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Kitchen mats


tafkap4d
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I have solid hardwood floors throughout my new home (with the exception of travertine in a few choice spots) and I cook quite a bit and my feet are hurting (I've only been in the house a few days).

I was considering these gel mats at letsgel.com but am interested in hearing what others use as well as recommend.

Thanks all.

Whoever said that man cannot live by bread alone...simply did not know me.
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My past kitchens have had concrete or linoleum floors, and I've never really noticed, because I wear these 24/7. This isn't a paid endorsement ( :rolleyes: ), just an endorsement. I'm on my feet all day long (teaching/cooking), and my feet never hurt at the end of the day, in these things. I consider them a good investment, every couple of years.

Alternatively, you could also try making an ad-hoc mat from a sheet of cork, to see if that might help.

Good luck!

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Dansko's are good...and so are these CROCS I wear them all the time...constantly, really. I even have the boots. I haven't had foot pain since the day I bought them. WAY cheaper than mats, too!

Don't try to win over the haters. You're not the jackass whisperer."

Scott Stratten

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We normally don't wear shoes in the home- I wear slippers or socks and partner wears bare feet.

I used to be that way...but then age and gravity got me. Crocs are very slipper-like...and they have quite a few styles. I just can't say enough good things.

I am intrigued by the gel mats tho...but I would need the whole floor to be gel..I'm all over the place.

Don't try to win over the haters. You're not the jackass whisperer."

Scott Stratten

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We normally don't wear shoes in the home- I wear slippers or socks and partner wears bare feet.

Is this to keep the house cleaner or protect the floors? You might find water getting trapped under the mats, ruining your floors anyway.

Sorry I don't have a solution. Maybe if the shoes you wear when you're outside the house are really supportive, then when you're cooking barefoot it won't bother you as much. Is it possible you might have plantar fasciitis?

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I wear crocs too and that has made a huge difference. (I have ceramic tiles). My sister in law gave me two anti fatigue mats for Christmas. They are commercial mats, used in the plant where she works. I have one at the sink and one in my prep area. Between the mats and the crocs, I no longer have pain from standing and prepping all day. There were even times it took a while to get my feet to work in the morning they were so sore from standing. That has pretty much disappeared since the mats.

Marlene

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Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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We have brick on the first floor and use a stall mat (yes, the kind for horses). It is not super attractive but works great and was MUCH cheaper than any of the mats sold for kitchen floors or restaurant kitchens. I have also used those kitchen mats (perforated kind) and they are also nice. Either type can be taken up (they are heavy) and hosed off if the vacuum does not do the job thoroughly enough. Water was not an issue for the stall mat but did go through the holes in the kitchen mat sometimes. Just had to move it out and clean it up.

“Cheese has always been a food that both sophisticated and simple humans love.”

M.F.K. Fisher, How to Cook a Wolf (1942)

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I am just heavy! lol

It is just a habit of partner and I - we just take off our shoes as soon as we hit the front (or any other) door. No particular reason. I wear a super comfy bedroom shoe or thick athletic sock. Partner doesn't cook as much as I do so we can count her out. :)

I may try the crocs and just leave them in the laundry room (which is off from the kitchen).

The gel mats look neat but as someone mentioned - my kitchen is rather large and I am really all over the place so I would have to spend a small fortune to cover the space.

Whoever said that man cannot live by bread alone...simply did not know me.
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You don't have to cover the whole space, just the places where you stand and work most of the time: the stove, sink, and the key countertops where you do most of your prep. It's not toxic to step off the mats for a few minutes. The issue is that when you stand in one place for a long time it really is murder on your feet.

We have wood floors in our kitchen (which by the way are pretty soft by the standards of kitchen floors) and our solution was to go to the carpet store. They had many choices of carpeting designed for staircases -- long rolls of carpeting with interesting designs, only a couple of feet wide. I was surprised at how nice some of the stuff was -- you're not limited to stodgy old fleur-de-lys designs on burgundy backgrounds; they have all sorts of solids with borders, mini-checks and other tasteful modern stuff. You can cut them to any length and have the store put a nice edge on the cut ends. The stuff we got has a no-skid backing, but you can also have this put on or you can spray on some stuff that helps the carpet grip the floor. I think it cost us about a hundred bucks to do about 16 feet of the stuff.

The gel mats are good for your feet but, in my opinion, they're ugly.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I don't know if mine are gel or not, but they are grey and ugly so I cover mine with a couple of non skid throw mats that I got for 20 bucks each at Costco. As Fat Guy says, just cover the spots where you are standing for long periods of time. For me, that's the sink, stove and prep area. My mats are about 2x3 each.

Oh and I have crocs that are for indoors only as well. I wear them or slippers (mocassins) indoors.

Edited by Marlene (log)

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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This doesn't help much but I recall in the last issue of Bon AppetÍt magazine, there was a small ad in the back of the issue (along with all the other small ads) for floor mats. Not sure if it's the same company that's been previously mentioned. Next time you're in a bookstore or by a newsrack, check the magazine out.

