For restaurant owners and managers, ensuring your servers are well-equipped isn’t just about attire or training — it's also about the shoes. Proper footwear can greatly impact staff performance, safety, and overall morale.
With years of expertise in the Windy City, Stock understands the needs of servers. Below, we’ve curated some of the best server shoes, so you don’t have to.
For Both Men and Women:
Dansko Professional Clogs
Stride with confidence: These clogs are a testament to Dansko's commitment to combining fashion with functionality. Adored by servers, the rocker-bottom sole promotes a natural step, while its cushioned heel absorbs shocks, ensuring minimum stress on the feet during busy shifts.
Skechers Slip-ins RF Work
Uncompromising comfort: These shoes redefine ease of wear with their built-in invisible shoe horn and the patented heel pillow technology ensures prolonged comfort. The added advantage of being machine washable makes them an ideal choice for those who value both comfort and convenience.
Birkenstock Tokio Super Grips
Function meets comfort: With these slip-resistant shoes, servers can navigate the restaurant floor with confidence. The contoured footbed, a hallmark of Birkenstock design, ensures that servers are not just safe, but also comfortable.
This level of arch support promotes natural foot alignment, reducing foot fatigue during those long shifts. These shoes feature a minimalist design that seamlessly integrates with most restaurant uniforms, making them a fashionable yet practical choice.
Hoka Bondi 8
Soft on feet, tough on challenges: Release the pressure of long working hours with Hoka's Bondi 8. Its plush memory foam collar provides a snug fit, acting as a gentle cushion for the ankle, while the shoe’s overall stability ensures that servers can move swiftly and safely, even during the busiest shifts. Particularly beneficial for servers dealing with conditions like plantar fasciitis, the Bondi 8 delivers relief and support, allowing them to focus on serving with a smile.
Brooks Ghost 15
Adaptive and agile: Every step in the Brooks Ghost 15 feels light and responsive. Whether a server is quickly moving between tables, standing to take orders, or on a brisk walk during their break, this shoe stands up to the challenge. Its soft-blown rubber outsole provides just the right amount of flexibility, ensuring a natural foot movement without compromising on grip.
Men's HISEA Non-Slip Shoes
Absolute assurance: Built with the challenging food service environment in mind, the Men's HISEA shoes are the epitome of safety. Their thick non-slip rubber outsole offers unparalleled grip, particularly on oily floors that are commonplace in kitchens. This ensures that your servers can confidently stride through the restaurant, focusing on impeccable service without worrying about unexpected slips.
These shoes can be dressed up with a pair of black trousers or down with denim for a more casual vibe.
Shoes for Crews Men's Freestyle II Slip
Everyday comfort and protection: The Freestyle II Slip is the perfect fusion of style and safety. These lace-up sneakers not only protect against slips with their water-resistant feature but also provide enduring comfort, ensuring that servers feel light on their feet throughout their shift.
These shoes are great for restaurants with a more laid-back look. They pair great with a rugged leather top or a darker button-up.
Shoes For Crews Evolution II Men's Slip Resistant Work Shoes
For the agile server: Tailored for those who view their job as more than just work — the workplace athletes. This shoe offers features like an integrated airbag for superior cushioning and TRIPGUARD, ensuring that every step taken is secure and confident.
Crocs On The Clock Work Slip-Ons
Enduring comfort: An evolution of the iconic Crocs design, these shoes are built for the rigors of long shifts. They offer the unbeatable comfort Crocs are known for, enhanced durability, and exceptional traction, ensuring servers remain steady on their feet.
Pair these shoes with black or khaki slacks with a coordinating tunic top or a tee shirt. You could also add a colorful apron on top for a pop of color.
SAS Women's Patriot Non-Slip Loafer
Elegance meets efficiency: These loafers, crafted from water-resistant leather, promise both style and stability. Their slip-resistant sole coupled with the TRIPAD cushioning ensures safety and comfort. It's no wonder that many have repurchased this shoe, a true endorsement of its unmatched comfort.
Skechers Women's Ghenter Srelt Work Shoe
Protection in every Step: These shoes are not only lightweight and durable but also safeguard against common workplace hazards like electrical risks. Easy to clean, these shoes are perfect for those in the food service industry who prioritize safety without compromising on style.
