Working as a bartender can be an enjoyable gig. You learn how to engage in small talk with strangers, master the art of mixing beverages, earn extra money in tips, and serve up good times on a nightly basis. However, ask anyone in this line of work, and they will tell you that proper shoes can make or break your bartending experience.
Working as a bartender means moving around for several hours straight, so your feet will need all the comfort and cushion they can get. In this Qwick guide, we’ll cover some of the best shoes for bartenders, along with other options great for hospitality work. Let’s get into it so you can avoid those mid-shift foot cramps.
What Makes a Good Bartending/Hospitality Shoe?
Shopping for quality bartending or hospitality shoes is a matter of finding the right comfort level, support, and design that mesh well with your feet. While the type of material may not be as important as overall comfort, selecting the right components can mean the difference between safety and possible injuries. Chances are you’ll be encountering some slippery floors or spills, so non-slip shoes should be on the top of your list.
Depending on how many hours you dedicate behind a bar, you’ll also want to opt for durable shoes, meaning you should look for options that can withstand many wears and are water-resistant. If you want to go the extra mile, you can also invest in custom shoe inserts to align your feet and help eliminate any pain. The best shoe inserts for bartenders should offer some cushion in the form of an insole and should fit your foot without any trouble.
Finally, don’t fall into the trap of prioritizing style over other important aspects such as comfort and performance. While stylish shoes can make a good first impression, they are not worth the trouble if they’re make your bartending experience uncomfortable.
Top Seven Bartending Shoes
To ensure you get the most out of your selection, here are the top seven best shoes for bartending and other hospitality roles:
1. Dansko Walker Shoes
If durability is your main concern, then Dansko Walker Shoes are the way to go. This plain-toe Oxford selection offers immense support and stability and offers resistance against slippery surfaces. This can work wonders when you’re constantly moving back and forth behind the counter. Plus, you get removable footbeds with shock absorption.
Don’t be fooled by their appearance or their supposed informality; Crocs are a quality option for bartending. Not only are they easy to clean, but they are also durable, lightweight, and comfortable. It also doesn’t hurt that you can find affordable options either. So can you wear crocs to bartend? Assuming your employer is okay with it, the answer is yes. Be sure to check out the Bistro Clog and their other styles made especially for work.
3. Skechers Flex Advantage Mcallen
Given their slip-resistant traction outsole and breathable materials, the Skechers Flex Advantage Mcallen is one of the best non-slip shoes for bartenders. Even in rough conditions, their mesh upper is designed to keep your feet cool and dry. The sole is made of a smooth synthetic substance that offers stain resistance.
4. Keen Utility Women’s PTC Oxford
The Keen Utility Women’s PTC Oxford is arguably one of the best shoes for female bartenders. This selection provides great comfort, is water-resistant, and offers patented toe protection. The footbed is removable, and its midsole makes it so you don’t break a sweat. This is a quality option for hospitality positions that require you to move back and forth daily.
5. New Balance
While New Balance shoes are designed for athletic performance, they can also work wonders if your job requires you to be on your feet for several hours. Some of the New Balance features include a slip-resistant outsole designed to keep your feet firmly on the ground. Its fresh foam comfort technology helps maximize comfort levels. The only downside is that these selections are not waterproof.
6. Blundstone 990 Leather Work Boot
If you find yourself working several hours in any kitchen setting, then consider getting a pair of Blundstone 990 Leather Work Boots. The removable footbed is washable, breathable, and offers arch support. Plus, they are heat-resistant and provide protection against any hazards in the kitchen.
7. Doc Martens
Are Doc Martens good for bar work? Considering that they’re made with water-resistant leather and offer enhanced grip, the answer is yes. Additionally, they also boast air-cushioned soles and come equipped with an anti-fatigue design. While these boots are slightly heavy, they offer strong slip resistance and never go out of style.
Find a Bartending Gig With Qwick
Once you’ve had time to look through the best shoes for bartenders, check out our professional platform for the hospitality industry where you can be connected to available shifts in your area. Whether you’re searching for bartender positions or other restaurant openings, you gain control of your schedule and also get access to same-day pay. (Even as quickly as 30 minutes after you clock out!)
Download Qwick today and see what bartending opportunities await you!