Passion and talent aren’t always the key to a successful chef and a scrumptious dish, but the method of navigation of the chef himself is also what keeps everything together. The long hours of duty in the kitchen are truly tiring and getting the best pair will be your holy grail.
If you have experienced stressful kitchen work, you would know how a pair of shoes could extensively help you with your performance. The best and comfortable shoes remain unparalleled compared to normal rubber shoes.
Heightened performance is not the only reason why kitchen shoes are an important part of the outfit. But, it also helps you avoid serious slips and falls.
It is no doubt that kitchen floors are really slippery. Because of this, it is unavoidable to experience some slips here and there. But with a good pair of shoes, you can automatically assume that you are avoiding accidents.
Shoes are also helpful to support your knees, neck, and back. Since you’ll be brisk walking and moving for long hours for five days a week, you’d be needing adequate support from your soles.
Safety and performance are the main reasons as to why you should have your hands on an excellent pair. If you still don’t know which to purchase, then you might want to check this list of the best kitchen shoes that you could find.
Best Kitchen Shoes Compared and Reviewed
|Top||Skechers for Work Flex Advantage||Skechers||Check Price on Amazon|
|Crocs Bistro Graphic Clog||Crocs||Check Price on Amazon|
|Merrell Jungle Moc||Merrell||Check Price on Amazon|
|Birkenstock Boston Super Grip||Birkenstock||Check Price on Amazon|
|Skechers Work Rockland Systemic||Skechers||Check Price on Amazon|
#1 - Skechers for Work Flex Advantage
This Skechers for Work Flex Advantage offers comfort, protection, and slip-resistant soles. The material is made from a mesh fabric upper which makes it breathable too.
Because it’s a no-shoelace shoe, you can slip these on and off with ease. But, you don’t have to worry about it slipping off while you’re working because the elastic side gores at the opening of the shoes ensure that the shoes nest your feet comfortably.
These shoes also have padded collar adds to increase the comfort level. The memory foam constructed on the insoles of the shoes might be one of your favorite features in this pair.
This Skechers for Work Flex Advantage prides itself in meeting the standards under this specification of the ASTM F2413=2011 EH requirements. This is the standard specification for performance requirements for protective footwear.
The composite toe is structured to be lightweight for ease in maneuverability. Moreover, it is also non-metallic. With the steel safety toe, you are ensured that your toes will be protected from falling objects.
The outsoles of these shoes are approved by the Mark II ratings. Mark II is slip resistant shoe testing to make sure that the shoe model has passed the standards of being slip resistant. With it being slip resistant, it ensures that you are protected from the oily and wet floors.
#2 - Crocs Bistro Graphic Clog
Crocs are more than the usual, classic shoes that we always see. Rather, this brand also offers a good work shoe pair. This Crocs Bistro Graphic Clog is slip resistant, hence this could be your best kitchen partner.
These clogs are designed to be compatible for any heavy duty work like healthcare, hospitality, food service, and of course, kitchen work too. With the nature of the work, it is truly inevitable to sense a smelly problem down there. However, this pair is resistant to that.
This also has a protective layer on the toe area, specifically a thicker material on that part, for extra protection. Despite its thicker layer, it’s comfortable and breathable.
Because of its Croslite material, this Graphic Clog is ultimately durable and lightweight. If you’re looking for a pair of work shoes that last for a lifetime, this would be not part of the list.
The footbed of this pair has a contoured construction to nestle your foot and provide more comfort, most especially when maneuvering all around the kitchen. The easy slip-on style is also supported with a heel strap, so you don’t have to worry about your Crocs flying away.
This pair takes in consideration the different kitchen hazards like spills and oily floors. Hence, it has constructed a synthetic sole grip to make sure that you’ll never fall and slip out of balance against any surface.
#3 - Merrell Jungle Moc
Working in the kitchen can also mean that your feet or the shoes themselves may inevitably smell. However, this will no longer be a problem because this pair has an Aegis antimicrobial treated lining that will help your shoes remain fresh smelling.
The Merrell Air Cushion heel and underfoot also provide maximum comfort and support for your foot. In this way, you can work around your kitchen totally hassle-free.
These shoes promise extreme comfort and also shock absorbing qualities. This is made possible because of its FIT.ECO EVA contoured footbed, foot frame, and as well as its molded nylon arch shank.
You no longer have to think about the feeling of suffocation with your feet. This pair has a mesh lining so the pair remains breathable for your feet.
The pair is non-slip and has a sole of 3mm lug depth which makes it extra secure and increases its slip resistance. This also helps you avoid fall and slip accidents because this offers great stability.
#4 - Birkenstock Boston Super Grip
This pair of kitchen shoes are made to be comfortable and supportive most especially when you’re vulnerable due to a lot of occupational hazards. This pair will surely help you with your work around the kitchen, and as well as help you avoid foot fatigues.
The upper part of this footwear is constructed with full grain, genuine leather that is thick enough to be a protective layer. So when there is a falling object, your toes won’t absorb all the impact.
