Best Shoes for Servers to Work in the Kitchen

Servers spend almost all of their working hours walking, and if the shoes are low-quality, then your feet, back, and whole body will get tired. This is where the server’s shoes come into play. Many brands specialize in making shoes for people whose jobs revolve around walking.

Today we have created a list of the best servers shoes on the market. So, without any further ado, let’s begin.

What to Look For in Restaurant Shoes?

You are a server and looking for restaurant shoes, right? The market is filled with server shoes. However, the sheer abundance of products can overwhelm you and affect your decision making. So, consider the following factors when buying server shoes to ensure you get the perfect product.

Comfort

Servers spend almost all of their working hours walking or standing. Thus, it is important to wear shoes that not only look good but also offer comfort. First, check the amount of cushioning the pair of shoes has. The shoes should also be breathable and made of high-quality material. If the shoes are bendy, then walking in them can cause discomfort. The size comes last. Always get the shoes in your perfect size, so the toe has room. Too small and it will prevent blood flow. Too big and it will slip out of your feet when walking.

Non-slip Outsole is a Must

Big shoes might slip out of your feet. But shoes with slippery soles can make you fall. So, choose shoes that feature non-slip outsoles. These shoes prevent you from stumbling and falling.

Several DIY YouTubers claim you can turn slippery shoes into non-slip ones by applying hot glue on the sole. However, we highly discourage such acts. If you have bought low-quality shoes with a slippery sole, then hot glue can destroy your shoes beyond repair. In short, it is better to buy non-slip shoes in the first place to avoid such disasters.

Protection

Working in a restaurant kitchen is different than cooking at home. It is a common thing to see big pots of hot oil and sauces sitting on stoves. Most of the time, the environment is safe, but accidents do happen. This is why it is best to buy shoes that offer some kind of protection from hot oil, sauces, and grease. Shoes made with high-quality material such as leather provides better protection. You should also consider the design of the shoes when looking for a protective one. For instance, closed shoes that cover the whole feet will offer more protection than an open pair.

Durability

Servers usually do not get paid a lot. It sounds cruel, but it is the sad reality of the world we live in. This is why it is important to get durable shoes. Durable shoes not only look good on the feet but can also last for many years to come. This means if you buy durable server shoes once, you can keep using them without worrying about spending money on footwear every few months. Most of the shoes come with a warranty. Also, if you are buying a product from an online store such as Amazon, then they offer a 30-day return. So, if a shoe feels cheaply made, then you can get your money back.

Ease of cleaning

Walking in a restaurant’s kitchen comes with its downsides. But if you are working in the busy hours, then the downsides get steeper. For instance, it is not uncommon for sauces to splash on a server’s shoes in a busy restaurant. With that said, as servers are the restaurant’s face, dirty shoes can send a negative message about the restaurant’s hygiene. This is why you should get shoes that are easy to clean. So, even with sauce drips on your shoes, a simple wipe with a wet tissue and you are good to go.

Avoid These When Buying Shoes for Work in the Kitchen

Open Shoes

One of the biggest mistakes that servers make when buying servers shoes is considering style above safety. Yes, open shoes will indeed look cute on your feet and allow you to show your funky socks. However, as we said earlier, accidents are common in the restaurant business. As servers are walking all the time, they face a higher risk of stuff falling on their feet. Furthermore, if the “stuff” that fell on your shoes was hot, then be ready to pay hundreds of dollars for a hospital bill. So, avoid open shoes at all costs. Because open shoes are an open invitation to hazard.

Non-breathable

There is a reason why people swear by breathable shoes and claim them to be the best for servers. As you must already know, servers are on their feet for 8 to 10 hours a day. This also means that they are wearing their shoes for at least 8 hours every day. With all the walking back and forth, the feet start sweating. And if the weather is hot, then it would increase the sweating ten folds. In a situation like this, non-breathable shoes are of no use. Your feet will stay sweaty for hours. This is not only uncomfortable but can also cause feet fungus. So, to prevent all of that from happening, avoid non-breathable shoes.

The Cheapest Pair of Restaurant Shoes

When it comes to the highest-paying jobs on the planet, serving jobs do not make it to the top 10, top 20, or maybe top 50. Servers work a lot and do not get paid as much as they deserve.

However, this does not justify buying the cheapest pair of restaurant shoes.

Why?

Well, at the time of purchase, you might think that you are saving money by buying cheap shoes. But in the long run, you would be spending a lot more. How? See, if you buy a cheap pair of shoes then it might get broken in a couple of months. Then you would have to buy a new cheap pair of shoes and the cycle continues. However, if you buy good-quality shoes, then they will serve you well for many years to come.

Why You Should Buy High-Quality Shoes

Most servers, when looking for restaurant shoes, prioritize the price over the quality. This is how most of them end up with badly made low-quality shoes. But the following are several reasons why you should do the exact opposite.

