Comfortable Hospital Shoes And Socks For My Night Shift Mayhem.

If you don't have comfortable hospital shoes socks  you might as well call in sick. Take it from this hospitalist who's done this for nearly a decade.   Having sore feet can really be frustrating during a twelve hour night shift.  Forget about those annoying pages at 6 am for   critical potassium levels of 3.2.  Forget about the social admit  from the emergency room at 3 am. Forget about the healthy 40 year old with a broken arm who needs a hospitalist pre-op evaluation at 5 am.  The only way to survive the night of hospital call is to wear great shoes and socks.   What  are some of my  requirements?
  • The shoes must be easy on and easy off:   That means they can't have any laces.  When I have to go do something from a dead sleep the last thing I want to do is mess around with shoe laces.  I just want to slip them on and head for the trenches.  That's my  number one criteria for great hospital shoes.  
  • The shoes and socks must breath well.  I've had several pairs of rubber Birkenstocks that don't breath.  I didn't know how bad they were until I found a shoe that did.  There is nothing worse than hot sweaty feet at 3 am.
  • The shoes and socks must be lightweight.  I don't want to feel like I'm draggaing around a barbell all night. 
  • They must be flexible and durable.    Ever try wearing a lead pipe on your feet at 4 am?
  • Make sure you buy your work outfit on sale.  It's for work.  Never pay full price for your hospital shoes. 
  • Make sure they have some style.  Granny wants a cool looking doctor at 2 am.  Plus, when someone tells you that you did a great job, you can say, "It has gotta be the shoes."
I'm currently wearing a slip-on Teva that I bought off the sale rack over a year ago.  They have held up quite well, although I just discovered part of the sole breaking apart.  Here's a picture of them below.  The best $30 work expense I ever deducted.

Since my Teva shoes, I've transitioned back into a regular old running shoe.  I've laid off my requirement for no laces.  I'm currently wearing a Saucony brand shoe, but have also done well  with ASICS, Brooks and  Mizuno shoes.  All four brands are comfortable on the go.  


What about the socks? Until I started running, I usually bought eight pairs of tube socks for five bucks at Walmart.  They were thick and bulky.  I never knew what I was missing until  Mrs Happy turned me on to the Balega wicking socks.  I loved the Smart Wool socks even better but I found their life span less than something to be desired.   These Balega wicking socks  are incredible.  They're comfortable.  They're breathable.  They're flexible and they're stylish.  They have all the characteristics of high hospital fashion!

In the last several years I've transitioned out of Balega socks and into Thorlo socks. These things are expensive at around $14 a pair, but they are much more durable than the Belega socks and I think they are even more comfortable than the Balega socks.  They have extra padding in the areas of high impact.  I actually use them for running but find them very soft and comfortable to work the night shift in.     Having the shoes without the socks can negate all the benefit you get from comfortable hospital shoes. Just remember, if you want to make it through a night shift in one piece, you have to get yourself some comfortable shoes and socks and put your pager on divert for non emergency pages. What are your most comfortable shoes and socks?


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