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Kitchen and Cooking Footwear/Shoes


schaem
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I just finished some Physical Therapy for a back problem and the therapist suggested a small foot stool to ease the back strain when standing for long periods.

jo-mel, i don't WANT to seem dense but--you use the footstool when sitting after standing long periods, yes? Or are you standing with one foot on, one foot off (nah, that even SOUNDS painful).

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I sent my Birks in to be resoled and picked up a pair of Clark's for the meantime. That was 10 years ago and I never wore the Birk's again. Gave them away even.

Was true to Clark's until Merrell came along and now I'm wearing Merrell.

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I buy the cheapest black, rubber-soled shoes I can find at Payless. I usually spend $15-20 per pair and buy two pairs at a time. Each pair lasts about 5-6 months. I have never had a problem with back/leg/foot pain *knocks on wood*. I just can't justify spending $100 (or more) on a pair of kitchen clogs that will last about as long as $100 worth of cheap Payless shoes.

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as far as clogs not lasting long enough, I usually get about 3 years out of mine. Thats working regular or more 80 - 100 hrs per 2wks. I never wear them outside though. I find the cheap shoes hard on my feet and slippery as hell, never slide with the clogs.

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That's how I feel about my Danskos. I invested in a quality shoe for the wear and tear of restaurant work and expect them to last in the neighbourhood of two to three years. They save money in the long run, and my feet thank me for it too! :biggrin:

They are a welcome relief from even the most expensive and highly engineered athletic shoe, which will last me anywhere from six to nine months, at most.

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I just finished some Physical Therapy for a back problem and the therapist suggested a small foot stool to ease the back strain when standing for long periods.

jo-mel, i don't WANT to seem dense but--you use the footstool when sitting after standing long periods, yes? Or are you standing with one foot on, one foot off (nah, that even SOUNDS painful).

Sorry I wasn't clear on that ------- While standing, you put one foot on the stool. It takes the pressure of that side of your back. Then switch feet after a while. It was recommended by my Orthopod, and then by the Physical Therapist. That validated it for me.

When I'm in the kitching preparing for a cooking class, I am moving from side to side, but during the class, I am standing in one place. That is where the stool is used. Also, I have a bar stool, and when I can, I half lean/sit on it, while explaining things. That helps a lot

Sitting after standing long periods?? Not me! I LIE down with feet UP! LOL!

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I'm very happy with my Fluevog Angels for kitchen work. I bought them just for street wear, but when I started working in restos, they were perfect: very comfy padded insole, and a huge rubber outsole, which also happens to be very resistant to all kinds of kitchen gunk.

The only drawback is that they're pricey and so cool-looking you kind of regret getting them filthy. I've actually written to Fluevog asking them to make a special line of Angel slip-ons for kitchen wear...alas, no positive response yet.

Zora O’Neill aka "Zora"

Roving Gastronome

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  • 1 month later...

I will be starting my new baking job in a month and I often have trouble in the beginning of a job standing on my feet for long periods of time. Any suggestions on shoes? I read thru some old posts on this topic but thought maybe there would be some added suggestions this time around.

I am leaning toward Danskos (have worn them for many, many years) but I'm wondering if they would do okay with flour on the floor, etc, and after standing in them for hours. Suggestions, opinions?

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Wanted to add another vote for Dasnkos. When I was a pastry chef/chocolatier, they worked great on slick concrete, slippery frozen floors, flour, butter and chocolate caked surfaces. I have flat-feet and stood all day, and they were great. I now have about 5 pairs on regular rotation.

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I vote for Danskos too - I wore them fine working boulangerie. The only time I ever slipped a bit was on non-stick spray. I wear Dansko closed back Pros - and just discovered they have Narrow Pros which I'll be getting as soon as I possibly can. I also have Superfeet Custom Fit footbeds in mine now - but will be switching to the New Balance Motion Control footbeds - with metatarsal cushioning. I also wear SmartWool RBX Ultra Cushion socks.

