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Finding the Perfect Fit: A Guide to the Best Shoes for Food Service Professionals

Choosing the ideal footwear for food service professionals.

Shop the best shoes for restaurant and food service

Are you a food service professional constantly on your feet, enduring long shifts and demanding environments? If so, then finding the perfect pair of shoes is absolutely crucial. Not only do you want comfortable footwear, but you also need shoes that can withstand the rigorous demands of the job. But where do you start?

With so many options out there, it can be overwhelming to find the right fit. That’s where our guide comes in. In this guide, we’ll walk through the factors to consider when choosing shoes for food service professionals. From slip resistance and durability to comfort and style, we have you covered. Say goodbye to sore feet and hello to finding the perfect fit that will keep you comfortable and focused throughout your workday.

So, let’s dive in and discover the best shoes that will have you stepping out with confidence in the kitchen!

What is the importance of wearing proper shoes in the food service industry?

Working in the food service industry often means spending long hours on your feet, whether it’s in a fast-paced restaurant or a bustling kitchen. The physical demands of the job can take a toll on your feet, leading to discomfort, pain, and even long-term foot problems. This is why wearing the right shoes is crucial for food service professionals.

First and foremost, the right shoes provide proper support and cushioning, helping to minimize the impact on your feet and joints. They help distribute your body weight evenly, reducing the strain on specific areas of your feet. Additionally, the right shoes can improve your posture and alignment, which is essential for overall foot health.

In the food service industry, slip and fall accidents are a common occurrence. Wet or greasy floors can be hazardous, and wearing shoes with slip-resistant soles can greatly reduce the risk of accidents. The right shoes should also offer protection against spills and hot liquids, ensuring that your feet are safe from potential burns and injuries.

It’s important to note that the right shoes not only benefit your feet but also your overall well-being. When your feet are comfortable and supported, you can focus on your job without the distraction of foot pain. This can lead to increased productivity and job satisfaction.

  • Woman wearing KURU KINETIC slip resistant shoes for retail work.
Shop shoes for restaurant and food service

Common Foot Problems Faced by Food Service Professionals

Food service professionals are prone to a variety of foot problems due to the nature of their work. Here are some common foot issues that you may encounter:

  • Plantar Fasciitis
    This condition occurs when the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot, becomes inflamed. It can cause intense heel pain, making it difficult to stand or walk for long periods.
    Plantar Fasciitis
  • Bunions
    Bunions are bony bumps that form at the base of the big toe. They can be painful and make it challenging to find comfortable shoes that fit properly.
  • Achilles Tendonitis
    This condition involves inflammation of the Achilles tendon, which connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. It can cause pain and stiffness in the back of the heel, making it uncomfortable to walk or stand.
    Achilles Tendonitis
  • Metatarsalgia
    Metatarsalgia is characterized by pain and inflammation in the ball of the foot. It can be caused by excessive pressure on the metatarsal bones, often a result of wearing shoes that lack proper cushioning and support.
  • Ingrown Toenails
    Ingrown toenails occur when the edges of the nails grow into the surrounding skin, causing pain, swelling, and infection. Tight-fitting shoes and improper foot hygiene can contribute to this condition.
    Ingrown Toenails

Top Features of Restaurant & Food Service Shoes

Explore the essential features that make restaurant and food service shoes stand out, providing durability, slip-resistance, and all-day comfort for professionals in the industry.

  • Comfort
    Comfort should be your top priority when selecting shoes for the food service industry. Look for shoes with ample cushioning, arch support, and a roomy toe box. The shoes should fit well and not cause any discomfort or pressure points.
  • Slip Resistance
    Slip-resistant shoes are essential to prevent accidents in the workplace. Look for shoes with rubber outsoles that provide excellent traction on wet or greasy surfaces. The outsoles should have deep treads or patterns that channel liquids away to maintain grip.
    Slip Resistance
  • Durability
    Food service professionals need shoes that can withstand the demands of their job. Look for shoes made from durable materials that can handle spills, heavy usage, and frequent cleaning. Reinforced toe caps and heel counters can provide extra durability and protection.
  • Breathability
    Working in a hot kitchen can cause your feet to sweat excessively. Look for shoes made from breathable materials that allow air circulation to keep your feet cool and dry. Mesh panels or perforations in the upper can enhance breathability.
  • Support
    Proper support is crucial to prevent foot fatigue and discomfort. Look for shoes that provide good arch support and stability. Shoes with removable insoles allow you to customize the level of support according to your needs.

