Quick Summary: When searching for the top kitchen shoes that cater to the restaurant professional’s needs, we selected Merrell Men’s Jungle Moc Slip-On Shoe for men and the Dansko Women’s Professional Mule for the ladies. These shoes offer great style and comfort to the users and are slip ons making them easy to slide on. The soles were created for different purposes and can be used in a variety of restaurant positions. The shoes are easy to clean by simply wiping them off. The price is fair for the features of these shoes and the durability of them means you will be saving even more money in the long run.
Burning feet or broken shoes bought from cheap sources are not acceptable when you work in the kitchen. Finding the right shoes can be hard when you spend 10 or even 12 hours on your feet every day serving meals to customers. The best chef shoes, however, will mitigate this completely, ensuring all-day comfort and protection.
In the following article, we will be exploring the top 10 kitchen shoes on the market today. Doing diligent research, our team of experts has identified the most prominent features to consider when looking for the best pair of shoes. Now you won’t need to worry about any injury or issues occurring with your feet when you work long hours in the kitchen.
- 10 Best Kitchen Shoes Comparison
- Reviews Of 10 Top Kitchen Shoes
- How to Choose the Best Kitchen Shoes
- Final Verdict
10 Best Kitchen Shoes Comparison
1. Merrell Men's Jungle Moc Slip-On Shoe (Best Overall)
Molded EVA shoes with a suede leather cover, giving the shoes durability. Air mesh integration provides breathability and the included Ortholite inserts are therapeutic.
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2. Dansko Women's Professional Clog (Best Budget)
100% treated leather styled into a slip-on shoe that fits all foot shapes. A durable widened toe box ensures comfort and protection in the kitchen.
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These cheap yet durable chef clogs come with heaps of inner foot space and a unisex design. They feature a moldable EVA midsole for all-day foot comfort.
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A 3D printed mesh shoe with exuberant colors that make it pop. It includes a Vibram outsole, and is completely slip resistant on oil and water.
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This OSHA compliant shoe is usable in all conditions, but it can get a bit hot., The flexibility of this shoe makes it stretchable and durable for all types of feet.
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A work shoe that is also good for all your daily activities. It is stylish and made from 100% leather, with a protective coating and water-resistant overlay.
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The perfect kitchen sneaker for all-day wear. A mesh outer cover makes it breathable while giving you plenty of space inside for wide feet.
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A soft stride shoe with a lot of extra space all around. It has a synthetic PU inner sole with a soft rubber outer sole for complete slip resistance.
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A professional shoe with comfortable touches, the OWN Shoe is made for chefs and nurses and includes a Unisex design and hardened outer cover.
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A unisex shoe with an all-round durability rating. It is made for chefs or any professional working with hot liquids on slippery surfaces.
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Reviews Of 10 Top Kitchen Shoes
To find the perfect chef shoes, we waded through the ratings and reviews of both experts and buyers.
After looking through lots of kitchen shoes, we limited our list to the following 10 shoes based on their features, support, durability, and comfort.
Best Overall Kitchen Shoes – Men
What You Will Love: They are highly slip-resistant and prevent odors in the shoes.
These Jungle Moc slip-ons are made from leather with rubber soles. They contain M Select Fresh in the soles that keep moisture and sweat from causing odors in the shoe.
They are pretty stylish as they resemble loafers, and they are versatile enough that you could wear them elsewhere when you leave kitchen work if you are not going straight home.
As these shoes are actually geared more toward hiking, they were created with very strong-gripped soles.
There are a few downsides. They have a tendency to squeak like many rubber shoes do. This may or may not go away over time, so know that this is a risk.
I have always hated wearing squeaky shoes to kitchen work because they add to the noise and chaos. If you are like me, these may not be the shoes for you. Another potential problem is that they run a bit small so you have to be strategic about the size you order.
Also, they can be a bit pricey, but most buyers report that they are well worth the cost.
- highly slip-resistant
- prevent odors
- stylish and versatile
- strong-gripping soles
- can be squeaky
- not true to size
- not actually designed for kitchen wear but still useful there
not true to size, not actually designed for kitchen wear but still useful there, pricey
Runner Up (Best Overall Kitchen Shoes-Women)
What You Will Love: These have a comfortable memory foam foot bed and shock absorbing soles.
These clog style, handmade, waterproof women’s kitchen shoes have a lot of great features. They are made of leather with polyurethane soles that absorb shock so your body does not and have a rocker bottom that helps push you forward.
The foam foot bed and padded instep give your feet some cushion. It has a wide heel strike for stability and the heel adds a little height to your look.
The toe box is roomy, and the shoes can be gently wiped clean with a damp cloth or sponge.
A major downside of these shoes is that they are not anti slip. In all of the years I have waited tables, there has only been one restaurant that did not require anti slip work shoes.
