10 Best Kitchen Shoes Reviewed
From professional chefs to home cooks, we all deserve an exceptional pair of shoes to get us through our work in the kitchen. Ask anyone who has had the misfortune of wearing the wrong shoes for an extended period of time while moving about the kitchen and they will tell you; It is sheer torture!
A chef or cooks job, whether it includes cooking at their home or working long shifts at work, does not include time to sit and relax. More often than not, it can involve standing for a minimum of eight hours at a stretch at work. Therefore, choosing the right pair of kitchen shoes can make all the difference and even reflect in the quality of your work (dishes). That’s right! No one can deliver their best in a pair of uncomfortable and unsuitable shoes. In fact, you won’t even be able to last more than an hour or two on your feet, if you have the wrong shoes on.
Standing on your feet for a long period can also lead to many physical ailments such as swelling in the legs and back, pain and fatigue. It can also promote circulatory system problems and heighten the risk of developing varicose veins. If your job or duty includes standing on your feet for a prolonged period, then it is twice as important to buy the right pair of shoes.
Wearing improper footwear in the kitchen can also lead to accidental injuries due to slips and falls. One can also get burn injuries if they spill something hot, and the footwear is not equipped to protect the foot from such an occurrence.
However, not every shoe advertised as a good and practical choice for the kitchen can deliver support, comfort or protection. Therefore, to make your selection easier, we have compiled a list of the 10 Best Kitchen Shoes — after reviewing several pairs of footwear available in the market. Each of the names listed in the review is exceptional shoes that will see you sail like a breeze through the long hours that kitchen work demands. Your feet and body will thank you when you step into these blissful pairs.
10 Best Kitchen Shoes
Very comfortable and the nodules give a foot massage-like feel. These sandals do not absorb foot odor Made with original Croslite foam cushion Has non-marking and non-skid outsole with good traction The rivets might leave a mark if the fit of the sandal is too snug
1. Crocs Specialist Vent Clogs
The sandal has been specially designed keeping workplace standards in mind. It features a closed heel; however, airflow is promoted by side ventilation ports. These have been inset to protect your feet from spills.
The sandal is made with an exclusive Croslite™ material that conforms to your foot’s shape and creates a custom fit. The tiny footbed nubs and supportive arch ensures that you are comfortable all day long while standing on your feet. The loose fit also enables the foot to bend naturally.
The Crocs Specialist Vent Clogs may be among the top best kitchen shoes; however, they are priced quite reasonably. The affordable cost gives more than the value for money and adds to the sandal’s popularity.
Very comfortable and the nodules give a foot massage-like feel.
These sandals do not absorb foot odor
Made with original Croslite foam cushion
Has non-marking and non-skid outsole with good traction
The rivets might leave a mark if the fit of the sandal is too snug
The slip-on work shoe has flexible goring inserts Made with a slip-resistant Suregrip outsole The organic odor control helps prevent smelly feet Helps in reducing plantar fasciitis The shoes are not waterproof
2. Merrell Jungle Moc Pro Grip
The Merrell Jungle Moc Pro Grip is ideal for use on the hard and slippery floors of kitchens. They give incredible support to the feet in the challenging wet and greasy environments of kitchens.
The shoes include air cushioning in the heel that adds stability and absorbs shock. A pair of Merrell Jungle Moc Pro Grip also provides good arch support, making the shoe comfortable for long wear.
These shoes are a bit steeply priced. However, the cost is justified considering the shoes’ multipurpose uses and diverse features. At the end, you will be shelling out money solely for a top quality product.
The slip-on work shoe has flexible goring inserts
Made with a slip-resistant Suregrip outsole
The organic odor control helps prevent smelly feet
Helps in reducing plantar fasciitis
The shoes are not waterproof
The shoe’s layered and durable mesh offers maximum support with breathability Provides excellent grip with its slip resistant rubber traction outsole Easy to slip on due to the dual side elastic fabric panels The upper design is stain and water resistant The shoes are not waterproof
3. Skechers Flex Advantage Mcallen Slip On
The Skechers Flex Advantage Mcallen Slip-On features a memory foam insole that will give you the feel of walking on a soft carpet. The good part is that there are no slip issues with these shoes.
