Author Topic: Comfortable male shoes?  (Read 9428 times)

Murse

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Comfortable male shoes?
« on: April 18, 2015, 12:40:28 PM »
Hello folks, well I'm a young guy finishing up nursing school, throughout I have used 2 different pairs of nice looking black boots (is what I would call them.) Well, nurses typically work around 12 hours/day+ and my I am about to go for a month of clinicals full time. Around hour 8 the pain in my feet becomes almost unbearable, when I get home I just sit for hours until bed in pain. Anyways, what kind of advice can be given? I don't really know if the two pairs of shoes I have used have sucked or if I am just not used to the long hours. I have tried insoles and they only helped slightly.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2015, 12:50:02 PM by Murse »

Bob W

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Re: Comfortable male shoes?
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2015, 01:58:39 PM »
I developed PF 9 months ago.  I can now only where Birkenstocks.   They work great for me.

JoeP

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Re: Comfortable male shoes?
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2015, 02:37:09 PM »
I have a standing desk so I'm on my feet all day.  And I walk home daily after work for exercise (2.8 miles).  My recommendation is to avoid any shoes that have a significant heel - the flatter the sole the better.  The heel and ball of the shoe should be roughly the same height. 

I used to work in an Operating Room and I had the opportunity to talk to the orthopedic surgeons daily.  Every orthopedic surgeon said the same thing: don't wear shoes that have a significant heel, don't wear the same shoe 2 days in a row, and replace/repair shoes once the sole starts to wear unevenly.  I remember them also saying that high heel boots/shoes (1 inch or more) have generated them tons of business over the years - there is no shortage of foot problems caused by high heel shoes.

JasonS

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Re: Comfortable male shoes?
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2015, 03:24:00 PM »
I work in an OR and stand most of the day on concrete/tile.  My feet have always bothered me, the best shoes I've found are Keens ($90-120) if you have a wide foot, and I put a superfeet insole in them ($35, green one).  I agree that you need to replace the shoes frequently, q6months-12months, even if they still look good.  The soles flatten and don't do the job any more. 
If this doesn't do it, see a podiatrist for custom inserts.

mjb

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Re: Comfortable male shoes?
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2015, 05:55:03 PM »
I'm fat and on my feet 12 - 14 hours a day, and Redback Boots are the best I've ever found.

http://www.redbackboots.com/

MrsPete

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Re: Comfortable male shoes?
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2015, 07:07:24 PM »
My daughter's in your shoes; that is, she's just finishing her junior year in nursing as well. 

When she began clinicals, I bought her two pairs of shoes (not quite alike), and she alternates them.  I'm pretty sure both pair came from the Sketchers' work line.  I also bought her a value-pack of THICK socks to provide some good cushion.  I'm thinking I spent about $100 on these shoes, but comfortable feet are a worthwhile investment.  I'm very willing to skimp on dressy shoes, but stand-up-all-day-shoes NEED to be top quality.

We didn't have an easy time finding two pair of shoes that fit her professors' requirements:  All leather (protection against splashes or body fluids), solid black with NO colored stitching or similar (I thought they were over-the-top on that). 

As a teacher, I stand up all day (on tile), and I have noticed a difference in my feet now that I'm mid-fourties.  I also wear good, supportive shoes every day, and on the few days I decide to wear some cute little sandals to work ... oh, do I pay the next day! 
« Last Edit: April 18, 2015, 07:11:04 PM by MrsPete »

scottish

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Re: Comfortable male shoes?
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2015, 07:14:00 PM »
I'm in the zero drop group with JoeP.   I used to wear expensive runners with little air pockets in the soles and my feet got worse and worse.

Now I go for minimalist shoes (Five Fingers if I can get away with it) and things are much better.    My feet feel strong and flexible instead of stiff, weak and sore.

YMMV.

SurlyTroll

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Re: Comfortable male shoes?
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2015, 08:05:50 PM »
I worked as a chef for years (10-12 hour standing shifts). Most chefs (male and female) I know wear Danskos, some wear Birkis. There is a custom clog maker out in the Pacific Northwest that will take a cast of your foot and make up a custom pair... but they are quite expensive. I wore Danskos and was generally able to get 2 years out of a pair.

