A nurse’s life is a hectic life. There’s always somewhere to be and someone to help. A common shift for nurses and other hospital staff averages twelve hours. That’s a lot of time on your feet. You need a shoe that supports your arch and conforms to your foot shape.
Many nurses have shirked the clog and Croc fad and turned to Nike. Since the 1960s, Nike has focused their technology and innovative designs for athletics and high-performance sports. What better company to turn to when you need long-lasting protection and support on the job?
In recent years, Nike has added products to their line that target service workers and hospital staff, and nurses in particular. In my top six picks for the best Nike shoes for nurses, I handpick from the most comfortable and most reliable models. Whether you have flat feet, a high arch, an aching back, or sore knees, I know there’s a shoe on this list that can ease the stress of your shift work.
Table of Contents
- Top 6 Nike Shoes for Nurses – Comparison
- Nike Shoes for Nurses: Our Top 6 Picks
Top 6 Nike Shoes for Nurses – Comparison
|NIKE Tanjun Running Shoes||Synthetic||Rubber||lightweight|
|Nike Revolution 4 Sneaker||Synthetic||Rubber||Soft foam sole|
|Nike Air Max Thea Sneakers||Synthetic||Rubber||lightweight|
|Nike Cheer Unite Sneakers||Synthetic||Rubber||leather in upper|
|Nike Downshifter 8 Sneaker||Rubber||Rubber||Adjustable arch|
|Nike Lunar Fingertrap Trainer||Synthetic||Rubber||breathable mesh|
Nike Shoes for Nurses: Our Top 6 Picks
Nike’s Tanjun running shoes are the definition of simplicity. Literally, the word tanjun means simplicity in Japanese. And that’s why I chose these shoes for my number one pick. They’re simple and they perform all day long.
Don’t let the classic look of the Tanjun fool you, the shoes pack the latest in Nike technology. The all-mesh upper boasts no sew lines. This smooth design follows into the factory-molded outsole. With a rounded toe and a high arch, walking for twelve hours in these shoes won’t feel like a chore.
With this shoe, you’ve got a lace up tongue that fits snuggly. I really like the fabric lining inside the shoe. It’s soft yet tough enough to last shift after shift. These are very light shoes that feel durable enough to withstand daily use. The injection phylon midsole is tougher than I expected. It provides lots of support between the outer and inner soles, absorbing shock and spreading out your weight evenly.
I think these shoes are ideal for nurses on their feet for hours at a time. The rocking motion captured by the shoe’s design shifts your weight from heel to toe while still holding on to your foot. This is a secure fit that doesn’t constrict the top of your foot.
I love the varied styles available with the Tanjun Running Shoe by Nike. All told, there are nearly 40 color combinations to choose from. That means nurses working in hospitals with strict clothing policies can find a pair that won’t cause problems with the higher ups.
The upper mesh fabric is easy to clean, and the outsole’s foam exterior doesn’t scuff easily. One negative I found with these shoes, however, is that the tread on the ball of your foot wears faster than expected. In a hospital environment, it should last you at least a year, but if you plan to wear them outside the hospital it may erode within six months.
Customers with wide toes may find that the end of the Tanjuns narrows a little more than you’d like. Buying a pair a half size higher may help allay this issue. But overall, you shouldn’t feel any discomfort, even after a double shift.
For the nurse that needs comfort and peace of mind more than extra features, my number one pick is for you. Nike’s Tanjun Running Shoes offer a simple style that’s easy to keep clean and ships in a wide range of colors.
If you desire comfort and class over all else, then look no further than the Revolution. The all-white version of Nike’s Revolution 4 Wide Sneaker represents the iconic nurse shoe. They offer the best in Nike walkability without the loud style of other nurse sneakers.
This is an all-mesh upper designed for the highest potential breathability. Consumers with sweaty or hot feet can wear thick socks and still feel the air between their toes as they walk down the ward.
