Whether you’re a chef, a cook, or someone who spends a lot of time cooking, kitchen shoes are a wonder. When you stand for hours on end, chopping, cooking or creating a dish that’s bound to wow everyone, you need as much support as you can get. And, you need one of the best kitchen shoes money can buy.
Truth be told, kitchen shoes are some of the most comfortable shoes out there. They’re designed to be worn over extended periods, they’re slip-resistant, and they’re heavy-duty. They’re made to protect you from drops, spills, and other accidents that might happen while you’re cooking.
When we think of kitchen shoes, we think of clogs (for the most part). But, sneakers, boots, Danskos, or Birkenstocks offer features that can work wonders when you’re spending most of your time cooking and complaining about your back problems, shoulder aches, and knee soreness.
Now, there’s a difference between someone who cooks for a family and someone who works ten hours a day on slippery floors, surrounded by ovens, steamers, fryers, and knives that could easily fly off the table. But, we’re bringing you the fifteen best kitchen shoes appropriate for different levels of “difficulty.”
And, we’re answering the question of what kitchen shoes are and what features kitchen shoes need to possess to ensure they’re fitting for your needs. Given that you’ve decided to take the plunge and get your hands (or your feet) on a new pair of kitchen shoes, we’ve got you covered. Keep on reading!
What are kitchen shoes?
“But, what even are kitchen shoes?” Chefs and cooks tend to wear a specialized type of shoe that’s designed to offer comfort, protection, and safety for people working with hot, sharp, and dangerous cooking tools.
But, people who cook on a regular (for family, friends, or pleasure) can benefit from kitchen shoes, too. Now, the term “kitchen shoes” appears to be a broad one.
Kitchen shoes, for the most part, are shoes that are lightweight, comfortable, easy to slip on and off when necessary, slip-resistant, and easy to clean. And, kitchen shoes can have enclosed toes and other parts that need protection. Oh and, they can possess extra padding for added comfort.
On the other hand, kitchen shoes worn by chefs, cooks, and other restaurant staff should also meet the kitchen safety standards (such as the CE certificate).
Of course, different restaurants and kitchens expect different things from workers – therefore, make sure you check what they’re looking for before you purchase a pair of kitchen shoes that might not even meet the standards they’re looking for.
Oh, there are so many things to consider when choosing the best kitchen shoes! Sure, you might be drawn to brand names, fashionable footwear, and eye-catching sneakers that reflect your personality and style.
And, there’s nothing wrong with going for the kitchen shoes that catch your attention the moment you see them – as long as you’re planning on wearing them while cooking for your friends and family.
Other than that, don’t shy away from researching, asking around, and asking for specifics when you’re planning on purchasing kitchen shoes for work.
Trust me, your feet deserve attention when they need to carry you around the kitchen for eight, nine, or even ten hours a day. Therefore, keep an eye on these things before you commit!
What to consider when choosing the best kitchen shoes?
As a newbie at choosing the best kitchen shoes out of the bunch, chances are you don’t know what features you’re looking for. Are you looking for sneakers, for example? Are you looking for slip-on shoes such as Crocs clogs or Birkenstocks?
Or, are you looking for characteristics that are guaranteed to get you through the day without slips, wounds, and accidents? Whatever the case may be, there are things to consider before you spend the rest of the night shopping on Amazon.
First things first, you can’t go wrong with searching for lightweight, breathable fabrics. But, don’t forget to check whether the shoes you want to go with are made with leather, rubber, and/or polyethylene. Leather’s (often) waterproof, rubber’s great for slip-resistance, and polyethylene’s easy to clean.
On the other hand, kitchen shoes must offer enough padding to ensure shock absorption. Additionally, kitchen shoes need to possess comfortable-enough footbeds to provide even distribution of weight across the foot.
Granted that you’re spending numerous hours on your feet, kitchen shoes are supposed to reduce the pressure on your feet and prevent muscle fatigue.
