Cooking A Shoe
Eating Shoes – TV Tropes
Do you want laces with that?
“There once was a man from Peru, Who dreamed he was eating his shoe. He woke with a fright In the middle of the night, To find that his dream had come true”Out of all the unusual things that someone can eat, shoes tend to be the most popular choice in fiction. Probably because they are the type of clothing one misses the least – if male. Also, they tend to be made of leather (which resembles food the most out of anything else you’ll ever wear) Trope Maker is probably Charlie Chaplin, who did it first in his classic The Gold Rush (1925).
A subtrope of Poverty Food and Poverty for Comedy. Not to be confused with a Marshmallow Dream, in which a shoe may be eaten by accident (as shown in the Limerick above). Nor with It Tastes Like Feet; though shoes presumably do taste like feet, that trope is about actual food that’s claimed to taste like feet or other non-food objects.
Anime and Manga
In Fullmetal Alchemist, protagonist Edward Elric, when trapped in Gluttony’s stomach, boils a leather shoe for Prince Ling Yao to eat: “When I become the Emperor of Xing, I will have you recorded in the history books as ‘the man who fed a shoe to the Emperor. ‘”
Ling: (Beat) You don’t have Athlete’s Foot, do you? Ed: MY FOOT IS MADE OF METAL YOU IDIOT!
The Gold Rush: Charlie Chaplin and Big Jim, the man he’s rooming with at an isolated cabin, are so starved that they start eating one of Chaplin’s shoes. It seems to taste to him very well, by the way, in fact it Tastes Like Chicken. Fun fact: The shoe was made out of licorice. They shot so many takes that Chaplin had to be rushed to the hospital for an insulin shot.
In Jan Švankmajer’s short film “Food” two customers wait in vain until a waiter comes to take their order. They start eating everything in sight, including their shoes.
In Cannibal! The Musical the characters also start eating their shoes before eating each other.
The ogre Winston in Time Bandits eats old boots along with other junk dredged up in his fishing net. Or he used to, before anti-pollution laws ruined his livelihood.
“Now it’s prawns all the bloody time! ”
German film director Werner Herzog once made a wager with his friend, documentarian Errol Morris, promising that he would eat his shoe if Morris ever completed his full-length film Gates of Heaven. When Morris did, Herzog used the wager to raise publicity and dined on the footwear at a local restaurant after the premiere. Another filmmaker, Les Blank, recorded the event for the short film Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe. If you’re wondering, he boiled it with soup stock and garlic first. He didn’t eat the sole, saying that “one does not eat the bones of the chicken”.
In Hogfather the manager of the restaurant in Ankh-Morpork, a former chef, is able to make meals out of mud and old boots (after Death steals his food stocks to feed the beggars — and replacing it with the beggars’ own “food”) by a combination of skill and “headology” (people will eat anything in a fancy restaurant if the menu is in French… er, Quirmian). In Nanny Ogg’s Cookbook it’s noted that mud and old boots-based cuisine eventually caught on across the city’s posh restaurants.
You don’t carry Dwarf Bread to eat. You carry it so that your shoes taste better by comparison. And if you’ve run out of those, your own feet.
One of the wizards mentioned having to eat boots in desperation when, as a student, he and some classmates undertook an expedition to find the UU Library’s legendary Lost Reading Room. They didn’t find it, but they did find the remains of the previous year’s expedition… and ate their boots, too.
In The Milagro Beanfield War, Joe remarks about how he and his family are “tired of eating stewed tennis shoes instead of meat”.
In Ghost Story, ghostly Harry rushes back into the Corpsetaker’s lair to stop her from eating all the Lecter Specters so as to grow more powerful, and arrives just in time to see her gulp down one of the child-ghosts’ shoes.
In the short story The Shoe Tree, the Martins find an old boot in thier garden, and re-bury it. It grows into a tree that produces small boots as fruit. These are perfect for little children to wear, but are also discovered to be tastily edible.
In a variation, the title character of Life of Pi doesn’t eat his shoes, but he does use them as fishing bait while surviving on a lifeboat at sea.
“Mr. Green Genes” from Frank Zappa’s album Uncle Meat.
Eat your shoes Don’t forget the strings And socks Even eat the box You’ve bought ’em in You can eat the truck That brought ’em in
In The Sims 2, an unlucky fisherman can wind up Fishing for Sole and actually cook this catch (though no Sim will enjoy eating the results).
