3

votes

Hospital work: to minimalist shoe or not?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 28, 2012 at 10:34 PM

I am doing clinical work at a hospital right now, and I'm on my feet half the time, and sitting for the other half. There's a lot of running up and down cold, hard stairs and walking up and down cold, hard hallways.

I have to dress professionally, but that evidently just means "not jeans" and a non-t-shirt under my lab coat. I can get away with fairly casual shoes (but not Vibrams). I was wearing a 1" heel, but my back, neck, and knees started to kill me...I think all of my time in Vibrams has made it impossible to stand/walk in heels very much anymore. I'll save them for events where I'm mostly sitting!

Anyway, I'm not sure which direction to go. I tried wearing totally flat, relatively thin-soled moccasin-style shoes, and they were ok, but my feet still hurt later. I am guessing it's because of the hard floor. I am not overweight at all if that is relevant to questions of foot/joint stress.

Do I stick with the flat-soled or do I get something cushier? Reasoning? Other solutions?

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on March 10, 2012
at 12:12 AM

It was a no go in her case :(. Hazards of the job....needles and such prohibit it. Ah well.

Cbe0baff464199131bec8f68ef5654ca

(158)

on March 09, 2012
at 11:05 PM

Yeah Dansko's are great. If you don't already know, they fit differently than other shoes in that the heal is meant to be free to move around. Something to get used to. I like it and love the look. And thank goodness for Zappos and their free and quick shipping! Too bad about the fit with the Merrell's. Mine are old sneakers from about four or five years ago so maybe there have been some changes to the fit. I was looking at the Barefoot Wonder Glove. Feeling a little leery now. Best of luck with the Dansko's or whatever you choose.

1296f5fecd084f101d7c5fbe013f07eb

(1213)

on March 09, 2012
at 10:09 PM

I would love to wear my VFFs - I wear mine to class, too! I feel much springier and such wearing them, but then I'm not on my feet a ton at school. I do love to veer off of the cement pathways and walk across the grass on campus. I've looked at the Vivobarefoots - it seems like they have a few nicer options. Let me know how you like them!

1296f5fecd084f101d7c5fbe013f07eb

(1213)

on March 09, 2012
at 10:06 PM

Cool, let me know how it goes - I floated the VFFs idea by my supervisor, and it's a no-go...but I am interested in seeing how wearing super minimalist shoes works out.

1296f5fecd084f101d7c5fbe013f07eb

(1213)

on March 09, 2012
at 10:05 PM

Those look great, and aren't terribly expensive. My problem is that I keep coming back to wanting the Red!Pink!Blue! colors and I really need to just suck it up and get a black pair that won't look silly with black or khaki pants.

1296f5fecd084f101d7c5fbe013f07eb

(1213)

on March 09, 2012
at 10:03 PM

Ick, white sneakers. I wish we could wear scrubs instead of business attire - I would prefer to be able to wear sneakers without trying to get them to blend with chinos/dress pants.

1296f5fecd084f101d7c5fbe013f07eb

(1213)

on March 09, 2012
at 10:01 PM

Ooh, I love my Sperry Top-Siders! I'd be violating fashion laws if I started wearing mine in March, but that's a good idea. It's too bad I am required to wear socks/hosiery of some nature with any shoe - because that is going to look wrong. But great idea - thanks!

1296f5fecd084f101d7c5fbe013f07eb

(1213)

on March 09, 2012
at 09:59 PM

Which style do you prefer? And how do they wear? I have heard that they aren't built so well, but I do love the way some of them look. Do you use them for anything outside of work? I'm not a runner, and I lift in VFFs.

1296f5fecd084f101d7c5fbe013f07eb

(1213)

on March 09, 2012
at 09:57 PM

I tried on a pair of Merrells (the Pure Gloves that have a sort of mary jane style to them) and they felt so weird! I couldn't get a good fit with either of the sizes I tried and they felt kind of stiff. I hear a lot about Danskos and see them...I might order a pair from Zappos to give them a try.

306aa57660d911781231f8090c2a5619

(3808)

on February 29, 2012
at 04:38 PM

I have to say... NurseMates are definitely comfortable, but I feel much safer in different shoes (the NurseMates "caught" on the floor frequently - I've read the same complaint from others). So far (several weeks of wear) I haven't had any additional aches and pains, though I suppose time will tell on that.

