Wearing Kitchen Shoes Will Change How You Cook

These stylish and functional clogs are a boon for chefs and home cooks alike.

Calzuro clogs

Frederick Hardy II / Prop Styling by Christina Daley

I attended my first day of culinary school in cowboy boots. It was a rookie move; the shoes, comfortable in most contexts, stood up poorly to four hours of kitchen work and made my whole body ache. The next day, I bought my first pair of proper kitchen shoes — comfortable, slip-resistant, closed-toe Dansko clogs — and since then, I have developed a small collection of kitchen clogs. The ones that I am complimented on the most are my colorful Calzuros.

First popularized by medical professionals, Calzuro shoes are Italian-made rubber clogs that come in more than 15 vibrant colors. They have little bumps on the insoles that massage your feet as you wear them, an enormous bonus for cooks who are on their feet all day. They’re waterproof, protective, and comfortable, and you can throw them in the washing machine, or a sanitizer or autoclave if you happen to have one — but they’re also fun. The clogs come with optional heel straps in the same colors. (You can find me in my bright purple Calzuros, accented by a teal strap.)

But shoes and their comfort are a highly personal thing, which is why we distributed pairs of Calzuros to an array of professionals and had them try them out for a week.

“These clogs are great,” says Mallory Valvano, a pastry chef who works under the Instagram handle @partygirlbakeclub. “They’re stable but comfy.” Ari Miller, chef and co-owner of Musi BYOB in Philadelphia, agrees: “They’re really sturdy and easy to clean.”

Kiki Aranita, a recipe developer and chef, likens the shoes to a rain boot. “They’re high-quality, comfortable, and great for standing. I like to be able to feel the floor of the kitchen under my feet.” The only drawback is that the rubber material does make the clogs a little bit sweaty, Aranita says. “You definitely want to wear socks to protect from toe blisters.” It’s also worth noting that the clogs run a little bit large, ideal for sock usage. $107 at calzuro.com

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