I like the understated design sense of the Revolution 4. Many nursing homes and hospital wards prefer their nurses to wear white shoes. These are easily my favorite white shoes in Nike’s nursing arsenal. Dirt that builds up along the white reinforcement polyurethane lace holes wipes off without staining. The mesh cleans easily, too. Although with deep stains and workplace spills, you may need to purchase a decent shoe cleaner.
The Revolution 4 Wide Sneaker boasts a lightweight construction that won’t wear you down after your shift work. The super soft foam insole cushions your steps. With the help of the raised heel, you’ll feel support and balance with every step.
The rubber outsole feels grippy and doesn’t squeak around turns or sharp movements. Nike went with a circular tread pattern, ideal for indoor use. Like my first pick, I recommend these shoes to stay in your locker and keep for the hospital floor. That’s because the tread, while durable, breaks down faster on gravel and pavement surfaces. On a waxy laminate surface, the outsole should last you a long time.
Included on the outsole, Nike formed pod molds. They’re great for blunting the impact of heavy steps or brisk jaunts down the hallways. For nurses who scale dozens of stairs a day, running between wards, consider the Nike Revolution 4 Wide Sneaker.
Compared to my first pick, the Tanjuns, I think the Revolution 4’s fit wider feet better. So if you have wide or big toes, there’s much more room in the tip of these shoes.
Some women have noted that the Revolution 4 doesn’t offer enough arch support. For those with normal arches or flat feet, these shoes should be ideal. But high-arched women should look to my first pick, or another shoe down the list, as this Nike product lacks a high heel.
Still, Nike’s Revolution 4 Wide Sneaker achieves a level of comfort that ranks with the best of the brand. This is a simple shoe built for nurses on their feet all day.
The original Nike Air Max was invented in 1987 by designer Tinker Hatfield. Since then, the sub-brand has garnished a following for both style and comfort.
Combining the best of the Air Max features and the style of low-top sneakers, the Nike Air Max Thea Low-Top Sneakers should satiate nurses looking for a stylish shoe they can wear while at work. Many women have mentioned they love the sleek lines of the shoe which makes their feet look smaller.
This is yet another lightweight pair of Nikes with tremendous support and comfort. No doubt much of the comfort originates in the Air Max gel heel and all-foam sole. The outside tread of the Thea comprises durable yet malleable rubber that grips well and doesn’t wear prematurely.
I like the leather wrap that protects the heel. It cleans easier than mesh and the air holes breathe better than expected. The fully mesh upper and tongue are made of a single layer of thick Nike-patented fabric that cleans easily and is tear resistant.
While I think the low profile of the Thea adds style to a nurse’s shoe, the downside is that the narrow sole cramps wide feet. Over extended wear, the sides of some consumers’ feet chafe and the discomfort can build. We recommend testing out the Thea Low-Tops before bringing them to the hospital or nursing home.
I recommend buying a full size bigger than you expect, especially if you have wide feet. You may avoid the cramping issue if there’s enough room in the midsole. One other downside I’ve noticed is that, because of the leather details on the upper, the Nike Air Max Thea Low-Top Sneakers take longer to break in than my first and second pick. Coupled with the narrow foot, I dropped the product to third place.
The Thea supports purchasers with feet of different arch types. But the flat-footed among you may find more to love about this product than those with high arches. The Air Max heel raises the back of your foot some, but not as much as those with high arches need.
Still, for those of you looking for a shoe that you can wear at work and off shift, the Nike Air Max Thea Low-Top Sneakers are durable and sleek enough to provide versatility to your locker and your wardrobe.
If you’re worried that a mesh Nike will dirty too fast for your messy hospital ward, then my fourth pick should be exactly what you’re looking for.
The Nike Cheer Unite Sneakers were designed as a cross trainer and cheerleading shoes. So it may seem like a strange product to land on my list for the best Nikes for nursing, but they vaunt impressive features.
The Cheer Unite ships with a fully synthetic leather upper. The white leather should appease any hospital policy handbook. Even better, I think they’re the easiest to clean on my list. Wiping off stains and spills from the upper takes seconds. And if you apply a shoe repellant routinely, I can see these shoes staying bright white for many shifts.