Slipping into a pair of these shoes will provide you with all around comfort throughout the day. The slip-ons offer a comfortable and roomy fit with its Relaxed Fit® design and lightweight shock absorbing midsole.
The Skechers Flex Advantage Mcallen Slip On falls in the mid-range price category. The supportive, comfy and flexible shoe offers a good value for the money spent on it.
The shoe’s layered and durable mesh offers maximum support with breathability
Provides excellent grip with its slip resistant rubber traction outsole
Easy to slip on due to the dual side elastic fabric panels
The upper design is stain and water resistant
The shoes are not waterproof
Provides good support for arch Professional but really stylish to look at Helps against plantar fasciitis Slip resistant shoes in spite of high elevation Has a rather high heel
4. Dansko Professional Mule
You can wear these shoes for 12 hours at a stretch without facing any problems that will hamper your movements in the kitchen. Moreover, the shoes won’t weigh you down or make you feel tired on your feet.
These mules have a roomy and reinforced toe box for greater protection. The padded instep collar adds to the comfort factor and the polyurethane outsole with rocker bottom enables greater shock-absorption.
The professional clog is priced on the higher side. Considering its stylish look, coupled with all-day support and unbeatable comfort, we can understand why. In fact, these shoes can be worn for various other activities and outings.
Provides good support for arch
Professional but really stylish to look at
Helps against plantar fasciitis
Slip resistant shoes in spite of high elevation
Has a rather high heel
The shoe’s cushioned insole can be removed Has a slip-resistant and gripping outsole with a driving heel Absence of metal shanks adds comfort Electrical hazard safe design Not very flexible
5. Skechers Rockland Systemic
The shoe with its handsome overlays, classic lace-up styling and smooth leather upper can go beyond being a nine-to-five classic. The rubber outsole is slip-resistant and provides a good grip on slippery kitchen floors.
The contoured and cushioned insole provides ample support and comfort to the wearer. The shoe lining is made of soft fabric. It has a shock absorbing midsole and cleated outsole edge detailing.
These mid-range shoes are a steal for the comfort and durability that they offer. The smart appearance that the Skechers Rockland Systemic lends to any attire is an added bonus.
The shoe’s cushioned insole can be removed
Has a slip-resistant and gripping outsole with a driving heel
Absence of metal shanks adds comfort
Electrical hazard safe design
Not very flexible
They are easy to slip on and off Can be cleaned easily Eases feet fatigue Heel strap provides secure fit Does not have ventilation holes There is no support for ankles
6. Crocs Unisex Bistro Clog
The Crocs Unisex Bistro Clog is your shoe if you need to work extended hours in the kitchen. The footbed of the shoe will feel like a massage, every time you take a step.
The contoured footbed also makes these shoes extremely comfortable. The fully molded Croslite™ material construction adds maximum durability and lightweight cushioning. You will love the clogs’ extra-dense vamp that gives added protection.
The reasonable pricing of these shoes adds to their appeal, particularly because nowadays many recycled material shoes are priced ridiculously high. The Crocs Unisex Bistro Clog are great budget shoes for the kitchen.
They are easy to slip on and off
Can be cleaned easily
Eases feet fatigue
Heel strap provides secure fit
Does not have ventilation holes
There is no support for ankles
Pronation control Removable contoured PU insole Absorbs shock Shoes feel light on the feet Internal padding isn’t too thick
7. Skechers Soft Stride Softie
These shoes will ensure that you get it right the very first time that you wear them. They will help you look as good as you feel even after hours of working on your feet.
The soft and flexible leather of these shoes provides good cushioning to the feet. You will also get a good arch support with this pair. This footwear is also a good option for colder days and winter months when your feet can do with warmth.
The icing on the cake is that these shoes are not priced too steeply. In fact, they cost only a little more than high-quality replacement insoles, which cannot compare to buying a new shoe altogether for nearly the same price.
