7 Best Shoes for Surgeons (2022 Buyers Guide)

To doctors, who often spend hours on their feet, shoes are more than just a fashion statement. The wrong shoes can lead to pain in your feet, back, and joints, which is why surgeons need to wear supportive shoes that provide comfort all day.

For these lifesavers, stylish but functional, durable, and comfortable shoes are essential. Since they spend so much time standing or walking and interacting with patients, they must find the best shoes for surgeons that will help reduce the physical stress of their workday, like these ones:

Best Overall Shoes for Surgeons: Dansko Professional Clog

Tired of your shoes digging into your ankles all day? Thanks to Dansko, that problem is a thing of the past. Their premium leather uppers, padded instep collars, and shock-absorbing soles cushion your feet for as long as you wear the clogs.

Runner Up Shoes for Surgeons: Crocs On The Clock Work Shoe (Unisex)

Additionally, these long-lasting clogs are available in assorted colors, all of which are easy to clean. When you’re ready to save some lives, slip your feet into Dansko Professional Clogs and do your thing as they support your heels all day.

Most Comfortable Shoes for Surgeons: Adidas PureBoost

These durable shoes fit securely while offering excellent cushioning for added comfort and support. The lightweight design minimizes fatigue, allowing your feet to feel fresh throughout your day.

Firm, shock-absorbing soles bring ultimate stability and comfort to these shoes. The upper knit design allows maximum breathability, and the grid-like outsole helps prevent falls. If you suffer from plantar fasciitis, arch pain, knee pain, or any other foot or leg injury, these are suitable for you.

Surgeons walk and run around the hospital all day, topping off with at least 10 – 12 hours of physical work. They deserve shoes that will keep their feet comfortable, at the very least. That isn’t too much to ask, yes?

To help surgeons work their best, we’ve explored the pros and cons of various kinds of shoes—available in different styles, colors and materials—and put together a list of our top picks.

7 Best Shoes for Surgeons 

If you are a surgeon, it might be time to add new shoes to your closet. Not only do your new shoes need to be disinfected, but they also have to have slip-resistant features that will ensure your safety during long hours of surgery. There are three types of shoes that cover the basics here: clogs, slip-ons, and sneakers.

Clogs are great for comfort but lack versatility, while slip-ons are easy to wear and clean but harder to switch between shifts. Sneakers are the perfect middle ground between these two extremes and can help you with your needs.

Dansko Professional Clog

The Dansko Professional Clog is a popular choice for hospital workers, despite its steep price.

Dansko Men's XP 2.0 Mens Black Clog 10.5-11 M US

Dansko’s positive results and track record tell you that these shoes are worth the money. The brand has gained respect and loyalty among surgeons and medical students who wear its products daily. Morning, noon, and night, these shoes will help you work more effectively than any other footwear on the market.

The best part? They are built to last longer, provide comfort, and prevent injuries that arise from slips and falls.

Dansko Women's Professional Honey Distressed Clog 8.5-9 M US

A pair of Dansko clogs will make your feet more comfortable and stable and breathe when walking. For those who spend a lot of time on their feet or in humid conditions, they might be one of the best shoe choices.

Dansko’s padded toe box prevents your toes from hurting after wearing them for long hours. But it takes time to get used to wearing these clogs the right way.

Reality check: they are not ideal for running around in a hospital setting because of their size.

Crocs On The Clock Work Shoe (Unisex)

When it comes to comfort and convenience, Crocs delivers. The Crocs On The Clock Work Shoe was designed to make sure you’re comfortable at work all day and all night long.

Crocs Unisex Men's and Women's On The Clock Clog | Slip Resistant Work Shoes, Black, 6 US

To avoid chafing and blisters, order Crocs a half-size or full-size smaller than your usual shoe size. Once you find the right fit, you’ll enjoy the comfort of wearing them.

If you have a job that requires you to stand for long periods, Crocs can make your life much easier. Their comfortable insoles make your feet feel good all day long, and their easy-to-wear design means you can slip them on quickly when you are pressed for time.

Adidas PureBoost Go

The Adidas PureBoost Go is a versatile shoe initially designed for runners but can also be used by anyone who is physically active and needs an immaculate pair of athletic shoes.

Adidas’ PureBoost is a solid sneaker that offers comfort at $50 less than its competitors, such as UltraBoost and Nike Air Zoom Pulse. The shoe’s lightweight design and responsive cushion make you feel like you’re walking on air, and many users agree that this shoe provides top-notch comfort for any workout.

