Your team may spend almost all of their day standing. According to a recent study, servers walk an average of 23,000 steps each day.
It makes sense to buy quality shoes for restaurants if you spend most of your time on your feet.
“But how do I find the perfect pair of restaurant shoes?”
“What should you avoid?”
“What are the best kitchen boots?”
In this post, Bshoe will provide answers to all your questions, as well as a list of the 10 Best Kitchen Shoes for your back and front-of-house staff.
Factors to Consider When Shopping for Restaurant Shoes
Let’s face the facts: Some business decisions are more enjoyable than others.
For example, the drink menu versus the brand of napkins.
It’s fun to choose your uniforms. Which style are you going for, and what do you want? You can dress up or down with jeans. They can choose what they like to wear. There are so many options, and it’s a lot of fun to create a look representing your brand.
Shoes? Although not as much fun, they are just as important. Your staff’s safety and comfort are key.
How do you choose restaurant shoes? Before you make a choice, here are some things to consider.
1. Comfort First
These are some tips to help you choose a comfortable shoe.
Comfort should be a priority for any shoe, no matter how long it takes to get up in the morning or at the end of the shift. After a long day of work, try a pair of restaurant shoes or kitchen shoes to test how comfortable they feel. They will likely be snug enough to wear all day if they are.
Your toe box should allow for enough space for your feet to move.
Shoes that support your natural arch will improve comfort and help prevent injuries such as ankle sprains. Look for shoes with a rubber outsole, which reduces impact and pressure on the feet when you walk.
Also, look for shoes with an insole that is anti-compression. Bend the shoes in half to test for arch support. They won’t work if they bend all the time.
2. Don’t Compromise on Grip
Slipping is a real possibility, especially in the kitchen. It would help if you had slip-resistant shoes. Here are some things to look out for when shopping for non-slip footwear:
Rubber outsole for a firm grip on the ground
A tread pattern with interlocking treads that channels water away
A good grip is achieved by ensuring that the tread pattern has sufficient contact with the surface.
3. The Right Protection Is Crucial
Also, the shoe must offer protection against injury and water.
Injury Protection: Shoes need to be slip-resistant and have uppers that protect them against heavy objects.
Water Protection: Nothing is more painful than walking in wet shoes. You should make sure that your shoes offer water protection.
4. Find a Shoe That’s Easy to Clean
It is essential to clean your shoes quickly if you are working in front of guests. First impressions are important and dirty shoes don’t scream professionalism.
5. Durability Is Not Negotiable
You want a shoe made of durable quality materials. (In the last section, you will find 15 shoes for restaurants built to last).
Benefits of Good Quality Shoes
When shopping for the right shoes to match your team’s uniform, you know what to look out for. The right shoes can do more than complete the look. Here are some of the main benefits that your team will enjoy from selecting quality restaurant shoes.
1. Better Comfort
The right footwear is essential for staff who are often on the move. It provides support to the arch, protects from blisters, and relieves pressure.
2. Prevent Slipping and Serious Injuries
Workers in the food industry are more susceptible to injury than those working in other industries. These injuries are often caused by slips and fall on slippery and greasy surfaces in restaurants, especially in the kitchen. Make sure your employees are safe by wearing shoes that have a proper grip.
3. Protect Your Feet
High-quality work shoes will protect the feet of your team from large objects and heavy boxes.
4. Saves Money Long Term
It will help you save money on any future medical bills that may be incurred as a result. Shoes that last a long time are also less expensive.
While you may need to spend more upfront for good-quality shoes, your employees will save money in the long term because they will be replaced less frequently than cheaper pairs.
Top 15 Best Kitchen Shoes
1. Dansko Women’s Professional Clog
Best for Flat Feet
For long-standing, the Dansko Professional Leather Clog provides comfort and support for your feet. Memory foam footbeds provide excellent arch support, which is particularly useful for flat-footed people.
Denis Zvekic is the executive chef at Kachina Cantina, Denver. “Dankos can help relieve back and foot pain when they are put on for extended standing in a kitchen.” If you wear them for a long time, he recommends that they be replaced every 12 months.
2. Crocs On The Clock Work Clog
Crocs are light, breathable, and water-friendly shoes. These shoes are lightweight and comfortable, with a heel and toe that conform to professional kitchen standards. The shoe is non-slip and can be cleaned with soap and water. Its slip-resistant sole provides support and safety in the kitchen.
Chef Jason Maybee is a member of the Denver Chefs Collaborative. He has more than 25 years of experience in the industry and likes Crocs because they fit well. There is no break-in period, unlike other clogs. He says the spongy comfort is great and can wear them for a 12-hour work shift.”
3. SAS Patriot Nonslip Shoe
Madhoo, the owner of Roots restaurant in Colorado and The Gourmet Kitchen Catering, loves SAS Patriot shoes. SAS shoes are the best for me because I work long hours and have to attend wedding events. My SAS shoe is now in its 10th year of service, proving that they are durable even after regular wear.
SAS recommends that you have your shoe professionally fitted before purchasing. This will ensure the best fit and comfort. The cool footbed technology of the shoe keeps your feet dry with its moisture-wicking layer, antifriction lining, and moisture-wicking layer. You can also choose from removable or odor-resistant cushions.