As for that slip resistance we mentioned beforehand, look for shoes that have either an SRA, SRB, or SRC certification. Actually, these certifications mean that the soles of the shoes were tested with soap solutions and glyceryl solution against kitchen surfaces.
And, before we forget, the best kitchen shoes out there are often equipped with the enhanced airflow and moisture-wicking fabrics bound to keep you comfortable. Who wants soggy feet after a long day of cooking, chopping, and creating finger-licking dishes?!
When you’ve scoured the world wide web for these features, you can proceed to check the styles that work for you. Whether you’re a slip-on or a lace-up lover, you should go for whatever speaks to you.
What are the best kitchen shoes on the market at the moment?
1. Birkenstock Profi-Birki Polyurethane Clogs
Argh, we can’t wait to share with you the best kitchen shoes on the market at the moment! Right off the bat, Birkenstock Profi-Birki Polyurethane Clogs are a customer favorite for a reason (or many reasons). So, Birkenstock clogs are the kitchen shoe we want to start with.
Birkenstock clogs are made of polyurethane which makes them waterproof, resistant to oil and grease, and easy to clean.
They’re easy to slip on and off which can be pretty great depending on the type of work you do. They offer even distribution of your weight across the foot which makes them more comfortable than some other shoes.
But, there’s one thing that makes them stand out. Birkenstock clogs are equipped with cork insoles that mold to the shape of your foot after a week or so.
That’s what most customers are drawn to and we couldn’t agree more. And, they’re not that expensive, which means that you’re definitely getting your money’s worth.
2. Sloggers Rain and Garden Shoe
“Why would I wear a garden shoe while I’m cooking?!” sounds like something you might scream at the screen right now. But, the Sloggers Rain and Garden Shoes are waterproof, easy to clean, comfortable, and cheap.
And, there’s nothing wrong with wearing shoes that aren’t advertised as kitchen shoes as long as they possess the features you need. Turns out Sloggers are perfect for you because they’re garden shoes.
They’re pretty much shorter, better-looking rubber boots appropriate for restaurants and kitchens. They’re waterproof which makes them great for washing the dishes and spilling water everywhere.
They’re easy to clean which means you can simply wipe them off when you end up getting gravy on them. And, they’re equipped with removable (and washable) insoles that offer the right amount of comfort. What are you waiting for, then?!
3. Birkenstock Boston Soft Footbed
We can’t seem to get enough of Birkenstocks! But, considering the history of the company and the popularity the company earned over time, they deserve as much hype as they get.
And, Birkenstock Boston Soft Footbed shoes happen to be the kitchen shoes for some of the most famous chefs out there. Birkenstock Boston Soft Footbeds are comfortable and supportive.
They shape the contour of your foot which means you might need some time to get used to them. They’re equipped with the same cork features we mentioned beforehand, and they’re padded for shock absorption.
However, they are flatter than you might be comfortable with. Depending on your physical health and requirement, you might not be bothered with flat footbeds (but, that’s something to consider).
And, they’re a little more expensive than some of the other shoes we gathered, considering but they’re worth the hype, though.
4. Crocs On The Clock Clog
We know that the name sounds like a tongue twister, but we assure you that the Crocs On The Clock Clogs are some of the best kitchen shoes on the market.
“Regular” Crocs we know and love are lightweight, breathable, and even waterproof. But, they don’t necessarily meet professional kitchen standards because they don’t cover the entire foot or they feature a bunch of holes.
Crocs Clogs, on the other hand, meet the standards and offer features other Crocs don’t. They’re easy to slip on and off, easy to clean, and safe to wear because they’re slip-resistant and offer shock absorption.
They have cushioned footbeds that make them comfortable and a fitted back which makes them supportive. And, they’re pretty cheap.
5. SAS Patriot Nonslip Shoe
SAS Patriot Nonslip Shoes might not be the most fashion-forward option, but they’re one of the best kitchen shoes out there.
We don’t even need to underline how comfortable and supportive they are, considering the fact they feature padded footbeds and ensure shock absorption.