In Dragon Age: Inquisition, one of the ambient NPC conversations you can hear around Skyhold involves a down-on-his-luck nobleman that assumes the conclusion of the Orlesian civil war means a change in fortunes. Later, a female NPC challenges him about his supposed riches, pointing out that he’s never bought a round at the tavern and probably never will. He then admits to poverty with the following statement: “Yesterday, I ate a pleated leather shoe. ”
In one stream, Jerma985 said he would eat his shoe live in front of his viewers if Sans from Undertale were added to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. When Sans was indeed added as a Mii Fighter, Jerma kept his promise, kinda, since the “shoe” he ate was actually made of white chocolate.
In the The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius episode, “Return of the Nanobots”, Jimmy’s Nanobots get into the kitchen of the school cafeteria, where their saucer proceeds to “analyze” the sloppy stew by taking a spoon and putting some in an unseen part of its underside. After arguing over whether to “correct” it by adding steak sauce (02) or spicy mustard (01), Nanobot 02 suggests that they just throw in an old shoe, which their saucer proceeds to do before leaving. The Lunch Lady then says that she already made shoe twice that week.
In “That’s Lobstertainment! “, Fry, having been trapped in a tar pit for hours with Leela, wants to eat his shoe. When Leela figures a way out, he still suggests having shoe and proceeds to eat it.
In “Godfellas”, Fry and Leela imprison some monks in a laundry room and hijack their telescope. One of the monks pleads through the door: “Let us out! We cooked our shoes in the dryer and ate them! Now we’re bored! ”
Fry: I’m sure their god will save them, or at least give them more shoes to eat.
Pet Alien: Gumper eats everything, including shoes.
The Simpsons: In one scene in “Brother, Can You Spare Two Dimes? ” Herb Powell is talking to his fellow beggars sitting around a fire. One of them is Charlie Chaplin eating his own shoe.
In the SpongeBob SquarePants episode “Sleepy Time Suds”, Gary recites a limerick to Spongebob with this as the punchline in Gary’s dream. Long story.
In the Tiny Toon Adventures episode “Citizen Max”, a flashback shows then poor Montana Max and Buster Bunny talking about eating a shoe.
Tom is shipwrecked in the Tom and Jerry cartoon “His Mouse Friday” and starts eating his shoes and shoelaces. It’s worth noting that Tom is generally a Barefoot Cartoon Animal even when he’s wearing clothes in other shorts and he was specifically given shoes for this episode just for this gag.
Yogi Bear: At one point, when stuck in a cabin in a blizzard, Yogi attempted to serve up a pair of old boots for himself, Boo-boo and Ranger Smith as “Chicken Noodle Shoe” and “Fillet of Sole”. When neither turned out palatable, he munched down on Ranger Smith’s hat.
The usual sorts of leather that are used to make shoes are actually perfectly edible, if not exactly palatable — the only problem is that to be water resistant and durable, the leather is generally tanned, which often makes it indigestible, if not outright toxic. Rawhide, however, which is tanned using animal grease, remains digestible even after treatment, so in the case of severe hunger rawhide items can be boiled and eaten, or even nibbled as is. There are many well-documented cases of starving humans surviving on rawhide before getting help.
Two women in New York went shopping during a blizzard. This led to them getting trapped inside their car from the snow. Fortunately, they just went shopping. Unfortunately, it was light shopping, as they spent most of the time buying some boots for the winter season. They were stuck in there for about two days and eventually they ran out of food. So, as a last resort, they had to eat the leather from the boots they bought. Fortunately, they were able to live long enough for the snow to melt and allow them to get out.
During his first descent of the Amazon River, Franicisco de Orellana and his crew were starving and a combination of sickness and hostile natives prevented them from landing to forage for food, so they were reduced to boiling and eating their boots.
Supposedly Mao Zedong had to resort to this at one point during the revolution days. He survived, so it at the very least kept him from starving.
Arctic explorer John Franklin found himself in such dire straits in an 1819-1821 expedition in the Canadian Arctic that he ate some shoe leather and afterwards was known as “The Man Who Ate His Boots”. 11 of 22 men on his expedition died, which was better than the expedition he led a quarter of a century later, when everyone died.
In 1960 a self-propelled barge got lost in the Pacific without fuel or radio with 4 men aboard. They managed to stretch their food supplies (several kilograms of potato, a tin of meat, some millet, peas and lard) to 37 days, failed to catch any fish and tried cooking anything made of leather: belts, boot solesnote — the previous crew left several pairs, parts of accordion. They were rescued after 49 days of drifting.
