On their first day of work, most chefs make fun of themselves by arriving in either sneakers, sandals, slippers and in the worst cases-stilettos. Here’s is what usually goes down; They get sent home to wear closed shoes.
Yeah, the kitchen isn’t exactly the best place to show your sense of fashion. This is a battlefield that’s rife with many hazards that can render you crippled. How many times do you see the rest of the crew sliding on wet surfaces and falling like a heavy sack of potatoes?
Oh, and those knives and objects that keep falling? Do you think you can make it through a week in open shoes without injuries and burns? You won’t. Here are a few reasons why you need to have kitchen shoes:
The kitchen is one of those places where workers (or even homeowners) will find themselves working at a feverish pace. Whether that includes rummaging through storage facilities or switching cooking utensils.
Now imagine what would happen if you lost a grip while carrying a crockpot full of boiling oil or a portable knife rack(with some still in it). This could warrant a trip to the hospital. The best shoes for chefs come with a piggy proof top that forms an outer cover (a roof) over your tender feet.
Spills and splatters
No matter how disciplined and careful you or your kitchen staff is, something is bound to find its way to the floor. “But it gets removed in a couple of seconds.” Sure, we don’t disagree. But in those couple of seconds, someone might pass by the spot and oops-they are writhing on the floor.
Whether you are running a restaurant or your own kitchen, ensure you (and your staff wears non-slip shoes. This should be non-negotiable. In some places, the policy insists that restaurant workers wear slip-resistant shoes. Failure to adhere to this rule can lead to health workers suspending your operation license.
Now that you know why having the best shoes for kitchen workers is essential, how about we take a trip a bit further and explore some of the options once investing in? Out of all offers in this article, the one that seems to provide the best service is Skechers for Work Men’s Flex Advantage Slip Resistant.
Best Kitchen Shoes
We are going to look at a few kitchen shoes that any chef will be happy to recommend to you. Top ratings and heart-warming customer testimonials back most of them. Now, got the seatbelt fastened? Let’s ride, then.
1. Skechers for Work Men’s Flex Advantage Slip Resistant Mcallen Slip On
With a bit of styling, Skechers Flex Advantage Slip-on provides you with comfort in a dark black silhouette. It’s well-built with durable meshed synthetic overlays that promote proper ventilation.
As you would expect from any shoe with a massive rating, the outsole sports ample treads that allow for a firm footing on wet and oily floors. Of course, that doesn’t give you the right to be carefree.
Skechers Flex Advantage Slip-on comes with super thick overlays with a bit more padding towards the collar for a gentle touch. We love the subtly slanting of its outsole. It enables smooth transitioning of steps without leaving the heel to shelve all the body weight.
There is a very minimal number of negative reviews to justify this shoe’s downsides. Perhaps, there was a little inconsistency with the process (it happens all the time), and they ended up with a substandard product.
The core features of Skechers Flex Advantage Slip-on Include:
- Synthetic material
- Medium width and a roomier toe box
- Reinforced stitched seams
- Slip-resistant outsole
- Meshed upper
- Elastic goring
- Slip-on style
Skechers Flex Advantage Slip-on is a solid grab that guarantees reliable support, safety, comfort, and durability. It takes only a few seconds to remove or wear, and the front section is reinforced for toe protection.
Additionally, the fact that it’s true to size makes it a safer bet for those who hate dealing with returns.
2. Crocs Men’s and Women’s On The Clock Work Slip Resistant Shoe
Crocs are the most viral and maybe heavily “memelized” shoes we’ve ever come across. Despite the disparaging comments, so many people can’t put them aside-reason, they’ve never seen anything that comfortable.
If you are among people who can’t resist this eye-catching shoe but need something that is enclosed for work, try Crocs On The Clock Work Shoe. Its design deviates slightly from regular models that come with holes on the top. This one is fully enclosed to meet workplace standards.
The entire construction (top to bottom) is made from the same comfort-enhancing synthetic material. Its artistic design bears a bulged out opening to prevent constriction and a lugged outsole that promotes sufficient traction.
Like any proper shoe for standing all day, the platform is slightly raised to allow for ample arch support as well as weight distribution. This should keep you pain-free for the better part of the shift. Check out this for a complete discussion on shoes for standing all day.
