Last updated on September 26th, 2023.
Most dental technicians and dental assistants work long hours and have to spend a good portion of that time on their feet. This can take a significant toll on their bodies, especially if they aren’t wearing the proper footwear.
The best types of shoes for dental technicians and assistants are those built with ample foot support and made of comfortable and breathable materials. In this article we will discuss what types of shoes most dental assistants and dental technicians opt to wear and then list our top seven most comfortable recommendations.
What Does a Dental Technician or Assistants Usually Wear?
If you’re new to the dental field, you might be curious what your daily wardrobe will entail as a dental technician or assistant, particularly what types of shoes are encouraged. Considering the laboratory, hospital, and clinical and settings these jobs take place in, we can safely assume heels are off the table; so what is the preferred choice?
The vast majority of dental technicians and assistants will wear shoes that prioritize the following features:
- Grip/slip resistance
The shoe types that offer most or all of these features and favored by individuals in these professions are sneakers, tennis shoes, or specified work shoes. Those who aren’t running around the workspace all day can sometimes get away with wearing loafers or some type of clogs (ex. Crocs), but these shoes often lack the support and durability required for active dental technicians and assistants.
What Kind of Shoes Should I Wear As A Dental Assistant or Technician?
Even after reading the main types of shoes most dental assistants and technicians wear, you might still be at a loss as to which suits you and your needs best.
The type of shoe anyone should wear as a dental assistant or technicians is partially subjective and, therefore, up to the individual. While most wear some form of sneaker or work shoe, which one is right for you will largely depend on your daily tasks, the length of your workdays, and the size and shape of your feet.
Let’s discuss these factors in more detail so you know what to look out for in your new work shoes and what information regarding your dental assistant or technician job to use to make the best decision.
Here’s an article on the difference between a dental technician and dental assistant.
The first factor you’ll want to think about when determining which shoes are best for your job as a dental assistant or technician is your daily tasks/schedule. What do you do all day? What are your workdays like? Are you constantly walking around or standing on your feet while you help patients or create prosthetics, or do you find you spend a decent amount of time sitting at a desk or workstation?
Gauging your activity levels is crucial when it comes to choosing the right shoe, as it will dictate how much support and grip you need as well as which materials and features, you’ll want to look out for to promote the highest degree of comfort. Breathability is also important, as the last thing a dental assistant or technician wants is sweaty feet that could lead to fungi and other issues.
Frequency of Use
The length of your workdays is another area where you’ll want to keep comfort and support in mind as well as longevity and durability. If you work 8 hours+ shifts multiple times a week, you’ll quickly find that cheap shoes aren’t up for the task, and you’ll be wasting money on replacements when it would’ve been more cost-effective to invest in a higher quality pair of shoes that you’re confident would last longer.
Shoe Shape and Size
The last factor you’ll want to consider for this decision is your shoe size and shape. Everyone’s feet are shaped differently, not just in general shoe size, but also in arc shape, foot width, individual toe lengths, etc. Where you carry your weight on your feet can have a tremendous affect on this, which is why you’ll want shoes to accommodate your feet best.
For example, if you have wide feet, you should purchase your shoes in a wide or extra wide for the most comfortable fit. It’s also recommended that active dental technicians and assistants wear work shoes that are at least a half size larger than their normal size, as their feet will likely swell over the course of a long day.
Don’t be afraid to test shoes out before purchasing. If a sneaker or croc ever feels tight in one spot or your toe is budging against the sides, go up a size or find a different shoe that fits better.
The 7 Most Comfortable Shoes for Dental Technicians and Assistants
While it is true that not every dental assistant or technician has the same needs when it comes to their footwear, there are some shoes that these individuals, as well as ourselves, highly recommend for anyone who shares one of these professions.
The seven most comfortable shoes for dental technicians and assistants are:
- Skechers Women’s Comfort Flex SR HC Pro-Health Care
- Merrell Encore Breeze 3
- Skechers Performance Men’s Go Walk 4
- New Balance WX608v5
- Dankso Women’s Professional Clog
- Croc’s Unisex Specialist II Work Clog
- Nurse Mate’s Women Velocity
Below, we have described the benefits of each of these options in more detail to ensure you choose the option that suits your feet and career-related needs best.
Skechers Women's Comfort Flex SR HC Pro-Health Care
Active dental technicians and assistants who spend the majority of their days on their feet will enjoy the superb support and comfort that these Skechers supply. In addition to being slip resistant and breathable, these shoes are water repellant, a trait that often comes in handy in dental facilities. They also have a sleek, modern design for those of you looking for shoes with a pop of color.
Merrell Encore Breeze 3
A fantastic slip-on option are these shoes provided by Merrell. Built with a rubber sole for grip, a supportive sole, and a breathable mesh material, the Encore Breeze 3 is a great sneaker alternative for any dental technicians and assistants who find themselves running around the workplace.
Skechers Performance Men’s Go Walk 4
As you can see, Skechers/Skechers Performance are a commonly recommended brand for a wide range of needs, and when it comes to male dental assistants and technicians, we have found that many sport the Go Walk 4. These shoes share a lot in common with the previous option, as they too are slip-ons made of breathable mesh material. However, these shoes are built with a higher tongue and backing for more support, reducing the likelihood of your feet slipping out mid-stride.
New Balance WX608v5
New Balance is another reputable brand with a relatively unique aesthetic and design that many dental assistants and technicians enjoy. While these shoes might seem heavy or blocky to some, especially people who prefer clogs or slip-ons, they are exceptionally well made, providing maximum support. They are also incredibly durable shoes that can outlast most competitors, making them a cost-effective choice.
Dankso Women’s Professional Clog
Speaking of clogs, if you want a high-quality pair of clogs that will give you all the benefits of standard sneakers and last longer than the typical Croc, you’ll want to invest in these shoes by Dankso. For many, these shoes are on the pricy side, but this is because they are made of 100% leather for durability and a professional appearance. Additionally, these shoes feature a memory foam footbed, a reinforced toe box, and a rocker bottom PU outsole for a comfortable but supported day on your feet.
Croc’s Unisex Specialist II Work Clog
If the professional clogs offered by Dankso are a bit out of your price range or don’t match your preferred aesthetics, there’s nothing wrong with opting for these specialist work clogs by Crocs instead. These shoes were specifically tailored towards an active workspace and are a fantastic lightweight option that doesn’t sacrifice support. Another benefit of these clogs is that they’re easy to clean if you find your previous works shoes were frequently soiled or stained on the job.
Nurse Mate’s Women Velocity
The Nurse Mates Women’s Velocity Medical Professional Shoe is undoubtedly the most commonly recommended shoe for dental assistants and technicians. This shoe has it all because it was specifically designed for medical practitioners. As such, it features:
- A lightweight EVA bottom
- A thick midsole
- A corrective orthotic insole
- Breathable materials
- Adjustable stretch laces
- Stabilizing composite shank
- High quality leather and rubber materials
While it might cost you near $100 to purchase these shoes, they are well worth the investment and are up to any daily tasks you can throw at them.