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Sore feet in the kitchen. What do you wear?

I usually spend many hours in the kitchen on weekends. I love my time in 'my office', but man do my feet get sore from standing for so long! I would love to get something that makes the hours of standing a bit more bearable. I've seen a lot of chefs wearing clog-like shoes (and not just Mario Batali). Have you tried them? Is there something else that works? Do you have 'kitchen shoes'?

asked by CarlaCooks over 4 years ago
33 answers 6995 views
C45c94a0 2e08 45bf a73c 4235d1b3c4bb  image
added over 4 years ago

I don't always think ahead before spending hours in the kitchen (standing on a ceramic tile floor, ouch), but when I do I put on socks and running shoes. I am hoping to get wood floors some day...

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added over 4 years ago

Get a pair of Birkenstocks, they are the most comfy shoes you could get for standing for long hours. They're the cheapest on amazon.

B0e51b35 a002 4fdd adc2 f06fa947184e  baci1
HalfPint

HalfPint is a trusted home cook.

added over 4 years ago

Crocs. I have a pair dedicated for indoor wear.

5590ce29 aa2e 417c 94ba 2fbc61134171  174060 100000008404888 3554258 n
added over 4 years ago

Me, too with the Crocs. I have the Carly, which are a little narrower. They are great for standing, non-skid and if they get sticky you can just wear them into the shower.

0bc70c8a e153 4431 a735 f23fb20dda68  sarah chef
Reiney

Sarah is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 4 years ago

Danskos are awesome but pricey. Crocs work great, for a fraction of the price and any spills are easily wiped away.

A cushioned rug also makes a big difference (but then you have a cleaning factor).

766e7ce3 8394 4788 8337 bbd8a8d3a07e  5.15.11 coconut macaroons best sm
added over 4 years ago

In my own kitchen, I'm almost always barefoot. I just really don't like wearing shoes--never have--and I dance around so hours on my feet don't usually faze me the same as standing still. But any time I'm in a commercial kitchen where that isn't an option, I wear sneakers or my pair of Danskos. I never used to like Danskos, but I finally found a pair that fit me properly and now I'll swear by their excellent arch support. I worked 14 hours straight, then walked 2 miles home in them the first week I had them, didn't get a blister, and have adored them ever since. They're worth the price, in my opinion, because they're very sturdy and will last a long time. I also feel the same about the brand Joseph Siebel.

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added over 4 years ago

Beyondcelery, just a friendly piece of advice (that I myself don't follow 100% of the time)--never stand at the stove bearfoot. Even with the best appliances, shortcircuits can happen especially if you are on a tile floor and your hands are still wet from rinsing something at the sink... A rubber sole can literally save your life.

7b500f1f 3219 4d49 8161 e2fc340b2798  flower bee
added over 4 years ago

barefoot-sorry for the typo

766e7ce3 8394 4788 8337 bbd8a8d3a07e  5.15.11 coconut macaroons best sm
added over 4 years ago

@droplet: Hrm, good point. I never thought of that!

0f493ab9 068f 4498 ba2c 95c992214d52  sit2
Sam1148

Sam is a trusted home cook.

added over 4 years ago

Don't stand. I have a rather small Galley style kitchen...and keep a folding tall directors chair in there.
Which is fine for use while chopping and reading over a recipe. It also helps that I have a flat screen TV on the narrow end. Of course the SO sometimes wonders why dinner isn't ready until 10 or so.

67544da8 1862 4539 8ec8 2d9dfc2601bb  dsc 0122.nef 1
added over 4 years ago

Gel mats... great if you're the barefooted kind in the kitchen..

401c5804 f611 451f a157 c693981d8eef  mad cow deux
pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added over 4 years ago

I cringe at the idea of cooking barefoot. Way too many bad things can happen. Myself I wear Converse All Stars, "Chucks" but the slip on style, no laces. In restaurant kitchens you'll see a lot of Doc Martins.

67544da8 1862 4539 8ec8 2d9dfc2601bb  dsc 0122.nef 1
added over 4 years ago

Its a cultural thing..Footwear is Taboo inside most Indian Homes, especially, especially the kitchen. Footwear is considered dirty & hence banned from the kitchen (I have a pair of those line bootie shoes for use in winter)

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added over 4 years ago

Much like Pierno I am most comfortable in my Converse All Stars no laces, no socks. Sometimes flip flops.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added over 4 years ago

Crocs or Birkenstock-like shoes for safety; gel mats for additional comfort. Birkenstocks saved me from the exact kind of short circuit Droplet mentioned. And, the 'no bare feet' rule applies to dropping things like knives as well as potential shocks.

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added over 4 years ago

I wear flip-flops (Tevas – with arch support) most of the time in the summer, and house-slippers in the winter. I have the same issue (even with wood floors!) but find that the thick-soled flip-fops help. Also, I have a long, narrow, washable, woven cotton rug that runs the length of my heavy-use counter area. I think that really helps. This length of counter includes my sink, and I find that having the absorbent mat there keeps my floor much cleaner, for much longer. This would also address the issue of slipperiness or ceramin, or whatnot.

I did try crocs one summer, but couldn't believe how hot they made me feel. They don't let the sole of your foot breathe AT ALL. Mule Birkenstocks (though pricy) might be a wiser choice than my flip-flops, too; I was startled into knocking a knife off the counter once, many years ago, and it was not pretty. That'll teach you not to perch your knives near the edge of the counter.

Ea2fede5 db69 4f9c b6a5 c70c27497ae9  dsc 0002 2
added over 4 years ago

*, or ceramic*

F83774ec c18a 46a4 8dff 00877f15aed6  image
Kristen W.

