Best Shoes For Vet Techs: Keep Your Feet Comfortable, Safe And Clean

Do not let anyone say veterinarians are not real doctors. If anything, their job is a little tougher than being a people doctor. The patient can’t tell you where exactly the pain is or what they were doing when they first noticed the pain. (Well, Doc, I was just gnawing on a power cord when all of a sudden….) You can’t advise the patient directly. (Whaddya mean foam rubber isn’t food?)

There’s a good chance the patient might bite or scratch you if they don’t like their treatment. (Hey, buddy! What’s the big idea jamming that needle in me?) The medicine often has to be wrapped in a bologna slice before the patient will take it. And unless something has gone terribly, terribly wrong, there’s little chance the patient will lose control of their bladder and bowels and just go right there.

A nauseated human will usually have the decency to at least turn away from you if they have to vomit. And then there’s the fact that you may occasionally be asked to leave your nice, clean office for a zoo or a farm. You might forget sometimes how important it is to have good shoes for this job. Not only are you on your feet all day, but you might get nasty stuff like blood, vomit, urine, and feces on your shoes.

Most people don’t worry about that until the weekend! And then there’s the fact that you’re handling sharp objects and a patient that may get a little testy if you bring a sharp object to close to them. (Human patients might whine and cry but barring mental impairment they’re unlikely to outright attack their doctor.) You need shoes that will keep your feet comfortable, safe and are easy to clean. If they look cute with your scrubs, well that’s just gravy.

best shoes for vet techs

What Kind of Shoes Should a Vet Gopher-uh- Go For?

Someone who spends a lot of time on farms or ranches might think cowboy boots are a good idea. It really isn’t. The cowboy boot is designed for riding a horse, not doctoring one. Plus, the Hollywood inspired designs for most modern cowboy boots really are not practical for the barn. If you can find something with a foam insert, your feet will be in Heaven. Many veterinarian techs swear by clogs, being comfortable and easy to clean.

Some swear by the homely but practical Crocs. Be warned, you should only wear the kind with a completely closed toe and an ample amount of heel coverage. Plus, they are not very good for running in, particularly on uneven ground. Some people find them too squishy for long term use, but find they’ll hold up if it’s just a couple hours in surgery.

And then there’s the material. Some people who go into the veterinary sciences love animals so much they can’t justify killing them for food or clothes when there are other options. This means the leather is out but plastic and vinyl are options. Some people like the comfort of a good pair of running shoes, but the cloth is hard to disinfect. True, you get little paper booties to wear over your shoes in the OR but you can never be too clean.

The Reviews:

Here are some of the best shoes for vet techs. Most are rated for practicality, but you may find that some come in interesting designs including animal-themed.

1. Dansko Women’s Professional

Dansko Women's Professional

Dansko is a name that came up time and again on forums where vet techs discussed among themselves what kind of shoes they liked to wear on the job. Dansko intends that their products live up to the highest standards to provide the wearer the very best in comfort, durability, support, fit and performance.

They put their shoes through rigorous testing before putting them in the box.  Dansko proudly carries the American Podiatric Medical Association seal of approval. This is a comfortable shoe sure to offer all-day support.

Features and Benefits:

The padded instep collar brings comfort while walking. The round, roomy and reinforced toe offers protection plus ample wiggle room for the toes. The PU outsole with rocker bottom is there to propel the foot forward and offer shock absorption. The shoe has a wide heel strike for greater stability.

What We Like:

  • The shoe is comfortable and stable.
  • The design is simple but professional.
  • The toe box is roomy.
  • The padded collar prevents blistering.

What We Don’t:

  • The footbed is not removable.
  • The fit is on the fairly tight side.
  • There’s a bit of a break-in period.

2. Merrell Men’s Jungle Moc Slip-On Shoe

Merrell Men's Jungle Moc Slip-On Shoe,Gunsmoke,8.5 2E US

Merrell is a brand that’s relatively new to the game but has quickly amassed a following. It was originally designed for the purpose of hiking, biking, and camping but people who are on their feet all day such as those in the medical community soon took a liking to it. It is a casual looking shoe but very comfortable and easy to pull on. These are great shoes for the office, but you can really wear them just about anywhere.

Features and Benefits:

The moc-inspired slip-on comes with an elastic side goring to provide a custom fit. It also comes with a stain and water-resistant leather upper. The compression-molded EVA footframe offers cushioning. An air-cushion midsole makes the shoe more comfortable and supportive.

The mesh lining makes for a more breathable shoe. The patented Merrell air cushion built into the heel absorbs shock and adds stability. The long-lasting M Select Fresh keeps sweat and moisture from affecting the smell of your shoes. The insoles are removable for convenience.

What We Like:

  • The slip-on design means to laces or dirtying your hands.
  • The shoe is low maintenance.
  • The shoes are slip-resistant.
  • The fit is comfortable and true to size.
  • Stink-free technology is a nice touch.

What We Don’t:

  • The insoles are stiff.
  • The shoes are not water-resistant.
  • They are too warm for summer.

3. Crocs Women’s Neria Pro II Graphic Clog

Crocs Women's Neria Pro II Graphic Clog, Black/Ikat, 6 M US

Provided that Crocs are allowed at your place of business, they are a great shoe for workers who spend a lot of time on their feet. Crocs Neria Pro II Graphic Clogs for women provide the long-lasting comfort you want in the workplace. The enclosed toe and heel on this model should make it fit safety standards. This model comes in seven interesting yet tasteful graphics so you are sure to find something that suits you.

