Tried & Trusted: Clove Sneakers
Perhaps the most important piece of a nurse’s wardrobe is their shoes. Yes, scrubs are important too, but scrubs won’t make your back hurt or cause you to slip in that questionable puddle at your patient’s bedside.
As a nurse myself, I have tried a variety of shoes over the years. Everything from the classic Dansko clogs to Hokas to a worn-in pair of Nike running shoes. Personally, most of them did the job well enough, but I never felt like any of them truly met my needs as a nurse working on my feet all day.
Enter Clove, a new company on the scene that has developed a shoe designed specifically for healthcare professionals. Clove’s Founder, Joe Ammon, initially realized the need for such a shoe when his wife entered the nursing profession and struggled to find a shoe that could successfully combat the hazards, impact, and duration of a 12-hour shift. Joe and the rest of the Clove team worked with healthcare professionals to develop a shoe that really could “do it all.”
Their shoe was designed to not only look good, but also to feel good, with multiple layers of support and the very-necessary grip for those slick hospital floors. They also boast fluid-repellent uppers and laces that make them easy to slip on and off.
When I first heard about Clove shoes, I was a little skeptical but also extremely excited and intrigued by a brand that actually catered to nurses. Since the shoes were just launched a couple of months ago, I could not find many reviews on them from other nurses. So, I teamed up with two other actively working Trusted Nurses to put them through the true test, a 12-hour shift at the hospital.
We focused on four different areas: overall design/look, safety, support/comfort, and some features unique to Clove nursing shoes.
We were all incredibly excited to receive those shoes in the mail, and our initial impression did not disappoint!
First off, we were so impressed by the attention to detail in the packaging alone! They arrived in the cutest box with some other little surprises like pens that state “For Borrowing Only,” sturdy badge holders, and some fun stickers.
As for the shoes themselves, I was thrilled with the pink pair I had ordered. I found the design visually appealing with its sleek, athletic design. Honestly, I didn’t work the day I received them but thought they were so cute I threw them on with a pair of leggings to go to the grocery store. Liz, a spunky and stylish ER nurse, stated that “Overall, I enjoy the look of the cloves and got a lot of compliments from my coworkers.”
The true test came from Jared, a Pediatric ER nurse, who is a bit of a sneaker junkie. I knew from working with him in the past that he would never wear anything that didn’t look or feel good and has extremely high standards for shoes. He initially said he didn’t like the smooth texture of the outer uppers and was a little concerned with how the top of the shoe creased when he walked; however, he came around by the end of the week.
He noted that after three grueling shifts at the hospital, the shoes still “looked exactly like they did when I first took them out of the box.” Overall, we decided this shoe would look great with any scrubs (especially those trendy jogger pants), and we gave the shoe’s design a thumbs up!
So, I want to preface this with a disclaimer: I am not a Dansko gal. I am almost six feet tall, fairly graceless, and have a bad right ankle from playing years of volleyball. One time while wearing the famous clogs, I was running to a code and lost one, sending it flying down the hallway. I need a shoe that I feel secure in, one that not only supports my foot, but also prevents me from tripping and slipping through the halls when I need to move quickly.
When I first put on my pair of Cloves, I was concerned that the slip on/off style would allow my heel to slip out. I was able to adjust the tightness with the drawstrings, removing any doubt of losing the shoe during a code. Honestly, I came to really like the ability to slip my shoes on and off at a moment’s notice.
Liz also had a similar experience: “I put them on for the first time halfway into one of my shifts and definitely noticed a difference in the feel of the shoe. Initially, it felt less supportive than my sneaker that had lace ups and were on pretty tight. It took me about 20-30 minutes of walking around in them to get used to the looser feel. After a while, I began to actually prefer the feel of the cloves. I was also able to adjust the shoes a bit and tie the loops for a more snug fit.”
As far as the grip action on the shoes, we were all a fan. Jared, who is an athlete in his own right, found he “felt secure when walking and running, even on a recently mopped floor.” Liz was initially “nervous that the light-weight feel” would cause her feet to catch when she walked. After wearing them for two weeks and multiple nurse station dance parties (she specializes in the moonwalk), she is happy to report that has yet to occur due to the grippy nature of the shoe’s soles.
The most important features that we focused on were comfort and support. At the end of the day (or shift), it really doesn’t matter what a nursing shoe looks like if it’s uncomfortable or doesn’t provide enough support. I remember I wore a pair of Converse for a couple of weeks as a new grad nurse, and by the end of it, my lower back was screaming from the lack of support during long shifts.
After wearing the Clove nursing shoes for a full 12 hours, I am extremely happy to report that I found the shoes to be comfortable, resulting with zero aches or pains. The bottom of the shoe is so well-cushioned that it almost felt like it gave me an extra spring to my step, and the flexible neoprene ankles kept me feeling stable. Jared also reported that his feet “felt great after multiple shifts in the shoes, even though it took me a little bit to adjust to the drawstring laces. Ultimately, my feet felt supported without any problems.”
Liz also had a positive experience: “As a busy ER nurse on my feet for the majority of the day, finding the right shoe is very important. I have worn nursing shoes in the past that start to bother my feet and lower back around hour eight of a shift. I can honestly say that my feet felt just as happy at hour one as they did at hour twelve while wearing Cloves. Despite the lightweight and almost malleable feel, I think there is a strong support mechanism built into the shoe.”
Alright, Clove, you clearly passed this round!
Ok, it’s time to talk dirty. As in, “how freaking dirty our shoes are at the end of the shift.” And it’s not just the bottom of the shoes. As a former trauma nurse, I have had to throw away a pair of shoes from getting covered in blood. I also once had a patient confuse my feet with a urinal (gross). That’s why I was extremely excited to hear these shoes were fluid repellent and stain resistant.
I was pretty skeptical about this. Not only do my shoes need to be able to repel fluids, but I also want them to be able to withstand the harsh cleaning wipes we use at the hospital. We noticed the shell, while repellent, still allowed our feet to breathe so we didn’t smell up the nurses station when we would slip them off while charting.
Jared, Liz, and I all scrubbed our shoes down at the end of the day. We were pleased to find the colors still looked just as vivid, all residue/stains completely removed and the outer shell did not let any of the fluid leak inside the shoe. Liz put it perfectly: “And of course I like that they’re easy to clean at the end of my shift with the strong hospital sanitation wipes and actually feel good about bringing them into my home at the end of the day. In the past, I have checked my shoes at the door. Not anymore.”
Conclusion of Our Clove Shoes Review
These shoes have earned our check of approval. They are on the pricier side, at $130 a pair, but that is pretty comparable to other classic nursing shoes such as Danskos, Hokas, and Nikes. In our opinion, good shoes are worth the investment if they keep us safe and comfortable. We also love how much more fashionable they are than the traditional nursing shoe. We don’t think it’s too much to ask for to feel good and look good while taking care of our patients.
The shoes have pretty much every feature we could want in a nursing shoe. In the words of Liz, “now if they could just do our charting...”
Want to grab a pair for yourself? Check them out here!