Kristen W. is a trusted home cook.

added over 4 years ago

Agree with Sam 1148. I have a barstool I keep in the kitchen to sit on. More power to those who can stand for hours without pain: sadly, I'm not one of them.

C1aa93d7 c7a4 4560 aa6d 6dca74cc98ca  smokin tokyo
added over 4 years ago

Like Panfusine, no shoes allowed in the house. So I use a dedicated pair only for inside. My daughter worked at Crocs when they first started and checked the styles. She bought me a pair of Bistro style. They protect against falling knives, hot spills. Cut some holes in the sides if you need more ventilation.

The gel mats (not rubber) are pure heaven. I bought at Amazon and had my hubby bring it to Japan in his business trip luggage (pretty heavy!) Loved it so much he got me another one for the rest of the kitchen on his next trip. Wipe up easily, and if washing dishes (no knife work) its really COOL to the bare foot.

And i have a stepstool that you can sit on.

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sexyLAMBCHOPx

Chops is a trusted home cook.

added over 4 years ago

I wear Fit Flops brand flip flops year round. I also sit at my kitchen table to prep.

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drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 4 years ago

I have TERRIBLE feet. I wear Teva flip flops or sandals in the summer--- thick soles, good arch support, and Merrell suede clogs that are lined with shearling in the winter. Thank you all for your suggestions. I am constantly on the lookout for decent work shoes that don't kill me when I'm on my feet all day.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added over 4 years ago

I too wear doc martins or running shoes

22b9ddc9 fc61 48a3 949e dee341974288  liz and dad
added over 4 years ago

gel mat in the home kitchen work area is a godsend. I think we got ours at Costco. If someone could invent a shoe version of the gel mat, now that would be something.

32fb3935 151a 4db2 ac26 980d4c0d5cea  lorigoldsby
added over 4 years ago

If I could replace my wood floors with gel mats...would do so in a nanosecond ! I do swear by my dansko clogs...I have a super wide foot and need lots of arch support...worth every penny. I protect them just as I do any of my good cooking equipment. If you think what you're willing to pay for a good knife or cassoulet pan...pay that same amount for shoes! You'll use them every time you cook! They'll save not just your feet, but your knees and back!

C1aa93d7 c7a4 4560 aa6d 6dca74cc98ca  smokin tokyo
added over 4 years ago

lorigoldsby, I'm using my gel mats on hardwood floors and there's no discoloration after a year. They don't slide around or scratch, or curl at the edges to trip over. And there are several colors of harwood to pick from.

But really agree with mrslarkin that if they would invent a gel mat shoe --I7m first in line!

32fb3935 151a 4db2 ac26 980d4c0d5cea  lorigoldsby
added over 4 years ago

BGT...oh yes! I have the gel mats (actually 3 of them! One at stove, one at sink/ prep, one at baking island) and never had a problem with them for over 3 years! And if they ever make that gel mat shoe...I'll be right behind you in line!

C1aa93d7 c7a4 4560 aa6d 6dca74cc98ca  smokin tokyo
added over 4 years ago

Lori, I miss understood! I thought you hadn't tried them, now i realize you'd pave the kitchen with gel mats if you could. I agree. Hardwood floors are wonderful everywhere but not in the kitchen.

6f611b78 35b4 4186 89ad c38b035b32f3  08270410avatar messbrasil
added over 4 years ago

I wear my slippers in the house and also in the kitchen but I believe that footwear is not your real problem...also what works for my feet won't necessarily work for yours.I think the best advice I can give is:"Sit down,girl!!!"Relax,take a break every hour or so...Have some coffee...Set up a station where you'll be able to do your chopping or other preparations while sat.I do that when my once ruptured achille's heel behaves badly.Hope it helps

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ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 4 years ago

I wear clogs in the kitchen. left over from restaurant days, might as well use them up! And I sit for as many tasks as possible. My kitchen table (a butcher block) is custom height so I have bar stools that are great for perching at the counter as well.

Flip Flops are almost as dangerous in the kitchen as bare feet. Hot spills and dropped knives can hurt you REAL bad!

120fa86a 7a24 4cc0 8ee1 a8d1ab14c725  me in munich with fish
added over 4 years ago

I used to swear by Crocs--I wore them every day and found them to be super comfortable and easy to clean. I worked in a cheese kitchen, so the ability to kick off my outdoor Crocs and step into my cheese kitchen Crocs was an added bonus.
Then, when I started working in a bakery, I moved on to Dansko clogs. Also very comfortable, if a bit heavy.
Now, since I work from my home kitchen, I wear Chacos and risk injury. I've always been careful in the kitchen, and I'm rarely in such as hurry as to spill or drop knives, although ChefJune is right that it's probably a hazard. However, I stay on my feet all the time and find that wearing these shoes prevents backaches.

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added over 4 years ago

Wow, thanks for all of the great recommendations and advice! I really appreciate it. This is such a great community :) I think I am going to look into getting the gel mats and trying to sit more. I have a pair of Crocs, but they are packed away in the States. I live in Denmark, so finding a pair of Dansko clogs should be pretty easy (Dansko is a Danish abbreviation for 'Danish shoes'). Happy cooking to all!

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Pegeen

Pegeen is a trusted home cook.

added over 4 years ago

They do make gel mat shoes! You can buy slip-ins just about anywhere (they're fine but won't last too long) or make a small, very worthy investment and see a podiatrist to get fitted for gel orthotics to slip into your shoes. You don't have to have "foot problems" to get them - just being on your feet for hours is reason enough.

609271d6 306e 4b3e 8479 9d404fb84e73  moi 1
QueenSashy

QueenSashy is a trusted home cook.

added over 4 years ago

Birkenstoks. But I have flat feet.