Nurses have always been a backbone of society, and the pandemic has highlighted their heroic status more lately. With brands like Stoggles stepping forward to create glasses expressly for healthcare workers, more brands have emerged in recent years to reimagine day-to-day products that match the strenuous needs of the healthcare profession while still preserving your sense of fashion.
One of the most important things we can offer those who work long hours to serve our loved ones and us is our support, which is precisely what brands like Vessi vs Snibbs vs Bala vs Clove are doing. These brands are challenging the conventional nurse-shoe stereotype by developing a shoes that’s equal parts functional comfort and fashion.
In this post, we’ll compare a few of the most popular shoe brands for nurses — Vessi vs Snibbs vs Bala vs Clove — to review their unique qualities like waterproofing, comfortability, durability, and, of course, aesthetics to determine if they meet your aesthetic needs.
What makes footwear for nurses different from normal sneakers?
Traditionally, nursing shoes were built with comfort and functionality in mind in order to withstand long days of standing and walking. The shoes’ aesthetic generally wasn’t a key focus until modern brands like Vessi, Snibbs, Bala, and Clove made it a priority. All four offer sneakers that are completely vegan, look like any other modern footwear brand, and have unisex sizing to accommodate people from all walks of life (literally and figuratively).
The specific functionality of Vessi vs Snibbs vs Bala vs Clove distinguishes them. Vessi has a completely waterproof exterior, while Snibbs, Bala, and Clove are liquid-resistant. This provides an easily cleanable outside surface from bodily fluids, which is another vital factor to consider when working in healthcare. All four provide significant tread and have no problem gripping surfaces, with subtle variations optimized for hospital working conditions.
These features are highly desired in everyday footwear; thus, these shoes are ideal for anyone on their feet all day, especially inside. Aside from nurses, surgeons, pharmacists, physical therapists, EMTs, and others in healthcare, this also applies to professionals in the food and beverage sector, frequent travelers, teachers, and many others.
Vessi vs Snibbs vs Bala vs Clove: What sets them apart?
If you’re contemplating upgrading your orthotic footwear, consider these four brands and use our chart below to differentiate between the features that mean the most to you.
Vessi vs Clove vs Bala vs Snibbs: comparing the top stylish orthotics for nurses
|Top features||100% waterproof, lightweight, slip resistant||All day comfort, custom Ortholite insole, slip & water resistant, engineered by a doctor||Created with nurses, designed with female foot morphology, room for swelling, fluid resistant||Created for nurses, slip-on, easy to clean, fluid resistant, multi-layer support, grippy outsoles|
combinations & rotating limited edition colors
rotating limited edition colors
“treasured trio” (green, maroon, pink),
rotating limited edition colors
men’s shoes are 1-2mm wider than women’s
|Unisex, Women’s 5-12, men’s 6-11||Women’s 5-12.5, men’s 7-13|
|Arch support?||Low, Weekend model offers best, replaceable insoles||Medium, replaceable insoles||Adaptable, offers conforming arch insole||Medium, replaceable insoles|
|Special offers?||20% off for verified healthcare workers||None at the moment||15% off during month of May||20% off all 2021 Core sneakers until 2022 launch|
|Return / exchange policy||90-day return policy, only exchanges offered on final-sale items||30-day return policy, $5 restocking fee, free exchanges||45-day return policy, free returns||30-day return policy, $5 restocking fee, free exchanges|
|Delivers to?||United States
|United States||United States||Continental U.S.
Review of Vessi sneakers for nurses
The innovative waterproofing technology used by Vessi distinguishes it from alternatives, as does the fact that each pair weighs only 6.7 ounces, making them the lightest waterproof shoes in the world.
Vessi’s most notable characteristic is their capacity to survive in weather. They were designed in Vancouver to get to work on wet days without the need for a backup pair. So, while not ‘only for nurses,’ Vessi’s sneakers provide nearly all of the same ergonomic benefits as those who are, with the added bonus of durability and weather resistance on your commute.
Overall, Vessi shoes are far more versatile than cumbersome rain boots or bulky winter boots. And, even though the shoes are flexible and lightweight, you don’t see toe humps and the build of the shoes is solid.
What makes Vessi sneakers waterproof?
A unique Dyma-tex membrane is woven into the knit of Vessi waterproof shoes. Layers of specialized material are also used for extra stretch, moisture-wicking, antibacterial insoles, and a slip-free Herringbone grip.
The antibacterial insoles may be swapped out for custom or orthotic insoles, which is a useful feature for health care workers who work in a soiled workplace daily. Finally, the bottom features a Herringbone grip with carved channels to zone out water for improved traction.