I’ll eat my hat – Idioms by The Free Dictionary
I’ll eat my hatAn expression describing the hypothetical act of penance that one promises to take if they are wrong about something. I’ll eat my hat if the repairs end up costing less than $1, 000. If you can prove me wrong, I’ll eat my Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved. I’ll eat my I will be very surprised. (Used to express strong disbelief in something. ) If Joe really joins the Army, I’ll eat my hat. If this car gives you any trouble, I’ll eat my Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, one’s hatDeclare one’s certainty that something will not happen or is untrue. This hyperbolic expression almost always follows an if-clause, as in If he’s on time, I’ll eat my hat, that is, “I’ll consume my headgear if I’m wrong. ” Charles Dickens used it in Pickwick Papers (1837): “If I knew as little of life as that, I’d eat my hat and swallow the buckle whole. ” [First half of 1800s] The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved. I’ll eat my hat used to indicate that you think a particular thing is extremely unlikely to Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017eat one’s hattv. to do something extraordinary. (Always with if. ) I’ll eat my hat if our advertisement actually brings us a president. McGraw-Hill’s Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights also:eat one’s hat, totake (something) out in tradetake out in tradea chill pillkeep (something) under (one’s) hatkeep something under your hatkeep under hatkeep under one’s hatpass the hatpass the hat (around)
Best Chef Shoes – Expert Advice & Popular Brands Survey
Finding a good pair of kitchen shoes seems like a straightforward task, given the multitude of brands and options chefs and their crews have to choose from.
However, there are so many chefs seeking advice on buying kitchen footwear, and many of them can share real horror stories about long-term injuries and chronic pain from choosing the wrong pair.
At Chef’s Pencil we thought it is time to cut through the noise and amateur advice and ask the experts – what makes a great shoe for Chefs?
We went to the best – a select group of physicians from some of the best hospitals in the US and asked them to weigh in on the great kitchen footwear debate, and to advise on injury prevention for professional chefs.
Why injury prevention advice? Because prevention should be the number one focus of any professional kitchen shoe – that and all day comfort. More on this later.
But we did not stop there. We also surveyed hundreds of Chefs around the globe and asked them about their favorite kitchen shoes and what makes them special. We believe in customer feedback, and where can we get that if not from you?
Chefs’ Favorite Kitchen Shoes Brands
Next to our doctors’ opinions, we also wanted to find out what Chefs think about kitchen footwear. Therefore we surveyed short of a couple hundred chefs from all over the world and asked them about their favorite shoes. We also asked them what makes their favorite pair so special. Some even shared their not-so-great experiences of mishaps in the kitchen.
Our chefs mentioned no less than 47 different brands of kitchen footwear, and if some agreed on a brand, they opted for different models. So the good news for the culinary industry is that there is a lot to choose from, maybe more than chefs even knew.
The competition is stiff, which always benefits the end-consumer. So let’s take a look at the top 15 favorite shoe brands among professional chefs. Drum roll please…
With a whopping 30% of the votes, Birkenstock are the clear chef’s favorite. It’s the oldest of the bunch too, having started up back in the 1700s, so plenty of experience and knowhow when it comes to producing a comfy work shoe; it’s that cork bedding, of course, moulding to the shape of your feet.
But as Oskars Kastolaizin advises “just keep in mind that in the first week your feet will scream”. Worth it? Carol Young thinks so. “I have always worn Birkenstock. My back, legs, and feet are still working and I am 75! ” It just goes to show – German cobblers know best. For Shane Whittaker, Birks’ Boston clog is “the comfiest shoe on the market. ”
For me the Birkenstocks are my champions… have had to change them twice in the past ten years. Just swap out the inserts and good as new.
Our Birkenstock pick: Birkenstock Tokyo. Unisex, slip-resistant shoe, with heel support. It has great reviews, though we caution against wearing clog-style shoes for a longer period of times.
Check out our new guide on the best Birkenstock chef shoes >>
They might be colorful and casual but Crocs has a wicked work reputation too. Their Crocs at Work shoes feature Croc Lock anti-slip technology, keeping you upright, plenty of support, for keeping you upright for a long time, and they are so comfortable they even have a certificate to prove it. They are so popular they scored a full 13% of our chef’s votes.
Our Crocs at Work products are designed with food service, hospitality and healthcare workers in mind. They’re light and supportive enough to get you through those long shifts, and the Crocs Lock™ slip-resistant treads, which are both ISO & CE certified, provide traction on even the slipperiest surfaces. Combined with a wide variety of bold colors & graphics, our Crocs at Work products are designed to help you serve your best! ” told Chef’s Pencil Molly Wilhelm, Senior Product Line Manager at Crocs.
