In the catering industry, you work long hours on your feet all day, traipsing over different types of surfaces - tile, carpet, wooden floors, and so on - sometimes with hot food and beverages balanced carefully on your shoulders. Catering is a rewarding career, but it’s also a hazardous one - not just from the dangers of a wet surface, but also the dangers of fatigue.
As a caterer, have you ever come home from a lengthy shift with aching feet and a sore back? Have you ever narrowly missed a fall on an un-mopped, or oily floor? If so, you might be wearing the wrong type of catering shoes.
When ordering catering safety shoes, what are some of the mistakes you might be making? What are some of the considerations you haven’t prioritized? Learn how to avoid the pitfalls of the wrong footwear, and how to remedy them.
1. You Aren’t Considering Comfort and Support
If your shoe can’t last as long as you, there’s something amiss. A branded trainer may seem like a good idea, but does it really provide all-day support and stability you need?
When choosing catering shoes, it’s important to consider buying a supportive shoe designed specifically for your industry; there are a number of catering safety shoes on the market, and you can decide the specifications you need to keep you on your feet all night: do you need comfort fit, arch support, extra cushioning, a ventilated shoe, an accurate tailored fit, and/or a lighter shoe overall?
For walking constantly back and forth, it’s a good idea to select a shoe with specialised insoles to keep your feet cushioned. You may also want to examine the weight of your shoe itself. A few grams here and there may not seem like a big deal, but when you’re walking back and forth all night, a lighter shoe can make all the difference.
2. You Aren't Prioritising Safety
Your catering shoes need to look smart and professional, but you don’t need to look catwalk-ready (although some of our styles certainly lean that way). I know a less stylish shoe can make you feel less impressive, but looks are less important than safety. Shoes For Crew's styles are designed with both safety and style in mind.
According to the Health and Safety Executive, when you work in kitchens and in the food service industry, you increase your chances of slips and trips more than any other type of workplace accident. At the same time, you may move over varied surfaces - from a slippery kitchen floor to a carpeted event room - and that means lug soles are important too (the bit of the shoe at the front where the sole and the shoe material meet - safer lug soles are curved).
Two safety features that are most important when choosing catering safety features (besides comfort) is selecting a shoe with a non-slip sole, and one with a curve and a tight lug pattern. Other nice features to have would be - as mentioned before - a lightweight shoe that protects your feet from potential hot spills.
3. You Don't Consider Cleaning
Your catering shoes will need cleaning daily, and if you just use, say a trainer, they won't be easy to clean. With such a long day, you most likely won't have the time to throw your shoes in the washing machine, and wait for drying. When choosing a catering shoe, you need something that's easy to clean - since you're at risk for spills of water, oil, food, drink, and so much more. You'll need something water resistant, spill proof, and easy to wipe down.
Having a clean shoe will mean that the shoes themselves will last longer too.
4. You Haven't Considered Shoe Life
Let's face it, catering shoes can be pricey so you don't want to have to replace them more than necessary. Depending on how hard wearing the shoe is, a traditional shoe may need replacing every three or four months, but a shoe designed for the industry will only need replacing every six to twelve months, saving you money in the long run.
Choose a shoe that has the comfort, style, and durability you need. What's your budget and how long do you need your shoe to last? Consider materials and fabric too. If you get a cloth shoe and it's saturated with spills, it will not only not be comfortable but it will also smell bad and wear out quickly.
If all these safety features sound like a welcome relief to your aching back and feet, find out more about how they work by checking out our catering styles: