Finding the perfect shoes for your bartending staff is no easy task — they spend long hours on their feet whipping up drinks and chatting with customers. Low-quality or uncomfortable shoes can lead to injuries, lost concentration, and low morale if bartenders are suffering during each shift.
When evaluating the ideal bartending shoes, focus on three key factors: slip resistance, comfort, and durability. Stock knows which shoe brands have mastered the art of combining these critical features so your bartenders can feel great from the first pour to the final call.
Read on for our top recommendations for bartender shoes. While all of these shoes provide comfort, slip resistance, and durability, some of them provide added features that put them above and beyond in one area.
The Most Comfortable
Cushioning and arch support in comfortable shoes help bartenders stay on their feet during long shifts. Brands like Skechers prioritize comfort, making them perfect for those long hours.
Skechers Flex Advantage McAllen Work Shoes
Skechers — a classic brand for the ages. The McAllen Work Shoes from this beloved company are stylish work shoes that combine practicality with a sporty design, featuring a sleek synthetic and mesh upper. Beyond looks, they prioritize comfort with their gel-infused memory foam insole and padded collar to get your bartenders through long shifts.
New Balance Women's Fresh Foam 860v12 Running Shoes
Another popular brand, New Balance has become increasingly known for comfort. The 860v12s provide plush Fresh Foam cushioning and structured support ideal for physical jobs. These shoes also have a heel counter, which provides crucial support during long hours. Heel counters ensure proper alignment, prevent slips, reduce injuries, and offer comfort during quick movements.
Birkenstock Super-Birki Clogs
Birkenstocks, known more for their open-toe slip-ons, also offer comfortable clogs. The Super-Birki clogs give essential arch support with a deep heel cup and roomy toe box. The Birkenstock Super Birki is made of polyurethane and resists water and dirt. However, it might not fit well for those without a high instep.
Dansko Professional Clogs
Iconic clogs featuring leather uppers, padded insteps, rocker bottoms, and polyurethane outsoles. They are available in over 20 colors.
Crocs LiteRide Clogs
Designed with soft, lightweight Croslite foam, these clogs include built-in arch support, vent ports for breathability, and non-slip outsoles. Available in black, white, and blue.
The Most Slip-Resistant
Spills are inevitable behind the bar, making slip-resistant soles essential for safety. Select bartender shoes with tread that grips slippery floors, even when wet.
Shoes for Crews Low-School Low Rider Slip-Resistant Shoes
These shoes feature a uniquely engineered outsole for enhanced slip resistance, complemented by a spillguard protective membrane that shields feet from hot liquids. The rubber outsole on these non-slip shoes makes sure your bartenders stay grounded.
Crocs Bistro Slip-On Shoes
Crocs is always a top-of-mind brand for comfortable and functional staff shoes. The Bistro Slip-on offers superb traction on slippery floors with its textured platform.
Dansko Walker Shoes
The Dansko Walker shoes are robust oxfords known for their outstanding support and stability. With an outsole adept at preventing slips on dry, wet, and oily-wet floors and an easy-to-clean leather upper, these shoes are more than just functional – they're incredibly comfortable. These are some of the best shoes for those in need of both comfort and function.
Dansko XP 2.0 Shoes
With a roomy toe box, these clogs have leather uppers, triple-density EVA footbeds, and slip-resistant rubber outsoles offered in several color choices.
Shoes for Crews Liberty
The Liberty shoe has a TRIPGUARD outsole that helps you move from slippery surfaces to carpet or tile.
Crocs Crocband Clogs
Showcasing Crocs' iconic clog design, these feature synthetic uppers with stripe band detailing, contoured footbeds, and slip-resistant rubber outsoles. Offered in many colors.
The Most Durable
When searching for shoes to stand up to the demands of bartending, opt for sturdy materials and construction that will last through countless shifts of wear and tear.
Blundstone 510 Chelsea Boots
These boots have a rustproof, water-resistant leather upper and thermoplastic urethane sole that can handle getting wet without falling apart. The elastic goring sides make it easy to pull them on and off.
Red Wing Heritage Iron Ranger Boots
If you prefer a lace-up look, Red Wing Heritage Iron Ranger Boots offer a durable leather upper and cushioned Vibram sole at a 6-inch height good for ankle support. The welted construction method attaches the sole more securely.
Doc Martens 1460 Original 8-Eye Boots
These boots are an iconic style with an air-cushioned PVC sole and smooth leather upper that forms to your feet over time. If you're looking for waterproof shoes, these Doc Martens may be your safest bet. They are made with a twin heat-sealed welt that prevents water from getting into the air-cushioned sole. The famous yellow stitching adds a pop of color.
Blundstone 587 Chelsea Boots
The 587 boots feature water-resistant leather uppers, elastic side gussets, cushioned removable footbeds, and dual-density polyurethane outsoles. Available in rustic brown or black.
Keen Utility Men's Detroit XT Work Boot
With waterproof leather uppers, Torsional Stability shanks, KEEN.Cush PU footbeds, and oil- and slip-resistant rubber outsoles. These shoes are offered in cascade brown or magnet/gargoyle colorways.
New Balance Women's 608v5 Cross Training Shoes
Boasting suede/mesh uppers, lightweight injected midsoles, and durable rubber outsoles. These shoes are offered in a range of color combinations.
Your Checklist For The Best Bartending Shoes
Now that you've brushed up on good shoe brands and models for your bartenders, here's a quick checklist (and a bit of a summary) that you can go through while shopping:
- Slip resistance - Look for tread patterns and materials that grip wet floors. Rubber outsoles tend to perform best.
- Cushioning - Prioritize cushioning and arch support to keep feet comfortable. Memory foam and gel inserts are great options.
- Breathability - Breathable mesh panels help keep feet ventilated during long shifts.
- Flexibility - Some flexibility allows the shoe to move with the foot while still being supportive.
- Ankle support - For lateral support during frequent twisting behind the bar, boots or high tops are ideal.
- Durability - Durable leather or synthetic uppers hold up well to spills and scuffs. Reputable brands ensure quality.
- Fit - Shoes should fit snugly without rubbings or pressure points that can lead to blisters or calluses.
- Style - While function is most important, bartenders still want options with attractive, on-trend style.
- Budget - Quality shoes with necessary features don't have to break the bank. Set a reasonable budget.
- Variety - Rotate 2-3 pairs and switch out insoles to maximize comfort and shoe life.
More Tips for Happy Feet
Picking the right shoes is a great start, but bartenders can take other steps to care for their feet as well.
- Add insoles. Gel insoles or heel cushions provide extra padding and shock absorption tailored to your needs.
- Massage feet. Gentle foot massages improve circulation to tired feet and lower legs. You can get your bartenders a spiky massage ball. It works wonders for foot pain!
- Provide compression socks. Compression socks improve blood flow and reduce swelling and fatigue in the legs and feet during long shifts.
- Gift them Epsom salt. A 10-15 minute soak in an Epsom salt bath can relieve sore, achy feet after a long shift.
Reward Hardworking Bartenders With Quality Footwear
Providing comfortable, supportive footwear shows bartenders you care about their health and happiness while working. Trust Stock to recommend shoes tailored for bartending based on decades of experience outfitting the service industry.
Visit our website or contact our team to explore recommended brands and styles so your bartenders can feel their best each shift. Their feet will thank you!
Can't choose? You can never go wrong with our dress sneakers!