A wise woman once said, “Walking through life, we spend most of our energy choosing the right shoes.” No one can possibly relate to this sentiment more than those who spend their days (and nights) on their feet. Whether you’re a chef, healthcare worker, flight attendant, filmmaker, or the most passionate fan of close-toed footwear, you can never have a surplus of the best leather nursing shoes designed to help you put up with insane working hours. Why leather, you might ask? Well, there are many reasons, starting with durability and flexibility. Leather has a prolonged shelf life, not to mention the power to endure the rough and scruff of 12-hour shifts. Since it’s porous and water-resistant, the shoes won’t retain moisture and will keep your feet dry.
This roundup of the 10 best leather nursing shoes includes clogs, loafers, sneakers, and more. Every pair has been carefully selected based on prerequisites like comfort (duh), breathability, weight, durability, arch support, and overall value for money. Bear in mind that these aren’t exactly running shoes — they’re ideal for walking around and staying on your feet all day. Before we break into the most comfortable pairs of shoes in 2021, let’s understand some more benefits of leather footwear.
In This Article
Are Leather Shoes Suitable For Nurses?
As an earnest shoe-wearer, there are 2 things that matter to you more than anything else — durability and comfort. Leather scores high on both criteria since it can outlast a majority of synthetic materials and give your feet the support they desperately need in high-stress environments. Good-quality leather also creates an extra layer of protection from piping-hot liquids or sharp objects, so you can stay out of harm’s way. It repels moisture, keeps you dry (crucial for blister prevention), wipes clean most of the time, and molds to the shape of your feet. If every day at work is a new battle, leather shoes are your first line of defense.
The 10 Best Leather Nursing Shoes To Withstand Long Workdays
When you spend most of your day running around a hospital or restaurant, your first priority is to remain stable on slippery, liquid-smeared floors. These Hawkwell shoes feature a lightweight EVA bottom that’s slip-resistant and stain-resistant, so you just need to wipe them clean. Crafted with full-grain synthetic leather, the pair is thick enough to withstand constant use and has tight pores that retain moisture. Infused with a super-lightweight yoga foam insole, the shoes are designed to minimize foot fatigue and give you a soft, cushiony platform that decreases the pressure on your tendons, muscles, and joints. With easy slip-on and a padded instep collar that embraces your feet, this pair will keep you comfy and blister-free for a long time.
- Full-grain leather
- Removable footbed
- Easy on and off
- Slip and stain-resistant
- Neutral arch support
- Available in 2 colors and styles
- The back of the shoe might rub slightly.
Specifically engineered for nurses, these brown leather nursing shoes come with shock-absorbing outsoles that repel all kinds of fluids and are easy to clean. You will have no problem wearing them for long hours as the supportive insole cushioning is designed to sustain prolonged standing and walking. Crafted with genuine leather that makes the shoes highly durable and a synthetic sole that creates a water-resistant barrier, these are ideal for work and charming enough to pair with casual outfits. The toe box is quite roomy, which is an essential quality because staying on your feet all day can lead to swelling.
- 100% leather
- Anti-slip and durable outsole
- Removable insole
- Excellent cushioning
- Available in 21 patterns
- Might be too wide for some
As one of the most comfort-focused footwear brands in the USA, Dansko shoes are a go-to among nurses. These professional clogs might be a bit clunky but they’re also unbelievably lightweight yet surprisingly plush that you’ll end up wearing them everywhere. With an EVA insole and compression-molded outsole, the shoes offer long-lasting comfort without ever crumbling under pressure. The sock liner made from leather keeps your feet dry and warm by absorbing sweat while increasing the comfort of your shoe. They are perfectly suited to hiking or long walks on concrete or similar surfaces if you want to wear them outside of work.
- Cushioned footbed
- Compressive outsole
- Wipes clean
- Leather sock lining
- Available in 14 colors
- Slightly expensive
What’s unique about these leather-top nursing shoes in addition to the fact that they boast the APMA seal of approval, is their polyurethane core. The material is commonly used in designing sports and trekking shoes as well as footwear for labor-intensive jobs that demand rigorous use. It’s light as air, offers an excellent grip on the most slippery of surfaces, and resists water and chemicals with ease. The genuine leather body doesn’t let stains stick around, while the removable footbed allows you to adjust the interiors according to your comfort. Available in 20 styles and patterns, the pair is ideal for professional and casual use and has garnered rave reviews from nurses dealing with serious foot issues like a torn tendon or plantar fasciitis.
- 100% genuine leather
- Dual-density PU sole
- Removable footbed
- Adjustable closure
- Available in 20 patterns
- The back is slightly inflexible.
Say sayonara to soreness with these ultra-breathable leather loafers that aren’t just ideal for nurses but for anyone who wants a stylish pair of kicks. The rounded toe-box is spacious enough to accommodate broad, swollen feet while the high-rebound latex insole soaks up shocks (but never liquids) and feels comfortable all day long. Designed with natural, anti-slip EVA soles and stitched with a focus on durability, the shoes will gain you a lot of traction — on the floor and among co-workers — even after years of everyday wear. When you’re not attending to patients or customers, you can pair them with a cute dress or even workout leggings for relentless arch support.
- Non-slip EVA sole
- Air cushioning
- Flexible insoles
- Easy to clean
- Available in 6 designs
- Sizing may run small
These short-heeled women’s leather nursing shoes are designed to withstand the rigor of long, hard days. Their rubber sole offers excellent grip and stability, keeping your steps intact no matter how well-polished the floor is. The insides are air-cushioned, resulting in a lighter shoe that reduces the amount of effort it takes for you to walk or run around. Ideal for professionals looking for greater comfort and control, these white leather nursing shoes are ridiculously comfy while also being pairable with casual outfits. The hand-stitched seaming and holes on the side are purposeful inclusions to make them last longer and give you extra breathability.
