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Best shoes for an executive chef

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I have been wearing defender II low top lace up steel toe work boots from shoes for crews for a couple of years, and they work well for about 6-8 months before the interior lining around the toes starts to deteriorate, causing my big toe nails to grind against the steel plate, and about the same time as the sole starts to peel away from the bottom of the shoe at the front. Also they stink after 6-8 months, so much so that I can smell my shoes from a standing position. I have to take my shoes off and leave them outside before coming in the house after work. Granted I am hell on wheels, so to speak, I wear these shoes 6 days a week, 12-14 hours a day, constantly moving, pivoting, and sweating in them. However I feel like there must be a great shoe made for chefs or the same day to day demands that I could invest in. Any suggestions?
post #2 of 17

@mclain,

 OMGosh, I can smell your rotting feet from here. Your feet are your most important tool in your repatrois. You need a breathable shoe.

Wear what the surgeons wear. They spend the most amount of time standing in shoes.

There are a few. # 1. Birkis professionals. They are made to breath,

                           # 2. Danskos, also breathable.

                           # 3. The Jungle Moc, very breathable.

             Remember, this is not a fashion show! It's maintanance.

Next you'll need socks that wick moisture. Your feet probably lose a pint every shift.

                          # 1,  Smart Wool Socks

                          # 2.  Belega Socks.

 

Now you can throw this all out the window if you only buy 1 pair. You have to have two pair and You have to rotate on and off every other day. This allows the shoes you're wearing today to full dry before you slip into them day after. Have extra socks in your locker. Take a break and change socks in the middle of a shift and sometimes it feels better than sex. Well, when you're my age anyway.

 

I don't promote  any of the above, but I always keep up with what the surgeons  wear and anything that is breathable with support is good.

It smells better in here already. Remember, that smell is usually fungus or bacteria. You wouldn't let it happen in any other part of your body.

If you feel like you have bacteria or fungus you can't get rid of, put each sneaker in a ziplock bag and freeze it. This will usually cure things.

FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice. I have never thought of rotating my shoes. I have the same problem with chefs coats. After awhile they all smell like mildew. But as a chef your feet are literally your day to day foundation. I have tried adjusting my posture while expediting or prepping, but it is the wear and tear of hours on your feet that deserves a good shoe.
post #4 of 17

Doctors don't walk on greasy floors all day!  You need oil/slip resistant soles or you're gonna be seeing that doctor pretty soon in the ER.

"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
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"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
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post #5 of 17
I wear Nautilus Skidbusters, great nonslip soles, slip on without being clogs, which i like, breath pretty good. SFC were the worst shoes I've ever owned. I've always heard good things about birkinstocks, but I'll never buy a pair of Danskos again ss long as I live. Mine were heavy, had very poor traction(only time I've ever slipped and fallen, at work, so far), and finished by literally falling apart.
post #6 of 17

Rotating shoes is great, not just day to day but sometimes from day to evening.  I really like Redwings for kitchen wear.

"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
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"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
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post #7 of 17

I love my Mozo Forza. Best $110 I've ever spent. Slip on, great support with 3 inserts so you can customize your own fit. Non-slip soles. Well made. I have two I rotate and 18 months later both look great. My feet are bad and hurt even in a quality athletic shoes, but these feel great all day. I even wear them on days off.

post #8 of 17

Panini is uber right. new socks, new life, new shoes better than life. two pairs of shoes is the only sensible answer

post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phaedrus View Post
 

Doctors don't walk on greasy floors all day!  You need oil/slip resistant soles or you're gonna be seeing that doctor pretty soon in the ER.

I mentioned surgeons not doctors. Blood is pretty slippery.:D

Sickening: Medical scissors lie in a puddle of blood on the floor of the emergency room in San Pedro Sula 

FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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post #10 of 17

My dad was an ob/gyn and surgeon, I remember the bloody white shoes he wore when I would get stuck with him at the hospital when I was a kid.

post #11 of 17
+1 for birkis or super birkis. The most comfortable clogs. By an extra set of the replacement foot beds when you order them. I keep the clogs for 2 years and replace the foot beds yearly and then repeat. Super comfy, non slip bottoms, and they have a nice wide toe to them so you dont feel pinched. I tend to wear them out in the toe from constant spinning on the line. The best i have come across and would never wear anything but.
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by mclain View Post