GeneralJinjur

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Re: Comfortable male shoes?
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2015, 08:56:27 PM »
Birkenstock Linz have great arch support and come in an all black.  I chose those over the Londons because they had an easy velcro fastener.  Since you're going into nursing, I am sure you have heard of Danskos.  Kurus are pretty good if you are able to wear a sneaker style.  Alternating shoes helps me.  MBTs are awesome, but they are more expensive.  I haven't bought any recently because they spent some time off the market, but my pair from 2008 or 2009 is finally losing support.  I wear them 2x/week, so that's pretty darned good.

Be a smart nurse and baby your feet.  I had plantar fasciitis years ago which was well controlled with exercises and good shoes, but after taking a second job PRN (and sometimes working 13 day stretches before a day off), it came back with a fiery vengeance and I have been fighting it for the past year.


lifejoy

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Re: Comfortable male shoes?
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2015, 08:28:36 AM »
Rockports or Clarks! Check me out.

Lookilu

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Re: Comfortable male shoes?
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2015, 08:39:41 AM »
I worked as a chef for years (10-12 hour standing shifts). Most chefs (male and female) I know wear Danskos, some wear Birkis. There is a custom clog maker out in the Pacific Northwest that will take a cast of your foot and make up a custom pair... but they are quite expensive. I wore Danskos and was generally able to get 2 years out of a pair.
+1 on the suggestion for Danskos. They are everywhere at the medical center where I work.
Sanita also makes great supportive shoes that tend to be slightly narrower than Dansko models, making them a better fit for me. YMMV.
Either brand is a little spendy, but the difference they've made for my plantar fasciitis makes them worth it, plus they last forever. Be sure to visit a nursing supply/uniform store to be properly fitted the first time.

Murse

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Re: Comfortable male shoes?
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2015, 09:32:21 AM »
The problem is there are a bajillion different recommendations. Not only do I not have the money to try them all out, I also am a mustachian. I looked on nursing forums and found many people recommend new balance walking shoes. I will give those a shot before trying the more expensive stuff.

yyc-phil

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Re: Comfortable male shoes?
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2015, 09:49:35 AM »
For me, it was my indestructible Born slip-on boots which I wore practically every day since I got them in September 2006, until I got my new pair of Blundstones which, like the Born, look as good dressed up to go to a function or dressed down as my go-to pair of travel shoes. Both are the most comfortable shoes I ever found.  The Born are almost nine years old but still look almost as good as the day I got them.

dradam168

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Re: Comfortable male shoes?
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2015, 09:57:22 AM »
I work in health care also and you DEFINITELY do not want to skimp when it comes to your feet.  Around me the most common options are runners shoes (I personally wouldn't recommend these as the mesh they are made of isn't going to be very water proof), Danskos, Birkenstocks, and Crocs (they may be the ugliest shoe ever made, but apparently they are VERY comfortable).  I personally have a pair of Redwing clogs that I frequently rotate the insoles out of.  For insoles I've been getting by with OTC Dr. Scholls, but I've been wanting to get a fitting for something even more specific to my feet.

My biggest secret though is getting good SOCKS.  I found a nice deal on some Under Armor runners socks with built in padding at Nordstrom Rack and have been working on wearing them out.  You want something with extra padding and probably something either made of synthetic fabrics or wool.  Both will be better at wicking away moisture from your feet and won't compress throughout the day like cotton.  Really, cotton is just the worst thing you could buy for socks.

Finally, while it may not be much of an issue for a nurse doing clinicals, but if you are going to be standing, but standing still, for long periods you can look into compression stockings.  These will keep the blood from pooling in your lower legs which will end up hurting after a while.  There are commercial products out there, but to get the really good ones you'll need a prescription to get fitted, but you'll also be around a lot of doctors, so maybe get one to do you a favor (there's nothing unethical or unprofessional about asking them, these aren't a medication we're talking about).

I know what forum we are on here, but my last piece of advice is to pay whatever it takes.  If you are comparing two pairs of shoes and one fits you like a dream and another fits you "well enough" but is cheaper, don't try and save some money here, go for the best option.

dradam168

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Re: Comfortable male shoes?
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2015, 10:04:50 AM »
The problem is there are a bajillion different recommendations. Not only do I not have the money to try them all out, I also am a mustachian. I looked on nursing forums and found many people recommend new balance walking shoes. I will give those a shot before trying the more expensive stuff.