Not only that, but the SAS Patriot Nonslip Shoes are slip-resistant, moisture-wicking, and odor-resistant. “Wait, what?!”
That’s right, these kitchen shoes might be the perfect shoes for you because they possess moisture-wicking footbeds that help your feet keep dry. And, they’re lined with an antifriction layer which prevents blisters.
Oh and, the insoles are removable, which means you can wash them at the end of the day to prevent odors. Actually, they’re pretty cheap considering that SAS offers professional fitting to ensure you get the right shoes for you.
6. Dansko XP 2.0 Clogs
We might be repeating the same features each time we present another kitchen shoe, but we’re focusing on the things that are bound to make or break your day.
When you wear waterproof shoes, for example, you know you’re safe from water, gravy, and other liquids that might end up where they’re not supposed to.
Therefore, Danso XP 2.0 Clogs deserve a spot on the “best kitchen shoes” list because they have everything you need. They’re comfortable, supportive, slip-resistant, and waterproof.
They possess a padded collar for added comfort and they’re easy to slip on and off when necessary. They’re easy to clean because of the materials they were made with, and they’ve been recommended over and over by chefs across the country.
But, we have to take away some of the advantages because they’re pretty expensive and they scuff pretty easily. Are they worth the money? Maybe, but there are other, similar options you can check before you commit.
7. Skechers Black Flex Advantage Slip Resistant Mcallen Slip-On
Now we’re moving away from the obvious kitchen shoes and exploring the possibilities with slip-on sneakers, lace-up sneakers, and even running sneakers comfortable enough to serve the same purpose.
But, we’re doing that with caution considering that most sneakers aren’t waterproof or considered safe (according to most professional kitchen standards).
So, can Skechers Black Flex Advantage Slip Resistant Mcallen Slip-On shoes be considered one of the best kitchen shoes out there?
When you’re looking for comfort and support only, they definitely can. They’re padded, breathable, and lightweight. They’re made of stretchy fabrics which makes them easy to slip on and off when necessary.
They’re washable and appropriate for front-of-house workers or servers who spend a lot of time running and walking around.
But, they’re not waterproof. And, they’re not heavy-duty which means they’re not safe for every type of kitchen work.
They’re affordable compared to other brands, but you’re the one that needs to decide whether they’re worth the money for the type of work you do.
8. New Balance 626v2 Industrial Sneakers
OK, these are more reminiscent of “regular” sneakers. But, they’re athletic-looking sneakers made for the kitchen environment. And, the New Balance 626v2 Industrial Sneakers offer the same features as the other shoes we mentioned beforehand.
Therefore, they’re durable, comfortable, and supportive. They offer a combination of cushioning and compression that works wonders for anyone struggling to stay comfortable thought-out the day.
They possess slip-resistant outsoles that make them appropriate for working on slippery floors (such as the floors most restaurants and kitchens have).
They’re a little heavier than other kitchen shoes, but that doesn’t stop us from putting them side-by-side with some of the best kitchen shoes out there. And, their price is fairly reasonable for what you get.
9. Shoes for Crews Everlight
We couldn’t create the “best kitchen shoes” list without featuring at least one style of the Shoes for Crews company.
They’ve certainly managed to build a name for themselves among the kitchen staff across the country and they’ve created some of the most comfortable kitchen shoes we’ve ever worn. And, the Everlight series seems to continue the legacy.
The Everlight kitchen shoes are lightweight and breathable, and they have that signature sneaker appearance that most chefs adore because they’re tired of clogs.
These shoes feature a moisture-wicking lining that prevents your feet from getting sweaty and wet. They have slip-resistant soles and they’re enriched with the Shoes for Crews’ “Spill Guard” technology.
But, they’re not as heavy-duty and durable as some of the other shoes we talked about. We’d argue they’re worth the price. What do you think?
10. KEEN PTC Dress Oxford
You might not see the likes of Hailey Bieber or Bella Hadid sporting KEEN PTC Dress Oxford shoes, but they’re the most polished, put-together kitchen shoes you can get your hands on.