I have been wearing defender II low top lace up steel toe work boots from shoes for crews for a couple of years, and they work well for about 6-8 months before the interior lining around the toes starts to deteriorate, causing my big toe nails to grind against the steel plate, and about the same time as the sole starts to peel away from the bottom of the shoe at the front. Also they stink after 6-8 months, so much so that I can smell my shoes from a standing position. I have to take my shoes off and leave them outside before coming in the house after work. Granted I am hell on wheels, so to speak, I wear these shoes 6 days a week, 12-14 hours a day, constantly moving, pivoting, and sweating in them. However I feel like there must be a great shoe made for chefs or the same day to day demands that I could invest in. Any suggestions?
Quote:
Originally Posted by chezpopp View Post

+1 for birkis or super birkis. The most comfortable clogs. By an extra set of the replacement foot beds when you order them. I keep the clogs for 2 years and replace the foot beds yearly and then repeat. Super comfy, non slip bottoms, and they have a nice wide toe to them so you dont feel pinched. I tend to wear them out in the toe from constant spinning on the line. The best i have come across and would never wear anything but.
post #13 of 17
___ Troentorp _____
Wooden sole Swedish clogs
Been wearing them for 20 years now and my back pain has gone away completely.
Yes they are clogs and yes they are exspemsive, but as my chiropractor put it ..... How much SHOULD YOU SPEND TO BE ABLE TO STAND UP STRAIGHT AT AGE 50?
Like any shoe you buy to wear in a kitchen... Waterproof ..waterproof. .. waterproof
post #14 of 17

Anyone who wears wood clogs in my kitchen will be asked to leave--on a good day.  On a bad day, I will personally pull them off the offending person and have at them with axe while they watch on.  .

 

I have been wearing 3/4 length custom orthotics for well over 15 years now, prescribed and fitted by Podaiatrists.  Good orthotics demand good shoes, and I have 5 pairs of leather, steel shanked walking shoes that I swap out every day.  No man made materials, no funny uni-soles, no wierd-azz concepts of how one should walk differently with some wierd-azz rocking sole schpeil.  When the heels wear, I get them replaced, when the soles wear, I get them replaced. A $300 pair of good shoes will last me 7-8 years with many re-heels and one or two re-soles.  Much cheaper than buying crappy Mal*Wart shoes every 2 mths.

 

 

I've suffered from plantar fascititis for almost 5 years, in spite of custom orthotics and good shoes.  The only way to get rid of it is to sit on your butt for 3 mths. Had to sell my catering business to do this. Believe me, I tried everything else

 

I hate the wooden clogs because:

1) They are inflexible

 

2) the beds are shaped and do not allow wearing of custom orthotics

 

3) Feet slip out at un-oportune times like climbing up stairs, and walking over thresholds

 

4) As the Grinch would say, the noise, THE NOISE, THE NOISE NOISE NOISE!!!!!!!!!!!!!  This is the sound of hatred, when I hear that noise, I turn from mild mannered cook to an axe murderer, grabbing my trusty knife and looking for the source of the clump-clump-clump, and wanting to "Fix" the problem immediately.

 

I understand that wood shoes and clogs feature in just about every European nation's footwear history scene, as with many Asian ones too.  That being said, they don't belong in kitchens, save them for ethnic dances and museums.

 

Oh, I'm sorry... Got me on a touchy subject.  Back to regular programming......

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #15 of 17
Mozo Forza and Footprints Alton. I rotate these. 110 bucks and 160 bucks.
post #16 of 17

I use Shoes for Crews (Fly and Barcelona) and Mozo (Sharkz) as well and have been happy with them while they last.  Rotation is the key, and both pairs of SfC last me about a year and change.  My Mozo's have lasted 2.  Replacing them is a fact of our profession, and don't skimp.  

 

Make sure to clear your soles regularly as well.  The gunk that get's wedged in there can get awfully funky.

post #17 of 17
I am also going to agree with Panini. Good socks make a tremendous difference. SmartWool is a good suggestion. My shoe of choice for the last several years is the Dansko Pro. They are ugly as all hell, but my knees and back don't hurt after long shifts anymore. If you can find them, Sanita produces a clog that is identical to the Danskos from few years back. Also a solid choice if available.
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