9 Best Birkenstock Chef Shoes (Reviews, Photos)
Being the oldest brand on the market (since 1774 – a serious endeavour!) Birkenstocks knows its products well. But more than that. Ranking first in a Chef’s Pencil survey on shoe brands most favored by chefs, taking 30% of the votes, Birkenstocks knows its customers well – in this particular case, the world’s culinarians.
For these shoes were invented exactly for those long tiring hours the modern chef has to gracefully endure in order to make possible all those culinary marvels we all love.
So most of their legendary shaped clogs, as well as so many of their other models, suit perfectly people working in the culinary and hospitality industry.
And with every new professional footwear collection Birkenstock brings to the market each year, not only do they not cut back on foot wellbeing, and full posture for that matter, but the German manufacturer also manages to maintain the high level of the professional safety standards that are so important in workplaces such as busy restaurant kitchens.
One might say that their special clogs for kitchen chefs are like a good family care plan, designed to promote comfort and safety and build up for long time endurance. Below we’ve put together a short list of our favourite Birkenstock chef shoes, hoping to make your choice a little bit easier.
And, as usual, before presenting you with a list of their best and latest clogs on the market, we’ve attentively surfed through the hot world of professional cooking, reviewing what the experts ̶ chefs, physicians and clog manufacturers have to say on this long-standing subject, so our picks have not been taken lightly or randomly.
1. BirkenStock Linz Super Grip
The key selling point of the Linz Super Grip model is the unsplit leather, which makes this pair beautiful and contributes significantly to the comfort and protection needed for those long hours standing.
Add to that the nonslip super grip sole, very good oil and grease resistance, and some ideal rolling in motion, and you have one of the best pairs of professional footwear for chefs.
2. Tokio Super Grip
This model puts together a nice combo of smooth leather, special rubber, and cosy suede. But this quite elegant sandal is not only nice to look at, going well with the proper attire for a professional kitchen, but is also ideal for its nonslip and rolling motion features – two important details for chefs and their staff when it comes to work shoes. As the name itself states it,
Tokio Super Grip has a sturdy sole, which has been carefully tested for slip resistance, in accordance with the required standards, making this model a top favorite for chefs. The adjustable back strap offers even more stability, while the anatomically shaped cork-latex footbed will soon become the foot’s best friend.
3. Unisex Soft Footbed London Clog
Here we’re talking leather and cork at its best, in fact, the original Birkenstock that has managed to keep people’s feet comfortable, aka happy, for more than 200 years. And we also dare to say that is no small thing.
The shape of this classic clog helps the even distribution of body weight, thus offering that optimal support so needed during when standing long hours. All you have to do is keep walking and let the shoes do the rest, which is taking on the shape of your feet.
4. Birkenstock QO700
With such a code name stitched into them, these shoes would probably have a good run at Agent 007, too. Instead, these modern-looking ankle sneakers are happy to serve unconditionally, and for long periods of time, the equally famous agent of the culinary world: the tireless chef.
The demanding professional kitchen environment is really no sweat for these safety shoes Their removable footbed offers a good grip, while their “oil-and-petrol-resistant outsole provides for energy absorption around the heel”, just to mention only a few of their features.
5. Bistkenstock Super Birki
These compact shoes that look like the modern version of the real-deal Dutch clog are above all light and comfy. Being dirt-repellent and resilient to oil and water (washable to 80° C), they are a very good choice for a busy restaurant kitchen.
Also their compact factor makes efficient disinfection easily possible, ranking them a super seller among the Birkenstock family. The moisture absorbing material protecting the anatomically shaped cork-latex footbed can be easily removed and washed to 30° C. No heal protection though.
6. Birkenstock QO 400
At first glance simply a comfy-and-casual shoe, the Birkenstock QO 400 is definitely more than meets the eye. These no-lace slip-ons have a microfiber removable footbed, a feature which contributes to the firm grip needed while taking the strain off your feet.
