The Best Shoes for Healthcare Workers

group of medical workers working together in hospital


Healthcare workers have always gone above and beyond to provide lifesaving care to their patients. Healthcare often requires long hours and intense physical labor of its practitioners, leading to fatigue, injuries, and, increasingly, mental and emotional burnout.1 If you’re in the industry, we don’t have to tell you this (but we do want to say thank you!).

Throughout the pandemic, it’s become increasingly clear that our medical professionals are in need of their own care as well. This doesn’t just mean clapping and cheering for them at the conclusion of a long shift. Although gratitude and recognition certainly don’t go unnoticed, healthcare workers are looking for tangible ways to improve their work lives and keep themselves healthy and comfortable throughout their shifts.

When it comes to footwear, designing comfortable and durable healthcare shoes means incorporating next-level support with slip-resistant soles, breathable uppers, and a number of other advanced options.

If you’re looking for a quality pair of comfortable shoes for yourself or for a healthcare professional near and dear to your heart, look no further than our list of the best shoes for healthcare workers today.

First, a Note on Trends

Before we get to the list, it’s important to discuss the prevalence of comfort and style in the modern workplace. One of the most enduring trends of the last decade is athleisure for work. From the boardroom to the emergency room, more and more workers are looking to incorporate casual, sporty, and comfortable clothes into their everyday attire. Today’s trend and fashion advances has created comfortable work shoes that still look fashionable. The right shoe will provide you with both maximum comfort and a chic look.

Because of its association with popular movements for personal wellness and the elimination of gendered formalwear in the workplace, athleisure remains one of the most viable options for stylish business casual clothing. For healthcare workers, who more often than not need both comfortable and durable pieces to wear during the workday—and worknight—athleisure provides plenty of potential apparel options.

In addition to breathable, functional, and wrinkle-resistant clothing, athleisure workwear offers many choices in the way of footwear for healthcare workers. For example, if you’re looking for stylish nursing shoes, Vionic offers a number of slip-on and lace-up sneakers with breathable uppers and durable a slip resistant outsole that will keep you on your feet from the beginning to the end of your long shift.

In 2020, frequent pandemic-related lockdowns and a rise in telecommuting helped create an 84% increase in women’s athleisure orders.2 Just because you never stopped commuting to work doesn’t mean you should miss out on one of fashion’s hottest workwear trends! If you’re wondering how to wear athleisure to work, look no further than your own two feet.


Slip-Ons To Keep You On The Move

When it comes to comfort and versatility, many healthcare workers choose slip-ons for their busy day-to-day. Whether for commuting to the office or making the rounds on your floor, slip-ons provide sleek style and round the clock support for your tired feet.

From sporty to professional, a good slip-on for a healthcare setting should provide slip resistance, shock absorption, machine washing, and especially stain resistance. With their ease of use and durability, slip-ons are the best comfortable shoes for nurses and other medical professionals who are always on the go. 

Juliana pro slip on sneaker, black

If you count on slip-ons to get you to the end of your shift, consider these options from Vionic:

  • Julianna Pro Slip-On Sneaker – This sporty sneaker provides lightweight breathability, weather and fluid resistance, and non-slip support without sacrificing even an ounce of style. The Julianna Pro, which features Vio-Grip technology, is both professional and casual, a perfect choice for nurses and other healthcare workers who know that comfort and style don’t need to be mutually exclusive.
  • Zinah Slip-On Sneaker Featuring a blend of nubuck, leather, and elastic, the Zinah Slip-On offers professional styling with all-day comfort and durability. With a lightweight design and a durable rubber outsole, these slip-ons are an absolute game-changer for healthcare workers, such as administrators and receptionists, who find themselves operating in an office setting.

While slip-ons are also perfect to slip off at the end of a tiring workday, you can rest assured knowing that Vionic’s attention to detail and healthcare-centered designs will leave your feet feeling fresh for whatever the next shift will bring. If you’re looking for a nursing shoe with more support, however, you might want to try a pair of professional sneakers on for size.

