How to Pick the Best Restaurant Work Shoes

About the Author

Daneil Shemtob

He was on Food Network's "Great Food Truck Race", ultimately winning Season 2. Soon after he launched multiple trucks and brand partnerships, progressing into his Brick and Mortar TLT Food (The Lime Truck), first store launched in Westwood in 2012. As well as a high-end restaurant in 2018, called Hatch Yakitori + Bar, a Japanese Yakitori restaurant based in downtown LA and winner of LA Weekly's "Best Yakitori Restaurant". He then partnered with Dr. Snibbe for a fully functioning work shoe that blends aesthetics and functionality called Snibbs. He’s on a mission to enrich worker’s lives, one shoe at a time by creating a work shoe that's inspired by everything that's wrong with the one you're probably still wearing.
How to Pick the Best Restaurant Work Shoes

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:

  • Width In the US, shoes come in widths labeled by letters, with AAA the narrowest and EEE the widest. If there’s no letter, the shoes are most likely a medium width. Make sure the ball of your widest foot fits comfortably in the widest part of the shoe. 
  • Depth Your feet should fit in the toe box of the shoe without rubbing on the top. This rubbing can cause calluses or even sores.
  • Length You’ll want about half an inch of space between the tip of your toes and the end of your shoes (about the width of your finger). Make sure you do this test while standing up. 

  • Discover best-in-class sneakers from Snibbs. Shop now!

    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. 

    Slip Resistance

    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%. 

    Water Resistance

    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 men's and women's black slip-resistant shoes 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.


    1. CDC. Slip-Resistant Shoes.
    2. FootCare MD. 10 Points of Proper Shoe Fit.
    3. Health Digest. Why Staying in Wet Shoes or Socks is Worse than You Think.
    4. Healthline. Shoe Width: Why it Matters if You Want Healthy Feet.
    5. Spine-Health. Guidelines for Buying Walking Shoes.