Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
You don’t want to step into your next bartending gig without the right gear. Keeping up with orders and keeping nimble and knowledgeable are key to the bartending trade. Let’s face it, you wouldn’t try to mix a cocktail without the right tools. What really are the best shoes for bartending?
See also: Great for making small talk behind the bar, this is everything you need to know about investing in wine!
What are the Best Shoes for Bartending?
Today we’re going to explore some of the fabulous footwear options out there for the burgeoning bartender. Whether you’re just starting out in the scene, or looking to make a really professional impression you’re going to need the right shoes for the job.
I’ve set out to review a wide variety of different styles of shoes adequate for bartending. With years of food service experience myself, I can promise you that proper footwear is make or break for a good shift!
What Goes Into Finding the Best Shoes for Bartending?
Endlessly searching for the right fit won’t get you too far I’m afraid. It’s a battle between cost, comfort and style. Ultimately what will make or break your decision depends on what you need them for. If you’re navigating through a lot of spills and mop water, you’ll need to prioritize the non-slip capabilities of your shoes, as well as making sure they will hold up to the continued abuse shift after shift.
Or perhaps you’re starting at a more high-brow bar, and you really want to make sure your attire matches the ambiance without compromising on safety and comfort. I’ve taken the time to sort through a selection of bartending shoes to find just the right fit, so to speak.
Grabber’s Mens Literush G0024
These shoes combine the best of style and safety with bartenders in mind. Providing a non slip injected sole as well as a non slip heel pad on the inside, you can rest easy knowing you’ll maintain a tight and secure fit throughout your entire shift. You can’t afford to slip and lose a glass or even worse, an entire order!
Soft and durable, these shoes offer more than just a gel support. Personally I’ve found gel insert shoes are only a half-decent shoe with a thin removable gel layer inside that gets as flat as paper in no time. You want to take good care of your feet, and subsequently your back and posture when you should only have to worry about taking care of your patrons.
- Interior and exterior non-slip functionality for secure grip
- Designed with some style in mind
- May not be suitable for formal dress
Nuun Bush Men’s Sherman Slip-Resistant Oxford
This thoughtfully designed Oxford style shoe is perfect for higher end foodservice and bartending. This shoe is an all around style piece, with faux leather that’s easy to clean as well as easy on the eyes. At the very least, you can be sure these won’t detract from your service, they blend in well in most environments thanks to their style and finish.
These are fully non slip, oil and marking resistant shoes. That means that they can easily hold up to everything the kitchen and bar floor can throw at you. One good point of advice when looking for bartending shoes is to remember that oil resistant shoes also hold up better to corrosive chemicals found in lots of commercial mop water cleaner.
- Classic bartending shoes style
- Durable and resistant
- Can run a bit pricier
- Glossy formal finish is not for everyone’s taste
New Balance Men’s Slip Resistant Shoes
These workhouse bartending shoes by New Balance offer a well-rounded utility shoe perfect for more casual but heavier-duty bartending environments. If you’re stepping over broken glass, spilled beer and mop water these bartending shoes will be a lifesaver! One thing I’ve got to say about these shoes is having owned a few pairs of New Balance shoes myself, I can say for certain the comfort is some of the best in class.
They have a very neutral style, and offer a full range of slip and non marking resistance to stand up to tough bartending environments. Standing on your feet all shift calls for a resilient and comfortable shoe!
- Long lasting comfort
- 100% Leather
- Yellow NB Industrial patch that may be visible on tongue of shoe
Stacy Adams Men’s Adell Slip Resistant Shoe
This shoe is another formal fashion shoe that features non-slip capabilities for light foodservice and bartending duties. If you’re having to work a lot of formal events, or just a classier hotel bar these would serve as a great option for you! As a bonus, you would never know from looking at them that these are non-slip shoes.
The classic Oxford style should never be underestimated. Respectful and well built, these bartending shoes are perfect for tying together a formal bartending outfit. Don’t let the style and finish fool you, these bartending shoes are completely slip resistant, so you can be nimble on your feet without having to dodge spilled drinks or dish water.
- Glossy high class Oxford style
- Fully slip resistant combining style with safety
- Higher than average price tag
Dockers Men’s Lawton Slip Resistant Shoe
This loafer-style shoe is a great compromise between comfort and style, if you work behind the right type of bar counter. Eliminate the fuss of laces with these comfortable and neutrally style loafers. I’ve found these to be a comfortable alternative to the wretched clog-style kitchen shoe. You know, those awful molded uncomfortable hunks of rubber? You don’t have to worry about a lack of comfort or construction, as these are reliably Dockers made.
The inside sole features a combination of density and comforting memory foam for a fit that will keep you going all day. For me, the only thing next to headaches that can take down a shift is sore feet. Invest wisely in your bartending shoes, so you can concentrate on providing a higher level of service and skill!
- Lace-free loafer design
- Aren’t versatile for every outfit
Skechers Men’s Cessnock Foodservice Shoe
Comfort meets casual with these active-fit bartending shoes by skechers. If you know shoes at all, you know comfort can be found in a brand new pair of sketchers. I’ve worn other pairs of sketchers with a similar style and can happily say the fit is worth the hype. These active-style runners by skechers are a great way to stay nimble, comfortable and safe behind the counter.
Bungee lacing will be familiar for hikers and runners, allowing for a more flexible fit. These bartending shoes are also slip resistant, a must for dealing with mop water and spilled drinks behind a wet bar.
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Flexible fit
- Active, modern style
- Very casual style not fit for all establishments
- Cheapish insole
Selecting the best shoes for bartending depends a lot on your work environment, once you’re sure that you’re ready to go! All of these shoes will give you a decent level of comfort, so that’s not something you need to worry about. If you’re using them everyday of course they should provide you with good, ergonomic support!
See also: We’ve reviewed the top of the line wine dispensers so you can add a touch of convenience, and luxury into your life!
What are the Best Shoes for Bartenders?
I’m someone who’s gone through a handful of pairs of foodservice shoes, and I can say that based on previous experience I’ve found the New Balance slip resistant shoes were the best out of the lot! In terms of style, comfort and value they turned out to be the most versatile.
They’re the best you can get for long lasting support, comfort and construction which is directly tied to the value they have. This means you’ll be replacing them less often, and saving money in the long term. They have a neutral design, and are tough enough for almost any job in bartending. Wet floors and spilled drinks provide plenty of opportunities for you to take a dangerous and embarrassing slip!
You’re going to be working more than a few long shifts. It goes without saying, and most certainly worth mentioning that I did not account for various sizes while reviewing these bartender shoes. Make sure the brand you find best suits your needs, also fits your foot! This is absolutely crucial to maintaining good posture and ergonomic support.
Thanks for checking out my reviews for the best shoes for bartenders! Hopefully you’ve found a style that works for you! If not, searching through reviews can also be a great way to get yourself on track and find some perspective as to what’s out there on the market. Thanks for stopping by!