Sneakers for Work and Play

Sneakers haven’t always been accepted in the workplace. These days, however, changing attitudes about professionalism and an increasing focus on all-day comfort in workwear have enabled workers across a variety of industries to wear sneakers.

Ranging from sporty to dress-casual, the best sneakers can easily help you answer the question of how to dress up athleisure without giving an inch in the way of comfort. Lucky for you, the Vionic Pro collection features great sneakers in a number of styles for men and women alike.

  • Kiara Pro Sneaker – With a padded collar and Vio-Motion support, the Kiara Pros are designed to keep nurses and other healthcare professionals protected and comfortable. These shoes are specifically made to meet the needs of nurses who spend all day on their feet, and their athletic design draws inspiration from the best distance running shoes out there. You may even be tempted to take the Kiara Pros for a jog on your way home from work…okay, maybe not!

A good pair of sneakers isn’t just trendy. In healthcare, the shoes you wear to get the job done can make a huge difference in your mental and physical health. But staying in style is never a bad thing, of course, and you may even find yourself wearing your work sneakers on the weekend before you know it.

Healthcare worker wearing comfortable shoes

Business Casual Options for Administrators and Office Professionals

Doctors, nurses, and physician’s assistants aren’t the only people responsible for providing quality healthcare and support to patients and their loved ones. Hospitals and doctor’s offices depend on the tireless dedication of administrators, receptionists, and other trained personnel who keep things running smoothly on a daily basis.

If you find yourself in this category, there are plenty of business casual options to keep you comfortable and up-to-date with today’s fashion trends. Some of Vionic’s options include:

  • Emery High Top – This sleek leather high top features a hidden heel with over 5 centimeters of lift as well as a comfortable rubber outsole. The Emery High Top is ideal for both dressing up and dressing down and will give any healthcare administrator the comfort and confidence they need to ensure operational efficiency at all times.
  • Jacey Wedge These sporty little numbers feature a stylish platform wedge, a durable rubber outsole, and an elasticized top line for the perfect comfortable fit. Designed for standing and walking alike, the Jacey Wedge is a dependable shoe for healthcare workers in a business-casual office setting.

Reaping the benefits of athleisure comfort in a formal or casual professional environment has never been easier. Sometimes, avoiding burnout can be as simple as expressing a sense of personal identity through your fashion choices in the workplace. If you don’t need to sacrifice style for comfort when it comes to footwear, why wouldn’t you try something that can give you both?

Supportive Footwear Designed for Podiatric Health

For healthcare professionals who rely on their shoes as a source of dependable comfort, it’s important to create design options that appeal to both style and versatility. Physicians and nurses have taken on unimaginable responsibilities to provide optimum care to their patients both before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. The last thing they should have to worry about is their feet.

Vionic’s Vio-Motion support for heel pain is specifically designed to alleviate the all-too-common symptoms of such conditions as plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis. While these conditions affect people from all walks of life, the demanding nature of healthcare work has been thought to contribute to increased prevalence of plantar fasciitis and other related conditions in physicians and nurses.

Tate black sneakers

Find Your Next Favorite Work Shoe with Vionic

Healthcare workers are known for being on their feet all day and all night. Whatever it takes to take care of their patients, these dedicated professionals do it. While it’s one thing to applaud healthcare workers for their heroism and daily sacrifices, it’s another thing altogether to recognize their unique needs when it comes to staying healthy and ready for the next shift.

Regardless of your role in the healthcare system, Vionic has your back (and your feet) when it comes to your comfort. Our thoughtfully-designed shoes are engineered with your long-term health and day-to-day needs in mind. Slip into your new go-to work shoes with Vionic!


  1. Noguchi, Yuki. “Health workers know what good care is. Pandemic burnout is getting in the way.” NPR. 2 october 2021. 
  2. “Athleisure Trend Accelerates During Lockdown.” Direct Commerce. 17 February, 2021, 
  3. Sung, Kuo-Chang et al. “Plantar fasciitis in physicians and nurses: a nationwide population-based study.” Industrial health vol. 58,2 (2020): 153-160. doi:10.2486/indhealth.2019-0069

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