10 Best Restaurant Shoes (2022 Review) | Restaurant Accounting

Are you looking for the perfect non-slip restaurant shoes for the front or back of house?

You’re in the right place! In this Restaurant Accounting guide, I’ll answer common questions like:

  • Why Invest in Quality Restaurant Shoes?
  • Benefits of Restaurant Shoes
  • My Top Restaurant Shoes

Read Also: Best Restaurant Books

Top 10 Best Restaurant Shoes Online

If you need the list quickly, here are my top picks for finding quality restaurant shoes from reputable online dealers (that will actually stand up to the wear and tear of restaurant life). Keep reading for more information about each of these shoes.

Why Am I Qualified to Talk About the Best Restaurant Shoes?

Having spent over a decade in the restaurant industry, from washing dishes to waiting tables, later managing multiple units, finally being a restaurant group CFO. I am positive my list of best restaurant shoes for the front of the house workers and restaurant managers will answer all your questions.

Why Invest in Quality Restaurant Shoes?

When you’re spending most of your shift on your feet, it makes sense to invest in a quality pair of restaurant shoes.

“What makes a great pair of restaurant shoes?”
“How do I find the right pair of restaurant shoes?”
“What should I avoid when buying restaurant manager shoes?”
“What are the best kitchen shoes?”

You’ll walk away from this post with answers to all these questions and a shopping list of the best 10 restaurant shoes for your front and back of house staff.

What Are Restaurant Shoes?

Restaurant shoes are relatively new to the world of shoes. For example, shoes have been around for thousands of years, but restaurant-specific shoes, well, those are very new. With the rise of the hospitality industry and companies that serve them, restaurant shoes were born.

These shoes are designed for and cater to a restaurant worker, those that wait tables, work in the kitchen, or even manage the establishment. Today, we now even see major brands like vans creating stylish shoes specifically for restaurant workers.

What Are the Benefits of Restaurant Shoes?

Spending your whole day on your feet (day after day) increase the risk of leg problems, such as pain, swelling, cramps, numbness, and others. This can have long-term adverse effects on your body and result in working challenges later in life. It’s time you affordably protect your legs and increase the quality of your life.

The recipe for a successful day at work at a restaurant is ensuring your uniform is both high quality, comfortable, and convenient. For waiters, waitresses, and kitchen staff (yes, I guess managers too) who spend most of their time on their feet, the most essential part of the wardrobe is shoes.

Proper restaurant shoes not only take care of your comfort but also protect your health. For restaurant workers who perform their job in challenging (maybe even hazardous)s conditions, such as the wet floor, proper shoes can avoid a trip to the emergency room.

Are Restaurant Shoes Cheap or Expensive?

Restaurant shoes can vary in price from affordable to very expensive. Like all significant investments in your job or career, you should think about this purchase as a cost per wear.

Yes, if a restaurant shoe is $150, it is a lot of money, but if you wear this shoe for two years almost every day, say 300 times 2, or 600 wears, $0.25 per wear does not seem that expensive.

Now contrast that with a cheap restaurant shoe, which is $50. Yes, this is less money, but if it only lasts you six months or $150 wears, it is more expensive than investing in the perceived more expensive shoes.

What Should You Look for in the Best Restaurant Shoes?

Comfort

You should buy shoes at the end of the day when your feet are most swollen. Think about it. If shoes are comfortable at the end of the worst day, they will feel amazing every day.

It’s essential that you look for a comfortable footbed to support the arch with memory foam or an EVA (ethyl vinyl acetate) anti-compression insole. For example, a shoe outsole made of rubber will help alleviate each step’s impact far greater than a shoe with a hard. Reducing this impact as a restaurant worker will ensure your long days on the restaurant floor feel less long.

Stands up to Spills

Like the infamous Eleven Madison Park, even the best-run restaurant ends up with something on the floor. Be it lemon wedges, melted ice cubes, and grease slicks with a runner or server balancing multiple entrees for a six top, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. So spills happen, splatters happen, be prepared!

A recent study by Emory University found that food service workers “have a 60 percent higher rate of occupational injury than workers in other industries.” For both FOH and BOH workers, non-slip shoes are non-negotiable.