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I'm a Dansko man, too. I recommend the Dansko@Work line. They are similar to the Dansko Sport with superior non-slip traction, but have slighly more cushion in the sole.

And don't take socks for granted - they are almost as important as the shoes. I've been wearing Thorlos for years, but I find that they are a little too abrasive on the inside and don't have enough padding on top of my foot, so I'm looking for a replacement brand. Can't wear wool - even SmartWool - or cotton as they're just too scratchy and coarse. Damn my sensitive skin. :rolleyes:

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I'm a dansko wearer too.

I used to live in berkinstocks (I have wider, high arch feet and those are roomie) day and night..........until I had a problem. My foot doctor says the berkies are horrible for you feet. Says it's amazing how many people come to her that wore those and developed problems. Anyway-if I go back and try to wear my berkies-my foot problem comes back with-in the week.

Danskos= no problems with my feet. I have the pro ones with the back and have had no problems on floor surfaces.

Also if you can, try to get rubber mats where you stand.

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Great, thanks all. I am looking at the Dansko Casey which is from the "work" line and they look like they have a little layer of more grippy material on the bottom of the sole. Also, I'll look into some good socks, too. You sold me on them!! :biggrin:

That's the model I have and I like them a lot. However, I have a high arch and I actually wish I had gotten the ones with the elastic panels on either side of the top - I think it's called the Carter.

I strongly recommend finding someplace to try them on before you purchase, and make sure you get the right size and model for your foot. If you can't find the @Work line at a local store, I think the Sport models are similar enough that you can try them on for size and then special order from the other line.

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And don't take socks for granted - they are almost as important as the shoes. I've been wearing Thorlos for years, but I find that they are a little too abrasive on the inside and don't have enough padding on top of my foot, so I'm looking for a replacement brand. Can't wear wool - even SmartWool - or cotton as they're just too scratchy and coarse. Damn my sensitive skin. :rolleyes:

Neil:

Have you ever tried Sea Island Cotton? I used to get men's sea island cotton socks from Brooks Brothers. They were amazing. However I've just been looking online and don't see the nice, soft, fluffy socks that they used to sell although they do still have some S.I. cotton but they look very thin and wimpy.

Fortunately, I don't have sensitive skin and the Thorlos work terrifically well for me.

kit

"I'm bringing pastry back"

Weebl

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I haven't heard of Sea Island Cotton, but I love Brooks Brothers. They have an outlet store near here - I'll have to go check them out.

I have a couple odd pair of socks that I got at REI a few years ago that are PERFECT, but I just went back to the store and they didn't seem to carry them anymore, and I don't know the brand. :sad: I'm thinking they might be WigWam, so that's what I'm going to start searching for next.

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Here's a vote for a cheaper alternative. I wear the Land's End All Weather Moccasins. I stand in them all day and my feet never get tired, and the grips are awesome. At $29, they're a fantastic bargain, and I've never even been tempted to try the higher priced stuff.

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Neil brought up a really good point about trying them on in person verses ordering them! They can vary from one pair to the next in the same size. Their not cheap, it's worth taking your time and trying on more then one pair in the same size. I actually was in a hurry the day I bought mine and the sales clerk really insisted I try on severel-they were totally right!

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  • 2 months later...

Footwear heads up.

I recently went looking for a fresh pair of Danskos, only to find that the style I've sworn by for nearly 10 years - the Piet - has been discontinued. I can't wear the Professional, since my instep is so high. So I went shopping around, and got turned on to the Troentorp Picasso.

Now, it took some convincing and a half hour of walking/standing around the store, but I sprung for them. And let me tell you, these babies really rival Dansko for comfort. I don't cook professionally anymore, but I might just as well, for all the time I spend in the kitchen at home. I would almost venture to say that, given my specific construction and issues, these are MORE comfortable than Danskos. The footbed is hand-carved of alderwood and set on a thick sole of EVA with a skid-resistant finish. And the slick-finished leather is great for kitchen work, since the crud wipes right off.

