Great shoes are the one thing all male nurses need — whether you work in med surg or long-term care, a supportive, comfortable pair helps you get through 12-hour shifts. While uniform shops and specialty shoe stores are packed with styles for women, men’s nursing shoes are often harder to find.
Many nurses alternate between two pairs of shoes; this gives the cushioning time to bounce back, so it feels soft and springy for your next shift. It also allows the shoes to dry thoroughly, which reduces unpleasant odors. (You deal with enough of those on the floor!) The links in this post are affiliate links, which you can learn more about here.
What to Look for in Male Nursing Shoes
When you’re shopping for men’s shoes, look for:
- Non-slip soles
- Plenty of cushioning
- Breathable material
- Supportive arches
- Easy-clean material
1. Best Easy-Clean Male Nurse Shoe: Birkenstock Super Birki Clogs
After a shift filled with bodily fluids, you need a pair of shoes that you can wipe-down quickly. If that sounds like a normal day, it’s hard to beat the Birkenstock Super Birki Clogs. They’re made from molded polyurethane, so they keep moisture and solids away from your socks. After a dirty shift, clean the shoes with a disinfectant — you can even wash them in water as hot as 176 degrees.
Inside the Super Birki, a cork-latex footbed fits right into the contours of your foot. The cork has just the right amount of flex to keep you comfortable, whether you’re passing meds or running to a code. A layer of moisture-wicking fabric pulls sweat away from your feet. Prevent odors by removing and washing the footbed.
Prefer something a bit sleeker? Check out the Birkenstock London.
Benefits of the Super Birki for male nurses:
- Low-key design looks great with scrubs
- Non-slip sole provides traction
- Easy-clean shoes and liners
- Cork footbed for comfort
- Easy-on, easy-off clog design
2. Best All-Around Nursing Shoe for Men: New Balance 928 v3
The New Balance 928 v3 isn’t the most stylish shoe, but it is a lifesaver during a long nursing shift. This pair is all about stability and cushioning. It comes with a motion-control design for lateral support and a Rollbar plate in the back of the shoe that prevents your heel from twisting. If you have knee problems, this combination can bring some serious relief.
Do you ever have sore soles after a long shift? The 928 v3 comes with the New Balance Abzorb cushioning. This unique foam-rubber combo springs back after it’s compressed, giving you a light, bouncy feel, even on hard hospital floors. At the same time, the wider toe box gives your feet room to breathe, and the leather uppers keep out fluids.
Pros of the New Balance 928 v3 for nurses:
- Excellent lateral stability
- Super-comfortable cushioning
- Leather exterior is breathable and easy to clean
- Comes in multiple solid colors
3. Best Cheap Men’s Nursing Shoes: Crocs Specialist II Clog
Don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on nursing shoes? The Crocs Specialist II clogs are a great, cheap option for men. If you’ve never tried on a pair of Crocs, you’re in for a pleasant surprise — they’re incredibly light and airy, so they feel great and don’t weigh you down when you’re responding to a code. That’s because of the unique foam footbeds, which feel soft but provide an impressive amount of support.
If you work in an emergency room or a specialty with lots of blood and fluids, the Specialist II is a great choice. The toes are completely enclosed, and the tops of the shoes fit under your scrubs; that way, your feet stay clean. On the back, a strap keeps the clog in place when you’re moving quickly. Do your feet tend to get sweaty at work? Crocs also makes a vented Specialist II clog.
Benefits for male nurses:
- Simple but rugged design
- Super-comfortable soles
- Full-coverage toes protect from spills
- Adjustable back strap for security
- Come in three scrub-friendly colors
4. Best Athletic Nursing Shoes for Men: Adidas Ultraboost
If your facility allows you to wear sneakers to work, the Adidas Ultraboost is the best nursing shoe for men. They’re not cheap, but they are unbelievably comfortable — cushioned, springy, and remarkably light. (Look at the reviews; people gush.) The upper material stretches to fit your feet, and the sole has an impressive amount of stability.
Since the Ultraboost is made with fabric uppers, it’s best suited to low-mess nursing environments including rehab and long-term care. If you’re free to choose the color and design of your shoes, there are plenty of options. (They also come in white and black if your nursing school has specific requirements for clinicals.)
Pros for men in nursing:
- Ultra-comfortable design
- Soles offer excellent rebound
- Stretchy uppers fit different foot shapes
- Midfoot cage for support
5. Longest-Lasting Shoes for Nurses: Dansko Men’s XP 2.0
When it comes to Dansko nursing shoes, you either love them or you don’t. For men, it takes time to get used to the extra height — but when you do, the Dansko Men’s XP 2.0 is a game-changer. These shoes are beasts; it’s not uncommon for a single pair to last 5 years or more, even when you’re on your feet all day, every day.
The magic of the Dansko XP 2.0 is in the thick, stable sole. It offers plenty of arch support, so you can stand for hours without discomfort — that’s huge if you’re a surgical nurse or a floor nurse. The roomy toe box never pinches your feet, and the leather is a breeze to clean. Don’t worry about blood and fluids; the full-coverage clog design has your back. Fair warning: these shoes require breaking in, it’s well worth your time.
Benefits for nursing professionals:
- Exceptional arch support
- Supportive, non-slip sole
- Wide toe box for comfort
- Easy-clean leather uppers
- Ultra long-lasting
Do floor nurses need the same shoes as surgical nurses?
When you’re on the floor, you’re constantly moving. In that situation, it’s helpful to have shoes with springy cushioning and plenty of lateral support. Lightweight clogs and walking shoes often work well. If you’re a surgical nurse, you need shoes that can support your feet while you stand in one place for long periods of time. In that case, you need shoes with substantial soles and plenty of arch support. (See the Dansko Men’s XP 2.0, above)
Can you wear men’s running shoes as nursing shoes?
That depends on you — some men can wear running shoes and feel great. If you need more lateral support, or if you have weaker ankles, walking shoes or clogs are often a better option. The same goes if you have a larger frame; running shoes don’t necessarily provide enough support for bigger men.
Can nurses wear Crocs?
That depends on the facility. Many hospitals have banned the type of Crocs that come with holes and an open back. However, many healthcare facilities allow you to wear the type of Crocs that have sturdy back straps and no holes. Before you buy a pair of men’s nursing shoes, make sure to check your employer’s requirements.