Croc On The Clock Work shoe comes with the following specs:
- Unisex design
- Synthetic material
- Enclosed design that’s acceptable at work
- Slip-resistant tread
- Contoured footbed with moisture-wicking liners
- CE certified
- Enhanced arch support
Croc On The Clock Work is one of the best chef shoes that provides stellar performance without the need to spend heavily.
It’s incredibly comfortable and can repel oil and water if you are either lazy or not a fan of washing shoes. This will be your savior. You simply dust it, and it’s ready to rock again. How cool is that?
3. Birkenstock Professional Unisex Profi Birki Slip Resistant Work Shoe
Even people seem to have a thing for sophistication; it’s quite evident that simply makes life easier. Birkenstock Professional Unisex Work Shoe helps you get ready for the shift without spending an unnecessarily long time in the changing room tying up laces.
Light like a croc and comfortable as a sneaker, this shoe is quite a unique grab. The grip is sufficient but not as fierce as that of a leather shoe. With most shoes, only a few sections get massive padding. Well, this one is entirely padded with no seams to bother you.
If you are wondering how comfortable they are, then here is the answer; they feel like walking on foam or clouds-perhaps, even both of them. You also don’t have to worry about losing your stability thanks to the massive treads under the sole.
This shoe’s arch region is slightly raised to prevent your arches from falling in. It should be a relief to know that this pair is machine washable and dries almost instantly.
Want to know more discussion about Birkenstocks shoes click here.
Birkenstock Professional Unisex Shoe features the following remarkable features:
- 100% polyurethane
- Synthetic outsole
- Certified anti-slip sole
- Dishwasher safe
- Both men and lady versions exist-labeled M & L respectively
Birkenstock Professional Unisex offers another reliable, slip-resistant kitchen shoe that adheres to accepted standards. It’s better for comfort, simplicity, and water-resistance. They fall a bit out of size so you’d be better off ordering a slightly bigger pair than your standard measurement.
4. Keen Utility Men’s PTC Slip-On
Working hard and looking good should go hand in hand. No one said restaurant work shoes must be blocky and weird-looking because it’s all about functionality. So if you want to look elegant but still maximally protected, you need Keen Utility Men’s PTC Slip-On.
A beast on the kitchen floor, this full blast leather shoe has waterproof overlays that prevent your feet from being water-soaked. On top of that, it keeps you stable thanks to time-tested and certified Keen slip-resistant outsole.
The interior sports further upgrades like the inclusion of a memory foam footbed. This means you will deal with hot pots, serve meals, and accomplish other duties while your feet smile-not literally though.
If you happen to be a plus-size individual or stand for too long, your arches are usually the most affected. But with this remarkable shoe, you will be well taken care of because its arch support is sufficient. It comes in two official colors; black and white.
Here is what Keen Utility Men’s PTC Slip-On is made up of:
- 100% leather
- Rubber sole with non-marking properties
- Medial side gore
- Slip-on design
- Meets ASTM standards for material and non-slip quality
- Memory foam footbed
- Water-resistance material
Keen Utility Men’s PTC Slip-On is a must-have for those who want real leather shoes with a prolonged lifetime. It caters to most critical needs from comfort, support to safety.
However, there are a few complaints that the shoe is somehow slippery. But the remarks are from a few reviews, so we believe there are a few inconsistencies (nothing scary) in the production pipeline.
5. Skechers for Work Women’s Soft Stride
Made for the most selective people, Skechers for Work Women’s Soft Stride is an affordable haute couture. One that everyone won’t stop asking where you bought them. The pair boasts of a dark hew and stylish laces that rest in a convenient lace garage.
Given the smashing design, this sneaker is as gorgeous in the kitchen as it is on the road. So for those days when you don’t feel like carrying two pair of shoes (one for work and another for when the shift is over), you can rock in this one.
You will also love to know that this kick gives you everything you desire-from unsurpassed comfort to top-level support. Call it the Jeep wrangler, a bold companion to have while facing a hard day at work.
Does it fit properly? Heck, yeah. It fits snugly like that Thanos’ giant gauntlet that Iron man struggled to remove. Once you are lace-up, it’s all systems go with zero interruption. Since some workplaces may not tolerate fancy colorations, this shoe comes only in black and white colors.
