Hospitality staff know that walking is a big part of the job, but how far do they actually walk? A study done by Jenny Craig found that waiter can take up to 23,000 steps a day – double the recommended amount needed to keep fit. All this pressure on feet can lead to long-term foot injuries which can take years off a hospitality career, not to mention incidental injuries such as slips and trips, brought about by poor footwear and which can keep a staff member out of work for weeks. Here are three tips to identify the best footwear for restaurant staff.
BUY SHOES AT THE END OF THE DAY
It might be the last thing on your mind, but its best to buy shoes at the end of a long shift. Your feet are the most swollen at this point, so if they feel comfortable when your feet are at their worst, then they’ll more than likely feel comfortable throughout the day as well. There should be enough space for your toes to wiggle, and a footbed made of memory foam or something similar will help support the foot. A rubber outsole will reduce the impact of each step more so than a hard sole.
ALWAYS GO FOR NON-SLIP
Liquids are an inevitable part of hospitality, and equally inevitable is the chance that those liquids will end up on the floor. A slip can easily result in a slip and a fall, which can lead to a sprained ankle or leg, or possibly a fracture in more serious cases. The staff member will be off their feet and out of work, and the owner will be short one pair of hands. Look for high-traction rubber outsoles to greatly reduce the chance of this happening.
GOOD ARCH SUPPORT
Good arch support for employees who spend a long time on their feet will distribute their weight across the bottom of their feet. Unsupportive shoes can lead to a range of chronic foot problems, including shin splints, Achilles tendonitis and heel pain, which can further progress to knee and back pains. The best way to see if a shoe is supportive is to bend it. If it bends in half, it’s not worth the money.