A chef’s day-to-day duties vary from making expertise meals using acquired culinary skills to supervising kitchen staff. These activities can be rewarding and tasking because of the many hours a chef spends standing or walking in a kitchen environment. For this reason, having the best chef shoes is important as it helps keep the feet comfortable and safe as well as exuding professionalism.
That being said, there is a wide range of chef shoes to choose from. To make it easier to find the best ones, we have a list of the best chef shoes and factors to consider before making a purchase.
5 Best Chef Shoes
1. Crocs Men’s and Women’s Bistro Clog
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Crocs Men’s and Women’s Bistro Clogs have a synthetic sole that offers a lightweight feel to the shoes. A heavy shoe is tiresome to move around, hence not suitable for a fast-paced environment like a kitchen. Crocs are also supportive enough to get you through long working hours.
The bistro clogs have slip-resistant treads. These treads come together to serve up the best non-slip shoes for men and women. In addition, they are designed with hospitality industry workers in mind making them great for use as chef footwear.
The crocs also have an enclosed toe design with a roomy toe-box. This toe design and a thicker metatarsal area help protect your feet from spills. On top of that, they offer a roomy fit, meaning that you can order a size down to your next largest whole size when purchasing.
They are fully tested and certified as comfortable and for use in a kitchen environment.
- They have a heel strap allowing for ankles to breathe
- They are easy to clean by just using soap and water and leaving them to air dry
- They shrink and deform when left in a hot environment such as inside a car or under the sun
- They don’t offer protection to all forms of accidental spills
2. Skechers Women’s Squad Sr Food Service Shoe
- Light Weight Slip on
- Slip Resistant
- Electrical Hazard
- Memory Foam foot bed
- 3M Scotchgard
The Skechers Women’s Squad Shoes are 100% synthetic. They have a flexible and synthetic sole that makes them feel super lightweight. This lightweight feel allows for ease of movement in the kitchen.
They have a shaft that measures approximately low-top from the arch to give adequate arch support during long work hours. This type of support is important, especially to people with flat feet. Arch support minimizes pain and fatigue associated with flat feet.
The Skecher is slip-resistant because they have a steady tread lock. This feature makes them great for the kitchen because many hazardous spillages occur in the kitchen and can cause accidents.
The design of these shoes also comprises a memory foam footbed that adds comfort to them. The insole foam offers extra support to the shoe and reduces the pain in the foot and knee.
- They have an elastic closure type that stretches upon wearing
- They have an excellent fit
- The memory foam footbed can be a source of pain to some people
3. Skechers Men’s Cessnock Food Service Shoe
- Breathable Mesh
- Bungee lacing
- Slip resistant
- Relax Fit
- Air-Cooled Memory foam comfort insole
The Skechers Men’s Cessnock Shoes have a rubber sole. This sole provides a good cushion element since rubber is shock absorbent. For this reason, they ease movement over long hours. Rubber is also water-resistant therefore protecting against water spills. For this reason, the feet are kept dry and comfortable.
They have a breathable mesh that helps keep your feet fresh throughout the day. Being on your feet all day in a hot kitchen can result in sweat accumulation hence a foul smell. Moisture in the socks evaporates through the mesh.
The Cessnock shoes have a shaft that measures approximately low-top from the arch to provide arch support. As a result, pain and fatigue caused by flat feet are minimized. In addition, the Cessnock is fitted with a memory foam insole that gives extra comfort to the feet.
In addition, Skechers Men’s protect against kitchen slips as they have a rubber slip-resistant outsole that is non-slip. This feature makes them good kitchen shoes and protects against falls caused by slippery floors.
- They offer a relaxed fit
- They have bungee lacing, which is easier to use than standard tie up shoelaces
- They are not waterproof.
- The memory foam insoles are not durable. They can also result in serious foot issues and pain
4. Crocs Men’s and Women’s On The Clock Clog
The Crocs Men’s and Women’s clogs are 100% Man-Made. They are designed to offer a relaxed fit. It is recommended, therefore, to order a size down to the next largest whole size.
They have a synthetic sole. This sole is lightweight and highly breathable. Crocs have a heel strap that also enhances breathability around the ankles. The Croslite foam and deeply cushioned footbeds offer comfort that is perfect for those long shifts.
The Crocs On The Clog slip-on shoes are certifiably comfortable to support your feet through long standing hours. The enclosed toe and heel meet workplace standards and will protect your feet from spills. The slip-on feature makes it easy to put on and remove.
In addition, they are non-slip because they have slip-resistant and steady treads. This aspect is extremely important and makes them perfect for workers at risk of falling, such as chefs. A kitchen is an easy-to-slip environment.
- They are easy to clean by just using soap and water. To dry them, you can leave them in a cool area to air dry.
- They are lightweight
- They shrink and deform when left in hot environments such as under the sun or in a car
5. Skechers for Work Men’s Flex Advantage Mcallen Food Service Shoe
Skechers Mcallen Shoes are 100% Synthetic meaning that they’re not made from real leather. They have a synthetic sole that makes them lightweight and comfortable. They are also fitted with a foam insole for cushioning.
