7 BEST Shoes For Bartenders In 2023 [Buyers Guide]

best bartending shoes
Joe | Last Updated: October 29, 2023
I'm Joe, a veteran bartender with over a decade in the industry and a burning passion for mixing drinks.

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When you’re pouring, shaking, and stirring behind the bar, the right footwear can make a big difference to your performance and comfort.

A bartender’s job can often involve long hours on their feet, moving swiftly, often on wet and slippery floors. Therefore, the perfect bartending shoes need to be comfortable, slip-resistant, durable, and why not, a touch stylish too!

In our constant quest to support you in your bartending journey, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of the 7 best shoes for bartenders.

Whether you’re a seasoned mixologist looking to upgrade your footwear or a newbie just starting your bartending journey, this guide will help you find the ideal pair to keep you moving efficiently and comfortably during your shifts.

So, if you’re ready to step into the world of bartending footwear, let’s get into it…

10/15/2023 05:40 am GMT Lasso Brag

1. Nike Air Force 1

The Nike Air Force 1 sneaker is highly versatile and can be a great fit for bartenders for several key features.

These shoes are designed with comfort in mind, featuring a full-length, encapsulated Nike Air unit for lightweight cushioning. This can help bartenders who spend long hours on their feet.

They look GREAT and are very on-trend. Air Force 1’s have a low-cut silhouette which creates a clean, streamlined look and can match various dress codes.

The upper part of the shoe is made of durable leather, adding to its longevity. However, these shoes are not marketed as slip-resistant, which is a crucial feature for bartenders, and they are not waterproof, another potential downside in the event of spills.

That said, I own several pairs of these shoes and they are surprisingly grippy, especially on wooden surfaces.

If you’re looking for a more stylish option, these can be a great choice, but if you’re looking for something with a little more grip then you may want to consider something different.


  • Comfortable cushioning for long hours on feet.
  • Durable leather upper.
  • Stylish design that fits various dress codes.


  • Not marketed as slip-resistant.
  • Not waterproof.
Nike Womens WMNS Air Force 1 Low '07 DD8959 100 White on White

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10/15/2023 04:21 am GMT

2. Adidas NMD_R1

The Adidas Originals Men’s NMD_R1 Sneaker is known for its sleek, modern design and comfort. Its Boost midsole cushioning technology provides excellent comfort and support, which is essential for bartenders who are on their feet for long hours.

The shoe’s upper is made from a knit fabric, allowing for breathability and keeping your feet cool. The rubber outsole ensures some degree of slip resistance, although it’s worth noting that these sneakers are not marketed as being slip-resistant specifically.

They also lack waterproof features, making them potentially vulnerable to damage from liquid spills, which are common in a bar environment.

Whilst these sneakers aren’t the most durable and protective, they are very comfortable and have a sock-like fit that is perfect for bartenders that work long hours on their feet.

There are a number of colorways to choose from to suit each bartender’s preferences.


  • Comfortable due to Boost midsole cushioning.
  • Breathable knit upper.
  • Stylish and modern design.


  • Not specifically marketed as slip-resistant.
  • Not waterproof.
adidas Originals Men's NMD_R1 Sneaker, Black/Black/Gum

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10/15/2023 05:09 am GMT

3. DR Martens 1460 Slip Resistant Boots

Dr. Martens’ 1460 8-Tie Lace-Up Boot is a timeless classic known for its durability and rugged style. The leather upper not only provides a robust exterior but also adds a touch of style, making it suitable for various bar environments.

These boots are one of my personal favorites as they look AWESOME and have everything you need from a pair of boots from comfort to style and everything in between.

If you work in a rock bar or similar, you’ll receive lots of compliments for rocking Dr. Marten’s as they are notorious for being a symbol of culture.

The air-cushioned sole is comfortable for long hours of standing and walking, an essential feature for bartenders. You’ll be glad to know that Dr. Martens’ shoes are known for their slip-resistant soles, offering extra safety in potentially slippery bar environments.

However, the break-in period for these boots can be longer than other shoes, which some may find uncomfortable initially.

While they are relatively resistant to spills due to their leather construction, they are not explicitly marketed as waterproof.


  • Durable with a leather upper.
  • Air-cushioned sole for comfort.
  • Slip-resistant soles.