You might think they’re too expensive, but they’re worth the investment (depending on what you’re looking for).
First off, these KEEN shoes are made of waterproof leather that’s easy to clean. They also feature scratch-resistant rubber outsoles and removable cushioned footbeds.
They’re supportive, durable, and comfortable considering they’re made with recycled plastic, cork, and memory foam (apart from the leather). They’re heavy-duty and they’re great for a dangerous kitchen environment. But, they aren’t breathable and they can be pretty heavy on the foot.
Granted that they possess all the features you’re looking for, they might be the best kitchen shoes for the price (and we wouldn’t say that lightly).
11. Blundstone Work Chelsea Boot
Blundstone Work Chelsea Boots offer the most protection out of the bunch, and they’re perfect for dangerous kitchen environments.
Sure, you wouldn’t consider boots to be the best kitchen shoes, but they’re more than comfortable, supportive, and everything-resistant.
“These boots are made for walkin’,” and they’re made for protecting your feet from sharp objects and heavy drops considering they feature steel-toe caps.
They’re water-, oil-, and heat-resistant because of the upper exterior. And, they’re slip-resistant because of the rubber outsoles. They feature cushioned footbeds for shock absorption and comfort, too.
But, these boots aren’t rainbows and butterflies for anyone who doesn’t need 24/7 foot protection. They’re quite heavy and they need a lot of breaking in before you can wear them without getting blisters and sore feet.
They’re not great for running around and they’re not really cheap. But, maybe you’re looking for something exactly like these boots.
12. Birkenstock Super-Birki Cork Footbed Clog
We have to go back to clogs because we’re getting tired of sneakers and boots that look nothing like “regular” kitchen shoes.
And, Birkenstocks happen to have our backs with these Super-Birki Cork Footbed Clogs that are bound to make you fall for them. Actually, they’re bound to not make you fall because they feature polyurethane outsoles that are slip-, oil-, and grease-resistant.
Other than that, they’re lightweight, easy to slip on and off, and they’re some of the most comfortable shoes you’re ever going to wear.
Of course, they come with removable cork footbeds that conform to your feet and become even more comfortable as you wear them.
And, their price doesn’t sound that bad considering what you’re getting for it. But, they do wear off quite easily which should be something to keep an eye on.
13. Crocs Bistro Clog
Crocs Bistro Clogs might not be the best kitchen shoes ever, but they’re an affordable alternative that’s guaranteed to carry you through the day.
Considering the fact we went on and on about shoes that are everything-resistant, cushioned, padded, and made to support you every way they can, Crocs Bistro Clogs might not sound as impressive.
But, these kitchen shoes are great for anyone that’s cooking for friends and family, working someplace safe, or generally searching for kitchen shoes that are comfortable more than anything else.
Crocs Bistro Clogs are waterproof, slip-resistant, and feature a strap around the ankle that’s supposed to offer more support.
But, they’re not breathable which means you might get an unpleasant whiff when you take them off.
14. Adidas Originals Cloudfoam Advantage Sneaker
We come to the end of the “best kitchen shoes” list with Adidas Originals Cloudfoam Advantage Sneakers. Here’s the thing, sneakers might not be your best bet when you’re working with sharp knives, boiling water, and other accidents waiting to happen.
Adidas sneakers won’t protect you the way Blundstone Work Chelsea Boots would, but that’s not reason enough to overlook them when searching for the perfect kitchen shoe. Not every chef, cook, or person that cooks for pleasure works someplace dangerous.
Most cook at people’s homes which don’t have those slippery floors, water spilling everywhere, and knives flying around. Depending on the type of cooking you do, you might end up loving the Adidas Originals Cloudfoam Advantage Sneakers.
They’re lightweight and breathable, comfortable and supportive, and they’re easy on the eye. They’re not suitable for commercial kitchens, but they’re a steal of the deal, nonetheless. Get them on Amazon if you’re looking for a deal, or opt for some of the other kitchen shoes we suggested. Good luck!