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on February 29, 2012
at 03:40 AM

I've tried everything and Dansko clogs, with the backs, save me every time. I love that I am "in" them, no slipping, and I can kick 'em off whenever I want.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on February 29, 2012
at 02:20 AM

She is trying out her skeletoes FIFA....

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10 Answers

2
Cbe0baff464199131bec8f68ef5654ca

(158)

on February 28, 2012
at 11:41 PM

I live in Dansko's, Tom's, and Merrell's. Comfortable, casual, and great looking!

http://www.dansko.com/Womens/Footwear/View%20All/
More firm and minimalist-like with arch support. Great all day wear. I like these for a more casual/professional look. I've seen hospital pros in these.

http://www.toms.com/womens?view=all
Comfy and kinda squishy. Very minimalist and good for running around. A very light-weight and flexible shoe.

http://www.merrell.com/US/en/Women-Footwear-Shoes
Excellent shoe. Nice and firm, yet you can still feel the ground. My favorite for days that require more running around. They're also what I prefer for the gym, cycling, etc. Also a very light-weight and flexible shoe.

Good luck!

Cbe0baff464199131bec8f68ef5654ca

(158)

on March 09, 2012
at 11:05 PM

Yeah Dansko's are great. If you don't already know, they fit differently than other shoes in that the heal is meant to be free to move around. Something to get used to. I like it and love the look. And thank goodness for Zappos and their free and quick shipping! Too bad about the fit with the Merrell's. Mine are old sneakers from about four or five years ago so maybe there have been some changes to the fit. I was looking at the Barefoot Wonder Glove. Feeling a little leery now. Best of luck with the Dansko's or whatever you choose.

1296f5fecd084f101d7c5fbe013f07eb

(1213)

on March 09, 2012
at 09:57 PM

I tried on a pair of Merrells (the Pure Gloves that have a sort of mary jane style to them) and they felt so weird! I couldn't get a good fit with either of the sizes I tried and they felt kind of stiff. I hear a lot about Danskos and see them...I might order a pair from Zappos to give them a try.

1
095ef76482234d3db444b77d7ed01c29

(2755)

on February 29, 2012
at 02:08 AM

You will be inside, walking on a hard, artificial surface...so wear modern shoes. Nursemates or Burkenstocks are good choices.

Sure, cave dudes went barefoot. But not on concrete, asphalt, or hard floors. :)

We evolved, we got smarter, we invented shoes.

306aa57660d911781231f8090c2a5619

(3808)

on February 29, 2012
at 04:38 PM

I have to say... NurseMates are definitely comfortable, but I feel much safer in different shoes (the NurseMates "caught" on the floor frequently - I've read the same complaint from others). So far (several weeks of wear) I haven't had any additional aches and pains, though I suppose time will tell on that.

1
Cb7d43429fbe1b04773c4624b30b0ee5

on February 28, 2012
at 10:57 PM

I'm a Respiratory Therapist and work shift and I'm on my feet for a LONG time during the day. I wear INOV8's a very minimalist shoe any other shoe feels like a foot prison. In a firm believer in minimalist shoes for everyday wear

1296f5fecd084f101d7c5fbe013f07eb

(1213)

on March 09, 2012
at 09:59 PM

Which style do you prefer? And how do they wear? I have heard that they aren't built so well, but I do love the way some of them look. Do you use them for anything outside of work? I'm not a runner, and I lift in VFFs.

1
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on February 28, 2012
at 10:40 PM

I have highish arches and find that shoes with no arch support are fine on trails and the beach, but not so great on hard, flat surfaces (for me!)

I love my Keens. Big toe box, decent arch support and spiffy designs.

0
9b0310b623f8ed289c9571ab3a58a142

on February 29, 2012
at 04:26 AM

I would try to stay minimalist at all costs.

I have been wearing my 5 finger KSOs to classes lately (perk of being a university student) and I was initially surprised how I was not bothered by the hard concrete and tile at all. I usually walk quite a ways from my car to class, and every other day for the last two weeks I've been running one mile on a hard-surfaced track. The only soreness I've had is related to muscles I've never used before. I think that it is easier on my feet because it forces me to walk differently.

