These shoes were made for walking… over hospital floors, for nurses! So they’re great for tourists pounding faraway pavements



I’m four months shy of turning 45. Sure, I look 10 years younger and have great hair, but on the inside I feel at least 30 years older. I have a slipped disk and spinal stenosis in my cervical spine, plus some tendinitis in my right knee. And as someone who sits at a desk most days, my conditions worsen. That was until I started wearing sneakers from BALA. They were designed by nurses for nurses to withstand the tolls their bodies take during punishing 12-hour shifts.


I’m not cured, but I’ve noticed a considerable difference in the way my body feels since wearing BALA’s aptly named Twelves. And thanks to their Code Grip, a high-traction sole created specifically for hospital floors, I don’t risk slipping on wet pavement.


Other design elements taken into consideration are the Arch M-brace, which helps support your, well, arch; the ShiftShield, the fluid resistant outer layer that’s easy to clean (one can only imagine the fluids nurses deal with compared to tourists in cities), and Dynamic Cushioning, which offers the comfort needed to absorb impact with every step, whether you’re running to the ER or on a walk through Central Park.


The BALA  Twelves are very good looking, almost too good looking to the point they look bad when worn with shorts, no matter what socks you wear with them. I find them to be on the dressier side, particularly the black ones (Nocturnal), to wear with any non-scrub pant.


I have two issues with BALA shoes. First, they run narrow, purposefully for a snug fit. They recommend going down in size if you’re in between sizes. If you do have a wide foot, like me, go up in size. 


Second, is with the Knit Fit upper layer. This was designed to accommodate individual foot shape and leave room for swelling. I felt my foot swelling from lack of room, but BALA claims this gives you a “nice supportive hug,” describing this layer as a knit glove-like base layer that fits your individual foot shape. But because this layer is a single piece, it makes the sneakers a pain in the ass to put on. At least you’re further protected from those toxic medical fluids. Or in the case of the Big Apple, “garbage juice.” 


Luckily, there’s a tab on the back of the shoe to help you slide your foot in. Without that tab, you’d be up a certain creek, of noxious fluids, without a paddle — but just for a few weeks, after which putting these shoes on does become easier.


At the end of the long, 12-hour day, if everyone started wearing shoes designed for healthcare professionals, maybe so many of us won’t have to seek medical attention, and can enjoy our vacations a bit more!


$150, wearebala.com