What Are the Different Types of Kitchen Shoes?

Patti Kate

Kitchen shoes worn in a restaurant or food-service environment are made in various styles, most of which feature a slip-resistant sole. Shoes made for working in the kitchen are made for men and women. Some kitchen shoes are made in a traditional lace-up oxford style, while others are slip-on varieties made with Velcro® fasteners. Clog-style culinary shoes are made with an open back and enclosed toe.

Supportive shoe insoles are critical for anyone that needs to stand for hours at a time.
Supportive shoe insoles are critical for anyone that needs to stand for hours at a time.

Shoes made for working in the kitchen are sometimes referred to as chef's shoes. Chef's shoes must meet with all safety regulations. This means most kitchen shoes will be made with a skid-proof sole, as well as being oil-resistant. In many environments where food is being prepared, spills often occur. Greasy spills on a kitchen floor may present a hazard for workers. Besides being slip resistant, many types of shoes also are waterproof.

Leather Oxford-style kitchen shoes are a common type of kitchen footwear. This style of shoe is typically made with a round, reinforced toe and supportive insole. Kitchen Oxford shoes for men may have five or more eyelets. Leather oxford chef shoes are also worn by women.

Some people who work in restaurants prefer to wear high-top kitchen shoes, particularly in the winter. High-tops resemble basketball shoes, and are generally made of leather. Black is the most popular color for high-top kitchen footwear, although some styles are also available in white. These shoes are typically made with a reinforced toe for safety and a skid-resistant rubber sole.

Clogs are a popular and preferred style of culinary footwear for many. Like most styles of culinary shoes, the clog styles are slip resistant and are commonly seen in black, white, beige, or brown. Some clog styles are unisex, meaning they may be worn by men or women. Many varieties of slip-on clogs also feature a removable padded cushion insert.

Shoes worn for the kitchen are made to be comfortable as well as safe. Comfort is a major concern because restaurant workers stand on their feet for hours at a time. Many styles of chef shoes will feature cushioned insoles that provide proper support.

Some kitchen shoes feature designer styles with unusual prints or patterns. Leopard-print, patent-leather chef shoes are made for women. Similar in construction, the tiger-eye print is another slip-on style for women. The patent-leather culinary shoes tend to be more expensive than shoes made with other materials.

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Discussion Comments


Crocs are nice because you can throw them in the dish machine at the end of the night and have nice clean shoes easily. I prefer the all leather clog style shoes. They are easy to slip on and off and they just form fit to my feet better and last a long time. Steel toed shoes are great in case you drop a knife or something down there, and for kicking the walk in open if you're stuck in there with a heavy box in your arms.

I am so picky when I shop for kitchen shoes, but they always last me at least eight months (which I think is pretty great). Some shoes cost about $130 and I've tried them, but I have a pair from a local store for $50 and they're just as good. There's nothing special about paying more money, considering the shoes will get really messed up really quickly, and at work no one is going to say "wow cute shoes, they really look great on you".


I have never worked in a kitchen as part of a job. I really don't like to cook very much, so spend as little time in the kitchen as possible.

I can see how someone who does spend a lot of time standing in a kitchen would want shoes that are very comfortable.

My kitchen shoes usually end up being my house slippers. When I get home, one of the first things I do is put on my comfortable slippers to wear around the house.

When I am working in the kitchen, these are what I wear, and have never given any thought to wearing any special kind of kitchen shoes.

My slippers are very comfortable, so I at least don't have any problems with that part. My slippers are washable and that is a good thing because they often get spilled on when I am in the kitchen.


When you are standing and working in a kitchen for a long period of time, I think having a good mat to stand on is just as important as the kitchen shoes you are wearing.

I work as a cook and am standing in the kitchen all day long. I like to wear shoes that are comfortable and that will not slip easily on the floor.

My feet also feel much better when I can stand on a mat during the day. The extra cushion makes a big difference in how my feet feel at the end of the day.

I also don't wear my kitchen shoes for any other activities. I keep them separate from my other shoes and only wear them for work.

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