- 100% leather
- High-grip rubber sole
- Soft and lightweight
- Pure white design
- Easy to clean
- Available in 4 styles
- The heel might be slightly loose for some.
Ultra-light and air-cushioned, these all-leather shoes for nursing are also suited to the needs of restaurant professionals dealing with double shifts and splattered floors. With a latex insole that’s highly flexible as well as a slip-resistant outsole, you won’t have to worry about them losing shape or succumbing to liquids. The rounded toe box has ample space to accommodate wide feet and the leather uppers are easy to wipe clean after a particularly greasy day. Adding a hint of adorable to the otherwise timeless style of this pair is a tiny hand-sewn heart on the front that’ll make you look and feel super-cheery through every shift.
- Soft latex padding
- Durable hand-stitching
- Air-cushioned insole
- Available in 3 colors
- The sizing may run large.
If maximum comfort with no unnecessary frills is your only ask, these all-black leather nursing shoes are made just for you. Each time you put them on, everything from the easy slip-in to latex cushion will make your feet sing with joy and relief. The slip-resistant PU sole is there to keep you steady and tack on a few extra years of shelf life to the leather. Blessed with a healthy amount of arch and heel support along with a waterproof body, these are an excellent choice for those who can’t resist a functional, no-nonsense pair of loafers. Keep in mind that they run a little small — opting for ½ or 1 size up is recommended, especially if you have wider feet.
- Flexible leather vamp
- Slip-resistant PU sole
- Waterproof and easy to clean
- Available in all-white
- They look slightly clunky.
Approved by the American Society for Testing and Materials, the American Podiatric Medical Association, and even White House chefs, this is the gold standard of comfortable leather nursing shoes. Made from genuine leather, the pair is inspired by the needs of performance athletes and infused with the highest degree of slip resistance to keep you safe and sound at every step. The body is mesh ventilated to prevent inflammation and sweat accumulation, while the removable insoles add a layer of customizability to the shoes. The latter also makes them easier to clean inside out, so you don’t have to worry about odors from pesky bacteria.
- Genuine leather
- Breathable mesh
- Flexible and anti-skid
- Removable insoles
- Wide range of sizes
- Not suited to wider feet
These protective rubber-soled loafers are ready for pretty much anything you throw at them, from 12-hour shifts and slippery floors to falling liquids and rivers of sweat. Constructed from a high-grip sole with leather upholstery, they offer great traction on smooth surfaces when you’re running around while keeping stains at bay. Since the pair is hand-sewn, you can wear it with the confidence that it won’t give up on you at the worst possible moment or anytime soon for that matter. The soft memory foam insole reduces exhaustion and makes you feel like you’re walking on a cloud. Too busy to lace up? Just slip these on and head out!
- Waterproof body
- Anti-slip rubber sole
- Hand-stitched edges
- Easy to wash
- Available in 4 designs
- Some may find the heels slightly tall
Whether you want to replace your work shoes with something sturdier and more comfortable or just want to expand your armor inventory, these leather nursing shoes are among the best in the market. Here’s how you can go about choosing the right pair.
What To Look For In The Best Leather Nursing Shoes
1. Easy access
If you’re working in a hospital, restaurant, or other high-stress environments, speed is of the essence. That means you need to slip in and out of your kicks lightning-quick, which is only possible with slip-ons. You can change from one pair to another at a moment’s notice and wipe them clean without having to struggle with lace ridges.
The lighter your shoes, the easier to use. When you’re staying on your feet all day long, you want to save as much energy as possible for important tasks. Lightweight shoes reduce your exertion and improve your flexibility, so you can still function at the 11th hour of your shift. Moreover, light shoes are so much more breathable, which is a prerequisite for sweaty feet.
- Arch support
Proper arch support is integral to reducing the pressure on your back and joints. It prevents knee, hip, and back pain while adding fluidity to your movements. Before you buy a pair of leather nursing shoes, check if they support your specific type of arch. You can perform a simple exercise to find out your arch type by wetting your feet and walking across a dry surface like a wooden deck. If the imprints heavily reflect your ball and heel areas with a thin line connecting the two, you have a high arch. However, if the line is rather prominent, your arch type is low. To make sure your shoes have adequate arch support, wear them around the house for a few minutes. If there is no discernible strain on your feet and back, they’re a keeper.
- Slip resistance
This is super-important because your job involves running around on different kinds of surfaces that may or may not have intermittent liquid spills. Anti-skid shoes will keep you stable on slippery surfaces and save you from hot splatters or other occupational injuries. Slip-resistant shoes are typically designed to support the natural shape of your feet — so in addition to stabilizing you, they will also help you side-step sprains and strains.
If you are in a line of work that demands standing, walking, or running around every day for hours on end, wearing the most comfortable shoes you can find becomes unavoidable. Our handpicked selection of the best leather nursing shoes prioritizes factors that matter, such as absolute comfort, breathable material, quick cleaning, arch support, and durability. Most of them are ideal for those dealing with plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis, or other foot-related issues that are triggered by muscle overuse and fatigue. That they are also cute enough to wear casually with skirts and dresses sure doesn’t hurt. Just make sure to try them on, focus on how your body responds, and add to your collection if they bring out your nimblest best.
Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions
How long do leather nursing shoes last?
While leather inherently comes with a long shelf life of 2 to 10 years, nursing shoes will last you between 2 and 4 years, given the regular use. Since you’ll be wearing them for long hours and putting them through multiple miles every day, they won’t last you as long as a leather dress shoe. To prolong their life, you can alternate between 2 or more pairs in a week so there’s less strain on each of them. Also, maintaining them on a daily basis by cleaning and getting rid of scruffs will help you make the most of your shoes.