Saturday, May 23, 2009

Cute Work Shoes-- They Exist

When you work in the food service industry (or any other industry that requires workers to stand/walk/run around in a flustered panic for hours at a time), you have to learn to sacrifice fashion for practicality. If you're going to be scurrying about a kitchen, you need shoes that are non-slip. If you're going to be dashing for rolls across a floor that has had God knows what broken on it, you'll need shoes with thick and/or tough enough soles to protect you from shards of glass and the like. You need a shoe that will be comfortable for hours at a time, because you won't be sitting down for a few hours once that dinner rush hits (of course, you can use insoles, but a shoe that's cozy to begin with is helpful). You don't want a pair of heels, even if it jazzes up your work time look-- you will regret it, I promise (I have been down that road, oh yes I have). The thing is, the shoes that provide all these things tend to be ass-ugly. I remember the days when I used to wear my old marching band shoes as my work shoes. If I still had them, I'd delight you with how terrible they were, but thankfully they've gone and joined the big halftime show in the sky. Marching band shoes were actually very effective work shoes, but they were still not attractive.

But, Vanessa, you protest, I am pretty sure that there is no such thing as even a mildly attractive work shoe.

You are wrong. There may not be a whole slew of choices out there as far as cool-looking work shoes go, but there are several styles I've found available online that come highly recommended by the working girl community.

By the way, before I show you my finds (and I certainly expect you to share about any you may have come across in your personal search for work shoes), I want to explain why exactly I am refusing to put Crocs on here, which many people see as a viable (restaurant) work shoe option. There are actually some styles of Crocs that look okay enough that I would endorse them as work wear if I had not personally seen the horrors they can unleash on the unsuspecting waitress. That is to say, two years ago on the Fourth of July, a girl got a whole ton of glass right through her Crocs (normal Crocs, which our management "does not allow," as they also have loads of holes for hot liquids to pass through) and her foot was bleeding profusely for the rest of the evening until the manager let her go home due to her injuries. Ever since then, I have considered them to be not only some of the most horrible-looking shoes ever, but very bad work shoes that will not hold up against a shattered glass. Be warned.


I scoured the internet in search of some cute options for those of you that need or know someone that needs a good, safe shoe for a day on the job.

skechers: $60 here

The above pair of Skechers are a pretty basic pair of black shoes (I chose all black styles, but you can search any of these sites for other color options if you need it) that you can even slip on for a casual day shopping. I've actually always wanted a pair of sneakers similar to these just in general, so I'd be more than happy to wear them to work.

keuka suregrip dress flats: $44.98 here

Keuka reports that all their shoes have been certified as "Best in Class" for slip resistance. Not all of their shoes looked so sleek, but these are just lovely. The toe is slightly boxy, but doesn't look like it will squeeze your toesies, and the Mary Jane styling is very cute. These would be perfect for anyone working in a kitchen, and also for those hostesses who get to wear skirts to work.
skechers work bikers: $55 here

This pair got rave reviews on Zappos for being cute and comfortable, and I'll definitely agree on the cute part. The Skechers I wear now look a lot like this, but aren't specifically made for work. I needed insoles, but since these shoes are actually tailored to my needs, I might try these next.

shoes for crews "diva": $52.98 here

I know I said you shouldn't wear a heel, but If you're set on wearing them, I'd definitely recommend going with a pair made by Shoes for Crews. They specialize in making comfy, non-slip work shoes, so they're more likely to be stable and not make your feet very unhappy after a few hours standing. However, they only got a 3 out of 5 for comfort overall in the review section of the site, so I'd be weary but that's still pretty good for any kind of work heel. The cute little buckle detail might be worth it.

shoes for crews "allure": $49.98 here

These. Just. These. Shoes for Crews gets a bunch of cute styles in periodically, but these are amazing. I mean, look at them! This is a genuine work shoe that is quilted, has a Mary Jane strap, a bow, and a little patent-looking toe box (another style that's great for a hostess who wears a skirt to work). Holy crap, these are amazing, and I really wish I hadn't just purchased work shoes so that I could justify buying these right now. The reviews for these on the site pretty much suggest they are made of awesome. I've never tried them on, but I'm guessing I'd agree. These are the ultimate in work shoe chic if I do say so myself.

What about you? Do you know of any cute work shoes I missed? Any that aren't so cute, but that are like walking on clouds? If you've actually worn any of the pairs I picked, are they worth buying? Spill it. But not on the floor, unless you've got the proper footwear.


mary grace carol said...

Thank you posting this topic. It will help me a lot in finding a "Cute" and "fashionable" work shoes

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but all of these shoes you call "cute" are fkn ugly. and If you type in "work shoes" in a search engine you are gonna see all of these photos so good try but you majorly failed. Anyone dumb enough to read this first rather than just searching in google or something, is a fkn tard When I clicked on this, I was hoping that you had something great to say, because I've been searching. Yet again, I've wasted my time reading, and commenting. TRY AGAIN!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

The last shoe is so adorable, I just went to the website to buy it but they don't have them in my size :( it's very difficult finding a great work shoe when you have to shop in the childrens shoe sections =\


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