Keep Your Feet Safe

Manufactures of high quality-shoes use high-quality material. Such shoes have a thick sole that can withstand forceful hits. These types of shoes come in handy when working in a restaurant kitchen because even if hot oil or some utensil falls on your feet, the shoes will protect you. In addition to that, high-quality shoes protect your feet from water, electrical wire, and even from those notorious corners of the furniture that hate small toes.

Prevent Injuries

As said earlier, getting injured while working in a busy kitchen is not an unusual thing. A branded pair of shoes made with good-quality material can protect your feet from hot oil splashes, hot sauce, and much more.

Ensure Comfortable Work

High-quality servers shoes are designed especially for servers. This means the manufacturers have to take the long shifts and constant walking back and forth into consideration. This is why the padded insole, comfortable collar, and non-slip sole provide optimum comfort in every situation.

Save Money

One of the misconceptions many people have about high-quality shoes is that you are spending more money. Well, yes, the shoes might be a little bit expensive than their cheaper competitors. However, this does not mean you are spending more. Getting high-quality shoes means you can use them for many years to come. On the other hand, if you buy cheap shoes you might need to get a new pair after a few months. In conclusion, in the long run, high-quality shoes help you save money.

Short on time? Here is our TOP picks.

On Budget Best Value  Premium Option
Product Name Crocs Men’s and Women’s On The Clock Clog Dansko Professional Dr. Scholl’s Harrington II
Size Availability 10 sizes (from 6 women/4 men to 15 women/13 men) 16 sizes from 4.5-5 to 12.5-13 7 sizes
Key Features Easy to clean and non-slip Memory foam footbed and rocker bottom Memory foam footbed, moisture wicking fabric, odor control and oil- & slip-resistant

The 10 Best Restaurant Work Shoes

5 Best Shoes for Back of Your House

The following are 5 shoes for the back of your house employees.

Dansko Professional Clog for Chefs

Dansko Womens Professional Shoes Black Cabrio

This is one of the most popular clogs among chefs and for obvious reasons. Firstly, the shoes are made of 100% imported leather that will protect your feet from injuries. As the material is high-quality, Dansko Professional shoes will last you for a long time.

Secondly, the PU footbed is breathable, comfortable, and offers support. The outer shock-absorbent sole is also as good as it gets. Thirdly, the shoes have a soft collar that reduces fatigue and prevents you from slipping off the shoes.

Lastly, these shoes are available in 16 sizes from 4.5-5 to 12.5-13.

Pros
  • Memory foam footbed for extra comfort
  • Rocker bottom reduces fatigue and absorbs shock
  • Available in 8 different colors
  • Wide size range
Cons
  • The shoes are a little tight
  • The memory foam foot-bed is not removable

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Keen Utility Men’s PTC Slip-On II-M Kitchen Shoes

Keen Utility Mens PTC Slip-ON II-M

Keen Utility men’s PTC slip-on shoes are one of the most feature-packed products on this list. The outer material is water and stain-resistant and makes cleaning shoes easy. As working in a busy kitchen can get dangerous Keen Utility offers extra protection. The outsole wraps up and over the toe area for ultimate protection.

These shoes offer a wide range of sizes and are available from 7 to 14.

Pros
  • Easy to clean stain-resistant material
  • Soft toe built for ultimate protection
  • 1-year of manufacture warranty on the outsole
  • The compression-molded midsole for extra comfort
Cons
  • The non-slip sole is not non-slip at all
  • No warranty for insole

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Crocs Men’s and Women’s On The Clock Clog for Chefs

Crocs Unisex-Adult On The Clock Clog | Slip Resistant Work Shoes Medical Professional

These Crocs are perfect for people who are on a tight budget and want to get a good pair of servers shoes at an affordable price. The Crocs unisex on the clock clogs is what one can call “functionality over style”. It is made with high-quality and soft material that offers comfort and support. You can easily wear them for your whole shift without feeling tired.

One of the biggest benefits of these Crocs is that they are true to their size. Customers have shown their appreciation for how perfectly the shoes fit them. Crocs are available in 10 sizes (from 6 women/4 men to 15 women/13 men).

Pros
  • Available in 4 different colors (including 1 multicolor)
  • Affordable shoe option
  • Easy to clean
  • Non-slip sole
Cons
  • Not stylish

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Dansko XP 2.0 Clogs for Kitchen

Dansko Mens XP 20

Dansko XP 2.0 is on the slightly expensive side of the server shoe spectrum. But if you are not under a tight budget, then the Dansko XP 2.0 has a lot to offer. First of all, the shoes are made with high-quality 100% imported leather. Secondly, the wide front part gives the toe room to breathe. Lastly, the padded insole and instep collar makes these clogs more comfortable than ever.

