Anyone that has worked in a service industry job understands that being on your feet for a majority of the day can be tough. You might feel like you’ve run a half-marathon depending on how large your section of tables could be. For those that run room service, you might also be tasked with pushing a heavy cart of food. Finding the right shoes is necessary so you can work in comfort and reduce the damage done to the body due to improper footwear.
The danger of slipping at any restaurant exists which servers, waiters, and waitresses are all aware of. Most of these service professionals worry less about the fall and more about the potentially scolding food that could burn them. Working long hours can result in making a great living but putting in the hours is required. Management is not going to give weekend shifts to those that never cover or work slow lunch shifts during the week.
Feet differ with some in the service industry having wide feet, others have narrow feet, and even others have flat feet. Take this into consideration when you are looking for the best shoes for your job. Below are some of the best shoes for those in the service industry to allow for comfort, safety, and less pain after long shifts.
Table of Contents
- List and Reviews of Best Restaurant Shoes for Waiters, Waitresses, and Servers
- Skechers Ghenter-Bronaugh
- Skechers Sure Track Trickel
- Skechers Flex Advantage Mcallen Food Service Shoe
- Skechers Eldred
- Crocs Mercy
- Dansko Professional Clog
- Alegria Women’s Classic Clog
- Skechers Felton Relaxed-Fit
- Merrell Encore Gust
- Crocs Unisex On The Clock
- Skechers Oxford Sneaker
- Skechers Soft Stride-Softie
List and Reviews of Best Restaurant Shoes for Waiters, Waitresses, and Servers
Skechers has been providing quality footwear for decades with a myriad of shoes designed for comfort. Opting for this brand means that you will receive a quality shoe at an affordable price. Skechers is not going to markup shoes immensely as they value their customer’s dedication to their brand. This will be one of the many Skechers shoes that are found on top shoes for a variety of professionals.
Most restaurants do not want their waiters or waitresses in flashy shoes especially if it is a luxury establishment. The Skechers Ghenter-Bronaugh are a staple of the brand that is affordable while simple and high-quality. This model of shoe can allow your feet to stay covered while being comfortable/relaxed simultaneously. Regardless of foot shape, this shoe will mold to the foot even for buyers that have less than regular feet.
The shoes allow for the feet to breathe to help reduce any type of sweating. The lightweight feature of this pair of shoes makes it perfect for a person working a shift that is severely understaffed. These are water-resistant which is essential when working in a restaurant. The shoe can be durable with other spills but cleaning them is important as sodas or alcohols can have chemicals with corrosive properties.
The outsole prevents slippage but this does not mean you should not still be careful. The shoes will reduce the shock felt from each step making them great for a shift of any length.
Heel pain is a constant for some female servers and servers of all genders. The Skechers Sure Track Trickel offers an incredible comfort due to being sized perfectly. The support that your heel receives is apparent when walking in these shoes even a single time. A drawback is that the shoes and look as well as feel bulky at times. The added material is included for extra support and comfort for active lifestyles/professions but the shoe is still lightweight.
The style could be lacking but as a server, there will not be many customers looking at your footwear in a way that will impact your tip. Slipping in these shoes becomes much more difficult when compared to shoes with less tread. You understand if you have wide feet how difficult it can be to find a pair of shoes that accommodate this. These shoes are great for wide feet so blisters due to narrow shoes will be eliminated with this purchase.
These do lack a waterproof nature which can lead the shoe to have a much shorter lifespan than other shoes made by the brand.
Servers use this shoe and so do people like delivery drivers or those working in a warehouse. All of these roles require a durable shoe that is also versatile in order to complete their daily duties. The material is a fabric that gives the Flex Advantage model great grades in terms of being lightweight. The pair of shoes is resistant to both water and oil as spills do happen in all establishments from a bar to that of a hospital.
Your feet will not overheat in these due to the fabric having a breathable quality. The shoes might not be the best for people unloading trucks of produce which is a task at some establishments as they could fall off. Memory foam and a Flexsole to absorb shock while walking will allow your foot to be comfortable and avoid strain.
The outsole is great for traction to help reduce instances of slipping. Different environments will impact how long the shoe lasts for though which is true for nearly all footwear. These are slip-on which provides incredible convenience. Taking off shoes for a few moments during a slower part of a shift can allow your feet to truly breathe.
As you can see Skechers continually shows up on the list as they make sure for various professionals and lifestyles alike. Comfort is amazing in these shoes and allows for easy walking for long periods of time. The sole adds a little more pep in your step while allowing for traction even when dealing with ice. The Relaxed Fit aspect of this shoe is common among other models that this brand produces.
With a longer tongue, it can help reduce getting dirt into the shoes or any type of water/soda/beer. These even have a design that keeps them safe in the case of some kind of electrical accident. The memory foam that is included will reduce the need for insoles due to a shoe being uncomfortable.
The durability of this shoe is great considering it is lightweight along with versatile.