Warning: Many physicians advise against wearing Crocs or other clog-style shoes on a regular basis. They don’t offer sufficient heel support and may lead to foot pain and injury. Read our expert advice below for more information.
Our Crocs pick: work slip-resistant work shoe. It’s not your typical clog-style shoe as it comes with heel support, which many physicians say it is critical for to stay away from injuries.
3. Shoes for Crews
This lot started out making shoes for nurses, so you’re in good company when you slip out in a Shoes for Crews shoe. But slip is one thing you won’t do as safety is their number one focus. These shoes have legendary slip-resistance, and with Tripguard, Spillguard and joint-protecting Hoverlite, you’ll feel as safe as a baby in a blanket.
Nice cost-effective alternative to Birkenstock, according to one of the interviewed Chefs.
Our Shoes for Crews picks: Men’s Freestyle II and Women’s Ghenter Bronaugh.
Dansko’s distinctive clog design is a firm favorite with chefs – particularly the XP2, with its removable leather footbed and a natural arch technology for extra arch support. But they aren’t for everyone and as one of our chefs says “the first week sucks while they retrain the way you walk”. And just like Keen, this is a company that just loves giving, supporting community projects and committed to sustainability, and so it should, being 100% employee owned.
Our Professional clog is our flagship product. It features a roomy toe box, is easy to slip on and off, has a contoured midsole that is firm and supportive, and an anti-fatigue rocker bottom, which promotes forward foot motion for shock absorption and energy culinary professionals select our Dansko XP 2. 0, which features the same look as the Professional, and has the added benefit of a removable leather foot bed, providing additional arch support, a slip-resistant rubber outsole suitable for wet, dry, and oily wet surfaces, patent-pending stapled construction, and a variety of leather options, including a new waterproof leather. Our Professional clogs and our XP 2. 0 are APMA accepted (i. e. American Podiatric Medical Association), and, we offer a full line of footwear beyond clogs as well that are known for both comfort and hear a lot of feedback from people who wear our shoes and clogs that they can spend twelve hours on their feet and feel great at the end of the day.
Our Dansko picks: Men’s Walker and Women’s Pro XP.
5. Dr. Martens
They might be the iconic symbol of counterculture, the choice of skins, punks, and grunge, but Dr. Martens are first and foremost the boot of the British working class. A marriage between a north of England bootmaker and a German doctor nursing a broken foot, saw the birth of the classic air sole Dr. Marten 1460.
Selling at 2quid a piece, the boot quickly became a favorite of the factory worker, happy to replace the traditional hard leather sole with air cushioning. For Shannon B. Cheevers, they are the “best for being on your feet for hours upon hours. ”
Our Doc Martens picks: Women’s Polley Mary Jane Flat and Men’s Tevin Slip-On Shoe.
You can’t go wrong with a Mozo. Or can you? Being a dedicated chef shoe, the Mozo gets it right for grip, cleanability, and style. Could you ask for more from a shoe designed specifically with the chef in mind? Going by the celebrity chef sponsorship they have cultivated, you’d have to say no.
But for Philip Stanton, once they went mainstream the quality suffered. Still, sitting in 6th place they must be doing something right.
Our Mozo picks: Women’s Mavi Food Service Shoe and Men’s Grind Slip Resistant Canvas Sneaker.
The antithesis of Keen, Skechers is all that is great about corporate America, and is not afraid to say so. While also a new-comer to the scene, Skechers has been quick to build its line-up of work-wear products.
They boast enhanced grip technology to “keep you on your feet”, and water and stain resistance that keeps them easy to clean. But while the memory foam insole will keep you snug, you wouldn’t want to drop a frozen pork shoulder on that cushioned, sporty knit upper.
The Skechers Work collection offers safety features workers expect, including our slip-resistant outsoles that help protect against costly slips and falls in the workplace. But what really differentiates the line are the legendary comfort features that Skechers is known for, Harold Surabian, National Sales Manager for Skechers told Chef’s includes breathable Skechers Air-Cooled Memory Foam insoles that keep you comfortable during a long shift on your feet, as well as Classic, Wide and Relaxed Fit options so it’s easy to find the perfect fit. Every pair is extremely durable and easy-to-clean, so you can expect them to last shift after shift. Skechers Work is available in a wide variety of trend-right styles, making it effortless to find a look you will love and that will keep you safe and comfortable in the kitchen.
Our Skechers picks: Men’s Soft Stride Mavin Slip Resistant Athletic Oxford and Women’s Eldred Shoe.
