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jerzeegirl

Comfortable Kitchen Shoes

I have tile floors (on concrete) in the kitchen. If I spend too much time baking, my lower back starts to hurt. I would like to find a pair of shoes that provides a comfortable cushion under my feet for my time in the kitchen. I have removed all rugs from my kitchen except the mat at the entrance to the garage because I find they are a tripping hazard.

Comments (63)

  • eam44
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    They are firm to the ground and the material they are made from "clings" sort of - they can be positioned and re-positioned, but they tend to sit still. Also there's a bit of a gradient from floor level to mat level - easily seen on the mat below.


  • jerzeegirl (FL zone 9B)
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    I once had an anti-fatigue mat that I bought at Costco and I found that once it got a little sandy underneath, it slipped and slid like all the other kitchen rugs I ever had. And I live in FL where sand is a way of life. And my kitchen tile is really smooth. I was trying to avoid tile with nooks and crannies and so went too far overboard the other way.

    I have actually contemplated ripping up the floor and replacing with wood (like the rest of the house except bathrooms) but that would be a huge hassle since the tiles go under the cabinets and they are stuck down on concrete.

    I checked out the (expensive) Adidas - love the Stella McCartneys - but waiting until January???

    I was ready to order the Crocs last month (in white) but then I remembered how totally uncomfortable my pair of gardening Crocs are and decided that was not a smart move. I will check out Birkenstock and Dansko.

    I have a pair of GogaMat Skechers and in fact they are the BEST shoes for wearing in the kitchen because of the memory foam insoles. However, they are a closed shoe and sweat happens. I really think a clog makes more sense.

    I really like the Hoka One One shoes - they make one called ORA Recovery that would work - I want a slip on so I can keep it near the kitchen and just slip into it when I have to.

    This all has been very helpful. Thanks all.

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  • plllog
    3 years ago

    I love my GelPro mats. They're easy to clean, heavy, hard to move and cushy. It depends on fatigue level. While the mats (sink, stove and prep) keep the aches and pains away, if I'm really tired and already ache from overdoing (like when dozens are coming and I'm short of help), I find the wiggle too much, too tiring, and would rather stand on the tile. At that point, Tamrac sheepskin slippers with the wool on all surfaces inside and traction rubber bottoms are good.

    The clever bits are what they used to call Plllog's Clllogs. I have some nice wood and leather traditional clogs, but they're too high to walk safely in outside, where there are uneven sidewalks, tree detritus, and similar bits to roll an ankle on--wood is so much less forgiving than the soles on a normal pair of heels. OTOH, my kitchen design issues resolved themselves when I figured out my optimal rolling height was only about 3.5" lower than my baking counter. Rather than dedicating a whole area to rolling dough, and the myriad flour difficulties with the transformers designs, why not just keep the clogs and raise my shoulders rather than lowering the counter? So I have my not very comfortable kitchen shoes too.

    Most days? Just my regular, everyday bare hobbit feet.


  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)
    3 years ago

    That's me as well!! Bare feet or if really chilly, my Ugg slip-on slippers. No shoes are worn in the house.

  • Shannon_WI
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    We too are a no-shoes house. When I was house-shopping, one of my top-3 requirements was wood floors in kitchen. Had tile floor in a kitchen before, so that’s why the kitchen wood floor was so important to me - only after location and good light in my list of requirements.

    I am very impressed with the suggestions here. I would also suggest, for the sink, that you have a faucet with a long reach. One contributor to back strain at the sink is having to make a long reach with your arms (and unconsciously the shoulders hunch) to the faucet spout, even if just an inch or so longer than it needs to be, when the faucet spout is very close to the back of the sink. This is often seen in high-arch faucets.

  • plllog
    3 years ago

    Another factor in hand washing is the depth of the sink bowl. Even with a rack, mine is too low for heavy work. My prep sink is in a higher counter and very shallow, which is great for small veg cleaning. The cleanup sink, however is deep. When my back gets fatigued and I have a lot of must hand wash things, I unroll my draining rack sink cover. That gives me a counter height platform to set that which is being washed upon, and the wide draining spaces control the water (keeps it off the counter) and makes it easy to rinse without having to lift it. SO worth the $25, even though I don't use it daily.

  • dan1888
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    LoneJack Zn 6a, KC After Adidas introduced Boost their stock has tripled in value. Lots of sales. I'm on their email list and get my pairs during the seasonal sales. They work and they last. I gave a sale pair to a friend who works on concrete all day(and night sometimes) in his shop. He was showing signs of plantar fasciitis. He's happy now.

