Clove Shoes are the newest product promising to provide comfort, stability, and convenience to healthcare workers — do they actually deliver on that promise?
Do you or someone you love work in the healthcare field? If so, you understand just how important comfortable and secure footwear is to a successful shift. You also know how difficult it is to find the perfect footwear.
For those who’ve never worked in the medical field, healthcare-appropriate footwear is probably something they’ve never thought about. But for nurses and other medical professionals, high-quality shoes can make or break a shift.
Comfortable footwear is the secret to working long hours without pain.
The healthcare world is full of various roles — each with a unique schedule — but most nurses work 12-hour shifts. More often than not, these shifts are spent standing, walking, and running.
On average, day nurses walk between four and five miles per shift. Over the course of a workweek, that distance can easily exceed a marathon (26.1 miles).
Walking a marathon in ill-fitting or unsupportive shoes would wreak havoc on anyone’s feet. So when you go that distance each and every week, it doesn’t take long to experience the negative side effects of poor-quality shoes.
And for healthcare workers with existing foot, hip, and back problems, comfort isn’t just about making work a little bit easier. It’s about maintaining long-term health and mobility for the years to come.
Healthcare is a messy field. From IV fluids to blood, nurses, doctors, and other professionals are constantly dodging liquids of one kind or another.
For most healthcare professionals, bio-hazards will inevitably be included in these liquids. Being able to clean and sanitize your footwear is essential to both your safety and the safety of your patients.
Waterproof footwear protects your feet from these messes. Not only will the right shoes reduce your exposure to bio-hazards and dangerous chemicals, but they’ll also offer the simple comfort of not walking around with damp socks.
Speaking of messes, slip-resistant tread is perhaps the most important feature in any healthcare-approved shoe. There’s no time to worry about slipping and falling during an emergency.
Plus, if you do lose traction when responding to a patient’s needs or just making the rounds, you could potentially put yourself out of commission for days or even weeks to come.
In a time when our healthcare system is already overworked, losing a skilled provider to a slip and fall is a nightmare.
Nurses and other healthcare workers have enough to worry about without dealing with loose shoelaces. While some healthcare providers do prefer traditional sneakers, shoelaces can quickly get in the way when trying to respond to a medical emergency.
Because of this, many healthcare professionals opt for clog-style shoes. These shoes are easy to slip on and take off. But they lack the stability of regular sneakers when you need to be quick on your feet.
Recommended Read: Best Shoes for Standing on Concrete for Long Hours: Our Top 12 Picks
With the United States healthcare system running at an unprecedented capacity, there’s never been a better time for companies to develop and release products geared toward medical professionals. One such brand to break onto the scene in late-2019 is Clove.
The idea for this shoe company started when its creator noticed how hard it was for his wife, a nursing student, to find comfortable and safe footwear.
Clove’s first-hand access to healthcare workers has certainly helped shape the brand’s research and development. It even won the Fashion and Beauty category in Fast Company’s 2020 Innovation by Design Awards.
So how do its products measure up to the needs and wants of frontline healthcare workers?
Currently, Clove offers one style of footwear for both men and women. Don’t let this limited selection disappoint you, though, because the brand has put a ton of work into creating this singular shoe design.
At the core of the Clove Shoe is a multi-layered midsole. This support system offers enough comfort to get through an entire 12-hour shift, whether you’re standing, walking, or running. The insoles feature built-in odor-fighting and are removable for quick and easy machine-washing.
Every pair of Clove Shoes is designed with a fluid-resistant upper and laces. The upper is made from Clarino fabric, a synthetic leather-like textile. The entire surface is easy to clean and won’t be damaged by medical-grade sanitizing wipes.
Clove Shoes are incredibly easy to slip on and off. The drawstring-style laces are as simple as clogs but with all of the stability of traditional sneakers.
The rubber outsole is super grippy and slip-resistant — even when walking across wet floors.
If you’re looking for a new pair of work shoes, don’t just go and buy your normal size. Clove recommends going up a half-size when ordering. However, several customers report needing an entire size larger than they wear in street shoes.
Clove Shoes come in a full range of sizes and five different colorways.
It’s unclear just how far Clove plans to expand its product offerings in the near future. For now, though, the company’s accessory collection just includes compression socks.
Each pair provides between 20 and 30 mmHg of pressure. The bottom of each sock is lightly cushioned.
These compression socks feature non-slip cuffs and sweat-wicking fabric to fight off odor and moisture even during the longest shifts.
The Clove Compression Socks come in several colorways and three sizes (fitting women’s shoe sizes 7 to 14 and men’s 6 to 13). Just like with the Clove Shoes, customers should consider sizing up in these socks.