I love the sturdy construction of the Cheer’s upper, too. The double stitching on the toe and heel compliments the clean lines and rounded edges. This is a shoe meant to be used for long hours. Your feet will feel secure and comfortable in this product.
Like my number one pick, the Cheer Unite boasts a phylon midsole. The tough plastic centers your foot and reduces stress on the heel and toes. The lace-up closure offers lots of room for taking the shoes on and off. My one gripe with the Cheer Unite is that they require some breaking in. The synthetic leather feels stiff when you first buy them.
The grip on these shoes should put a smile on any nurse’s face. The raised grooves provide a no-slip feel. And with plenty of arch support, even consumers with high arches should feel comfortable in a pair of Cheer Unites.
One downside to this shoe for nurses is that Nike discontinued them. That means finding your shoe size may be harder than with other products on my list. For those that can find their size, I recommend ordering their usual size; these shoes rarely fit larger or smaller than what you’re used to.
For nurses seeking easy to clean white shoes with Nike’s renown grip and comfort, try the Cheer Unite Sneakers.
Nike’s decades of sports and technology research has made running less stressful to our bodies. Their running shoes offer a level of support that many shoe companies cannot mimic. Having tried on a slew of Nike runners, I found the Downshifter 8 Sneaker to be worthwhile for nurses on the run.
The Downshifter 8 fits similar to the Air Max Thea. It boasts a thin profile and narrow midsole. This cuts down on the weight and helps thin out feet that seem too big or bulky. But the real enjoyment from this model comes from the outsole.
The cushioned underfoot is incredibly soft. If there were ever a shoe that truly upheld the walking on a cloud idea, it’s the Downshifter 8. Nurses that can’t find time to sit for over ten minutes need a shoe that supports their arch without pushing against their heel. For long periods of standing and walking, I think the Downshifter 8 is ideal.
I love the classic Nike swoosh on the sides. The shoe comes in a range of colors, with the tan and black being the top two versions. The all-mesh upper cleans easily and dries fast. While not the most breathable product on my list, I believe it should provide enough moisture shedding for most nurses.
The Nike Downshifter 8 Sneaker for women fit as expected. You won’t need to upsize or downsize with this product. Being on the cheaper side of Nike shoes, they’re a great pick for nurses just starting out or otherwise on a tight budget.
Like any product, there are some downsides. As with the Thea, if you have wide feet, I’d order another product on my list, like my number one pick. These shoes fit tight, even at normal widths. Also, I was disappointed with the shoe’s grip potential on recently waxed surfaces or stepping on wet flooring.
Still, with the sleek look of integrated laces and the ultra-light foam outsole, these are an ideal pick for any nurse that finds their feet hurt in their shoes after ten or twelve hours. As a long-distance running shoe, the Downshifter 8 by Nike keeps our feet comfortable no matter the time on your feet.
To round out my list of the 6 best Nike shoes for nursing, I thought I’d throw in one of my personal favorites. The Nike Lunar Fingertrap boasts a unique look and features that offer a new level of versatility to your nursing shoes.
With a rugged rubber sole and fully synthetic upper, this product is perfect for nurses looking to wear their shoes home or to the gym after their shift. The Fingertrap name derives from the glove-like fit they provide. The crossing layers of plastic and leather create a web-wrapped support system. The upper adapts to the changing size of your feet. Indeed, your feet swell and shrink throughout the day, and the shoe’s unique design conforms to this change.
The inner sleeve of the Fingertrap Cross Trainer is made of a lightweight and breathable mesh. For nurses that have sweaty or itchy feet, this product sheds heat and keeps your feet dry. The tight fit doesn’t restrain your feet. I find it slips on much like a sock. Some customers don’t even bother with the laces on this shoe.
As a gym shoe, the sole supports your feet in a change of positions. Customers with flat feet and high arches have both mentioned the Fingertrap fits well. Also, the shoe doesn’t require any size ups or downs; they should fit true to your normal shoe size.
