The kitchen can be a stressful and hazardous place at the best of times. The flame from the stove, scorching ovens, bubbling, aromatic sauces, and searing pans are all something that could lead to an injury. Another thing to look out for, though, is slippery floors and tumbling cutlery, and the best kitchen shoes for chefs are the only way to protect yourself.
Kitchen shoes are perfect for keeping you comfortable when on your feet throughout a long and demanding shift. The best kitchen shoes are breathable, comfortable, lightweight, and feel less like you’re wearing shoes than they do stepping over clouds. So let’s look at what’s on the menu.
The Best Kitchen Shoe For Chefs
The Merrell Men’s Jungle Moc Slip-On is the easy top pick of the best kitchen shoes for chefs around. These shoes for standing all day provide full-foot protection while still offering excellent breathability and an easy-to-wear design with simple elastic goring at the sides.
The material is stain resistant just in case you ever need to venture out onto the restaurant floor, and they are also waterproof to keep your feet dry. The air-cushioned midsole means they’re easy to wear throughout the day and ensure your feet feel great at the end of a 12-hour shift, while the rubber soles are grippy to keep you on your feet when your sous chef spills the gravy across the floor.
Elastic side goring
- ModelJUNGLE MOC-M
- Weight2.37 pounds
For the best chef shoes, if you’re going purely on fantastic affordability, Crocs Unisex Specialist Vent Work Clog is the one for you. While cheaper than others, these shoes boast supreme luxury that overcomes the negative connotation of Crocs to deliver spectacular comfort that may make you a lifelong convert.
The outsole provides excellent traction while the lightweight material reduces some strain that only chefs can boast to feel. There’s top of the foot protection from any errant knives and utensils, while the heel loop keeps the shoe stable and secure, but if you don’t like it, just flip it over to the tongue area. For more amazing shoes your feet will love, check out our guide to the best comfortable flats for work.
Top of foot protection
- Weight12 ounces
About as much of a mouthful as your famous main courses, the Birkenstock Unisex Professional Boston Super Grip Leather Work Shoes are our premium pick of the finest chef shoes you’ll find this side of the Atlantic.
Of all the shoes we’ve selected, these are perhaps the most customizable and accommodating. They support all arch types and boast an adjustable buckle, while the contoured footbed is easy on the soles and ensures your feet sit comfortably on top. As ever, the traction is secure, and by covering the whole foot, you get the protection you need. For more comfortable and safe footwear for people that spend days on their feet, check out our guide to the best steel toe cap boots.
Contoured cork footbed
Supports all arch types
- ModelBoston Super Grip Leather
- Weight1.68 pounds
Roomy and easy on the feet, the Dansko Women’s Professional Mule are an excellent choice for those feeling like they want to spend a little more on their chef shoes.
The leather design is smart and ensures water-resistance, while the soft feel makes them flexible to ease the pressure on your feet during a long shift. The padded instep collar and shock absorbing properties also allow for easy comfort, and they are also stable, making them a shoe you can trust. As slip ons, the on and off process is convenient, and it also makes the fit secure without being too tight. If you need additional comfort, check out our guide to the best plantar fasciitis insoles.
Roomy toe box
Padded instep collar
- Weight4 pounds
A shoe packed with more comfort buzzwords we thought possible, the Skechers for Work Men’s Flex Advantage Slip On is an excellent mid-range choice for professional chefs. Elastic side gores ensure easy on and off, while the slip-resistant traction makes them one of the safest shoes around.
Inside, there’s plenty of space around the toes while the memory foam insole adapts to your foot for fantastic, comfortable personalization you never knew you needed until you experience it for the first time. The two available colors (black and charcoal) aren’t the most exciting, but we’d say it’s best to let your food do the talking. They also make a great pair of shoes for teachers.
Elastic side gores
Roomy toe box
Memory foam insole
- Weight12 ounces
Designed, it seems, purely for the busy culinary artists and nothing more, the SensFoot Non Slip Kitchen Shoes keep you safe and sound in a busy kitchen. They are waterproof; they are anti-skid, and they are easy to clean to keep up appearances.
Should you spill anything on them, they dry quickly, while the breathable insole gives your feet a break from the hectic happenings surrounding you. They are not the most attractive shoes we’ve ever selected, but for keeping your feet cool and safe in the kitchen surrounded by searing meat and bubbling potatoes, they do exactly what you expect them to, and that’s all you can ask. Besides, you can also wear them as comfy house shoes.
Easy to clean
Quick to dry
- Weight1.6 pounds
While not strictly kitchen shoes, the New Balance Men’s Slip Resistant Lace Up can still do an excellent job in the kitchen. As the name suggests, they are stable with great traction, while the crash pad heel gives you an extra level of support.
The EVA midsole ensures comfort, while the combination of leather and textile construction combines durability and protection with lightweight breathability. It can be difficult to find the right balance for kitchen shoes materials, and New Balance may have managed it without even meaning to. A great shoe to always have in your shoe storage.