Restaurant & Food Service Industry Facts and Stats

We take a look at some facts and stats you might not have known about food service workers.

  • Restaurant workers walk as many as 23,000 steps per day—that’s about 10 miles!—according to one study.
  • Arthritis is one of the most common chronic injuries faced by food service workers.
  • It is estimated that 12.1 million people were employed in the restaurants & food service industry group in 2019, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Waiters and waitresses make up 20.5% of the positions held in the restaurants & food services group—the largest percentage in that industry.

Types of Shoes Suitable for Food Service Professionals

Discover the ideal footwear options designed for food service professionals, ensuring comfort, safety, and functionality during their demanding work environments.

  • Clogs
    Clogs are a popular choice for food service professionals due to their slip-on design and easy maintenance. They typically have closed toes, slip-resistant soles, and are made from durable materials. Look for clogs with adjustable straps to ensure a secure fit.
  • Athletic Shoes
    Athletic shoes, such as sneakers and running shoes, can provide excellent comfort and support for long hours on your feet. Opt for shoes with non-marking rubber outsoles, cushioned midsoles, and breathable uppers.
    Athletic Shoes
  • Work Boots
    Work boots are a great option if you need extra protection and support. Look for boots with slip-resistant outsoles, steel or composite toe caps, and ankle support. Choose boots made from waterproof materials if you work in a wet environment.
    Work Boots
  • Chef Shoes
    Chef shoes are specifically designed for the culinary industry. They often feature slip-resistant outsoles, reinforced toe caps, and footbeds that provide excellent shock absorption. Look for chef shoes made from materials that are easy to clean and resistant to stains and odors.
    Chef Shoes

How To Properly Care for and Maintain Your Work Shoes

Proper care and maintenance can extend the lifespan of your work shoes and ensure that they continue to provide the necessary support and protection. By following these care and maintenance tips, you can prolong the life of your work shoes and ensure they continue to provide the necessary support and protection.

  • Clean Regularly
    Clean your work shoes regularly to remove dirt, stains, and food particles. Use a mild soap or detergent and a soft brush to gently scrub the shoes. Rinse with water and allow them to air dry.
    Clean Regularly
  • Dry Thoroughly
    After cleaning or exposure to water, make sure to dry your shoes thoroughly. Stuff them with newspaper or use shoe trees to help absorb moisture. Avoid drying them near direct heat sources, as this can damage the materials.
    Dry Thoroughly
  • Rotate Your Shoes
    Wearing the same pair of shoes every day can lead to faster wear and tear. Rotate between multiple pairs to allow each pair to air out and regain their shape.
    Rotate Your Shoes
  • Replace Worn Out Insoles
    Over time, the insoles of your shoes may lose their cushioning and support. Replace them with new insoles to ensure optimal comfort and support.
    Replace Worn Out Insoles
  • Store Properly
    When not in use, store your shoes in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Avoid stacking heavy objects on top of them, as this can deform the shape of the shoes.
    Store Properly


  • Are slip-resistant shoes necessary for working in the food service industry?

    Yes, slip-resistant shoes are highly recommended and often required for working in the food service industry. These shoes provide traction on slippery surfaces, reducing the risk of slips, trips, and falls. They are essential for maintaining a safe working environment and preventing accidents.

  • What are the best shoes for restaurant and food service professionals?

    The best shoes for restaurant and food service professionals are those specifically designed for the industry, offering features like slip resistance, durability, comfort, and support. Look for reputable brands that prioritize these qualities in their footwear.

  • What materials are recommended for food service shoes?

    Food service shoes are commonly made from materials such as leather, synthetic leather, or synthetic materials that are easy to clean and maintain. These materials are often water-resistant or water-repellent, which is beneficial when working in environments where spills and liquids are common.

  • Does the KINETIC quality as a slip resistant shoe?