4. New Balance 626v2 Industrial Sneakers
Sometimes, you need a shoe that looks good and is practical for the kitchen. This New Balance work shoe is sporty in design and offers comfort for everyday wear. The 626v2 sneaker features an all-leather upper that is durable and offers a great combination of cushioning, compression resistance, and padding to keep you comfortable.
These shoes have a slip-resistant sole for traction and are safe to wear in the kitchen. These shoes are a great alternative to traditional chef shoes that can be too heavy.
5. Birkenstock Profi-Birki Polyurethane Clogs
These Birkis, or as they are affectionately known, have a large following in professional kitchens. These clogs are made of polyurethane and were recommended by most chefs.
The cork insoles that you can purchase with them were what caught my attention. After a week, they mold to your foot and become customized,” Zachary Patz (chef de cuisine, Il Posto, Denver) says. He says that they have a high back, which keeps my foot in place while being slip-on.
Birkenstock’s insertion point is large, and the box is spacious, allowing the foot to move freely. The removable polyurethane feet can be cleaned and disinfected.
6. Blundstone 990 Leather Work Boot
“The Blundstone shoe is tough and provides total coverage and protection against all hazards in the kitchen,” says Justin Ryan Fulton, a veteran in the industry and freelance consultant. Past positions include executive chef at Pernoi, Birmingham, Michigan, and chef de cuisine at French Louie, Brooklyn, New York. It is an extremely comfortable shoe for long hours and provides excellent support.
Blundstone unisex boots are made for safety. They have a waterproof leather upper and slip-resistant sole. The steel shank ensures the right step flex point. They have a removable footbed that is antibacterial, washable, and breathable. The shoes also provide great arch support.
7. Dr. Martens 1460 Slip Resistant Service Boots
These shoes can be worn for both work and pleasure. These boots are slip-resistant and provide excellent support. These boots look great outside of the kitchen. You won’t need to change your shoes if you run from the kitchen to other events.
Dr. Martens are made with water-resistant, industrial leather. They can be easily cleaned. It takes a few days for them to become comfortable, but they are very easy to wear. They are versatile and allow you to express yourself while being safe and comfortable at the office.
8. Adidas Originals Cloudfoam Advantage Sneaker
Best for Personal Chefs
Personal chefs work in the home of their clients. The environment and the surface are quite different than in a restaurant kitchen. Shoes that can support you on wooden floors and carpets will be needed.
Mekhitarian says, “I came across Adidas Clouds while talking to a friend who is a surgeon. He is constantly on his feet for long hours.” “We talked about footwear, and he mentioned that Adidas Clouds are the most comfortable for his back and arches.” Adidas shoes are more personal and flexible than any other brand.
9. Dansko XP 2.0 Clogs
Best for women
The Dansko shoes are available in many fun colors and styles. These shoes have a lightweight construction and slip-resistant soles. They also come with a removable footbed. For all-day comfort, the shoe has an arch stabilizer that provides support and memory foam. You can move your toes comfortably with the comfortable padded instep.
“I appreciate their endurance. These shoes are a little expensive, but they last forever,” Cammie Reed, the owner of Round the Table in Colorado, says. These shoes resulted in a significant decrease in ankle and knee pain.
10. Birkenstock Super-Birki Cork Footbed Clog
Best for Men
Taylor Westbrook, owner, and founder of By the Brook Tempeh, Saxapahaw in North Carolina, says that Birkis are lightweight on the feet. They are easy to put on and feel loose like slippers. They are durable and last a long time. My first pair was very durable.
Birkenstock shoes have a removable cork-latex shoe that molds to your feet and is lined with a moisture-wicking material. Westbrook says, “Breathability and trustworthiness are key to the Birki brand.” The sole of the polyurethane is oil and grease-resistant and can withstand temperatures up to 176°F. It is also easy to clean.
11. AVIA Men’s Avi
You are likely wondering why the first model is so popular in the athletic world. If you’re not asking, it’s obvious that you don’t understand the challenges of working in the food industry.
If you want to ensure that your customers are well-fed, you will need to be agile, flexible, and as athletic as you can. Our hard-working men can turn any kitchen or restaurant into their playground with the AVIA Avi-Union Service Shoe.
The Union service shoe is a true sports shoe with a traditional lace-up design. This gives the wearer a more secure and firmer fit. I’m sure this has a lot to do with the slip resistance. When combined with the non-slip sole, the firmer fit means your feet won’t move inside the shoe.
The outsole is also an art piece. Thanks to its specially designed tread pattern, the outsole is a work of art, which pushes liquids away from your feet. This means you can grip wet kitchen floors just as well as dry. For custom comfort, the interior is properly padded using a removable FOM socks liner.
12. Skechers Soft Stride Galley
Another stylish, durable sneaker by an award-winning brand in lifestyle footwear. Skechers is a global brand known for its high-quality, affordable, and diverse products that make life easier for both men and women.
Today, we will discuss a shoe designed for men in the service sector: the Skechers Galley Work Shoe. This shoe boasts a century’s worth of research and development, as well as high-quality craftsmanship. It is worth a second or third look. What makes this shoe the perfect match for chefs and cooks?
