There is an old saying that you should dress for the job that you want. While this may be good advice, it leaves out an important aspect: you should also dress for the job that you have. In the restaurant world, that means wearing clothes and shoes that are clean, safe, and can support you through long hours on your feet.
When you work in a restaurant, your shoes should always be comfortable, closed-top, supportive, and slip-resistant. Both the dining room and the kitchen are prone to spills, so it is important to purchase shoes that can help you avoid sliding on splatter, spilled drinks, and more. Below, we have compiled a list of the 15 best non-slip shoes for restaurants that will help you power through long shifts while keeping you safe.
At Budget Branders, we are devoted to helping independently owned and operated restaurants get the custom-printed supplies that they need at prices that won’t break the bank. We know how challenging it can be to run a small business, which is why we make the process of selecting and designing custom cups, coffee sleeves, take-out bags and more as easy as possible for our clients. Reach out today to learn more about our full line of high quality disposable products.
Why Restaurant Work Requires Special Shoes
There are certain jobs where you just need to have comfortable, supportive shoes – such as jobs in the medical field. This is also true in the restaurant industry, where you’re likely to be on your feet for your entire shift, racking up as many as 23,000 steps as you move around the kitchen and dining room.
Restaurant work can also be dangerous. According to statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 91,800 occupational injuries among restaurant workers in 2018 alone. People who work in restaurants may suffer from a range of injuries, such as falls, slips, trips, exposure to harmful subjects, thermal burns, overexertion, and cuts and lacerations.
Because of these long hours and potential risks, it is important to wear shoes with good arch support. Proper support can help to reduce fatigue. It may also decrease the likelihood of injury from twisting your ankle or fallen arches.
Your footwear should also be protective. If you – or a co-worker – drop a hot pan of food, a knife, or spill some hot oil, your footwear should provide some level of protection against serious injury. For this reason, your shoes should be able to withstand some impact.
Finally, any shoe that you wear inside of a restaurant must be slip resistant. Even the best-run restaurant will have food, drinks, and other items that wind up on the floor. While you may not be able to prevent all falls, wearing non-slip shoes can lessen the likelihood that you’ll wind up on the floor. If you own a restaurant, you should create a policy that requires non-slip footwear if you don’t already have one in place.
With this in mind, there are some shoes that are definitely off limits when it comes to working in a restaurant – whether you are front or back of the house. This includes any type of footwear that leaves your feet vulnerable to spills or burns, shoes that leave your feet exposed (which is often a health code violation) and shoes that don’t provide enough support. Generally, you should not wear sandals, boat shoes, heels, or ballet flats to work at a restaurant.
The 15 Best Non-Slip Shoes for Restaurants
Safe restaurant footwear doesn’t always include the most fashionable choices. However, protecting your feet – and yourself – from injury is far more important than how you look. In our list of the best 15 non-slip shoes for restaurants, there are also a number of options that might meet your criteria for safety and style.
Photo via Dansko Clogs
Dansko clogs are a classic for a reason. These Nordic-inspired clogs come in a number of designs and styles that are great for work and for everyday wear. It is little wonder that these comfortable, supportive shoes are a favorite among restaurant workers, healthcare workers, and people who work in retail.
Danskos aren’t cheap. A pair will typically cost over $140. They are an investment, however, and should last for years. You can also choose from a range of prints to suit your personal style.
Photo via Birkenstock Clogs
Another popular option among restaurant workers? Birkenstock clogs. These non-slip shoes are supportive, protective, and non-slip. They’re made of polyurethane that offers a great barrier against hot water and grease.
The material also means that you can clean the inserts. This is a huge bonus feature, as the shoes that you wear in a hot kitchen can get pretty funky. With Birkenstocks, you can take out the insert and put it in the dishwasher to clean and minimize odor.
Photo via New Balance
New Balance Arishi V3
As a brand, New Balance is known for making comfortable, supportive shoes. Its Arishi V3 line takes that concept to the next level, featuring a cushioned insole, slip-resistant sole, and “TripGuard,” which allows for fluid movement between slippery surfaces. These shoes also have a breathable mesh material for easy cleaning.
Photo via Crocs
Anyone who is a fan of celebrity chefs (like Mario Batali) knows that Crocs are incredibly popular for the kitchen. The company took advantage of this reputation with its line of shoes designed for restaurants: the Crocs Bistro.