Removable contoured PU insole
Shoes feel light on the feet
Internal padding isn’t too thick
Deep heel cups Interior and exterior longitudinal arch support Raised indentation at the front of the footbed to facilitate toe grip Clogs are washable These shoes can be a bit squeaky
8. Birkenstock Professional Profi Birki
Profi Birki is ideal for use in restaurants and kitchen specifically due to its sole's design. The shoe features a raised heel section that will provide your feet with grip and all-around protection.
Wearing these clogs will make your feet comfortable for hours, particularly because the footbed imitates the feel of standing in sand. In fact, the shoe molds to the shape of the foot. The cushioning supports health and promotes well-being.
Priced on the higher side, these clogs are durable and can be easily cleaned. Investing in this pair also makes sense because they last for a long time, and you don’t have to buy replacements too soon.
Deep heel cups
Interior and exterior longitudinal arch support
Raised indentation at the front of the footbed to facilitate toe grip
Clogs are washable
These shoes can be a bit squeaky
Displaces charges of electricity through a walking surface Roomy toe box Does not look like typical steel toe shoes Can be worn for hiking and other outdoor activities The bottom of the sole can wear out fast
9. New Balance MID627 Steel Toe
The shoe’s gusseted tongue sewn in place is a bonus as it keeps out the debris that can tend to accumulate on the kitchen floor. Hence, it keeps your feet safe from water or oil spills. In fact, these shoes offer protection against more hazardous work environments as well.
The foam footbed of these shoes will provide you with ample cushioning that will help you stay on your feet for a long duration. This kitchen footwear will also add a bounce to your steps that will cushion your feet.
The shoes are a bit pricey compared to the durability that they offer. However, the fit, support, and comfort will happily take you through daily wear for at least six months.
Displaces charges of electricity through a walking surface
Roomy toe box
Does not look like typical steel toe shoes
Can be worn for hiking and other outdoor activities
The bottom of the sole can wear out fast
Good for flat feet Helpful against plantar fasciitis Strong build design Stays dry even if you walk through snow-covered parking lots Tends to be low on durability
10. Skechers 76690 Keystone
These shoes are helpful if your kitchen work includes working next to a hot oven or frequent visits to the freezer to get frozen loads. This footwear is also ideal for walking about in the wet conditions of the dish room.
The rubber sole of the Skechers 76690 Keystone offers good support and traction. The shoe has a leather upper that is padded, which adds cushioning and comfort. The traditional laces can help you make the fit of the shoes snugger.
You will be paying more for comfort than durability for these shoes that are mid range priced. However, you won’t complain because the comfort will make up for the shoe’s cost. In fact, you may just end up buying another pair after you lose the first one to wear and tear.
Good for flat feet
Helpful against plantar fasciitis
Strong build design
Stays dry even if you walk through snow-covered parking lots
Tends to be low on durability
How to Find the Best Kitchen Shoes
So, there you go. Choosing any of the shoes from this list will have your feet thanking you. If you are still confused about making the right choice among these 10 pairs then the following points can help you. You should understand what quality of a kitchen shoe is of utmost importance to you. Are you looking for protection, support, slip-resistance, comfort, durability, style or everything? Take your pick accordingly.
If you are looking for protection over everything else then opt for shoes with a composite toe or steel toe. They will save your feet if you happen to drop cooking knives, heavy pans or hot food accidentally. Shoes that have deep grooves, strong grip, and slip resistance are ideal to prevent slipping and falling – especially if the kitchen has slippery tiles. Padded insoles and thick platform soles are great for adding a spring to your step, while stain resistant uppers will save the shoe from unsightly stains.
Whichever pair you pick, do ensure that appearance and style are given the last preference as that alone won’t smoothly sail you through the day.
Criteria Used to Evaluate the Best Kitchen Shoes
Injury/Slip Prevention (Grip/Traction/Fit/Anti-skid)
The kitchen floor can be a perilous territory if you do not wear the right shoes. More often than not, the floor of the kitchen has smooth tiles where a person is more prone to skids, slips, and falls. Water and oil spills, as well as food peels, can also make their way onto the floor, which can also lead to someone losing their balance and falling.
