6 Best Shoes for Operating Room Nurses, Male and Female Surgeons Reviewed with Buyer’s Guide

  • By: Edmond Clark
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A recent medical research published on Rcseng.ac.uk confirms the fact that the use of dedicated operating room shoes or operation theater shoes reduces the risk of postoperative infection for the patients.

This study suggests that all the surgical staff such as doctors, surgeons and nurses must wear specially designed operating room shoes instead of regular outdoor footwear brands.

Usage of these kinds of shoes prevents any pathogenic bacterial infection to the patient and they are also good for the overall comfort and protection for the feet of operation room staff.

Now the facts are out, it is essential to know which are the best shoes for operating room nurses as well as for male and female surgeons so that you can wear only the good quality ones.

So, in this article, I am providing my judiciously selected and researched footwear brands that are ideal for standing and working long hours in the operation theater.

I also recommend you to check out the buying guide to get more information on how to find the best operation room shoes for standing and walking all the day.

Reviews of Top 6 Shoes for Operating Room for Nurses and Surgeons

3 Best OR Shoes for Male Surgeons and Nurses

No. 3: KEEN Utility Men’s PTC Slip-On Work Shoe

KEEN Utility Men's PTC Slip-ON II-M Industrial Shoe, 7.5 D-Medium Work, Black/Black

So, first I will start with no. 3 most recommended work shoe for male surgeons, doctors and OR nurses.

Keen Utility Men’s PTC slip-on work shoe provides much better outsole that is highly slip resistant which we need the most.

Your feet are always protected from accidental slipping because this shoe has already passed ASTM F1677-96 MARK II and ASTM F2913 SATRA non-slip testing standards.

The material of this shoe is water resistant as well.

This protects your feet from accidental spills of water and other chemicals during your surgery work.

What I more liked about this Keen men’s work shoe is its plush footbed.

It offers better cushioning and higher comfort while you work and stand for long hours in the operation room.

As mentioned earlier, this footbed is made from memory foam sockliner which is just the thing that we are looking for in the work shoe for OR.

Plus, it comes with compression moulded EVA midsole which enhances the comfort factor to the next level.

One more thing that I liked about this shoe is its patented toe protection feature.

It is designed in such a way that your toes are always protected from falling objects.


a. Its Comfort Factor

b. Slip Resistance Level

c. Water Resistant

d. Comfortable Footbed

e. Low Chances of Foot Injuries


a. Insoles does not come with 1-year warranty

b. Rubber at the toe could come off after extensive usage

c. Takes longer than expected to break-in

Click Here for See Reviews and Current Price of KEEN Utility Men’s PTC Slip On Work Shoe.

No. 2: Crocs Men’s Bistro Clog

Crocs Unisex Bistro Work Clog, Black, 9 US Men / 11 US Women

At no. 2, we have Crocs Bistro Clog.

It is designed to wear both by men and women.

The best feature of this footwear is its Crocs Lock tread on the outsole.

It is highly slip resistant in nature.

I very much liked the protection features of this Crocs shoe.

It comes with thick metatarsal support.

If you want the shoes with good metatarsal support then check out my review of 5 best running shoes for people with metatarsalgia.

At the same time, its enclosed toe design protects your feet from falling objects and spilled liquid.

In operation rooms, you also need your footwear to be lightweight and durable.

This shoe is also light and durable by construction, thanks to its Croslite material.


a. Comes with additional heel strap for secure fitting

b. Super comfortable for long hours of working

c. Slip resistance is excellent

d. Protects your feet from falling objects and liquid spills

e. Easy to wear and easy to clean


a. Lack of good ankle support

b. Size can be larger for people with small feet

c. Lack of proper air ventilation

Click Here for Price and Reviews of Crocs Men’s Bistro Clog.

No. 1: Merrell Men’s Encore Gust Slip-On Shoe

Merrell Men's Encore Gust Slip-On Shoe,Smooth Black Leather,11 M US

At no. 1, I have ranked Merrell Encore Gust Slip-on shoe for men for few important reasons.

Some of those important features are mentioned as follows.

The very first and the most important feature that I liked about this shoe is its specially designed M-Select Grip sole.

This outsole offers excellent traction and firm footing on slippery floors.

This feature is really important for all male surgeons and nurses in order to prevent unintentional slippage.

This Merrell work shoe is also properly air ventilated in nature; say thanks to its breathable mesh lining.

Other notable features are its Ortholite footbed and padded collar.

Both of them increases its comfort and cushioning to the next level.

