Waitressing is the backbone of the service industry. We often overlook our servers when we go out to eat, but the honest truth is that waitresses and waiters have a tough job that requires them to be on their feet for hours at a time. With the tougher wait service jobs, a simple pair of Adidas won’t really do the job. For these types of jobs, a dedicated and comfortable work shoe is needed. The best shoes for waitressing can make all of the difference in the world.
Finding a good pair of waitressing shoes takes a bit of work. They have to be supportive for long shifts, have a degree of protection from spills and messes, and should feel comfortable so that you don’t get blisters. Some restaurants have a dress code that you’ll have to adhere to, and a good pair also should be non-slip. The simple fact is that any experienced waitress will tell you that shoes can make a long shift much more bearable.
In this section, let’s take a look at the best shoes for waitressing and how they compare against each other. We’ll be looking at several key factors including comfort, sole type, and protection from spills. In addition, we’ll also look into how they stacked up positively and where each shoe falters a bit.
1) MOZO Women’s Forza Slip Resistant Work ClogComfort:
- Comfort: This shoe has contoured support, which is great for conforming to the natural curves of your foot.
- Sole Type: The sole for these is made of rubber and has a great level of grip so that slippery kitchens won’t be a problem.
- Protection From Spills: These waterproof shoes will resist the majority of stains that can happen in food service.
- How it Stacked Up Positively: These are great shoes for overall comfortable wear. It also has a fairly uniform black design that will work for most dress codes.
- Where it Falters: The seams stretch a bit on these after extended use.
2) Crocs SureGrip Unisex Realtree® Resistant Work Clogs:
- Comfort: These have a good level of support for the arches. They also contour to your step so that you are comfortable.
- Sole Type: The sole for these is synthetic and as the SureGrip name indicates, these are very stable shoes.
- Protection From Spills: Since these are made of tough synthetic materials, these are very spill-resistant.
- How it Stacked Up Positively: For croc lovers, this is a great option. They are protective and very slip resistant.
- Where it Falters: If you don’t like crocs or your job’s dress code doesn’t allow for them, you’ll have to pass on these.
3) Dansko Women’s Professional Clogs
- Comfort: These are very comfortable because they are made of leather; they adapt as you wear them.
- Sole Type: Another synthetic sole shoe; these have a moderate level of grip.
- Protection From Spills: The leather is strong and not very porous, so it is very spill-resistant.
- How it Stacked Up Positively: The polyurethane outsole is great for absorbing the shocks that come from a day on your feet.
- Where it Falters: These have a strange fit that won’t work for every type of foot.
4) KEEN Women’s Presidio ShoeComfort:
- Comfort: These are very comfortable and easy to stand around in.
- Sole Type: The sole is made of rubber, which naturally grips on food service surfaces.
- Protection From Spills: These have soft leather features that are still fairly spill and stain-resistant. They are also waterproof.
- How it Stacked Up Positively: We loved the comfort level of these. They also have a firm grip when you’re on your feet.
- Where it Falters: These can look a bit overlarge on some feet.
5) Alegria Women’s Paloma Flat
- Comfort: These leather flats have a larger sole that is actually very comfortable.
- Sole Type: These have a cushioned flatform sole that is very comfortable and has a surprising amount of grip.
- Protection From Spills: These have a design that might not protect your socks or stockings from spills, but the majority of these are made of a very durable leather that resists spills.
- How it Stacked Up Positively: These do a great job of supporting your feet during long hours. They are also great for more dressy restaurants.
- Where it Falters: They have a bit of squeak.
Top 5 Best Shoes for Waitressing Reviews
1, MOZO Women’s Forza Slip Resistant Work Clog
These Mozo clogs are very stylish and comfortable. If you need a great shoe that works for most wait jobs, these shoes an excellent at providing a gripped step on oily and wet floors and resisting spills. These shoes have a fairly ergonomic contour that allows them to feel comfortable, even after many hours have passed. We liked the fact that these are very lightweight; they each weigh less than a pound, which can really be advantageous over a long day waitressing.
These shoes are also slip on so that you’ll be able to quickly slide them on at the beginning of your shift if you prefer. Additionally, they have a uniformly black design, which is a feature that should adhere to many restaurant dress codes.
