Best Kitchen Shoes Reviewed and Tested for Comfort
Being a chef or cook is a tough job. Even if you are a mother or father who is charged with cooking meals at home, making food will require being on your feet for many hours at a time. For these reasons, having a pair of shoes that are cushioned, comfortable and supportive for long hours on your feet is absolutely essential.
Some kitchens can get dangerous with all of the heavy and sharp objects and hot liquids and foods as well. Because of this, there is the potential that you might drop something dangerous or fall on a slippery surface. To help you find a pair of comfortable kitchen shoes, we have created this lengthy and in-depth review guide. We invite you to read it at your leisure and find a pair of great shoes for yourself!
Top 3 Best Shoes For Women
Top 3 Best Shoes For Men
- Skechers for Work Men's Flex Advantage Slip Resistant Mcallen Slip On
- Padded collar
- Price: See Here
- Birkenstock Professional Unisex Profi Birki Slip Resistant Work Shoe
- Memory foam sockliner
- Price: See Here
What Separates Kitchen Shoes Apart From Other Shoes?
It may be tempting, but it’s probably not a good idea to just wear any shoes for restaurant work. The best shoes for waitressing and kitchen work have specific features on them that make them unique for use in a restaurant environment. The things that you will need to consider in order to find the best shoes range from how much traction is on the soles to how easily you will be able to put on your shoes and take them off.
Slip-ons are often the best option because they enable you to put them on and take them off quickly, but they also don’t have shoelaces. In a kitchen where things are happening quickly and things can fall or spill at any moment, you don’t want to have to worry about shoelaces. In addition, there are other factors that differentiate kitchen shoes from other types of shoes. Most importantly, the best chef shoes are super comfortable even when you have to stand on them for 10 to 12 hours a day. To promote comfort, this means that most of these types of shoes have thick platforms and slightly higher heels with lots of padding and contoured midsoles. They are also flexible and lightweight enough to enable all day wear.
Why Is Having the Best Shoes So Important?
You may have heard that sitting all day is not good for you and has been linked to many health issues. But in a job where you are required to stand or walk about all day, there can be health related problems as well. But you can counter many of the effects of being on your feet all day by having a great pair of shoes that are made especially for working in the kitchen.
Standing and walking for long periods of time is tiring and can also lead to problems with the circulatory system. There is an increased risk for varicose veins for those who stand all day, and people who work in kitchens also end up having more problems with their backs and hips. You can probably see why these reasons alone make it vital for kitchen staff to have great shoes for working.
But there is also the fact that any slightly uncomfortable feature of a pair of shoes will be amplified many times when the shoes are being worn for several hours. For example, if your big toe tends to rub tightly against the front of your left shoe’s toe box, this might not be a problem if you wear the shoes for an hour. But if you wear the shoes for 12 hours, you are going to notice it! The whole reason that we are creating this chef shoes review is to help you be as comfortable as possible while on the job.
What to Look for When Buying Shoes
When it comes to actually finding a pair of the best shoes for restaurant work at a store or online, there are several factors that you will need to concern yourself with.
1. Comfort and Cushioning
First and foremost, you should be concerned with the cushioning and comfort of your shoes. Look for thick platforms and slightly higher heels with lots of padding. One thing to note here is that even though you want lots of padding, you don’t want your shoes to be too heavy. Remember you have to carry them around on your feet all day.
2. Arch Support
When it comes to choosing the best chef shoes, arch support is huge, and this is especially true for women who tend to have higher arches on their feet. But if you have flat feet, arch support is important too. Never wear shoes with high arch support if you have flat feet or you might end up bruising the middle of your feet!
3. Traction on the Soles
The best skip resistant shoes for restaurant work have deep grooves in the outer soles so that slipping or falling is almost impossible. Try to make sure that you also find kitchen shoes that have patented features to avoid slipping. These features often mean the shoe company is using special materials to stop falls from happening.
4. Spill and Stain Resistance
Last but not least, there’s nothing wrong with wanting your shoes to look nice! You should be able to wear your kitchen shoes for at least one or two years without feeling like you have to throw them out. For this reason, try to find shoes that have special protectants on them to resist the spills that will inevitably happen in the kitchen.