Having set up back in 2003, Keen is a new-comer to the business, yet it came in at a healthy 8th. And not only does this American brand give you state-of-the art, bounce-back technology to keep that spring in your step, it comes with a mission to do good and “make a better world”.
Supporting local, grassroots causes, keeping an eye on their environmental impact, and even donating well needed boots to refugees in Greece and Serbia, what’s not to like?
Our Keen picks: Women’s Kanteen Clog and Men’s PTC Oxford Work Shoe.
A clever piece of branding that – Klogs, for people looking for… clogs. Slip-resistant, durable and easy to clean, the polyurethane shoe is light and easy to wear. Though light isn’t always good; without support for your arches, years of kitchen wear could lead to joint and back problems. But as one chef points out, “you don’t have to break them in”.
Our Klogs picks: Women’s Naples Leather Closed or Men’s Bistro Klogs.
Ah! The infamous clog. Sika clogs slip in a comfy Birchwood insole to keep your feet springing all day. And it’s a family-run Danish firm with a long history, keen to listen to the users when they develop new products. You could give them a call and ask for a custom pair!
But seriously, while these clogs might take a little getting used to, one of our chef’s absolutely swears by them.
Our Sika pick: Fusion Work Clog.
11 (Tie). Blundstone
Blundstone is an Australian footwear brand based in Hobart, Tasmania. The company is over 170 years old and its boots are famous for their iconic, rugged look.
Blundstone has created a line of work & safety boots, which is a great option for chefs. The boots are resistant to heat, electrical hazard, oil, fat or acid, and are slip resistant.
Our Blundstone pick: Men’s Work Series 179.
11 (Tie). Chefskillshk
Chefs Skill Hong Kong is a highly fashionable brand for chefs and kitchen crews. Its clothing and footwear lines are influenced by Haute couture and street wear and the brand calls itself a work-wear fashion brand. The shoes are very beautiful and trendy indeed, and their prices are also very affordable.
11 (Tie). Bragard
Bragard is a French clothing retailer specializing in chef uniforms and chef wear. The company was started in 1933 and is famous for its luxury line.
11 (Tie). Red Wing Shoes
Headquartered in Red Wing, Minnesota, Red Wing Shoes has been producing working shoes for 110 years. Red Wing Shoes are best known for producing high quality footwear for the mining, logging and farming industries.
Chefs have started to appreciate Red Wing Shoes as working in professional kitchens can be sometimes be as hard and strenuous as working in the field.
11 (Tie). Ariat
Best known as premium apparel and footwear brand for equestrian sports, Ariat has a very comprehensive line work & safety footwear line. There are lots of models to choose from, and a great choice for the many chefs who love to wear cowboy boots.
11. (Tie) Troentorp
Seven brands scored the same number of votes, ranking just outside the top ten. Troentorp is a Swedish brand with a history of more than one century under its belt. Troentorp has shipped more than 15 million shoes since its inception and in 2002 it launched a footwear line dedicated to professional chefs.
The Chef clogs or 4 Star Proffesional has been a popular clog among chefs for years, according to the company.
Tips on Injury Prevention and Kitchen Shoes from Top Doctors
Chef’s Pencil has interviewed a select group of doctors who specialize in foot and/or back injuries to learn about injury prevention and tips for buying proper kitchen footwear.
We talked to:
Christopher W. DiGiovanni, MD, Associate Professor and Vice Chairman (Acad Affairs) of Orthopedic Surgery at Harvard Medical School and Chief of the Foot and Ankle Service at the famed Massachusetts General Hospital. Nirav Pandya, MD, Associate Professor, Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon at the University of California, San Pedowitz, MD, Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University and physician at Rothman Institute Miguel Cunha, MD, foot and ankle surgeon, founder of Gotham Footcare. Courtney Grimsrud, MD, Orthopaedic Surgeon, UCHealth Foot and Ankle Center Stapleton in Denver, Colorado
How important are proper shoes for preventing foot and/or back injuries?
Buying proper professional shoewear represents money well spent says Christopher DiGiovanni. A number of studies have documented the ill effects of wearing high heeled or pointy shoes on a regular basis that are not specifically form fitting. These patients, most often female, are known to have a higher incidence of bunion deformity, hammertoe problems, or pain on the bottom of the foot (metatarsalgia) which can occur when load transfers abnormally and chronically to the front half of the foot. Over time, these external pressures can take a toll. Wearing shoes with an elevated back (i. two or three inch heels) for a long period of time can also shorten the calf muscle-tendon unit, resulting in Achilles contracture. Over time, this muscle group takes up the daily slack it is given and eventually these patients can end up also suffering from things like Achilles tendonitis, limited upward motion, metatarsalgia, or other gait derangements.
