Nurses, Meet The Shoe That Cares For You

In partnership with Gales.

I remember when my friend Katy – a nurse in Austin – called and told me in painfully honest detail about the things she was seeing at work. It was mid-2020, she had just graduated, and was experiencing arguably the most challenging time healthcare workers have ever seen. At just 22, Katy came face to face with countless situations most of us hope to never have to witness.

Through this conversation and countless others, I learned just how badass our healthcare workers are. Frontline workers like Katy are not only responsible for keeping patients alive, but also for their day-to-day care. This work is hard on the body – nurses are on their feet for nearly their entire shift, oftentimes running from room to room.

And it seemed like no one was really thinking about the toll this takes on our healthcare workers – that is, until 2020 when Gales entered the scene.

Gales on Our Feet

After watching a close companion in the ICU during the pandemic, footwear designer Rob Gregg decided to pour time and money into PPE for frontline workers. During this time, he realized that the footwear for these workers wasn’t really working; the shoes on the market were designed for a few hours of comfort, but not much more. Gregg married his newfound interest in helping healthcare workers with his decades of shoe design experience to create Gales.

Katy snapped this pic before going in for a long shift. Credit: Kat

With a mission to “give back to those who give so much to everyone else,” Gales offers slip-resistant, waterproof, and antimicrobial shoes for both men and women in all areas of healthcare. Perhaps the biggest focus of the Gales design is the all-day comfort these shoes provide. Most shoes, such as running shoes and hiking shoes, are designed for between 1-3 hours of comfort. When you’re standing for 12 hours, 1-3 hours of comfort feels like mere seconds. Gales’s featherlight, proprietary insoles are meant to provide the same level of comfort at the end of a long shift as at the beginning of that shift. This is largely thanks to the brand’s custom machine-washable Ortholite insoles, which boast long term cushioning, arch support, high breathability, and moisture management. They’re also easy to slip on and off, thanks to a lace-less design.

Quick Checkout for Fast-Paced Professionals

Because I spend most of my days behind a computer screen, I had Katy, my nurse friend in Austin, to try out the Gales Women’s Frontline Nurse Shoes ($89.95). One of my favorite things about Katy is her brutal honesty – she’ll say it exactly like it is. Katy ordered the white pair, though the brand offers plenty of other colors (black, navy, gray, as well as some limited edition colors) to choose from. She said the order process was easy to navigate and quick thanks to express checkout.

I loved the simple, yet sincere note in the box. Credit: Katy

The shoes arrived within a few days at Katy’s door and came in a simple, yet clean-looking blue box. There was a little encouraging note inside thanking Katy for her contribution to the world, which of course doesn’t happen enough. Katy’s first impression upon trying them on was that they run extremely true to size and fit really well, especially for shoes without laces. Not only that, but she commented that they “are lighter than her Crocs [sneakers],” which is pretty light if you’ve ever held Crocs before.

Not only that, but she also commented that they are better looking than the standard nursing shoe students are most often told to purchase. We both agreed that they are simple, but in a way that feels updated and not old school, perhaps a result of the platform-looking sole.

Do Gales Pass the Test of Time?

First impressions are all well and good, but the true test of a great shoe for nurses is how they hold up over time. Katy works 9+ hour shifts at her hospital, meaning anything she wears really needs to hold up over time. She took them for a spin for us and found that they stayed just as comfortable as they began, which is a feat that not many shoes can accomplish. While she did love how light the shoes are, she noted that it was a bit of a tricky transition to go from her normal tight-fitting tennis shoes to the looser fit that Gales have.

Where Gales really shines is the ease of clean-up. While non-healthcare workers might be grossed out by this, it’s also worth noting that they are super easy to wipe down from any… fluids… that come her way. Regardless of the fluid, the material is made to be easily wiped down with bleach wipes. For more intense cleaning, Gales provides instructions on how to get the best results. Luckily, even the insoles are machine-washable, meaning the whole shoe can be easily cleaned, leaving no mess behind. Even if you have to hop back out on the floor after wiping yourself off, Gales are slip-resistant, meaning you can sprint to your next patient and not worry about winding up in the ER yourself.

Heading in for a shift in Gales!

Walking on Cloud Nine

In a post-pandemic world, it is so refreshing to see the work our healthcare providers do being recognized more. While I believe we certainly have a long way to go in recognizing them, products being designed just for them is a great start. For all the healthcare workers out there, thanks for what you do for us – hopefully a pair of Gales can serve you back a fraction of how you serve us!

5 More Reasons to Step into Gales:

  1. All Gales footwear is produced using solar energy and partially recycled materials, so you can feel good about the eco-impact of your purchase.
  2. I’m a geek at heart; data always gets me. Gales has lab-backed data to prove just how safe and reliable these shoes are.
  3. Don’t just take our word for it – over  15,000 healthcare workers wear Gales!
  4. Gales offers a rewards program, so you can save yourself – and your friends and colleagues – money by sharing the love.
  5. The brand has won several awards since its founding, like making the Forbes Next 1000 list and being Fast Company’s Design By Innovation Award Honorees (twice!).

Step into a better shift with Gales.

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