The arch and heel of your foot are fully supported with its cork footbed. This is shaped in a way that perfectly cradles your foot to avoid aching and pain after hours of moving.
Its oil and grease resistance make this different from the other models Birkenstock has developed. Moreover, Birkenstock’s signature easy to slip in and off feature remains.
What makes this different from the casual Birks is its careful consideration of the occupational hazards that could exist in a specific work setting. This is made more for a professional environment than for a casual outing.
#5 - Skechers Work Rockland Systemic
Another best kitchen shoe pair is yet again manufactured by Skechers. This Skechers Work Men’s Rockland Systemic is one of the best shoes that have great slip resistance, without having to compromise the style.
For those lace-up lovers, this Rockland Systemic might steal your heart because of its Oxford-style design. Its design doesn’t make it look like work shoes, hence, you can definitely use these when you’re casually hanging around.
This was tested and passed the Mark II non-slip slip resistant test and as well as the Electric Hazard (EH) standards. The EH tests the shoes for the accumulation of excess static electricity. Thus, this pair is truly safe in the workplace.
This is constructed with a leather upper and leather overlay which extends its longevity and heightens its durability. They are also proven to be comfortable and secure because of the grip it provides.
The sole and the heel prove extra grip. Hence, it helps the traction grab and grip the oily, greasy, and wet surfaces.
My Top Choice
Key Considerations When Looking For The Best Kitchen Shoes
When you’re on your feet for more than eight hours a day, it is truly exhausting and tiring both physically and mentally. However, with the best shoes, this can at least, lighten your stress and also let you work hassle-free.
Unlike other products that you buy from a store, these kitchen shoes cannot be bought out of a whim. Careful consideration and a lot of taking notes should be made before securing that purchase.
With the different occupational hazards that can be present in a kitchen setting, buying a pair of shoes without careful deliberation could totally affect your performance. Moreover, you’re also risking your safety!
Buying the best kitchen shoes is like an athlete buying a pair of shoes. Footwear is a staple piece in a kitchen outfit and compromising its quality won’t just give you foot fatigue, but can also make you extra vulnerable to accidents.
I’ve created a list that could help you get to an informed decision and as well as to give you an objective checklist so you can properly choose your best kitchen partner.
Comfort is everything most especially when you’re working in an environment that requires you to move around for more or less eight hours a day. Extra comfort doesn’t just let your feet breathe, but it also helps with your legs and back.
Essentially, in a work environment or not, we often buy shoes that give us comfort. After all, it’s what will (literally) keep us on our toes all day.
It is no-brainer that rush hours happen in restaurants, hence, kitchen workers are required to move twice the speed to cater to all hungry customers. This will not be a fear and worry if your footwear is comfortable and supportive enough. But how comfortable is it really?
You should always look at the material of the shoes. Material makes or breaks the comfortability (and durability) of the footwear.
If you would notice, some manufacturers are too focused on making the pair of shoes durable, that it becomes clunky and heavy which results in an uncomfortable feeling. However, there are also shoes that are both durable and comfortable—and those are what you should look for.
Some shoes are composed with different materials for every part. For the footbed, it is important to have it made from a comfortable material like cork like the Birkenstock’s Boston Super Grip.
Kitchen environment is usually warm because of the heat coming from a source of fire like stoves. It is inevitable that there will be a build-up of sweat on your feet.
A good pair of shoes also takes into careful consideration the breathability, which helps air to circulate around your feet. This prevents any ailments like fungal infections and also prevents your feet from acquiring unpleasant smell.
To achieve a breathable shoe, a mesh material is often constructed on the sides of the shoe. This gives your feet the proper air circulation it needs. This feature could be seen in Skechers for Work Flex Advantage.
Lightweightedness of the shoes definitely contribute to your overall performance. You don’t want to walk like a dinosaur either because of the clunky and heavyweight your shoe features.
Weight also tackles flexibility. It’s difficult to maneuver around the kitchen when you feel like your shoes are weighing you down. It’s also hard to move when the shoes aren’t malleable enough to let you feel like walking on air.
Aches around the arch of your feet and your ankles are also usually caused by the heaviness of your shoes. Hence, you should be dealing with shoes that are fairly light and demand less effort.
By lightweightedness, this doesn’t necessarily mean that it lets you question if you’re still wearing shoes or not because of how light it is. Rather, light enough for you to handle. After all, we all have different preferences.
For weight, you might want to check Merrell Air Cushion for an effortless mobility.
Support and Protection
Kitchen environments are always filled with heavy materials like pots which can cause a serious damage to your feet when an accident happens. Hence, protective layers on shoes are a big factor that you should look out for.
Not all shoes that have a hard material are protective enough. Or if they do, they may not be comfortable enough. If you’re working around the kitchen, you should make sure that your toes are perfectly protected.
Shoes like the Skechers Work Men’s Rockland Systemic have a protective layer such as its leather upper that will ensure protection for your toes. You can also look into Birkenstock’s Boston Super Grip.
Getting shoes with the right support for the arch of your foot, your ankles, and your heels will avoid foot fatigues and other injuries like sprain or overwoking of muscles. Moreover, you are also susceptible to plantar fasciitis and heel spurs when using a poorly made footwear.