  • WalnutCreek Zone 7b/8a
    3 years ago

    This is a very good, informative message thread.


    @plllog: I have the same draining rack and it is great. Love that you can roll it up and roll it out.


    @Lone Jack: I had never heard of the Adidas Ultraboost. It is expensive, but with the promotion that is going on right nows, they would make very nice Christmas presents. Have two granddaughters who are runners and they are always trying to find shoes that will be kind to their feet. My daughter has very high arches and they would really be good for her feet. Thanks for mentioning them.


    Concerning the GelPro Mats: They do have some gorgeous mats. Since they are hard to move, would moving them not put a strain on the back when mopping the kitchen floor? Also, much of the time, I have to use a walker, would you think they be easy or difficult for walkers (a rolling one with wheels) to go over? Thanks for any responses to my questions.

  • plllog
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    With authentic GelPros, i think you'd be fine with a walker, in crossing the angled edge, especially if you have glides or balls on the feet. Or wheels. Flat feet might want to be lifted a tad, just not to push into the mat. I'd worry more about getting into uneven positions, in the confined area of the mat where one of the walker feet is hanging off and you get a wobbly table effect. I'm not sure how the greater surface are of a wheel would play in that situation.

    They aren't hard to move, on purpose. They're hard to kick. Which is the point. You bump into one with your foot and it grips the floor instead of tripping you. To move them, I bend over and grab and lift an edge. I don't know if a grabber stick would work. The mats are significantly heavy. We drag and scoot them, rather than lifting more than an edge. I only trip on them when someone has stacked all three for floor cleaning and left them there. But I can't say how moving them for cleaning would do for someone with limited strength and mobility.


  • WalnutCreek Zone 7b/8a
    3 years ago

    Thank you so much, plllog, for the information. I may try one and see how it works for me.

  • jerzeegirl (FL zone 9B)
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    Is there an internal difference between the Gel-Pro mats and Anti-Fatigue mats?

  • foodonastump
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    i just bought my son a pair of ultra boost the other day. Didn’t think anything from the name, hadn’t heard of it. We wear a similar size, I’ll have to borrow them tomorrow and try them out.

  • plllog
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Jerzeegirl, "Anti-fatigue" is a generic term, like "silicon mat" is for Silpat. GelPro is a particular mat made by a particular company. Many anti-fatigue mats have foam interiors, rather than gel. I don't know if there are others who make gel mats, or whether the knockoffs are any good. Many also have a hard vinyl or other plastic exterior. I don't know what variations there are for GelPro, but mine are covered with a very durable microfiber cloth. They are noticeably squishier than other kinds of anti-fatigue mats I've stood on. Kind of "active standing" in that one must use micro-corrections as one adjusts one's feet and stance. That's a good thing for preventing injury and some of the effects of bad positioning. As I said, however, when I'm already beyond my limit exhausted, those micro-corrections are enough to send me around the bend and I prefer shearling slippers on the tile. I did that with my old foam mats too. The GelPros are vastly superior. I also lucked out that one of the closeout fabrics when I bought mine was my favorite of all.

  • Feathers11
    3 years ago

    I highly recommend Dansko clogs. They were worn by chefs at an English restaurant in which I worked. When I was pregnant, we had a tiled kitchen floor, and I wore them to save my back. I'd wear them walking around urban centers, etc. They're heavenly.

  • pippabean_5
    3 years ago

    Crocs!

    I slip into them when I get home and don't take them off unless I leave. They are by far the most comfortable indoor shoes around. Cool in summer and with a pair of socks, warm in winter. No bending to get into and out of them. No tying of shoes. Easy on, easy off. What's not to like?

    And best of all: No need for those ugly gel mats!

  • plllog
    3 years ago

    My gel mats are pretty! But I agree that Crocs can be pretty comfy. Especially the old ones with the shearling inserts. :)

  • jerzeegirl (FL zone 9B)
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    To me, Crocs are the most uncomfortable shoes on the planet. I use them for gardening (because they are easy to hose off when dirty) and my dogs are barking after an hour or so. Maybe I just have a bad style of Croc - they look like open back clogs but have a strap that goes behind the heel. It could also be the substance they are made of that bothers my feet.

