Best Hoka Shoe Styles For Nurses

4 Min Read Published July 31, 2023
Athletic shoe designed for healthcare workers

Without a doubt, the most important part of any nurse’s uniform is the shoes. Nurses spend most of their day on their feet and average about 5 miles of walking during a 12-hour shift. The wrong shoes can translate into fatigue, back pain and a whole host of other symptoms that make getting through a shift even more challenging. The good news is that there are a lot of great nursing shoes to choose from, including Hoka. Hoka is a favorite brand among runners, and its products are also great for the physical demands of nursing.

Best Hoka Shoes for Nurses

Here are the top styles that you should be wearing to reduce pain, prevent plantar fasciitis, and stay energized through long shifts:

Purple and yellow athletic shoe

Hoka One One Bondi 5

Price: $139-$150 depending on seller and color

All it takes is one look at the Hoka One One Bondi 5 to realize why it is a favorite among nurses. This shoe offers oversized cushioning that also provides support and stability.


  • Comes with a wide toe box, which provides enough space for those with wider feet
  • Despite the chunky look of the shoe, it is surprisingly lightweight
  • It is designed for trail running, which means the sole provides excellent traction and durability


Most of the complaints against the Bondi 5 have to do with fit. While it is clearly a great shoe for extended use, it is a good idea to try it on and make sure that the design provides an ideal fit for your foot. 

Light blue athletic shoe

Hoka One One Gaviota

Price: $90-$150. 

The Gaviota is designed to offer a nice blend of cushioning and support and is especially useful to people who tend to overpronate when they walk. As a stability shoe, this model also provides more arch support than other options.


  • Stylish design so that you can look and feel great
  • Generous amounts of foam work to absorb the impact as you walk
  • Roomy design that won’t leave your feet feeling cramped by the end of the day
  • Lightweight and breathable


The Gaviota comes with a bit of sticker shock. It is a good idea to do some shopping around. While most store price the shoe at $150, there are occasional deals that will allow you to spend just $90.

Black and white athletic shoe

Hoka One One Clifton 4

Price: $110-$130

The Clifton 4 features neutral arch support and a low drop, which means that the shoe tends more towards a minimalist design. If the ultra-cushioning of the Bondi 5 is too much for you, the Clifton 4 offers a more conservative approach to cushioning without sacrificing comfort.


  • Excellent comfort and a roomy toe box
  • Arch support is perfect for those with medium to high arches
  • Lasting support that prevents pain
  • Perfect for extended use


Some users complain that there isn’t as much cushioning as they would like. Hoka is known for super comfortable shoes, but just be aware that the Clifton 4 is meant to provide a more streamlined alternative to their traditional design.

Pink and blue athletic shoe

Hoka One One Arahi

Price: $72-$113

This road shoe is for those who want extra stability and support. If your arches could use a boost and you need a comfortable shoe that will keep up with your busy workday, then the Arahi could be a good fit.


  • A stretchy fit that really hugs the foot for maximum comfort
  • Constructed using breathable and lightweight materials
  • Allows the foot to move naturally for a comfortable gait 
  • Super responsive cushioning that absorbs impact


This particular shoe has a narrow foot. Even the wide versions weren’t wide enough for some users, so be aware of potential fit issues.

Black and pink athletic shoe

Hoka One One Speedgoat 2

Price: $140

This trail running shoe offers great traction and is perfect for long days spent on your feet. The Speedgoat is considered a maximalist shoe, which means that is offers plenty of cushioning technology that is meant to actively absorb the impact of every step.


  • Great comfort and support that lasts all day
  • Easy to break in so that you won’t experience any discomfort once you make the switch
  • Super lightweight despite the chunky look


  • The Speedgoat is another shoe with a narrow fit that might not be for everyone
  • There are some complaints about the tongue and suggestions that it should be more padded

How to Choose the Right Nursing Shoes

The right shoe will go a long way to relieving foot, joint and back pain, but there some other measures you can take to increase your comfort and reduce your recovery time after a long shift.

  1. Wear knee high compression socks and knee wraps. These tools will not only take some of the pressure off your joints, they will also prevent foot pain. These are the top rated knee-high compression socks on Amazon. 
  2. Change your compression socks every 4-6 months.
  3. Switch shoes mid-shift. Athletes don’t run in the same shoes they cross-train in and you might benefit from their same approach. Switching up your equipment can keep your feet feeling fresh.
  4. Use a foam roller to massage your calves and work out any tension and tightness. This is the best foam roller on Amazon. 
  5. Buy Aetrex or other high-quality inserts to provide support and padding that is specific to your foot. Aetrex are the highest rated insoles on Amazon. 
  6. Take a few moments to stretch at the beginning and end of each shift. This can go a long way to preventing plantar fasciitis. 

Why Nursing Shoes Matter?

It is hard to be your best when you aren’t feeling your best. Investing in some high-quality shoes that are designed to handle the workload of high-performance athletes can reduce your pain and allow you to keep up with the demands of long nursing shifts spent on your feet. In addition, being proactive about stretching and using compression socks can make a big difference in keeping energy levels up and preventing any injuries. Be smart about how you treat your feet and they will allow you to keep working hard.

Amy Blitchok
Amy Blitchok Contributor

Amy M. Blitchok is a professional writer, content creator, bookworm and gym rat who is based out of Raleigh, NC. She specializes in topics that range from finance and technology to health and travel. You can follow her on Twitter or visit her website.

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