Feet-killing 12-hour shifts have met their match! These comfortable shoes will lessen your workday aches, swollen ankles, and pain.

No matter what type of healthcare professional you are, your feet will thank you for wearing comfortable shoes throughout the day. Good footwear is especially important for those who work long shifts and are on their feet for hours on end.

“Anyone who spends a lot of time standing or walking should wear comfortable shoes that help to support the arch and provide cushion and shock absorption,” says New York City-based podiatrist, Jacqueline Sutera. “This is necessary for overall health, not only for your feet but also for bigger joints in your knees, hips, and back.

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What’s more, a supportive pair of shoes with lots of cushioning helps prevent “fat pad” atrophy, which occurs when the natural pad on the foot thins out over time, leading to pain and callous formation.

When shopping for comfy shoes to wear for a long day on your feet, Dr. Sutera recommends looking for footwear that supports the arch of your foot, includes a shock-absorbing bed, and plenty of cushioning for the foot as well.

Nurses were consulted in a poll—specifically, those nurses who spend 12 hours or more standing or rushing up and down hallways—to find out what they wear for their long shifts. Here are the five super-supportive pairs they swear by.


Dansko Professional Clog

“My go-to shoe for my 12- hour shifts. They provide great support for the arch, which prevents back pain. My favorite is the black patent leather because the material is so easy to clean with a Clorox wipe when they get dirty. The only downside is that they are quite heavy, especially when you aren’t used to them. But overall, I think they are the best shoe to keep your feet protected and comfortable during a long shift.”
—Elizabeth Mounsey, NP, Mount Sinai Beth Israel in New York City

To buy: $125; amazon.com


Nike Flex Trainer 6

“They’re comfortable, supportive, lightweight, and always there for me when my patients are trying to get out of bed when they’re not supposed to!”
—Lauren Caffrey, RN, BSN, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center East Hospital in Monroeville, Pennsylvania

To buy: $80; Amazon.com


Alegria Classic Clogs

“I have been wearing Alegria clogs for years, and I love them. I suffer from pretty bad plantar fasciitis and they are by far the most comfortable shoes I have found for my 12-hour shifts.”
—Jody Izzard, RN, North Florida Regional Hospital in Gainesville, Florida

“I also own a pair of Alegria clogs. I forgot I even had them—I’ve been wearing sneakers latelyand wow, my plantar fasciitis has been so bad. I found my Alegria’s and gave them a try again, and they definitely were a lot more comfortable. I didn’t feel like I had to crawl to my car at the end of my shift.”
—Ashley Eckert, RN, North Florida Regional Hospital in Gainesville, Florida

To buy: $120; Amazon.com


Nike Metcon 3

“I’ve tried many different shoes over the years in search of the perfect one. I settled on Nike Metcon training shoes. I wear almost all Nike sneakers for work and they are light, but still supportive. As an ER nurse, I put my shoes through a lot and rarely give them a break. The Nike Metcon sneakers are super easy to clean, they stay comfortable for more than 12 hours on my feet, and don’t weigh me down.”
—Amanda L. Benza, BSN, RN, Phelps Memorial Hospital in Sleepy Hollow, New York

To buy: $112; Amazon.com


Grey’s Anatomy by Softwalk Meredith Work Clog

“I have tried many different clog-style shoes and love Grey’s Anatomy by Softwalk! My feet never hurt after doing three 12’s in a row.”
—Shawnna Hensley, RN, North Florida Regional Hospital in Gainesville, Florida

To buy: $60; Amazon.com

So no matter your needs and fashion preferences, there is something for everyone.

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