Your health should come first. Don’t let your fashion choices affect your health. Christopher W. DiGiovanni, MD
How serious are these injuries?
Chronic use of ill fitting shoewear, or even prolonged standing and walking on one’s feet can result in repetitive overuse issues such as metatarsalgia, Morton’s neuroma (nerve irritation), stress fracture, or progressive foot deformity. Any of these disorders can be problematic. When people shop for shoewear, therefore, they need to ensure that what they purchase is of appropriate width, length, cushioning, and height, so as to make the shoe or sneaker properly fit the foot rather than the other way around.
Ideally, any of these choices would have a well-cushioned sole and be relatively flat. It is important to note, however, that there are lots of different shoes and sneakers that meet these criteria—yet it’s still remarkable how often people come in to see me with foot complaints while wearing clearly inappropriate shoewear.
Chefs surely spend a lot of time on their feet and should therefore be particularly attentive to shoewear choice—although this environment is by no means unique to chefs. Many other professions also expect such function and performance from their feet on a day in day out basis, and take foot function for granted until there is a problem.
Although over trauma/injury of the foot/ankle can occur for any of these groups, repetitive stress as a result of chronic overload is a far more common way to creating low grade stress to the foot. Moreover, it is not just about shoe wear choice but also about the time spent one’s feet and the kind of floors people work on; Sometimes it is a hard floor and others are more fortunate in that they have matting or rubber mats.
What characteristics should proper kitchen footwear have?
Given the environment chefs must operate in each day, they should also be wearing shoes that are low based, stable, and cover their feet completely. Working near heavy equipment, hot liquids/foods, and constantly pivoting and running around risks things dropping or spilling on one’s foot, so they need shoewear that certainly protects the foot against hot liquids or heavy objects, that is wide and stable to avoid ankle or foot sprains during quick rotation and movement, that is well cushioned enough to tolerate potentially hard flooring, and has anti-skid soles to avoid slipping on wet or oily floors. These shoe or sneaker characteristics will minimize the chance of injury to the feet/ankles.
They should also be wearing shoes made of materials that can be easily cleaned. As surgeons, we also stand a lot on our feet all day and when in the operating room we similarly have to worry about heavy instrumentation landing on our feet, wet floors, liquid spillage, etc, and so similar to the needs of chefs we are best off pursuing specific shoewear choices that are comfortable but also minimize injury risk. When chefs are looking for shoe wear, they should be focusing on fit, fill, stability, protection, ability to clean, and comfort. There will never be one particular shoe or sneaker for everyone. These goals must thus derive from paying attention to size, shape, sole, and material.
Christopher W. DiGiovanni, MD
Nirav Pandya, MDPediatric Orthopedic Surgeon at the University of California, San Francisco
Dr. Nirav Pandya has earned a medical degree at the University of Chicago and completed a residency in orthopedic surgery at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and a founding member of the Pediatric Research in Sports Medicine Society.
Read below on Dr. Nirav’s take on kitchen footwear and injury prevention.
Health Risks Associated with Prolonged Standing
There is new research to suggest that standing for prolonged periods of time (greater than 5 hours) places a significant amount of stress on the lumbar spine, hips, knees and ankles. This largely stems from muscle fatigue. When the muscles of the lower extremity are fatigued, they are less likely to be able to support the joints and joint pain develops.
Standing for prolonged periods of time (greater than 5 hours) places a significant amount of stress on the lumbar spine, hips, knees and ankles. Nirav Pandya, MD
Individuals who are standing for prolonged periods of times are more likely to get low back pain (muscular strains), Achilles/calf pain, plantar fascitis, and patellofemoral pain (pain in the front of the knee near the knee cap) number one way to treat this (besides not standing for prolonged periods of time) is to ensure that chef’s have strong core muscles, wear supportive shoes, and work on their overall cardiovascular health by working out frequently.
Injury prevention advice: chef’s should have strong core muscles, wear supportive shoes, and work on their overall cardiovascular health by working out frequently. Nirav Pandya, MD
A good pair of shoes should be athletically based – not designed for fashion or casual wear. The shoe should have good support, shock-absorbing cushions, and fit well. The shoes should not be flat, have very high heels, or be extremely tight fitting. In addition, having rubber floor mats can help to reduce the stress on the feet and knees.
Dr. David PedowitzAssociate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University and physician at Rothman Institute
Foot and Ankle injuries are more common in the kitchen than one might think. Chefs in particular have unique risks when it comes to these types of injuries.
