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We were contacted by Ascent Footwear after they realised so many nurses purchase their shoes. For full disclosure, there are many great brands of shoes for nurses and some are discussed HERE, however, Ascent really does offer variety and a high-quality shoe that is perfect for almost all kinds of needs you might have while nursing. Take a few minutes to read the reviews below. Some of The Nurse Break’s supporters were recently asked to trial several styles of Ascent shoes and give honest feedback of the Stratus Black & Vision Leather.

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Paola has been nursing since 1983 across a range of settings. She has over 19 years of CCU experience and the last 12 years in private practice.

My Review of Stratus

I work in General Practice and my work entails a lot of walking around the clinic, standing for up to an hour while doing procedures and getting up and down in front of the computer many times a day. I walk 15 mins to and from work, up and down steep hills and in inclement weather. I chose a closed shoe (OHS) with lacing so that the shoes are always snug on my feet and don’t feel like they slip at all.

They feel stable on varied surfaces (clinic floor, bitumen, pavement, grass) and in the wet outside. The shoe looks flat from the outside but has a comfortable insole with support in the inner aspect of the shoe. On first wearing, they were a little stiff but I have not had any blisters, they have already started to soften, and they are lighter than they look.  I am now not aware of them on my feet during a shift.

Even though they are my size with about 1.5cm extra room in the toe box, the toe box is narrow so I could have gone up another half to full size as they feel a little snug in the toe.  This would also accommodate any foot swelling in hot weather or thicker socks in cool weather. I’m very happy with the choice of the Stratus design.

nursing shoes

Tiffany did her graduate year on a cardiothoracic ward and has been busy working during COVID19 across a range of high-risk settings. Since then she has been working in pool and other areas. She is currently on maternity leave having recently just had a child.

My Review of Stratus

I chose the stratus as I usually work in tennis shoes as I have pretty flat feet and tend to struggle with anything that has a raised insole. I liked that they are lace up as I also have a high instep which can be a problem with some other brands of shoes. Closed-toe is obviously a must for nursing and with a leather finish that is super easy to clean.

When my shoes arrived in the post they felt very stiff and I was worried I would get blisters. I also worried that the inner sole was too firm and that having to break in a new pair of shoes at this stage of pregnancy would be too much. I’m happy to report that I have not had one blister and breaking these shoes in has been a breeze. In fact, they really didn’t need any breaking in at all and my feet survived a full day’s wear the first time with no uncomfortable pressure points.

The shoes have remained firm but have not once rubbed or blistered in any way. The stiff parts of the shoes that I worried about becoming uncomfortable as the day went on, do not become uncomfortable at all and I was truly pleasantly surprised by this. The inner sole I was concerned about, turns out to be extremely padded, like walking on air. I caught myself thinking “Wow, this insole is so comfortable” a few times throughout the day.

Overall, the Stratus shoe looks and feels great and truly becomes more comfortable as the day goes. A great work shoe for people who prefer something a little flatter that still has the support you need.”


Jacob is a postgraduate ICU nurse. From Auckland to Sydney, to regional WAm Canberra and now Victoria, he is making his way around the country!

My review of Vision Leather

On first impression, the shoes looked like your stock standard nursing shoes that promise to offer you what you need to do the job. First shift wearing them, and I was quite impressed at how non-slip they were. No awkward skidding sounds down the corridor, or awkward slipping on a small water spill in the room. They felt quite snug and didn’t feel like wearing shoes at all. My feet weren’t aching throughout the day and I wasn’t constantly looking for a seat to take them off like my previous shoes. They felt like they offered a bit of protection from any sharp objects or from spilt fluids, which gave me better reassurance. They somewhat looked stylish, but given they’re designed for nursing, fashion isn’t necessarily the prime goal.

One thing I would suggest for future development would be nice to have some form of cooling gel/technology. I did notice I sweated a bit more in these shoes, but it wasn’t any extra uncomfortable. After 2 weeks of usage, I did notice both shoes in the same spot the glue or adhesive started to degrade, which makes me hesitant to buy again, despite all the pros. They do offer returns and exchanges and to be honest, I would buy them again. The difference between these Ascent shoes and my old shoes is noticeable.


Clare is an Oncology Nurse Educator at a major health service and is often on her feet due to her role!

My review of Stratus

I am a Nurse Educator, and my units are spread across the hospital, but I probably don’t do as much walking as a nurse working clinically, but I do walk in from the car park furthest from the hospital (got to get my steps in).

I sprained my ankle prior to the trial starting, so was very nervous to try new shoes as my right foot was sore and swollen, but I have been presently surprised. The Stratus shoe is a lower profile shoe, which I had been keen to try after wear sneakers previously, but with the arch support of a taller shoe. The leather was quite stiff to begin with, but no rubbing or blisters (a bonus with any new shoe) and has softened reasonably quickly without losing the supportive feel of the shoe. I wear a 9, and these shoes seem true to size, especially considering the swelling I have in my right foot. I found the shoes to be lighter and cooler than expected, which leading in to summer is a relief! After a few more weeks of wear, the leather has really softened out. The sole has the right amount of grip and bounce. The Stratus shoe looks good and wears well.