The Quickest Guide On The Best Operating Shoes (Plus, Our Top 7 Picks That Will Make Your Feet Happy!)

Seasoned doctors will tell you that the real struggle in their profession does not reside in surgeries or their rotating shifts. No, the real, anxiety-inducing fact lies in the grueling, long-standing hours each of them would try to endure right in the very confines of operating rooms.

This results in a pair of feet that are not only fatigued but is also wanting to get that much-needed relief. And so, doctors would often ask just which type of footwear should relieve this and how would you know if it’s the one. Today, we’ll attempt to respond to that query — what are the best operating room shoes?

Also, we’ll be providing you the quickest guide to choosing the right operating shoes and the different categories of shoes you can opt for if you’re a surgeon or nurse. Right before we reveal these top entries, we’ll also look into some tips you can incorporate into your general foot care.

**Below, you'll find more detailed reviews, but you can also click links above to check current prices and read customer's reviews on Amazon.

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Four Categories Of Shoes In The Operating Room

Best Operating Shoes
  • Slip-on

Probably the most famous among these categories is the slip-on. They are famed for its ease of use. They are designed with a low cut, and you can wear and take them off quickly as the shoes do not come with lace.

  • Sneakers

If you are too particular with your looks and want to be chic while on duty, sneakers are a more popular choice for this. This casual footwear can be worn not just in the operating room but also during meetings.

  • Clogs

Whenever you feel like your feet are not breathing that well during your shift, clogs can help you achieve this need. They allow air circulation as they come with holes, enabling your feet to breathe and relax before, during, and after your work.

  • Orthopedic shoe

Standing for an extended period can lead to numerous foot problems. If you’re one of those who struggles from these foot conditions, an orthopedic shoe may work for you as it is specially developed to address these needs.

Your Quick Guide To Choosing The Best Operating Room Shoes

Now while selecting the best one among the many options out there can be quite overwhelming, taking note of these key factors will make this job way easier for you. These features are as follows:

  • Maximum support when standing

Mostly, all operating shoes offer support for your feet. However, these shoes are only designed to help them when you’re simply mobile. These shoes won’t eventually be comfortable if you stood on them for hours in an operating theater.

As such, go for operating room shoes that should give you the maximum support for your feet. Always ask the seller whether these shoes are made for that kind of support. Most of these shoes are well-ventilated and have extra cushioning in them.

  • Shoes that can be worn and removed easily

As you’ll naturally be subjected to long hours of standing and going to and from to other places, operating shoes that will allow you to wear and remove them quickly is a must. These shoes are ideal for those who would always find time to rest especially when it is needed to rest and stretch out those muscles.

  • The importance of a well-ventilated operating shoes

Our feet need to breathe now and then. And if you’re standing for long hours, this need becomes a requirement. Having a well-ventilated pair of operating shoes will comfort your feet as they come with a system that allows air circulation, resulting in a breathable experience for them.

Meanwhile, ventilation won’t only provide comfort on your feet; it should also allow you to clean these shoes quickly. You can even wash them out in the washing machine if you intend to clean them thoroughly.

  • Durability

The shoes you choose should also withstand the wear and tear of its use. It should be long-lasting and made from materials that will be able to endure the test of time.

  • Fit

Like you would usually choose any footwear, make certain that you select a pair that fits your feet snugly. Go for a pair that is not too tight or not too loose. On the other hand, ensure that you make some queries first about the size as manufacturers often have varying sizes. Here’s a short video clip on how to know the best fit for your shoes.

Some Winning Tips You Can Use (And Operating Room Shoes 101!)

  • Don’t opt for open-toed shoes during your shift. Apart from the fact that these shoes are against the rules, they are also bound to disgust you in the long run.
  • If you’re not in scrubs, make sure that your shoes are both comfortable and OSHA compliant. You can go for something chic yet fits the image your profession requires you to achieve. 
  • Shoes that can be slipped on and off easily are the more preferred when your shift requires you to stand for an extended period or you’re in extended rounds and procedures.

These shoes will allow you to stretch your calves and modify the pressure points to your preference. Meanwhile, slip-on will allow your feet to breathe while you’re sitting. In this respect, clogs are the ones to beat!

