Which Shoes Are Best in the Kitchen? Find out!

Which Shoes Are Best in the Kitchen? Find out!

It may be the understatement of all time to say the kitchen’s a dangerous place. Sharp objects and extreme heat are just the beginning—between grease and spills, even the ground you walk on can be perilous. The right footwear can mean the difference between a great service and falling flat on your … face. Many restaurants require their staff to wear slip-resistant shoes for this very reason.
Beyond safety, there’s comfort to consider. Even under the best conditions, long shifts take their toll. Your feet, legs, hips and back will all thank you for giving them proper cushioning and support.

What makes a great pair of chef shoes?

Slip resistance

Professional footwear that has this feature will say so—it’s that important. Some slip-resistant shoes may tout an ASTM F3445 rating, which is the official anti-slip certification. In addition, look for a rubber outsole (rubber is naturally slip resistant) and a tread designed to channel liquids away from the bottom of the shoe.

Eight-hour shift? You wish! Long hours are common for kitchen pros—yet another reason for dedicated chef shoes. If you wear orthotics, look for styles that have removable insoles. Slip those out, slip yours in, and you’re good to go.
Contoured footbeds and EVA midsoles are other features to look for. EVA gives exceptional cushioning without adding weight, which makes it hugely popular in both athletic and professional footwear.

So many options! Traditional clogs are still very much a thing, of course. But even there, the selection has grown to include open back, full back and back strap styles. And while athletic shoes used to be frowned upon in some kitchens, there are now scores of professional shoes that look like and feel as comfy as your favorite sneakers—while incorporating features like slip and oil resistance.

Other things to consider

If you can’t stand the heat … make sure your shoes are breathable. This is a solid argument for shoes with uppers made of leather or textiles. Many molded clogs are ventilated too. And never underestimate the importance of the right socks. Wicking is critical, compression can be life altering.

A wise chef once said, “Cleanliness is next to deliciousness.” (Okay, we might have made that up.) But there’s no denying that wearing the same shoes for long, sweaty kitchen sessions day after day can create a powerful funk. Having a second pair of shoes will lengthen the life of both pairs—allowing you to let each dry and air out fully between wearings.

The addition of antimicrobial linings, footbeds and insoles is becoming more and more common in all types of footwear—including professional styles. Some removable insoles can even be washed.

And a commercial dishwasher does more than dishes. Some shoes brands can withstand this type of cleaning. Check with the manufacturer—and do not attempt this at home.
Even with so many things to think about, you’ll know when you find the perfect pair of chef shoes. They’ll be the ones you can wear for hours, focusing on the food rather than your feet.

Asheley Rice

I am a pop culture and social media expert. Aside from writing about the latest news health, I also enjoy pop culture and Yoga. I have BA in American Cultural Studies and currently enrolled in a Mass-Media MA program. I like to spend my spring breaks volunteering overseas.

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