Even if your restaurant does not have a policy on non-skid shoes, you are a restaurant worker who values a healthy and long career and should be protecting your most valuable asset, your body! Get non-skid shoes to avoid the pitfalls of spills and splatters.

Stands up to Splatters

In the heat of the rush BOH workers, have hot oil and grease splashes occurring every other minute. The kitchen for both kitchen workers and front of the house workers running in and out has disaster and a trip to the ER lurking at each corner. Remember to yell, CORNER!

Most folks are aware of the danger of cutting or burning their hands, but dropped food in the kitchen can also burn legs and feet. To avoid a hospital trip for a broken toe or third-degree burn, it’s essential to have sturdy shoes that can withstand a bit of impact and hold up to a hot spill.

Arch Support

Restaurant workers log long hours on their feet. Literally, every aspect of their job requires them to be standing!

One study found that servers on average clock 23,000 steps a day –that’s more than 10 miles!

Livestrong.com notes that for each mile walked, our feet bear 200,000 to 300,000 lbs of stress. For these reasons, arch support is critical, if not crucial.

Shoes that support the foot’s natural curve– as opposed to flat shoes like flip flops– not only improve comfort during those long restaurant shifts but they prevent injury. Ankle sprains, ankle twists, and fallen arches can result from undertaking strenuous activity without proper support.

Easy to Clean

Being able to clean your restaurant shoes easily is especially crucial if you’re working in the front of house, where you deal with guests. After all, first impressions matter, and having dirty shoes doesn’t exactly scream professionalism.

I would go as far as to argue that guests’ impression of a server staff and the establishment directly correlates to the tip at the end of service. A waiter or waitress who is well put together, with clean shoes, gives the impression they will provide better overall service.

Read Also: Best Office Stapler

Reviews of the Best Restaurant Work Shoes

Let’s look at 10 of the best works shoes (pros and cons included) across both the front and back of house.

Back of the House Best Restaurant Shoes

Below are the five best kitchen shoes for your back of house team. These are designed for comfort, ease of use, and those nasty kitchen spills.

1. Dansko Professional Clog

Best BOH Shoe

Dansko Men's Professional Clog

$139.95

The Dansko Professional is the clog that launched the restaurant Comfort Revolution. Inside its iconic silhouette are a roomy reinforced toe box, an anatomically contoured PU midsole, an inner frame for stability and support, a padded instep collar, and a protective heel counter that allows the heel to move up and down freely while providing lateral stability.

Dansko Men's Professional Clog

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The Dansko Professional is the clog that launched the restaurant Comfort Revolution. Inside its iconic silhouette are a roomy reinforced toe box, an anatomically contoured PU midsole, an inner frame for stability and support, a padded instep collar, and a protective heel counter that allows the heel to move up and down freely while providing lateral stability.

The anti-fatigue rocker bottom assists with forward motion while walking to add hours of comfortable support throughout your day.

This clog is a favorite among many chefs of all restaurant types. Not only is it comfortable, but it is designed to last.

Buy the Dansko Professional Clog Now

Dansko Professional Clog Pros:

  • A memory foam footbed provides increased support and comfort
  • A padded instep collar keeps the shoe in place while also preventing friction that can cause blisters
  • The outsole is a fantastic shock absorber
  • One of the most reliable shoes in the restaurant kitchen space

Dansko Professional Clog Cons:

  • You need to move the heel up and down to break in the shoe
  • The padded instep is uncomfortable for people with larger feet
  • Expect a tight fit (avoid wearing with thick socks)
  • There’s no removable memory foam footbed

Buy the Dansko Professional Clog Now

2. Dansko XP 2.0 Clogs

Top Choice

Dansko XP 2.0 Clogs

$148.95

The XP 2.0 Clog features a new, lighter weight construction, an ergonomically designed, removable dual-density PU footbed with Dansko Natural Arch technology for exceptional support, and a slip-resistant outsole designed for the hospitality worker in mind.

Dansko XP 2.0 Clogs

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The XP 2.0 clog features a new, lighter weight construction, an ergonomically designed, removable dual-density PU footbed with Dansko Natural Arch technology for exceptional support, and a slip-resistant outsole designed for the hospitality worker in mind.