Cushions are often used to provide comfort and support around these delicate parts and areas of your foot. Merrell Jungle Moc is a good pair of footwear to support your foot and as well as to help you rotate your ankles in a safe manner.
Clean and Maintenance
Cleaning and maintaining shoes help you to improve the longevity of your footwear. Of course, who wants to wear a pair of shoes that’s too greasy or too smelly to wear?
There are shoes offered in the market that are smell resistant, hence, you don’t have to worry about constantly submerging your shoes in fragrant conditioners to keep it from smelling. With this, you don’t have to worry about the smell when cleaning.
You might want to look into Merrell Air Cushion. Due to its Aegis microbial treatment, you can use this shoes smell-free and worry-free.
Slip-on footwears are easier to maintain and clean because there’s a wider opening. Moreover, the material used in slip-on footwears are easier to clean compared to the other designs.
The Crocs Bistro Graphic Clogs and Birkenstock Boston Super Grip are some of the slip-on footwears that are easy to clean. They’re also quicker to dry because of the wider opening.
When talking about design, we usually limit ourselves to its aesthetics alone. When in fact, we should also look at the functionality of it. Of course, you don’t want to purchase a pair of kitchen shoes that scream ‘work shoes’ right?
Design is also important because it dictates the ease of use and wearability of the product. Shoes with shoelaces could be a hassle for some to wear because you can’t just slip them on hands-free.
Others prefer slip-ons that have straps at the back of your foot so that you can easily slip them on and off. There are also individuals who prefer shoes that are designed like casual wear so they can wear it during their after-work hangouts.
If you want a pair of shoes that are designed to be more than a kitchen shoe, then I recommend looking into Skechers Work Men’s Rockland Systemic because of its Oxford-style design.
Kitchen Element Resistance
Why buy a pair of shoes if they won’t be resistant to the elements present in the kitchen? The kitchen environment is known for having a number of occupational hazards and to name: greasy, oily, and wet floors.
It is only proper to have your shoes protect you from the accidental slips and falls. Avoiding these falls and slips won’t only be helpful to you, but also to the rest of the kitchen staff. I mean, the domino effect is inevitable in a tight space.
Slip Resistance (Oil and Grease Resistant)
Make sure that your shoes are slip resistance by checking the soles of the shoes. Sophisticated shoes have usually undergone different tests like the Mark II test, which is a shoe slip resistance test.
Just because the pair of shoes didn’t undergo the test, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re no longer slip resistance. This test just closes the seal of the shoe being slip resistant, hence you’re assured that it really is slip resistant.
You might want to look into Skechers for Work Flex Advantage and Skechers Work Men’s Rockland Systemic. These two have undergone and passed the Mark II slip resistant test.
Frequently Asked Questions About Kitchen Shoes
Question: How do I clean my kitchen shoes?
Answer: You can start by rinsing your footwear with plain water. This will first remove all the debris and other dirt that are attached to your shoes.
If there are stains or any of its sort, you can add a few drops of mild detergent or any shoe cleaner in your water. Soak your footwear into this mixture and lightly scrub brush it if there are still stains.
Don’t forget to remove the insoles as well. Wash them separately and allow them to air dry. Make sure that these are really dry before putting them on!
Question: Are nurse shoes a good alternative for kitchen shoes?
Answer: Clogs are known for being versatile. They can be a footwear for a hospital setting and a kitchen environment.
So yes, you can wear nurse shoes as alternative kitchen shoes. But always make sure to ask around or read reviews on the pair of shoes you’re going to purchase. After all, your safety is still the priority.
Question: What are the best kitchen shoes for sore feet?
Answer: You can always purchase orthopedic insoles if you suffer from sore feet. This will increase the comfortability of your footwear most especially when you’re working the whole day.
There are work shoes that have replaceable insoles. You might want to check into those if you want a comfortable placement of your orthopedic insoles. If symptoms persist, ask your trusted doctor or any medical professional.
Nothing’s much worse than doing kitchen work with a pair of very unsupportive and uncomfortable footwear. Hence, a good pair of kitchen shoes will be your lifetime best friend, which also requires a deliberate and informed purchasing decision.
Ensure you’re buying the right kitchen safety shoes by considering the practical and functional aspects of the shoes. These do not just amplify your kitchen performance, but they also enforce safety and security to you and the rest of the kitchen personnel.
Always look for the right shoe that fits perfectly with your style without compromising its safety features and functionality. After all, these qualities will not just keep your feet comfortable, but these will also help you to avoid injuries and accidents.
While you’re sorting out your kitchen, check out our reviews on the best kitchen wall shelves we’ve recently done. If you’re starting to get really creative with the fried, messy dishes and don’t have proper ventilation check out these ductless range hoods.
And most of all, enjoy the cooking!
Paul is an aspiring amateur chef from Sydney, Australia. Paul comes from Vietnam and has a passion for Asian food. He has visited Asia including Vietnam, China, Thailand, and Singapore and hopes to inspire others with his passion for food.