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Goodbye back pain! This pair of shoes is what I look for during long days in the kitchen.
Reviewed by registered dietitian Jessica Ball, MS, RD
I spent a lot of my adult years standing. The majority of that time was spent in kitchens where the floors were hard and the work was arduous. It was a thing when I was in my twenties, but now that I’m a little older, it’s taking a real toll on me physically, especially on my back. When I first started, I wore clogs in the commercial kitchens where I prepared and cooked. But in my kitchen, I opted for bare feet with socks in winter. I had considered indoor shoes at one point, but like all practical thoughts that come to mind, I discounted them. But a few years ago, the idea came back to me after a particularly long day at work and I promised myself I wouldn’t go barefoot again.
Related: The best shoes if you have diabetes, according to podiatrists
Sure, there are plenty of shoe options, but which pair would be best for the kitchen? A friend suggested slippers, but that sounded like a recipe for disaster. For me, slippers equal time on the couch with a cozy blanket and a good book, not work. I thought about clogs, but they are bulky and hot and while I loved them in the commercial kitchen, it felt weird wearing them in my personal kitchen. Luckily, a moment of clarity came while cleaning out my daughter’s closet. I found a cute little pair of Crocs that I bought her years ago, and since she loved them, I bet I did too. And that’s how Hedley & Bennett’s Crocs Clog became my favorite shoe in the kitchen.
Buy it: Hedley and Bennett; $77
Buy it: Crocs; $59.99
They are light and space-saving, allowing me to move around the kitchen easily. I love the spongy layer between my feet and the floor, and it’s exactly what I needed. The Crocs feature an adjustable heel strap, which means my feet stay firmly in the shoes without slipping or sliding. They also include ventilation ports for added breathability, perfect for when the kitchen gets too hot.
Plus, they’re easy to clean with a mild detergent in case I accidentally spill something. Of course, Crocs can also be personalized with charms, so you can tailor your shoes to your style. With so many great features, I now wear my Crocs whenever I know I have a long day ahead of me in the kitchen.
Related: The 9 Best Walking Shoes, According to Podiatrists
These Crocs not only bring me joy, but also make my back feel like nothing! No pain! It makes sense that shoes help, but I asked Heather Hughes, M.Ed., owner and fitness instructor at Power Sculpt Fitness, to weigh in on the subject. “People with back pain or other conditions such as plantar fasciitis or diabetes may find their condition worsened when they are barefoot,” says Hughes.
That’s why she recommends finding supportive shoes to wear indoors. This can help relieve pain in the moment, and later, she notes. “Think about it, even at home you are walking, climbing, squatting, etc. and having a good base to absorb shock and provide support can only be beneficial. Look for shoes that provide structure and not just comfort,” says Hughes. Hughes recommends finding something with a firm sole for easy traction in a breathable style. Athletic shoes may be fine, but shop around to find what works for you.
Although Hedley & Bennett Crocs clogs are my favorite shoe choice, there are many great options available. For more recommendations, check out the 8 Best Slippers with Arch Support, according to Podiatrits.