Kitchen & Gadgets

A Mile in Their Clogs: Chefs' Favorite Footwear (Part Two)

February 06 2012 - 11:09 AM

You may think you have it bad when you come home from a day at the office and sink into your recliner, rubbing your tired feet. Chefs, who can spend 12-14 hours a day standing in a hot, cramped kitchen, understand foot fatigue better than anyone, and therefore swear unshakable loyalty to their preferred brand of footwear. We already checked in with chefs from Acre, Three Aces, and C-House to get their recommendations for unbeatably comfortable shoes, and this week, chefs from The Butcher & Larder, Edzo’s, and forthcoming Trencherman share their picks.

Walk into The Butcher & Larder on Milwaukee and you’ll likely find owner Rob Levitt standing at the counter or the butcher’s block, making sausage or breaking down a hog. Butchering is a physical job indeed, and one that Levitt gets through thanks to his Blundstone slip-on boots. He’s been wearing them most of his career, and says he absolutely swears by them. The boots may not be much to look at, but they’re slip-resistant, shock-protected, and ergonomically designed for long wear. They retail for between $150 and $200 and are available at Zappos.

When he’s not house-grinding meat for his delectable griddle and char burgers, Ed Lakin of Edzo’s is the jovial man behind the counter, convincing you that you should absolutely opt for both a Nutella shake and truffle fries. He rotates between Birkenstock Birki clogs and bright orange Mario Batali Crocs. “At $40, they’re a bargain,” Lakin says of the Crocs, which match the bright yellow and orange interior at the burger shop. Both shoe choices are available online.

When he was still at The Signature Room, chef Patrick Sheerin probably didn’t climb those 95 floors to the restaurant. But he still spent long days on his feet, and there are certainly more ahead when he and brother Mike Sheerin open The Trencherman this year. Once a loyal Crocs devotee, Sheerin recently ordered his first pair of Mozos, sneaker-looking chefs’ shoes that are sort of the Vans of the culinary world (and are endorsed by offal master Chris Cosentino). Sheerin’s tips for keeping tootsies happy include rotating shoes and changing socks half-way through a shift, as well as keeping the kitchen floor clean: “The less strain your feet and ankles are put on from a lateral perspective, the better,” he says.

Check back in next week when we ask a few more chefs for their favorite footwear choices.

–Kate Bernot