  • A lighter pair of shoes is always the handy ones.
  • Long-standing hours of your shift will also bring about some not so appealing smell from your feet. But fret no more as this crisis can be averted. Just have more than one pair of these shoes and try to alternate them when you can. 

Also, don’t go for socks that are very inexpensive as these can worsen your feet’s condition. You may also go for an extra pair of socks and change them during the middle of the day.

  • After a long day at work, nothing beats the good old-fashioned foot scrubbing or rinsing yourself with your prized scrub. I’d highly recommend a peppermint scrub. This one soothes my senses while exfoliating.

Best Operating Room Shoes Today!

**Below, you'll find more detailed reviews, but you can also click links above to check current prices and read customer's reviews on Amazon.


1. Dansko Women’s Professional Box Leather Clog

Best Operating Shoes

Via: Amazon.com

The numerous fans of Dansko won’t still go wrong with this second entry. The clogs’ famed comfort and extraordinary support are evident in this Professional Box Leather Clog. It comes with a reliable arch support that should bring about an all-day comfort. Meanwhile, its padded instep collar inclusion should also provide comfort when you’re walking.

Dansko’s clog also features a breathable PU foam footbed that does the control of temperature. The rocker bottom is equipped to reduce your feet’s fatigue while offering shock absorption. Who knows a clog can feature something most athletic footwear are offering? Dansko surely knows how to deliver.


Pros

  • Features a PU outsole for durability, shock absorption
  • Comes with leather upper and chunky heel with platform
  • Exceptional arch support for all-day comfort
  • Padded instep collar for comfort while walking
  • Rocker bottom for fatigue reduction

Cons

  • A bit too heavy for some
  • Materials used may be hard for some to use

2. Merrell Men’s Encore Gust Slip-On Shoe

Best Operating Shoes

Via: Amazon.com

If there’s a pair of shoes that should give you an astute balance of a decidedly casual style and comfort, the Merrell Men’s Encore Gust Slip-On Shoe is very well be the most suitable candidate for you.

Its smooth leather upper inclusion evens your entire dress out with the much-needed semi-casualness and without giving you that sloppy look, no less! Meanwhile, its anatomical foot bed is specially designed to ensure that each of your step is comfortable.

The comfort of Encore Gust is also evident with its Aegis antimicrobial solution that is meticulously lined in the product — a surefire way to veer your feet away from the oftentimes inevitable odor development. Your style and comfort are very much secured with all the freshness your mobile feet richly deserve.


Pros

  • Comes with an Ortholite footbed
  • Features the proprietary AirCushion heel
  • Product is coupled with supportive sole unit, padded collar
  • Leather, US-made
  • Equipped with “anatomical” foot bed for more comfort

Cons

  • Shoes produce a sound when stepped on which might be distracting for some
  • Padding may not be enough for some

3. KEEN Utility Men’s PTC Slip On

Best Operating Shoes

Via: Amazon.com

Fit, comfort, and durability are all amalgamated in this next entry from KEEN’s. The slip-on entrance and exit also include a medial side gore along with the distinctive logo at the back of the product.

Your feet should never feel lost while they slipped inside them as it has a PU and memory foam footbed. Meanwhile, the compression molded EVA midsole is included to provide extra durability.

The slip-resistant and non-marking rubber outsole are specially developed to provide more confidence to its user. Ultimately, the product meets American Society For Testing and Materials Mark II Non-Slip Testing Standards.


Pros

  • Fit, comfortable, and durable
  • Features medial side gore
  • Includes PU and memory foam footbed
  • Compression molded EVA midsole
  • Slip-resistant and non-marking rubber sole

Cons

  • A little too small-sized for some
  • Not ideal for those with Plantar Fasciitis

4. Birki’s Super-Birki Unisex Clog

Best Operating Shoes

Via: Amazon.com

The Super Birki Unisex Clogs both exemplifies comfort and durability. Its materials are evidently used for the shoes to withstand the wear and tear of its everyday use. Moreover, it's convenient, slip-on style is made it suit the needs of those who are always on the go and aim for the product’s longevity.

Its comfort resides in its able cushioning that should make your every step easy and without hassle. This feature makes the entry versatile as it can be used whether you’re in the operating room or doing your rounds in the hospital.


