Nurses typically work three 12-hour shifts each week. That's a lot of time spent standing up and moving about catering to patients each and every day. Naturally, most nurses tend to feel quite exhausted by the end of their shift. Comfortable nursing shoes can make a huge difference, and should be a top priority for all nurses. When choosing nursing shoes, pay attention to the biomechanics and the measurements of your feet when making a decision. These factors will determine the type of nursing shoes that will best fit your feet and provide you with the support that you need. 

Understanding the Fundamentals of Pronation and Supination 

Your feet are responsible for two distinct biomechanical motions when moving about: pronation and supination. Both are necessary when taking a step. Pronation is the way that your foot rolls inwards to absorb the entire weight of your body with each step. Supination, on the other hand, is the way that your foot rolls outwards during normal motion. This action is better defined as when you lift your heel off of the ground and use your toes to propel the weight of your body forwards.

Although both movements are necessary, they need to be in balance of one another. Both excessive pronation and excessive supination can result in serious injuries and consequences, especially if you are overexerting yourself. For example, excessive pronation results in symptoms like arch pain, heel pain, flat feet, and ankle sprains while excessive supination results in symptoms like knee pain, hip pain and back pain. There are different types of shoes that are designed to specifically cater to each scenario. Determining which symptoms you have or whether you are prone to excessive pronation or excessive supination can help you determine the type of nursing shoes that will be best for your body.

Determining The Type of Gait You Have 

Although you can generally determine whether you are prone to excessive pronation or supination after a day of standing around and walking, you can also better determine your gait via a simple wet test. You can perform a wet test by taking a look at the outline of your feet after you have gotten out of the shower and looking at or measuring your arch height. After you have determined what your arch height is, you can then choose an appropriate nursing shoe design that will best cater to your needs.

Choosing the Right Type of Nursing Shoes Based on Arch Height

A low arch generally causes your knees and ankles to torque inwards. If you have a low arch, you should choose motion control nursing shoes for optimal comfort. These shoes are designed to limit excess motion throughout the day and will prevent excess pronation. Motion control nursing shoes generally possess a thick midsole that will also correct your gait over time. 

If you have a normal arch, you should opt for stability nursing shoes. These shoes offer less corrective support than motion control nursing shoes, but they tend to be lighter.

Those with a high arch, on the other hand, should choose cushioned nursing shoes. Cushioned nursing shoes focus on adding padding to different areas of the shoe to cushion the weight of your body rather than correcting your gait. Cushioned nursing shoes are designed to prevent excessive supination, and will keep back pain and knee pain at bay throughout the entire day. 


The right type of nursing shoes will not only support your gait, but will also improve the overall biomechanics of your feet and prevent overexertion of specific muscles and tendons. This will prevent them from becoming overworked and strained. All in all, you'll feel a lot more relaxed and at ease even after a full day's shift, and you won't have to worry about any aching pains anymore.