Best Shoes for Nurses with Plantar Fasciitis

Proper footwear is essential whether your job requires you to run beside a gurney or stand for hours in the ER or operating room. Your lower extremities are put under a lot of strain if you’re on your feet all day. Therefore, if you wear unsupportive shoes frequently, you risk developing achy arches, joint discomfort, and other painful issues.

For those who stand all day, there are, fortunately, many footwear alternatives available; you just need to know what to look for. When rushing between patients, it’s critical to find shoes with firm non-slip grip and sufficient padding to assist nurses who spend hours on their feet. However, the greatest shoes for nurses are not created equally, so we talked to experts to determine which shoes are.

Plantar fasciitis Explained

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most typical causes of heel pain (PLAN-tur fas-e-I-tis). It includes swelling of the thick tissue band from the heel bone to the toes on the bottom of each foot (plantar fascia).

Here’s a brief explanation of plantar fasciitis if you’re unfamiliar with it. The plantar fascia is a fascial band or ligament that extends from the base of the calcaneus, or heel bone, to the bottom of the toes and aids in supporting the long arch of the foot, according to Susan Eby, PT, MS, owner of Eby Physical Therapy in New York City. Age and increasing body weight can cause the plantar fascia to thicken. The ligament’s flexibility and capacity to absorb trauma are reduced. Repeated strain on the plantar fascia, which causes fibrosis, or scarring of the tendon, leads to plantar fasciitis.

With your first steps in the morning, plantar fasciitis frequently generates searing agony. The discomfort usually subsides when you stand up and walk, but it might return after prolonged standing or rise after sitting.

Plantar fasciitis’ underlying etiology is unclear. Overweight individuals and runners are more likely to experience it.


Usually, plantar fasciitis creates a sharp pain around the heel on the sole of your foot. The discomfort is typically at its worst when you take your first few steps after waking up, but it can also be brought on by prolonged standing or rising from a chair.


The band of tissue known as the plantar fascia runs from the base of your toes to the heel bone. When walking, it cushions impact and supports the arch of the foot.

Small rips in the fascia can be brought on by tension and stress. Even though the etiology of plantar fasciitis is frequently unknown, repeated straining and tearing of the fascia can irritate or inflame it.

What are Plantar Fasciitis’s Side Effects?

Risk factors include having flat feet and very high arches, tight calves, a sudden increase in weight-bearing exercise, extended standing or walking, and repetitive impact from sports like jogging.

Whether you’re jogging, walking, or standing for extended periods, your footwear can also be a bother. You may prevent future foot pain without taking too many steps back by selecting healthier shoes for life.

What to Look for When Buying Plantar Fasciitis Nursing Shoes 

The finest shoes for plantar fasciitis will typically fit properly (i.e., not too tiny and broad enough to comfortably suit your foot) and have the ideal level of support. You should look for shoes with a substantial amount of midfoot arch support and a deep heel counter, advises Carla Gamez, DPM, a podiatrist at the Illinois Bone & Joint Institute (IBJI).

According to Eby, it would be beneficial to consider wearing shoes with orthotics or insoles with significant heel cups to aid with cushioning and shock absorption to prevent heel pain. A decent set of insoles may correct misalignment, provide comfort, absorb shock, and decrease foot fatigue, among other things. But according to Yolanda Ragland, DPM, a podiatrist and the owner of Fix Your Feet in New York City, plantar fasciitis is the most common condition for which custom orthotics are recommended. “Orthotic insoles support the arch of the foot, alleviating the pain associated with plantar fasciitis.”

Similar to a mattress topper for your nurse shoes, you can slip insoles into any unsupportive pair to offer to cushion and arch support to otherwise flat shoes. Theresa Marko, PT, DPT, MS, owner of Marko Physical Therapy, asserts that improved ankle alignment results in better walking mechanics, knee alignment, and overall chain mechanics. These inserts also provide stiffness because many shoes are fragile and pliable, which gives you something solid to push off with each step and increases support while you walk.

What to Avoid when Buying Your Plantar Fasciitis Nurse Shoes

Avoid wearing sandals or flat, unsupportive shoes, advises Dr. Gamez. Those adorable flip-flops that cost $1? They are not the greatest shoes for plantar fasciitis. The same holds for flats and sneakers without arch support, such as Converse or Vans, unless orthotics, heel cups, or insoles are added.

Most flats lack space for inserts and are low-profile with little to no arch support. To avoid stretching on the plantar fascia, look for flats with a small heel (at least a half inch), as well as shoes that stay on your foot without toe gripping (i.e., that have elastic or other straps to secure the shoe to your foot), as well as an insole that is cushioned and has some arch support. Flat shoes will naturally be less supportive; thus, according to Eby, personal comfort is paramount in this area.

Best Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

The finest shoes for plantar fasciitis, including running shoes, dress shoes, flats, clogs, sandals, and slippers, and suggestions for replaceable insoles to make any shoe more plantar fascia friendly, were provided by physical therapists and podiatrists and are included below. You can discover fashionable options from sites like Amazon, Nordstrom, REI, and more from companies like Teva, Dansko, Hoka One One, Clarks, Oofos, and Superfeet.