This shoe was designed and a built-in response to some issues people had with the Dansko Professional.

Buy the Dansko XP 2.0 Clogs Now

Dankso XP 2.0 Clog Pros:

  • An upgraded outsole maximize safety
  • A removable memory foam footbed that offers cushioning
  • An improved slip-resistant outsole
  • Same, if not better, comfort
  • Requires much less break-in time than the classic Dansko’s
  • Multiple reviews claim multi-year usage

Dansko XP 2.0 Clogs Cons:

  • Higher price point compared to the Dansko Professional

Buy the Dansko XP 2.0 Clogs Now

3. Birkenstock Tokyo Super Grips

Top Choice

Birkenstock Tokyo Super Grips

$140.00

With the Tokyo Super Grip, Birkenstock developed a clog for hospitality occupations that demand a great deal of stamina from the wearers and their feet. It's Super Grip sole results in the ideal rolling motion and is non-slip.

Birkenstock Tokyo Super Grips

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With the Tokyo Super Grip, Birkenstock developed a clog for hospitality occupations that demand a great deal of stamina from the wearers and their feet. It’s Super Grip sole results in the ideal rolling motion and is non-slip.

The unique rubber tread delivers tangible sure-footedness. The adjustable backstrap further enhances this stability. This is appreciated by those working in the kitchens and by service staff, all of whom often spend hours on their feet.

The sole of the Tokyo Super Grip has been tested for slip resistance.

The Birkenstock brand is known for its high-quality shoes. They are not becoming leaders in the restaurant shoe space, so this is an option to consider if you want a more stylish kitchen shoe.

Buy the Tokyo Super Grip Now

Birkenstock Tokyo Super Grip Pros:

  • The shoe is made from quality and breathable leather
  • Leather uppers prevent moisture soaking socks during a long shift
  • Black and white colors are available, which accommodates different uniforms
  • Functional and stylish
  • Non-slip
  • Very comfortable

Birkenstock Tokyo Super Grip Cons:

  • It takes time to break in the shoe
  • It’s pricey compared to similar brands

Buy the Tokyo Super Grip Now

4. Birkenstock Profi-Birki

#1 Choice

Birkenstock Profi-Birki

$89.95

Birkenstock developed the Profi Birki to offer perfect grip and sure-footedness in almost any work environment. With its raised heel section and extended front, it encloses the entire foot and promotes a natural rolling motion with every step you take.

Birkenstock Profi-Birki

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Birkenstock developed the Profi Birki to offer perfect grip and sure-footedness in almost any work environment. With its raised heel section and extended front, it encloses the entire foot and promotes a natural rolling motion with every step you take.

The non-slip PU sole proves itself to be the ideal solution on smooth floor surfaces in particular. The Profi Birki is a top choice among teams in the food industry and kitchens.

Its outstanding hygiene properties likewise attest to this: the oil- and the grease-resistant clog is washable to 80° Celsius, while the removable PU footbed can be washed to 60° Celsius and can also be disinfected.

The sole of the Profi Briki has been tested for slip resistance.

Buy the Birkenstock Profi-Birki Now

Birkenstock Profi Briki Pros:

  • The shoe is made from polyurethane, a durable and lightweight synthetic material
  • Comfortable insoles
  • Slip-resistant
  • Simple and elegant design
  • Affordable price
  • Reviews suggest a long life span

Birkenstock Profi Briki Cons:

  • Small sizes compared to standard ones
  • The break-in period can be challenging

Buy the Birkenstock Profi-Birki Now

5. Croc Bistro Pro

Top Choice

Croc Bistro Pro

$31.00

Croc was never known for its culinary adaptability, but the Croc Bistro changed that. It has become an iconic restaurant shoe. Choose your culinary inspiration and serve up some serious comfort with these Bistro Pro Clogs, now available with superb LiteRide™ foam footbeds inside.

Croc Bistro Pro

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Croc was never known for its culinary adaptability, but the Croc Bistro changed that. It has become an iconic restaurant shoe. Choose your culinary inspiration and serve up some serious comfort with these Bistro Pro Clogs, now available with superb LiteRide™ foam footbeds inside.