The most common injuries I see in the professional kitchen are by the chef who is overseeing the day’s operations, and those chefs standing at workstations. The head chef tends to be moving quickly around narrow galleys and squeezing by busy sous chefs throughout the day.
Slips and falls are common in professional kitchens. Ankle sprains and even ankle fractures are seen in this setting. David Pedowitz
In doing so, slips and falls are common. Ankle sprains and even ankle fractures are seen in this setting, often requiring cast/boot immobilization, periods of non-weight bearing, and even surgery.
A second risk is particularly to the sous chef at the workstations, where I often see sharp objects dropped or hot liquids which spill onto the foot. This can result in lacerations to skin and tendons, which require cleaning and repair, or burning of the sensitive skin on the top of the foot.
Regardless of the type of injury, when injured, a particular challenge for these patients is the use of crutches or a knee scooter to allow them to stay off their injured extremity, as the spaces in kitchens are usually quite tight.
Proper Footwear & Injury Prevention
To mitigate these risks, proper shoe-wear, in both of these injury types, can literally make or “break” the difference between an emergency room visit, and another successful day for a restaurant.
Open-toed shoes should be avoided at all costs. David Pedowitz
Open-toed shoes should be avoided at all costs. Preferably, shoes should have a solid toe-box, meaning that no mesh exists on top of the toes. This prevents sharp objects or scalding hot fluids from initially penetrating into the foot.
Kitchen shoes should have some stability, and should extend up to and even go above the ankle. David Pedowitz
Secondly, shoes should have some stability, and should extend up to and even go above the ankle. For this reason, we generally tend to keep away from clogs, a type of shoe that many who work in the kitchen prefer. Yes, clogs are often a comfortable choice for those who are standing for many hours at a time. Due to the open, or low nature of the heel cup and elevated heel, however, they are inherently less stable. For this reason, we recommend a more stable shoe or work boot, combined with a soft standing surface placed at the workstation. This allows us to balance safety with comfort.
For general foot soreness, I recommend a soft, over-the-counter insert combined with a shoe that is appropriately sized. While custom orthotics can be helpful in specific circumstances, they are expensive and are not always needed.
It is important to get your foot measured again later in life so that you have an appropriately fitting shoe. David Pedowitz, MD
Lastly, as foot and ankle surgeons, we often find that the last time patients had their foot measured was as teenagers. Unfortunately, like your waist size, as we age, foot sizes often change and arches can fall. For this reason, it is important to get your foot measured again later in life so that you have an appropriately fitting shoe. Hopefully, following these recommendations means that you can be stable, safe and comfortable in the kitchen.
What are some of the key things a Chef should want in their shoe choice?
APPROPRIATE SIZE: I recommend always buying shoes at the end of the day when your feet are most swollen. If they feel comfortable at the end of the day most likely they will feel comfortable throughout the day. Make sure the toe box is wide to enough to accommodate your toes; make sure there is enough room to slightly wiggle your toes. If you can’t move your toes at all then the shoes are too tight and will eventually become painful.
I recommend always buying shoes at the end of the day when your feet are most swollen. Miguel Cunha
COMFORTABLE FOOTBED: To support the arch with memory foam or EVA (ethyl vinyl acetate) anti-compression insole.
SHOCK ABSORBANT: An outsole made of rubber will help alleviate the impact of each step far greater than a shoe with a hard sole.
SUPPORTIVE & DURABLE: It important to pick a shoe that offers as much durability and protection as possible without sacrificing comfort or flexibility. Look for a shoe designed with smooth, solid leather uppers that are not only highly durable but also flexible and comfortable.
SLIP RESISTANT: Traction slip resistant rubber out-soles to avoid slips and falls which result in ankle sprains and other injuries. Check out our guide for the best anti-slip shoes for chefs.
WATER RESISTANT: Shoes with black leather or polyurethane uppers that are waterproof to keep water, stew, soups or liquids away from your feet.
BREATHABLE OR ODOR RESISTANT: Working as a chef involves standing and walking for prolonged periods of time which can lead to one’s feet getting hot and sweaty. Having a breathable leather lining will let your feet breath. Some shoes have antimicrobial insoles to help keep sweaty odors under control and keep one’s feet feeling fresh.
EASY TO CLEAN: Shoes with black leather or polyurethane uppers are not only waterproof but can also be cleaned easily and TYPE. Some shoes have antimicrobial insoles to help keep sweaty odors under control and keeping one’s feet feeling fresh.
What are some injuries that Chefs are prone to? Could these be avoided by choosing the right shoes?