Shoes For Crews Liberty Women's Slip Resistant
Fashioned for function: With a contemporary design featuring a squared heel and a slip-resistant outsole, the Liberty shoes are the perfect blend of style and utility. Every step taken in these is a step in confidence and flair.
Pair these with slim-fit black trousers and a stylish blouse or a structured dress with a fitted apron for a contemporary vibe.
How to Choose The Best Restaurant Shoes For Your Servers
Safety and Slip Resistance:
Restaurant floors can get wet and greasy. Non-slip restaurant shoes minimize the risk of accidents, protecting both your staff and your business from potential liabilities.
Look for shoes that have certifications or are specifically designed for the food service industry, like the Birkenstock Tokyo Super Grips or the Men's HISEA Non-Slip Food Service Shoes.
Comfort and Support
Servers spend long hours on their feet. Comfortable shoes prevent foot pain, fatigue, and longer-term foot problems.
Consider shoes with cushioned insoles, arch support, and a spacious toe box. Brands like Hoka Bondi 8 and Dansko Professional Clogs are known for their comfort features.
The hustle and bustle of restaurant work can wear out shoes quickly. Investing in durable shoes ensures longevity, reducing the frequency of replacements.
Prioritize shoes made from high-quality materials. The SAS Women's Patriot Non Slip Loafer, for instance, is made of water-resistant leather which offers durability.
Spills and splatters are part and parcel of the restaurant business. Shoes that are easy to clean maintain a professional appearance and adhere to hygiene standards.
Materials like leather or certain synthetics are easier to wipe down and clean. For example, Stock's Leather Dress Sneakers are leather shoes that you can count on for years to come.
Versatility and Style:
While functionality is paramount, you also want your staff to look presentable. A shoe that strikes a balance between form and function is ideal.
Look for shoes that blend seamlessly with your restaurant's attire standards. The Shoes For Crews Liberty Women's Slip Resistant, for instance, offers a blend of style and functionality.
While you want the best for your team, budget constraints are real.
Consider the long-term value. It might be more cost-effective to invest in a slightly more expensive pair that lasts longer than a cheaper one that needs frequent replacement.
Your servers are the ones wearing these shoes. Their feedback is invaluable in understanding what works and what doesn’t.
Regularly solicit feedback on the shoes they find most comfortable and functional. This will also boost morale as staff feel their needs are being considered.
Shoe Types That Seem Comfortable But Aren't Ideal for Servers
While high heels and flip flops are automatically a no-go for servers due to their evident discomfort and impracticality, there are other types of shoes that might initially seem comfortable or suitable for the job but may fall short in a busy restaurant setting. Here are some of those shoe types:
Boat shoes: Designed primarily for grip on wet boat decks, boat shoes often lack the cushioning and specific slip-resistant soles required for the demands of a restaurant. They might be breathable and stylish, but they're not ideal for long shifts.
Flat sandals: They might feel light and airy, but flat sandals don’t offer the arch or heel support necessary for standing and walking for extended periods.
Ballet flats: Popular for their minimalist design, ballet flats often offer little to no arch support. Their thin soles might not provide adequate cushioning for a server's rigorous routine.
Loafers with rigid soles: While loafers can seem professional and comfortable, those with hard, inflexible soles can be tough on the feet, making dynamic movements or prolonged standing challenging.
Athletic sneakers without proper cushioning: At first glance, these might seem supportive, but not all athletic shoes are created equal. Some might lack the necessary cushioning or arch support for the demands of a server's job.
Synthetic plastic clogs: While easy to wipe clean, some clogs made from non-breathable synthetic materials can lead to excessive sweating and foot discomfort during long shifts.
When choosing shoes for servers, it’s essential to look beyond initial impressions and consider the practical demands of the job, ensuring that comfort and safety aren't compromised.
Stock: Outfitting Servers From Head to Toe, In Comfort and Style
Choosing the right work shoe is vital. It can make the difference between a comfortable, productive day and a long, painful shift. So, make informed choices and prioritize your team's foot health — it's a step in the right direction.
Here at Stock, we specialize in creating uniforms that speak volumes about your commitment to quality and employee welfare. Explore our range of products and services, and let’s work together to tailor the perfect uniform solutions that align with your brand and your team’s needs.