There's being a mustachian, and then there's being wastefully frugal.  If you buy the "maybe ok" New Ballance now and then have to quickly buy something more expensive when they keep hurting you, you have just wasted the cost of the New Ballances.  This is not a fashion purchase or a discretionary purchase, this is a tool you need to do your job and not ruin your body.  It is something you will wear for AT LEAST 8 hours per day (more when you actually start your career).  The per day cost of good shoes that last a long time will be less than crappy cheap shoes that you have to buy over and over.

Go to a big shoe store and try on everything.  Find something that fits you perfectly.  Buy something of quality that will last you for a good long while.  Not only will your feet thank you, but it will be cheaper in the long run.

Murse

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Re: Comfortable male shoes?
« Reply #15 on: April 19, 2015, 10:30:43 AM »
The problem is there are a bajillion different recommendations. Not only do I not have the money to try them all out, I also am a mustachian. I looked on nursing forums and found many people recommend new balance walking shoes. I will give those a shot before trying the more expensive stuff.

There's being a mustachian, and then there's being wastefully frugal.  If you buy the "maybe ok" New Ballance now and then have to quickly buy something more expensive when they keep hurting you, you have just wasted the cost of the New Ballances.  This is not a fashion purchase or a discretionary purchase, this is a tool you need to do your job and not ruin your body.  It is something you will wear for AT LEAST 8 hours per day (more when you actually start your career).  The per day cost of good shoes that last a long time will be less than crappy cheap shoes that you have to buy over and over.

Go to a big shoe store and try on everything.  Find something that fits you perfectly.  Buy something of quality that will last you for a good long while.  Not only will your feet thank you, but it will be cheaper in the long run.
I see your point, however I was not suggesting I was just going to order something online. The plan is to go into the store where apparently they have people trained to fit/size you, and I will not buy something that I do not feel is comfortable. I looked a lot into the red back suggestion, my fear is buying something like this online for 150$ and it still not helping. I don't have any sort of leg pain, it is all in the heel of my foot. And I purchased some compression socks (suggesting of a nurse I was working with) and they maybe help a total of 5% (they have extra padding on the bottom.) if I could get some sort of guarantee of my money back I would have no issues spending up to 200$. If I have to use trial and error then I will start on the lower end of the spectrum.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2015, 11:18:19 AM by Murse »

Murse

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Re: Comfortable male shoes?
« Reply #16 on: April 19, 2015, 11:19:59 AM »
Also I would like to add that comfort at the 5 minute level in store is always going to be different then comfort at the 8-12 hour level so I have little faith in trying on every shoe in the store when working a shift needs to be the actual test

jawisco

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Re: Comfortable male shoes?
« Reply #17 on: April 19, 2015, 11:28:22 AM »
Lots of good replies here.  Keep looking for something that works for you and don't be afraid to spend $$ - good shoes are well worth it.

What worked for me was buying shoes that had cork insoles - these give you some cushion, but the most important thing is that the cork insoles shape to your feet - they basically become like custom insoles.  So now I buy the same brand over and over - and just switch insoles from the old shoes to the new ones. 

I "break in" the new insoles slowly (in my old shoes) - just a few hours at a time.  This has worked wonders on my foot pain (started this when working in restaurants 10+ hours/day) and has made my knees and back feel a lot better as well.

The advice of having two pairs of shoes is a good one - this allows them to dry out and basically last a lot longer...

Merrie

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Re: Comfortable male shoes?
« Reply #18 on: April 19, 2015, 11:46:06 AM »
Pharmacist here. I have wide feet too. I switched to Danskos in 2009 and have never looked back. Prior to that I was chewing through two cheap pairs of sneakers a year. I have had the *same* Danskos since 2009. Granted I worked only 2-3 days a week from 2009-2014, then full time since a year ago, so you can figure this is the equivalent of 3 work years at least. They are a little banged up on the outsides but still just as comfortable. The foot bed does not get squished down and less supportive like in other shoes. You could probably get gently used or new-in-box Danskos on eBay.