If your workplace does require them, these are not the shoes for you. Also, because they are handmade, it is important to know that both shoes in your set may not be the same exact size.
They should not differ enough to cause a problem, but it is an important fact to know. Some ladies have reported that they run a little large so be sure you check the size guide before placing your order.
Lastly, they are a bit high priced, but ladies that do not need anti skid shoes only sing praises for these Danskos.
- leather and polyurethane soles
- shock absorbing
- propelling rocker bottom
- padded instep and memory foam insole
- adds a little height
- wide heel strike for stability
- they are not anti slip
- may not match with one another in size
- run a little large
Best Non-Slip Kitchen Shoes
What You Will Love: They are highly slip-resistant, lightweight, and are a good price.
The SensFoot Non-Slip Clogs are good for both men and women. They were made specifically for the health care and restaurant service industries where the workers are known for being on their feet for long periods of time.
Due to this, these clogs were designed with features that help prevent or decrease issues that these employees face. They have rubber soles that are highly slip-resistant, and breathable insoles with side vents.
They dry very quickly, which would have been extremely helpful to me years ago when I worked in an unnaturally wet restaurant. They have soft cushioning and arch support for great comfort, and the straps are removable.
The lightweight design helps decrease fatigue on the feet and legs. They can be easily cleaned by simply wiping them down. They are set at a good price for the features.
They may be squeaky when walking. Also, for some, the cushion may not be quite enough leaving you to purchase extra insoles.
The insoles currently in the shoes are easily removable, so replacing them will be a simple task.
Lastly, the straps have orange lettering on them, which means that those of your working at restaurants requiring all black shoes will either be forced to remove the strap or purchase a different pair.
- unisex clogs with removable straps
- made for health care and restaurant employees
- dry quickly
- highly slip-resistant
- good price
- breathable insoles and side vents
- cushioning and arch support
- can easily replace insoles if needed
- easy to clean
- may be squeaky and annoying
- buyers may need to purchase additional cushioned insoles
- orange lettering on straps may pose a problem for some buyers
Best Women’s Kitchen Shoes
What You Will Love: They have a contoured foot bed for comfort, and they are water proof yet breathable.
These tennis shoe style hiking shoes offer another option for ladies looking for shock-absorbing shoes. The air cushion heel absorbs that shock that could be damaging or tiring to the body.
They have a mesh breathable lining and yet are water proof. These Merrells have organic odor control and a contoured foot bed.
They have a variety of stylish and fun color combinations and very good grip.
Unfortunately, there is no fully black color option, but you may be able to get around this if you are required to wear all black shoes.
Order a mainly black pair, like the black with purple, change the shoe laces to black ones, and color the small patches of the second color in with a black Sharpie.
I have known other servers to do things like this if they found a pair of non black shoes that they really loved.
If you must have anti slip, however, these shoes are not the pair for you, at least not for work. Also, they can get a bit pricey if you do not shop around for the best prices.
Lastly, there have been some reports of these being a little squeaky but there is a hack that can stop that: put a dryer sheet between the insole and the bottom of the shoe.
I know it sounds funny, but many have sworn by it. I would think that putting some type of powder, like baking soda, in that spot would have a similar effect.
- shock absorbing, water proof
- good grip
- contoured foot bed
- air cushion heel
- organic odor control
- breathable mesh lining
- fun color combination options
- traction out-sole
- no all black options
- not slip-resistant
- can get expensive depending on where you purchase
- may be a bit squeaky
- may not be breathable enough for some
Best Men’s Kitchen Shoes
What You Will Love: It is a great looking non skid shoe at an awesome price.
These Skechers are 100% leather with rubber soles. They are sneaker style work shoes that could actually be worn elsewhere. They are non skid with a great grip.
They include a contoured insole for comfort, With Sketchers’ reputation, you can rest assured that you are getting a good quality shoe.
The majority of buyers report that they run true to size taking out a lot of guess work and hassle. They are also an excellent price for the brand and quality.
Some buyers did state that they had to purchase better cushion for the insole but the replacement is simple since the insoles can be easily removed.
In my experience, none of the shoes I have worn while waiting tables have ever had enough cushioning. I learned to focus on the other features I needed and expect to purchase separate insoles.
Different people will need different amounts of cushioning anyway. Your needs will vary depending on the person’s wait, their gate, the type of floor they are working on, and more.
It is difficult to find the best shoes as there are so many versatile needs.
Another downside is that they are not very breathable, which may lead to more sweating odors. You can likely combat this by using food powder or spray in your shoes before and after work.
They have also been reported to be a bit stiff for a while, so if you choose to purchase them, you may want to run around your house in them for a few days before wearing them to work.