2, Crocs SureGrip Unisex Realtree® Resistant Work Clogs
Crocs have a fairly ardent following around the world, and these SureGrip unisex crocs are great shoes for waitressing. First, their design is perfect for providing a stable level of grip on oily and wet surfaces. The material of these is also a thick synthetic rubber that is very protective from spills and even moderate impact. The whole shoe is made of this material, even the strap that is positioned along the top of the shoe.
Additionally, for vegan waitresses, this shoe is crafted of 100 percent synthetic materials. Also, since you’ll be wearing these for extended amounts of time, there is a degree of odor resistance as well. If you find that you are often in pain when working in food service, these are very friendly to long shifts as they support and provide adequate comfort.
3, Dansko Women’s Professional Clogs
Dansko is one of the brands that many people who work on their feet for hours on end will swear by. These Dansko shoes have a synthetic sole that is very gripping and also rises somewhat so that it is comfortable on the arches a well. The toe box of these shoes is reinforced and roomy for both comfort and protection.
If you find that you need more stability on the job, the heel of these shoes is designed to be somewhat wider so that you have less chance to lose your footing. Additionally, the synthetic sole does a great job at gripping on kitchen surfaces. As a pair of slip ons, it’s also nice that Dansko provided a good amount of rear heel protection as well.
4, KEEN Women’s Presidio Shoe
Keen is another brand of shoe that is often found in work situations. These Presidio shoes are at once stylish and comfortable for long hours on the job. The soles also grip very well because it’s made of ridged rubber so that you’ll have stable footing, even when you are walking over greasy restaurant surfaces. These are lace-ups, so if you prefer the ease of slip-ons these may not be your best possible waitressing shoes.
That being said, the best shoes for waitressing will have a good amount of grip and spill-resistance, and these shoes excel in both of these regards. These are also relatively wide-set so that you can also have additional grip as well.
5, Alegria Women’s Paloma Flat
If you are looking for a more dressy style of waitressing shoe, these are some of the best shoes for waitressing in that regard. Firstly, they are Mary Jane styled shoes that have a slip-on, strap secured system of wear. Aesthetically, these are very stylish and even employ a flower-themed fastener on the side of the strap.
In addition to these shoes’ look, these are very functional for waitresses as well. Firstly, they have a comfortable design that’s friendly to extended use. The sole is cushioned and has a flatform design that will be comfortable all the way up to the end of your shift. The rubber sole also has a good level of grip so that slippery surfaces are easier to navigate.
What Features Should You Look For?
As a waitress, you’ll need a level of support that will help you remain comfortable during your long shifts. The inside of the shoe should be soft and supportive to your feet. One of the most important features for any waitressing shoe to have is a non-slip design. Restaurants have spilled oil, spilled liquids, and sometimes hazards on the floor. A non-slip design will allow you to safely circumvent these hazards by providing a reliable and gripping step. Additionally, any waitressing shoe should conform to the dress code regulations of your restaurant or eatery.
- Break Them In
Many of the best shoes for waitressing will be made of leather or other material that should be broken in for maximum comfort. Before you start wearing your brand new waitressing shoes on the job, wear them a bit around the house so that the leather can adjust to your step.
- Sizing is Very Important
Some of the best shoes for waitresses fit snugly but leave a little room for toe wiggling. Unfortunately, we don’t all have the same types of feet, so this is why you should be very meticulous when selecting a new pair of waitressing shoes. Be sure that you have enough room for your feet to breathe and that your toes and ankles aren’t too constricted. Having your feet become too confined can lead to sweaty feet, discomfort, and sores that are caused by the shoes rubbing against your skin. Before you make your selection, measure your feet so that you won’t have to make a return.
- Think About Orthotics
Even the best work shoes for waitresses can use a bit of help. There are a plethora of great products out there which are designed to add comfort to any shoe. Gel inserts, additional arch support, and other types of inserts are all available on the market so that you can have a more comfortable workday.
Taking the time to find a comfortable shoe for waitressing is well worth it. You’ll be wearing these for more than five hours a day, so why not take the extra time. Additionally, don’t be afraid to spend a little extra money on a good pair; they’ll last your forever.
The products that we’ve outlined are all excellent, but if we were to select the best of the best? Out of all of the products, we liked Crocs SureGrip Unisex Realtree® Resistant Work Clogs the best for waitressing. It simply has all of the support you need for a long day. Add to this the fact that it also can protect your feet, and you’ve got a great food service shoe.