Nursing is a Rewarding Profession
You are able to help vulnerable people cope with all forms of illness, and make their stay in the hospital, doctor’s office, or rehab center more comfortable. To keep helping others you need to be able to cope with the physical demands of your job.
Of course, your nursing duties require you to stay on the move for long stretches at a time. If you’re not walking through hallways from one destination to another, then you’re probably standing in one spot as you tend to a patient or fill out the necessary paperwork. All of that time spent on your feet can cause soreness and even lead to back problems. What can you do to avoid that, and keep your feet and back happy?
It is important to find a nursing shoe that provides the support your body needs as you go about your daily tasks. What are some things to look for in a nursing shoe? What practical tips can help you to deal with walking and standing all day long? This article will answer those questions.
What to Look for in a Nursing Shoe
There is no “one size fits all” answer to what makes a comfortable shoe. In fact, in laboratory testing it may take a 16-step process just to determine a shoe’s comfort level!
However, there probably won’t be any need for you to subject your footwear to such rigorous scientific testing. A shoe’s comfort level basically comes down to two major factors:
A shoe’s shape is determined by its last. A shoe last is a model over which the shoe frame is constructed. Lasts come in three basic shapes: curved, semi-curved, and straight.
Curved shoes tend to be lighter than the straight-shaped footwear, but also provide less support. Straight shoes, on the other hand, provide the most support, but usually, weigh more than curved shoes. Semi-curved shoes offer a hybrid of straight and curved footwear.
Our feet not only come in different sizes but also in different shapes. Trying to fit a square foot into a curved shoe, or vice versa, will most likely result in a measure of discomfort.
Another factor you want to consider is how much stability the shoe will provide. A shoe’s level of stability is largely based on its rigidity. If you have a rigid foot, you may want a less rigid shoe that provides more cushioning; on the other hand, if your foot is wide and flat, you’ll likely feel more comfortable in a pair of highly rigid shoes.
One simple way to determine a shoe’s rigidity is to perform the “twist test” on it. The easier you can bend the shoe, the less rigid it is, which means that you shouldn’t expect much stability from it.
Shoe footbeds also play a big role in comfort. For instance, Alegria’s Classic Footbed is composed of specially formulated soft polyurethane, cork, and memory foam and ergonomically designed to fit the natural contours of the feet.
Tips for Walking & Standing
To keep your body pain-free, it is vital to not only choose the right the shoes but also to take proactive steps to ensure that long hours of walking won’t cause damage in the future. Here are some practical tips that will help you cope with the physical demands of your nursing career, divided into two categories: tips for choosing the best shoes, and tips for coping on the job.
Tips for Choosing the Best Shoes
Try on shoes you are interested in later in the day. This will ensure that you avoid any unpleasant surprises regarding fit. Over the course of each day, your feet grow and swell a little bit and, by the end of the day, they are at their largest.
If you are unsure whether you have high, low, or medium arches, perform a simple “wet test.” You simply wet one of your feet, place it on a heavy-duty sheet of paper, or piece of cardboard, and examine the footprint left behind. That footprint will help you determine which type of arches you have.
Leave about 1/4”-5/8” between the end of the shoe and your longest toe (which is sometimes the second to instead of the big one). Doing so will ensure that your shoes are properly sized to your feet.LEARN MORE
Tips to Stay Comfortable
Pay attention to posture. If your posture is sub-optimal, then you will likely face soreness and back problems with or without a good pair of shoes. Alternate between sitting and standing for long periods of time. While your job may require you to stay on your feet for hours on end, if you have the opportunity to sit down for a brief time take it; this will temporarily relieve the stress on your body and allow overworked muscles from walking and/or standing to rest.
Breathe in deeply and exhale fully. Proper breathing tends to relieve lower back stiffness and promotes good posture during periods of standing.
Stretch. Stretching has several health benefits. It can relieve some of the built-up tension within your body, improve flexibility, improve blood flow to your muscles, and can even decrease tension headaches. Performing a quick shoulder roll now and again can help you reset yourself back to better posture.OUR SECRET TO HAPPINESS
Alegria by PG Lite® has been awarded the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA)
Seal of Acceptance on select styles and footbeds. Over 35 years ago, the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) established its Seal of Acceptance Program to inform both podiatric physicians and consumers about products whose quality, safety, and effectiveness allow for normal foot function and promote good foot health.
The APMA approval board, which is made up of ten podiatrists, wore select Alegria products for 30 days and tested for comfort, shock absorption and durability. As of 2019, Alegria by PG Lite® has been recognized by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) and has earned their Seal of Acceptance.
Choosing Shoes that Make You Happy!
Choosing comfortable, functional, and durable shoes can be a big win for your career as a nurse. Your body will feel better as you work; and if you are wearing cute and stylish shoes, then you’ll feel confident with each step, too.
Moreover, if you keep in mind and apply the practical tips mentioned above, then you’ll be able to successfully cope with long periods of walking and standing on the job.
Finding nursing shoes that are a perfect fit for your feet, occupation, and style may not be easy. But we’re here to help! As a leader in providing comfortable footwear for professionals, Alegria by PG Lite® is continually developing new and innovative styles that exude happiness. If you’d like to learn more about how our shoes can add to your daily happiness, visit our Contact Us page for more information.