The 11 Best Shoes for Pharmacists in 2022
After reviewing 28 products, Dr. Scholls Harringtons (men) and Dr. Martens Maltbys (women) are our best shoes for pharmacists.
We spoke to multiple pharmacists; some retired, some working and one in training. They told us what they liked in good footwear for pharmacists. They also explained what to avoid and recommended specific shoes.
With their advice in mind, we looked for slip-resistance; good arch support; cushioning. We also wanted the shoe to be breathable and formal. Finally, we wanted to make sure our feet were protected from spillage.
The Dr. Scholls Harringtons and the Dr. Martens Maltbys both excelled in every category. They’re tough, comfortable and offer a ton of support. They’re also easy to clean and protect your feet from both spills and walking induced injuries.
Other shoes are better suited to specific scenarios. For example, the Birkenstock Tokyo Supergrip is our favorite clog by a wide margin. If you want breathability and foot freedom, it’s excellent.
The most stable and supportive shoe is the Propet Stability Walker. If you do a lot of walking or standing, consider getting this model.
To find the best shoes for you and your specific needs, keep reading!
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Disclaimer: This guide was created for educational purposes. It neither offers nor replaces medical advice. Learn more here.
Table of Contents
Dr. Martens Maltby - Best Overall for Women
The best shoe for female pharmacists is the Dr. Martens Maltby. It’s a food service shoe that came so highly recommended to us by pharmacists that we had to test it. And it passed with flying colours.
The industrial-grade tumbled leather upper is tough and long-lasting. It’s one of the best waterproof shoes, yet it looks professional. Once broken in, the leather becomes soft and pliable. But this doesn’t compromise the durability.
The GRIP-TRAX outsole is non-slip. It’s also resistant to oil and soaps, as well as petrol, acids and alkalis. It features sharp, defined edges that dissipate liquids, ensuring you maintain traction no matter the conditions at work.
As with most Dr. Martens, these shoes include the supportive AirWair sole. Small air pockets cushion you as you walk, creating a secure supportive base for your feet.
They also feature a 100% recycled lining, making these Dr. Martens are a solid choice for the eco-conscious. It’s moisture-wicking too, preventing the build-up of moisture around your feet. The insole is comfortable and lightly padded. It’s treated with an Agion anti-microbial coating to reduce the build-up of odour causing bacteria.
We found our feet got very hot in these DMs, especially on warm days. While they are breathable, the thick leather still traps a lot of heat. As you’d expect from Doctor Martens, they also have a long break in period. We suggest wearing thick socks for the first couple of weeks and only using the shoes for an hour or two at a time.
- Environmentally friendly
- Odour resistant
- Not suited to warm environments
- Require a break in period
Dr. Scholls Harrington - Best Overall for Men
The best shoes for male pharmacists are the Dr Scholls Harrington. These classy Oxford-style dress shoes are comfortable, supportive and timeless. They’re created for working professionals who need to look sharp but remain comfortable during long shifts.
The upper is made from flexible leather. It’s not constricting, instead, it moves with your feet as you walk. It’s also breathable while remaining durable and water-resistant.
Inside the shoe is a Dr Scholls Massaging Gel insole. It delivers exceptional arch support as well as cushioning around your toes, forefoot and heel. The multi-layer gel technology absorbs the impact of your footfalls, protecting you from injury and ensuring all-day comfort. It’s also removable should you want to replace it with your own custom orthotics.
The shoes feature a Dri-Lex internal lining. It wicks moisture away from your feet, keeping them cool in the process. It’s treated with Aegis Microbe Shield to prevent the build-up of odour causing bacteria.
The TX Traction Outsole is oil and slip-resistant. It features fine siping as well as a thicker tread pattern to ensure maximum grip in both wet and dry floors. The high rebound midsole absorbs shocks and reduces the pressure on your foot. It flexes as you walk, allowing your foot to work through its natural range of motion, which reduces foot fatigue and injury.
These Oxford-style shoes are very wide on your feet. Even the regular version was too wide for much of the Shoethority team. If you have particularly narrow feet, we suggest sizing down half a size or looking for a better fitting option. If possible, try these shoes on in store or via Prime Wardrobe to ensure the best fit possible.