My only gripe with these shoes, and why I dropped them down to my sixth spot, was that they’re far less grippy than my number one or two shoes. Unlike the Tanjun, the bottom of the Fingertrap lacks rubberized tread. They clearly made these for indoor use, and you must be careful walking on wet surfaces.
Still, I love the Nike Lunar Fingertrap Cross Trainer. For the nurse that desires a dynamic shoe that conforms to her changing routine these are a fantastic option.
How to Buy the Best Nike Shoes for Nurses?
While Nike shoes offer nurses plenty of benefits, you must choose the right product for your feet and work style. You may prefer a flat arch and comfortable gel insole, for example, over a high heel and air cushioned outsole.
To narrow my list down to your specific preferences, you must know what those preferences are. Check my list below for creative advice that will help you choose the ideal pair of shoes for your work.
Comfort Is Key
I think every pair of Nikes is comfortable for the right person, but that doesn’t mean every pair of Nikes on my list will suit you perfectly. You need to assess the traits in a shoe that matter to you. Often, the best way to do that is to walk into a shoe store and try on a bunch of products. Make a mental list of the things you like and the things you don’t and apply it to the options in my list of the best Nike shoes for nursing.
Work and Play
Before you buy your Nikes, decide if they’ll be a work-only shoe or if you’ll wear them home and on the weekends. Many nurses keep their work shoes in a hospital locker or cubby. But if you’re exhausted after a double shift and often just head home, invest in a pair of shoes that look good in your street clothes and perform well in your nursing life.
Choose the Right Color
Depending what ward you haunt, this may mean more to you than others. A sick, injured, or elderly patient spews all sorts of colorful fluids on the ground. Your Nikes won’t leave every incident unscathed. I recommend buying Nikes that are easy to clean, which means no white or light colors. Go for black, purple, and brown; these are colors that hide the deep red and rusty browns that color a nurse’s life. Leather or a poly-synthetic upper help too.
Know Your Foot Size
You’d think every pair of Nikes would fit your feet the same, but they don’t. You must know your foot size well enough to judge if a Nike I suggest will need to purchase a size up or down. I recommend trying on a few pairs of Nikes before ordering online so you can know the general fit of the brand. That way, if I mention a product fits tight, you can order a half-size bigger.
Check Your Hospital’s Dress Policy
Before you hit that buy button, double-check your hospital’s dress policy. You may love those screaming red-soled Air Max with the yellow laces, but your place of work could have a restriction on the colors you can wear while on shift. If you don’t know where to find the policy, ask your superior what you can and cannot wear on your feet. Luckily, most of the Nikes on my list ship in multiple colors.
Traction and Non-Slip
A nurse’s life can be hectic. Sure, there are those quiet moments in the ward, but most of the time you’re following calls and trying to do five things at once. Those of you with especially frenetic workplaces must seek a shoe that vaunts impressive traction. I recommend a non-slip outsole. That way, you’ll have the confidence to corner the hallways and rush down the stairs without worrying about slipping on the polished floors.
Lightweight and Breathable
Long shifts take a toll on your feet. The last thing you want to do is escalate the discomfort by buying shoes lacking breathability. Thankfully, every product on my list includes Nike’s light mesh uppers. The breathability of Nike shoes stands above most companies because of their long history in the sportswear world. If your feet are especially sweaty, check my reviews to confirm the product’s weight and mesh quality.
When you’re hunting for shoes that won’t wear out before you do, Nike is a fantastic choice. With decades in the shoe industry and unparalleled sports research and development, their products conform to your feet and support you for however long you must stay on your feet.
With Nikes, it’s hard to choose just one. While cutting down the hundreds of Nike products to six worthy options may help some of you, I know other readers crave that final push. If you had to pick one shoe on my list to wear on your next nursing shift, I recommend the Nike Tanjun running shoes.
They’re lightweight and the roll-toe architecture limits the strain you’ll feel walking on the ward. And with over twenty colors to choose from, you’ll find a pair that abides by your hospitals clothing policies.