In the fast-paced world of veterinary care, the unsung heroes are undoubtedly the vet techs. They dedicate long hours to ensuring the wellbeing of our beloved animal companions, often facing challenges that demand not only their expertise, but also the right gear. And when it comes to gear, there's one essential element that can make or break their day: their choice of footwear.
In this article, we'll explore the top six shoes that are the go-to options for vet techs, offering the perfect blend of comfort, functionality and style to navigate the demanding and often unpredictable terrain of the veterinary clinic.
What shoes to wear at a vet clinic?
Choosing the right type of shoes for working at a vet clinic is crucial, considering the unique challenges faced by the people who work hard to take care of our pets’ health. They typically spend long hours on their feet, do a lot of standing and walking, and work in wet or otherwise slippery environments.
So, when you choose the appropriate footwear for vet clinics, it’s best to first understand what the right shoes can do for you, or rather, your feet.
- Reduce foot pain during and after long shifts. Spending extended hours on your feet can be physically demanding. Comfortable shoes with ample cushioning and arch support can do a lot towards helping reduce fatigue and discomfort during long shifts.
- Stay stable on your feet. The clinic environment can often be wet and slippery due to various fluids, cleaning agents and animal related messes. It’s best to find shoes that can help provide stability and prevent accidents.
- Be practical with regards to cleaning your treads. It's no secret that vet clinics can get messy. Shoes that are easy to clean and maintain are a practical choice. This ensures both a hygienic environment and a professional appearance.
- Make sure your feet are protected. Vet clinic staff may encounter heavy equipment, animal bites, or falling objects. Wearing closed-toe shoes can give you that additional protection against anything from accidental spills and bumping against things, to potential animal bites.
- (Only) if the shoe fits. Well fitting shoes are essential for good health and comfort. They can help to prevent a variety of foot problems, such as blisters, corns and calluses, by providing enough room for your toes to move and wiggle naturally, and not causing any pressure points. They can also help to reduce pain and fatigue in the feet, legs and back.
What are the best shoes for veterinarians?
Whether you're an aspiring vet tech or a seasoned professional, the following shoe recommendations will help you provide top notch care to animals while also prioritizing your own wellbeing.
Best shoes for vet techs and nurses
Why you’ll love it
- Slip resistant soles keep you steady on your feet
- Fluid repellent uppers that never stain
- Sizes: 5-12
- Widths: Standard (B) - Extra Wide (2E)
- Upper materials: soft synthetic leather
The Talya sneakers are specifically designed to be the go-to shoes for healthcare workers, with a focus on meeting the needs of medical professionals. So, naturally, these shoes also offer features that specifically address the unique demands of vet techs and nurses.
- Exceptional traction. One of the standout qualities of these sneakers is their remarkable traction. The high quality rubber outsoles provide an impressive grip on various surfaces, ensuring stability and minimizing the risk of slips, even in the most unpredictable and wet environments encountered in vet clinics.
- Unparalleled support and cushioning. The Talya sneakers prioritize the wellbeing of your feet with their contoured orthotic insole and multi-layered ergonomic sole. This exceptional support and cushioning are perfect for those marathon-like days spent on your feet.
- Freedom for toes. The Talya sneakers are designed with a generous toe box, allowing your toes to move freely and naturally. As a result, by eliminating the cramped toes experience, these sneakers provide blissful comfort as you work through long shifts, and your feet will have the space they need.
- Premium materials and easy maintenance. The Talya sneakers boast flexible and fluid repellent uppers, ensuring that your comfort levels remain high throughout the day. And the best part is that the premium materials not only keep you comfortable, but also make these shoes easy to clean. Just a quick wipe, and they're back to pristine condition, making them the ultimate choice for professionals who need to maintain a clean and hygienic appearance in a fast-paced work environment.
Available colors: white, lavender, black.
Why you’ll love it
- Lug outsole that helps you safely navigate any surface
- Water sealed upper material keeps feet dry
- Sizes: 7-14
- Widths: Standard (D) - Extra Wide (4E)
- Upper materials: synthetic
The men’s Cascade shoes come with a few unique features that will make your job as a vet nurse or tech a lot easier, and help you end even the longest day with no pain in your feet and legs, and even back.
- Rubber lug outsole. The sole design, which also makes these shoes perfect for activities like hiking, provides exceptional traction and stability throughout the day, on a variety of surfaces, both indoors and outdoors.
- Water repellent upper and water sealed fabric. The men’s Cascade sneakers' help to keep feet dry and comfortable even in the most challenging conditions, whether its wet floors or the not uncommon accidental liquid spills.
- Premium orthotic insoles with anatomical arch support. You probably already know from experience that standing on your feet for long hours can lead to foot pain and other problems. The Cascade sneakers' orthotic insoles and removable arch support re-align the foot and entire body posture, help to support the arches of the feet and cushion every step you take. This way, they reduce fatigue and eliminate, or significantly reduce, pain and discomfort.
- Wide toe box. This alleviates pressure on swollen feet, bunions and hammertoes, which are all common problems among vet techs and nurses, due to the long hours of standing and walking.
- Soft, padded fabric interior with no overlays. Vet techs and nurses need shoes that are comfortable to wear all day long. The sneakers' soft, padded and seam-free fabric interior helps to eliminate irritation and enhance comfort.
Available colors: khaki, black.
Best shoes for kennel work
Women’s Dakota | Men’s Ridgewood
Why you’ll like it
- Waterproof membrane keep liquids away, but lets moisture escape
- High shaft design supports the ankles and helps align the feet and legs
- Sizes: women 5-12; men 7-14
- Widths: women Standard (B) - Extra Wide (2E); men Standard (D) - Extra Wide (4E)
- Upper materials: waterproof leather
When it comes to kennel work, the Women's Dakota and Men's Ridgewood boots are an excellent footwear choice, as they provide a combination of advanced orthopedic features and rugged durability.