As you move around the hospital, you’ll appreciate how easy it is to do your job in Adidas PureBoosts. These sneakers are breathable and flexible, so they make running from the OR to designated levels seem effortless. If you’re on a quick break from patient care, these shoes can keep you comfortable until it’s time to go back on duty.

It might be on the bulkier side, but most people say they barely notice its weight when wearing it.

Nike Zoom Air Pulse

Nike Zoom Air Pulse shoes are recognized among medical professionals as one of the best hospital work shoes available. They are also a bit pricey, but in many users’ experiences, they are worth their value.

For doctors and medical students on their feet for hours at a time, the Nike Zoom sneakers are an excellent choice. Although they lack color variety, their white design is easy to clean from bloodstains and dirt.

Durable and responsive to foot mobility, these shoes are easy to clean and have excellent cushioning. They can also hold up well under the strain of a long shift. Their only drawback is that they don’t provide enough arch support for those who need it.

Birkenstock Boston Clogs

Unless you have been living in a cave, you have heard about the fantastic comfort and support Birkenstock footbeds provide.

Once you break in your Birkenstocks, you’ll never want to take them off. The excellent arch support and roomy toe box combine to make these clogs like walking on a cloud. But they need to be broken in, so give them a chance to conform to the shape of your foot. Want can learn more about how to break in your Birkenstocks correctly? Click here.

Boston Birks have closed, firm leather uppers to protect your toes and, by extension, your feet from accidental drops of tools and other heavy items. These clogs come in a wide selection of colors and will last you for many comfortable years.

The one downside to the Boston clog is that it doesn’t have a back strap, so if you need to move fast, you’ll be walking briskly—and not running!

If you want the stability of a heel strap with the added benefits of a slingback, choose the Tokyo Super Grip.

Birkenstock Tokyo Super Grip Leather Work Shoe

I’ve never had a pair of Birks that I didn’t love. The Birkenstock Professional Tokyo Slip Resistant Clogs are one of my reliable recommendations for a busy surgeon.

If you’re looking for the classic Birkenstock experience but also want your shoes to provide enhanced slip resistance, then these clogs are the ideal solution. The heel strap ensures that your foot stays firmly in place, even when you’re sprinting to your next emergency.

As you might have heard, it’s essential to break in your Birks before you start wearing them for an extended period. I’ve written a post about how to break in your Birks properly. Do your Birkenstocks right and check it out.

Although Birkenstocks aren’t my number one choice of surgical footgear, you won’t go wrong with them in the operating theater.

Crocs Crocband Clog Comfortable Slip-On Shoe

Comfort levels achieved by Crocs are climatically satisfying and highly recommendable. This model was originally designed for men but has gained ground among female doctors.

When you’re on your feet all day, comfort is key. The Crocs Crocband™ Clog provides just that without breaking the bank. You can find them online for under $50, and if it’s an extra pair of shoes you need right now, this could be the way to go.

This shoe is synthetic in every aspect and comes in three colors: black, navy, and white. Doctors like to wear Crocband Clogs during weekends since the shoes’ sporty design goes well with casual clothes.

Discerning shoppers who want a lightweight, water-resistant shoe will fall in love with this clog. Its prominent vents enable you to breathe comfortably while the thick foam footbed absorbs sweat, keeping your feet dry throughout the day.

What to Consider When Looking for the Best Shoes for Surgeons

It’s no secret that standing for extended periods can be exhausting. But what’s not commonly recognized is that prolonged standing can also wreak havoc on your feet. And if you happen to work as a surgeon, your footwear needs are even more specialized. For example, when operating, surgeons need shoes that offer maximum support and comfort to perform their duties with ease.

The best shoes for surgeons are supposed to be supportive in all the right places—but how do you know which ones are right for you? With a little help from this guide, it’s easy to check out what works best.


As a doctor, your shoes are often exposed to the body fluids of your patients. That’s why it’s better to invest in a pair of waterproof shoes—they dry faster and allow you to get back to work as soon as you should.

Padded Insole

Finding the right shoe for your feet is as important as finding the right partner. Just like a good marriage, the perfect pair of shoes must have a lot of cushioning to support your body from underneath. And for your feet to be comfortable all day long, you need a pair of shoes with sufficiently padded insoles.

Comfortable & Removable Insole

If you’re going to be on your feet for a long time, make sure the insoles of your shoes have a comfortable grip and are easy on your feet. The insoles should also be removable so you can change them whenever they wear out.


One factor that doctors must consider when choosing shoes is durability. A great pair of shoes will last for at least six months, and they should be constructed from solid and high-quality materials designed for use in an unsparing work environment.

Supportive Arch

A solid and supportive arch protects your heel from excess strain. It also ensures that your whole body weight is evenly distributed across the soles of your feet rather than focusing only on your heel.

