Most restaurants have some sort of dress code policy. Each establishment varies, but the majority require that waiters and waitresses wear black shoes. Many restaurants will also ask that these shoes be non-slip or slip resistant. It might seem like an easy task to find a pair of waitress shoes that are black and slip resistant, but it can be difficult. That is why I have created this list. I have worn and reviewed the 5 shoes listed below because I understand the importance of having comfortable and quality pair of waitress shoes. The last thing you want is for your uncomfortable shoes to be slowing you down and getting in the way of you making those great tips!
There’s a reason nurses, teachers, waiters and waitress all seem to be wearing Dansko shoes, they are comfortable. Dansko’s promote good foot health as they have the Seal of Acceptance from the American Podiatric Medical Association. This is good for you because it means that they will offer great support while still being comfortable. Dansko shoes do take a bit of time to get used to as they are probably constructed a little differently than the normal shoes you wear. Don’t worry though, after a few shifts you’ll be happy you have them. The great news about the Dansko Professional XP Clog, compared to the Professional Clog is that Dansko made them lighter.
These shoes were created just for those working in the culinary profession. They are extremely functional and comfortable. They offer a variety of styles for both men and women. My favorite happens to be the Sport- Canvas. They are lightweight and have just the right amount of cushioning. And of course they have a slip resistant outsole. The best thing about these shoes, I think, is that they don’t look like your typical pair of “work shoes.” When you have finished your shift and want to go out afterwards, you don’t have to worry about changing your shoes. I even have a bright colored pair that aren’t for work!
If you are looking for a more athletic type of shoe, Skechers for Work Gibson-Hardwood series would be a great option. These shoes are comfortable and durable but still let you show your edgy style. (And if this particular pair isn’t your style, don’t worry they have a lot of different options.) Skechers for Work Gibson-Hardwood has an OSHA compliant slip-resistant out-sole and even meets the ASTM requirement for electrical hazard safety. Another plus is that these shoes don’t break the bank. They are affordable, casual and comfortable.
Crocs are known for being extremely lightweight and comfortable, which is exactly what you need for long shifts. But, the original Crocs weren’t acceptable at most restaurants. They were designed with holes and vents to allow for water to drain and didn’t have a solid mold, which most restaurants require. Since then, Crocs has expanded their brand and developed different styles and options that are appropriate for those working in the restaurant industry. They now offer shoes that are designed with Crocs Lock, a slip resistant tread. In addition to the traditional style and comfort of the original Crocs, these have an adjustable strap, and a toe and heel bumper. Even Chef Mario Batali has his own edition of these shoes! I would suggest checking with your restaurant owner or manager before you purchase these though, as some may require your footwear to have an enclosed back.
If you are strictly concerned with comfort, these are for you. New Balance is known for having quality, comfortable shoes. These are no exception. The New Balance 626 offers great cushioning and support as they were designed for people who have to be on their feet all day. They have a non-marking and slip resistant out-sole, with leather on the upper part of the shoe. They even have some styles that offer a steel toe, if you need that. This is more of an athletic style of footwear, so remember to check with your employer to make sure they are acceptable before you purchase.
As I’m sure you can tell, there are several types of black waitress shoes available, but the best are those that are most comfortable to you! Try to look for a lightweight shoe that offers stability and cushioning. The best advice I can offer is to break-in the shoes after you purchase them. Wear them around your house for a few hours or while you run errands. The first time you wear them at work don’t commit to them for the entire shift. Bring another pair of shoes and switch mid-shift to avoid getting blisters. A comfortable pair of waitress shoes can make a big difference. The right pair will allow for you to spend more time concentrating on the things that really matter, like increased tips!
Tip: Always wear black socks with your black waitress pants and black waitress shoes! If you don’t already have a job as a waitress, learn more about how to write your waitress resume here.