Crocs have become synonymous with comfort although their reputation in some circles is not stellar. The truth is that these shoes might not be the best option for a fine dining establishment. These are great for the person that has wide feet and always seems to get shoes that are too narrow leading to blisters. The heel strap allows for support and reduces the chances of the Crocs slipping off.
You should still think about wearing socks as the strap could rub your heel raw. These also have a decent resistance to slipping which is ever important as a server.
The Dansko Professional Clog stands out from many of the shoes on this list due to its amazing style. The clogs have even earned awards due to their assistance with foot health. These are geared towards females although anyone can truly feel the comfort they provide when worn. Socks should be worn with clogs to reduce blisters and potential smell from sweaty feet.
The ability to wear these shoes for a night out and at work scream versatility. You might slide in these if you do not pick the right size so make sure to try these on in-store.
The Alegria Classic Clog is incredible in the fact that the different patterns and colors make the shoe versatile. You could have one pair of these for your fine dining job or go out dancing in a brightly colored outfit. Memory foam is in this clog so most foot types will be accommodated. For anyone that has worn clogs that were the wrong size or a poor fit, you understand the pain that is associated with this.
The sole is soft which allows for comfortable walking along with the support that clogs offer. The clog has been shown to reduce pain from Plantar Fasciitis which for those that suffer from this understand how painful it is.
For those that are running food directly from the kitchen instead of a window, these Skechers Felton shoes cannot be beaten. Slippery surfaces are easily traveled on with this shoe along with comfort to stand for extended periods. The shoe might lack in breathability but the Relaxed Fit allows the shoe to fit to a specific foot. Due to the extended tongue, a person can wear larger sizes without the foot being unstable.
You will be able to wear these for long periods with your feet being relaxed rather than constantly under duress. The shoe is also water-resistant and can easily be cleaned. Leather material makes this a durable option for those people working long hours day after day.
Being able to slip into shoes does provide great convenience which is apparent with the Merrell Encore Gust shoes. For those servers that desire comfort but do not want to sacrifice style, this could be the pair of shoes for you! The drawback can be that these shoes do run narrow so those with wide fit should look elsewhere. The stylish look is just an added bonus as these shoes do provide true comfort on the toughest of days serving.
These are easy to break in and are as durable as shoes come. Take the time to try these on in-store as you might have a wider foot than you have realized.
Crocs are seen by some as the worst fashion statement that can be made but those that wear the brand swear by the comfort of the products. Crocs Unisex on The Clock allows you to slip on your foot into the shoe easily. The actual design is for people that are on their feet all day like servers or those that work at retail stores.
These slip on your foot easily and feature a thicker rubber to help reduce shock from each step and provide support. Most slip-on shoes do not provide arch support like these do. These Crocs are made from foam from a proprietary blend that the company has kept anonymous. Not only will your arches be supported but they are also lightweight so you can reduce fatigue when running orders.
Skechers makes the list yet again due to their dedication to those that are constantly on their feet or walking for their job. You will rarely see a Skechers shoe that does not provide quality and have a specific use in mind. The odds of slipping plummet with this shoe and they are resistant to oil which is perfect for servers that need to traverse a dirty kitchen.
There is memory foam in the shoe but it comes as part of the shoe so putting in a different insole is difficult or even impossible. With this pair of shoes, you will not have to guess your size by the brand as the company sizes their shoes consistently. These are also lightweight and can be worn even if you work shifts at multiple establishments during the day/night.
Leather makes the Skechers Soft Stride a great option as this material screams durability and longevity. For those that constantly work hectic shifts without slowing down, this will be a great option for you. Due to the material, this shoe is a bit heavier than other shoes on this buyer’s guide but what it adds in weight it also adds in lifespan. The shoes offer space for the foot while simultaneously providing support an active foot requires.
This shoe like the other Skechers shoes on this list are great for slippery surfaces. The comfort is not lacking as there is actually memory foam inside of the shoes. Memory foam is what some of the best pillows on the market are made of so this could be seen as walking on a pillow in shoe form.
Being on your feet during a double can lead to pain in the back, knees, and feet. Picking the right shoe will help you immensely when it comes to function and comfort. You do not want to be sidelined from work due to slipping either as not all customers are considerate enough to let you know something has spilled. The service industry can be exciting along with profitable for those that land great jobs at high-end restaurants.
Being able to show up to each table with a smile instead of limping through your shift is imperative. You want to maximize your income on a nightly basis and a positive attitude can do just that. Regulars that come to the restaurant and request you can allow you to stabilize income weekly. These regulars usually tip far better than one-time customers so make sure to reward them with extras or an app that another server put in for that was incorrect.
The shoes that you pick are also going to have to go along with the dress code of your employer. You want to be able to work in comfort and thrive during a double shift rather than dread what your body will feel like after. Write out the important features of a shoe that provides everything that you need. Shop online to get the best prices possible but it might be necessary to try a pair on in a traditional store.