  • plllog
    3 years ago

    When they changed the design of basic Crocs clogs, I stopped being a fan. The new kind are uncomfortable for me. The upper is too flat.

    The heel straps can be rotated forward, over the front part, like a decorative strap sits on a traditional clog, giving you an open heel style. In the old design, I liked the ones with a low brim around the base of the heel, rather than the strap. I also have Crocs skimmers, which are great for wearing to the pool.

  • noodlesportland
    3 years ago

    Ditto clogs. Surgeons and hospital nurses all wear clogs. They distribute your weight evenly. Bare feet is a complete NO from all podiatrist. If I am not in clogs I am in a Clarks flip flop. (all from Zappos or Amazon).

  • jerzeegirl (FL zone 9B)
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    I just bought a pair of these in white. They are really comfortable and look like chef shoes. So far they feel really comfortable but I have to spend more time in them to see if they will work. Fitflip Superloafter

  • Em Dash
    3 years ago

    we don't do shows in the house, but I have the same problem with an uncomfortable floor. I like LL Bean daybreak scuffs. they have nonslip soles and memory foam.

  • sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)
    3 years ago

    Are you sure you have the correct crocs? The basic original. We have at least 6 pairs each. Spares in our cars. A pair each outside the back door. Clean pairs inside to easily switch into. I never use the back strap. Almost always wear with sox. Don't care for the rubbery feel with bare feet. Twice or more a year I pile them all into the washing machine. They are like a gel mat for your feet.

    I have hokas for work and a few other go-to's to trade out. I might have to try the Adidas...the web site has a Black Friday preview. (about 70$ off) but that would be another lace up.

    hoka has a slip-on but open toe. I like the croc with the sold top/side vents. I don't spill much in the kitchen but sometimes a bit of water from the dishwasher or doing a quick mop.

    A neighbor friend has a no-shoe rule indoors. Just sox or barefoot. I find Gell mats pretty ugly but she has a nice one. Narrow and about 6 ft long. (Costco)



  • shivece
    3 years ago

    My sister wears the Dansko nurses clogs working on the concrete floors of an industrial dye house and says they are totally amazing.

  • sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)
    3 years ago

    I do have a first ever pair of birks. I got the closed clog. Super comfortable without and with sox. (expensive). Will last forever though. I know the dansko clog is used in hospitals and kitchens but I can barely walk in mine. never got used to them so back to crocs.

  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)
    3 years ago

    " I know the dansko clog is used in hospitals and kitchens but I can barely walk in mine. "

    I can't walk in mine! The last time I tried, I wound up with with a broken ankle.........I mean really broken....... to the point where there are spikes in one side and a plate with more spikes on the other!! The clog 'lift' is just too tall and makes one's stride unstable (I've broken my foot or ankle in the kitchen twice!).

    Now I am either barefoot or in my shearling lined Birk mules.

  • chedanemi
    3 years ago

    I agree with the Crocs! It's absolutely all I wear in the house, and most of the time, out of the house too. I live in the Crocs flip flops. I know people will say there's no support, etc., but for me, they are the most comfortable shoes I own. I can (and have several times) walk for miles in them.

  • jerzeegirl (FL zone 9B)
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    Well maybe my foot is funny, but Crocs hurt my toes. I know they are the right size but because of the way they are designed my toes hurt. Whatever they are made of is very unforgiving and my big toe starts to hurt. I do have longish toes so it's partially me.

  • raee_gw zone 5b-6a Ohio
    3 years ago

    I actually have seen very few of my co-workers in the hospital wearing clogs, although I keep hearing that we do! Most have a favorite athletic shoe, like Hokas or Asics that they wear. In fact, that is how I learned about Hoka which I now use for running. Perhaps the clogs work well in departments that require less active movement and more standing in a limited area.

    PS way back at the beginning of my career I was reprimanded by my head nurse for wearing (white) running shoes and white sweat socks instead of traditional "nurse" shoes (which had hurt my feet) and white hose with my pantsuit uniform. Running shoes were a fairly new "thing" back then.

    Walnut Creek, I would suggest that you not buy an expensive pair of running shoes for your daughters on line -- although that is a good gift -- they really need to go to a good running specialty store so they can get fitted with a shoe best for their gait, foot shape, and use. There is more to it than the arches and cushioning.

  • Shannon_WI
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    I agree with @raee_gw zone 5b-6a Ohio. A good gift would be instead to buy your daughters gift certificates to one of those good athletic-shoe specialty stores, so that they can get fitted there with the shoe best for them. As seen by this thread, shoes/sneakers affect different people differently, and fit different people differently.

  • sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)
    3 years ago

    I can empathize with a bad fit. Not all shoe makers/brands suit everyone. I have at least a dozen pairs of hiking and winter boots that each have their quirks. I just need to not wear the same two days in a row and have a change-out pair half way through my work day. (most days). I have orthotics in a pair of keens that I needed to cut off the toe area to make it a 3/4 insert to make toe room.

    Hoka does make a 'recovery' slide and a flip-flop style. I would have a pair in a second but don't care for an open toe style. (if I slip into a croc or my birks at work it isn't noticed towards the end of a work day....an open toe would be a sandal)...not cool at work.

  • Barb
    3 years ago

    I agree with the anti-fatigue mate. I have two, one in front of the sink, one in front of the counter where I do most of my work.

    They really work.

    You can get wood-grain mats.

    I also slip on my cooking Crocs if I'm gong to be doing a lot in the kitchen. Red ones. They work well, though I suspect any color will do!

  • jerzeegirl (FL zone 9B)
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    I measured, and unfortunately, my kitchen is too small for anti-fatigue mats. I would need three. If I put one near the sink, then I would not be able to put two others in front of the counters where I tend to do the most work. I checked to see if they made 90 degree angle gel mat but I couldn't find any.

  • jerzeegirl (FL zone 9B)
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    My DH got a recommendation from his chiropractor. She recommended Oofos. She and her husband both wear them when they get home from work. I bought a pair on her recommendation and so far they are really good. They massage my soles when I walk. They seem to absorb the impact of being on a hard surface. Between the Oofos and the FitFlops, I have not had the back pain that I usually get from working for a long time in the kitchen. Now, we'll see if that lasts.

  • annie1992
    2 years ago

    I've got anti-fatigue gel mats and I wear Crocs in the kitchen while I'm cooking, baking or canning. I still get a back ache, my floor is also tile over cement. I got a back ache when it was laminate over cement too, so there's that.

    My best shoes are Keens, they wear like iron and seem to be just right, my whole body just feels better with the Keens.

    I'm going to have to try the Oofos...

    Annie

  • barncatz
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    I'll throw OESH shoes into this thread. They were developed by a woman physician whose research was into joint damage from women's heels.Now, her company, OESH, manufactures “evidence-based footwear” that places less stress on joints to help reduce knee, hip, back and foot pain.

    Here's one style. I've been wearing the sneaker style since I was leveled with right leg and low back pain from knee arthritis and resulting gait issues. I'm pretty much pain free as long as I wear them. Might have to look at those slip-ons.



  • yeonassky
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    I'm not sure if people are getting back aches because they are bending incorrectly? I try to do more of a lean with one leg kicked back. It's an abbreviated version of the golfers reach.

    I very seldom get a backache as I am careful both at work and at home to not bend and create stress in my lower back.

    My floors are very hard. I wear Crocs and find they cushion my feet enough to work for extended periods of time in the kitchen.

  • mike_kaiser_gw
    2 years ago

    The challenge with finding comfortable shoes is that everyone is different so what works for me, might not work for you. I regularly spend 8-10 hours a day on concrete floors and after trying a number of different shoes have settled on Timberland Pro Titan work shoes. They’re definitely not stylish but work for me. <lol>

  • julieste
    2 years ago

    So, I was contemplating installing ceramic floors throughout the main level of the place we just bought in FLA. It sounds like a lot of you are saying this would not be a good idea. My other thought is luxury vinyl planks. Do all of you who are making shoe recommendations have problems with standing for a long time on tile or concrete floors?

  • PRO
    ReMax Escarpment
    2 years ago

    I have rheumatoid arthritis in most joints & it causes plantar fasciitis in my feet. My life saving shoes are Clark’s Cloudsteppers. Can’t live without them indoors and out. I have an indoor pair and outdoor pair.

  • Donald
    2 years ago

    Birkenstock’s

  • carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    I agree, counter height can be a factor for back pain as well. Many kitchen counters are lower than is optimal for standing work.

  • jerzeegirl (FL zone 9B)
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    julie: Ceramic floors can be rough on the back. It never bothered me before I started baking about 4 years ago. In my previous house I installed Marmoleum in the kitchen (researched it at the Kitchen Forum) and it was very comfortable for standing long periods of time and yummy on bare feet. I personally would rip out my current ceramic floors and put in wood but I would probably have to redo the entire kitchen since the floors run under the cabinets!

