The 8 Best Kitchen Shoes, According to Our Tests

These comfortable and supportive shoes stand up to all-day wear.

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Best Kitchen Shoes


For professional cooks, standing for long hours is never comfortable. The floor of a kitchen is not just hard on the body, but it can also present a precarious situation when its surface becomes slick with oil or other spills, making the right pair of shoes imperative for support and safety. Not only that, shoes worn in the kitchen should shield feet from hot water spilling, knives dropping, and other hazards.

While shoe preferences are subjective, a few notable qualities make certain shoes better for the kitchen. Whether for professional or home use, kitchen shoes should be sturdy and supportive and have enough traction to keep you from slipping. We tested 17 pairs of kitchen shoes, considering support, shock absorption, slip resistance, and overall comfort before landing on this list.

Pros: They’re made of high-quality leather and provide good support for average arches.  

Cons: They don’t come in a variety of widths, so they may not fit very wide or narrow feet.

Dansko is known for comfortable footwear, and these clogs are no exception when you’re on your feet for an extended time. The LT Pro clogs are a lightweight version of the brand’s popular Professional Clog, weighing in at just 15 ounces — about half a pound less than the originals. The leather construction makes them very durable and the polyurethane outsole provides plenty of traction, which kept us from slipping in the kitchen. The microfiber lining kept the shoe from feeling too hot on, but it required a breaking-in period to feel less stiff. That said, the leather was easy to clean and we gave the shoe good marks during the hours spent standing and prepping food, making them a solid investment for professional and amateur cooks alike.

Price at time of publish: $115

  • Material: Leather
  • Color Options:  Black Leather, White Leather, Black Tooled, Hero Patent, Watercolor Tooled, Retro Flower Tooled, Blue Dash Leather
Dansko clogs on wooden floor

Food & Wine / Sheena Chihak

Sanita Professional Cabrio Clogs

Sanita Professional Cabrio Clogs


Pros: Durable and supportive, these clogs come in four colors and three widths.

Cons: They tend to fit snugly, so you may have to size up for a more comfortable fit.

Fans of a traditional clog silhouette will love this style from Sanita. Available in four colors, they have a sturdy full leather upper and cushioned, leather-lined footbed for extra comfort. They have a 1.75-inch heel and a .75-inch platform to help absorb shock, and the synthetic outsole provides enough grip so you won’t slip on a damp floor. If you’re spending hours on your feet, you’ll appreciate the amount of arch support these shoes provide. 

We found these felt stiff out of the box, but we didn’t experience any pain or blisters during the breaking-in period. The shoes also fit more snugly than other popular clog brands, so you may have to experiment with trying different sizes for a proper fit. This model also has width options, great for anyone whose foot is narrower or wider than standard medium width. 

Price at time of publish: $133

  • Material: Leather upper, synthetic sole
  • Color Options: Black, Blue, Bordeaux, Brown 

Blundstone Unisex-Adult 510 Boots

Blundstone Unisex-Adult 510 Boots


Pros: This versatile boot has a durable build and excellent shock absorption. The insoles are removable and can be replaced with your preferred inserts if needed.

Cons: Breaking in the boots may be painful for some. They don’t come in widths or half sizes, so you’ll have to play around with sizing to find your fit.

This unisex boot from Blundstone has a classic Chelsea boot silhouette, featuring a water-resistant leather upper and an elastic gusset that allows you to pull it on and off, with no laces or zipper required. It’s also stylish enough to wear as an everyday boot. The double-stitched construction will help it last for years, even with frequent use. A thermoplastic polyurethane outsole and cushioned footbed help to absorb shock, providing relief to your feet and joints when standing and walking for extended periods. These boots required a lot of breaking in, and the process was a bit painful. But once the leather softens, they mold to the feet and provide a very comfortable experience — we wore them for up to nine hours at a time comfortably.

Price at time of publish: Starting at $130

  • Material: Leather upper, synthetic sole
  • Color Options: Black, Brown, Brown/Olive, Black/Grey, Brown/Burgundy Tartan, Black/Plaid, Black/Rainbow
Blundstone #510

Food & Wine / Ruth Blackburn

Sloggers Rain and Garden Shoe

Sloggers Rain and Garden Shoe


Pros: They provide plenty of shock absorption and cost lesst than other options.