possumjaw

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Re: Comfortable male shoes?
« Reply #19 on: April 19, 2015, 07:16:02 PM »
I have bone/muscle problems which developed when I was about 19 and got worse around 22, so bad that I could not walk more than about 200 feet per day without my feet swelling up.  Basically it was just PF, but developmental and awful.  I kept wearing flat-soled boxy-toed shoes, mostly soft sneakers, which were good for my feet and gave me the stabilization I needed; lucked into this, as my mother recommended some like that after her stints in martial arts, and I just kind of kept buying the same type of shoes.  Still had major pain though, and ended up sitting a lot with my feet up, trying all insoles.  Went to a podiatrist, finally, and he explained my feet were pronating inward severely.  Got some relatively cheap orthotics (about $45 per 1.5 years), which were very stiff and gave support both inside my arches as well as under the ball of my foot.  I also started stretching as one does with PF and icing my feet in the summer.  I sleep with a pillow between my knees and ankles.  Got some simple cotton socks which wick away sweat and aren't constrictive around ankles.  I walk not over about 5-6 miles per day but always at least 1, plus stretch routine.  Now I am able to walk my daily at work/daily walking and driving...which I'd say is maybe a casual 3-4 miles...I can in addition to this bike up to about 1 mile or walk about 2 miles.  It's definitely put a damper on my life, and I still have some chronic, low-level pain...but I am able to do most things I could before, short of the back-country hiking I used to get into. 

Just wanted to put this all down in case any of it helps you.  Talking to a small but reputable podiatrist was the best thing I could have done.  The folks I went to work with elders in the area doing rehab therapy, and were a small startup business, so they were really great with working in my budget.  Good luck! 

possumjaw

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Re: Comfortable male shoes?
« Reply #20 on: April 19, 2015, 07:18:21 PM »
Also protip:  middle-class old-man shoe stores are easy to find a good combo of business/supportive shoe type for not much money at.  Lots of clearance-sale $22-$35 pairs.  Try scruffy suburban strip mall areas?

LiveLean

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Re: Comfortable male shoes?
« Reply #21 on: April 20, 2015, 04:09:51 PM »
If we're talking dress shoes, it's tough to beat Ecco. Yes, they're a little on the expensive side. But, hey, we're guys and we don't buy that many shoes. Eccos last. Plus a lot of the styles are versatile enough to wear for anything. I took a two-night trip for a wedding recently with only a pair of black Eccos that I wore with jeans most of the weekend and with my suit for the wedding.

pdxbator

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Re: Comfortable male shoes?
« Reply #22 on: April 20, 2015, 04:32:15 PM »
I'm in health care and did the dansko route. I HATED them. Some people love them but for me (I'm male) the higher clog I was often tripping. They are fine for moving forward or back but on tile floor the lateral moves the clog could catch and then I was finding myself nearly twisting an ankle. I tried them over and over and over. They wound up hurting my posture too.

I found the Asics Gel Foundation Walker is amazing. It looks kinda nursey, but I don't care. The top is not the mesh material of runners. They feel like clouds on my feet even at hour 8.

Elliot

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Re: Comfortable male shoes?
« Reply #23 on: April 20, 2015, 04:44:09 PM »
Just make sure they aren't cloth or mesh. It's not worth piss and blood and vomit getting in. It won't happen every day, but it will happen.

Murse

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Re: Comfortable male shoes?
« Reply #24 on: April 20, 2015, 06:37:32 PM »
Update- I'm going to see a podiatrist before making any kind of purchase. I have the health insurance so.. Why not?

ferox

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Re: Comfortable male shoes?
« Reply #25 on: April 20, 2015, 07:47:32 PM »
+1 for zero-drop barefoot shoes with enough room for toes to splay naturally

I'm wearing Lems Nine2Five $125


They come in black and I wouldn't hesitate to buy them again. Love them. I wear them in a retail environment, standing for about 6 hours at a time and putting in 1x 12 hour shift every week.

Other recommendations for similar:
Nike Free or similar Skechers/New balance barefoot - but these doesn't come in leather
« Last Edit: April 20, 2015, 07:49:31 PM by ferox »

thurston howell iv

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Re: Comfortable male shoes?
« Reply #26 on: April 21, 2015, 09:57:49 AM »
Do yourself a favor and check out Sketchers (GO RUN). They have Go Walk and other variations.

I purchased the go runs because they felt like an old glove (comfy). I weighed them at the local pack and send and they were mere ounces- WAY lighter than any other running type shoe. There is minimal rise, the cushion is spectacular, and the fabric is meshy so it breathes and conforms to your foot. DW uses them for her health care work (standing or running around all day in a hospital)- The Dansko's are just OK in her opinion.

Only issue is finding a solid color. I got mine in solid black $69 bucks.   Took dad to buy some and all they had was neon blue/chartreuse.  He balked at the color, tried them on and liked them, and now wears them everywhere- color be damned!