The desirable features of Skechers for Work Women’s Soft Stride include:
- 100% leather
- Synthetic sole
- Removable PU insole
- Athletic cushioning
- Lace garage
Skechers for Work Women’s Soft Stride gives you what any other shoe won’t give you. Check this out; it’s leather-made, stylish, comfortable, and undoubtedly supportive, yet it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.
Furthermore, the PU insole it comes with can be replaced once it has run out of juice. With this pair, all your problems could become nothing but the stuff of memorabilia.
6. Merrell Men’s Jungle Moc Pro Grip
Nothing says excellence like a pair of Merrell Men’s Jungle Moc Pro Grip. This is something that anyone should run to if they want to dial their personal style a notch higher. It packs a respectable number of features that seasoned sneakerheads fancy.
The top of this moc consists of premium leather with a soft nubuck upper that effortlessly rebuffs water droplets. For nurses, chefs, and bartenders, some fluids would rather slide of the shoe than get soaked into the meshes or worse make contact with your skin.
Its elegant design further incorporates a notoriously slip-resistant outsoles courtesy of the proprietary Suregrip technology. Merrell Men’s Jungle Moc Pro Grip could easily outshine any other shoe in this review when it comes to supporting and stability.
This bad boy is incredibly comfortable. One reviewer compared its comfort to wearing a loaf of bread (haha). Talk of something being deliciously comforting, huh. By the way, some people don’t mind throwing in compression socks to improve shock absorption on hard concrete surfaces.
So there’s no catch? Not entirely. For instance, given its wholly closed shell, breathability gets compromised. So if you need a breathable version of this, try Merrell Men’s Jungle Moc Ventilator.
For outdoor fun, apart from kitchen shoes, there are also Merrell hiking shoes that hikers can use during their outdoor trips.
- Rubber outsole
- Nubuck upper
- 100% leather
- Slip-resistant Suregrip outsole
- Flexible goring
- Merrell air cushion footbed
Merrell Men’s Jungle Moc Pro Grip is incredibly comfortable and supportive. If you happen to travel or pass through checkpoints, its slip-on nature should make the removing and wearing process less bothering. Given its stellar ratings and positive reviews, it worth to say this moc is indeed a solid deal.
7. Dansko Women’s Professional Mule
Dansko Women’s Professional Mule is one of the most original and Iconic clogs you will ever come across. This intelligently constructed restaurant shoe boasts of a durable leather topping and a plush interior for optimum cushioning.
Its other mentionable qualities include a memory foam footbed and a flexible, energy-returning PU outsole. No more slips and falls-courtesy of the outsole’s massive treads. The deep contouring between the heel and forefoot raises the arch to minimize intense shocks.
The most remarkable thing about Dansko Professional Mule is that when you wear it, the back of your heel will not get in contact with the shoe. And why is that so?
Because there is a small fabric that ensures some room is left to allow entry of air. So if you see this happening with your shoe, don’t worry. After all, when you wiggle your leg, the shoe will not come off if it’s your right fit.
Easy on, easy off-no hassling, and no complications. Anyone with minor cases of plantar fasciitis will find relief from wearing them.
The core features of Dansko Women’s Professional Mule include:
- 100% leather
- Padded instep collar
- 0.75 inches platform
- Wide heel strike
- Polyurethane outsole
- Comfort-minded clog
- Memory foam footbed
Dansko Women’s Professional Mule is for anyone who stands for long hours and thus needs extreme comfort. This means doctors occupation, corporate trainers, restaurant workers, bartenders, and even pregnant women will find them super-reliable.
With over 5k reviews, there is nothing you should be worried about.
8. MOZO Men’s Sharkz Slip Resistant Work Slip-Ons
12 hours in the kitchen with MOZO Men’s Sharkz will feel like watching a Netflix-nothing but pure fun. This non-slip, ergonomic slip-on sports an elevated cushioning that integrates gel insoles and MOZO’s proprietary custom-fit technology.
