should be a gap between your right and left leg. Then slowly bend your right leg while you keep the left leg straight with your heel on the ground.
You should start to feel your left calf stretch and you should hold this for 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat this stretch 3 to 5 times before alternating the leg.
For this stretch, you may want to use a round object, like a foam roller, tennis ball or even a frozen bottle of water.
Then sitting on a chair, put the item under your foot and roll your foot back and forth over the object for about 2 minutes. Then alternate your foot.
While in a seated position, take a towel and fold it lengthwise so that it forms a strap. Holding the ends of the towel in your hands, place your foot in the towel under the arch of your foot. Then pull the ends towards you while keeping your leg straight
Hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds and repeat 3 to 5 times.