  • julieste
    2 years ago

    Thanks for the response. I've wondered about the strain on back and feet with a hard floor like ceramic. I've never had this type of hard floor so have no idea if it would really affect me or not. Right now I have wood floor and have had no problem at all.

  • theresa21
    2 years ago

    I recommend Haflinger clogs. The uppers are wool and conforms well to your feet. The shaped arched contours are nicely supportive. Soles are cork, so cushions with every step. Haflingers are a dream to live in.

  • juneroses Z9a Cntrl Fl
    2 years ago

    Julieste: This is off topic but you mentioned vinyl plank floors. This thread may be of interest to you:

    https://www.gardenweb.com/discussions/4060775/prints-left-on-luxury-vinyl-plank-floors#n=163




  • Lars
    8 months ago
    last modified: 8 months ago

    We are a shoes or slippers always (except when sleeping) in our houses. I do not want someone's bare or sock feet on my floors. Barefoot is for outside only - floors can be slippery. If someone wants to take their shoes off, I will send them to the back yard or patio, and they can soak their feet in the pool or spa, but they must put their shoes or slippers back on before coming back inside. Bare feet can track water into the house from the pool. Weather is always pleasant for going barefoot where I live, if that is what one is compelled to do. We do most of our entertaining in the back yard or patio.

    I agree with Kermit Venice that New Balance shoes are good, and I have the "mule" slip-on version as well as the ones with the Velcro closure. Before that, I had NB slip-on shoes that had elastic on the top front, and those were the best, but they no longer make them, and I somehow left mine at a friends condo in Mexico City. I should have been wearing them to the airport.

    I agree that Crocs are not the same as the original ones, and I bought Crocs in Palm Springs in 2003 at a special store before I had seen anyone else wear them. The first ones I got were yellow and were softer and more comfortable than any other shoes I had ever worn. The first ones were quite a bit more expensive, and I believe they were $55 plus tax. The later ones got stiffer and harder and used a very different formula for the material. I adjusted by going one size up, partly because I have a very high instep and arches. I have always worn them with the back strap over the front on the shoe, until I decided just to remove the back strap and make them permanently into mules.

    I believe that if you want to buy Crocs, you should try them on in a store, but they are definitely worth trying. Even if the new ones are as good as the originals😞, they are still my choice of shoe for indoors. I do not wear them outdoors, except only briefly. I do not consider them to be good gardening shoes.

    In Cathedral City, I have tile floors throughout the house, which is good because of the hot climate. I find them to be the easiest to clean.

    In L.A., all the floors have hard surfaces, except for the master bedroom, which was added to the 1950 house in 1992. The old portion has the original oak hardwood, except for the kitchen (which was expanded in 1992) and hall bathroom, both of which have tile floors. In the dining room/art studio (used as a den by the previous owners) and added hall, there are travertine floors, and the master bedroom has carpet over concrete, and I have not gotten around to changing that. The master bathroom has a tile floor.

  • Gerry
    8 months ago

    My inside shoes are Croc open toed flip flop design. They offer arch support and are super comfy. I have a pair in each of my son’s homes that come out the minute I remove my shoes there.

  • mama goose_gw zn6OH
    8 months ago

    I was having problems with plantar fasciitis in my right foot. I love to go barefoot, but the podiatrist told me to never go barefoot, and recommended wearing Crocs, even if I get up to go to the bathroom at night.

    The Crocs at my local shoe store were too wide and uncomfortable, so I bought a couple of pairs of Skechers Foamies UltraGo--kind of like Crocs, but different. One pair is for gardening and the other is worn in the house. I still wear other comfortable shoes (Dr.Scholls or Propet) when I leave the house, but my high-heel-wearing days are over.

    The podiatrist recently retired, which is OK, because since I started wearing the Foamies I haven't had to have a cortisone injection for more than a year.

  • mrsapy
    8 months ago

    I had some great Vionic slippers that had excellent arch support and a firm sole.

  • tracie_erin
    5 months ago

    My lower back pain got MUCH better after I went to a running shoes store and was fitted properly. I wear them everywhere outside of the house, not just for exercise. They are well ventilated too. I would recommend doing this for your kitchen shoes. The employee looked at my feet and immediately identified which models of which brands would work (and that my current shoes were contributing to the problem).