It’s also worth noting that some customers have had quality control issues with Dr Scholl shoes in recent years. While the Shoethority team didn’t experience any issues, some pharmacists we spoke to said they’d replaced these shoes due to manufacturer defects.
- Fatigue reduction
- Sizing runs wide
- Quality control issues have been observed
Best Clogs for Pharmacists
The best clog for pharmacists is the Birkenstock Tokyo Super Grip. Birkenstock are known for producing high quality, supportive shoes. And these Tokio Super Grips are no exception.
The Super Grip rubber outsole provides excellent traction, even on slippery floors. The multidirectional tread pattern disperses water to ensure your grip is consistent, no matter the conditions.
They also feature an EVA midsole and a thick cork insole. The midsole has excellent shock absorption properties, protecting your feet and joints from heavy footfalls. The insole is made from natural cork. Its anatomical design and exceptional cushioning evenly distributes your weight and delivers top-notch arch support.
The insole also has a suede lining. As you wear the shoes, this lining moulds to the contours of your feet, getting more comfortable and more supportive with each use.
The leather upper is smart and professional. It’s spill-proof at the front. At the back, it’s open, which allows maximum airflow and comfort. The strap can be adjusted to ensure your feet don’t move about inside the shoes — a common issue with clogs.
Much like Dr. Martens, Birkenstocks take some time to break in. These shoes are no exception. We suggest wearing thick socks for the first few weeks to protect your feet.
They also run a little large. We found we needed to drop half a size to get the correct fit. If possible, try them on in store or via Prime Wardrobe before committing to your purchase.
- Requires a breaking in period
- Sizing runs large
Best Value for Money Clog for Pharmacists
The best value for money clog is the Crocs On The Clock. With their relatively formal styling, thick cushioning and most importantly, low price point, these shoes are a solid choice for the budget-conscious pharmacist.
Just like other Crocs, the On The Clocks are moulded from Crocs’ own Croslite material. It’s soft, supportive and prevents the build-up of bacteria. It’s also waterproof, so the closed design means the shoes are completely spill-resistant and easy to clean. The moulding process ensures there are no seams to rub or cause blisters.
However, unlike classic Crocs, these shoes have an enclosed heel and tapered fit. They gently grip your ankle for maximum security. They also feature a Crocs Lock Slip slip-resistant outsole. This delivers consistent grip, no matter the floor type or conditions in your pharmacy.
Inside the shoes, the wide toe box provides plenty of room for your toes to move and flex. This reduces your risk of injury by letting your foot move through its natural range of motion. They don’t deliver the arch support of other shoes on this list. Instead, they allow plenty of room for you to add your own supportive inserts if required.
Crocs aren’t very breathable. Usually, this goes unnoticed thanks to the ventilation holes and open back. But these shoes don’t have the same level of ventilation. On hot days you’ll notice a build-up of sweat.
- Odour reducing
- These lack in arch support, but do leave space for supportive inserts
- Not very breathable and will build up sweat on hot days
Best Slip-On for Pharmacists (Women)
The best slip-on shoe for women is the Clarks Cheyn Madi. This classy shoe is comfortable, supportive and available in a range of widths.
The premium tumbled leather upper gives the shoes a sophisticated vibe. Contrasting thread work and a subtle button only exaggerate the smart image. But these shoes have more than their looks going for them. The leather will protect you from spills and is easy to clean. It’s also breathable, helping keep you cool during a busy day at work.
Elasticated panels on the upper enable you to slip these shoes on and off with ease. They also act to grip your foot, securely holding it against the padded ankle collar. Together the collar and elasticated upper create and comfortable, stable platform for your feet.
The shoes feature a textile lining. It’s soft and gentle on your skin. It’s also moisture-wicking, preventing the build up of sweat. Clarks also include their Ortholite footbed and Cushion Soft Technology. These offer excellent arch support and cushioning, protecting you from injury and foot fatigue.