Slips and falls contribute to the maximum number of accidental injuries in restaurants. Falling on the hard and concrete ground can not only lead to physical injuries but also burn injuries. This can take place if the person falling is carrying a pan full of hot food or drinks.
Moreover, a colleague working in the same room may get injured due to the flying debris caused by a fall. Matters can be even worse if the resulting debris accidentally touches customers. Therefore, it is imperative to buy chef shoes that are anti-skid, provide traction, have a good grip, and also fit perfectly.
Slip-resistant shoes that have deep grooves are ideal restaurant shoes to prevent slipping and falling. The correct pair of chef shoes also have a good grip on the foot and does not slip off, because if it does then a person will be more prone to stumbling and thereby falling. Good kitchen shoes also provide the right traction to navigate through a slippery floor easily.
A chef’s job includes long hours of standing, and therefore the shoes they wear have to be extremely comfortable in every possible way. During busy rush hours, you might need to move quickly and be on your feet for a prolonged duration of time. A comfortable shoe will not only reduce your fatigue, but it will also impact your job performance significantly.
The first thing to look for in a good chef’s shoe, as far as comfort is concerned, is that it should not hurt or pinch your foot. Not only will such shoes cause foot injuries, but can you imagine being so uncomfortable for a good part of the day? No, right?
The apt pair of kitchen shoes should have a great light padding which will prevent the foot from hurting while standing for long hours. You must also choose a shoe that has thick platforms, comfort padded insoles and a bit of heel to protect the feet from the hard floor of the kitchen and also to add spring to your step.
While you are choosing the right pair of kitchen shoes for optimal comfort, also ensure that it provides good arch support. However, not all arch supports are same, and they come in low, medium, and high variations. The right arch support will prevent foot pain, plantar fasciitis, and heel spurs.
You must ensure that the arch in your feet fits molds comfortable with the arch support provided in the shoe. For example, a person with flat feet should look for kitchen shoes with a minimal height of arch support. If a flat foot person wears a high arch support shoe, they can do damage to the metatarsal bones of their foot. The best chef shoes have a memory foam insole which provides both cushion and arch support simultaneously.
Working in the kitchen means a person is more susceptible to spilling hot food or drinks as well as dropping cooking knives, heavy pans and other objects on the foot. This can cause physical injury and damage to the skin and bones of the feet. Therefore, it is crucial to choose a shoe that can protect against such accidents and mishaps.
At the same time, a pair of chef shoes should be tightly sealed and should have a water-resistant/waterproof upper. Wearing such type of kitchen shoes will ensure that hot and cold liquid, or even bits of food, do not end up trickling inside your shoe. That can not only be uncomfortable but also burn your foot, if the food or drink is hot. It will also mean the added burden of having to clean or replace your shoe in the middle of work.
Durable Upper/Easy To Clean
The materials used in the shoes meant for kitchen use should be extremely durable to endure all the wear and tear. A chef can step on all sort of food and other squishy-squashy objects that somehow make their way down to a busy kitchen floor. And, of course, there is the added peril of water, oil, other liquid, food ingredients and the food itself spilling down on the shoes. Hence, kitchen shoes should be high on durability to bear with such drops and spills without wearing out.
For the very reasons mentioned above, a pair of kitchen shoes can get dirtier far more easily and frequently compared to daily wear shoes. An important criterion for judging kitchen shoes’ quality is to see how easy they are to clean, particularly because chef’s shoes have to be cleaned regularly, sometimes every few hours. An important factor here is that whether the shoes can be wiped off easily and hand washed because it can be tedious, not to mention expensive, to get a professional to do the job.
The stitches of a good chef’s shoe are well made, and the material used is resilient against moisture. Here, it is important to know that though leather is durable, it is susceptible to moisture and also heavy. Synthetic kitchen shoes, on the other hand, are lightweight and also last longer if the exposure to sunlight is not too high.
