Best Slip Resistant Shoes for Chefs and Servers (Nike reviewed!)

(Last Update 9/30/2017)     

Are you one of the many food soldiers who carry out the most important work in the food services sector?

If you are, then you’re not oblivious to the hazards that come with the job.

Accidents like slips and falls may happen whether you’re working in a food shack, coffee shop, bar or even in a fine dining restaurant. Such mishaps should be prevented as it could lead to serious, if not career ending, injuries.​

It is for this reason why your peers in the service industry see the importance of wearing footwear adapted to your work environment.

Let's find out what are the best slip resistant shoes for food service workers.

How do you know if a shoe is non-slip?

Working in a fast-paced environment is not a stroll in the park. The entire workplace is actually a ‘minefield’ for all food service workers stationed in the kitchen or elsewhere.

There are mines that cause the common accidents such as slips, trips, skids, slides, and falls. The mines come in the form of cooking oil slicks, water spills, food dregs, uneven floor surfaces and much more. The risks to your well-being are ever-present so wearing anti-slip shoes can diminish or eliminate the dangers.

Restaurant Wet Floor Sign

What does slip resistance mean?

Is slip-resistant and oil-resistant the same?

      What characteristics do you look for in non-slip shoes?

They’re primarily “safety’ shoes. You can confidently move around knowing you won’t slip or fall just that easily. The "no-slip" shoes in effect take good care of you while you cope with the dizzying pace of your work.

  • Outsole Pattern
  • Tread
  • Materials
  • Style

Inspect the tread design next. The tread design is equally important as it should complement the outsole pattern. The tread of a non-skid sole is designed to give you better traction when you slide across a wet floor.

If your work entails frequent walking or running, the tread grips to the ground. The tread material is what makes the shoes extra resistance against slips or falls. High-grade rubber, for example, grips firmly on greasy surfaces and provides tougher traction.

You should also be particular about the grooves or lugs of the tread. Smaller lugs have better slip resistance qualities. The spaces between the tread should be sufficient to funnel any liquid substance trapped beneath your sole to the outer ends of the outsole.

Does Nike make slip resistant shoes for work?

Nike may be one of the world’s most recognizable brands in leisure and training shoes, but the short answer here is “no”. Nike do not create shoes suitable for the workplace.

Nike specializes in high-quality sneakers designed for the sportsperson. And while their wide range of designs and innovations cater perfectly to the sporting market, they don’t necessarily meet with the demands of the workplace. 

Does nike make slip-resistant shoes for work?

Sure, they have anti-slip soles, but they’re designed for the baseball court, not the kitchen where the floor is likely to get greasy.

Are Nike Air Huarache non-slip?

Are Nike Roshes non-slip?

How about other popular sneakers brands?

Best Non-Slip Shoes Brands

The label “slip resistant’ shoes can be misleading or disorienting at times. Some shoe companies apply the label as an advertising ploy to attract buyers who are in the market for no slip shoes. In truth, it’s more than the label.

Chefs and waiting staff often choose different shoes to suit the demands of their individual roles.

Waiting staff do a LOT of walking, while chefs tend to stand in a smaller area for long periods and whilst they’re hardly sedentary, they don’t clock up the mileage like a waiter. So it stands to reason that their shoe requirements are going to be different.

The brands favoured by chefs tend to be Crocs, Vans, Birkenstock and Mozo. Comfort for standing for long periods is needed for the chef, so the clog-style shoe is popular.

The waiter needs a snuggly fitting, comfortable and supportive shoe for walking long distances. Shoes need to fit perfectly and be ready for action from new.

Vans

The famous sneaker brand Vans has introduced a “Kitchen Shoe Program” for restaurant industry professionals. The program aims to develop kitchen-proof sneakers to add to their product lines.

They partnered with two prominent restaurant owners to assist in the development of the sneakers for the use of food service workers.

If plans do not miscarry, the kitchen and service crews of the two restaurants will soon be wearing the first batch of Vans’ work sneakers.

vans kitchen shoes

Image via Complex.com

Vans also collaborated with another well-known chef to help re-design their classic slip-on and convert them to work shoes.

Skechers

Skechers make work shoes that meet a plethora of safety standards so they’re a great choice for hazardous walking surfaces.

They’ve created a range of shoes specifically for male and female workers in the catering industry, with comfortable, breathable materials and non-skid soles.

Women, in general, love Skechers because of their robust comfort and practical style.

Shoes For Crews

Shoes For Crews make anti-slip shoes and boots for the worker.

With a wide range of award-winning anti-slip soles, they serve everyone from the high-end waiter with a classic dress shoe, the more casual trainer-style work shoe for the busy bistro waiter and the clog style particularly favoured by chefs.