When I intern over breaks I work on a bare concrete floor and spend about 60%-70% of my time standing, so I will certainly be testing this hypothesis during spring break next week. I actually ordered a pair of Vivobarefoot Ras today, since Vibrams aren't exactly business casual attire. Didn't exactly want to spend so much, but they are environmentally friendly and well-made.

1296f5fecd084f101d7c5fbe013f07eb

(1213)

on March 09, 2012
at 10:09 PM

I would love to wear my VFFs - I wear mine to class, too! I feel much springier and such wearing them, but then I'm not on my feet a ton at school. I do love to veer off of the cement pathways and walk across the grass on campus. I've looked at the Vivobarefoots - it seems like they have a few nicer options. Let me know how you like them!

0
Ed1130126ed818a751e7a72feb487584

on February 29, 2012
at 03:42 AM

Try Feiyues - I wear them all the time and stand at my desk most of the day. At $20 on Amazon including delivery it isn't a huge expense so low risk to try them out. They are also my sprinting and workout shoe of choice. I have both black and white. Also easy to clean - jus throw them in the washing machine and leave in the sun to dry.

0
3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on February 29, 2012
at 02:16 AM

My wife is giving it a go at her hospital this week. We shall see how she fares.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on February 29, 2012
at 02:20 AM

She is trying out her skeletoes FIFA....

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on March 10, 2012
at 12:12 AM

It was a no go in her case :(. Hazards of the job....needles and such prohibit it. Ah well.

1296f5fecd084f101d7c5fbe013f07eb

(1213)

on March 09, 2012
at 10:06 PM

Cool, let me know how it goes - I floated the VFFs idea by my supervisor, and it's a no-go...but I am interested in seeing how wearing super minimalist shoes works out.

0
Ee70ee808f748374744404a00e1c22ed

(1163)

on February 29, 2012
at 12:38 AM

I work retail, so I'm on my feet on a hard surface for 7 hours at a stretch. I haven't had any problems wearing my SoftStar Run Amocs. Occasional foot soreness, but nothing that's not to be expected when on your feet for extended periods of time.

1296f5fecd084f101d7c5fbe013f07eb

(1213)

on March 09, 2012
at 10:05 PM

Those look great, and aren't terribly expensive. My problem is that I keep coming back to wanting the Red!Pink!Blue! colors and I really need to just suck it up and get a black pair that won't look silly with black or khaki pants.

0
306aa57660d911781231f8090c2a5619

(3808)

on February 28, 2012
at 11:24 PM

I wear Asics Hyper-Rocketgirl XC and have no problems over a 12 hour shift.

Why those? Because I found them brand new, in my size (which is difficult in itself!) at a thrift store for $4 and figured it was worth a shot. Serendipity, since I'd been wanting to try a more minimalist shoe anyways. Well worth the $4. I previously had NurseMates, and, while quite comfortable, they were always catching on the floor and making me feel I was about to do a nosedive. No problems with that since switching shoes. They were also ugly as heck since I'd had to get them in all white for school.

1296f5fecd084f101d7c5fbe013f07eb

(1213)

on March 09, 2012
at 10:03 PM

Ick, white sneakers. I wish we could wear scrubs instead of business attire - I would prefer to be able to wear sneakers without trying to get them to blend with chinos/dress pants.

0
35ba1f50dad25c85ac1aa2599fe5c5cb

(2485)

on February 28, 2012
at 11:15 PM

You might want to try Stem shoes. I've found them to be the most comfortable minimal shoes when I'm on my feet a lot. They are thin and have good feeling, but are somehow "cushier" and feel to me like a soft slipper.

However, I'm also fond of Sperry Top-siders for work. They're relatively flexible for a non-minimal shoe, they have only a little heel and they manage to look OK with my business-casual wear.

1296f5fecd084f101d7c5fbe013f07eb

(1213)

on March 09, 2012
at 10:01 PM

Ooh, I love my Sperry Top-Siders! I'd be violating fashion laws if I started wearing mine in March, but that's a good idea. It's too bad I am required to wear socks/hosiery of some nature with any shoe - because that is going to look wrong. But great idea - thanks!

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