The TPR (Thermo Plastic Rubber) outsole offers more grip than traditional rubber. It’s hard-wearing and flexible, allowing your feet to move naturally and reducing the risk of injury at work.
The insole in these shoes cannot be removed. It already offers an incredible level of support but if you require custom orthotics, you should consider going up one size. It’s also worth mentioning that the soles are not officially rated as non-slip.
- Easy to put on and take off
- Fatigue reduction
- Insoles cannot be removed
- Those requiring custom orthotics should size up
- Soles are not officially rated as non-slip
Best Slip-On for Pharmacists (Men)
The best slip-on shoe for men is the Clarks Cotrell Step. It’s smart, supportive and delivers all-day comfort without needing to be broken in.
The leather upper has a formal appearance but the shoes retain a relaxed, comfortable feel thanks to their slip-on nature. Two elasticated panels in the upper mean you don’t risk damaging the shoes when slipping them on and off. These panels also mean the upper hugs the top of your foot, securing it against the padded collar to create a secure platform.
As well as being smart, the leather is spill-resistant and easy to clean. It’s breathable too, allowing air to flow around your feet and preventing them from overheating.
With an Ortholite Memory Foam footbed and featuring Cushion Soft Technology, these Clarks offer superb arch support and comfort — both of which reduce foot fatigue after a long shift.
The EVA sole is super lightweight and flexible. It moves when you move without restricting your feet at all. It’s well-cushioned, protecting your from injury but still delivering a good level of sensory feedback.
These shoes are not rated as slip-resistant. The EVA soles do not produce the same level of traction as rubber soles. They’re also not as durable. We found in abrasive environments (pavements, asphalt, etc) the EVA soles wore down much quicker than rubber alternatives.
- Fatigue reduction
- Not rated slip-resitant
- Do not deliver the same level of traction as rubber soles
- Not as durable as rubber-soled shoes
Most Comfortable Shoes for Pharmacists (Women)
The most comfortable shoe for female pharmacists is the Align Velocity from Nurse Mates. Created as a comfortable shoe for nurses on their feet all day, the Velocity does everything a pharmacist needs. It’s well-cushioned, supportive and easy to clean.
The Velocity is available with either a full-grain leather or PU upper, depending on the colour option you go for. And there’s plenty to choose from. Whether you want a plain, professional looking shoe or something a bit jazzier, there’s an option for you. Both the leather and PU models are spill and stain proof.
The outsole is lightweight and slip-resistant. It features flex grooves to ensure your feet are not constricted even during long shifts. A thick EVA midsole provides a ton of support and cushioning. It’s light and responsive, absorbing impacts as you walk and comfortably cradling your feet.
Inside the shoes, an Align orthotic delivers maximum arch support. During our research, these shoes came well recommended by pharmacists with flat foot issues and collapsed arches.
They also come with adjustable stretch laces. These elasticated laces essentially turn the shoes into slip-ons for ease of use. However, if you don’t get on with them, you’ll also get a standard set of laces to replace them with.
These shoes are narrower than we expected. Most of the Shoethority team had to opt for the wide version which is unusual but not unheard of.
The Align insoles also took some time to break in. We don’t suggest wearing these for a full shift straight out of the box. They take some time to reach their best.
- Available in multiple colorways
- Impact absorption
- Sizing runs narrow
- The Align insoles require breaking in
Most Comfortable Shoes for Pharmacists (Men)
The most comfortable shoe for male pharmacists is the Omni Walker 3 from Saucony. Created as a stability walking shoe, the Omni Walker has become a favourite among working professionals who spend a lot of time on their feet.
The removable insole and Pwrrun midsole work in conjunction to deliver unrivalled comfort and cushioning. They match the contours of your feet, supporting your arches and allowing you to flex naturally. The Pwrrun midsole is a fusion of EVA foam and rubber. It’s lightweight, responsive and durable. It features Saucony’s GRID cassette at the heel. This effectively absorbs impacts and offers maximum control as you walk.
The non-slip rubber sole is made from proprietary TX-900 rubber for maximum traction, even on wet slippery floors. It features Walk Trac lines that gently encourage your natural gait, increasing your comfort and reducing foot pain.