A chef is often on their feet. One of the most common injuries is sore feet. This is usually caused by wearing unsupportive shoes at work. It is important to select shoes that are appropriately sized and comfortable, supportive, shock absorbent, and slip resistant.
It’s important to select a shoe that is wide enough to accommodate your toes; make sure there is enough room to slightly wiggle your toes. Miguel Cunha
It’s important to select a shoe that is wide enough to accommodate your toes; make sure there is enough room to slightly wiggle your toes. If you can’t move your toes at all then the shoes are too tight and will eventually become painful. It’s important to pick a shoe that has a comfortably arched footbed to help support the midfoot and prevent excessive pronation. Walking for prolonged periods of time without adequate arch support allows our feet to collapse affecting our gait and posture, which can lead to a tremendous amount of stress to the feet. Our feet naturally pronate during the gait cycle, however, when we wear unsupportive shoes we pronate for a longer period of time which then alters the biomechanics and distribution of pressure and weight across the foot. This imbalance increases the progression of underlying foot deformities such as bunions and hammertoes leading to soreness of the feet and painful conditions such as arch/ heel pain, shin splints/ posterior tibial tendonitis, and Achilles tendonitis.
This imbalance can then translate upward affecting other parts of the body such as our knees and back. Being on your feet for prolonged periods of time while repeatedly carrying plates and trays can lead to painful back aches.
Ankle sprains and leg injuries are also common in chefs. A slip can easily result in a severe ankle and/or leg sprain, fractures, and other serious injuries. It’s important to wear slip-resistant work shoes to significantly reduce the chance of injury.
What types of shoes should Chefs avoid?
Avoid shoes that lack all of the qualities in question one.
You should also avoid clogs because although they may feel comfortable, they lack support and people often trip when wearing them because the rubber often sticks to certain floors. Make sure the shoe doesn’t slip on your heel to avoid blisters.
Avoid high heels as they increase probability of slipping and injury.
Avoid running shoes unless they are slip-resistance.
Avoid sandals because your feet are exposed and prone to injuries, and it violates the health code.
Also, like flip flops, they often cause plantar-fasciitis.
Avoid flats as they offer very little to support your feet.
Chefs and other kitchen staff should always wear comfortable well-fitting shoes, which will help in preventing these injuries.
A good shoe should have a stiff sole that cannot be bent in half.
A good shoe is one that fits well and is not too small or too narrow. It should have a stiff sole that cannot be bent in half. A comfortable shoe has a well-cushioned insole and flexible upper. If the insole is not cushioned or supportive enough, a person may purchase an over-the-counter insert designed for his or her foot type (flatfoot vs. high arch).
The good shoe may also have a slight rocker bottom, which helps a person to roll through his or her step. Stretching is also important. Low back, hamstring and calf stretches are important in keeping pain and soreness at bay.
If foot or back pain becomes difficult to deal with despite good shoes and regular stretching, chefs should be encouraged to seek help from an Orthopaedic surgeon nearby.
If you don’t have time to read through our extensive research, below is a quick snapshot of the things to look for when shopping for kitchen shoes:
Shop for kitchen shoes at the end of your shift, when your feet are swollen. If shops are closed at the end of your shift, buy online and try them on at the end of your working for comfort, arch support and safety. Don’t buy kitchen shoes (just) for design. Avoid high heels at all cost. High heels substantially increase the likelihood of accidents and can cause serious injuries over the long running shoes or any type of regular shoes. Safety should be one of your top priorities. Moreover, in many countries it’s illegal to wear regular shoes in professional kitchens, regardless of how comfortable they support is super important for preventing foot injuries. Your beloved clogs may be comfortable, but some physicians advise against wearing clogs in professional flip-flops and sandals.
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Frequently Asked Questions about cooking a shoe
Can shoes be eaten?
The usual sorts of leather that are used to make shoes are actually perfectly edible, if not exactly palatable — the only problem is that to be water resistant and durable, the leather is generally tanned, which often makes it indigestible, if not outright toxic.
What does eat my shoe mean?
Declare one’s certainty that something will not happen or is untrue. This hyperbolic expression almost always follows an if-clause, as in If he’s on time, I’ll eat my hat, that is, “I’ll consume my headgear if I’m wrong.”
What shoes are appropriate in the kitchen?
Birkenstock. With a whopping 30% of the votes, Birkenstock are the clear chef’s favorite. … Crocs. They might be colorful and casual but Crocs has a wicked work reputation too. … Shoes for Crews. … Dansko. … Dr. … Mozo. … Skechers. … Keen.More items…•Jul 29, 2019