How to Find Kitchen Shoes That Will Fit Your Needs
You might not think so, but in order to find the best shoes for kitchen work, there are several key steps that you need to take. We’ve outlined them below so that you can get started on your mission for the best shoes right away.
- 1. First, read all of this guide, and check out the shoes mentioned here on Amazon to get a feel for them.
- 2. Second, locate 4 or 5 pairs of kitchen shoes that interest you. Read the reviews on Amazon to see what people like and dislike about them. Make sure to pay attention to whether you have high arches or not and how wide your feet are.
- 3. Purchase each pair of shoes in different sizes. Try to bracket your usual size. For example, if you wear a 9, purchase an 8.5, a 9 and a 9.5 for good measure.
- 4. Try on all the pairs, and wear them around your home. Do not take off the tags. Choose the pair you like the best, and return everything else. Get excited about your new kitchen shoes!
Are Kitchen Shoes for Women Different From Men’s Kitchen Shoes?
The short answer is yes. As you may know, there are several things that everyone will need to look for when it comes to men’s and women’s shoes for kitchen wear. First, the most comfortable work shoes for both men and women need to have a supportive footbed with enough cushioning for all day wear. Their shoes also need to have good traction if they are going to be worn in kitchens where slipping and falling on spilled food, oils or soap is a serious concern. Non slip restaurant shoes are an absolute must. The tops and outer soles of the shoes should be spill and stain resistant as well.
There Are Some Key Differences Between Men’s and Women’s Kitchen Shoes
Let’s face it, men and women are different, so it makes sense that the shoes they wear can’t and shouldn’t be made the same. The best kitchen shoes for men are naturally larger than those for women. Men’s feet tend to be both longer and broader than women’s. On the other hand, women need both thinner and shorter shoes. Women also find that the most comfortable shoes for work have higher arches. This is simply because arches on women’s feet tend to be higher than those on men. You will find the arch on the inner side of each of your feet. Men tend to have little to no arch in their feet. In other words, men are more apt to be flat-footed. Women can indeed have flat feet, but they are also more likely to have very high arches. Some women even need to have arch inserts to help support this higher part of their feet.
The Confusing Q-Angle
Finally, there is something called the Q-angle. Not many men or women know about this factor of physicality. But the Q-angle is quite different in men and women. The feature can be defined as the incidence angle of the muscle in the quad against the kneecap. In men, the Q-angle is slimmer, and this can be attributed to men having thinner hips than women. As a result of the wider hips and subsequently wider Q-angles in women, women tend to pronate more. There are two types of pronation: overpronation and underpronation. Overpronation occurs when each step you take puts most of the weight and push on the inner side of the foot or on the big toe. Underpronation occurs when most of the push ends up on the outer side of the foot. Both of these types of pronation can cause injuries. But pronation can be helped if women’s shoes have special materials used on them. Designers and shoe developers take this into account and try to use these special materials for the best chef shoes for women.
Top 6 Best Kitchen Shoes Reviews
1. Dansko Women’s Professional Tooled Clog
The midsole is contoured to provide optimal cushioning, and there is a large toe box that has ample room even if your feet tend to swell as you work. With a thicker heel and platform throughout, you will also get more cushion with each step. The outsole on the bottom of these shoes is slip-resistant to prevent falls on slippery floors.
We feel this is a great shoe for the price as well, and reviewers seem to love them. Keep in mind that these shoes run in European sizes, so use a conversion chart if you need one.
Product Details and Specifications
Purchase the Dansko Women’s Professional Tooled Clog in a number of colors or patterns including black patent leather, bubbles print or bright pink. The heels are 1.5 inches high with the platform being at about 1 inch.
I love these shoes for the price and highly recommend them to those who are just started out as a chef or cook or for parents who cook a lot at home.
These shoes have a great price for what you are paying for and provide excellent cradling and cushioning for long hours on the job.