For those concerned about the environment, Vessi footwear does not use animal products and leaves a lesser carbon footprint in their manufacturing process.
What styles are Vessi sneakers available in?
In addition to weather, stain, and fluid resistance, Vessi sneakers are sweat-free, comfortable, fashionable, and environmentally friendly. The four styles have distinct benefits, which we’ll go over below, but the Weekend style is the most suggested for those working in healthcare as it is the most comfortable for lengthy periods. Check the sizing chart and comments before purchasing, as some are claimed to run smaller or larger depending on style.
- Cityscape: lightest sneaker, minimalist design, three-zone rubber tread for lightness and grip
- Everyday: chunkier midsole for lateral support, higher lace cage for footbridge support, more frontal grip & side-to-side traction on wet surfaces
- Everyday Move: most breathability & arch support, sporty middleground of Everyday & Weekend line
- Slip-on: lightweight, good for travel, same design as Everyday
- Weekend: more relaxed fit, sturdy with less compression, more breathability and comfort, ost slip-resistant, non-marking
How much do Vessi sneakers cost?
Vessi sneakers costs vary depending on the style; however, the price range for their collection is $95-$155. Vessi also gives you three price points for each shoe and allows you to choose what you pay, with a percentage of the proceeds going to charity. For example, the actual price of the Weekend style shoes is $125; however, if you choose to pay the other two options, $135 or $155, the extra money will be donated.
Vessi provides a 20% discount to anyone in the healthcare field via ID.MI, a verification ID platform (bringing the price down to $76-$124 for each pair, depending on style). Vessi sneakers are “super shoes for our superheroes,” with waterproof, breathable, slip-resistant, and machine washable shoes that are ultra-comfortable for long shifts and all-day wear.
Review of Snibbs footwear
By “working hard for the hardworking,” Snibbs are the “last work shoe you’ll ever need.” Dr. Snibbe, a leading orthopaedic surgeon, collaborated with Chef Daniel Shemtob to design a working shoe that didn’t exist in either of their specialties – every alternative was functional but unattractive, or vice versa. They set out to not only build a work shoe but to entirely overhaul the thought process that went into it. Working with numerous developers and designers, they were able to produce a work shoe by using the best performing and most comfortable materials, regardless of cost.
Aside from comfort, one of Snibbs‘ main priorities is durability. They use comfy but durable materials to reduce wear and tear dramatically, so you don’t have to buy new shoes all the time. This is an attractive feature for workers who are on their feet all day.
Are Snibbs sneaker comfortable?
In terms of features, Snibbs has a rather diverse set. They cover various areas, all of which work together to make a highly resistant shoe.
The outer material is water-resistant with a slip-resistant outsole (certified by an industry standard Brungraber Mark II test to showcase superior slip resistance and grip on wet floors coated with water, oil, grease and more – now those are STANDARDS, people!).
For your inner-comfort, Snibbs partnered with one of the world’s leading insole providers, Ortholite, to create a custom SNIBBS-TECH insole, providing a supportive foundation to prevent fatigue & pain for long periods of time.
Snibbs offers a great amount of background and information on foot health on their website, going into detail on the shoes that podiatrists recommend for surgeons, nurses and for some of the feet-related issues that can be solved with Snibbs. Nurses need shoes with maximum support, cushioning to reduce strain, room to prevent compression injuries and accommodate swelling and slip-resistant soles. For these reasons, Snibbs are widely recommended by podiatrists.
Review of Bala footwear for nurses
Bala distinguishes themselves with their Her-First footwear design, which integrates female foot morphology to develop a better design from the ground up. Most large footwear brands develop shoes for men first and simply shrink them down for women’s shoes – but in a female-dominated sector, that approach should be reversed. Bala represents the impossible balance of nurses being soft but strong, caring but dark, knowledgeable but irreverent, all while juggling life and one of the world’s most grueling occupations.
Bala developed their design, Twelve, with the absurdity of a 12-hour nursing shift in mind after talking with hundreds of nurses. Their inclusion of feedback from real nurses in the actual building process is obvious.
How well do Bala’s fit?
When creating their shoes for best comfort, support, durability, and sturdy insoles, Bala took the feedback of real nurses into great account. They have features designed exclusively for nurses, such as:
The HRS Cushioning System: it distributes weight uniformly across the whole shoe bed, reducing pressure areas, aching feet, and achy bodies.
The “Arch M-Brace” sock liner: it provides adequate support while allowing the arch to activate, which is essential for foot strength and health during long shifts.
ShiftShield: it is a fluid-resistant and flexible outer layer found on Bala shoes.
The KnitFit bootie: it wraps the foot in a pleasant and snug hug, reducing slippage within the shoe and allowing for 360-degree support—essential for those last-minute dashes to codes or bed alarms.