We have a place called Shoe Carnival - a retail store that ofter has BOGO 1/2 off. Might be worth the look.

mtn

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Re: Comfortable male shoes?
« Reply #27 on: April 21, 2015, 10:14:18 AM »
My advice comes from a different angle, that of a caddy. I was walking on soft grass all day and had different requirements.

First off: a GOOD pair of gym shoes. Brooks, New Balance, etc. Don't go for the bottom of their line either. Get fit at a real store.

Second: get a Birkenstock insert for the gym shoes. Go to a store for this to make sure you get the right fit. I have had mine since 2005, and my prior pair was from 2001 and was replaced for free when my foot grew. 
https://www.birkenstockusa.com/products/men/insoles/arch-support/blue-footbed-casual/1100

Third: Crocs are wonderful with decent arch support, but they'll wear out sooner (but are cheap enough that I don't really care). They aren't just the ugly clogs anymore either, they have a whole line of decent footwear. I'm upset they don't make their golf shoes anymore, the pair I have are awesome. I use my ugly crocs for traveling. I don't know about how they'd do in the hospital though, might be too slippery.

Last: Get two pairs, even different shoes, and switch them out either daily or even half way through the day. Your feet will thank you.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2015, 10:18:10 AM by mtn »

Murse

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Re: Comfortable male shoes?
« Reply #28 on: April 21, 2015, 12:22:41 PM »
My advice comes from a different angle, that of a caddy. I was walking on soft grass all day and had different requirements.

First off: a GOOD pair of gym shoes. Brooks, New Balance, etc. Don't go for the bottom of their line either. Get fit at a real store.

Second: get a Birkenstock insert for the gym shoes. Go to a store for this to make sure you get the right fit. I have had mine since 2005, and my prior pair was from 2001 and was replaced for free when my foot grew. 
https://www.birkenstockusa.com/products/men/insoles/arch-support/blue-footbed-casual/1100

Third: Crocs are wonderful with decent arch support, but they'll wear out sooner (but are cheap enough that I don't really care). They aren't just the ugly clogs anymore either, they have a whole line of decent footwear. I'm upset they don't make their golf shoes anymore, the pair I have are awesome. I use my ugly crocs for traveling. I don't know about how they'd do in the hospital though, might be too slippery.

Last: Get two pairs, even different shoes, and switch them out either daily or even half way through the day. Your feet will thank you.
I am confused, are these 3 different recommendations?

mtn

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Re: Comfortable male shoes?
« Reply #29 on: April 21, 2015, 12:31:21 PM »
Kinda.

The one recommendation that I'd hold true to is the 2 pairs of shoes. They'll wear out slower, and I personally always liked changing it up. Not sure if it actually helps the feet or not.

I like gym shoes better; they're better for walking/standing than birkenstocks, but others disagree with me--and they're not wrong, it is a very personal thing. But I also recommend birkenstocks--get the best of both worlds! Put the footbed in your gym shoe (this is a lifetime investment). To me, the footbed is the only real advantage of the Birks.

The crocs, well, not sure if they'd work or not. But I like them. If I had to buy just one shoe now for the next year, to stand up in all day, it would be a pair of Brooks Beast, with the Birkenstock inserts.

Elliot

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Re: Comfortable male shoes?
« Reply #30 on: April 21, 2015, 12:40:48 PM »
Just an FYI about crocs, they are banned for wear by clinical staff at my hospital system (apparently some sort fire issue in ORs?) and even if they aren't banned by yours, buyer beware as they don't all meet OSHA standards.

Murse

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Re: Comfortable male shoes?
« Reply #31 on: April 21, 2015, 12:51:12 PM »
Just an FYI about crocs, they are banned for wear by clinical staff at my hospital system (apparently some sort fire issue in ORs?) and even if they aren't banned by yours, buyer beware as they don't all meet OSHA standards.

Yeah, I am not looking at crocs. I'm really not entertaining clogs either. Anything else I am considering.

dcheesi

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Re: Comfortable male shoes?
« Reply #32 on: April 21, 2015, 03:02:30 PM »
It probably depends on your arches, etc. My arches are pretty low (not quite flat-footed, but close), and I find that fairly basic, even minimalist shoes work best for me when standing all day. I have a pair of running shoes that feel pretty good while walking/running, but they have way too much arch support for just standing around. Whereas my boat shoes and such are just fine (at least with a comfort mat underneath).

OTOH, if you have higher arches, the recommendations may be very different.