Gear Up: The Best Nurses’ and Surgeons’ Shoes in 2023 (and how to protect them)

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Healthcare professionals take a lot of pride in what they wear on the job. For instance, your scrubs are more than just your daily uniform: they’re your pride and joy and a big part of your identity in the workplace.

The same way you look for comfortable, durable, and stylish scrubs is the same way you should look at footwear. While shoes might be the last thing you put on, they shouldn’t be the last thing you think about when it comes to your safety.

Like your scrubs, you’re going to want to invest in a pair of high-quality shoes that are meant for medical professionals. These should be comfortable shoes with extra cushioning and shock absorption. After all, you’re on your feet all day. You deserve comfort—bonus points if you can swing a little style while you’re at it.

Wondering where to find a good shoe for those long shifts? Here are some of our favorites to cut through the clutter.

Best Overall: Bala Twelves

Featuring dynamic technology designed to help nurses and surgeons conquer a hefty 12-hour shift, Bala is a solid choice for healthcare shoes that can stand up to a long shift. 

The company met with hundreds of nurses, doctors, and medical students across the country to create the perfect shoe for the shift—and it shows. We love that they are fluid-resistant and machine washable to promote cleanliness. 

  • Described as “like walking on air.”
  • Regular and wide sizes available for maximum inclusion. 
  • A stylish “running shoe” look available in neutrals as well as pops of color. 
  • While they clock in at about $150 a pair, there are sometimes final sales for as low as $95.

Most Affordable: Gales® Frontline Work Shoe

Marketed as “The Best Shoes for Healthcare”, Gales are a great choice if you want to get (your foot) in, and get on with your shift. 

Their slip-on Frontline Work Shoes are slip-proof, and designed by healthcare professionals to provide the highest level of comfort, support and protection. Coming in at just under $90, this is a great option for men and women who find themselves standing for long periods of time.

  • They come in 8 colors, including 4 limited edition hues like lavender.
  • Marketed as featherlight. Need we say more?
  • Custom, machine washable Ortholite® insoles when easy-to-clean matters (aka always). 

Most Fashionable: FIGS® | New Balance 996 Unisex

While New Balance may have once been known as the shoes your dad cuts the lawn in, they have most certainly evolved since then. Today, they are an extremely popular street shoe, so it’s no wonder the company evolved to take on a new audience: nurses and surgeons. 

New Balance has teamed up with FIGS (best known for their scrubs) to do a fashionable medical shoe. The 996 model comes in at just under $100 and is considered unisex.  

  • The cream-and-navy model is neutral enough to go with any scrubs you have. 
  • So stylish you can transition from work to play without having to do a shoe change.
  • Be prepared for lots of compliments—these aren’t your dad’s tennis shoes.

Most Comfortable: Snibbs

Standing for long periods of time is made easier with their dual-density insole and ergonomic durable midsole. Whether you have flat feet or even plantar fasciitis, all-day comfort is yours for the taking with their wide toe box, offering space to stretch around and allowing your foot to swell without discomfort. Get the GOAT in comfort for just under $150 a pair. 

  • It took their research and design team three years to design the insole, creating the perfect work shoe.
  • Available in fun colors like “Wine Tasting” and “Raining Diamonds”.
  • Cool “tennis shoe” style.
  • Multiple models, colors, designs, etc.—a shoe for everyone. 

How to Keep Your Shoes (and Yourself) Clean & Safe

Once shoes are purchased, it’s important to keep them clean and avoid the threat of cross-contamination. 

That’s where Sloan Medical comes in. We offer the kind of personal protective equipment (PPE) that can save your shoes from the ick that comes with the territory. Our PPE is meant to keep you clean, safe, and dry—even in the most chaotic operating room scenes or the germiest of doctor’s offices.

Sloan’s PPE footwear garments are lightweight, durable, and impenetrable. (That’s how they get their name, STA-DRI.) 

From knee-highs to jumpsuits, there most definitely will be a product for you, no matter how messy the surgery. Here’s a recap of some great choices to consider:

  • Bootleg® Legging
    • These medical boots reach to mid-thigh
    • Keep feet, calves, and thighs covered 
    • 33 inches tall

  • Knee-High
    • Our most popular product
    • Stay-dry guarantee 
    • 19 inches tall

  • Shoe Covers
    • No more squishy socks!
    • Slip-on shoe covers to keep your favorite kicks (and stockings) dry 
    • Heat-sealed seams
    • Easily fit under surgical gowns

Remember: footwear PPE isn’t just about keeping your shoes clean, it’s also about preventing the spread of HAIs (Healthcare Associated Infections). So do your part to keep everyone—including yourself—safe.

Browse Sloan’s selection of inspired PPE that’s specifically meant to protect your feet and legs. And remember, the first one is always on us, so be sure to request your free sample today.

Try the PPE everyone’s talking about.

Finally, PPE to keep surgeons and nurses dry and safe during surgery.

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