  • Longer break-in period.
Best For Style
Dr. Martens 1460 Originals 8-Eye, Unisex, Black, Soft Toe, Slip Resistant, 6 Inch Work Boot (4.0 MW)
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10/15/2023 05:10 am GMT

4. Vans Unisex Old Skool Classics

The Vans Unisex Old Skool Classic Skate Shoes are popular for their style and comfort. The low-top design and canvas upper lend a casual look that can fit into many bar environments.

The shoe features a padded collar and footbed for added comfort during long shifts. The signature Vans waffle outsole provides some degree of slip resistance, though these shoes are not marketed as being slip-resistant specifically.

I personally wore these shoes for years while bartending and found them to work great and be super comfortable. However, they don’t provide a lot of support as boots do.

I remember dropping a keg once on my foot whilst wearing these shoes and I couldn’t walk for a week! So boots would have been a better option for me.

It’s also worth noting that the canvas upper is not as durable or resistant to spills as leather or synthetic alternatives.


  • Comfortable due to padded collar and footbed.
  • Stylish, casual design.
  • Some degree of slip resistance due to the waffle outsole.


  • Not specifically marketed as slip-resistant.
  • Canvas upper is less durable than some alternatives.
Vans Old Skool Black White Skate VN-0D3HY28 Mens

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10/15/2023 05:26 am GMT

5. Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars

The Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star Low Top is a timeless classic sneaker that fits in various settings, including behind the bar. The shoe is known for its comfort and iconic style, which adds a classic touch to any outfit.

The canvas upper allows for breathability, keeping feet cool during long shifts. And the rubber sole offers a degree of slip resistance, though it’s important to note that these shoes aren’t specifically marketed as slip-resistant.

Despite their iconic style and comfort, these shoes might not provide enough arch support for standing for prolonged periods, which can lead to discomfort during long bartending shifts.

There’s a trade-off between comfort and style when it comes to finding the best shoes for bartenders, and these are definitely more on the stylish side.

That said, I’ve also worn these shoes behind the bar and found them to be great. Although they’re not quite as sturdy as Dr. Martens or as comfortable as the Adidas NMDs.


  • Iconic, versatile style.
  • Breathable canvas upper.
  • Some degree of slip resistance due to the rubber sole.


  • Not specifically marketed as slip-resistant.
  • May lack sufficient arch support for long shifts.
Converse Chuck Taylor All Star High Top Sneaker, Black

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10/15/2023 05:34 am GMT

6. Thursday Boot Company Chelsea Boots

The Duke Men’s Chelsea Boot by Thursday Boot Company is a stylish and practical choice for bartenders. These boots feature a sophisticated design that can meet a variety of dress codes in different bar environments.

Made with full-grain leather, the boots offer excellent durability and quality. The custom-made rubber outsoles provide a level of slip resistance, which is critical in the often slick environment of a bar.

The fully lined supple leather interior and cork-bed midsole ensure all-day comfort, which is ideal for long shifts behind the bar.

These boots are our top pick on this list due to their extremely high quality and comfort, as well as their stylish and professional look.

They grip to the surface very well and offer structural support which helps to combat foot-related injuries whilst working behind the bar.

However, one potential downside is the price point, which is higher than some other footwear options. But these boots provide everything you need in bartending footwear, from style to durability and much more.


  • Sophisticated and stylish design.
  • Comfortable for long shifts due to the cork-bed midsole.
  • Durable full-grain leather construction.
  • Some degree of slip resistance due to custom-made rubber outsoles.


  • Higher price point.
Top Pick
Thursday Boot Company Men's Duke Chelsea Leather Boot, Dark Olive Suede

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10/15/2023 05:40 am GMT

7. Sketchers Relaxed Fit: D’lux Walker Commuter Sneakers

The Skechers Men’s Max Cushioning Elite-Performance Sneaker is designed with comfort and support in mind, making it a strong choice for bartenders.

Its MAX Cushioning midsole provides responsive cushioning for optimal comfort during long shifts.

The mesh fabric upper allows for good airflow, ensuring your feet stay cool and dry. Also, the rubber outsole is designed for better traction, offering some level of slip resistance, a critical feature for bartenders.

While these sneakers are designed for performance and comfort, but their casual style might not meet all bar dress codes.

If it’s the comfort you’re looking for, these are a fantastic option as they come at an affordable price point and offer support, comfort, and some slip resistance.

They may not be the most stylish, but they’re a great option for bartenders that value comfort over style.


  • Excellent comfort due to MAX Cushioning midsole.
  • Breathable mesh fabric upper.
  • Some degree of slip resistance due to the rubber outsole design.


