As a bartender, you may love your job, but there is no denying that it is a tough job! Bartending comes with long hours on your feet, and walking around here, there, and everywhere. Particularly, if your duties entail taking orders as well. Nothing worse than lousy customers leaving behind lousy tips, but a bad pair of shoes can make your night, a nightmare!
If you don’t invest in a good pair of shoes, you are putting yourself at risk of foot, ankle, and back pain. Plus, you have to be in those ridiculously uncomfortable shoes till the end of your shift. No, it is not to be borne!
We don’t want you to suffer, so to make things easy for you, we have gathered almost a dozen of the best shoes that are ideal for bartending. Read on!
The Best Shoes for Bartending
1. Editor’s pick: Dr. Martens 1460
One of the main things you should concern yourself with when you are bartending is that the shoes you wear should be slip-resistant. You don’t want to take a tumble right in the middle of your shift, do you! The super-popular Doc Marten boots are oil, fat, and slip-resistant!
The leather quality is stellar, and the above ankle height provides excellent foot and ankle support. If you are moving around quickly because of your bartending duties, there is plenty of ankle support to prevent you from slipping and falling over.
They may be a tad on the expensive range, but then those AirWare slip-resistant roles are a real ankle and foot-saver behind the bar!
- Slip-resistant soles
- Excellent ankle and foot support.
- Superbly constructed with Goodyear welt
- Safe pair of shoes
Size may run a bit small
Doc Martens has you covered if you are looking for a nice, slip-resistant, and safe pair of shoes when working behind the bar. The rugged look and price may not be for everyone. But if you are choosing a Doc Martens, neither you nor your feet will be disappointed!
2. Shoes for Crews
Shoes with great arch support and padded collars are comfortable if you have to stand all day long. Shoes for Crews is a great option if comfort is your priority. They have slip-resistant outsoles as well to keep you safe when you do your thing.
- Slip-resistant outsoles reduce trips and falls
- Ventilation keeps your feet cool all day long
- Made of leather, it is stylish
- For shoes with comfort as one of the main features, several users reported discomfort.
If you are on your feet almost all day long, and looking for shoes that are great at the workplace and affordable, don’t stray too far from Shoes for Crews!
Coming in at a close second is Dansko, one of the best shoes you can possibly own if you are big on style along with comfort. The padded line and arch support of these shoes give you all-day comfort and prevent joint and back pains when you have to clock in those long shifts. It offers the benefits of clogs, but it is much lighter. This prevents fatigue even if you walk around all the time, all day long!
With PU midsole, you will get the benefit of additional cushioning. Rugged rubber outsoles will make your shoes last the distance. The price may be too steep for you to afford, so invest in it if you have the means to do so and can maintain it well.
- Extremely popular and preferred by professionals
- Stylish, durable, and comfortable.
- Natural arch technology and padded collar
- Leather upper
- The price is steep.
Danko is one of the most loved brands and enjoys huge popularity with professionals in the service sector. If you have the means to buy them, go for it without hesitation. They will provide utmost comfort without compromising on style or safety.
4. Blundstone 510
Blundstone’s weather-proof and shock-resisting boots are a bartender’s favorite. With great miles of wear and a lifetime warranty, you don’t have to dig too far to know why. The shoes are water-proof, and the rubber soles are not only nice and sturdy, but they are also oil, fat, and acid-resistant.
Made in Australia, the footbeds can be easily taken off for cleaning. The flexible elastic slides make putting and removing the shoes a breeze.
- Lifetime warranty
- Good comfort and support.
- Water-proof shell
- Slip-resistant soles
- Some users reported complaints with crumbling soles.
Comfortable and with plenty of room, these shoes provide hiker-approved quality. Yes, take a small hike in them if that is your interest!
The leather finish is lovely to look at. Apart from aesthetics, they score on functionality as well. They are water-resistant and provide support, so you don’t fall over. The fat, oil, and water-resistant soles are great for the greasy and sticky, resultant, and bar environment. You can also slip in and out of them and clean them easily- always a plus!
5. Adidas Originals NMD_R1
These shoes are tailor-made for the fashion-conscious. Light, comfortable and stylish, these shoes feature the Adidas boost midsole and a durable outsole. Coupled with the stretchy knit upper, these shoes provide supreme comfort.
- Stylish and easy to carry
- The boost midsole provides one of the most responsive cushioning
- Some users received the product without insoles.
When it is the weekend, and there is a mad rush at the bar, these light, comfortable, and stylish shoes from Adidas will help you tremendously. Plus is the Adidas brand! Enough said!
6. Vans Sk8-Hi Slim
These higher-end Vans look snug and stylish with any outfit. Moderate arch support and collar padding will provide you the comfort you are looking for till your shift is over.
These super-affordable skater shoes are made with durable canvas, cotton drill lining, and waffle outsoles, which provide flexibility, support, and grip. The suede and canvas on uppers protect you from bumps and falls when skateboarding. This transforms into the grip, support, and protection when you are tending to the bar.
