There’s a lot to think about during a busy service. Juggling food preparation, timings and complicated orders is difficult enough without worrying about sore feet or slipping on wet surfaces. You need the right chef’s footwear to keep you safe, comfortable and protected at work, and we can help you find the perfect pair.
What to Look For in Chef’s Footwear
You need specialist footwear as a chef that’s been designed with your job role in mind. Generic shoes aren’t fit for purpose and won’t give you the same protection and comfort, leading to miserable shifts and sore feet. Here are a few tips on what to look out for when choosing your next pair of shoes.
1. Non Slip Outsoles
In any busy kitchen, there’s likely to be spills that can pose danger to your team. It only has to be a small spillage for it to lead to a fall and serious injury.
When looking for chef’s footwear, take into account whether or not shoes are slip-resistant and have non slip outsoles. Anti-slip shoes give you the traction and support to stay safe and on your feet, even if the floor is wet. You should look for shoes that are the very least water-resistant.
2. Make Sure They’re Easy to Clean
You don’t need us to tell you how messy your clothing can be after a busy night in the kitchen. Splashes of food can spread unwanted bacteria and leave you looking unprofessional if you do need to go front of house.
It’ll be easier for you in the long run if you choose a pair of shoes that are water-resistant and have been treated to repel all liquids. This means that with a good wipe you can have your shoes looking their absolute best and ready for your next service.
3. If You Can’t Handle the Heat…
Kitchens are hot places to work and you need to keep cool under pressure. It’s not normally something you’d remember to think about when buying shoes, but breathability is important.
If you start to overheat, your feet will be hot and sweaty which can lead to blisters, discomfort and an unhappy shift. Look for shoes that offer ventilation to ensure that your feet stay cool no matter how hot it gets.
Condor are perfect for busy chefs.
4. Prioritise Durability and Longevity
Choose durability and practicality over fashion when it comes to chef’s footwear - your feet will thank you!
High-street providers might offer shoes that look good but in a kitchen environment, you'll find they need replacing every few months. You need a pair of work shoes that you can rely on, will last and that are fit for purpose every single time you wear them.
5. Comfort Over Everything
Just as they need to be durable, your work shoes need to be comfortable. You’ll be wearing them throughout your shift so when choosing a new pair, look at the material that’s been used. Lightweight foam compound is used in some shoes to make every step feel lighter.
Padded collars and tailored fits can also make your shoes feel more comfortable. If you have custom insoles or orthotics that you wear, then choose shoes that offer removable insoles so that you can use your own.
6. Have They Been Awarded Safety Certificates?
There are a range of dangers to think about when working in a kitchen. Slippery floors, dropped objects and tripping hazards can all lead to avoidable injuries. Ensure your feet are protected by choosing safety shoes that have been awarded certification.
For example, if a shoe is CE and S3 Certified, it means it conforms with all EU directives. Any shoe with this certification has met the highest safety standards and might offer slip resistance, a safety toe cap, a closed and energy absorbing seat area and is both water and puncture proof.
Cater II offers water and slip-resistance.
7. Find the Right Supplier
You won’t be able to find chef’s footwear that meets your needs at your favourite shoe store. Instead, you’ll need to do a little research to find specialist suppliers of work and safety shoes. The right supplier will understand the different hazards you face at work each day and be able to recommend specialised shoes that suit your job role.
The right supplier will have shoes available that are comfortable, durable and long-lasting. Their products might cost a little more than high street alternatives but you’ll be getting far better shoes that will make all the difference at work. Think of them as an investment that will lead to safer and more enjoyable shifts.
Download Our Ultimate Guide to Buying Slip-Resistant Shoes
If you need a little more help finding the perfect shoes for chefs, then take a look at our comprehensive buying guide. It features a hazard matching guide that will help you to determine the right shoe to suit your role in the kitchen depending on the issues you face. Download our free guide today and find your next pair of work shoes.