Lightweight and Flexible Nursing Shoes: Are Minimalist Shoes for Nurses?

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Wouldn’t it be nice to have lightweight and flexible nursing shoes? Have you ever wondered if minimalist shoes are for nurses? Can you work a 12 hours shift in a flat shoe and still feel comfortable? Will they protect your feet? 

I  was asked to review the Lems Lightweight Barefoot Sneaker and perhaps consider it as an alternative to traditional nursing shoes. (Full disclosure I received the shoes to facilitate the review. No monetary compensation was received)

Most nursing shoes are heavy, made of thick non-breathable material like leather, vinyl, or some man-made material. Those types of shoes have their place on the floor, but I think that looking at other types of nursing shoes does a nurse’s feet good.

Lightweight and Flexible Nursing Shoes: Are Minimalists Shoes for Nurses?

Lightweight and Flexible Nursing Shoes

Lems offers several different lightweight shoe styles available. I reviewed the Women’s Primal 2 Frost and found them to be comfortable and functional.

Something to consider about wearing a super lightweight and flexible shoe is the level of support is not the same as in other nursing shoes. In fact, the first few weeks that you wear them you’ll find that your feet and calves might be a little sorer.

However, your feet will begin to develop muscle strength that you didn’t have before. You’ll find that your feet will actually hurt less after that. I think they have their place on the nursing floor alongside your Danskos, Alegria, Timberland, and Sketchers. Whether or not they are the best nursing shoes is highly subjective, but I can say that minimalists are not for everyone, but are perfect for some.

Myths about Minimalist Shoes

In recent years there has been quite a bit of debate about wearing minimalist shoes. The misconceptions about minimalists shoes may deter you from considering them as a viable option as your every day, running, or nursing shoes.

However, they are a good option for someone who is looking for a shoe that gives you more a barefoot feel but more protection for your feet than something like Vibrams.

Are Minimalists Shoes Right for You?

You should know that minimalists shoes aren’t for everyone. You should check out these facts about minimalists shoes to get some insight into whether they are right for you.

I’ve tried several different pairs of minimalist shoes including Vibrams, Merrells, and Lems. I didn’t love all of them and I don’t wear them 100% of the time. There are, however, those that swear by minimalists shoes.

My suggestion is to try them out and don’t give up after a day or two. You really need to wear these shoes for a few weeks before your feet and legs will be used to them. I personally would not wear Vibrams on the unit floor (my feet would feel too naked), but I would wear Lems as they have a microfiber covering that overs more protection for your feet than other minimalist shoes.

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Lems Minimalist Shoes

Lems Shoes with toe room

Both my husband and I tried the Lems Primal 2. Our favorite feature of the shoes includes a wide area for your toes. It feels like your feet really have the ability to spread out and take on their natural shape. I’ve worn Nikes that made my feet feel like they are in a vice grip. So it was a relief to wear a pair of shoes where my feet felt free to wiggle around and expand as I stepped.

My husband also routinely wears the Lems shoes for trail running and reports excellent results. He has had no complaints with them.

I do have a couple of things about them that I don’t love. Because of the microfiber on the shoes they are a bit hotter than I would prefer. The tongue of the shoe was also thicker than I would have liked. Other than that, I really enjoy them and are my go-to shoe for casual wear. I also think they’d be a great option for lightweight and flexible nursing shoes.

Primal 2 Specs

  • Last  LemsLast™ foot-shaped
  • Upper  Microfiber + open-weave mesh (100% Vegan)
  • Sole  8.0mm LemsRubber™ injection rubber
  • Insole  Removable 3.0mm MoistureWick
  • Lining  100% MoistureWick Polyester
  • Stack Height  8.0mm  Drop  0.0mm
  • Weight  6.9oz (Sz 43)

Pick Up Some Minimalist Nursing Shoes Today

Maybe minimalist shoes are not for you. Check out Alegria Nursing Shoes for more traditional options.

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About The Author

2 thoughts on “Lightweight and Flexible Nursing Shoes: Are Minimalist Shoes for Nurses?”

  1. As an ICU RN and minimalist, I have to say that much of the concern with minimalist footwear is the drop or height difference between the forefoot and heel. True minimalist shoes have a zero drop, i.e. no difference between the heel and forefoot heights. Barefoot shoes attempt to have the thinnest possible sole and those that have both zero drop and thin soles will use both monickers. It all comes down to personal preference. The Crocs Specialist Vent is my personal favorite. The ventilation holes in the forefoot combined with the easy to clean closed cell foam, wide toe box, and zero drop make them the perfect shoe for Nursing.

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