Designed with foodservice and hospitality workers in mind, they’re light and supportive enough to get you through even the longest shifts. Crocs Lock™ slip-resistant treads and extra protection at the toes come together to help you serve up your best.

Buy the Crocs Bistro Pro Now

Croc Bistro Pro Pros:

  • Slip-resistant
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Durable
  • Easy to clean
  • A heel strap which allows the ankles to breather and protects against heel blisters
  • Reviews compliment the shoes ability to last a long time

Croc Bistro Pro Cons:

  • Not very appealing or stylish
  • The rivet on the strap is known to break if moved
  • Sizes tend to run small

Buy the Crocs Bistro Pro Now

Front of House Best Restaurant Shoes

Below are the five best kitchen shoes for your front of the house team. These are designed for comfort, ease of use, and the stylish look to compliment the staff’s uniforms.

6. Skechers Sure Track Work Shoes for Women

Best Shoe For Women

Skechers Sure Track Work Shoes for Women

$44.95

A comfortable Skechers favorite gets serious with the Skechers Work: Relaxed Fit – Sure Track shoe. Smooth leather upper in a slip-on casual slip-resistant work shoe with stitching accents and Memory Foam insole.

Skechers Sure Track Work Shoes for Women

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A comfortable Skechers favorite gets serious with the Skechers Work: Relaxed Fit – Sure Track shoe. Smooth leather upper in a slip-on casual slip-resistant work shoe with stitching accents and Memory Foam insole.

Known for its stylish, comfortable, and non-slip design, this Skechers restaurant shoe is a perfect option for the waitress on her feet all day.

Buy the Skechers Sure Track Work Shoes for Women Now

Sketchers Sure Track Work Shoes for Women Pros:

  • Slip-resistant
  • Comfortable thanks to a memory foam topped cushion
  • Protective leather heel and toe overlay
  • Affordable

Sketchers Sure Track Work Shoes for Women Cons:

  • Some customers dislike the narrow heel
  • Requires time to break in the shoe
  • May not hold up to the more challenging work environments for an extended period

Buy the Skechers Sure Track Work Shoes for Women Now

7. Skechers Advantage – McAllen Slip Resistant

Top Sporty Look

Skechers Advantage – McAllen Slip Resistant

$42.00

Relaxed sporty style and all-day comfort combines in the Skechers Work Relaxed Fit: Flex Advantage – McAllen SR shoe. Smooth synthetic and mesh fabric upper in a slip on sporty casual comfort slip resistant work sneaker with stitching and overlay accents—memory Foam insole.

Skechers Advantage - McAllen Slip Resistant

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Relaxed sporty style and all-day comfort combines in the Skechers Work Relaxed Fit: Flex Advantage – McAllen SR shoe. Smooth synthetic and mesh fabric upper in a slip on sporty casual comfort slip resistant work sneaker with stitching and overlay accents—memory Foam insole.

A great option that is both affordable and stylish. This shoe was designed for the restaurant worker in mind and will hold up to the front of house’s challenges.

Buy the Skechers Advantage – McAllen Slip Resistant Now

Sketchers Advantage – McAllen Slip Resistant Pros:

  • Comfortable memory foam insole
  • Slip-resistant
  • Easy to slip on
  • Light-weight

Sketchers Advantage – McAllen Slip Resistant Cons:

  • The mesh upper doesn’t offer much protection
  • Wears down in a relatively short amount of time

Buy the Skechers Advantage – McAllen Slip Resistant Now

8. Merrell Jungle Moc Pro Work Shoes

Top Choice

Merrell Jungle Moc Pro Work Shoes

$99.95

The same out-of-the-box comfort you love from our original Jungle Moc, designed with all-day comfort and protection in mind. With waterproof full-grain leather uppers and Merrell M Select™ PRO GRIP oil-resistant, slip-resistant rubber for smart protection and grip on the move.

Merrell Jungle Moc Pro Work Shoes

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The same out-of-the-box comfort you love from our original Jungle Moc, designed with all-day comfort and protection in mind. With waterproof full-grain leather uppers and Merrell M Select™ PRO GRIP oil-resistant, slip-resistant rubber for smart protection and grip on the move.