    Yes, it does! Our KINETIC anti-slip shoe for both men and women features a high-grade rubber outsole that meets ASTM F2913 and SATRA TM-144 standards. The KINETIC also comes with our pain-relieving cushion and arch support built in, so you can last for long hours on your feet.

  • How do I know which shoe to buy? Which is best for me?

    The best shoe for you will depend on your unique foot type. The best chef shoes—for women and men alike—offer adequate arch support and cushion along with slip-resistant soles.

    Whether you’re looking for anti-slip kitchen shoes, work boots, or athletic shoes, KURUs line of comfortable chef shoes for men and women so you can stay safe and comfortable all day long.

  • I just received a pair of your shoes and my feet are sore/hurt after wearing them. Why is that?

    Some customers experience tenderness when they first start wearing a new pair of KURUs. That’s ok! Your body may need time to adjust to the new levels of anatomical support you experience with our patented KURUSOLE technology. Our shoes are also designed to mold to your unique foot shape, which takes a bit of a break-in period.

    To help mitigate this, we suggest you follow our break-in procedure, including wearing your KURUs for a couple hours per day around the house in the first couple of weeks as they break in and form to your foot.

  • Are your shoes considered orthopedic shoes?

    While our shoes are not currently considered orthopedic by a medical standard, we have received thousands of positive reviews from customers who say their KURUs helped reduce or eliminate their pain in their kitchen environment and everyday lives.

In our comprehensive study on foot pain across America, we discovered that food service work ranks among the top 10 occupations with a high incidence of foot pain.

Explore the latest foot pain trends, common causes of pain, treatment and prevention plans for maintained foot health in our 2024 Foot Pain Trends Report!

Three Layers of Support

At KURU, we pride ourselves on our unique approach to shoe design. We believe that shoes should be shaped to fit the natural contours of your feet, which is why we create every pair in three distinct support layers, not just an insole.


Our revolutionary ergonomic design starts with a curved footbed and adds unparalleled triple-layer support that includes shock-absorbing KURUCLOUD, heel-cupping KURUSOLE, and arch-supporting ULTIMATE INSOLES. The result? Shoes that are so comfortable you’ll stop thinking about your feet.

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  • How KURU brings relief


    Our patented KURUSOLE plate features a unique design that cups and protects the heel and allows for dynamic flexion with each step. This premium support helps us use our body’s natural cushioning system: the heel’s fat pad.

Our Secret

Animated GIF showing KURUSOLE tech in KURU shoes vs. typical flat interiors for plantar fasciitis pain.
Why Others Love KURU

Why Others Love KURU

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Comfort is key! I work in the restaurant business and I am on my feet for many hours during the week. I also suffer from planter pasciitis. I have bought several shoes over the past year to find the best fit and these are BY FAR the most comfortable shoes I have ever bought! I highly recommend them. If you have bunions on your feet (as I do on one foot) I would buy your size shoe but in a wide size. I also recommend buying a high end insert to get the most out of your shoes. So happy with my purchase! I will be buying again in the near future!”


Awesome shoe. I don’t think I’ll ever wear a different shoe. I now own multiple kurus and I love them. I work in a restaurant and am on my feet 9 plus hours a day. These are awesome restaurant shoes.”

Josh L

I feel like a human. Working as a manager of a restaurant I’m on my feet 12+ hours a day and I struggle with sciatica it gets very bad this shoes and make me feel like I’m floating on a cloud great support and most importantly my back is so much better so grateful can’t wait to buy a new pair”



3rd pair. I rock these shoes at work managing 3 restaurants and walk an average of 11 miles a day. They typically support me for 4-6 months before needing to be replaced. This color is lighter than my two previous ones (green & blue) and stains show but that is no more than to be expected with a light color. I try to choose a color that will go with most outfits. Compliments or the norm while they are new.”


Immediate Relief! I bought these shoes for my wife. She is a restaurant manager and is on her feet 10+ hours per day. We have tried everything to help her plantar fasciitis, but nothing helped. Until now! From day one, she has finally found relief from her pain and can get through her shifts without crying or needing to sit! Kuru has been her miracle!”


Shop KURU shoes today!
Recommended Shoes for Restaurant & Food Service

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