But here's the kicker: they're steel-toed. Now, I'm not such a spazz that I drop shit on my feet regularly, but if you've ever, say, let loose a 5-pound can in the stock room and had it land on your toe...well, you can start to appreciate the advantage.

The price in the link above is pretty high. I got mine for $100 and change – about the same as a pair of Danskos.

The only downside I can see is that the brand was recently changed to Troentorp from Bastad. It'd be sweet if you could still say "I gotta get me a pair of them Bastads".

Edited by GG Mora (log)
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Hmm.  At home we take our shoes off, so 90% of the time I have nothing on my feet.  Part of the reason I'm asking the question (since I'm not a professional) is because I'm starting to get sore from standing barefoot in the kitchen.  I realized recently that's what was causing it and have gone to a pair of Hawaiian style flip flops.  It's helped, but I think I should get something better.  I'm heavy, about 225 lbs, so that may have something to do with it.  I think I need the cushion and support.  I also have one foot that's a little flat.

Plus, barefoot in the kitchen means sticky toes.

I spend about 4 hours a day in the kitchen making a meal or two for myself, a meal for my wife, and lunches for my wife (I work from home, she works in an office).  Barefoot on the linoleum was starting to really get me.

Wal-Mart has begun carrying Grendenes (from Brazil). Which have thick cushiony soles which are rather like athletic shoes, wide enough for my foot. I have a wide forefoot and can't wear the flip-flops with a thong between the toes because I have congenitally short toes that are also webbed. (I swim very, very well).

I have been wearing these when I have do do much standing and find they are very comfortable.

They have a textured insole and an inset in the heel that is nicely cushioned. And the sole is non-skid, even on wet floors, concrete, decking.

I liked them so well I bought a couple of extra pairs. I use one pair in the garden, they clean up nicely.

These are size 7 and they are a very large 7 - I usually wear an 8 or 8 1/2.

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Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Sorry I wasn't clear on that ------- While standing, you put one foot on the stool. It takes the pressure of that side of your back. Then switch feet after a while. It was recommended by my Orthopod, and then by the Physical Therapist. That validated it for me.

When I'm in the kitching preparing for a cooking class, I am moving from side to side, but during the class, I am standing in one place. That is where the stool is used. Also, I have a bar stool, and when I can, I half lean/sit on it, while explaining things. That helps a lot

Sitting after standing long periods?? Not me! I LIE down with feet UP! LOL!

Excellent suggestion for anyone that has to stand for long periods.

That is exactly what my boss (ORS) has been recommending for our patients for all the years I have worked for him. Now that I have a back problem it is working for me also.

If I have to stand for long periods, it is usually at the sink so I got a block of wood, scrap from a 6 x 10 beam that is a foot long, and put it on the floor of the cabinet under the sink. All I have to do is open the right hand door and I have a place to put my foot.

That position locks the pelvis so you do not develop a sway-back as you would while standing flat-footed.

At work I have one of the "kick-stools" Rubbermaid stepstool that rolls around as long as there is no weight on it and locks in place when it does. I have it next to the copy machine because that is the only place in the office where I have to stand for more than a minute or two. It has two levels and the lower level is just the right height.

The cake decorater over at the Vons market on the west side of town has one and she puts one foot on it when she is doing most of her work and stands on top when she it working with a taller cake or using the airbrush with one of the stencils. (She is rather short.)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I must chime in and hop on the Dansko bandwagon. I wear a Dansko Professional in Black Box Leather. Prior to this, I wore a top brand, traditional American work shoe. My old shoes cost about $75 dollars a pair and would last between 4 and 5 months. Other shoes that I had tried wouldn't last this long. After a typical 15 hour work day, I had considerable knee and lower back pain. Now I get 2-1/2 to 3 years wear out of my Danskos and no more back or knee pain. And the savings of $490 over the life of the Dansko shoes is a nice bonus!

Tobin

It is all about respect; for the ingredient, for the process, for each other, for the profession.

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