Dansko is the name of a footwear company in West Grove, Pennsylvania that makes comfort footwear and clothing. But anytime you say Dansko, you do not make anyone think about Mandy Cabot and Peter Kjellerup, the couple that founded the company in 1990. Instead, you trace the image of the many nurses comfortably walking from one hospital ward to another in their clogs. It seems that the shoe and the nurse are inseparable. So why do nurses wear Danskos?
Always Danskos: Saying it as a nurse would
Sit a couple of nurses and ask them over a cup of coffee why they love the clogs. They are likely to give these reasons as to why do nurses wear Danskos:
“Nothing is better than a comfortable pair of shoes”
Especially if you have to walk up and down all day or night attending to patients, the clogs offer you maximum comfort. It would be unbearable to go through an entire shift with uncomfortable and heavy shoes. Danskos are light and at the same time comfortable.
“You have the best support for your feet”
Carrying and handling patients and hospital equipment can be tedious and may put extra strain on your feet. OSHA reports that almost half of the injuries suffered by workers in hospitals are a result of handling patients. Compared to other shoes, clogs are steady and don’t put the nurse at risk of tripping or falling from a slippery sole while trying to sustain the weight of a patient. Besides, a steady shoe is a good support for your spine and will protect you from injuries.
“Your toes can breathe and move freely”
Even though closed enough to protect your feet from the possible health hazards in a hospital, clogs are at the same time open enough to allow your toes to breath and move freely. An uncomfortable shoe could make your feet sweaty with heat in the hot season and create a conducive environment for fungal infection.
“We are save from being musculoskeletal patients”
In 2011, 16,680 nurses in the US were treated and missed work due to musculoskeletal injuries. These were caused by the pressure of handling patients. A nurse who wears clogs has better support for the back and this keeps back pain under check.
“We don’t have to keep buying”
Danskos are durable because they are made from rubber or leather of high quality. Even after a year of wearing them, clogs will still look new. This means that nurses don’t have to keep purchasing new ones now and then and, therefore, save on expenses.
“Our feet are protected”
The general rule for workers in the hospital is to wear closed shoes for protection. By using Danskos, nurses adhere to the rule by allowing their toes and feet to be aired while staying protected from injuries.
“You can be stress-free all day”
Have you ever made the experience of being in badly fitting shoes and having to walk in them? It’s pretty uncomfortable and stressful. Clogs save the nurse such uncomfortable experiences and, therefore, keep their stress levels under control.
“You just slip them on and get going”
If you are having a break and the doctor calls for an emergency, your Danskos can be easily be slipped on. Clogs have no laces and you do not need to waste time tying them. You also don’t waste time trying to pull them on because they are wide and easy to wear. This also means that you can keep your hands off germs.
“No one reproaches you for leaving marks on the floor”
Dansko (the company) has tested their footwear and ensured that they don’t leave marks on dry, wet or even oily floors. The testing has specifically been done in healthcare facilities which leaves any nurse happy that no reproaches are going to follow them because they leave marks on the floor. Dansko soles are also slip-resistance and thus offer the nurse protection from falls.
Is everyone happy about nurses wearing Danskos?
From the foregoing, it can be guessed that nurses will be happy with Danskos. But does everyone agree with the answers to why do nurses wear Danskos? It seems that the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) is happy with the clogs and has listed them among their accepted footwear for medics. According to information on Danskos.com, many of their clogs also bear the seal of acceptance by APMA.
Some have however dismissed the comfort and support qualities of Danskos. According to MailOnline.com, a report by Dr. Andrea Waters-Rist indicates that clogs alter a person’s walking style. Usually, we propel ourselves forward by bedding our foot and pressing the ball part of the foot to help us move. When wearing clogs, the foot is bound and your walking is abnormal. This means that nurses walk unnaturally all day!
In Dr. Andrea’s words, wearing Danskos for long periods can cause health issues on the heels such as fissures as well as stress that affects the ankle, knee, hip and the back. In this light, it would even be healthier to wear heels. Additionally, Danskos’ sole is rigid with no shock-absorption. You just clog along and the resulting gait can cause spinal damage. In sum, the only reason clogs feel comfortable is because they are wide and allow your foot ample room, but that could also be ground for developing plantar fasciitis.
An article on The New York Times on 13th March 2017 by an author who has used Danskos for 15 years underscores the paradox of a shoe that is ‘aggressively unfashionable’ but widely loved and worn. This implies that Danskos shoes have broken the codes of a cultural era where shoes and clothing are a reflection of class and social status. Danskos could be dubbed classless.
So, why do nurses wear Danskos?
Nurses are happy about the comfort and support that Danskos offer amidst their busy work schedule. And while some may consider the use of clogs unhealthy, the American Podiatric Medical Association has given the shoes a clean bill of health, declaring them fit for use by nurses and other professionals. Is it a culture of clogs that makes them famous or are they really your healthy and comfortable shoe choice? If you are directing that question to a nurse, then your answer is a definite ‘Yes’ to the second part of the question.