Crash pad heel
Leather and textile construction
- BrandNew Balance
- ModelMID626V2 Work Shoe-M
- Weight12 ounces
Available in black and antique brown, the Sanita Men’s Karl Textured Oil Clog should appeal to most of you but it’s always about much more than how shoes look. These come with a padded insole collar and anatomically correct instep footbed for an accepting and forgiving fit to ensure quality comfort.
They are also breathable, fitting just right, while the material is easy to clean at the end (or beginning) of your shift. If you’ve never worn clogs before, they take a while getting used to, but once you do, it’s likely you’ll never look back. To keep all your footwear fresh and clean, check out our guide to the best UV shoe sanitizers.
Padded instep collar
Anatomically correct instep footbed
Easy to clean
- Weight1 pounds
The Merrell Men’s Encore Gust Slip-On provides what we believe to be one of if not the finest and most reliable grips around. The design on the outsole ensures excellent traction in all directions and makes them perfect for potentially slippery kitchen floors.
Along with this, the sole is supportive to ensure comfort, while the air-cushioned heel offers fantastic support to keep your feet feelin’ fine all day, which is why they can also be used as shoes for nurses. The padded collar prevents abrasions against your foot, while the full-grain leather ensures protection, durability and an easy-to-clean design that will keep you looking like the sharpest chef in the land.
M-Select GRIP sole
Supportive sole unit
Air cushion heel
- ModelEncore Gust
- Weight12 ounces
Finally, the Merrell Women’s Jungle Moc Pro Grip Slip-Resistant Work Shoe boasts elastic goring for easy slip on and off along with a SureGrip outsole that guarantees safety when rushing from station to station. The slight heel is shock-absorbing, which will make your 12 hours shift feel closer to 6, while the breathable design prevents you tiring.
Available in either brown or white, these non-slip shoes are not the most exciting shoes color-wise, but for fantastic functionality, comfort, and safety in a wild kitchen, we don’t think you’ll worry too much about style. Instead, concentrate on staying on your feet and getting that steak out on time.
- ModelWomen’s Jungle Moc Pro Grip-W
- Weight1.6 ounces
Kitchen Shoe For Chefs Buying Guide & FAQ
How We Chose Our Selection Of Kitchen Shoes For Chefs
Being better with words than we are with food (plus kitchen pressures are too much to handle) it wasn’t easy narrowing down our selection. However, we think by considering these 3 factors; we did a pretty good job.
Brand - Good brands ensure excellent quality, meaning the shoes will last longer, be made with better materials, and feel like heaven on your feet. With kitchen shoes, these are all essential.
Price - You don’t want to spend too much on shoes that could get covered in stains, burns, and whatever else that goes on in the kitchen. However, spending too little means the shoes won’t be as high quality. Finding a balance between affordability and quality was high on our priorities.
Reviews - Reading reviews help us identify all the important parts of these kitchen shoes. This includes everything from comfort to weight to waterproofness and all that’s in between. Without these reviews, we wouldn’t know the ins and outs, which is often neglected on the product description.
Features To Look For In Kitchen Shoes For Chefs
Before you finally decide on which are the best kitchen shoes for chefs, check out these important features so you guarantee you find the perfect pair.
Materials - You don’t want shoes with as this will absorb stains too easily. Instead, look for rubber or leather which are both protective and easy to clean without absorbing liquids and sauces to ensure straightforward maintenance.
Comfort - Comfort is arguably the most important feature as without it you will struggle to make it through the shift. A foam midsole is the first place to look, and chefs also appreciate a cushioned heel.
Outsole A soft but grippy outsole keeps you stable and secure on the tiled kitchen floor. This reduces the risk of injury and keeps you on your feet.
Breathability - If you can’t take the heat, then get out the kitchen is the phrase, but there’s only so much you can do about keeping your feet well-ventilated. This ensures complete comfort while also reduces the risk of infections. If you spill anything on them, they will also dry quicker.
Support - Fantastic arch support is crucial for keeping your feet feeling great on long shifts, and if you struggle with flat feet, this is crucial. It might not seem like a big deal at first, but after 12 hours straight, you’ll wish you had the support you need.
Protection - While we hope nothing bad happens to your feet, the kitchen can be a dangerous place if you’re not careful. The potential for knives, hot pans, and heavy pots falling from counters means there’s the potential for injury, so shoes with protection can come in handy.
Kitchen Shoe For Chefs FAQ
Q: What are the most comfortable chef shoes?
A: The most comfortable chef shoes or chef clogs, depending on what style you prefer isn’t something we can come out with right now and tell you. This is because all the shoes we’ve selected have different good and bad things about them and we’ve been doing this long enough to understand everyone has different needs.
However, we also know that no one wants to buy shoes with certain features and luxuries missing, and if you’re looking for the most comfortable shoes around, you’re certain to be onto a winner with a pair of shoes that boast a soft, accepting footbed (cushioned soles or not), a breathable upper and fit, and enough arch support to keep your feet feeling refreshed throughout the day.
If you will be on your feet for a long time, then these are all much-have features which will make your experience much more enjoyable, so if you’re looking for kitchen shoes that are comfortable, keep an eye out for these.
- 10 Tips for Picking the Perfect Chef Shoes - Shoes for Crews