- True orthopedic support. These boots go beyond the ordinary by offering advanced orthopedic features. The deep heel cup ensures that your heel stays securely in place, preventing any unwanted rolling inward, which is crucial for maintaining stability during tasks in the kennel. Additionally, the extra depth design provides a relaxed fit for the foot, taking the pressure off the forefoot, ensuring comfort even during long hours of standing and walking.
- Water and liquid resistance. Kennel work often exposes you to various conditions, including rain and wet surfaces. The Dakota and Ridgewood boots are equipped with a waterproof membrane, effectively keeping water out, while the boots’ fabric allows moisture (mainly sweat) to escape. This ensures your feet stay dry and comfortable, even on the rainiest days, the wettest of surfaces and the hottest of days, enhancing your overall work experience.
- Superior traction and stability. The rubber lug outsole on these boots provides exceptional traction and stability on a variety of surfaces. Whether you're navigating through wet kennel floors or clinic floors, these boots offer the confidence and surefootedness needed to tackle any environment safely.
- Lightweight design. Despite their advanced orthopedic features and rugged construction, the Dakota and Ridgewood boots remain surprisingly lightweight. This eliminates the burden of heavy, clunky footwear that can weigh you down during long shifts. The lightweight design ensures that you can move with agility and ease, while maintaining all the necessary support and protection.
Available colors for the Dakota boots: olive, blue.
Available colors for the Ridgewood boots: brown, black.
Best shoes for veterinary students
Men’s Yari | Women’s Kita sneakers
Why you’ll love it
- Slip into them fast and easy, no hands needed
- Slip and water resistant features keep you safe and comfortable
- Sizes: men 7-14 | women 5-12
- Widths: men Standard (D) - Extra Wide (4E) | women Standard (B) - Extra Wide (2E)
- Upper materials: stretch knit
For veterinary students embarking on a demanding journey that combines long hours of study with hands-on clinical work, the Men's Yari and Women's Kita slip-on shoes can be the most comfortable, convenient and supportive footwear choice.
- Innovative hands-free design. The Yari and Kita sneakers offer an innovative hands-free feature that streamlines your daily routine. With a hidden spring mechanism in the back, slipping your foot into these sneakers is a breeze. As soon as your foot is in, the shoes gently embrace it with a reassuring bounce, eliminating the need for time consuming lace tying and even bending over.
- Water repellent, breathable uppers provide customized fit. The breathable, water repellent upper material of these sneakers keeps your feet feeling fresh and cool, even during those seemingly endless study hours and lengthy shifts, preventing liquids from seeping through, sweaty feet and the associated discomfort. At the same time, the stretch knit acts like a personal tailor for your feet, hugging your unique foot shape with cozy comfort and unwavering support.
- Reliable traction. These sneakers are equipped with trusty slip resistant outsoles, ensuring stability and steady footing on any surface. Whether you're gracefully dodging spills or walking down the hallway, you can focus on your important work without unexpected slips.
- Orthotic support and comfort. The Yari and Kita sneakers prioritize the wellbeing of your feet. Their professionally cushioned and ergonomic orthotic insoles provide quality arch support, cradling your feet for proper alignment. This level of support is a boon for those with high arches or anyone seeking exceptional comfort during long study sessions and clinical shifts.
Available colors for the Kita sneakers: blue, gray, black/white, black/black, rose, white.
Available colors for the Yari sneakers: white, gray, black.
Features to look for in veterinary shoes
When selecting the best shoes for work in a veterinary clinic, there are several important features to consider to ensure comfort, safety and functionality in this demanding environment.
Here are key features to look for in veterinary shoes:
- Comfort and cushioning. Long hours on your feet can be physically taxing. Look for shoes for standing on your feet all day, those that offer ample cushioning, padded insoles, and good arch support to reduce foot and leg pain and fatigue, and enhance comfort.
- Slip resistance. Vet clinics often have wet and slippery floors due to cleaning and animal-related spills. Opt for shoes with slip resistant outsoles or outsoles that offer superior traction to prevent accidents and maintain stability.
- Water and stain resistance. Given the potential for liquids and messes, opting for shoes that keep water and liquids from seeping through, and are low maintenance, is a sensible decision. This will help you maintain comfort, foot dryness and hygiene.
- Breathability. Feet can become hot and sweaty during long shifts. Shoes with breathable materials and moisture wicking properties help maintain foot comfort and freshness.
- Supportive heel. A stable and supportive heel is essential for walking and standing for extended periods. Good heel support in shoes involves features like a cupped heel that provides stability and prevents excessive pronation or supination, and extra padding in the heel area offers comfort and absorbs shock forces when your heel strikes the ground. In addition, the sole's design is crucial for cushioning and dispersing shock, reducing impact on your joints. An ergonomic rocker bottom sole helps in shifting forces away from the back, promoting a smoother, more comfortable gait while minimizing strain on the heel and back.
When choosing shoes, consider these features for better foot health and comfort, especially when you spend long hours on your feet.
- Arch support. Proper arch support is crucial for preventing foot fatigue and maintaining comfort during long shifts.
- Breathable lining. Shoes with breathable linings help keep your feet cool and reduce moisture buildup.
- Antimicrobial properties. Some shoes are constructed with antimicrobial linings to prevent the growth of odor causing bacteria.
- Proper fit. Poorly fitting shoes can result in discomfort, blisters, and potentially long-term foot issues. It's crucial to ensure that your shoes fit properly, offering enough room for your toes to move and flex naturally without creating any pressure points.
- Lightweight. Lightweight shoes are more comfortable for all-day wear and reduce the strain on your legs and feet.