A nursing career is not an easy job. The career requires dedication and comes with many responsibilities. Most nurses work from 8 to 12 hours long, not including mandatory or voluntary overtime. Therefore, an average nurse is likely to be on her feet for 40+ hours a week.
Since you will be standing a lot, it is important to have comfortable nursing shoes. Wearing comfortable shoes for nurses is especially important if you suffer from plantar fasciitis.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis causes a stabbing pain when you take our first step in the morning. When you get up, your muscles start moving and the arch decreases. However, the pain often returns when you rise up sitting or when you stand for a long time.
If you have plantar fasciitis, it is important to wear the right shoes to reduce the pain.
Do You Have Plantar Fasciitis?
The easiest way to recognize plantar fasciitis is to be conscious of any pain at the bottom of your foot. The pain is usually noticeable immediately you wake up in the morning and take the first step, after standing for long periods of time, or when you stand up after being seated for a long time.
In most cases, the pain will get worse after an activity, for example, during your lunch break phase or at the end of your nurse shift. If not treated on time, plantar fasciitis can progress to chronic heel pain and affect your daily activities.
You may adjust the way you walk or step to minimize plantar fasciitis pain. This may work for some time. However, in the end, you will be left with back, hip, knee, and foot problems if you don’t treat the condition.
What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?
The role of plantar fasciitis in a healthy foot is to absorb shock by supporting the arch of your foot. However, stress and tension due to excessive walking, standing, or exercises can be too great on the fascia and cause it to tear. The fascia may continuously stretch and tear on a nurse’s foot over time, and cause the plantar fascia to become irritated or inflamed.
Plantar fasciitis often starts with an explicable cause. However, there are some factors that are known to increase the risk of the condition. The factors include:
- If you are in a profession that requires you to stay on your feet for long periods of time, you risk damaging your plantar fasciitis. Examples of professionals that are at risk include nursing, factory workers, hair dressers, teachers and others.
- The excess body weight on your feet can stress the plantar fasciitis and lead to formation of fasciitis.
- Foot Mechanics. If you have tight heel cords, high arches, flat feet, or unusual pattern or foot position when walking, you may end up suffering from plantar fasciitis.
- There are certain types of shoes that can encourage the onset of plantar fasciitis. In particular, you should avoid wearing worn-out shoes, those with thin soles, or high-heeled ones.
- Exercises that put a lot of pressure on the plantar fascia and the heel can make lead to the condition. Examples of such exercises include long-distance running, ballistic jumping activities, ballet dancing, and aerobic exercises.
- If you are between 40 and 60 years, you are more likely to suffer from plantar fasciitis
Prevention and Treatment of Plantar Fasciitis
It is better to prevent plantar fasciitis than wait until you are affected to start treatment. If you are a nurse, it is important to take safety precaution in advance. The best way of preventing plantar fasciitis is by wearing appropriate shoes.
Many runners suffer from plantar fasciitis. The repetitive trauma that the fasciitis is subjected to makes the soft tissues to tear.
While nurses are not running during their shift, they still subject their feet to a lot of pressure since they are always standing. Standing for hours a day can lead to plantar fasciitis.
The good news is that there are various nursing shoes that have been developed to cure plantar fasciitis. These shows have a soft cushion and provide adequate support to the feet, especially the arch and heel support, as these are the areas that are subjected to the most pressure.
If you prefer to wear regular nurse shoes, you can wear them with orthotics that provide support to prevent plantar fasciitis. If you prefer to use orthotics instead of buying the best shoes for nurses with plantar fasciitis, the best option would be to get custom orthotics from a podiatrist.
How to Treat Plantar Fasciitis
If your plantar fascia is already torn due to standing on your feet for long hours, there are a number of treatment options you can purses. These include:
- Splints are devices that hold your feet at a flexed angle, which is recommended to remove the pressure from the tears in the plantar fascia. You may have to wear the splints at night, together with custom orthotics. Most podiatrist s will recommend a combination of splints and orthotics before going to invasive options.
