Best shoes/boots for working grill line?

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Joined Oct 21, 2010
Do you have a favorite shoe specifically for working in the kitchen? Is there a general consensus among the community?

Do you have an opinion on whats better shoes vs boots?

Steel toe? 

Have any of you used quality (not from walmart) shoe inserts/arch supports.

Years ago when I was doing floors, I used a set of arch supports, it was like night and day and I was doing 3-4 grocery stores a night.

I am thinking about doing that again, my only reservation, I have to take out the insert that is already in a shoe to make space.

Thank you in advance
 
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Ieeniek thanks for the suggestion, seems like those are very popular (doing a bit of searching via google)

Anyone have any suggestions in the Sub 80dollars (US) range?

And about the Clogs, your feet ever get wet? 

Anyone ever wore crocs in the kitchen? I found some called Bistro Crocs (slip resistant/water resistant), anyone ever try those?
 
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Everyone has different feet, some people I know can walk barefoot until age 98 without any feet problems, not me though....

Steel toe?  Why?  You're not going to drop anything more than 20 lbs  on your feet--maybe a sack of potatoes, but no steel I-beams or jack hammers.

Boots?  They get mightly toasty in a hot kitchen, and if you ever spill anyting on your feet, will take too long  to get out of.

I happen to have flat feet and have been wearing custom orthotics for over 15 years now.  Cheap shoes or expensive shoes doesn't really matter, what matters is if the shoe flexes laterally:  That is, if I grasp the heel with one hand and try to twist the sole with the other, it should remain fairly rigid.  Cheap shoes--if well selected work O.K, and not all expensive ones work O.K..  If the shoe flexes laterally, it can not provide the support the orthotic or arch support needs, and your feet will let you know---fast!.

Malwart shoes will work, but remember, it's man made materials, and feet sweat alot.  Might be best to get several pairs and swap them out. 

Under a $100 shoes have one caveat though.  When the soles/heel wear out, it's impossible to get them re-soled or re-heeled.  Even if they're nice ones with leather uppers and a decent lining, it's impossible to get them re-heeled.

Hate clogs, it's a European thing.  When I did my apprenticeshp everyone was wearing wood clogs, drove me nuts, swore I'd never wear another pair--and I haven't since 1985.....

hope this helps,  
 
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Steel toe?  Why?  You're not going to drop anything more than 20 lbs  on your feet--maybe a sack of potatoes, but no steel I-beams or jack hammers.

MacGregor -One of my best friends has been a cook for 15 or so years and his reasons are as follows, -there are a lot of heavy things, in the kitchen, industrial size cans of green beans etc etc and that if one of those were to drop onto his foot while he was wearing "softer" shoes he would be out of work for a couple days/emergency room visit. But then again, my friend, love him, but he looks like a biker, so maybe he just likes boots and steel toe is just a plus.

Boots?  They get mightly toasty in a hot kitchen, and if you ever spill anyting on your feet, will take too long  to get out of.

MacGregor -Good point. Although overall comfort is what would kill the thought of big heavy boots for me, I just wanted to know what you all thought.

I happen to have flat feet and have been wearing custom orthotics for over 15 years now.  Cheap shoes or expensive shoes doesn't really matter, what matters is if the shoe flexes laterally:  That is, if I grasp the heel with one hand and try to twist the sole with the other, it should remain fairly rigid.  Cheap shoes--if well selected work O.K, and not all expensive ones work O.K..  If the shoe flexes laterally, it can not provide the support the orthotic or arch support needs, and your feet will let you know---fast!.

Malwart shoes will work, but remember, it's man made materials, and feet sweat alot.  Might be best to get several pairs and swap them out. 

MacGregor-Think I may with go Crocs Bistro for now. Its middle of the road for me, not the "MalWart shoes" and not 100+.

For the feet, Goldbonds always does pretty good (not ideal but it will work)

Under a $100 shoes have one caveat though.  When the soles/heel wear out, it's impossible to get them re-soled or re-heeled.  Even if they're nice ones with leather uppers and a decent lining, it's impossible to get them re-heeled.

Hate clogs, it's a European thing.  When I did my apprenticeshp everyone was wearing wood clogs, drove me nuts, swore I'd never wear another pair--and I haven't since 1985.....

MacGregor Glad you mentioned it and you did help, thank you.

hope this helps,  
 
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I had to learn to walk in clogs when I first started wearing them but otherwise I've had no problems.  My feet don't get wet at all, and as for steel toe, the danskos are fine.  They have a very firm toe to them and I have actually dropped cases of frozen sausage on them and I've never gotten hurt.

