You probably haven’t given much thought to the shoes you wear in your kitchen. Heck, you might even cook barefoot. But when you work in a professional kitchen, you quickly learn that a pair of dedicated kitchen shoes is essential. During my first week working at America’s Test Kitchen, it became clear I needed to buy myself a proper pair of kitchen clogs—not only for comfort, but safety.
Take one look at our test cooks’ feet (when they're working in the Test Kitchen or working in their home kitchens, as they have been since March) and the majority of them will be outfitted in some variation of clogs—thick-soled shoes that cover nearly the entire top of the foot. Some of the clogs are kitchen-worn light brown leather, others are solid black or dark red, and some are patterned. All are there to protect test cooks’ feet in case a knife accidentally falls onto the ground or hot pasta water splashes over the side of a pot and onto unsuspecting toes. They also offer support, as many of us are on our feet for eight hours a day. Not having good shoes can translate to having back, leg, and foot pain by the time 5 p.m. comes around.
Which means, not surprisingly, a lot of us test cooks have strong opinions on which kitchen clogs we like best and why. Here are the brands that get the most love from our test cooks—and if you're a serious home cook, you might want to invest in a pair of one of our favorite brands.