Features and Benefits:

This up to date style comes with removable and washable footbed liners. The enclosed toes and heels should meet workplace safety and health standards. The enhanced arch support adds to the comfort. The tread is slip-resistant for ease in walking. There is an ample amount of cushioning.

What We Like:

  • The shoes are easy to clean.
  • They are lightweight.
  • The shoes are waterproof.
  • They are slip-resistant.
  • The fit is true to size.

What We Don’t:

  • They are not breathable. Feet tend to sweat in them.
  • They tend to squeak.

4. Birkenstock Professional Unisex Profi Birki Slip Resistant Work Shoe

Birkenstock Professional Unisex Profi Birki Slip Resistant Work Shoe

The good old fashioned Birki is a favorite in the medical community. They were known as “Earth Shoes” back in the sixties though these old-timers have been around since before America was even a country. While it’s true these polyurethane promenaders would be unrecognizable as anything to Johann Adam Birkenstock, they do keep up the Birki tradition of being plain and straightforward. You will get comfort, durability, and support from these shoes but little else. Then again, maybe that’s all you need.

Features and Benefits:

The sole is very strong and can be counted upon to last. The slip-on style is easy to put on. The outsole is anti-slip for ease in walking. The footbeds and insoles are easily removable and replaceable for convenience.

What We Like:

  • The shoe provides good arch support.
  • They are very comfortable and provide stability.
  • The shoes have sturdy construction.
  • The traction is great.
  • They’re dishwasher safe. (If you really want to wash your shoes in the dishwasher.)

What We Don’t:

  • They are rather plain-looking.
  • The shoes are not breathable.
  • There’s a break-in period.
  • They are not suitable for people with high arches.

5. Skechers BOBS Women’s Plush-Go Fetch Ballet Flat

Skechers BOBS Women's Plush-Go Fetch Ballet Flat

Like Birkenstock, Skechers has a tendency to be very no-nonsense and straightforward in their shoe design. However, they decided to pretty up this particular style of a ballet flat with a puppy themed print. You could say it’s quite “fetching”!

This sporty slip-on has a memory foam footbed that will keep your foot comfortable all day. What’s more, Skechers donates a portion of the proceeds of sales of these shoes to dog and cat charities. Over the years, they have donated over three million dollars to shelter animals in need.

Features and Benefits:

The sole is very flexible. The memory foam makes a very comfortable shoe. The outsole is a flexible rubber with a good tread for ease in walking. An elasticated panel improves the fit. The slip-on design is easy to put on with no laces getting in the way.

What We Like:

  • The fit is true to size.
  • The shoe is comfortable.
  • The print is cute. (Not often are pit bulls put in a positive light.)
  • There is no break-in period.

What We Don’t:

  • The shoes are not waterproof.
  • The traction is only so-so.
  • They run a bit narrow.

Other Pointers (As in Tips, Not the Dog.)

To spare your feet you should alternate your shoes every day. Don’t wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row. Some health care centers have banned Crocs as being unsafe. Check with the standards at your place to see if closed-toed Crocs are acceptable. Remember that walking boarding dogs is the assistant’s job, not the tech’s.

That’s one less foot breaking chore on your list. (You didn’t get an associate’s degree to hold a leash while Mr. Woofers goes tinky-poo.) If you can find a chance to sit down, say while on the phone, taking notes or discussing things with the patent’s pet parent, take it.

Vet Techs in the Pasture-uh- Past

Veterinarians have always had an assistant or apprentice of some sort. An organization for training women for this job was formed in 1908 and was called the Canine Nurses Institute. Due to perceptions of the time that women were better suited for nursing, it was assumed only women would want training for the job.

It at least acknowledged women who were good with animals should be paid for their efforts and trained to do what was best for the animal, so it was fair for its day. The Ruislip Dog Sanatorium was founded in 1913 and hired nurses to care for sick dogs all through the Twenties. In the middle of the Thirties, the new veterinary nurses came to the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons wanting official recognition.

It was in 1938 that the Royal Veterinary College had a head nurse appointed. However, this official recognition was not admitted until 1957. First, they were acknowledged as veterinary nurses but switched within a year to Royal Animal Nursing Auxiliaries (RANAs) due to protests from the human nursing profession.

It was the United States Air Force that introduced vet techs in 1951. It is one of the USAF’s many duties to train dogs for the military to sniff out drugs and bombs. Someone has to make sure all these canines are healthy since even a simple cold can keep Fido from doing his job properly.

In 1965 Walter Collins, a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, received federal funding in order to cultivate model curricula for teaching technicians. He came up with various guides over the next seven years. It is because of these efforts that he is thought of as the “father of veterinary technology” in the United States.


As a vet tech, you pride yourself on being detail-oriented with the ability to stay calm and focused under very stressful situations. So, why have you not noticed you need better shoes? You are driven by results and a good communicator so undoubtedly you will now. You are organized, patient and ethical with an ability to find solutions so you will be able to search out the pair of shoes that suit you best. Hopefully, this guide has steered you in the right direction.

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