Meeting a wide range of safety standards, Shoes For Crews offer great traction on all types of wet and greasy floors.

Merrell

Merrell are a brand that are immediately associated with robust footwear favoured by walkers (not The Walking Dead kind, mind!) and workers alike.

Merrell shoes provide amazing comfort and durability with a combination of innovative cushioning materials and amazingly reliable non-skid soles.

If shoes are suitable for a hiker, they’re certainly suitable for the waitresses. With a patented “Back-Up Bed” to give the footwear some extra life, these are shoes that are worth the price tag.

KEEN’S & Crocs

Keen make great, light-weight shoes with some heavy-weight features. Incorporating steel-toe caps to protect the feet from dropped plates and kicked swing doors, their anti-slip soles keep you on your feet, rather than on your butt!

With a slip-on clog-style range favoured by chefs, and a sneaker style for waiting staff, Keen are a name that many catering professionals have come to rely on.

The clogs of Crocs are not far behind and easily becoming one of the best protective footwear of tireless chefs.

Fila

Fila are a brand synonymous with 80s hip hop, so there’s no surprise that they sport a range of work shoes on the funkier side of things.

But style aside, the Fila work shoe range offers great slip resistance, brilliant durability and will probably stand up to the odd caterpillar in a 80s style dance-off.

Many catering professionals swear by Fila work shoes. More for the servers than the chef, Fila offer a perfect balance of comfort, safety and style.

Versatile Work Shoes

If you are looking for versatility and not specific to the kitchen, there are more choices from other well-known brands.

The brands that offer decent anti slip shoes are Annte Shoes, Dockers, Dr. Martens, Dr. Scholl’s, Ryka, safeTstep & Townforst.

Top Picks for Women

Image

Name

Material

Outsole

Price

Editor Rating

Leather

Synthetic

$$

5/5

Leather

Synt​​​​hetic 

$$

4.5/5

Leather

Rubber

$$

4/5

Leather

Textile

Synthetic

Rubber

$$

4.5/5

Canvas

Synthetic

$

4/5

Synthetic

Synthetic

$$

4.5/5

Leather 

Rubber

$

4/5

1. Skechers for Work Sure Track Trickel Slip Resistant Shoe - ​Best Restaurant Shoes for Women

Skechers Sure Track Trickle owns the distinction of being the most comfortable anti-slip shoes for women. The shoes provide all-day comfort flow at work and commuting to and from work.

What We Like

- Non-slip rubber traction outsole
- Excellent arch support
- Lace up slip with padđe collar and tongue
- Perforated side mini panels for constant airflow

What We Don't Like

- Shoe soles a bit hard and not as flexible

What We Like

  • Excellent arch support
  • Lace up slip with padded collar and tongue
  • Perforated side mini panels for constant airflow

What We Don't Like

  • Shoe soles a bit hard and not as flexible

Skechers for Work Women's Eldred is heralded as one of the best black waitress shoes  you’ll ever find. Excellent shoes for bartending duties too.

What We Like

- Non-slip sole works well on all floor surfaces
- Memory foam privides total comfort even on extended work hours
- Can withstand daily abuse

What We Don't Like

Memory foam insole flattens

What We Like

  • Memory foam provides total comfort even on extended work hours
  • Can withstand daily abuse

What We Don't Like

  • Memory foam insole flattens
  • Appear to wears and fast

Skechers for Work Women's Soft Stride-Softie Lace-Up is preferred by the energetic lady worker. Designed for the active woman whose work entails long hours of standing.

What We Like
- Slip resistant with athletic
- Perforated paneling for breathability
- Feet feel wrapped in clouds due to memory foam

What We Don't Like
- Bulky, thick non-slip label at the top of tongue is a nuisance while tying
- Lace eyelets prone to breakage

What We Like

  • Athletic cushion and comfort
  • Perforated paneling for breathability
  • Feet feel wrapped in clouds due to memory foam

What We Don't Like

  • Bulky, thick noon-slip label at the top of tongue is a nuisance while typing
  • Lace eyelets prone to breakage

4. Fila Women's Memory Fresh Star  - Best For Shoes Servers

The Fila Women's Memory Fresh Start is not your typical black and white anti-slip shoes. The vibrant colors add a trendy feel. Terrific no slide shoes especially in a frenzied work atmosphere.

What We Like
- Super soft and lightweight
- Upper-synthetic leather for support
-Nylon mesh for breathability
- Midsole-ethylene vinyl acetate absorbs road shocks

What We Don't Like
- Lools like plastic
- Short shoe laces

What We Like

  • Super soft and lighweight
  • Upper-synthetic leather for support
  • Nylon mesh for breathability
  • Midsole-ethylene vinyl acetate absorbs road shocks

What We Don't Like

  • Looks like plastic
  • Short shoe laces

5. Dr. Martens Women's Soho - "Stylish Over Performing"

Dr. Martens Women's Soho Shoe is known for its air-cushioned sole and constructed with the safety and comfort of the working girl in mind. The canvas material is what makes it durable and flexible.