Code Grip: the base is molded polyurethane foam soles with high-traction rubber treads to prevent slipping. It also provides silent traction on hospital flooring, which is useful when there are spills on the floor or when a nurse needs to slip in and out of a room late at night.
Review of Clove stylish shoes for nurses
Clove, named by Time as one of the Best Inventions of 2021, was designed by the husband of a healthcare worker who witnessed firsthand the lack of technology in this field. Clove created a fashionable shoe that prioritizes the needs of individuals on the front lines of healthcare after working with a network of healthcare professionals and inventive designers.
What makes Clove shoes unique?
Clove healthcare shoes are made with Clarino, a leather-looking (but vegan) liquid-repellent, stain-resistant, abrasion-resistant, and easy to clean microfiber fabric. All this keeps them looking new and enduring for a more extended period. With a built-in neoprene sock, these shoes are effortless to slip on when you need to attend to an emergency.
The rubber soles of these sneakers are strong and stable enough to keep you balanced. They also contain high-performance Ortholite inserts that help combat bacteria and unpleasant odors, so you don’t have to worry about breaking a sweat while on the nursing shift. When these inserts become soiled, simply toss them in the washing machine, and they will return to their original glory.
Clove nursing shoes are not like conventional shoes when it comes to tying because they don’t have the normal laces that other shoes have.
However, this isn’t a major issue because they aren’t intended to be knotted repeatedly. Basically, you string them up once, put your foot in, and then tighten them every time you put them back on.
While this is not a traditional method of shoe tying, it is extremely beneficial to nurses. You not only get a quicker way to put on your shoes, but you can also simply readjust throughout a hectic shift.
What are Clove compression socks?
Clove Compression Socks are designed to provide extra comfort for your feet. These socks improve blood flow and minimize swelling while also providing a fashionable touch to any day or night shift.
Their soft bottoms are padded and have a compression of 20-30 mmHg. In a nutshell, these are intended for use on days when you don’t have time to sit down.
And you can get them for free when you place your first order!
Customer Reviews: What are customers saying about Vessi, Clove, Bala, and Snibbs?
Vessi sneakers customer reviews
We understand if you’re skeptical about Vessi sneakers being waterproof. The idea of a pair of Vessi shoes withstanding rain, wind, muck, dirt, snow, and slush appears too good to be true. The thousands of customer reviews that attest to their waterproofing, however, speak for themselves.
A review of the Vessi Weekender from an average of 4.7 stars out of 1923 reviews on vessi.com
Snibbs footwear reviews
Snibbs shoes excel in cleanability, protection, durability, and can sustain a waterproof seal. These are unquestionably their most notable features, and customer feedback seems to highlight these aspects most.
A review from an average of 4.7 stars out of 814 reviews on snibbs.co
Bala shoes customer reviews
Customers of Bala rave about the Twelves’ comfort, design, and aesthetics.
A review from an average of 4.2 stars out of 1746 reviews on wearebala.com
Clove footwear customer reviews
Clove customers say the shoes are comfy, quality build, easy to clean, and breathable. All of these qualities contribute to a wonderful shoe for nurses who are on their feet all day.
A review from an average of 4.8 stars out of 2034 reviews on goclove.com
The Verdict: What’s the best stylish footwear for nurses – Vessi vs Clove vs Bala vs Snibbs?
When it comes down to deciding which of these shoes are for you, think about what’s most important. When it comes to waterproofing, washing, and overall foot protection, each brand delivers. Each shoe excels in terms of cleanability, protection, and keeping a waterproof seal. These are, without a doubt, some of their most notable characteristics.The price points also run about the same, unless there’s a sale involved.
While each brand has the most elements in common; however, subtle differences may persuade you to choose one brand over the other.
If style and aesthetics are the most important, Vessi has the largest array to choose from and offers the fully waterproof feature that the rest can’t quite match.
If you’re truly looking for a woman’s shoe fit, Bala, who incorporated feedback from thousands of real nurses to construct the most ergonomic fit, might be your best option.
Clove’s cinch lace easy-on and off feature sets them apart if you’re absolutely done with laces, not to mention the free compression socks you receive with your order (you can never have too many, let’s be honest!)
And Snibbs (certified by an industry-standard Brungraber Mark II test) could be the best option for you if you’re looking for the most gripping and versatile design.
All four brands have many color choices and are available in men’s and women’s sizes, which truly leaves it up to personal preference at the end of the day.
Hav you bought a pair of stylish orthotics from one of the brands above? Let us know which you chose and how they perform for you in the wild. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all that you do, superheroes!!