You need to stand and operate for long hours which is why the shoes like Merrell Encore Gust slip-on are important to wear during your work.


a. Very flexible and supportive for your feet

b. 2. EVA footframe and Ortholite footbed provides excellent comfort and cushioning

c. Mesh lining is highly breathable

d. Durable and super comfortable to use all day

e. Great for professional as well as casual usage


a. Only medium width size available

b. Lining not made from leather but from common cloth material

c. Less slip resistant

If you want to know why this Merrell shoe ranks no. 1 as far as doctor’s and surgeon’s foot comfort is concerned, then watch the following review video.

Click Here for Price and Reviews of Merrell Men’s Encore Gust Slip-On Shoe.

3 Best OR Shoes for Female Surgeons and Nurses

No. 3: Alegria Women’s Keli Professional Work Shoe

Alegria Keli Womens Professional Shoe Big Wheel 9 M US

When it comes to choosing the right work shoe for female surgeons and nurses, the first shoe brand that comes to my mind is Alegria.

Alegria Keli Professional Work shoe for women is one of those work footwear brands which offers the best possible comfort, protection and slip resistance for your feet.

This Made in USA shoe comes with slip resistant rubber outsole and memory foam sockliner footbed.

This insole is well cushioned and gives your feet long hours of comfort.

For working long hours in operation rooms, you need a really comfortable and supportive work shoe.

This is exactly why I have recommended Alegria Keli Professional shoe for OR nurses and surgeons.

It is easy to clean and easy to wear at the same time which saves you a great deal of time.

It takes a little time to break-in initially but then it quickly conforms to your foot size and width.

If you really want to eliminate your foot pain and have more comfortable and pain free working feet in OR, then this is the shoe you can wear without a doubt.


a. Slip resistant soles offer great traction and grip

b. Comes with wide toe box

c. Provides higher comfort and protection for your feet

d. Material is really soft and easily stretchable

e. 5. Insole can be replaced with custom orthotics for enhanced comfort


a. Can squeak in the initial days.

But you can use baby powder to reduce the squeaking.

Click here to read out guide on how to reduce squeaking noise from any shoe.

b. Arch support is minimal

Click Here for More Reviews and Price of Alegria Women’s Keli Professional Work Shoe.

No. 2: Birkenstock Professional Unisex Profi Birki Work Shoe

BIRKENSTOCK Professional Birki Black 44 (US Men's 11-11.5, US Women's 13-13.5) Regular

At no. 2, I have considered Birkenstock Professional Unisex Profi Birki as one of the best OR shoes for female surgeons and nurses.

The reasons for the same are provided as follows.

The no.1 reason why I rated this shoe at the second rank is its anti-slip outsole.

It works as one of the best work shoes that offer the best in class slip resistance on all kinds of surfaces.

The shoe is durable due to its quality material and construction standards.

But I feel it lacks proper arch support and padding in the midsole.

You may need to insert a custom orthotics to get more cushioning and comfort.

This shoe can be used by both men and women.

You can wear it all day without getting tired on your feet.

It is super comfortable and provides waterproof protection while you work in the operation room for long hours.


a. Pretty durable and comfortable to use all day

b. Decent waterproof protection

c. High quality anti-slip outsoles


a. Low to medium arch support

b. Less padding in the bottom

c. Too wide fitting which can be troublesome for ladies with small sized feet

Click Here to See Price and Customer Reviews of Birkenstock Professional Unisex Profi Birki Work Shoe.

No. 1: Dansko Women’s Professional Mule / Clog

Dansko Women's Professional Black Oiled Clog 8.5-9 M US

At no. 1, we have Dansko Women’s Professional Mule.

It is my highest recommended work shoe for all female nurses and surgeons.

This is the best OR shoe for you if you intend to use it for all day working long hours in the operating room.

This Made in USA footwear is well equipped with PU outsole.

This sole comes with rocker bottom which is beneficial in comfortable foot movement and better shock absorption.

Its wide heel strike and PU inner frame provide improved foot stability.

The shoe’s reinforced toe box is wider than I expected.

This is useful in getting better protection and support for your feet while working in hospitals and clinics.

What is best about this Dansko mule is it is APMA approved handmade footwear for working professionals.

This means these clogs are good for your foot health and they give first preference to the user’s safety and comfort.

Plus, these shoes are perfect for women who have wide feet and need shoes with large toe boxes.

They do not make squeaky noise.


a. APMA approved and Made in USA with high quality patented leather material

b. High durability and exceptional comfort for your feet

c. Good traction and better foot stability due to rocker bottom outsole

d. Reinforced roomier toe box for better foot protection and comfortable toe movements

e. Memory foam footbed offers good support and cushioning


a. Takes a bit of time to break-in

b. Pinky toe pain may arise due to tightness in the upper.

Can be easily solved by following these simple methods

I strongly recommend you to take a look at the following video to understand the amazing features of this shoe in more detailed form.

Click Here to See Latest Price and Reviews of Dansko Women’s Professional Mule / Clog.

