Working in a restaurant puts both you and your shoes through a lot. You’re on your feet all day long as you run around putting out fires (sometimes literally), and if your shoes can’t handle the job, it makes it that much harder on you.
Not just any shoe will do. Whether you’re a restaurant employee in the front or back of house, you need a restaurant shoe that can do as much as you can.
So what are the best shoes for working in a restaurant, you ask?
If you’re new to the industry or a seasoned veteran who’s tired of foot pain, read on to learn server tips and everything you should look for in a restaurant work shoe.
How to Find Work Shoes that Fit Correctly
Before you consider anything else about the shoes, you’ll need to make sure they fit your feet properly and meet your restaurant employee dress code. You probably don’t want to just stick with the size you’ve always bought, either— studies suggest that up to 72% of the population is wearing the wrong size footwear.
When you’re checking a pair of shoes for fit, look for these qualities:
Choosing Comfortable Work Shoes
While comfort is important when shopping for any shoe, it’s especially crucial for work shoes. Now that you can narrow your options down to pairs that fit properly, let’s think about qualities that make for comfortable restaurant shoes before you make your choice.
Since you’ll be standing on them all day, you’ll need comfortable shoe options that keep your legs and spine aligned. Your feet should feel balanced and stable as you stand.
Secondly, the interior of the shoe should feel padded and well-conformed to your foot. The midsoles—the section between the insoles and the exterior of the shoe—should be flexible while also offering support.
The bottom line is that while you stand up straight or walk around, you should feel minimal pressure on the bottoms or sides of your feet. You should feel supported but not constrained, cushioned but not squished. If you’ve chosen the right size, your toes should have room to breathe, and you should be able to go all day long without feeling like you’re walking on knives.
Comfortable Shoes for Restaurant Work
So, you’ve found a comfortable shoe that fits correctly and offers just the right kind of comfort. You’re halfway there, but don’t hit the checkout just yet— restaurant work is unique and needs special consideration.
Think about where you work. No matter your position, you likely spend time in and out of the kitchen. Those slippery floors always seem to be slick with dishwater or splattered grease. Before you tumble to the ground like a vintage cartoon, you’ll get your feet into some shoes with slip-resistant soles.
Curious if non-slip shoes are required in restaurants? Most of the time they are because non-slip or slip-resistant shoes create greater friction between your shoes and the floor. They accomplish this with a combination of textures and patterns on the soles of your restaurant work shoe, and they can greatly reduce your chance of falling. The CDC reports that high-quality slip-resistant work shoes can reduce falls by up to 67%.
Wet socks can ruin anyone’s day, but keeping your feet dry isn’t just a comfort issue. Staying in wet socks or shoes for too long can cause:
- Greater friction, leading to blisters and sores
- Bacterial infections
- Fungal infections like athlete’s foot
- In extreme cases (like working all day every day with cold, wet socks), a serious skin condition called trench foot can develop.
Anyone who’s ever worked a long shift in a dish room knows that soggy socks come with the territory, but they don’t have to. To save yourself from wet feet, look for shoes that have water-resistant exteriors.
Get the Best Restaurant Work Shoes with Snibbs
For a restaurant shoe that checks all these boxes and more, try Snibbs. Snibbs are designed with your job in mind, from the slip-resistant tread to the wider toe box for breathing room and cushioned insoles that provide your feet with support and comfort to make it through that long shift.
But you don’t have to take our word for it—when compared to six top brands in an outside study, the Snibbs Spacecloud had the best toe box fit and least pressure exertion. Plus, they even have water resistance built in. Comfortable, functional, and (let’s face it) much more stylish than most restaurant shoes, Snibbs makes footwear for those who know the lunch rush struggle.
Give your feet a fresh start with Snibbs today.
- CDC. Slip-Resistant Shoes. https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/newsroom/feature/slipresistantshoes.html
- FootCare MD. 10 Points of Proper Shoe Fit. https://www.footcaremd.org/resources/how-to-help/10-points-of-proper-shoe-fit
- Health Digest. Why Staying in Wet Shoes or Socks is Worse than You Think. https://www.healthdigest.com/899289/why-staying-in-wet-shoes-or-socks-is-worse-than-you-think/
- Healthline. Shoe Width: Why it Matters if You Want Healthy Feet. https://www.healthline.com/health/shoe-width
- Spine-Health. Guidelines for Buying Walking Shoes. https://www.spine-health.com/wellness/exercise/guidelines-buying-walking-shoes