When it comes to recipes, a chef must be precise. Without the correct amount of ingredients, it is impossible to put amazing dishes on the table. The same precision is necessary when it comes to your footwear. As far as your working environment is concerned, good quality footwear helps you perform better. More often than not, the kitchen floor is a combination of oils and liquids. During a dinner rush, it becomes virtually impossible to respond to speed without the best shoes for chefs.
There are different brands of kitchen footwear, and trying each model would be downright impossible. To simplify, we’ve provided a list of favorite shoes among professional chefs. Focusing on fit, fill, stability, protection, and comfort, the best shoes are:
- Dr. Scholl’s Men’s Harrington
- Dickies Men’s Athletic Slip-Resistant
- Skechers Work Men’s Flex Advantage
- Skechers Work Rockland Systematic
- Emeril Lagasse ELMROYAL-001
- INiceslipper Unisex Chef Shoes
- Keen Utility Men’s PTC Slip-on
- Mozo Men’s Grind Canvas
- Dansko Professional Mule
- Birkenstock Profi Birki
- VANGELO Carlisle Clogs
- SensFoot Slip-Resistant Clogs
- Crocs Bistro Clogs
- Merrell Jungle Moc
- MOZO Finn Chukka
- MOZO Sharkz
- Skidbuster 5050
- Emeril Lagasse
Given the kind of environment that chefs must operate each day, it is not surprising why slips and falls are common in professional kitchens. Moreover, the chronic use of ill-fitting footwear does not only result in slips and falls but also conditions such as structural back pain, Achilles pain, plantar fasciitis, and patellofemoral pain. To mitigate these risks, invest in supportive shoes.
Dr. Scholl’s Men’s Harrington
For reinforced comfort and protection that endures the test of time, Dr. Scholl’s Men’s Harrington has excelled. These work shoes introduce comfort footbeds, which make for an excellent kitchen companion. The footbed provides a memory cushion to take away the pressure on the joints. Dr. School constructed the model using a leather shell to protect the wearer from abrasions. The upper of the shoes are treated with a leather panel while the interior is lined with a breathable mesh. A padded tongue and collar also surround the foot for a more comfortable fitting. Most important of all, Harrington looks business-like when worn, keeping it a professional option for chefs.
Dickies Men’s Athletic Slip-Resistant
Nothing says comfort quite like the Athletic Slip-Resistant model from Dickies. Dickies has long been known for having a heavy focus on resistance means. Their model’s outer shell is created using leather materials, while the outsole is made from rubberized materials. These materials help create a solid foundation on your feet. There are also elements of stitching on the covering that help create side-by-side midfoot support. Dickie’s Men’s Athletic Slip-Resistant shoes for chefs feature a checkerboard pattern with small extensions on the surface. Essentially, these slip and oil-resistant shoes are popular for chefs who are always on their feet.
Skechers Work Men’s Flex Advantage
If the athletic fit is more your speed, the Flex Advantage model from Skechers is just the right pair. Skechers made these shoes slip and oil-resistant to provide you maximum safety while in the kitchen. The footwear is designed with mesh-like materials and improved padding. Such a design helps resist abrasions and pressures surrounding your foot. You can have a forgiving fit as the upper is treated to an elastic design. The interior is filled with padding that creates the proper mold for lockdown. For additional means of support, the outsole is designed from synthetic rubbers. Side-cuts are employed at the bottom of the shoes. This helps develop your proper areas of standing. The side-cuts also help you achieve an ample amount of grip while scaling rough surfaces.
Skechers Work Rockland Systematic
Skechers has long been known to provide work-wear products that boast stain-resistance and grip technology. Their footwear that fits our prescribed field of use is the Skechers Work Rockland Systematic. These lace-up shoes are designed primarily from leather and heavy-stitching. Laces extend from the midpoint to the insertion point, making a secure lockdown. Additionally, the outside is primarily composed of rubberized compounds. There are also circular extensions on the sides of the outsole. The true intrigue comes from the slip-resistant outsoles that help protect you from costly slips and falls in a busy kitchen. Therefore, you can expect the shoes to last shift after shift. At the same time, the trend-right style allows you to stand out effortlessly.
Emeril Lagasse ELMROYAL-001
These shoes are created in honor of a restaurateur and celebrity chef named Emeril John Lagasse II. Being a chef means long hours of serving others with good food. But you cannot perform well if your feet are constantly aching from unsupportive shoes. For this reason, the Emeril Lagasse ELMROYAL-001will comfortably keep you on your feet all day. The upper of these shoes are water and stain-resistant. At some point in the day, you may have to drop things on your foot. There is no need to worry about hurting yourself as the toe box is designed to protect your toes and metatarsals. Likewise, you don’t have to worry about drips and spills, thanks to AllShield Technology.
