Anyone who thinks restaurant work is easy has clearly never worked in a restaurant.
As a former bartender, server, and cater waiter, I’m still haunted by the memories of spending long periods of time on my feet.
Not only was I constantly side stepping safety hazards, like broken dishes, hot oil, and wet floors, but working a whole day on hard surfaces was murder on my feet and back.
(And don’t even get me started on the crappy tippers.)
Needless to say, having the right footwear wasn’t just essential, it was a life saver.
With that in mind, I’ve compiled a list of the best restaurant work shoes for avoiding sore feet and serious injuries, because let’s face it, the last thing you need is foot pain or a sprained ankle making you miss a shift.
Whether you work as a food server in the dining room or a chef in the back of the house, this post will make finding the right shoes easier than washing dishes.
The (Absolute) Best Non Slip Shoes for Servers
Rounding Up the Best Slip-Resistant Shoes for Restaurant Workers
Overall Best Non-Slip Shoes for Restaurants ↓
- 4.7 Stars
- 1,239 Reviews
For restaurant workers who spend long shifts on their feet, the Snibbs Spacecloud Work Sneakers are a life saver (or should we say, feet saver?).
These durable and supportive sneakers are one of our top picks for two main reasons.
One: They’re safe.
The slip-resistant sole provides much-needed traction to keep you safe on slippery surfaces, while the water-resistant upper makes wiping off spills a breeze.
And two: They’re comfortable.
A combination of high-quality vegan materials and a custom-formulated Ortholite® insole help make those double shifts a little less painful.
(And an extra wide toe box leaves plenty of wiggle room for the inevitable swelling.)
The fact that they look like stylish everyday sneakers and are available in a variety of colors is just the cherry on top of the proverbial sundae.
I work at a restaurant and work 50+ hours a week, and these shoes have literally saved my feet!
They’re so comfortable and completely water proof. They also last a long time!
– Dana G.
- 4.3 Stars
- 1,209 Reviews
If you’re not into the lace-up design, then you can’t go wrong with a clog.
Pennsylvania-based shoe company Dansko has specialized in making high quality clogs since 1990, and their iconic XP line is a well-known favorite among those who work long hours on their feet.
According to the company’s website, Dansko shoes are “for people who strive to get the most from life”.
But why clogs? Glad you asked.
Clogs have long been ubiquitous in the service and medical industries because they provide the balance, great arch support, and protection that you’re looking for in good quality restaurant shoes.
Dansko’s XP clogs take these benefits to the next level with a padded instep for comfort, as well as extra shock absorption, an anti-fatigue rocker bottom, and a slip-resistant rubber sole.
They may not be the epitome of style, but when it comes to the best restaurant shoes, comfort is king.
30 years in the kitchen, best clogs ever.
– Sam Brachman
- 4.5 Stars
- 50,423 Reviews
Perhaps the most famous brand of clogs (OK, maybe more like infamous), Crocs has sold more than 850 million pairs since the company launched in 2002.
While Crocs’ aesthetic has been polarizing in the fashion world, the restaurant industry has embraced them as a favorite brand of footwear among kitchen staff.
In fact, their Bistro Clog was designed specifically for workers in the food service industry who work long shifts in slippery conditions.
These shoes have all the comfort of regular Crocs, but with ASTM F 2913 certified slip-resistant treads (that’s the official standard for slip-resistant footwear in the United States).
They’re also a fraction of the price of other brands of clogs, so you can hang on to those hard-earned tips and still get a quality — and safe — work shoe.
These shoes take the pressure off of feet, back, hips and I hardly notice that I’ve been standing all day. Drastic difference in my work mood too, being more comfortable.
– Jenelle P
- 4.1 Stars
- 3,211 Reviews
Birkenstock has been a trusted name in the world of shoes for well over a century, so it’s no surprise that their grease-resistant clog is one of the best kitchen shoes on the market.
Designed with healthcare and service industry professionals in mind, the Birkenstock Super-Birki is made from water- and grease-resistant polyurethane to help prevent slips and falls.
Polyurethane can be washed in water as hot as 60° celsius, so disinfecting them after a shift is a breeze (good hygiene is crucial in this business).
Plus, you’re getting Birkenstock’s legendary anatomically shaped cork footbed for ultimate support and comfort.
Sweet kitchen shoe. Takes a couple days to break in. Great for overall restaurant operations
– Butt B. Butt
- 4.4 Stars
- 8,740 Reviews
If you’re more of a sneaker guy, the Shoes for Crews Freestyle II has all the all day comfort of an athletic shoe, but with the safety features of a work shoe.
Like all of Shoes for Crews footwear, these shoes are equipped with slip-resistant outsoles and large lug patterns for better grip and stability, as well as water-repellent uppers to keep you safe and dry in slippery conditions.
And you can’t beat the price:
While comparable styles at major brands go for around $120, these are a steal at just $45.
(At that price, why not get a second pair as a backup?)
This work shoe is perfect for someone who is on their feet for the entire work shift. Good arch support and fits as described.
– Hockey Fan
- 4.1 Stars
- 987 Reviews
For people who prefer the ease of slip-on shoes, the Avi-Flame from Avia is an affordable clog-style shoe designed for food service workers.