  • Not specifically marketed as slip-resistant.
  • Casual style may not fit all bar dress codes.
Best For Comfort
Skechers Men's Sneaker, Black Engineered Mesh Orange Trim

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10/15/2023 06:12 am GMT

What To Look For In Bartending Shoes

When it comes to choosing shoes for bartending, several essential factors come into play.

Here are the top things to consider:


Bartending often requires long hours of standing, walking, or even running during busy times. A shoe with good cushioning and arch support can make a world of difference in how you feel at the end of the shift.

>> Read more: 7 BEST Bottle Openers For Bartenders

Slip Resistance

Bars and restaurants can have slippery floors due to spilled drinks and food. Shoes with slip-resistant soles can prevent accidents and keep you safe during your shift.


Bartending can be hard on shoes. You’ll want a pair that can withstand long hours, frequent spills, and the occasional toe-stubbing without falling apart. Shoes made from durable materials such as genuine leather can offer excellent longevity.

>> Read more: 8 BEST Aprons For Bartenders


A breathable shoe can prevent your feet from getting too sweaty and uncomfortable. Look for shoes made with materials that allow for good air circulation.

Water Resistance

The nature of bartending means you’re likely to get your shoes wet. Water-resistant or waterproof shoes can keep your feet dry and comfortable.

>> Read more: 6 BEST Blenders For Cocktails


While practicality should take precedence, it’s also worth considering the style of the shoe. Depending on the establishment, you might need a shoe that looks professional and fits the dress code.

Easy to Clean

Given that spills and splashes are part of the job, having shoes that are easy to clean can save you a lot of hassle.

>> Read more: 8 BEST Cocktail Shakers For Bartenders


Lightweight shoes can prevent foot fatigue and make it easier to move quickly and comfortably.

Remember, everyone’s feet are unique, and what works best for one person may not work as well for another.

Always try on shoes and see how they feel before committing to them. It might take some time to find the perfect pair, but the comfort and safety they provide are well worth the effort.


Do bartenders need to wear nonslip shoes?

No, but it’s a REALLY good idea. For bartenders, wearing non-slip shoes is recommended. Bartending often involves working in environments where spills are frequent, creating slippery floors. To prevent accidents and injuries, it’s wise to wear shoes that can provide excellent grip and traction.

Slip and fall accidents can cause serious injuries, including sprains, fractures, and even concussions.

Given that bartenders often need to move quickly, especially during peak hours, the risk of such accidents can be particularly high without appropriate footwear.

The bartending police aren’t going to come and arrest you if you decide not to wear non-slip shoes, but for your own safety, I highly recommend you do so or at least shoes with excellent grip.

Can bartenders wear Crocs?

Although Crocs are comfortable and easy to clean, they aren’t recommended for bartenders due to their lack of safety features, structure, and inadequate support for long hours of standing, making them less suitable for a demanding bar environment.

You also run the risk of feeling the wrath of customers hurling abuse at you for your footwear choice, which is why they are not on the list above.

Instead, opt for choices that are durable, comfortable, and slip resistant. They will serve you much better as a bartender than Crocs.

What shoes are best for bartending?

The best type of shoes for bartenders are ones that offer excellent slip resistance to prevent accidents on wet or slick floors.

They should also provide plenty of cushioning and arch support for long hours of standing and moving around. Durability is crucial since bartending can be tough on footwear, and if the establishment has a dress code, the shoes should be stylish and professional-looking.

Breathability is another key feature to ensure comfort throughout a shift. Lastly, easy-to-clean and water-resistant materials are a plus due to the likelihood of spills.

Why is appropriate footwear important for bartenders?

Appropriate footwear is vital for bartenders to ensure safety from slips and falls on potentially wet floors, provide comfort during long shifts spent standing, and prevent foot-related health issues. It also contributes to maintaining a professional appearance in accordance with workplace standards.

Wrapping Up

To wrap up, the right shoes are indeed a game-changer in bartending. With the perfect balance of comfort, safety, style, and durability, your choice of footwear can boost your performance, reduce fatigue, and even keep you safe during your shifts.

Remember, your comfort, safety, and efficiency behind the bar all hinge on your choice of footwear.

The seven pairs we’ve highlighted here strike that crucial balance. But remember, the best shoes for you ultimately depend on your personal comfort and the specific demands of your workplace.

So, take the time to try out different options and find that perfect pair that makes your bartending journey a step more comfortable and stylish.

I hope this post has helped guide you in choosing the right footwear for your bartending career and that you now have confidence as you step behind the bar.

Catch you in the next one!