Cons: They do not come in half sizes and may not work well for wide feet.

Though Sloggers designed these shoes for rain and gardening, they also work wonderfully in the kitchen thanks to their waterproof upper and lug tread outsole. The synthetic material that makes up the shoe can be easily hosed off or wiped down for cleaning, while the insoles have arch supports that provide a lot of cushion. They’re available in both a women’s and men’s version, with solid black and patterned options.

We found them a good fit for medium to narrow feet and comfortable to wear for hours on end with no break-in period. We also recommend them as house shoes, as they provide plenty of support and traction for walking on hard floors. With reliable performance and an easy price point, these are a top pick for anyone who doesn’t want to spring for a full-leather, higher-end shoe.

Price at time of publish: $35

  • Material: Synthetic upper and outsole
  • Color Options: Black, various prints

Crocs On The Clock Work Clog

Crocs On The Clock Work Clog


Pros: They’re lightweight, and single-piece construction ensures nothing will come apart.  

Cons: They don’t come in half sizes, and if you size up they may feel too loose.

Crocs designed the On the Clock Work Clog for the service industry and healthcare workers who spend long days or nights on their feet. The shoes feature single-piece construction, so there are no stitches or seams that may fall apart with wear. These lightweight clogs are made of synthetic material and feature a cushioned insole with added arch support. 

We found these shoes very comfortable out of the box, with a roomy toe box and sturdy construction. The small grips on the sole provided plenty of traction without catching, and the material is easy to keep clean. While the shoe is supportive and absorbs shock well, they didn’t prevent our feet and backs from feeling fatigued after a few full days of wear on cement floors. Still, they’re a good option for the budget conscious.

Price at time of publish: $30

  • Material: Synthetic upper and outsole
  • Color Options: Black

Mise The Standard

Mise The Standard


Pros: Designed for culinary professionals, these shoes are durable and comfortable. You can remove the cushioned liner for washing.

Cons: They cost more than other pairs.

The thoughtful build of these shoes by Mise makes them one of our favorites when it comes to comfort and function. A cross between a sturdy clog and a sneaker, they’re made of high-quality leather with a synthetic outsole, and removable cushioned midsoles fit a lot like a sock liner in your favorite athletic shoe. Mise designed these with commercial kitchen use in mind – safety first –  and the grippy sole provides plenty of traction. The Mise Standard comes in black, and is available in whole sizes from a U.S. 6 to U.S. 15 in one standard width. 

These shoes felt stiff and snug out of the box, yet required little breaking in. We recommend sizing up if you’re between sizes or have a wider foot. Even though these are less cushioned than other kitchen shoes, the pair held up well to several wears and didn’t cause discomfort. They’re also extremely easy to clean with a simple rinse and wipe down of the outsides (the midsole can be hand washed and air dried as needed). While these are on the pricier side, you will appreciate the high quality, comfort, and durability of shoes designed for culinary professionals.

Price at time of publish: $139

  • Material: Leather upper and synthetic outsole, removable BLOOM midsole
  • Color Options: Black
Mise Standard

Food & Wine / Grace Kelly

Birkenstock Super-Birki Cork Footbed Clog

Birkenstock Super-Birki Cork Footbed Clog


Pros: These clogs are comfortable right out of the box, and have durable single-piece contruction. 

Cons: The inside of the shoe may cause friction, so you should wear socks to guard against blisters.

Birkenstock is another brand well known for comfortable footwear, and this clog has been a popular choice in professional kitchens for years. Made from molded polyurethane, the shoes have no seams or stitching, which can fall apart or fray. The shoe also features a removable cork-latex contoured footbed that will mold to your feet over time. This style is easy to slip on and has a raised back to keep your foot in place. The slip-resistant outsole works well on wet, dry, or oily surfaces.

These shoes felt comfortable to us right away, but wearing socks is key to guarding against any friction in the shoe. Fairly roomy, they will soften a bit with wear and are great for people with medium to wide feet. While home cooks may not be looking for shoes as nearly indestructible as these, we recommend them to medical or culinary professionals who need something more durable.