Obviously, this shoe cannot outshine Merrell moc and Skechers sneakers in terms of structural integrity and design. However, when it comes to lightweight protection, this humble-looking slip-on jumps right to the top. Water splashes, food debris, and dust can easily be removed by simply wiping with a wet cloth.
MOZO Men’s Sharkz comes with dual gores that make for easy on and off. We’ve all seen people struggle with laces before. It gets annoying when you have to stand there and wait for them to get done.
The outsole of this slip-on comes with so many small lugs. Now, these are more efficient in providing proper traction than the huge ones that are also widely spaced. Once your foot lands, it sticks to the ground like Spiderman’s sticky fingers.
There are a few issues with this slip-on. First, looks more like loafers and therefore less helpful to those with arch problems. Secondly, it’s not entirely true to size, so make sure to use the sizing chart to find your best size.
Alternatively, you could visit an offline store where they are found and test them to find the right size. Once you know what fits, place your order online.
MOZO Men’s Sharkz boasts of the following features:
- 100% polyurethane
- Synthetic sole
- 100% vegan
- Elastic goring
- MozoFit System technology
- Slip-resistant slip-on
If you love loafers, you will undoubtedly find MOZO Men’s Sharkz worth your attention. The simple, hassle-free design obviously makes life easier for busy crew members. It’s comfortable, safety-enhancing and 100% vegan. Above all, its price will give you a reason to smile.
9. New Balance Men’s MID526
Some people have unrelenting confidence in New Balance kickers-we do too. One of the best budget options for anyone working in a restaurant is New Balance Men’s MID526. Boasts of a smooth deep black exterior that repels water and oils.
The interior is optimally lined with soft material, which works together with the IMEVA midsole to provide athletic standards comfort. Also, its stylish design keeps you looking dapper as you cruise through the day.
New Balance Men’s MID526 provides a firm, stable footing for those working on slippery and wet floors. So don’t let the small treads fool you. The arch support, however, is moderate. Some of the problems previous users complain about include narrow toe region and a flimsy structure that doesn’t support harsh working conditions.
The core features of New Balance Men’s include:
- Leather topping
- Rubber sole
- IMEVA midsole
- Lace-up design
- Lace garage
New Balance Men’s MID526 is a decent shoe that is fairly priced. It’s a great alternative to clogs that are mostly preferred in workplaces. However, this shoe will only last long if you don’t work in a harsh environment and take good care of it.
10. Klogs Footwear Women’s Boca Chef Clog
Just from the looks only, any person that knows how to sport ultra-comfortable shoes will know Boca Chef Women’s Clog is a piece of work. The moment you put this pair own, you will wonder why you have been torturing yourself with other so-called fashion shoes.
As a reliable companion at work, this pair sports a synthetic top that resists water and oil. If it gets dirty, just wipe it with a damp cloth, and it will sparkle again. The platform measures 0.75 inches with a raised midfoot for sufficient arch support.
The material making up Boca Chef Women’s Clog is stretchable. This will allow for easy on and off without jeopardizing a secure fit. More comfort is also delivered by the removable TRUcomfort insole and the flexible, quiet, energy-returning synthetic outsole.
Boca Chef Women’s Clog boasts of the following:
- 100% synthetic
- The platform measures 0.75 inches
- PURGrip outsole
- Removable footbed
- Multiple adorable colors
If you want a shoe that is comfortable, affordable and pops up in many colors, try Boca Chef Women’s Clog. Though not extremely breathable, this shoe comes with an antimicrobial insole that helps to keep your feet healthy.
This shoe is not true to size. For some it ran large and other it was too small. The best way forward is to visit an offline store and try out several to find the best fit and then place your order online-it’s way cheaper.
Factors to Consider While Shopping for Kitchen Shoes
According to research by Emory University, food workers have a higher exposure to injuries (up to 60% click the study) and possible death. It might be shocking to realize that the place where you enjoy every kind of delicacy has the potential to dismantle you as well.
Okay, that was scary news. What if we talked about something good, like prevention? This section is priceless. It will teach you how to buy the most comfortable chef shoes with all the best features. Enough talk. Let’s get rolling.
Kitchen floors will always have one of these; spills, peels, food particles and other splatters. Things can get super ugly if the floor is tiled too. In this scenario, a small volume of food debris or splashes is enough to make you fall awkwardly like an unprepared stuntman.
