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Review: Shoes for Crews

shoes for crews
Review: Shoes for Crews

Slip and fall injuries are a huge issue in restaurants – and those injuries can last a lifetime. Slip-resistant footwear is a must. Enter Shoes for Crews.

Checking out some of the safety shoes in the line, the look is solid, the feel is comfortable and they do exactly what they are supposed to do.

With that classic waffle pattern keeping your feet firmly planted, Shoes for Crews is coming of age with intense, new looks. New branding, a diverse array of styles and even new lines within the brand, this safety shoe player is changing the business.

Chef shoes can have style.
Cooks are wearing pressed chef coats. They are also wearing uber-boujee aprons. Or they are wearing jeans and a Star Wars t-shirt. Looks obviously matter. Clunky, one style-fits-all doesn’t cut it. Shoes for Crews gives more than a nod to all of the hipster cooks, the rebellious minions looking to change the world one plate at a time. There are casual entries in the new line. Athletic, front-of-the house, and rugged variations are part of the catalog, as well. Skater-looking shoes, canvas high-tops, cushy slip-ons and rugged shit-kickers are but a small part of the new Shoes for Crews portfolio. The recently retooled line has a flavor for every taste. Like a traditional basketball looking version? The Old School Classic III model is yours. Want that skater look? The Carter in canvas is here. Need a patent leather style for the pastry empress? The Juno. Lit!

SFC has nailed their traction pattern onto the likes of beloved Mozo, New Balance, Ace work boots and the Dockers line, if one of those styles is more what you fancy.

Shoes for Crews: Are they worth it?
Knock-offs, replicants, and recent entries from other makers are looking to slip some of those Shoes for Crews customers their way. The problem? They – ahem – suck in comparison. There is a reason the Shoes for Crews line has been around for 30+ years. The latest models feature, for instance, a revised slip resistance in the soles that channels liquid kitchen mess out of the way of sure footing. Forget that trashing expensive ‘outside of work’ shoes is a hassle.

The models we tried are under $70. Are they going to last forever? No. Are they going to keep you vertical for at least the better part of the year? Yes. Most of the new line is easily cleaned so they can be worn for after-hours drinks without having to schlep another pair of shoes to work.

At 25, I loved wearing the footwear that made me look cool. At 30, I wore the serious, rigid, ‘fear me, for I am the chef’ sort. At over 30, I simply want my feet to not hurt after 12 hours and to not fall on my ass traversing the kitchen carrying a bus tub of crabcake mix. Having a relatively inexpensive pair (or two!) of shoes that work hard while you are working hard makes sense.

Jim Berman

Jim Berman is a kitchen lifer. A career cook, Jim orchestrates new menus, works on staffing solutions and manages food purchases. He received his formal culinary training in New Mexico, and has done stints in kitchens in Pittsburgh, Santa Fe, and the Delaware Valley. Jim’s writing is regularly featured on Poached Jobs, Foodable, Toast and Kitchen Grit.

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