Kitchen work means long hours spent near a stove or source of fire, which can also make the environment around you hotter. This can lead to sweat build-up if you are wearing the wrong pair of chef shoes. Kitchen shoes must be made of breathable material.
A good pair of shoes for the kitchen is one that allows air to circulate around the feet and prevents moisture-related ailments like fungal infections, blisters and open sores that come with trapped sweat.
Laces Vs. Slip-Ons
As far as recommendations go, slip-on shoes are usually more suitable for chefs. This is because they do not have laces that can come untied and make a person fall. Moreover, there is a sanitary factor to consider. Every time a person stops to tie a shoe, they have to wash their hands after. Though such a step may sound simple, in a busy work environment it can soon become tedious. After having said that, normal laced up shoes are also okay for kitchen use as long as they include all other good qualities that a chef’s shoe must have.
One should look for all the above characteristics in the most flexible and lightest kitchen shoes available because you have to wear the shoes for a major portion of the day. And, you do not want to feel weighed down or heavy on your foot! In addition, do remember, that a chef’s job includes reaching up or down for objects on the shelves. The shoe you wear should be lightweight and malleable enough to allow such movements easily.
Q: Where can I buy kitchen shoes?
A: You can buy kitchen shoes online due to the sheer variety that can be availed easily with just a click. Amazon is a convenient place to buy chef shoes online as you can select from a wide range. You could also check retail stores beforehand to test the shoes and size in real.
Q: How do I clean kitchen shoes?
A: Start by rinsing the shoes or clogs thoroughly with plain water. This will remove any debris or dirt. Next, wipe away any remaining debris or dirt from the shoe’s surface with the help of a soft cloth. If the shoes need extra cleaning, then mix water with a few drops of mild detergent in a sink or buck, and put your shoes in to soak. Once the shoes are amply soaked, scrub the dirt away with a scrub brush.
Q: How to clean the inside of the shoes without affecting the slip resistance on the outside?
A: The inside of slip-resistance shoes can be hand washed as long as they are not made of suede or real leather. The inside of faux leather shoes can also be cleaned with shaving cream. However, do remove any laces before wetting the shoe with water. If your shoes are made of real leather, then buy a leather cleaning kit.
Q: What are kitchen-safe shoes?
A: Anti-skid, slip-resistant shoes that have a protective toe box can be considered as safe kitchen shoes.
Q: What are restaurant grade shoes?
A: Shoes that meet the requirements of being suitable for a chef and working in a kitchen or restaurant are restaurant grade shoes. You should also check with your workplace to see if they have any specific instructions.
Q: What are the most comfortable kitchen shoes for someone with wide feet?
A: People with wide feet should opt for shoes with a roomier toe box for more comfort.
Q: What are the best shoes for working in the hospital kitchen?
A: A kitchen is a kitchen anywhere. Therefore, all the qualities mentioned in this article apply to choosing shoes for use in a hospital’s kitchen too.
Q: Can I wear nurse’s shoes in a kitchen?
A: There are various shoes that are made to cater to both nurses and chefs simultaneously. You can choose from one of these.
Q: How are Crocs for the kitchen?
A: Crocs has a wide range of shoes created specifically to be worn in the kitchen. However, not all Crocs are meant for chefs. Therefore, choose accordingly.
Q: How do I get rid of the stink from kitchen shoes?
A: Sprinkle a teaspoon of baking soda or salt inside your shoes each night. This will absorb odors. Shake out/remove the baking soda/salt thoroughly from your shoe before wearing it the next day. You can also take the stink away by using a cotton ball dipped in rubbing alcohol to wipe the inside of your shoes. Placing a crumpled newspaper inside the shoe can also absorb moisture and odors.
Q: Can I wear sandals in the kitchen?
A: It is not a very good idea to wear sandals in the kitchen because they leave the toes and foot exposed and vulnerable to accidental injury.
Q: How to remove a grease stain from chef’s shoes?
A: Apply a large amount of the soap over the grease stain. Leave it on for at least 10 minutes to give the oil time to start breaking down. Next, work on the grease stain with a soft scrubber wash. Wash off with water. Repeat the steps as many times as necessary.
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