These kitchen shoes feature a mesh fabric upper that allows ease of breathing and fresh airflow in the feet. Additionally, they have a traction outsole making them slip-resistant.
The Skechers Men’s Flex have elastic side gores at opening. This elastic fabric panel allows for stretch, making it easy to wear and remove.
For medium fit, the shoe maintains medium width in the heel with a roomier toe box. It further has a more open interior that offers a looser fit around the entire foot.
- They have a padded collar and reinforced stitched seams
- The shoe fabric has a soft lining
- The foam insole is not long-lasting
- The foam insole can cause foot pain
Things to Consider Before Buying Chef Shoes
Spills are frequent in the kitchen. Examples of common spills are water, oil and hot liquids. Such spills could result in slip and fall accidents in the kitchen. A good chef shoe should protect against burns and injuries resulting from spills.
An important feature of quality footwear that aids in preventing falls is slip-resistant outsoles. In addition, kitchen shoes should have a spill-proof upper like a leather upper, designed to provide a cushion against any spillage.
Kitchen shoes should meet the daily needs of chefs. Some of those needs are arch support, breathability, traction and durability. Since a chef spends long hours standing and walking, the quality of footwear is just as important as the rest of the outfit.
Chefs spend eight or more hours standing and walking in the kitchen environment per shift. Since these many hours are spent on their feet, having quality chef shoes means having a comfortable pair of shoes that ease movement.
When comfort is compromised, chefs get distracted from their main focus easily. They are also tired fast and at risk of making mistakes in the kitchen. Thus, safety and comfort should go hand in hand when thinking of a kitchen work shoe for chefs.
2. Non-slip Outsole
Slip-resistant work shoes are a must-have for chefs. Kitchens often have greasy floors that can cause slips and accidents. Outsoles made of materials such as a rubber outsole and a leather outsole make slip-resistant shoes since they are non-slip and oil resistant.
The outsoles are also really important for shock absorption. This feature makes movement easier and won’t cause your shoes to slide, especially for people in food service.
Hot liquids are common in the food industry and, as such, can easily spill and cause burns. The upper of a chef’s shoe should be spillproof. A leather upper or a synthetic upper is used to achieve this resistance.
A water-resistant upper makes sure that no water or liquids get inside the shoe. On top of that, it helps keep the feet dry and comfortable.
The design of the shoe is just as important when it comes to proper footwear. Slip-on shoes and lace-up work shoes provide comfort to the chefs that wear them. The choice of either depends on the work or kitchen environment in question.
If you prefer to feel compact and supported, lace-up shoes would be best for you. Otherwise, slip-ons are just as comfortable and, as the name suggests, easy to wear and take off.
Kitchen footwear should also feel lightweight. In a busy kitchen, fast and easy movements are vital. Light shoes provide this feature best.
Since a kitchen environment is often hot, sweat accumulation is normal. A good chef shoe should be breathable to allow for accumulated moisture to evaporate. A breathable mesh facilitates evaporation easily.
Sweaty shoes are uncomfortable and cause a bad odor. Investing in a breathable shoe is, therefore, a priority for a chef working a long shift. High-quality footwear allows the feet to breathe easily.
6. Fit and Size
Wearing a small-sized shoe brings about blisters. The blisters are painful and cause discomfort. A larger shoe is also uncomfortable and does not offer support. Additionally, it slows down movement in an otherwise fast-paced environment.
A good fit has a roomy toe space and offers arch support. It should also have a strong grip.
7. Ease of Cleaning
Chef shoes should provide ease of cleaning. Many times they are covered in dirt, oil, and grease from spills buildup in the kitchen. Since chefs also work long hours, a good shoe should be easy to dry for use in the next shift.
8. Slip Resistant
Since the kitchen is a slippery environment, shoes with slip-resistant soles are highly recommended to avoid slip and fall accidents. Testing standards such as ASTM have been put in place to ensure that chefs wear shoes with the right traction.
Dirt from spills and grime build up on the shoes’ outsole and affect the traction of the shoe. Cleaning the shoes frequently can help reduce the grime.
Chefs spend most of their time on their feet and as a result, their shoes wear off fast. Good quality kitchen shoes should be made of materials that last long, such as leather. Getting the most wear out of any footwear is key.
Since durability varies from person to person, it is recommended to replace the shoes whenever the outsole wears off. Doing this will ensure that your feet are safe and comfortable. Additionally, it will minimize risks of slip and fall accidents as a result of a worn-out outsole.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs) on Chef Shoes
1. What makes up the best shoes for chefs?
The best shoes for chefs should have water resistance, comfort, slip resistance, oil resistance, and breathability. They should also be fit, durable, shock-absorbing, spill-proof, and cushioned.
2. How long do chef shoes last?
Chef footwear can last up to twelve months when worn daily. However, several factors, such as the material used to make the outsole and the upper of the shoe, determine the shoes’ longevity. Leather uppers last longer than synthetic uppers.