Flex grooves are also present around the forefoot. Together with the asymmetric sole design, these ensure there’s plenty of wiggle room for your toes. They allow your foot’s natural biomechanics to work unconstricted.
With a full-grain leather upper, these shoes are spill-proof and easy to clean. They’re available in black or white options. Both will blend in at work but you won’t want to wear them for anything too formal.
While these shoes do blend in at work, they’re closer to athletic sneakers than formal shoes. They also lack as much breathability as some of the shoes on our list. This is a trade off for the amount of cushioning and support they offer.
- Provides stability
- Impact absorption
- Foot pain reduction
- Lack formality
- Breathability is sacrificed for the cushioning and support this shoe offers
Best Stability and Arch Support Shoe for Pharmacists (Men & Women)
The best shoe for stability and arch support is the Propet Stability Walker. Both the men’s and women’s models exceeded our expectations when it came to comfort, support, and stability.
The durable leather features lots of perforations for breathability. However, they’ll still protect you from spills. They’re easy to wipe clean and will stand the test of time thanks to their reinforcing overlays.
Inside, the shoes are home to a textile lining. It’s moisture-wicking and heavily cushioned. The tongue and ankle collar also feature thick cushioning to ensure your foot is held securely within the shoes. The internal heel counter grips the back of your foot to maximise stability.
The removable insole features a heel pad and contoured ridges for maximum comfort and support. It corrects foot posture and helps protect against collapsed arches, supination and pronation. It can be replaced with your own custom orthotics if required.
The midsole is moulded from lightweight EVA foam. It delivers responsive cushioning and support. When combined with the rocker profile of the outsole, it encourages you to walk with a more natural gait. This reduces the strain on your joints and lowers your chance of injury.
The outsole itself is non-slip rubber. It has a defined tread pattern to ensure traction on both wet and dry surfaces.
These shoes are available in various widths, all the way to 3X Wide.
These are not the most formal shoes we looked at. They look much more like normal shoes with a casual shape and look to them. While the black ones will probably blend in at work, any other colour is likely to stand out.
There is also an issue with the D Ring lacing system. It speeds up tying your laces but we experienced sharp ridges inside the rings. These can cut or damage the laces. They can be filed down but we suggest having a spare set of laces handy.
- Reduces supination and pronation
- Not a formal working shoe
- Sharp ridges whiting the D Ring lacing system can cut or damage laces
Best Sneaker for Pharmacists (Women)
The best fashion sneaker for female pharmacists is the Cole Haan Crosscourt 2. This relaxed yet smart tennis shoe is low profile with minimalistic styling. It’ll fit in at work or can be used as a casual shoe for a day out. It’s super comfy, spill-resistant and durable.
The EVA outsole is lightweight, heavily cushioned and flexes with ease. It features rubber grip patches on the heel and toes. These produce consistent traction even on wet, slippery floors.
The leather upper is easy to clean and will protect you from spills. There’s very little styling on the shoes, which adds to their minimalist image. The flat laces can be tightened almost to the top. This ensures the best support possible by tightening the padded collar and tongue around your foot.
Inside, the shoes are lined with a synthetic leather material. It’s lightweight, tough and breathable. It feels plush against your feet, reducing rubbing and preventing your feet from overheating.
The insole utilises Cole Haan’s Grand OS technology. This creates a cushioned footbed that’s breathable, flexible, lightweight and responsive. The insoles were one of our favourite features on these shoes.
Even with the comfortable insole, these shoes offer less arch support than other shoes on our list. While they look amazing, if function is more important than form for you, we suggest opting for more supportive shoes.
- Sub optimal arch support
Best Sneaker for Pharmacists (Men)
The best fashionable sneaker for male pharmacists is the Vionic Mott Baldwin. This shoe appears to be a normal sneaker but it’s hiding a secret. It’s chock full of smart orthotic features to provide the most supportive, stylish base for your feet.
Starting from the bottom up, the rubber outsole is hardwearing but flexible. It features a distinct tread pattern that ensures grip levels are not compromised, even on wet surfaces.