Price at time of publish: $75

  • Material: Molded polyurethane
  • Color Options: Black, Navy, Light Blue, Rose
Birkenstock Profi-Birki Clog

Food & Wine / Alana Al-Hatlani

Vans x Hedley & Bennett Sk8-Hi Tops

Vans x Hedley & Bennett Sk8-Hi Tops

Hedley & Bennett

Pros: Stylish with plenty of personality, these sneakers are also super comfortable. 

Cons: The canvas uppers are more prone to spills and stains than leather or polyeurethane.

One of the newer, hipper styles of chef shoes comes from a collaboration between Hedley & Bennett and Vans sneakers. This hi-top style shoe is constructed from Vansguard treated canvas, and features a cushy sock liner and a colorful, treaded sole. A lace-up style allows you to custom fit the shoes to your feet, tightening and loosening in the areas that need it. Unlike most chef’s shoes, these come in a wide variety of full and half sizes, ranging from a men’s 4 (women’s 5.5) to a men’s 13.

We considered them comfortable from the start, though the lace-up style takes some getting used to for those who aren’t usually a hi-tops wearers. The shoes gave excellent support through long days on our feet, ranging from eight to 12 hours. Wider toe boxes can keep toes from feeling cramped. Our only concern is the material of the shoe, as canvas is prone to stains, but they are treated to repel dirt and liquids and were fairly easy to spot clean.

Price at time of publish: $120

  • Material: Treated canvas, synthetic outsole
  • Color Options: Black, White, Charcoal

The Tests

Our editors and test kitchen staff tested 17 pairs of kitchen shoes by wearing them as we went about our regular routines for an average of 40 hours each over a week. We noted whether the shoes had an uncomfortable break-in period and how they felt after long hours of wear, including standing in the kitchen. We scored the shoes based on comfort, durability, quality, design, and overall value. The top performers made this list.

Factors to Consider


When thinking about buying kitchen shoes, you’ll want to select a shoe made of a durable material that can stand up to occasional spills and debris. For that reason, leather and polyurethane are popular choices since they can be wiped or rinsed off. They also offer some protection against hot liquids and most metal implements. If choosing a fabric shoe, it’s imperative that the material is treated to repel liquids and dirt or are easily washable.

Slip Resistance

Slick, wet, and oily floors can be extremely hazardous, so slip resistance is a big factor when buying a shoe for the kitchen. Look for treads that provide adequate grip without lugs that are so large that they catch on kitchen mats. 

Shock Absorption

One of the main reasons for lower back, leg, and foot pain after prolonged standing is lack of shock absorption, so go for a shoe that has a cushioned insole and a thicker outsole. This will help alleviate fatigue and provide better support throughout the day. 

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What are the best shoes for working in a kitchen?

    “With safer kitchen floor finishes these days, kitchen staff can now wear a variety of shoes in the kitchen,” says Vanessa Tilaka Kalb, co-owner of Agnes Restaurant & Cheesery in Pasadena, Calif. From clogs to sneakers to work boots, many styles can suit chefs. “Ultimately, choose the shoes that you’re comfortable in and what your uniform code permits, and make sure to keep your toes safe from hot oil and falling knives or arches."

  • Why do chefs wear clogs?

    Chefs typically wear clogs for their comfortable and durable designs. “A lot of professionals in the hospitality and medical industries wear them,” says Kalb. “I find the raised platform and shape of the shoe to be ergonomically designed to support standing and rocking the foot forward as you walk, and they have lots of designs and materials to choose from that are fairly priced and environmentally conscious.”

  • How do you clean kitchen shoes?

    “Just wipe them down from top, then around the platform and down the sole,” says Kalb, who typically wears Dansko or Sanita clogs.  “About twice a year I’ll polish and buff my clogs to maintain their color and shine.”

Our Expertise

Bernadette Machard de Gramont is an LA-based freelance writer specializing in food, wine, and kitchen products. After a two-year stint at Williams Sonoma headquarters in San Francisco, she now researches and tests a variety of cookware, bakeware, and wine tools, and interviews field experts for their insight. For this piece, she interviewed Vanessa Tilaka Kalb, the co-owner of Agnes Restaurant & Cheesery in Pasadena, Calif.

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