Pros

  • Sole is made of synthetic
  • Features a slip-on, long-wearing polyurethane with embossed logoing
  • Comes with removable contoured cork footbed for easy clean-up
  • Can be used in the garden or at the beach 
  • Comfortable, sporty style

Cons

  • A little too wide
  • Comes with a pricier tag

5. Keen Utility Women’s PTC Slip On

Best Operating Shoes

Via: Amazon.com

While operating room shoes are not that keen (no pun here!) in style, the second entry from Keen defies that expectation. It comes with a wipe-clean style and a slip-resistant outsole along with a water-resistant leather upper for stability and comfort.

Akin to its variant for men, the Utility Women’s PTC Slip-On has a plush KEEN.CUSH footbed that is created from PU plus its Memory Foam footbed compression molded EVA midsole.

Our last entry from Keen is also leather-made and has a rubber sole. Meanwhile, its heel has a measure of roughly 2 inches while its platform has approximately ¾-inch. Your propensity for quality is also met as the product has met or exceeded the American Society for Testing Materials, F1677 – 96 Mark II non-slip testing standards.


Pros

  • Exceeds ASTM
  • Features KEEN.Cush PU and memory foam bed
  • Comes with non-marking oil and slip resistant
  • Water resistant leather material
  • Wipe-clean style

Cons

  • Top of the shoe is a little tight
  • A bit too large or wide for some

6. Calzuro Autoclavable Clog Without Upper Ventilation

Best Operating Shoes

Via: Amazon.com

Comfort and practicality might very well be Calzuro’s targeted factor when they developed these clogs. These are all evident with their overall form and functionality.

They are easy to clean, and your feet shouldn’t slip out the back portion of the product. Meanwhile, these Italian-made, rubber clogs are latex-free and antistatic.

Also, the product features a 1.5 heel that is made just to alleviate the fatigue that is experienced in this area. It is sterilized in the autoclave and won’t wear you down during the clean-up as it is machine-washable and can be disinfected with bleach.


Pros

  • Machine-washable and can be disinfected with bleach
  • Features a 1.5 heel for fatigue reduction
  • Italian-made
  • Latex-free and anti-static
  • Slip-resistant sole

Cons

  • A bit too pricey
  • May not be ideal for people who’ll use it for a long period

7. Mozo Men’s Sharkz Slip Resistant Work Shoe

Best Operating Shoes

Via: Amazon.com

As the overall demands of being in an operating room can be most of the time challenging, the Mozo Men’s Sharkz Slip Resistant Work Shoe should keep this pressure at bay where it really should be.

It features a durable synthetic upper along with a dual side goring that lends an ease that is flexible on both feet. Ultimately, its side vents are specially designed to keep the cool under pressure.

Meanwhile, the slip-and-oil-resistant rubber sole that is ASTM-related should make your traction safe and secure on almost all surfaces. The removable gel-cushioned insole, on the other hand, should provide an extra on the pair’s slip-on style and form.


Pros

  • Synthetic, imported, and has a rubber sole
  • Slip-on form
  • Features dual goring insets
  • Removable gel-cushioned insole for extra support
  • Non-slip rubber outsole

Cons

  • Leather on top tends to come off from the rubber sole
  • A bit too narrow

Verdict

As we have normally included entries that should work for both genders, picking our winner here could be quite a real dilemma. But if there’s one entry that should outpace them all, it’s the Dansko Women’s Professional Box Leather Clog. The clog simply has all the features one must be looking in a pair of operating shoes.

But without disregarding its competition, consider all of them as standouts in their respective ways. These are some, if not the best choices you can have whenever you’re struggling to look for the best operating room shoes in the market now.

These contenders are ultimately the most reliable, efficient, and more professional-looking among the bunch. They may have flaws, but these can be remedied by looking for alternatives that are also on the list.

Did the article help you in finding the right pair of operating room shoes for you? Do you think another one deserves a spot on our list? If so, please feel free to sound them off in the comment section below.

Emily Brathen
 

Hi there! I'm Emily Brathen. I am a fitness and yoga instructor and a mom of one. Despite my hectic schedule, I still find time for doing the thing I love most - fitness and yoga. I love doing and teaching fitness and yoga because in my own little way, I am able to encourage people to take health and fitness back into their own hands.

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