INiceslipper Unisex Chef Shoes
What makes the Iniceslipper shoes for chefs a must-have is that it offers a better grip on the kitchen floor. The anti-skid slip-resistant design will keep you protected all day. The shoes also protect you from hazardous materials like hot oil and hot water. Aside from that, the three air vents will give your busy foot the breathability it deserves. As most chefs complain about tired feet, the INIceslipper is designed with comfort in mind. Because the insole carries massage particles, fatigue is no longer an issue. Your feet rub against these particles as you move, thereby giving you a refreshing feeling.
Keen Utility Men’s PTC Slip-on
The Keen Utility Men’s PTC Slip-on is the best of the lot for several reasons. It features a TPU shank protection and KEEN PROTECT toe protection guard for falling pots and pestles. Keen also enhanced a gripping technology on the model, making the outsoles oil and slip-resistant. Furthermore, they used a blend of cork and recycled Polyurethane, memory foam to cushion your feet well all day. With the well though-out design and durable materials, it is clear that Keen is committed to market shoes of great help.
Mozo Men’s Grind Canvas
The Mozo Men’s Grind Canvas closely resembles skateboarding sneakers. Perhaps Mozo wanted to serve multifunctional shoes for chefs who also like skateboarding. Their Grind Canvas comes in an all-black color and a black/white pattern. If you are looking for fashionable design, this one serves your needs. The upper offers you plenty of breathability space without compromising weight and flexibility. Being that these shoes are canvas, there is also some level of water resistance. Additional features of the Mozo Men’s Grind Canvas include a slip-resistant outsole, sleek design, and wide tongue for easy slip-on and slip-off.
Dansko Professional Mule
Safety and comfort are the two primary concerns that shoes for chef must address. Luckily, the Dansko Professional Mule is created with safety and comfort in mind. The shoes feature a round-toe with a rocker bottom to minimize fatigue. A reinforced toe-box ensures that the most vulnerable part of your feet is protected at all costs. Not only that, but the toe-box also provides adequate room to move your toes around. In terms of the midsole, it is compression molded-EVA so that you feel supple and flush all day. All in all, the Dansko Professional Mule offers you comfort, protection, and traction, coupled with a touch of style.
Birkenstock Profi Birki
Birkenstock is a German shoe manufacturer known to be a chefs’ favorite. Long time fans of Birkenstock express that the footwears are supportive enough to get them through those long shifts. This shoe manufacturer started up in the 1770s, and ever since, they have been producing comfortable work shoes. Their Proki Briki has a removable and washable anatomically-shaped Polyurethane footbed. The lining of the footbed is made of mesh-like fabric to absorb your sweat. What’s more, the contours of the footbed is placed precisely to let your feet move and stretch naturally. Due to the polyurethane, the sole of the shoes is oil-resistant and non-slip. Extra features are microfibre insoles, contoured cork, and great heel support.
VANGELO Carlisle Clogs
The VANGELO Carlisle Clogs are ultralight because of the EVA foam body. These clogs have passed the ASTM Industry Standards. All-time wearers expressed that the clogs are particularly great at absorbing shocks and returning energy to the body. Such shock-absorbing ability of Vangelo Carlisle Clogs prevents stress on the back and hips. The shape helps channel fluids so that it doesn’t penetrate on the inside. There is also a removable sole that doubles as arch support. To maintain hygiene in the workplace, the Vangelo Carlisle Clogs are designed with antimicrobial. You can wear the clogs for long hours without feeling conscious about smelly feet.
SensFoot Slip-Resistant Clogs
This Korean performance company from South Korea ensures that you are safe while working in the kitchen. The Sensfoot Clogs are designed with slip-resistant technology. Kitchen floors are usually oily and greasy that these clogs will come in handy. These clogs meet the resistance standard required for restaurants and other establishments. Lightweight EVA materials are used in creating the frame of SensFoot Slip-Resistant Clogs. As for the back, it is slightly raised to clamp the foam pad in place. Those who have tried these clogs never had issues like the adhesives giving away.
Crocs Bistro Clogs
Crocs have a great reputation when it comes to work shoes. Their shoes are designed with food service workers in mind. The distinctive clog design of the Bistro is a firm favorite for chefs. Also, the clogs offer a legendary slip and oil resistance to ensure that you are in good company. Synthetic handles are also created to provide ample support on the heel and ankles. These handles can even double as protective measures. Each covered shell that prevents abrasions is fully encased. Thus, the protection is extended from the toe box to the rear of your foot.