This waterproof non-slip shoe was designed with the restaurant worker in mind. This premium leather shoe covers all the needs that may arise waiting tables in a restaurant.

Buy the Merrell Jungle Moc Pro Work Shoes Now

Merrell Jungle Moc Pro Work Shoes Pros:

  • Stylish
  • Slip-resistant
  • Comfortable and snug
  • Breathable
  • Lightweight

Merrell Jungle Moc Pro Work Shoes Cons:

  • Some customers mention that sizes run smaller than standard ones
  • May take a while to break in the shoe

Buy the Merrell Jungle Moc Pro Work Shoes Now

9. Rockport Apron Toe

Most Sophisticated Choice

Rockport Apron Toe

$85.00

A little water can’t keep you from looking sophisticated while wearing the Essential Details Waterproof Apron Toe dress shoe. Featuring a hand-sewn apron toe, these incredibly comfortable shoes will keep you focused on your day of work instead of your feet.

Rockport Apron Toe

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A little water can’t keep you from looking sophisticated while wearing the Essential Details Waterproof Apron Toe dress shoe. Featuring a hand-sewn apron toe, these incredibly comfortable shoes will keep you focused on your day of work instead of your feet.

The Rockport Hydro-Shield® construction offers waterproof leather, a seam-sealed, waterproof insole, and a gusseted tongue to help keep feet dry, while truTECH® sports technology helps absorb shock and cushions the foot for all-day comfort.

A solid, comfortable, non-slip shoes for the front of the house workers who want to elevate their everyday look.

Buy the Rockport Apron Toe Now

Rockport Apron Toe Pros:

  • Comfortable
  • Non-slip
  • Durable and made to withstand walking in the rain and snow
  • More stylish compared to some of the other shoes
  • A shock-absorbing heel protects you against pain and injury

Rockport Apron Toe Cons:

  • The shoe creases relatively easily
  • Needs a break-in period

10. Keen Men’s PTC Oxford

Best Choice for Men

Keen Men’s PTC Oxford

$77.33

This low-profile Keen work shoe offers all-day comfort on the job, plus water resistance and wipe-clean convenience. A plush footbed cradles every step, and a non-slip sole helps prevent falls in slick conditions.

Keen Men’s PTC Oxford

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This low-profile Keen work shoe offers all-day comfort on the job, plus water resistance and wipe-clean convenience. A plush footbed cradles every step, and a non-slip sole helps prevent falls in slick conditions.

A reliable choice for a restaurant work shoe that is built to last.

Buy the Keen Men’s PTC Oxford Now

Keens Men’s PTC Oxford Pros:

  • Contains durable leather uppers
  • Waterproof uppers
  • Stylish
  • Comfortable
  • Non-slip, no marking rubber sole

Keen Men’s PTC Oxford Cons:

  • Sizes run big

Buy the Keen Men’s PTC Oxford Now

My Top Pick: Birkenstock Profi-Birki

While all of these restaurant shoes are high quality, we still keep Birkenstock Profi-Birki as our top pick for the best restaurant shoe.

#1 Choice

Birkenstock Profi-Birki

$89.95

Birkenstock developed the Profi Birki to offer perfect grip and sure-footedness in almost any work environment. With its raised heel section and extended front, it encloses the entire foot and promotes a natural rolling motion with every step you take.

Birkenstock Profi-Birki

Check Price

We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

These shoes are made with high-quality polyurethane, meaning they are designed to last.

These shoes are perfect for both men and women. They are built to be wiped clean. They come in a variety of colors, both masculine and feminine. These shoes are designed and made by the Birkenstock company, an innovator in the shoe space for decades.

Read Also: What Salary Should You Pay a Restaurant General Manager?

The Final Word on Restaurant Shoes

Restaurant Shoes are great for several reasons; most importantly, they protect your most valuable asset, your body!

These shoes are designed to ensure that you do not slip on the job, are protected against spills, and most importantly, you can finish a shift without your legs aching.

So now you’ve learned my picks for the best restaurant shoes on the market right now. While many of these brands are reputable and respected by customers and the industry alike, you must always choose the best restaurant shoe for you and your situation.

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