What We Like
- Near-perfect cushion that guarantees almost ache-free feet
- Practical for daily wear
- Sturdy and neatly constructed

What We Don't Like
- Hard soles
- Not best for wide feet

What We Like

  • Near-perfect cushion that guarantees almost ache-free feet
  • Practical for daily wear
  • Sturdy and neatly constructed

What We Don't Like

  • Hard soles
  • Not best for wide feet

Top Picks for Men

Image

Name

Material

Outsole

Price

Editor Rating

Lea​ther

Rubber  

$

5/5

Polyurethane

Synthetic 

$$$

4/5

Leather

Rubber

$

4/5

Leather

Rubber

$

4/5

Leather

Synthetic

$$

4.5/5

Synthetic

Synthetic

$$

4.5/5

Synthetic

Rubber

$$

4/5

Skechers for Work Men's Flex Advantage Mcallen is the best shoes for servers whether you’re the chef, a kitchen crew, and a server or waiter. The appearance is not flashy but will pass up as casual shoes. They’re comfortable, breathable and light. It gives total support for long hours of productive work.

What We Like
- Tested slip resistant rubber traction sole
- Insulated against electrical hazards
- Layered durable mesh for support with breathability
- Dual side elastic fabric panels for easy slip on fit
- Full-length memory foam insole

What We Don't Like
- Very light but no protection from falling heavy objects
- Waterproof but not water and stain repellent

What We Like

  • Tested rubber traction sole
  • Insulated against electrical hazards
  • Layered durable mesh for support with breathability
  • Dual side elastic fabric panels for easy slip on fit
  • Full-length memory foam insole

What We Don't Like

  • Very light but no protection from falling heavy objects
  • Waterproof but not water and stain repellent

2. KEEN’s Utility Men's PTC Oxford - Best Shoes For Waiters

KEEN’s Utility Men's PTC Oxford Work Shoe is a “no break in” shoe that you hit the ground running when you wear it. It has a snug fit that literally cradles your feet while you’re doing your important tasks. This is regarded as the best kitchen shoes.

What We Like
- Best for chef and kitchen crew
- Pliable leather uppers
- Totally slip-proof tread

What We Don't Like
- Wide shoes so actual fitting is necessary

What We Like

  • Best for chef and kitchen crew
  • Pliable leather uppers
  • Totally slip-proof tread

What We Don't Like

  • Wide shoes so actual fitting is necessary

The Skechers for Work Men's 76759 Soft Stride Galley Work Boot is rugged but gives top-notch comfort in your full day’s work. It’s built to last so you’ll get more mileage.

What We Like
- Pronation control
- Excellent arch support
- Good heel cushion

What We Don't Like
- Toe area and sides prone to fall apart after long use

What We Like

  • Pronation control
  • Excellent arch support
  • Good heel cushion

What We Don't Like

  • Toe area and sides prone to fall apart after long use

4. Crocs Unisex Bistro Batali Edition Clog - ​Best Kitchen Shoes for Men and Women

The Crocs Unisex Bistro Batali Edition Clog may not stand out in looks but excels in performance. You get value for your money.

What We Like
- Thick non-skid soles
- Easy slip on-off
- Dual function strap for shoe fit or slippers
- Lighter and ideal for speed walking

What We Don't Like
- Plastic material requires daily cleaning to remove odor
- Feet get hot in warm weather

What We Like

  • Thick non-skid soles
  • Easy slip on-off
  • Dual function strap for shoe fit or slippers
  • Lighter and ideal for speed walking

What We Don't Like

  • Plastic material requires daily cleaning to remove odor
  • Feet get hot in warm weather

5. KEEN Utility Men's PTC Slip On Work Shoe - Best Shoes For Chefs

The KEEN Utility Men's PTC Slip On Work Shoe is the perfect choice when you’re working long shifts. Formal looking shoes that will go well in any service environment.

What We Like
- Good traction and grips the ground really well
- Great stability and balance

What We Don't Like
- Not so durable insoles

What We Like

  • Good traction and grips the ground really well
  • Great stability and balance

What We Don't Like

  • Not so durable insoles

The Footnote

Food service workers are the ‘jewels’ in the food service industry. However, as a member of this elite workforce, you are exposed to hazards on a daily basis.

Running and rushing to serve your customers often lead to slips. There would be serious physical, mental, and financial implications if you’re not wearing the proper footwear. 

The anti-slip shoes for service workers are made to guard against those accidents. Take your pick and stay protected at work.

  • Updated November 17, 2017
Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments