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The 5 Best Kitchen Shoes That Will Stand for Most of Your Shift

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Having to stand on your feet for long periods of time is tough on anyone. Mix in the heat from the stovetop, the oven, or even the deep fryer in a restaurant kitchen and it’s even worse. The grueling 8 to 13-hour days can really take a toll on your body and it all starts with your feet. Having the proper kitchen footwear is going to save you from not just aches and pains, but it will also protect you from the elements in the kitchen.

Before we jump into the best shoes that you should have if you’re standing for most of your shift, we need to identify what to look for in a kitchen work shoe. Of course, this will depend on your working environment but your shoes must have comfort, durability, high-quality materials, and non-slip traction. The options available for kitchen shoes seem to be endless with a variety of styles to choose from. The main takeaways are comfort, protection, and quality. You are going to spend a lot of time in those shoes and you need something that will last as long as you do.

Some well-known kitchen shoe brands include Shoes for Crews, Dansko, and Keen  — which have the most options available for kitchen shoes so we are sure you are bound to find something that works with your personality and style. These best kitchen shoes are durable, easy to clean, and fashionable. No matter what you choose, you will know that your feet and your back will thank you for the added comfort and protection.

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Keen Brixen Waterproof Low Shoe

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The Brixen Waterproof Low shoe is an insulated shoe that will keep you warm in cold weather. The Breathable membrane is waterproof and offers shellback heel support. Made with nubuck leather for added protection. There is a wool felt lining and a removable thermal heat shield insole. The soft rubber sole is perfect for traction and non-slip grip. Easy to clean.

Shoes for Crews Cater II

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Many kitchen industry workers know that Shoes for Crews is a top choice for kitchen wear. The Cater II is known for its slip-resistant soles, and easy-to-clean and waterproof materials. The material is a leather upper for comfort and protection. The rubber sole is a flex tread that mimics the natural movement of your feet. They come with a removable insole.

Shoes for Crews Tigon

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The Tigon is a high-top shoe with airbag comfort that was inspired by basketball shoes. The TripGuard and slip-resistant soles are for added protection. The waterproof leather upper material repels liquid and protects the foot.

Dansko Wynn Shoe

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The Wynn shoe is an easy-to-wear slip-on shoe with built-in arch support. It is slip-resistant and has a shock-absorbing midsole. The material is a leather upper for protection and waterproofing, and it includes a removable triple-layer insole. To clean, just use a damp cloth and leather cleaner.

Crocs Bistro Clog

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The Bistro Clog was designed for the foodservice industry and hospitality as well as for healthcare workers. The shoes are light and offer long-lasting support. The toe area has a thicker protective area and the trademarked Crocs Lock slip-resistant tread also gives extra protection. The shoes are roomy and comfortable and easy to clean.

How to Choose A Comfortable Kitchen Shoe

Even though one of the primary functions of a shoe is to protect your feet, the most important thing to remember is that your shoe must be comfortable. You are going to be on your feet 90% of the time. Those shoes should feel comfortable at the start of your shift all the way to the end of the shift.

Your shoes should be snug but have some wiggle room for your toes and support the arch of your foot. You should have about half of an inch of room between your toes and the end of the shoe. Your heel should have a minimum amount of slip to it. Brand-new shoes should be broken in and the best way to do that is to wear them a few hours a day at home. You can even alternate between your old shoes and the new shoes during your work shift. This will give your feet a rest from breaking in the new shoes.

What Are the Benefits of Buying Waterproof and Non-slip Kitchen Shoes?

Some of the dangers of being in the kitchen are wet floors. They could be wet from water, oil, spilled food, just about anything. A good shoe will be waterproof so you aren’t walking around in soaking wet socks. Check the stitching, laces, or breathing holes, or anything that may allow water in. To avoid slips and falls, your shoes should have a thick rubber sole with a traction pattern built into them. Choose a sole made of soft rubber and that has a good amount of surface area on it to grip.

Why You Need High Quality and Durable Kitchen Shoes

We all know the saying, “Quality over quantity.” That definitely applies here. Your shoes need to be durable and made of high-quality materials. Shoes with a leather upper, the top part of the shoe, will protect your feet and toes from falling objects such as kitchen knives and other sharp kitchen tools, dishes, trays, or just about anything.

Be sure to monitor your steps and how long you have worn your shoes. Every shoe should be replaced every 300 to 400 miles of wear. That’s in the ballpark of roughly 600,000 steps which means they should last anywhere from 8 to 12 months.

Editors' Recommendations

Joe Morales
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Joe Morales is a trained chef with over five years of experience working in fine dining and Michelin recommended restaurants…
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