You’re welcome to ask. Galley Skechers Work shoes are made with durable, sleek, and black uppers. They can withstand the daily demands of a restaurant environment.
The uppers can also be adjusted to keep up with the fast pace of the restaurant environment. If you have trouble standing, you won’t be able to keep up. The Soft Stride is OSHA-compliant and slip-resistant. It has a soft rubber outsole that will keep your feet firmly in any condition.
13. KEEN Utility Destin
Everyone and their grandma know Keen by now. We won’t go into that now. You should know that today’s style is perfect for chefs who are looking for something simple, comfortable, and protective.
The KEEN Utility Destin Work Shoe is gaining traction across the United States. You would expect the best from Keen. It’s clear. This style is not recommended for professional chefs or stewards.
The PTC slip-on is a reliable pair of service footwear with all the right features to keep you comfortable and safe all day. They have fully waterproof leather uppers to protect you from any wet mess in the kitchen. Your feet will remain dry even if there is soup or water all over the floor.
It has a larger toe box and excellent arch support, making it a spacious interior. The rubber outsole is rated oil- and slip-resistant according to ASTM Mark II standards.
14. New Balance Mid626K2
New Balance’s ultimate training shoe is here just when you thought men would need fewer shoes in the kitchen. This is our last traditional lace-up design for men, so enjoy it while you can. While the New Balance Mid626K2 Work Shoe is designed to aid athletes, our most busy chefs have found a better way to use it in their kitchens.
Let me first say that New Balance has been around for over a century. It’s not surprising that New Balance products have been improved, researched, and developed over the years.
It’s important to mention some other highlights of this product before getting into the slip resistance features. The EVA full footbed creates an inviting environment and absorbs the impacts and shocks of everyday life in the kitchen.
The outsole is made from a non-marking rubber outsole, which New Balance has included. It won’t slip or crack even when subjected to high pressure and wet floors.
15. MOZO Forza
Let’s face it, guys, do you not just love the freedom and ease of wearing casual shoes to work? It’s a wonderful feeling to feel semi-nude from your ankles down.
You can’t walk to work without shoes due to all the dangers in the kitchen. We’re here to help you find the best work shoes for men without exposing your feet to any other hazards.
The MOZO Forza Slip Resistant Wear Clogs are what we’re referring to. You could go on and on about Star Wars’ presence when you wear these Forza’s. But the soles that keep you grounded will be high-friction rubber soles.
These Clogs are made to provide as much support and comfort as protection. Protection is just a matter if you look at it from a different perspective. These Clogs by Mozo will solve your greatest concerns about comfort, support, and slip resistance in the kitchen.
These men’s clogs have a rubber outsole that is oil and slip-resistant, high-traction and slip-resistant, and an anatomical design for a better fit. They also include gel insoles that provide extra cushioning and allow you to make your orthotics. This shoe is definitely worth the money.
What to Avoid When Buying Restaurant Shoes
You now need to be aware of what to avoid. These are the things you should avoid when making your decision.
1. Buying the Cheapest Pair of Work Shoes
This is where the old saying “you get what you pay for” rings true. You’ll likely end up with uncomfortable shoes that cause injury and increase your risk of injury. Are you willing to take the chance on something so important as your work shoes?
2. Waterproof Shoes
Waterproof shoes are water-resistant, which means they won’t let water in. There are different waterproof ratings, ranging from IPX-0 up to IPX-8. IPX-0 does not protect while IPX-8 provides full protection. This means that you can wear the shoes in water, and they will stay dry.
Waterproof shoes might seem appealing as they keep water out. They also keep moisture out. This is a problem because moisture builds up over time in your shoes.
Water-resistant shoes are a better choice. They can resist water penetration up to a certain extent. Nylon, polyurethane, and neoprene are some of the most common water-resistant materials.
3. Open Shoes
These include flip-flops and sandals that offer no protection. Avoid boat shoes and heels.
1. Why do chefs wear Birkenstocks?
BIRKENSTOCK clogs and sandals are the perfect kitchen shoes due to their oil- and grease-resistant uppers and soles. Moreover, the hard-wearing yet comfortable polyurethane is not only dirt-repellent but also water-resistant.
2. Are Crocs Good kitchen shoes?
Chefs work smarter and with comfort with chef shoes from Crocs. … These shoes are perfect for working in restaurant and kitchen environments. Chef shoes aren’t just for cooks and culinary experts. They are comfortable, ergonomic, and made for foodservice, hospitality, and health care workers too.
3. Does Nike make kitchen shoes?
Nike does not manufacture shoes suitable for the workplace like industry, restaurant, or hospital.
4. Why do cooks wear Crocs?
Regardless of the length of working shifts, professional chefs are under the threat of slipping on wet and oily areas. Knowing how dangerous this situation is, Crocs adds the anti-slip tread to protect their customers from spilling on the kitchen floors.
Proper shoes for restaurant staff are an important part of your uniform, as they spend a lot of time on their feet. Best Kitchen Shoes that offer comfort, protection, and prevent injury to your feet, will save you time and money over the long term.