- Wearing shoes with good orthotics that offer arch and heel support can help to treat plantar fasciitis. At this point, you would need custom shoe inserts. There are various orthotics that you can buy online that can help you with prevention. However, when it comes to treatment, you will need custom orthotics.
- If your plantar fasciitis does not get treated by wearing splints and orthotics, the podiatrist may prescribe heel shots. The shots may be uncomfortable but help to reduce the pain. Cortisone shots may be recommended together with wearing splints and orthotics.
- Finally, you can also for surgery to treat plantar fasciitis. This is the last option and is not recommended as it can affect the normal functioning of the foot. However, for extreme plantar fasciitis cases, surgery may be an option to consider.
Guide to Buying Nursing Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis
The best way of preventing plantar fasciitis is by wearing the appropriate shoes. The shoes should be comfortable and provide support to your arch and heels to prevent inflammation in your tissues. Here are the things to consider when looking for plantar fasciitis prevention shoes.
Good nursing shoes are light in weight. The shoes should not put additional pressure on your feet and make them tired, resulting in poor work performance or low productivity.
Choose shoes that have a good grip and are slip resistant. The shoes should keep you safe from falling when you are in areas with liquids or spills, which is common in hospitals.
Both the insoles that come with your shoes and the orthotics that are customized for your feet should be removable. You will have to change them when they get worn out or if your condition changes. The whole shoe would be useless if you cannot change or remove the insoles to replace them with new ones.
The shoes should have cushions to support the heel, reduce pain, and make your comfortable. When wearing the shoes, the heel should not slip back and forth or up and down. It should be stable.
Make sure the heel is contoured well by the shoe.
Excellent Arch Support
Whether or not you will be using orthotics, it is important for the plantar fasciitis should to provide adequate arch support. Proper support reduces the amount of stress on the ligaments. If the ligaments are stressed, they deteriorate further and leave you with more pain.
If you work in the ER or a section where you have to react quickly from time to time, for example, run, make sure the shoes have padding at the front part as well.
The shoes should offer motion control, especially if you have flat feet. Shoes with motion control are rigid, durable, and prevent over-pronation. The shoes may be elevated in some areas to realign your foot with the rest of the body in a natural and healthy way.
Look for motion control shoes that are stable and comfortable. Since you will be walking for hours during your shift, you want shoes that have an absorbent midsole. The best plantar fasciitis shoes are made from rubber, leather, or a combination of the two materials.
Here are some other tips to keep in mind before buying shoes to prevent plantar fasciitis.
- Check that the toebox is wide enough to complement the natural foot position
- The best time to shop for plantar fasciitis shoes is in the evening after work. At this time, your feet have expanded and you will know the best size that would fit when your feet are swollen
- Try on the shoes that you would like to buy and feel whether they are comfortable. Do not wait to break into the shoes; they could end up being worse.
Best Shoes for Nurses with Plantar Fasciitis (Review)
Read our plantar fasciitis shoes review to find the best option for you:
If you are looking for shoes for plantar fasciitis that are comfortable, stylish, and fashionable, check out the Skechers Loving Life sneakers. These cute slip-on shoes have excellent cushioning, memory foam, and an adequate rubber outsole to support your feet.
The upper part of the affordable nurse shoes feature soft and breathable mesh fabric while the sole is made from durable and shock-absorbing rubber.
The insoles may feel a little stiff when you try the shoes for the first time. However, when you start walking, the memory foam will change its shape and contour your leg perfectly. The insole is a great feature for nurses that have plantar fasciitis due to working long shifts.
The sneakers have a flex glove outsole that supports the foot arch as well as offer great ventilation. We also love the shoes because they are machine washable.
The slip-on feature makes the shoes excellent for nurses that are always in a rush, and the bungee cords are more attractive than laces. However, the slip-on feature means you cannot tighten the sneakers. Moreover, the sizing of the Skechers shoe is not quite right. When buying, choose at least half a number bigger than what you usually wear.