- Thick heel to add extra cushioning and comfort
- Great traction to prevent slips and falls
- Reinforced toe box to offer extra protection
- Leather sock lining adds tons of comfort
- Wide heel for strong stability
- Great range of color options and designs
- Can be expensive depending on your size and design
2. Alegria Women’s Debra Slip-On
Product Details and Specifications
There are a wide array of choices in terms of color and design for this shoe. Many wearers like the patterns offered like floral designs and leopard prints. There are also solid colors. The heels measure about 1.5 inches while the platform sits at about 1 inch.
We love these shoes, and even though they will last you a long time, they can be a bit pricey, so think hard and save before you buy.
If your feet feel great in these shoes, they will make a long-lasting and comfortable choice for chef wear.
- Easy slip on and off with elastic goring
- Classic contrast stitching on the heels
- Thick rocking heel adds comfort to each step
- Beautiful leather exterior
- Variety of colors and designs to choose from
- Those with wider footbeds want to have a slightly roomier toe box
- Some found the heel too thick and clunky
3. Crocs Women’s Mercy Clog
But these shoes are perfect because they are also lightweight. They provide cushioning without making it annoying to lug these shoes around with each step. There are not many color choices with the Crocs Women’s Mercy Clog, but when it comes to finding top rated chef shoes, some men and women are not as interested in finding a pair of shoes that are built for fashion.
Product Details and Specifications
The heels on these Crocs measures in at 1 inch, and the platform is about 1/2 inch. Purchase these shoes in black, black/silver, white or blue.
These are wonderful shoes that will never make your feet or legs feel tired or worn out at the end of the day. But you should keep in mind that if you are worried about heavy or sharp things falling on your feet, these might not be the best choice.
Buy these shoes if you don’t want to spend a lot of money but need a great pair of non slip shoes for your work.
- Great price for the product
- Extremely comfortable in the classic Croc design
- Croc Lock technology on the soles is slip resistant and tested
- Aerating holes in the shoes provide more breathability and keep you from overheating
- Because of extreme lightweight carriage, not super protective
- Not many colors to choose from
Top Rated Chef Shoes Reviews For Men
- Crocs Men’s Tummler Work Shoe
- Heel measures approximately 1"
1) Crocs Men’s Tummler Work Shoe
1. Crocs Men’s Tummler Work Shoe
Many bartenders, servers and chefs love these shoes also because they can transition perfectly to street shoes. They look nice for most any occasion. When you’re in a hurry, they are also easy to slip on or off with the quality elastic goring on the sides. The soles of the shoes have extra traction to keep slips and falls from happening, and the inner sole is moldable and supportive for all feet sizes. Keep in mind that some reviewers found this shoe to run a size small overall.
Product Details and Specifications
These shoes are primarily sold in the color black. The manmade shaft of the sole measures about 2.63 inches from the arch.
At the number one spot for the best shoes for men, we of course think the world of these Crocs shoes.
If you are looking for an affordable option for the best shoes for restaurant work, these shoes are it!
- Super lightweight Croslite material so you can’t even feel them on your feet
- Padded collar for extra comfort
- Easy slip on and off
- Made in the USA
- Good price for what you’re getting
- Can be worn in or out of the work environment as a fashionable shoe
- Some reviewers found that they took a while to break in
2. Timberland PRO Men’s Five Star Meurice Shoe
Product Details and Specifications
You can purchase these shoes primarily in black, which is what most chefs and cooks prefer for their footwear. Te heel of the shoes is slightly higher than the platform at 1.25 inches.
We love the Timberland PRO Men’s Five Star Meurice Shoes for men with flatter feet who want to add a stylish edge to their work wardrobe.
These are most likely the most fashionable shoes on the list, so if that’s something you care about in addition to comfort and stability, these shoes are for you.
3. Dansko Men’s Pro XP Clog
Product Details and Specifications
With a rubber outsole heel of approximately 1 inch, these shoes offer height and cushioned support with their memory foam footbed. Purchase this shoe in dark Espresso.
Even though this shoe can be slightly more expensive than some others, reviewers state that these shoes may last you for years and still look great. We definitely recommend these shoes to professional chefs.