- Stylish and supportive
- Comfortable and safe
- The slim profile looks very attractive
- Suede and canvas uppers give grip and protection
- The midsoles tend to wear out with use.
For style and comfort, and more importantly, affordability, these are a great pair of shoes to own. And they will keep you in good stead till closing time. Get your hands on them-you won’t be sorry!
7. Skechers for Work Men’s Felton Slip Resistant Relaxed-Fit Work Shoe
Skechers is a household and super popular brand. If you have never owned one, surely you know someone who does?
Skechers Felton Slip Work Shoes boast of a rubber sole and a memory foam insole for solid comfort. The shell is made of soft fabric lining along with a padded tongue and collar for superior comfort. Rugged and comfortable, these shoes are also slip-resistant and shock-absorbing.
The high-quality rubbers soles will last long, eliminating the need to go through shoes frequently.
- Features memory foam insoles and shock-absorbing soles to get you through long shifts comfortably.
- Extra padding provides additional comfort.
- Affordable price
- Do not provide much arch support
- May break down easily
Being quite cheap, you get what you pay for with Skechers. Comfort is the most desired quality of these shoes.
8. Red Wings Iron Ranger
We would rate this on par with Dansko. If you are looking for a great quality pair of shoes, look no further than Red Wings Iron Ranger. If maintained properly, these can last for years giving great bang for your buck!
Beautiful, natural, and 100% leather gives a vintage look, only enhanced by leather scuffing that may occur. Nitrile cork on the outsoles give a cushioning effect, heel pockets prevent heel slippage, and the steel shank provides support whatever you are doing.
The Red Wing IronRanger throws in a toe cap front for a more sophisticated and classy look. The soles are oil and water-resistant.
- Supreme craftsmanship
- Stellar quality construction
- It may not be the most fashionable
- Requires some breaking in
If you are looking for shoes that give great support, comfort, and overall, great value for money, go for Red Wings!
9. KEEN Utility Oxford Shoe
Keen deserves its place in the list of the best bartender shoes. Made from super durable leather, the shoe features a stain-resistance system that helps you make and serve drinks without too much worry.
This KEEN shoe is equipped with oil and water-resistance, which prevents you from slipping and toppling over. In fact, the non-marking rubber goes over ASTM Mark II criteria for non-slip footwear.
The footbed, manufactured from memory foam, will indicate the right position of the foot. Besides, the compressed molded midsoles and stability shanks provide ventilation so that your busy feet can remain cool all day long.
- Water and oil-resistant
- Being a bit too firm, they can be difficult to get in to
- The slip-resistance may wear out over time
If you are looking for shoes in which you can work all day comfortably, without breaking a sweat, buy KEEN shoes without further delay!
10.MOZO Men’s Sharkz Slip Resistant Work Shoe
These slip-on working shoes from MOZO have been made for people who work in the kitchens and bars. Light, soft, and comfortable, it boasts of a uni-frame technology that makes these shoes so ultra-light you feel like you are walking on the clouds!
The shoes fit snugly and comfortably, thanks to the unique MozoFit customizable fit system. Moreover, the shoe has a synthetic upper that provides resistance against water.
Besides, the shoes are popular for their ventilation, making bartenders feel cool and relaxed all day long. The high-quality slip-and oil-resistant rubber outsoles sole is ASTM-rated for safe, secure traction on a variety of surfaces. The shoe also has gel insoles for additional cushioning and comfort.
In addition, dual side goring lends flexibility and ease when walking.
- Flexible and provides maximum comfort
- Slip and oil-resistant, perfect for wear in kitchens and bars
- Snug and lightweight, easy to carry
- Do not provide much arch support.
If you are looking for a casual pair of shoes that are super comfortable and lightweight, do yourself a favor and go with Mozo!
11. Budget-pick: Crocs Unisex Bistro Clog
Alright, we know what you are thinking. But we couldn’t complete this list without including Crocs! Love them or hate them, there is just no ignoring them! An updated version of the classic clog, this shoe is perfectly tailored for those in the service and hospitality industry.
It comes in half a dozen colors, but they are not to be owned for their looks, but rather their functionality. It can be great working behind the bar with these quirky shoes on.
Light, comfortable, slip and liquid spill-resistant, cheap, the clog feature provides ample arch support, and the massaging footbed soothes aching feet after being on your feet for long hours. The heel straps provide extra security as you walk fast up and down the bar.
- Surprisingly comfortable
- Easy to clean
- Will last long without breaking
- Supportive footbed
- Enclosed toe design and roomy toe box
- Your feet may get smelly and hot because of lack of airflow
- May shrink in very hot weathers
If you can overlook the lack of airflow to your feet when you are in them, these shoes are actually a great option for bartending. They are affordable, comfortable, durable, slip-resistant, and easy to maintain and clean.
We have carefully crafted this list to make your life as a bartender, easier, and more enjoyable. The shoes that are on this list are carefully selected based on the following factors:
- Arch Support
So, there you go! Choose any one shoe from this list, skedaddle from our site right to your workplace and ace your bartending game!