These shoes have slip-resistant treads and reinforced toes. They can also be thrown in the dishwasher, which makes them a great option if you routinely find your shoes covered in grease and food particles at the end of the night.
Photo via Merrell
Merrell Jungle Moc Work Shoes
Merrell might be best known for hiking shoes and boots, but they also make great work shoes. Specifically,their Jungle Moc Work Shoes are sturdy, lightweight sneakers made of full grain, waterproof leather. The Jungle Mocs also have a breathable mesh liner to keep your feet cool – and of course, a non-slip sole.
Photo via Dr. Scholl’s
Dr. Scholl’s Slip-Resistant Shoes
Dr. Scholl’s is known for a variety of products designed to help feet – including their slip-resistant shoes. This footwear is made specifically for people who spend long hours on their feet. It comes in a variety of styles, including clogs and sneakers, each of which has a slip-resident sole.
Photo via Dickies Apex
Dickies is a big name in workwear, but you may not know that they also make shoes for professionals. Specifically, the Dickies Apex offers support along with an outsole design that offers increased slip resistance and traction on a variety of surfaces. The sole also has a self-cleaning design to prevent dirt and grease from building up on your shoes.
Photo via Snibbs
Snibbs may be a relative newcomer to the professional shoe game – but you still shouldn;t sleep on this footwear. Designed by an orthopedic surgeon, Snibbs have supportive insoles, a breathable, lightweight fabric and a non-slip sole. Snibbs also offers a 30 day trial period so that you can give them a shot to make sure that they work for you.
Photo via Sanitas Clogs
Sanitas Clogs have a style that is similar to Danskos, but with a slightly snugger fit. This means that they tend to be more supportive than other clogs. Like Danskos, they are made of leather, so they tend to be more expensive (in the $140 range). They are often the top pick for restaurant workers for the comfort and support that they offer.
Photo via Skechers
Skechers Non-Slip Work Shoes
Skechers is known for their fun and often funky sneakers – but they also make great slip-resistant work shoes that are perfect for the kitchen. These shoes have a thicker, slip resistant insole with plenty of arch support. They also come at a lower price point than many other options, which makes them a great choice for anyone who is trying to watch their budget.
Photo via Hokas
For anyone who prefers sneakers to clogs, Hokas has you covered. These running shoes are incredibly supportive, with great arch support and slip resistance. This makes Hokas incredibly comfortable for a long night waiting tables or on the line.
Photo via Keep
Keep Company Gourmand Mid-Top Sneakers
How can you not love a shoe that has a variation of “gourmet” right in its name? The Keep Company Gourmand Mid-Top Sneakers are made for the kitchen. Designed with Chef Alvin Cailan, these shoes feature a non-slip rubber sole, a water and oil-resistant synthetic nubuck upper and a custom insole for extra heel and arch support. They also happen to be pretty stylish, which is an added bonus.
Photo via Vans
Vans “Made for the Makers” Shoes
If you want a little more style, then Vans “Made for the Makers” shoes might be the right shoe for you. This footwear is geared towards creatives, and comes in a variety of styles. Unlike classic Vans, these shoes have slip-resistant vulcanized lugged outsoles, a treated upper to repel liquid and dirt, and molded sock liners for comfort.
Photo via Clove
Clove bills itself as the best shoe for healthcare workers – and in our opinion, any shoe that is good enough for nurses, doctors, therapists and other medical professionals is perfect for a restaurant employee. After all, our feet go through many of the same things day after day. Clove sneakers have a liquid and stain-resistant fabric, machine washable insoles, a foam insole, and a slip-resistant rubber outsole.
Photo via Emeril’s Footwear
Emeril Lagasse may not be a Food Network star anymore – but he is still a pretty big name in the restaurant business. This includes a line of shoes specifically for restaurant workers, branded as Emeril’s Footwear. These shoes include both slip-on and laced options, each of which have a comfortable mid-sole, a patented B.A.M memory foam, and a slip-resistant sole.
Ready to Learn More? Call Budget Branders Today!
There are so many little things that go into running a restaurant – far beyond balance sheets, menus, and even employee scheduling. This also includes instituting policies to keep your employees safe – such as requiring supportive, slip-resistant shoes.
At Budget Branders, our goal is to help make designing and ordering custom branded disposables as easy as possible. Each of our high quality products can be branded with your restaurant’s name and logo. They are all available in quantities and at prices that work for small to medium-sized restaurants.