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Non-Slippin In The Kitchen (updated)

Review's For Restaurant Workwear

Hey there, fellow F&B’rs! “Non-Slippin’ in the Kitchen” is all about real-deal, no-BS reviews of workwear that we’ve actually worn and tested on the job.

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Dr Sholls Work1

Dr Sholls Work1 | Image by Dr Sholls Work1

Okay, gang, it is time to talk insoles.

There are hundreds of different types of insoles for all of your feet, legs, and even back pain out there.

Adding insoles to your workwear arsenal is a great tool to fight years of abuse that we all endure.

They’re not just for your dad’s orthopedic shoes anymore. You can easily and cheaply save money on future medical bills and quality of life.

Who knew there was such a thing?

The entry-level Dr. Scholl’s “Work “insoles are a great benchmark.

Which, just like the bourbon, offers good entry quality for an even greater price.

Everyone has heard of Dr. Scholls and are readily available.

A quick trip to the drugstore around the corner on your way into your shift can reward you with a pair of theses.

They are very easy to trim to the shape of the inside of your shoe.

All you need are a pair of scissors and in minutes you have an extra layer of protection. Be careful not to trim too much.

 

Dr Sholls 3

Dr Sholls 3 | Image by Dr Sholls

I noticed the sizing marks showing where to cut are different than what my actual shoe size is.

Trim a little off at a time and test fit so get the perfect fit. These do have gel construction and offer a limited amount of cushion.

I noticed less knee pain and back pain within a week or so. They do limit space in your shoe so think about that when sizing your shoe.

I noticed my feet are a little warmer too.

If you have very oddly shaped feet or a weird stance or a different stride you might have to get something with deeper cushioning.

I think these are a well-priced addition to add another layer of protection.

The insoles can definitely bridge the gap of having a cheaper shoe as well.

While these insoles might not make you feel like you’re walking on air, they offer a basic level of comfort that earns a solid 15% tip

Tredsafe

Tredsafe | Image by Tredsafe non-slip

Tredsafe Unisex Ric Slip Resistant Shoes

 

Walmart Tredsafe Shoes. I was pretty excited when I first saw this shoe. You know what? It looked pretty good. Walmart designed this shoe with crisp, clear lines in the matte black slip-on loafer classic restaurant worker shoe.

They look comfortable, and the price tag is great too (about $30). So I put them on. They are a little narrow for my feet but they look great. One shift in this pair showed me it could handle everything that was thrown at it. Non-slip is truly non-slip, no ice skating around.

There is zero wear-in period and they mold into your feet instantly and I had no blisters. I felt confident weaving through the crowd with full martinis in hand.

I thought we found the perfect shoe.

Then things went south. After working three shifts in a row and wearing them continuously, I started to notice a little pain in my kneecaps. Nothing new. Eight years of working in a restaurant with the kitchen on the first floor and the dining rooms on the second will bring pain in places that you didn’t know you had.

But by the end of my work week, I could barely get up and down the stairs. It was the shoes. While most shoes we have reviewed either have a foam-style sole of the shoe or an insert, the Walmart pair is solid through and through.

This lack of support and suspension wreaks havoc on your joints because they are taking the full impact of every step you take. When you take 15,000 steps in a shift, that’s some serious damage. Here is the takeaway. This pair is a steal for how it looks and performs on a shift-by-shift experience. 

Tredsafe Soles

Tredsafe Soles | Image by Tredsafe Soles

The look and style belong to both the back and front of the house. But take care of your body kids. I would try to stay away from this shoe unless your budget is pretty tight.

The twenty-somethings in your first restaurant gig can probably handle it. But for the old-timers, if you need a backup pair or just something to get you by in a pinch, buy them and throw them in your trunk for a rainy day. If this pair is going to be your daily driver I would suggest an insole, but that mitigates the whole point of a low-cost shoe. Overall I give these an %18 tip. 

Skechers Men’s Nampa Groton

Skechers Men’s Nampa Groton | Image by Skechers

Skechers Men’s Nampa-Groton 

 

The Skechers Men’s Nampa-Groton Food Service Shoe has been my go-to front-of-house shoe for years. This shoe is non-slip, easy to slip on, and easy to kick off at 3 in the morning.

What I love about the shoe is that it’s comfortable and I feel secure running up and down flights of stairs. I’m not worried about walking across a greasy kitchen floor, slipping on fry oil, and busting ass at the end of the night trying to leave.

The ease of wear and comfort these shoes offer are simply remarkable. Sometimes I do find myself wearing them to the grocery store on my day off when I’m too hungover to bend over and tie my shoes.

Skechers Men’s Nampa Groton Soles

Skechers Men’s Nampa Groton Soles | Image by Skechers

The Skechers are unassuming and plain shoes but do carry a faux leather look. Working at a semi-fine dining establishment, I think they would do well at the local dive, all the way to some of America’s great steakhouses. It should be known they do wear out a little faster than others so be prepared to buy more often in a high-traffic environment. Overall, I give these shoes a %35 tip .

 

Klogs Footwear Bistro Men’s Shoes US

Bistro

Klogs/Bistro | Image by Klogs

The Klogs Brand is an American-made shoe company with the service industries at heart. When I saw this shoe for the first time, I could see every line cook from a sports bar tossing wings to the French Laundry Plating with tweezers wearing this shoe. It has that classic, unibody flat matte look that protects your feet from wet dishwater.

This shoe has a unique polyurethane-type outer sole and removable polyurethane insole to keep your feet from slipping. It felt great to walk on and stand for long hours behind a hotline. I would probably stay away from stairs and a lot of quick dodging of inebriated guests seeing that it’s a little more rigid and less secure around the heel.

 

Boca Bottom 25147

Kolgs Bottom |

The shoe does tend to run a little big. The company explains in its online videos that the extra room is to allow the foot to swell after standing for a long period. Be prepared to try them on before committing to that night’s service. Overall a 25% tip.  A great back-of-house shoe option.