The Skechers are quite narrow and, therefore, won’t fit nurses with wide feet.
What We Like
- Provides excellent air circulation
- Can be cleaned in a washing machine
- Offer excellent support
- Are lightweight and comfortable
- The memory foam contours to the foot nicely
What We Don’t Like
- The shoes have bungee cords instead of laces
- They are narrow and hence don’t fit nurses with wide feet
- Their sizing is not exactly right
- Do not have heel support.
Klogs USA is also a popular shoe for nurses with plantar fasciitis. The Naples Mule model is made of leather and features a slip-resistant outsole. This shoe is comfortable, flexible, and offers great support for the foot ligaments, muscles, and arch. The toe box is appropriately wide in case you have wide feet.
The Naples Mule has removable insoles. Therefore, if you have specific orthotics that you prefer, you can use them with the shoes. The pair has anti-slip outsoles that ensure your safety during your shift. Comfort and arch support are two other features that make the Naples the best shoes for standing all day.
The Naples Mules comes in different colors and styles. The shoes are elastic and, therefore, will fit you perfectly. The only issue is that you will have to break into them for the first few days of wearing.
What We Like
- Has an elastic that makes the shoe fit better at the top
- The heel height is perfect
- Wide toe box, which makes them excellent for nurses with wide feet
- Are comfortable and provide excellent arch support
- Come with anti-slip outsoles
What We Don’t Like
- You will need some time to break into the shoes
Nurse Mates are explicitly designed for nurses with plantar fasciitis. These shoes offer excellent support to both the feet and body and are recommended for reducing foot pain by medical professionals. The shoes are comfortable to wear and feature a steel shank that makes you stable when walking.
Nurse Mates shoes are made from stain-resistant leather material. The shoes offer excellent support thank to their padded collar, upper foot, and cushioned insoles. Your lateral stability is taken care of thanks to the steel shanks.
The nurse shoes have removable footbeds and slip-resistant outer sole. The shoes also spot a stain-resistant finish, which means you can easily wash away blood or other spills from the hospital that may get on the shoes.
You should check your sizing when ordering the Nurse Mates so that you do not end up with a pair that will be too stiff or tight for you. Apart from this, it would be good to wear a pair of breathable socks since these shoes do not offer the best ventilation.
What We Like
- The shoes are specially designed for nurses
- They are slip-ons and look professional
- The shoes are comfortable and have a removable footbed
- The steel shanks offer lateral stability while walking
- The shoes have a stain-resistant finish
What We Don’t Like
- The shoes do not have adequate ventilation
- The arch support is average
The Alegria women’s shoes are made from stain-resistant leather, are lightweight, comfortable, and have an outsole that makes them stable. The shoes come in a number of designs and styles, all of which help to get rid of plantar fasciitis pain.
The sturdy shoe is well made and will last for years. The shoe is well cushioned at the heel, which is important in preventing blisters and slipping. The soles make the feet stable, offer motion control, and help to reduce foot pain.
The main concern we have with the Algeria shoes is that they stretch out as you wear them. Therefore, at some point, they could start slipping off your feet.
What We Like
- They have thick soles and a removable footbed
- Feature extra cushions around the heels that prevent blisters
- They are sturdy and well-made
- Reduce pain caused by plantar fasciitis
- Have excellent arch support
What We Don’t Like
- They may get too tight when worn with socks. Therefore, make sure you get at least half a size more than your usual size
- The shoes stretch out as you wear them
- The design is a little old-fashioned
Editor’s Verdict: Best Shoes for Nurses With Plantar Fasciitis
All the above shoes can provide relief if you have plantar fasciitis. However, our top pick among the shoes is the Algeria Women’s Debra Slip-Ons. While the shoes look a little bit old-fashioned, they match all the criteria you should be looking for in plantar fasciitis shoes. The shoes have removable insoles, are comfortable, and provide excellent arch and heel support.