- stylish and versatile
- anti slip
- great price
- true to size
- contoured insole
- good brand
- not as breathable as many may want
- may need extra cushioned support
- stiff for a while
Kitchen Shoes for Chefs
What You Will Love: These unisex clogs have breathable insoles and are very lightweight.
The Fanture Slip Resistant Specialist clogs are made with Nano Lt cell foam which makes them extremely lightweight. The shoe itself is very durable and flexible, so you do not have to worry about bends and creases.
The insole is breathable decreasing the chance of sweat and odors. The toe cap is fairly tough, meaning that you probably will not have to worry about stubbing your toe.
However, it is not tough enough to protect your toes from something falling on them as the company says.
The toe is tough, not steel toed. They are a good price, especially since they tend to last for a long time.
There were only two downsides that I could find. The first is that the strap can break easily. When I wore clogs with straps, I never used the straps so this particular issue would not bother me.
However, if you use the straps, it probably would be a problem for you. Also, they are not fully black. There is a thin white stripe going around the shoe and the straps are attached with a red mechanism.
Even the soles are red, but that should only be seen if someone is really looking. Again, this would only be an issue if you are required to wear all black.
- non-slip shoes
- breathable insole
- Nano Lt cell foam
- very durable shoes
- tough toe area to minimize injuries
- great price
- very lightweight
- great price
- straps may break easily
- not all black
Best Professional Kitchen Shoes-Men’s
What You Will Love: These Sketchers are slip resistant slip on shoes with memory foam insoles.
Skechers is a great line of shoes. They are known for comfort and style, and these work shoes are no exception. They have elastic sides that help the shoes conform to your foot shape.
The foam insole is very comfortable and the toe box is roomy enough that it should not squish your toes together. This is a huge problem for me.
I will spend my entire night subconsciously trying to spread my toes out because it is extremely uncomfortable for them to be in a tight space. I have always purchased either wide shoes or larger shoes to keep from dealing with this.
Having a large toe box like with these shoes would have been great when I was a server. These shoes are also set at a good price.
Sadly, these Skechers work shoes are not known for their durability. Often, shoes that are created to stretch and mold around our feet will break down.
It is similar to a ponytail holder, which starts out holding hair firmly in place, but it eventually spreads so much that the elastic wears out.
Also, while memory foam feels great, it can eventually conform to your foot so well that it no longer feels like padding but just another part of the shoes.
If all that has broken down is the memory foam insoles, do not throw the shoes out just yet. Simply replace the insoles.
- non slip
- elastic sides to conform to foot shape
- memory foam insole
- good price
- may not be durable
- sizes tend to run a bit large
- memory foam stops performing well over time
Runner Up (Best Professional Kitchen Shoes- Women’s)
What You Will Love: These shoes have athletic cushioning and contoured polyurethane insoles to keep your feet comfortable and your legs pain free.
The women’s Skechers for Work are made from leather and are a tennis shoe type style. They are slip-resistant and all black for those who need it.
They are lightweight and comfortable with the athletic cushioning. They are lace up shoes so you do not have to worry about them slipping off of your feet. The price is very fair, too, for the comfort you get.
I have had a pair of these before and they were some of the best work shoes I owned. They were not too tight in any area and very durable.
They were still holding up well when I chose to leave that particular job a year later.
Other than needing to be cleaned, they still looked brand new, and I worked a lot. The only problem I had is that I needed extra cushioning because of a back injury. Besides that, they were great shoes.
Some buyers have stated that the shoes were not very durable for them. Also, many have stated that there is not enough arch support.
This does not have to be a huge issue as you can just buy some from your local retailer.
- athletic cushioning with contoured PU insoles
- leather lace up shoes
- all black
- anti skid
- very fair price
- may not be very durable for some
- not a lot of arch support
- may need to replace the removable contoured PU insole with something that has more cushion and support
Best Stylish Kitchen Shoes
What You Will Love: They are slip and skid resistant, stylish, durable, and are a great price.
These clogs have a heel so there is no need for straps. They look very good and can be worn by men and women. They are both non-slip kitchen shoes and skid resistant, as well as all black in color.
The material is lightweight to help prevent leg fatigue, and the insoles are individually molded to the user. They are also waterproof, which is always helpful in a restaurant.
I cannot recall a single day in 5+ years of serving that someone did not spill something at work. It is simply a hazard of the job. They are set at a very low price.
Some users have complained of the shoes squeaking some but that may go away over time.
Like memory foam, insoles made to conform to our feet will often stop feeling good after a while, meaning you may have to purchase new insoles pretty regularly.
As the shoe itself is very durable, replacing the insole as often as you need will help you enjoy the shoes for a longer period of time.