My only complaint about the danskos is the leather upper.  After over a year the leather upper is not in the best shape.  I will buy a second pair and keep the ones I have for when I have do alot of heavy cleaning as it was the chemicals that caused them to go like that.
 
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i tried clogs...tripped WAY too much.  one can only play it off for so long right?

honestly, i get the $12 velcro running shoes from wal-mart.  they are super comfortable...for about a month, but by that time they are trashed from being in the kitchen.  once i month i drop $12 and get a new pair. 

nowhere close to being fashionable, but i love em.
 
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I lucked upon a pair of "sneaker-shoes" by New Balance at a DSW store, they were around $50 maybe less.  Plain black, very supportive with non-slip, oil-resistant soles.  They are amazing!  I wipe them down every few days and clean out the treads, I hope they last me a long time.

I don't get the clogs thing at all, seems dangerous to me...
 
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Joined Dec 7, 2010
Funny to watch people stumble around the kitchen in clogs, they seem to take some getting used to.  Boots for me, pay whatever it takes to find something that fits right. 
 
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Joined Dec 17, 2009
MacGregor:

When I was a seaman-trainee, it was mandatory to wear steel-toed, black, leather, work-boots, even in the galley. I still prefer boots in the kitchen, for ankle-support, and overall foot protection. I do buy insoles for my boots, and replace them as necessary. There different brands available, e.g., Spenco, Dr. Scholls, etc.

I concur with foodpump. You will need to spend $100+ for a decent pair of shoes or boots. The cheaply-made shoes are not repairable by a cobbler. I have never worn, nor will ever wear clogs! But then again, I have never followed fads, nor trendy fashions, nor do I care about being just like everyone else.

Something to think about... Kingston-McKnight Slip-Resistant shoes, features, ratings.
 
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Why clogs? Someone does something stupid while you're standing near the deep fryer. 'Nuff said.
 

pete

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 Why clogs? Someone does something stupid while you're standing near the deep fryer. 'Nuff said  
And how is a regular shoe going to save you.  Hot oil can still easily get into a regular shoe as it splashes up and over the edge.  And besides a clog is much easier and faster to get off.  That said, I have tried numerous clogs and my feet can't handle them.  My personal favorite shoe (and inexpensive) was called the Roebuck Lite.  Made and sold by Sears, it was a short boot that came up to just above the ankle.  It gave me great ankle support, was light enough that after 12 hours on my feet they didn't feel like dead weights, and kept my feet relatively dry in most circumstances.  I don't know if they are still being made, but I used to buy them regularly for about $40 ($29 when I could find them on sale).  I usually had to replace them about once a year.  Considering that higher end shoes and/or boots wouldn't last me that much longer I thought they were a deal.
 
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Joined Nov 23, 2010
 Why clogs? Someone does something stupid while you're standing near the deep fryer. 'Nuff said  
And how is a regular shoe going to save you.  Hot oil can still easily get into a regular shoe as it splashes up and over the edge.  And besides a clog is much easier and faster to get off...
I took Allium's post to be in favor of clogs; in other words, to answer the question "why clogs?", one reason is that they're easy to get off should someone do something stupid with the deep fryer...
 
 

pete

Moderator
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I tried searching for it also and couldn't find it.  They must have discontinued it.  Sorry.
 
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Personally I prefer boots in the kitchen, anything else and my back kills me at the end of the night, but thats just me.  Currently I wear a pair of beat up old doc martens on the line.
 
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Joined May 4, 2011
I used to wear open heeled clogs like many cooks do. Then I burned my foot badly while pulling a pan from a steamer back in 1998. The shelf of the steamer broke just as I was pulling out a pan and the water ran down my apron and pooled in my shoe. Now I wear a motorcycle boot made by Durango, They're tall, thick and have thick rubber soles. I think they're great kitchen wear. I soften the blow to my feet by putting gel inserts in them, sometimes I am on my feet for 15 hours and these boots are very comfortable and provide me with alot of protection.

Ken Harper
 
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I have been wearing Rockport Steel Toe Work shoes for years, never liked clogs much.  These have EXCELLENT support, aren't very heavy by steel toe standards, have always been able to get about 2.5 years out of a pair which makes the $95 price tag very worth while, they are very comfortable to wear when you are on your feet for 10 hours and are slip resistant.
 

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