Merrell Jungle Moc
The Merrel Jungle Moc keeps your feet in ultimate comfort until the end of the shift. As you walk on the hazardous kitchen floor, the non-slip sole will keep you safe and sound. Traction on the Merrel Jungle Moc is provided by the non-slip rubber, which can grip on oil, water, and grease. An Air Cushion in the heel absorbs shock well and keeps the shoes firmly on your foot. The shoes feature a roomy fit without compressing your toes. After long hours on your feet, the non-marking outsoles add to overall comfort.
MOZO Finn Chukka
If you are looking for a dedicated chef shoe that gets it right for the grip, Mozo Finn Chukka is the ideal option. With a Mozo Finn Chukka, you can’t go wrong as it is designed with the chef in mind. These shoes are insanely affordable and durable. The gel insoles sufficiently provide a cushioning ride for the long hours you spend on the kitchen. What’s even better is that the full-grain leather upper feels supple and soft. Surprisingly, this is something you do not often see in working shoes. Despite the laces, the Mozo Finn Chuka has a slip-on design. Perhaps the laces are only added to make it trendy and stylish. As for the perfect fit, go for half a size up because these shoes are incredibly narrow.
Mozo is slip-resistant shoes for chefs. If the nasty kitchen slips and spills always turn you off, the Mozo Finn Sharkz offers the traction you need. A rubber compound molded into a microchannel thread pattern is responsible for slip prevention. The pattern channelizes grease and liquid away for your maximum safety. On the rest of the shoe, you can find well-ventilated side-vents, synthetic leather, elastic goring, and removable insoles. Mozo Finn Sharks is constructed without using animal products and parts. If you are glued to hundred-percent vegan shoes for chefs, the Mozo Sharks might just be the perfect shoes to purchase.
The Skidbuster 5050 shoes for chefs feature synthetic materials as the outer shell’s main building component. Heavy amounts of stitching are used to keep the athletic mold of the shell strong. The tongue has an excellent lace-up system which you can pull back for better ease of fitting. This tongue utilizes mesh-like padding, which is also thick. To cater to the natural movement of your foot, the outsole follows an athletic design. This design is treated with cuts and groves for proper footing on the kitchen surface. Overall, Skidbuster 5050 is a perfect fit for the kitchen environment.
The Emeril Lagasse shoes for chefs come from the mind of a true professional. One of the most popular chefs in the United States, Emeril, designed these comfortable shoes for all-day wear. The materials utilized are extremely resistant to abrasions. These also help reduce pressures and shocks as you step. Rubberized materials comprised the outsole. Two wavy grooves are also added to help deter the focus of the pressure. Meanwhile, the outsole is treated to increase protection from spills and slips. Additional features of the Emeril Lagasse are elastic laces that provide simple fitting.
When you look for the proper shoe wear, you need to ensure practicality and functionality. The touch of style should only be a bonus. Below are the key things that you have to consider in your shoe of choice.
- Slip Resistant
Choose shoes with slip-resistance to ensure maximum safety.
Polyurethane uppers keep liquids and residues away from your feet.
- Odor Resistant
As a chef, you have to walk and stand in prolonged periods. You can get self-conscious of sweaty feet if your shoes do not give enough breathability space. Therefore, pick shoes with breathable leather liner as this will keep your feet breath.
- Shock Absorbant
The outsole of your shoes should be made of rubber. This will help lessen the impact of your steps.
- Comfortable Footbed
To support the arch of your feet and prevent foot problems, footbed with memory foam or EVA anti-compression insole is recommended.
- Wide Toe Box
Make sure that the toe box is wide enough for your toes. More room means you can flex and wiggle your toes without feeling painful.
- Easy to Clean
Shoes with leather and polyurethane uppers are not only resistant to water but also easy to clean.
What types of shoes should I avoid?
Avoid shoes that lack all of the qualities enumerated above. You should also avoid sandals, high heels, flip-flops, and flats. Sandals only expose your feet to hot spills. High heels increase your probability of slipping and falling. Flip-flops often cause plantar fasciitis, a common cause of heel pain. Lastly, flats offer little support to your feet.
Is the weight of the shoes important?
The answer is a resounding yes. You can only feel comfortable in your shoes if they are lightweight. Lighter shoes allow you to move easier and meet the demands of your work. Also, standing and walking for long hours with lighter shoes can not weigh your feet down,