The thick EVA footbed is designed by podiatrists to support your feet as you walk. The shoes come with the American Podiatric Medical Association seal of approval. They encourage your foot into a more natural position, working with your biomechanics to correct foot and standing posture. The footbed can be removed if you need to replace it.
The insole is covered in a leather lining. This takes some breaking in but eventually moulds to the shape of your foot for unrivalled comfort and support. The entire lining of the shoe is leather. This is rare in most shoes due to cost but is a tough and breathable option.
The supple premium leather upper is spill-proof and easy to clean. It’s got a stylish minimalist look, like a smart tennis shoe. It’s available in a range of colours, so while not the most formal shoe, it’s perfect for a smart-casual look.
Due to the leather lining inside these shoes, the break in period can be quite uncomfortable. We suggest only wearing the shoes for an hour or two a day initially. This will give your feet time to get used to the orthotic supports and allow the leather to stretch and mould to fit. Thick socks are always a good option while breaking in new shoes.
- Approved by the American Podiatric Medical Association
- Available in multiple colorways
- Requires a break in period
1. Arch Support
As a pharmacist, you’ll spend long hours standing or walking on hard floors. Without the right level of support, this can lead to tired feet and even cause your arches to collapse. In the short term, regular shoes without enhanced support can be uncomfortable, verging on painful. But in the long term, collapsed arches can lead to flat feet, joint issues and severe back pain.
Having shoes with a good level of arch support helps reduce the risk of collapsed arches. Good support can also reduce pain in those already suffering with flat feet. Keep an eye out for orthotic insoles or, at the very least, removable insoles. These will allow you to insert your own orthotics.
Shoes with a roomy toe box, as well as good arch support, will reduce your risk of injury even further. This is because they allow your toes to spread naturally, which reduces the impact walking has on your body.
Wearing shoes all day can become quite uncomfortable, especially if they’re not well padded. Ensure the insoles of your work shoes have plenty of cushioning. This will prevent your feet from getting tired throughout the day. In turn, this reduces the risk of injuries like plantar fasciitis and leaves you with more energy after your shift.
To complicate things, you need to be careful about getting shoes with too much cushioning on the soles. If it is too thick, the padding can reduce the sensory feedback from your feet. This can cause you to be heavy-footed as you walk and cause injuries to your knees and hips.
You also want to look out for shoes with padded ankle collars and tongues. These help keep your feet secure in the shoes, reducing the amount they can move around. They also reduce rubbing from harder parts of your shoes and prevent blisters.
Spending a lot of time walking and standing can mean your feet overheat easily, especially during summer or in a warm building. To ensure your feet don’t get too hot and uncomfortable, we suggest buying work shoes with a high level of breathability.
Perforations in the upper, or shoes made from breathable materials like mesh or thin leather, are the best way to prevent your feet from getting too hot. They allow air to flow around your feet as you walk. This means sweat can evaporate and keep you cool.
Keep an eye out for shoes with special proprietary technology. You might find work shoes with breathable insoles or mesh panels that encourage airflow.
4. Slip Resistance
Pharmacy floors are usually polished or sealed concrete. These can get very slippery, especially when wet. As a pharmacist, you’re likely to walk across slippery surfaces while carrying expensive medical supplies or equipment. To ensure you keep your balance, and don’t drop anything of value, non-slip shoes are a must.
As a pharmacist, you’re a trusted and well respected professional. You’ll want to remain smart and presentable at work. And your shoes are an integral part of your look. Most pharmacists wear either black or white shoes. While sneakers and trainers are a common choice of pharmacy shoes, they need to be smart and not too flashy.
While it’s not common for pharmacists to work with open liquids, it’s good practice to have waterproof or spill-resistant shoes. They keep your feet dry and safe in case you do spill anything dangerous.
Spill-proof shoes are also much easier to clean because liquids usually just run off without soaking into them.
Both shoes protect you from slips and spills. Both are comfortable, supportive and durable. They also look smart enough to be worn at work and comfortable enough to walk home in.
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