Buyer’s Guide for Choosing Only the Best Shoes for Operating Room for Female and Male Surgeons as well as for Nurses

Why You Need to Wear the Right Shoes in the Operation Theater?

There are several important reasons why you should wear proper footwear when you work in the operating room.

If you are a male or female nurse or even male or female surgeon, you must know the importance of following proper hygiene routine inside the operation theater.

One of those most important hygienic activities is to always wear proper shoes to prevent bacterial infection for your patient.

Not only this reason, but it is also essential to wear them because these shoes provide you a very comfortable and protective working environment.

These types of shoes are usually easy to put on and take off.

They often provide a comfortable and firm footing when you do surgery inside the operation theater for several hours.

Your feet are always protected due to these shoes and the possibility of having foot related ailments such as plantar fasciitis, bunions, hammertoes, etc. are often reduced to a greater extent.

Female and male surgeons usually need to stand and work for several hours inside the operation room during their surgeries.

This is when your feet get the maximum pressure and weight of your body.

The specially designed operating room footwear can provide maximum cushioning and support for your feet during this period.

As far as the actual type of footwear is concerned; many doctors and nurses recommend to wear slippers, rubber shoes, slip-ons or clogs inside the operation room.

The reason for this is that they are the footwear types which are easy to wear, offer maximum comfort, protect your feet from any infection and provide firm grounding and slip resistance.

These are the main reasons why you need to use unique shoes while working for long hours inside the operation theater.

How to Find the Best Shoes for Standing and Working in Operating Room?

To choose the right shoe for your feet when you work in operation theatre, you must know what are you actually looking for.

You should be well aware about the features that make any shoe ideal for your work in the OR.

The features that are essential to make any shoe appropriate to work in the hospital or operation theatre are mentioned as follows.

1. Firm Footing: The shoe that most surgeons and nurses wear in the OR must have a good slip resistance by default.

Because most of the times, the room floors where doctors perform surgery, can become slippery due to spilling of patient blood and other chemicals that are used during the operation procedure.

This is why your shoe soles must offer good traction and grip on such types of working floors.

2. Proper Air Ventilation: Breathability is another important feature that your shoe must have.

To prevent excessive sweating and moisture collection inside your shoe, one must have a footwear with good air ventilation features.

3. Good Support and Comfort: Male and female surgeons and nurses both need to stand and work for long hours during various types of surgeries and operation procedures.

If your shoes do not provide good support and do not have proper footbed cushioning, then you may certainly experience foot pain and discomfort while working all the day.

If you don’t want to experience this pain and discomfort during operation procedures and want to focus on your work, then your shoe must have proper footbed cushioning and comfortable material.

This will allow you to focus on your work and not worry about your foot pain and foot injuries.

4. 100% Waterproof: Your shoes must also be 100% waterproof or at least thoroughly water resistant.

This is an essential feature to have in your work footwear.

Because your feet must remain dry and warm all the time while you perform various surgeries inside OR.

This is important because most of the times, a patient blood or any other chemical fluid can be spilled on your feet while working.

A waterproof shoe protects your feet from such liquids and also prevents any possible foot infection later on.

5. Easy to Wear: This is another feature that I prefer to have in a doctor’s footwear or nurse’s footwear.

Because there is a lot of rush and urgency during any type of OR surgery.

To work faster and effectively during these situations, your shoe must be really comfortable and easy to put on and take it off.

Your shoe must not take a long time to put on and take off because it saves a great deal of time when your shoes are easy to wear.

I think these are the 5 most important features that a shoe for operating room must possess.

You should always pay attention to these requirements whenever you shop for such types of work shoes.

What are the Best Brands that can be used by Nurses, Male and Female Surgeons in the Operation Room?

When you work in the OR, you and your team must feel comfortable and stress free in order to work to the best of your ability.

To improve your work efficiency and focus on your work, your feet must also remain comfortable and pain free.

This is possible only when you wear the right shoes for your feet that also complement your work culture.

There are lots of brands out there who claim to provide the best quality work shoes for male and female nurses as well as surgeons.

But the best ones that I found are usually produced by the brands such as Merrell, Skechers, Dansko, Calzuro, Alegria, Crocs and Birkenstock.

I recommend you to now check out my 6 most recommended shoes that are ideal to use in OR by surgeons and nurses.

I am sure they will provide your feet the highest comfort, cushioning, support, safety, breathability and slip resistance.

Final Thoughts

Congrats, you have reached the end of this guide.

Till now, we come to know the top 3 operation room shoes for both male and female nurses and surgeons.

If you want to choose the best among them, you will need to read our buying guide first.

Read it carefully, understand your own requirements and then try any one of them to see the results for yourself.

Good luck for your purchase!

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