Recommended Read: The Best Shoes For Nurses: Focus On Your Work, Not Your Feet
Of course, Clove wasn’t the first company to design footwear specifically for healthcare workers. While the brand’s made waves in the past year with its nurse-approved sneakers and compression socks, other companies have been serving healthcare workers for decades.
Here are some of Clove’s biggest competitors, and how their footwear collections really measure up to the new kid on the block:
If the casual sneaker aesthetic of Clove Shoes is what appeals to you, then you do have some other options. Nurse Mates offers a wide range of professional footwear for healthcare workers that are based on everyday sneakers, slip-on clogs, and everything in-between.
The Nurse Mates Align Brin shoe is a traditional sneaker with a non-slip outsole and supportive insole for all-day support.
However, Nurse Mates recommends breaking in the orthotic insole before wearing these shoes for an entire day. Unfortunately, these shoes are also a bit heavy and are not waterproof.
The Nurse Mates Align Velocity sneakers feature an even sportier design — again, reminiscent of a regular running shoe.
The upper material is fairly water-resistant and easy to wipe clean. These shoes have the same supportive orthotic insole as the rest of the brand’s Align footwear.
While Nurse Mates offers a decent size range for women (size 5 to 12), the company currently doesn’t offer any shoes for men.
Featuring a classic clog-inspired shape, STICKY Non-Slip Shoes are another great option for healthcare workers in need of quality footwear.
STICKY shoes feature Thermoplastic elastomer, which is vegan, flexible, and easy to clean. The outer material is completely waterproof.
The non-slip outsole is extremely secure, even on oily surfaces. They also feature a closed heel (versus a traditional clog) for more stability when walking and running.
These shoes are easy to wipe down and sanitize, machine-washable, and quieter than many other non-slip footwear brands. The insole is absorbent — STICKY recommends wearing socks with its footwear.
Despite being a sportswear brand rather than one designed for medical professionals, Reebok is incredibly popular within the healthcare field. This is largely because the same features that appeal to athletes — durability, comfort, and grip — also appeal to nurses and their colleagues.
The Reebok Walk Ultra 7 DMX Max shoes are a top pick for healthcare professionals. They have rubber outsoles for durability and slip-resistance. While the textile and leather uppers aren’t completely waterproof, they’re easy to wipe clean and will stop most spills in their tracks.
Comfort is where Reebok really shines. The brand’s air-cushioned, MemoryFoam insoles provide plenty of support during long hours on your feet.
While you won’t find footwear custom-tailored to the medical community’s needs from a brand like Reebok, you will get the good looks and versatility of traditional sneakers.
In terms of sheer simplicity, nothing really beats Dream Pairs footwear. The brand offers a range of fashion-oriented and practical footwear, including some styles designed for professionals.
The Dream Pairs Slip-On Shoes provide plenty of grip on slippery floors and an air-cushioned sole to keep you upright for the entire day (or night). The shoe upper is made of breathable leather that offers some water-resistance and can be easily cleaned with soapy water.
Since these shoes don’t have any laces, a correct fit is essential to keep them on in emergencies. They do run a size small, so getting the right fit could be tricky for some.
Another downside, at least for some, is that these shoes only come in white and black. There’s not much room to express yourself on the job with Dream Pairs footwear.
Dansko footwear might not be the most fashion-forward or glamorous. But these clogs are a staple among nurses and many other types of healthcare workers.
With plenty of footwear options that are waterproof and slip-resistant, it’s easy to see why the brand has such a good reputation in the industry. Some of the best Dansko shoes for healthcare workers include the Dansko XP 2.0 Clogs and the Dansko Professional Clogs.
Dansko shoes routinely put comfort above all else — something that is super important for any profession that spends a lot of time on its feet. These clogs are also quick to slide on since they don’t have any laces or pull-ties.
Unfortunately, Dansko doesn’t currently sell sneaker-style shoes specifically for healthcare workers. If you’re a fan of the brand, though, something like the Dansko Paisley Sneakers (which are waterproof) could be a good fit.
So, does Clove deserve kudos for its professional footwear designed for healthcare professionals? We think so.
These sneakers might not be the perfect fit for everyone but they do fill a gap in the existing market for these types of shoes. Even if you don’t find they work for you, the research and development put into creating Clove shoes is sure to push future products in a positive direction.
Recommended Read: The 10 Most Comfortable Work Shoes and Boots On The Market
Do you work in the medical field (or a similar profession)? What type of footwear do you swear by? Do you rotate shoes or stick with the same tried-and-true pair for every shift?
Let us know your thoughts on Clove shoes and the other options out there in the comments below!
Featured image via Clove
Last update on 2021-03-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API