If you are a nurse, then you know how important it is to select a durable, comfortable pair of shoes. Getting to the very bottom of the matter, below are five ways to know your shoe has a proper sole for nursing. 

Rocker Bottoms 

Rocker bottoms are a type of sole that has a slight curve on the bottom of the sole. When the shoes rest flat on the ground, the toe of the shoes are slightly higher than the rest of the shoe, so that when you take a step, the shoe promotes a natural rolling motion, encouraging you to shift your weight from the ball of your foot to your toes. For nurses, this serves several purposes. 

First, rocker bottoms reduce fatigue. This is because you are usually working against your shoe when you walk, either forcing it to bed slightly to accommodate your rolling step or simply adding more pressure to take the same step. Over long shifts, this can cause strain in your feet. Rocker bottom shoes can help you conserve your energy and make your feet ache less. 

Also, if you purchase shoes with a rocker bottom, you may not need as much flex in the shoe. This allows you to opt for a more durable shoe with greater support. 

Proper Flex Point 

If you place your foot flat on the floor and then raise your heel, leaving your toes on the ground, you will notice where your foot's natural flex point is. Most people have their natural flex point in the middle of the ball of their foot, but some people's flex point is slightly to the front of the ball. 

When you purchase a pair of shoes, it should naturally flex where your foot flexes. Unfortunately, many shoes are designed to flex nearer to the arch of the shoe. If the flex point of your shoe is too far back, you lose arch support and are forced to work harder to take each step. For this reason, you should select a shoe with a flex point closer to the toe of the shoe that aligns with your natural flex point. 

Adequate Torsion 

Torsion is the ability for a shoe to twist. If you hold the toe of the shoe in one hand and the heel in the other and twist your hands in opposite directions, you will see the shoe's torsion. Shoes with little torsion give more support. Shoes that have greater flexibility allow the toes and heel of your foot to operate independently, resulting in greater stability. While you may want greater support because you are working long hours, it is also important to realize that the support of a shoe with little torsion can result in a less natural gait and greater stiffness in your ankles and calves at the end of a shift. 


Many nursing shoes have thick soles, meant to help with shock absorption during long shifts. These thick soles can add quite a bit of weight to your shoe, and over a shift they can increase your fatigue if they are too heavy. When comparing shoes, you should compare the overall weight of the shoes, but you should also try to figure out if the sole is much heavier than the top of the shoe. If most of the weight is in the sole of the shoe, it can be more straining to walk for long periods of time. 

Anti-slip Design 

Finally, it is important that you choose a shoe with an anti-slip sole. Slip-resistance depends on several factors. A softer sole will tend to grip the floor better than a harder sole, and a sole with a pattern on it is more likely to do well when you encounter liquid on the floor. 

When selecting the most comfortable nursing shoe, keep in mind that what works for your colleagues may not work for you. You need to try several different pairs to find the design that makes your job the most comfortable for you.