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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Don't know about Bon App, but the letsgel.com mats are advertised in the back of Saveur (page 93 this month).

In professional kitchens they use these industrial black rubber honeycomb mats -- now those are really ugly.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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We normally don't wear shoes in the home- I wear slippers or socks and partner wears bare feet.

So did I until I ended up with plantar fasciitis or heal spurs. I would live barefoot at home or wear my favorite, very flat, sandals from Key West. I've gotten a lot of relief with crocs.

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One place I worked used the "kids puzzle piece shaped play mats" no, I dont know what they are called but apparantly they are alot cheaper than restaurant mats and they are cute too. :unsure:

tracey

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Don't know about Bon App, but the letsgel.com mats are advertised in the back of Saveur (page 93 this month).

In professional kitchens they use these industrial black rubber honeycomb mats -- now those are really ugly.

The new kitchen at my place will have hardwood floors and I'm seriously thinking about giving those gel mats a shot. The guy at the company said they haven't tested them in a commercial environment but he thinks they're durable enough to stand up to the abuse. Another good thing about them is that they have an antibacterial agent built into the material, so nothing will grow on them.

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I have a very, very high instep. standing in my kitchen on tile floor KILLS my feet. I can get away with my tempurpedic slippers doing breakfast, but then I have to have some support. I tried gelmats, but was having to wash them outside 2-3 times a week. I have lots of boys through my kitchen every day, eating and walking around, so floors have to be swept often and mats and rugs washed. I gave up with the mats and rugs and found some shoes that support my feet. I got a pair of mbt's..they've helped my back, support my feet, and have improved my posture. I hope they've improved my butt too. so far no comments on that. They are expensive, but I've worn mine every day for 18 months. I put 2 miles a day on the treadmill after I've cleaned up and only take them off when I'm leaving the house. On weekends I'll keep them on longer. They are ultra supportive footwear. Here's a link http://www.swissmasaius.com/Default.aspx?lang=en-US. I did warn you they are expensive? Mine are almost 2 years old now and are doing great so I guess I'm getting my money's worth.

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I used to walk around barefoot and cook either barefoot or in socks. Those were bad ideas for a number of reasons. Over time, I did plenty of damage to my feet, some of which I was able to fix and some of which I'll probably never fully be able to undo. In addition, I've had a couple of incidents where I've dropped heavy or hot objects on my feet, stepped on sharp things, etc. Luckily, no serious injuries -- but how long can such luck last? So, I now always at least wear slippers around the house and in the kitchen, and if I'm really cooking I wear clogs.

Also, if you have tile floors this is less of a concern, but with wood floors you want to protect the floors -- not just your feet. My kitchen's wood floors are far better preserved on account of the carpet mats we use. It's a real pain to refinish your wood kitchen floors, so it's better to protect them so they don't need refinishing.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Crocs have zero arch support, so if you have flat feet (like I do) you'll probably be in more pain with them than without them. I had mine on for about an hour before I took them back to the little hut in the mall that sold them--they were the most uncomfortable shoes I've had since I was in marching band.

My footwear of choice would be a good pair of Wolverine DuraShock electrician's workboots. They're safety-toed so you're safe from any dropped kinves, and the heavily insulated soles are incredibly springy and comfortable. If I try standing on concrete in anything else my toes go numb.

Anti-fatigue mats are always welcome. What I'd really like to get is some of the super-springy stuff they surround the semi-dangerous rides with at young childrens' playgrounds. If they could pave an entire city with that I'd move there in a heartbeat.

Edited by nduran (log)
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Crocs don't work for me either. But electrician's boots? The issue for me, and for most people I think, is that workboots are an impractical and uncomfortable solution for the home cook. Most people's needs run more towards something that slips on and off, breathes a little bit and doesn't look too out-of-place. Clogs seem a good solution. There are a lot of variants available.

I should add: when I put in lengthy kitchen time, like spending a week in a professional kitchen, clogs don't cut it for me. My current preference is a pair of Timberland light hiking shoes. They have many of the elements of boot construction but don't cover the ankle.

But . . . you can only accomplish so much with shoes alone. It still helps quite a bit to have a softer surface to stand on.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I bought a specifically designed kitchen floor mat - thick carpet on top of a foam base, nonskid backing, washable - from Vermont Country Store about 10 years ago. Shaped like a capital letter D so it goes up against your counter wth no annoying corners to catch your foot. It's been terrific, like standing on a cloud while you prep / cook / wash dishes, & sturdy.

Sadly, they no longer seem to carry them. But you might email the store & ask, if you're interested; they've been known to reintroduce old products if folks want them.

http://www.vermontcountrystore.com/jump.js...=48&iSubCat=200

Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

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Crocs don't work for me either. But electrician's boots? The issue for me, and for most people I think, is that workboots are an impractical and uncomfortable solution for the home cook.

Impractical for some, maybe, but uncomfortable? Try them on before you make that call.

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