Someday I will build myself a sitting kitchen. It will be complete with shorter appliances, cabinets, and one of those rolling stools you see in mechanic’s shops. The countertops will overhang slightly so that I can tuck my legs under while I do prep work. It will be a temple of lazy productivity.
However, since I live in reality, and don’t own a home, I am stuck with stupid standing kitchens for the foreseeable future. Here’s the thing: standing barefoot for extended periods of time is uncomfortable and actually bad for your feet. Enterprising individuals have identified this issue and sold anti-fatigue mats or slippers with foamy soles to cushion your feet. I’ve tried both, and they definitely do make a difference. For long-haul dishes that require more than an hour’s worth of work, though, they’re just not enough.
Spending more time in my kitchen recently, this problem has plagued my feet. After two hours of working in the kitchen, I have to take a break and sit down for a while. That really ate into my productivity! In a desperate attempt to get through the project I was working on, I put on my gym shoes and got back to work. The difference was stark and immediate. I noticed relief of fatigue, more comfortable working conditions, and got the energy back to finish my dish in comfort.
If everyone else’s gym shoes are similar to mine, I understand how you might want to use a different pair in a place you’re preparing food. So where to start?
We’re going for comfort and arch support here. There’s no points for style in a kitchen shoe. That being said, I found this New York Magazine article informative, ranging anywhere from $360 Redwing heeled boots to $45 unisex Crocs. The real key here, however, is that these shoes are single purpose. They do not get worn outside… unless you’re a big fan of mopping on the regular. If you spend a decent amount of time in the kitchen, I encourage you to try this! It’s an instant life upgrade.