How To Choose The Best Shoes For Your Restaurant Staff

A team of restaurant staff standing in a restaurant kitchen

It’s not easy working in a restaurant. Long shifts can be painful for your feet, whether you’re running back to and from the tables to your restaurant POS system or spending the entire day standing in the back of the house.

You might have even avoided a crash with a coworker carrying boiling liquid by avoiding a loud call. Or perhaps a grease stain on the floor caused you to stop dead in your tracks. Even though spills may not occur daily, restaurant employees frequently stand on rough concrete floors for ten or more hours.

Hence, the perfect shoe choice should be made by restaurant employees. If not, slips, exhaustion, back pain, and knee issues may be their next problem.

This article has everything you need to choose the best shoes for you, whether you’re looking to buy a pair for work, find the best brands for your restaurant staff, or browse the options. So, what are you waiting for? Read along.

Tips On How To Choose The Best Restaurant Shoes

Your restaurant employees are probably on the move for most of the day. According to a study, servers walk an average of 23,000 steps per day. So, when you’re on your feet for most of your shift, it makes perfect sense to invest in a good pair of shoes.

To help with that, here are some tips on how to choose the best shoes for your restaurant staff:

Prioritize Quality over Pricing

There are two things to think about. First, by spending a little more money on durable shoes, you will end up saving money over time. Would you rather pay $100 for shoes that last three years or $50 for shoes that need to be changed yearly?

Second, you’ll be walking around in these shoes for a long time – your health and comfort are worth the extra money.

Therefore, avoid buying cheap work shoes because you’ll pay much more in the long run.

Look Out For Arch Support

Sore feet are one of the most typical server injuries, and they’re generally brought on by wearing inappropriate footwear. Also, strenuous activity can lead to ankle sprains, ankle twists, and fallen arches without the proper support.

Choose slip-resistant shoes that support the innate contour of our feet rather than flat shoes like flip flops because they not only increase comfort during long shifts but also help prevent injury.

Wear Anti-Slip and Anti-Skid Shoes

No matter how well your restaurant managers run things, something will inevitably fall to the ground. For example, a server trying to balance entrees for four people while walking on a greasy floor is a disaster waiting to happen.

Slips and falls frequently cause fractures, serious ankle or leg sprains, and other severe injuries. So, look for work shoes with high-suction rubber outsoles that are slip-resistant.

It’s also important to consider whether a shoe has a waterproof or a hard upper. For example, shoes with black leather are water resistant and quick and simple to clean, making them ideal for situations where spills and falling items are common. 

Best Non-Slip Shoes For Restaurants

When looking for the perfect restaurant shoes to match your team’s uniform, you know what you’re looking for, but the right shoe does more than complete a look. Hence, here are 5 brands that have a classy shoe line specially dedicated to employees with strenuous jobs:

1. Vans

Vans Restaurant Shoes

Vans has developed a restaurant shoe that resembles their iconic low-top and high-top skateboard sneakers but with added slip- and water-resistance.

Vans’ ‘Made for Makers’ collection is for hard jobs and the artistic communities surrounding them. The line was created to provide maximum comfort so that you can work all day at whatever you love, whether you’re a painter, skateboarder, hairdresser, or tattoo artist.

They have a canvas top that resists liquids and spills, a vulcanized outsole that prevents slipping, and padded collars for comfort and support. The shoe is a slip-on, but they also sell a lace-up variation and a high-top shoe if you want more ankle support. The only color option is black.

2. Dansko

A woman wearing Dansko shoes in a restaurant

Dansko was founded in 1990 and is among the market leaders in non-slip footwear.

Dansko, a brand with Nordic influences and a US base, enjoys a devoted following for a good reason. They are common among many professionals, not only in the hospitality sector but also in the healthcare and retail industries.

Additionally, they are simple to clean due to their uniform, sleek shape, which is always advantageous when working in a restaurant. Additionally, they are cushioned for extra comfort and protection, have excellent arch support, and are slip-resistant.

Although they have an unusually long break-in period, they are incredibly comfortable once you get past that stage. They will last you for years.

3. Snibbs

A chef wearing Snibbs shoes

Chef Daniel Shemtob founded Snibbs in 2015. He got tired of his work shoes breaking down, so he decided to take matters into his own hands and started developing the ideal non-slip shoe.

Snibbs provides breathable, lightweight, durable, and comfortable shoes with a non-slip sole that resists water. Besides being long-lasting, the shoes are also extremely stylish and modern and can be sported by front and back-of-house personnel.

The cherry on top is that these shoes include a personalized Ortholite insole. Additionally, they have a 30-day trial period during which you can ask for a full refund if they don’t meet your needs.

4. Skechers

Skechers work shoes

The Skechers Work collection is ideal for sneaker enthusiasts who require an anti-slip shoe that can support them throughout long shifts. The shoes have a memory foam spacer to keep your feet comfortable and a restful fit so your toes can move around as you walk. 

They also have smooth leather uppers that are easy to clean, are fastened with laces, and have a midsole that absorbs shock, giving you excellent help while working long hours.

Skechers are excellent if you work as a server because they are reasonably priced and come in various styles, from traditional sneakers to boots.

5. Crocs

A chef wearing Crocs in a restaurant

By releasing their Bistro Clog specifically for culinary professionals in 2007, Crocs took advantage of its popularity among food service workers.

The Croc Bistro Clogs are similar to the classic Crocs, except for the holes on top. They have a strap that sits on the heel of the shoe, a tread that resists slipping, and a curved footbed. 

In addition to being light, slip-resistant, simple to clean, and supportive, the Crocs Bistro protects your feet from spills. A major benefit for those who spend their entire shift slogging through grease and grime is that Crocs can be hosed down, sopped in water, and scrubbed like no other.

What Not to Wear to a Restaurant Job

That was all about the best shoes for restaurant staff, but here are a few shoe options that you need to avoid at all costs when working in a restaurant:

  • Heels: Wearing heels for long periods results in painful cuts and calluses, as well as back and shoulder problems brought on by the lack of support.
  • Boat Shoes: Although most boat shoes are made to avoid slips, if there is a greasy floor present, everything is overturned. This is because boat shoes and shiny floors don’t go together. These also allow kitchen debris to enter easily and provide no arch support.
  • Sandals: Sandals, in addition to putting you at risk for harm, are not allowed in most restaurants because, in some places, it is against the law to have exposed toes in a restaurant kitchen.
  • Ballets: Ballet shoes might be trendy, but they are not for restaurants. This is mainly because of the absence of arch support and exposing your feet’s tops and toes.


Anyone working in a restaurant can witness that a normal shift involves walking great distances and navigating booby traps. When performing the physically demanding work of preparing food or serving all day and into the night, you need shoes that serve the dual purpose of protecting your feet and keeping them comfortable.

As a result, making proper shoes a standard part of the restaurant uniform is a wise decision. The right shoes protect your feet, provide comfort, reduce the risk of slipping and injury, and ultimately cost less in the long run.


No votes yet.
Please wait...
Daniel McCarthy is a seasoned restaurant consultant and serves as the Communication Manager at Restroworks, a prominent F&B SaaS company. Drawing from his vast knowledge of leveraging innovative technological solutions, Daniel excels at enhancing restaurant operations and revenue, thereby contributing to the ongoing transformation of the industry.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here