Buying shoes with a good grip is the insurance policy against accidental falls. So whenever you see massive treads on a shoe outsole, do not hesitate to buy it.
Restaurant workers are among employees who spend many tiresome hours at work. If you were to count the number of steps you make in the kitchen, they would amount to over 8 miles!
Bear in mind most of the time, and you will be standing. That’s quite a lot of pressure, and if your feet could talk, they would yell at you for torturing them.
Given the unspeakable stress, your feet go through at work, having shoes with good arch support is encouraged, if your arch curves are not adequately supported, you will feel a lot of pain and consequently have fallen arches. So from today, wear your flat shoes after work.
No matter what role you play in the kitchen, having the most comfortable chef shoes makes you sulk less and enjoy your art more. Comfort is all about a shoe having an optimum amount of soft padding and a flexible outsole.
Unfortunately, if you forget about arch support, no amount of cushioning will provide sufficient comfort. You need to ensure the shoe comes with all the best features.
The weight of a shoe has to be considered because, after several hours of working, we get extremely exhausted. Now, if your shoe is a tad heavier, you will not be a happy person, and unhappy people are likely to be uncooperative.
If you are a lady, don’t go for unisex varieties. Choose your gender; you’ll find them pretty lightweight. For men, try picking something with minimal weight.
Are you a fan of leather, suede or synthetic fabrics? If you have healthy feet without any conditions, any material will work fine. All you need to do now is consider things like breathability and longevity. Leather lasts long, but it doesn’t provide proper ventilation.
Suede and synthetic material will provide extreme ventilation, but they somehow trade-off longevity. However, if you take some time to research, you’ll find premium-grade kitchens shoes with a stunning performance in terms of comfort, air ventilation, and longevity.
It’s perfectly fine to prioritize a shoe design. After all, feeling good begins with looking good, right? Do you like to feel your feet tightly secured in place by laces? Do you like the ease of sliding into a clog or slip-on mules? Or do you have a thing for a shoe with the goring fabric?
Whatever you choose, make sure it’s what the management approves. If you love slip-on, make sure they cover both the toes and the entire heel section. Open-ended slippers can slide off and expose you to possible hazards.
Frequently Asked Questions
You know you are the only person who has trouble finding the best chef shoes, right? So how about a look into some of the questions asked by other clueless buyers? Don’t worry about the answers because we will provide them. Keep reading.
Q. How do you clean kitchen shoes?
A. Kitchen shoes are not that unique and can be cleaned the same way you deal with others. And how is that? Remove the insole and dip them in lukewarm water. Add a few drops of non-abrasive detergent and rub gently. Rinse and hang them somewhere to dry. The insole should be washed separately-not while in the shoe.
Q. What are the best shoes for chefs?
A. Most online reviews suggest the following: Skechers for Work Women’s Soft Stride, Merrell Men’s Jungle Moc, Keen Utility Men’s PTC Slip-On, Dansko Women’s Professional Mule and Crocs Men’s and Women’s On The Clock Work Shoe.
Q. Can I wear crocs in the kitchen?
A. For proper safety, kitchen shoes need to be enclosed. Some crocs are not. If anything hot finds its way down and your legs are in the way, you’ll get burnt.
Closed crocs are recommended if you don’t deal with hot stuff. Virtually everyone finds them super comfortable and will help your feet feel human after countless working hours.
Q. What defines the best shoe for kitchen workers?
A. The best shoe for chefs must be practical in terms of comfort and safety. It must be ergonomic to allow you to perform at your best and leave your place of work with fresh feet. Do not obsess so much about style.
Working in a restaurant or your own cooking space can be a dream come true. But like other dream jobs, you could end up being inconvenienced by the lack of proper footwear. This could result in accidents that can wreck either your career or salary if you have to take so many sick days.
As you find other ways to make the cooking area safe, begin by purchasing (or insisting that your workers wear) the best kitchen shoes. This way, you could avoid so many nasty incidences. If you have an old pair, replenish it once it has outlived its best days.
Feel free to browse the list provided above. Most of them are top-rated with features that will guarantee many “appetizing” days in the kitchen.