It can be dangerous with hot oils, heavy and sharp objects and uneven floor surfaces, this durable shoe is going to be the best shoe for the job.
- Super comfy memory foam footbed
- Quality made leather upper and synthetic sole
- Very durable to prevent injuries from falling items
- Can be quite expensive
- May take a while to break in the leather upper for flexibility
Why You Should Listen to Me?
So you’ve read my guide to shoes and are now wondering why you should take advice from me on finding the best shoes. Well, I certainly would not be writing this guide if I did not have a lot of experience.
I’m a chef.
I’ve been working in restaurants for most of my life. I started out in high school as a waiter in a chain Italian restaurant. The first day on the job, I was told to wear black shoes, so I put on a pair of Keds with smooth soles. By the end of my first night, my dogs were barking, and I had fallen twice on the slippery kitchen floor. If you’ve worked in a restaurant, you know how much oil, food, soap and other stuff can be on those floors. So I got some advice from a fellow waiter who told me to buy some Crocs. That was my first experience with special shoes.
After a few years of working my way up to restaurant manager, I realized that my true passion was food, and I went to school to become a chef. I now work at an upscale restaurant, and I own about 4 pair of the best chef shoes on the market. Since my days as a waiter, I’ve been sort of obsessed with finding shoes that make me feel like I’m floating on air while I work. I haven’t fallen since that first day on the job, but I’ve also felt a lot better without all those blisters and bruises I see other staff wearing. I’m not kind of the go-to guy for what shoes to wear. I read reviews a lot and talk to fellow chefs about what they wear on the job. I just wanted to create a comprehensive guide with all of the things I’ve learned about restaurant shoes. It can make a huge difference, and I never want anyone to have sore feet like I did on that first day!
Where to Buy Chef Shoes
To find the best restaurant shoes, most people think immediately of going to some brick and mortar stores or shops. These are good if you know that what you want is already there, but if you’re not sure, your best bet is to do your shopping for the best kitchen shoes online.
Amazon is a great place to start. In fact, some of the best chef shoes in the world are available on Amazon. Not only that, but they have the best selection and great prices. You can literally find anything you’re looking for on Amazon, and the chances are high that you will get the best deal here. I tend to buy all of my shoes online on Amazon for these reasons and because I know I can rely on them.
Making The Decision
If you cook a lot or work in a kitchen or at a restaurant, you know how important it is to have a good pair of shoes to wear while you’re on your feet. Sometimes, you have to be standing or rushing around for more than 12 hours at a time. For this reason, it makes sense that picking out the right footwear is a matter of common sense but also safety and health. When you work in a kitchen, you have to have shoes that can stand guard against possible heavy or sharp object falls, but they also must be light weight so that they do not weigh your feet down as you walk.
Servers Need Proper Shoes Too
In addition, it is important that the bottoms of your shoes are resistant against slippery kitchen floors. Waiters and waitresses know this more than many people because they are often rushing in and out of the kitchen grabbing ready plates and dishes and depositing others. The speed at which they need to do their jobs requires that they have durable traction on their shoe to prevent falls that could be quite dangerous.
Standing Can Be Even Harder on Your Feet Than Walking
You might think that the hardest thing about being on your feet all day is walking and rushing around, and while this does require a certain kind of shoe, it is also important to consider that standing can be tough as well. Cooks and chefs have more limited movement in the kitchen than wait staff. For this reason, some of the shoes that chefs and cooks prefer to wear are heavier and provide thicker cushioning as they do not need to worry about lifting their feet and carrying around heavier shoes quite as much.
It’s Okay to Think About Color and Style as Well
Finally, don’t forget that it’s okay to consider what your shoes look like as well. You may not care if you have the absolute most fashionable shoes, but there are some cute pairs out there for both men and women! As always, comfort and safety should come first, but after that, choose some shoes that you like the look of.
When you find the kitchen shoes of your dreams, head over to Amazon and purchase them. You won’t regret taking the time to read this review guide and pick a pair of shoes for restaurant work that perfectly fit your feet and style.