Pros
  • Wiggle room for toe
  • A lightweight midsole reduces fatigue
  • Durable and longlisting design
  • Padded instep collar for extra comfort when walking
Cons
  • Available in only 6 sizes (8.5-9 to 13.5-14)
  • Size chart is slightly inaccurate

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Birkenstock Professional Unisex Profi Birki Slip Resistant Kitchen Work Shoes

Birkenstock Professional Unisex Profi Birki Slip Resistant Work Shoe

Birkenstock Professional is another one of those shoes that might not look aesthetically pleasing but offers top-notch functionality. Unlike the last 4 shoe recommendations, this one is made of Alpro-foam. This product offers comfort and support. The footbed and instep collar are also quite soft and comfortable. One of the biggest plus points of Birkenstock Professional is the non-slip sole that prevents accidents.

Birkenstock professionals are available in 16 sizes (from 4-4.5 women/2.25 men to 17-17.5 women/15-15.5 men).

Pros
  • Slip-resistant sole prevents accidents
  • The padded footbed offers comfort
  • Durable and high-quality built
  • Easy to clean
Cons
  • Shoes are slightly squeaky
  • Inaccurate size chart (shoes run 1 size large)

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5 Best Shoes for Front of Your House

The following 5 shoes are best for the front of your house workers such as waiters.

Skechers Women’s Ghenter Bronaugh

Skechers Womens Ghenter Bronaugh Work Shoe

Front of the house workers love to show off their stylish shoes and Skechers Women’s Ghenter Bronaugh is exactly that. But these lace-up shoes not only look amazing on feet, but they also feel great. The mesh fabric is breathable and offers better airflow. The footbed is soft, comfortable, and prevents fatigue. Lastly, the non-slip insole is perfect for people who have to walk for hours.

These shoes are available in 3 different colors and 25 sizes (from 5 to 12).

Pros
  • Affordable than other shoes
  • Slip-resistant sole
  • Breathable mesh fabric
  • Lightweight design comfortable for long shifts
Cons
  • Low arch support
  • Not durable

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Skechers Flex Advantage Mcallen Food Service Shoes

Skechers for Work Mens Flex Advantage Mcallen Food Service Shoe

If you liked the Skechers Women’s Ghenter Bronaugh but want slip-on shoes, then do not fret. Skechers Flex Advantage Mcallen shoes are almost the same shoes but in a slip-on design. The shoes are made with high-quality breathable mesh fabric that allows airflow. Both the footbed and the shoe collar are padded for extra comfort and support. Lastly, the side gore features elastic to prevent shoes from slipping off the feet.

Pros
  • Mesh fabric for optimum breathability
  • A comfortable footbed prevents fatigue
  • Easy to wear slip-on design
  • Padded collar for extra comfort
Cons
  • Visible stitches
  • Not durable

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Dr. Scholl’s Shoes Men’s Harrington II Work Shoe

DrScholls Shoes Mens Harrington II Work Shoe

Dr. Scholl’s Harrington II is one of the most impressive and feature-packed products on this list. To start with, this shoe is stylish and looks better than most of its competitors. It comes with a non-slip and oil-resistant sole that does what it claims. Lastly, Dr. Scholl has used soft and moisture-wicking material for these shoes. This material feels good on the skin, offers better airflow, and also prevents foul smell.

Pros
  • Oil- and slip-resistant sole prevents slipping
  • Memory foam sole prevent compression
  • Moisture-wicking lining
  • Odor control material
Cons
  • Available in sizes above 7 only
  • Quality needs improvement

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Skechers Women’s Nampa-wyola Food Service Shoes

Skechers Womens Nampa-wyola Food Service Shoe

This is another lace-up shoes for people who love affordable, stylish server shoe designs. Unlike most of the other products on this list, Skechers Women’s Nampa-wyola is made of synthetic material. However, the material is comfortable nonetheless. The footbed features memory foam for extra comfort and support. As the shoes itself is lightweight, it prevents fatigue and you can wear it for hours on end. Lastly, the outer sole of the shoes is slip-resistant that makes these shoes perfect for servers.

Pros
  • Comparatively affordable than its competitors
  • Slip-resistant outer sole
  • Memory foam footbed for extra comfort
  • The lightweight body prevents fatigue
Cons
  • Small size range (available from 5 to 10 sizes only)
  • The insole is not removable

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Shoes for Crews Men’s Freestyle II Non-Slip Food Service Work Shoes

Shoes for Crews Mens Freestyle II Non Slip Food Service Work Shoes

The last product on our list is the Shoes for Crew Freestyle II. These shoes are cheaper than other options, yet they are not cheaply made. The padded insole and soft fabric offer comfort. The water-resistant outer material makes cleaning them easier. Due to the lightweight and athletic design, you can comfortably wear them for a few hours. Lastly, the sole is slip-proof and prevent accidents.

Pros
  • Economical server shoe option
  • Water-resistant material with a removable sole
  • Slip-proof outer sole
  • Lightweight athletic shoe design
Cons
  • Not available in sizes below 7
  • Sole is not supported

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Conclusion

These were our top 10 server shoes recommendations for 2021. Select the shoes that fit your need to get the most out of the product. We hope you find the perfect shoes for your job.

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