Why Our Food Editors Wear Clogs in the Test Kitchen
These supportive Swedish shoes are a must for so many reasons.
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Clogs are as much a part of a professional kitchen uniform as a white chef's coat and black and white check pants. But how did these Swedish shoes become ubiquitous in restaurants and test kitchens? We were curious what type of clogs our food editors' prefer and why-and we found out that not everyone on the team is an enthusiastic clog wearer. Clogs provide more foot support than athletic sneakers, which is necessary for cooks who are standing on their feet for at least eight hours a day (and often longer). Plus, clogs are usually made with durable leather that can handle repetitive hot grease splatters and spills. Dansko's and Birkenstocks are some of the most popular brands for professional clogs, but do they really provide the maximum support for cooks who are standing by a stove all day?
"I've always found that clogs are more supportive than any other shoe so long as they have the padded heel built in," says Riley Wofford. Her preferred footwear at work is the Alegria 'Keli' clog, a clog that's also popular with nurses. "They're basic and clean," she says. "So it feels less awkward walking around outside of the kitchen in them.
Food editorial director Sarah Carey, has tried every shoe recommended for kitchen work, including Birkenstock clogs and even hiking boots, but sticks by classic Dansko's for their support and practicality. "I used to wear floral clogs or sparkly clogs, but I've found that the plain brown leather are the most durable," she says.
Greg doesn't agree with the rest of the team: he likes Blundstone boots the best because they "offer comfort and support like clogs, but with a shorter, softer, heel." For chefs who are committing to wearing clogs, Greg also recommends Merrell Breeze Clogs for professional kitchen life. "They have mesh uppers for breathability, which is especially great when it's hot in the kitchen. And they have great support and cushioning for the bottom of the foot," he notes.