Submitted by ImRealFunAtParties t3_xzi3ht in BuyItForLife

I work at an assisted living facility where I do a lot of walking for long periods of time, often while wet (from giving showers or spilling stuff on them). I bought a pair of New Balance shoes like two months ago and the inside of the heel is already starting to wear and rip. I've seen posts on here for shoes, but they are mostly boots and for men. I don't know if those would be comfortable to wear and walk in for long periods of time. Does anyone know of any brands that might work?



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ldeveraux t1_irmdn3g wrote

Most of the nurses near us in Boston wear Hoka and swear by them. There is no true BIFL shoe obviously, but these are pretty close


ImRealFunAtParties OP t1_irmg799 wrote

I'll look into these, too. Thank you. They're pretty, too. I don't really care if they are, but I can just hear the residents commenting on how ugly some BIFL shoes are. I don't know if it's the same for you nurses, but if you look nice, they'll tell you. If you look like shit, they'll definitely tell you. They really have no filter lol.


Complete-Damage9623 t1_irmqn5u wrote

My boyfriend and I run in hokas and a few other brands. While they’re definitely super comfortable they break down pretty quickly. Much quicker than my Brooks in my opinion. I’m sure they’d last longer for walking but I would definitely not consider them BIFL. But as others have said, sneakers aren’t built to be bifl.


SaoDavi t1_irmsaob wrote

Those residents are still wearing their Rockports, so I wouldn't stress too much on their opinion of your shoes.

Hoka FTW.


Joieluckclub t1_irnzfz4 wrote

Yes! Came here to recommend Hoka naïvely thinking I would be the only one. Of course nurses would know the best brand!


emcla95 t1_irrr3pz wrote

My best friend manages a restaurant and she wears Hokas too, she loves them.


Icy_Fortune1186 t1_irmrxm2 wrote

Used to wear Dansko clogs for all my years of waitressing


lellywest t1_irnqu46 wrote

My dansko clogs hold up usually for about ten years, far longer than any other shoes, and I have a couple of waterproof pairs that wash right up.

OP mentioned getting water inside the shoes, though, which almost makes me think something like crocs would be better in that instance.


Appropriate_Click_36 t1_irmd7w2 wrote

First of all, thank you. Working in an ALF can be brutally difficult. Really, thank you. Secondly, I don't think there are. You're right, BIFL boots for construction are totally different than the shoes you need. You might get bodily fluids all over them and getting all the feces or blood out of most shoes is nearly impossible. Danica and Crocs make work clogs you can Cavi-wipe but most people find them hard to get used to. Anything sneakerish will get wet, as you noted, and this ruins most shoes. They need to be very comfy and non-slip. I think this may be one instance where buying shoes that are comfortable and supportive are more important than BIFL. Buy the cheapest most comfy, supportive shoes you can (if you find a style and brand that works, buy as many pair as you can afford at one time) and be prepared to swap up for a new pair, as needed.


ImRealFunAtParties OP t1_irmftbw wrote

Thank you. I hadn't considered how I'd get bodily fluids or feces out of a BIFL shoe or boot. When I get some on my sneakers, I hand wash them as best I can and let them dry in the sun. Thankfully, that has only happened three times. This last time happened day before yesterday and the worst. It involved getting a large (and strong!) dementia resident out of urine soaked clothes while avoiding the puddle of urine on the floor. Needless to say, my shoes ended up wet. This resident is notoriously difficult to get dressed and undressed. He doesn't understand and he fights you every step of the way. He's really a sweetheart and one of the nicest residents at the ALF. He just didn't understand that we needed to go to another room (which he refused outright to do and I didn't have time to gently coax him into going), needed to get away from the puddle (which I had some success but he kept going back to it while I was changing him), or that I'm there to help. To him, I'm just a stranger who's trying to make him go somewhere for no reason and get undressed then redressed again for no reason. I'm still new to working at an ALF, so it'll probably happen again and again.


I don't know if I want shoes that can take bodily fluids and keep on ticking for the long haul. Especially if I get feces on them. I't would probably be better for me to just get new shoes if I can find them cheap enough. I don't know. It's something to think about. If I can't get the urine out this time, then I probably have to get rid of these shoes. They were expensive and I just bought them. But I also really don't want to walk around in urine-covered shoes just to feel like I got my money's worth. I read somewhere that having multiple pairs of shoes can help them last longer. Maybe I should have a rotation? I'm not sure. Thank you again.


DJWoolyShambler t1_irnkx64 wrote

Buying several comfortable sneakers and rotating absolutely sounds like the way to go for me. I definitely notice my shoes lasting longer this way.


Appropriate_Click_36 t1_irn0an0 wrote

Yeah, it's tough. When you know you might have to wade through fluids, it can help to have a pair of shoe ponchos nearby to cover your expensive shoes :

PS, I hope you're in nursing school. Anyone who's as dedicated to patient well-being as you are is desperately needed all the way up the nursing chain and it's the only way to increase your income substantially and continue to care for our patients.


roundaboutly t1_irmdgxd wrote

I wear New Balance 806 with Superfeet insoles. The 806 are water proof to a degree and, importantly, slip proof. I'm on my second pair after like three years. BIFL it is not. I also wear RedBacks for work sometimes but they aren't as flexible for squatting or driving. Not having wet feet was my priority with shoes for work, I'm a support worker.


VandalGrimshot t1_irmg18n wrote

Your best bet sadly isn't going to be anything truly bifl. A quality pair of shoes, properly fitted, with an aftermarket pair of insoles is your best best.

Sneakers aren't really built to last- but there are textiles that last longer. Mesh is trash, and the lightweight wicking materials wear very quickly. Leather is king imo.