Easy Slip

One essential feature of doctor’s shoes is the ability to slip them on and off without touching them—less time spent cleaning, more time saving lives.


While selecting footwear for a long stretch at the hospital, go with leather or rubber shoes, as they are easy to wash or clean and can be sterilized. This is important because while you may not think of it often, there’s a good chance some blood will splash onto your shoes during surgery, or surgical tools like knives, needle sticks, scalpels, or other sharp instruments may drop onto them. The thicker material in these shoes will shield your feet in these situations.

What Are Types of Shoes for Surgeons

Now that you have learned the factors to consider when choosing the best shoes for surgeons, let’s get on with it. Here are some of the most popular shoes for surgeons and other healthcare staff alike:


Clogs are popular with both doctors and patients, who find that they like the fact that clogs can easily be slipped off and put back on.

They are reasonably priced, come in a wide selection of prints, designs, and colors, and feature open backs and low heels.


A good pair of sneakers is a surgeon’s best friend, especially for those who are constantly transitioning from the boardroom to the operating room.

The ideal sneaker is comfortable, practical, and stylish. It should also be lightweight, breathable, have excellent sole support, and come in several colors and styles.

Lace-up Shoe

These shoes are perfect for doctors and other healthcare professionals, especially those who need secure and reliable shoes. Their laces can be tightened to fit any foot, while their uniquely patterned soles provide maximum stability on slippery floors. If you’re interested in this product, you may want to consider buying it from Dansko, which has been making quality lace-up shoes for many years.


Loafers are both fashionable and functional. They can be worn with jeans or slacks and easily dressed up to look like more business-like shoes. They are also comfortable, making it easy for doctors to wear them throughout the day as they attend to patients.

How to Clean Medical Shoes

Though there are no “rules” for cleaning shoes, it is best to remember these few things:

If you want your shoes to last, don’t put them inside a washing machine. Even though you’re in a rush, please don’t put them in the dryer either.

To clean your doctor’s shoes, you can wash them with water if they have fabric uppers or wipe them with a damp cloth. However, don’t soak your leather or rubber shoes in water for prolonged hours.

If the insole of your shoe can be detached, you should remove and wash it. You can use soap and water to clean it or wipe it with a damp cloth before letting it dry under the sun. This is also applicable to laced-up shoes.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best overall shoe for surgeons?

The Dansko Professional Clog is one of the best shoes to wear in a hospital. These clogs are perfect for people who work for prolonged hours, especially surgeons.

The Adidas PureBoost Go and Nike Zoom Air Pulse are better options for people looking for shoes that can be worn for many different activities.

Why do surgeons need specially designed shoes?

Surgeons can be on their feet for over 12 hours straight, so it is important to wear supportive and appropriate shoes while performing surgery. Wearing specially designed shoes can help alleviate the strain and pressure on their feet from conducting operations and lifting heavy tools.

That’s why they need a good pair of surgeon’s shoes with comfy insoles and outsoles, preferably those made with high-quality materials, to support their backs and correct unhealthy posture resulting from stress.

What’s the most comfortable shoe for surgeons?

Invest in the Nike Zoom Air Pulse or PureBoost if you want comfort and breathability. If you’re looking for something cheaper, the Crocs Crocband is a great substitute.

Is there any difference between men’s and women’s doctor shoes?

There are no major differences between men’s and women’s doctors’ shoes. Some unisex options include Crocs Crocband, but you need to remember that women tend to prefer bright colors and flowers on their shoes, whereas men often opt for basic black or brown shoes.

Most women also have narrower feet than men, so it makes sense to purchase footwear designed specifically for your sex.

Can you suggest the best upper material for a doctor’s shoe?

No single material is universally better than others for the upper of a doctor’s shoe. Different materials have advantages and disadvantages, depending on the model of the footwear. Some of them include:

  • Rubber
  • Leather
  • Polypropylene
  • Suede
  • Synthetic leather
  • Patent leather

These materials are ordered from the best to least.


If you pay good money for decent quality shoes, you want them to last through your shifts without falling apart. Unfortunately, that can’t always be assured unless you take the time to learn about the best shoes for your profession (and personality) through people who know a thing or two about it.

We may not know all, but this we know: Most surgeons need shoes that are durable, comfortable, and flexible. Because they are comfortable and stable, clogs are the best shoes for surgeons who spend more time standing during their shift. Doctors or medical students who do a lot of walking and running between shifts will benefit from a more versatile set like sneakers.

We hope these in-depth product reviews will accelerate your decision-making, at least when it comes to shoes!

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