- non slip
- kid resistant
- oil resistant
- all black
- lightweight material
- individually molded insoles
- low price
- very good look that is versatile
- they may squeak
- the insole may break down and not been comfortable after a short period
- insoles may need to be replaced often
Best Oil & Water Resistant Kitchen Shoes
10. INiceslipper Unisex Chef Kitchen Shoes-Non-Slip Safety Shoes Oil Water Resistant Casual Flat Shoes
What You Will Love: These slippers look great, are a great price, and are oil and water resistant.
The INiceslipper is one of the best chef shoes. It is another clog style slip on that does not need a strap to stay on your feet.
They are known to be very durable shoes that are easy to put on and very comfortable. They are all black in color and anti slip
Unlike many other rubber and clog style shoes, these have no reports of squeaking that I could find. The price is very low for such a shoe.
There are a few downsides though. They do not have enough arch support or cushioning, so you will likely be purchasing some good insoles separately.
As they are not very breathable, your feet may get very hot, which we all know can be uncomfortable and smelly.
To add to these odors, quite a few buyers have complained of a very strong chemical smell on the shoes. Some said that the smell began to evaporate after a few days, but others say they can still smell it weeks later.
You might be able to combat this. Sitting them on your porch to air out for a few days may do the trick. If not, you can try wiping them down with a cleaner in case it is merely a film causing the chemical smell.
If it is not a film, soaking them in baking soda and vinegar should do the trick. That combination has been known to get rid of some really tough odors.
As a last resort, you could use some type of odor eaters foot powder on them.
- very stylish
- easy to put on
- very comfortable
- all black
- slip resistant
- water and oil resistant
- very low price
- no squeaking
- not enough cushion or arch support
- not breathable so feet get very hot
- come with a strong chemical smell that may or may not go away on its own after a few days
How to Choose the Best Kitchen Shoes
If you are looking for chef shoes, you have the options to order in store or online. Regardless of where you purchase them, it is important to know how to find the best chef shoes you can within your budget.
Having worked as a server for more than 15 years of my adult life, I can attest to the importance of a good pair of work shoes.
When ordering or buying, pay attention to the following aspects so that you can get the best chef shoes for you.
Kitchen shoes and chef’s shoes can come in many different types of breathable materials including mesh fabric and leather. Each of these have certain benefits and downfalls.
For instance, mesh is breathable but not waterproof and leather ones are usually waterproof but may not be breathable.
Working long shifts on your feet, including doubles and triple shifts at some restaurants are literally in the unspoken job description.
Wearing uncomfortable shoes can make those hours miserable and can send you home with blisters, sore feet, fatigued legs, and a bad attitude. Having good cushioning and arch support can make a world of difference.
You will notice that there are slip resistant non-slip chef shoes for men, for women, and for both. Be sure that you get the correct ones so that the fit is right.
Grip goes a little beyond slip resistance. If your out soles have good grip, your work hours will be even safer. I remember many times at different restaurants I would have to stand in awkward positions to reach something on a top shelf or similar events.
Having good grip can be very useful for these times. Also, they have some grip that is shaped in such a way that it almost propels you forward taking a little of the work away from you.
The lightest shoes you can find that are comfortable are your best bet. The last thing you want is to wear heavy shoes around all day on the already hard floor. That is a combination for pain, and possible lifelong injuries.
Different kitchen shoes have different levels of durability. Some can be twisted, have things dropped on them, get soaked every night, and the dozens of other things that can happen in a restaurant and still hold up for a very long time.
Others may begin to fall apart within days or weeks. Pay attention to durability reviews so that you do not waste your money on shoes you will likely have to replace very soon.
Not every restaurant requires slip resistant shoes of their employees. Some only require slip resistant shoes if you work in the kitchen not from the services and hostesses.
And then there are restaurants that require everyone, including the bosses, to wear slip resistant shoes. As this requirement can vary from place to place, you should ask if they are required before purchasing.
It may not be a bad idea to purchase them anyway to help prevent injuries. They are made in tons of styles and colors so you do have a lot of options.
Style and Color
Speaking of styles and colors, the options are growing constantly. Most restaurants require all black shoes to keep a professional and uniform appearance among all employees.
Some are not as picky. Also, there are restaurants that require closed heel shoes so clogs are not permitted. I have worked in restaurants that could not care less what style your shoes are as long as they are all black.
Others have given a list of only two styles- lace up or closed heel- that we could wear. If you are unsure of what is or is not allowed in your workplace, it is best to find out before spending any money.
You do not want to get a new pair that you love only to find out the next day that you will not be allowed to wear them.
Always be knowledgeable about the requirements of your specific workplace.
Final Verdict: The Best Kitchen Shoes
The best kitchen shoe is not only for professional chefs. These shoes can be used by anyone that needs to navigate hazardous or slippery surfaces. We have selected 10 of the ultimate chef shoes; however, there are many more shoes on the market today.
We look forward to reading your comments and ensuring that you find all the information you need to find the right shoe for your needs.
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