ImRealFunAtParties OP t1_irmhfg5 wrote

Thank you. Leather would be idea if I didn't risk bodily fluids getting on them. I don't know how easy they are to clean. I don't want to end up ruining a pair of BIFL shoes by trying to get urine or feces out/off of them. I also have to give showers and sometimes my shoes fill up with water running off my legs instead of getting sprayed on the shoes where waterproofing would come into play.


storbord t1_irmeucd wrote

I also work on my feet, have sensitive, narrow feet with high arches, and spent a lot of time and money in search of the perfect shoe. What I’ve recently found is that most shoes are suitable if you get a good insert for them. I wore thrift store Walmart brand Chelsea’s for months just fine (recently upgraded for unrelated reasons) because I had a nice Dr. Scholl’s insert that worked for me. May not be a cure-all for others but it’s worth spending $12-15 to see whether your current shoes can be improved.


ImRealFunAtParties OP t1_irmg0yf wrote

I've been thinking about getting those inserts off and on for some time now. If they can make cheaper shoes better, then it's something to invest in. It's looking like BIFL isn't the best option for me in my line of work. Thank you.


storbord t1_irmh0xy wrote

I hear you! I’ll still continue to look for a more long-lasting solution but this was a way I could support my feet now without spending 100 more dollars in search of THE perfect shoe.


ImRealFunAtParties OP t1_irmhukb wrote

Yeah. I'm looking at these shoes people are suggesting and they look good, but they're also close to $200. That's a lot to spend on a shoe that I can't inspect in person before buying. Not every company has a great return or exchange policy. I also have wide feet, so a shocking number of these great suggestions are just not an option for me. I think I'd rather give the Dr. Scholl's and cheap shoes a try before I dive into anything more expensive. I already bought expensive shoes from New Balance, which has been my family's go-to for decades for their quality, and they're already having problems just a couple months in!


a1exia_frogs t1_irmivjc wrote

Calzuros clogs are safe to get wet, comfortable and long lasting


Jim_stugots t1_irmjfmy wrote

Sas timeouts(freetime for women?) I don’t know if the can be beat. I’ve worn birkis, birkebstocks and many others.

SAS lasts and my feet are always happy


Faeglantina t1_irtcl2z wrote

Birkenstock apparently makes a nursing shoe. I’ve been looking at it and pondering.


chrissobel t1_iry053j wrote

I bought my girlfriend some Altama "Urban Assault" shoes for her job a while ago. She is on her feet all day. They still are in excellent shape and the build quality seems very high.

They're more of a skateboard shoe style. But they're made by a company that makes army boots and swat team shoes and stuff.

They are zero drop shoes bc they're designed for "maximum stability" apparently. For police and stuff. And after looking into zero drop shoes and trying to see what the deal is, I will say there are some arguments to be made that zero drop, flat shoes actually being healthier and better for some people, in comparison to shoes with cushioned heels and bigger arch supports.

She has lupus and has joint issues sometimes, and her knees reportedly hurt less once she wore these for a while. Not a big difference, but it was something, switching from a more traditional soled shoe.


[deleted] t1_irmfo7c wrote



ImRealFunAtParties OP t1_irmgwcn wrote

They look good. How easy are they to clean? My shoes get wet almost every shift from showers or more bodily fluid-type accidents.


rikityrokityree t1_irmpd3q wrote

Are you wearing PPE when likely encountering body fluids? When I did CNA work I used the old nursemate brand of shoes, leather. Lysoled the heck out of them after cleaning every day


Famous_Bit_5119 t1_irmpdun wrote

Timberland. Particularly the ones with the orange insoles.


12thMemory t1_irncr4d wrote

I love my Doc Martin slip resistant Mary Jane shoes. I manage a kitchen and wear them 60+ hours a week. After almost two years they still look new and are so incredibly comfortable, my feet don’t even hurt at the end of the day.


lellywest t1_irnsbaj wrote

A few other people have mentioned Danskos. They do make waterproof shoes that are labeled as such. They also make patent ones that wipe up easily and are super cute; they’re essentially waterproof. If you look around you can find them on sale for less than $100.

Nothing leather or sneaker like will stand up to water or other fluids getting inside the shoe, unless you go with Crocs or similar.

Finally, if you want to spend coin on a good pair of GoreTex shoes, I LOVE my Salomons.


ak80048 t1_irox7y7 wrote

Good running shoes will easily handle walking around for work, I.e brooks, ASICS, hoka also


Muncie4 t1_irpfiyr wrote

Comfort is a personal metric that no one can help you with. People think I'm wrong on this.

You do not buy brands for BIFL. You buy specific shoe types that are BIFL due to construction methods that allow repair or ones that are just naturally hardy through experience. For example...Red Wings is a brand. They sell shoes that will last 200 years. They sell shoes that will last for 20 minutes. How is one to tell?

What you want are goodyear welted shoes. The easy button for most is Red Wings.

You should visit a location and get fitted Al Bundy style as, respectfully, you do not know your actual shoe size. Ask for slip resistant long wearing shoes featuring goodyear welt construction. Get fitted and walk around in the shoe prior to purchase as most quality shoes come in a length and width metric which is an unknown concept to many.


catnapdo t1_is25izl wrote

I had been searching for cute sneakers to wear on my commute and work, but ended up with a pair of Sanita clogs which I love. Very comfy for my wide feet. I think they are the original Danskos. I wore them all day last week on a college visit (i.e. 12K plus steps) and my feet felt great.


mthrforkingshirtball t1_ithirsw wrote

I know I'm a little late to the game, but I always recommend rothys! Super comfortable and breathable. Some people with flat or high arches have some issues, but I always recommend sizing up and putting in orthopedic soles.

PLUS you can machine wash them. Aka. No more smelly flat syndrome.

They're made from recycled water bottles, so they're a perfect green option!

If you want $20 off your first pair, you can use my code!