Like many of the shoes on this list, the most important things to note are the safety features, like oil- and slip-resistant technology and water-resistant uppers for easy clean-up.
As for the other most important thing, comfort, the interiors boast an anatomical footbed and molded foam sock for hours (and hours) of stability and support.
Note that you might have to break these in before you go to your next shift — a few reviewers mentioned they were initially very stiff.
Perfect work shoes, super comfortable and easy to slide on.
- 4.2 Stars
- 929 Reviews
There are few brands as synonymous with foot care as Dr. Sholl’s.
After all, he’s the guy responsible for the famously comfortable Exercise Sandal.
So it should come as no surprise that they offer a slip-resistant work shoe with all the comfort and support they’re known for.
The interior includes a memory-foam insole, a breathable vented sock, and moisture-wicking and anti-microbial linings (aka, see ya smelly shoes).
As for the safety factor, you’re covered:
They boast oil- and slip-resistant Lock Step Outsole technology that meets industry standards.
I have neuropathy in my feet so a good orthopedic shoe is a must. These fit the bill. The price is very good, they look good and my feet feel fine in them.
– John Bauder
- 4.4 Stars
- 7,545 Reviews
If there’s one thing Skechers does really, really well, it’s comfort.
In fact, it’s one of the main reasons the company went from mediocre to one of the top sneaker brands in America.
Their Nampa SR food service shoe delivers Skechers’ trademark comfort along with the safety features you need for a long day at the restaurant:
It has a slip-resistant rubber outsole, along with an easy-to-clean synthetic upper and electrical hazard protection.
Quick tip: The fit is reportedly narrow, so it’s a good idea to go up a half size or get the wide option.
I work in a high volume kitchen, so I go thru many non slip shoes. I just received these yesterday…. wore at work all day today and I am impressed. They are light and comfortable and the memory foam truly helps. I would definitely recommend to anyone that works in the food industry and needs good, no slip shoes.
– Chris Smith
- 4.5 Stars
- 22,908 Reviews
Another style of slip resistant shoes from Skechers, this slip-on sneaker is a favorite among restaurant servers and chefs.
It has all the comfort and safety features of the Nampa, but with a mesh upper instead of polyurethane.
The good thing about the fabric is it makes for more breathable shoes and a relaxed fit.
The downside is it’s not waterproof so some reviewers recommended spraying them with a water-repellent fabric seal to help keep your feet dry.
I wear these shoes 5 days and 40+ hours a week in a fast food restaurant. They work very well and wear a long time before needing replacement.
– Jeff B
- 4.4 Stars
- 10 Reviews
Another great option for sneakerheads, the New Balance Arishi V4 is a shoe you can wear just about anywhere.
The durable rubber sole and extra foam cushioning make these a great pair of work shoes, but they’re still stylish enough for everyday wear.
They’re available in extra wide, which is good news for guys with wider feet or who are prone to swelling and (dare we say) bunions.
This shoe is so comfortable as soon as you put it on. Don’t have to break it in or anything and several weeks of working 10 hour days where I’m walking or standing most of the day they still look and feel the exact same.
– Joseph Torrence
- 4.5 Stars
- 515 Reviews
Whether you’re running an actual marathon or it just feels like you are, the HOKA Clifton 8’s comfortable footbed will make each step smooth and easy.
The most important feature here is the proprietary early stage meta rocker (i.e. the placement of the curved sole), which is designed to reduce the pressure on your foot as you land.
Plus, the deep protective cushioning is great for people with plantar fasciitis and heel pain.
But you don’t have to take our word for it:
These sneaks got the seal of approval from the American Podiatric Medical Association.
Most comfortable shoes I’ve ever owned. I’m on my feet a lot and these are the best shoes I’ve had. Has definitely made my feet feel better.
– Frankie Wright
The Best of the Rest ↓
When it comes to proper footwear for working in restaurants, the selection of shoes above contains some great options.
But it’s just a handful of what’s available in safe shoes on the market, which is why we’ve included these bonus options below, each of which offers slip resistance and comfort.
- 4.5 Stars
- 15,313 Reviews
Great confident comfortable shoe. I work 12 to 16 hour long shifts. They are great all day. Looks good too.
– James H.
- 4.5 Stars
- 235 Reviews
Great work shoe especially in a restaurant setting. Love this shoe for the non skid factor and being water resistant. Good comfort for long days standing.
– Teresa Morrow
- 4.3 Stars
- 480 Reviews
These are my go-to work shoes. They are easy to care for, look great, and won’t fall apart. I’m on my third pair in 10 years.
– Jason Adams
- 4.3 Stars
- 761 Reviews
These are by very very far the best working restaurant shoes I’ve owned. Over the years I’ve purchased a variety of nonslip “restaurant” shoes. These are the only shoes that are truly slip resistant or in my experience “slip proof”.
- 3.9 Stars
- 1,801 Reviews
The shoes aren’t your typical slip on. They have a nice grip without being tight or uncomfortable and the memory foam is the bees knees! Great support for a server who works doubles.
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