The antistatic water-resistant natural leather of the upper part makes a good match with the nitrile rubber, an oil-resistant synthetic fabric ideal for nonslip outsoles, a much needed combo for all the long hours spent standing. The outgoing modern look of this rather stylish pair is also a plus.
7. Birkenstock Boston Super Grip
For all lovers of classic quality out there, these simple neat clogs, which come in black and white, might just be the long awaited answer for their feet. Here, the anatomically shaped cork-latex footbed is nicely supported by the smooth mix of fine natural fabrics – leather for the upper and suede for the inner lining.
Even though this model doesn’t have arch support, its sole, made of nonslip authentic rubber, promotes good stability as well as comfort – two requirements that cannot be overlooked when it comes to spending long hours around the kitchen counter.
8. Birkenstock QES 500 ESD
Just a modern sneaker ready for an extended stroll in the park, you might say, but this leather shoe with 6-hole lacing is also a friend of the modern chef. For all those extended working hours, a pair of QES 500 ESD promotes a firm grip and a lot of comfort in movement.
But the best feature lies probably in their ESD (identified as a round yellow emblem) quality – a ‘grounding’ attribute which provides a constant electrostatic discharge, for this technology is meant to balance the “potential differences between the electrical charge of the wearer and their work environment”.
Add to the equation an outer sole, resistant to penetration, which is also nonslip and oil-resistant, and you might have found your perfect work-and-play pair of shoes.
9. Birkenstock A 630
When it comes to “maximum sure-footedness” in the kitchen, this pair of outer space station clogs ranks among the best footwear choices a professional kitchen worker might make.
Definitely a certified occupational footwear (in accordance with EN ISO 20347:2012 OB E / SRC category), because these clogs check the very important hygiene and nonslip properties so highly required in a workspace, such as those related to the food and hospitality industry.
The anatomically shaped foodbed, easy to wash, is also the chef’s ankles, tendons, and joints best friend – offering them much needed protection.
Why Should You Care About Proper Kitchen Footwear
Endless hours of standing and moving and turning quickly, easily, and, most of all, safely in a crowded and noisy restaurant environment mean you need proper footwear. As well as the potential and sometimes unavoidable cuts and burns, professional kitchen workers may often suffer from chronic back pain, due to the long hours spent standing and handling heavy pots, but also from what’s known as… chef’s foot, aka an arthritic condition in the big toe (Hallux Rigidus).
Take a look here at what this panel of expert physicians we previously interviewed have to say on this serious topic of kitchen work related injuries. But have we mentioned the slips, trips, and falls that also come with the territory?
According to a work report published last September by Shoes for Crews Europe and conducted by Health and Safety Executive, “more than half of the reported injuries in Great Britain were caused by slips, trips and falls.”
And even though most of the injuries caused by tripping and slipping on the job were not fatal (thank God for that!), the impact on the business in question was pretty significant, not to mention the physical incapacity inflicted on the injured party, as stated by the same source.
But there is steady help on the horizon and, in our particular case, it takes the form of professional footwear for chefs. And here, the absolute royalty when it comes to ruling the smaller but equally important kingdom of professional footwear resides in the hands (the irony, right?) of Birkenstock – probably one of the most famous manufacturers, whether you prefer the unisex classic clogs or the more modern looking slip-ons and lace sneakers.
Where to buy your perfect Birkenstock chef shoes?
Let’s start with some piece of advice: shop for kitchen shoes at the end of your shift, when your feet are swollen. If shops are closed at the end of your shift, buy online and try them on at the end of your working day.
You can shop Birkenstocks at your local footwear shop or online on Amazon or other specialized shoe retailers.
If you’re looking to shop for quality kitchen shoes check out our following guides:
- Best Anti-Slip Shoes for Cooks and Chefs
- Best Emeril Lagasse Shoes
- Best Crocs for Kitchen Professionals
- Best Kitchen Shoe Brands
Chef’s Pencil is reader-supported. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission, though this not impact the product selection, which is done independently by our editors and contributors.