I just got my first waitressing job. I’m terribly excited, and think I’ll enjoy it WAY more than the hell that is temping. Of course, I plan to use my first batch of bigass tips to invest in a good pair of shoes, so I can avoid the spider veins my mother has.
My sister recommended Rockfords or something (not Rockports, but something similar.) She said that some people like those clogish ones with the backs, but she hated them.
If you are allowed to wear tennis shoes or walking shoes (reebok adidas etc) get them!! Your feet will love you in the end, otherwise, I suggest that you buy a comfortable pair of shoes and get insoles. Plus, dont get anything with heels.
Nursing shoes are often good, though they can be a bit expensive. Personally, Ive been a waitress for 4 years now, and I had an $80.00 pair of shoes last year, and a $30.00 pair this year, and I dont really feel a whit of difference in my feet. I do buy insoles, though, and that helps. Just wear whatever you feel is most comfortable, as long as it falls within the dresscode of your employer. Good luck with the job!
I just bought a phat pair of Bass shoes that are unbelievably comfortable. At work, I can wear any closed shoes that are black and brown, even sneaks, and I am on my feet nonstop for eight hours. The ones I bought (at an outlet, for only $15!) are black suede. They slip on, and instead of ties they have little toggle thingies at the top.
I aced them out with some Dr. Scholl’s Double Air-Pillo pads and gel inserts. It’s like walking on a cloud. My feet don’t hurt at all these days.
I’ve been working ten-hour shifts at auxiliary nursing, so I bought a cheap pair of slip-ons cos they looked like nursing shoes. They are not. I am in pain. I miss my bouncy air-soled trainers. Even mountain boots would be better.
I’ve taken to three-inch stilettos now and that’s even worse…
I worked waiting, back-kitchen, and short-order for three years, on tile laid on concrete. There was no padding anywhere. I always wore Nike running or cross-training shoes, whatever my ‘old’ pair of shoes at the time was. Sure, your legs hurt for the first few weeks until you get used to it, and then as long as your shoes are half-decent you’ll be alright.
Good shoes are essential for anyone who has to be on their feet to make their living. Your new shoes should provide good support and cushioning as well as have a sole that will give you good traction on any surface.
I worked in formal restaurants for better than a decade and was required to wear dress shoes. Before my shoes ever got worn at work I would take them into the shoemaker and have rubberized soles applied over the leather and get cushioned inserts. The I was ready to be on my feet for 8-12 hours.
Something I have always advised to people when they buy shoes for work is to buy TWO pairs and wear them on alternate days. This gives your shoes a day between wearings to dry out, the perspiration from your feet is what causes your shoes to wear put prematurely. By purchasing two pairs they will last longer than pairs purchased individually. You won’t have to worry as much about odour either.
All-black Reeboks if you’re allowed tennis shoes, if not, try to get away with Doc Martens. White/colour tennis shoes are cute for about the first week, but they’ll quickly get encrusted with resto/bar sludge. Black shoes can easily be brought back to respectability with a little shoe polish.
I’m not sure if you are going to wear them or not, but I’ve found that sometimes a decent pair make life easier in my boots. Even just a change into a clean dry pair at some time during the day keep my dogs from barking too much . . .
And as stupid as it sounds, a little Gold Bond or foot powder isn’t too bad either.
I’ve got wide feet, so fit matters to me, a LOT. Eccos & Mephistos are pricey but they fit very well and are incredibly comfortable. Hush Puppies are more reasonable, and I find them to be comfortable, too. Basically you want something that doesn’t pinch, that is well-made, and that has (as others have mentioned) a lot of cushioning.
Ditto the dr.scholls (sp?) - there is also an insole for athletes that has more cushion than regular ones… pay for the good insoles, you’ll go through shoes…quickly. I went through a pair of combat boots (TGI Fridays, I wore 'em under my pants) in a pretty short period of time… I’ve heard a waitress walks an average of 7 miles per shift…I don’t really doubt it all that much.
Your knees are the prime targets for stress and downright misery - especially if you’re walking on brick/ceramic tile.
Ditto the socks & gold bond powder as well…nothing like wierd fungal growths to make your life hell.
Ridiculous as it might sound, the magnetic insoles seemed to help quite a bit as well.
I suggest you get yourself a pair of Rockport Rockwalkers. These shoes were designed for athletic walking competitions, but also have just the right properties for standing around all day. They are great! But you have to get the original Rockwalker style, it’s easy to tell them, they have a small ribbed plastic ridge around the heel, none of the other styles have that feature. They also have “Dressport” shoes and they are comfortable but do not offer the support of the original Rockwalker style. I dunno, it’s been years since I bought a pair, and since then, Rockport got bought out by Reebok, so they might not even make them any more.
I’ve read, from several sources, that by buying two pairs of shoes and alternating them, that they will last as long as three pairs of shoes worn on consequetive days. I haven’t put this 50% figure to the test, myself, but I DO think that alternating shoes does make them last a lot longer.
My most recent job was as a commission appliances/electronics salesman, which meant being in formal clothes (white shirt, tie, slacks and dress shoes) for 12 hours a day. When I was in training (8 hours a day), I wore loafers and my feet were throbbing by the end of the day, so I decided something new was in order. I went to the shoe store looking for those dress shoes with 3" thick soles, until I noticed that the salesman was wearing Rockports. I figured that if he has the choice of all those shoes in the store and chose them, then I should get those myself…they’re basically a tennis shoe made of black leather. I paid 90 dollars for them (sales tax exempt in PA) and I was never sorry for it (made days where I made 7 dollars a lot easier to bear ).
I’d say that the one place NOT to skimp is on work footwear…most of the pain in your day is going to be in your feet, and the few dollars extra that you spend on better shoes WILL be appreciable deep into your shift!