A comfortable pair of shoes is a must in any work environment that requires long shifts of standing on your feet all day. This is especially true for nurses that can spend demanding shifts of 12 hours walking on hard surfaces between wards and standing on concrete floors. Many nurses find themselves suffering with foot pain and related conditions, which is not good for their health, mental state or their concentration on the job. It is important for nurses to be able to identify the problem and find a good pair of nursing shoes to correct the issue.
The problems can often be fairly low-key, such as swelling, blisters and general fatigue in the feet.
These issues are familiar to anyone that isn’t wearing adequate footwear, but they can be an ongoing cause of discomfort for many nurses. Foot swelling can simply be caused by feet becoming overheated in a confined, sweaty pair of shoes. The solution here is to go for a pair that are breathable, with mesh panels or open-backs, and to look into moisture-wicking linings and antimicrobial coatings. Blisters can be caused by shoes that don’t fit properly, with a stiff, tight back or too little room in the toe box. Fatigue can be countered by ensuring that the shoes are lightweight with plenty of cushioning in the right places.
Some nurses can suffer from much more problematic conditions in their arches and heels
Plantar fasciitis is a common condition among nurses that spend the majority of their day on their feet. This can lead to a lot of pain and discomfort in the sole of the foot and distortion around the arches. The best approach for sufferers is to look for a pair of shoes that can provide improved arch support and stability in the heel. Some shoes deliberately provide a contoured footbed with a strong arch to help wearers with this condition. Others have footbeds that can be removed in favor of orthotic inserts. This means that some of the more delicate, convenient slip-on nursing shoes can be converted into a model that podiatrists would recommend. Some of these footbeds also contain specialized heel cups and gel inserts to reduce pain in this area.
Finally, there are those that see their pain and discomfort spread to their back and joints
Nurses have to deal with more than just foot pain when walking around hospitals all day. The wrong pair of footwear could also lead to pain in the ankles, knees and back. The best thing to do is to look for a style of shoe that offers stability around the ankle and places the foot in the correct posture for walking. Too much of a heel can be damaging but a flat insole isn’t supportive enough. Running shoes with a small amount of arch support, sturdy construction and stable platform are a good starting point.
Some nurses may think that they need to head to the podiatrist and pay lots of money for a specialist nursing shoe for their foot condition. However, the range of brands and development in comfort technology means there are many suitable options out there. Nurses simply need to compare the specifications, understand their needs and see what works.