We all know that being a chef can be tough. Being on your feet all day can be extremely tiring; mentally and physically. It's important to take care of your body whilst spending extended periods of time on your feet, so investing in a good pair of chef shoes is worth every penny. In our short list below, we have everything from the most comfortable chef shoes to the very sexiest shoes on the market (if that's your thing!).
The following list contains the best chef shoes from our testing. Every shoe on here is a solid choice, depending on your needs.
Our expert's rating
Detailed Chef Shoes Reviews
Skechers Balder Slip Resistant Work Clog
The Best For... Your Budget
These wide-fitting clogs are built for comfort, though you will have to wear them a few times to break them in. They are around the cheapest, quality pair of chef shoes you can buy on the market at the moment (please don't buy an unbranded pair from the interweb unless you want toe blisters!). They might not last forever, but for this price they are well worth the investment and will surely see you through the year.
Merrell Jungle Pro Grip Work Shoe
The Best For... Ultimate Comfort
The most comfy shoes on our list come with a huge range of great added features; the added organic odor control, patented Suregrip outsole and probably best of all is the Merrell air cushion, adding stability to the heel of the shoe and making them extremely shock resistant. If comfort is your primary concern with a new chef shoe, then these Merrells are the shoe for you.
Birkenstock Tokyo Super Grip Leather Work Shoe
The Best For... Staying Cool and Dry for the Whole Shift
These are some of my favorite shoes for working in the kitchen. They are available in both black and white for when your workpalce decides to change the uniforms back to black pants. There are less expensive brands of work shoes with a similar shape to fit challenging feet, but they are often made of plastic and do breathe. These are made of a nice, naturally breathable leather which lets you get through your full shift without soaking through your socks. As usual with Birks, the natural materials (leather and cork) take a little bit of time to break in. The "super grip" part of the "Tokyo super grip" is a non-skid sole which you'll appreciate.
Skechers Flex Advantage Mcallen Slip-On
The Best For... Mesh Fabric
These Skechers are the only entry on our list made with a mesh fabric around the toe. I know what you're thinking; what if I drop something heavy, or my chef's knife? Granted, these aren't going to offer you the greatest protection around the toe so they may not make the best chefs shoe if you're permanently in the kitchen. Though we had to include them in the list as their memory foam insole make them super comfy and a great option; as long as you're not always dropping knives on your feet, that is.
Birkenstock London Clog
The Best For... Those Who Want to Look Sexy Whilst Chopping the Onions
The most shoes expensive in our list, these Birkenstocks are as much a fashion statement as they are practical. Available in a few different colours, including an extremely lavish Habana Oiled Leather, they still provide all the customary features that we associate with the Birkenstock brand. With pronounced arch support, cork midsole and a handy adjustable buckle strap for getting that ideal fit.
Keen Utility PTC Slip-On Work Shoe
The Best For... Non-Slip
You can't really find KEEN PTC's much cheaper than the recommended retail price, and with good reason; they're a quality product. A relatively young brand, KEEN have stormed onto the footwear market over the past few years and are now a firm customer favourite. This is probably due to their extensive warranty service and confidence in all their product, none more evident than with their PTC slip ons. They meet all national non-slip testing standards, they have a luxurious memory foam footbed and are stain-resistant as well as water resistant. We can see KEEN going from strength to strength in coming years and becoming a major player in the footwear market.
Skechers Hartan Steel Toe Slip-On Shoe
The Best For... People Who Are Constantly Dropping Their Knife
To contrast the Skechers McCallen, they also have the Hartan, which is designed more for your protection (though in all honesty, it does sacrifice comfort for this to some degree). They're the heaviest shoe on our list (steel toe...duh!) but they still have a relaxed fit and cushioned insole. They might take a few wears to break in but once you've done that, they're some of the comfiest steel toe cap shoes around.
Birkenstock Professional Slip Resistant Work Shoe
The Best For... People Who Want to Whack Them in the Dishwasher After Their Shift
Birkenstock offer some of the highest quality shoes on the market right now, especially their range of chef shoes. They are more than double the price of the Skechers, but with good reason; each shoe serves a purpose. If you're looking for a shoe that will last you for a few years, then definitely look no further than the 'Birkie' professional. The soles are replaceable, meaning that after you extended use of them you can easily swap them out for new ones, maintaining the longevity of the shoe. What we love most about this shoe is its toughness and indestructibility; you can pop these in the dishwasher at the end of every shift with no concern for wear and tear.
Remember: Birkenstocks are pretty huge and they usually fit at least a size above your regular shoe size.
Crocs Bistro Clog
The Best For... A Loose Heel Fit
Crocs have taken a bit of a battering over recent years for their appearance; there's no doubt that these shoes are pretty damn <em>UGLY! </em>Though for all the abuse Crocs get, they still haven't declined too much in popularity, with everyone from Michelle Obama to little Prince George being snapped in their favourite pair of Crocs. Why? Because they're practical, easy to slip-on and almost indestructible, the likelihood is if you invest in a pair of Crocs you won't need to worry about getting another pair for a while. Aside from their fantastic non-slip 'Crocs Lock' tread, the heel strap makes these the only chef shoe in our list that gives your ankles room to breathe (and avoid those horrible heel blisters).