Trying to find the best shoes for bartenders can be a real guessing game. In fact, you'll only know if the 'boot fits' once you've tried and tested it - leaving you out of pocket, fast!
Enter European Bartender School...
We like to think we know everything about bartending, so we've compiled a well-researched list of the very best bartending shoes.
Let us be the Prince (and you Cinderella) and we'll find you your perfect slipper...
First up on our best bartender shoes list is one for bartenders, TikTok enthusiasts and gym-goers alike. The Nike Air Force is an incredibly popular shoe and as far as bartending shoes go, it's a no-brainer.
The Air Force provides excellent comfort for those on long, demanding shifts behind the bar. It's a high quality shoe with great durability but what's even better is that it also looks superb and really finishes off an outfit well.
Has some ice started melting on the floor? Did you spill a bit of your Dirty Martini whilst shaking it up? No need to worry with the Air Force's rubber sole. The slip resistant nature of the soles means that skidding during a shift will be your last worry, so you can fully focus on making those 7 Piña Coladas for the big hen party.
For us, these are some of the best sneakers for bartenders!
At number 2, is a skater classic - the Old Skools. Revived from the grungy days of the 90s, these shoes will be a perfect fit for those working in a slightly more alternative bar.
And, because they're a skateboarding shoe, this means it'll be excellent for a bartender. This might sound weird but hear us out...
What use would a shoe be for skater if it wasn't comfy or slip resistant? They're made for the testing environment of a skate park, so why not behind a bar?
It's for this exact reason that we think it's one of the best shoes out there. To make them even better to work in, we suggest adding in a memory foam insole. This will provide you with a little extra arch support and stop any uncomfortable rubbing from happening.
With this in mind, we'd even go as far as to say that the Vans Old Skools are one of the best shoes for servers and bartenders!
Fancy yourself to be a bit of a mod? Enjoy listening to the Verve and Richard Ashcroft? Complete your aesthetic with these alternative suede derby shoes.
These little numbers are absolutely perfect for bartending! Thick rubber slip resistant outsoles, arch support and a cushioned sole all make them some of the best bartending shoes on the market. In fact, they're so good that even a 9-hour shift would be a pleasure whilst wearing them.
If you're not into the mainstream, finding comfortable shoes for bartending can be a long and difficult journey. However, this could be your perfect match. Your glass slipper is just a few clicks and a card payment away!
Next, it's one for the vegans...
For us, these shoes are one of our favourites on this list. Maybe you're working in a bar that's not exactly high-class but not quite grungy enough for the Vans Old Skools. If that's the case, then these will be the pair of work shoes for you.
Not only are they animal-free, but they look unbelievably good and round-off any outfit. But what about their performance behind the bar? One of the biggest problems a bartender may face is dropping things or knocking into bar equipment. This is an easy way to ruin your work shoes (or injury a toe). Luckily for you clumsy bartenders, this Chelsea boot has oil resistance, durability and slip resistance.
We'd recommend wearing in these hard-wearing shoes before bartending, as they could be a little uncomfortable at first. Break then in, and your feet (and the climate) will thank you later...
We're over half way through our list of the best shoes for bartending and we're back with a sporty pair to make your feet feel springy and comfortable during a busy service. These may not be your kind of shoe, but it pays to value comfort over style in some situations!
Athletic shoes are there to make you feel supported. And if they can feel good during a 10-mile run, we're confident that living the bartender life will be easy for them. These trainers provide you with solid arch support, slip resistant soles and room within the shoe, this makes them perfect for bartending!
Feel like you're walking on air and glide your way through the bar with these Adidas sneakers.
Skechers shoes are widely considered to be one of the best shoes for a bartender and many other manual professions, too. They are the ultimate shoes for comfort and durability.
Whether it's the breathable mesh, removable cushioned sole, slip resistant outsole or even their shock absorbing qualities, it's perfect. And these are just four of the benefits!
There are even more to mention (not related to bartending) that'll help you perform at your best, like certified arch support! In terms of practicality, we'd rate this Skechers shoe as one of the best bartending shoes on our list and definitely worth considering.
Remember that these Skechers are designed with 20 years of podiatry data in mind. So, if you don't want to be let down, go for these!
Returning for their second mention on our list of best shoes for bartending, are Vans. And this time, it's the even more iconic Slip-Ons!
As bartending shoes go, these tick all the boxes for shoe success. Just like with the Old Skools, Vans have had to create a trainer that can deal with what those rough and tumble skaters put them through. This means: reinforced durability, comfier fit, gum rubber soles and cushioned footbeds. It's no understatement to say they're top quality shoes!
If you want to wear shoes that makes you forget about your feet during bar service - these Vans just might be just what you're looking for.
Returning back to the more formal shoe, here's a pair of Oxfords for you.
The Oxford shoe was a style that never really went out of fashion. They're still as popular today as they were when they first became fashionable in the 1800s. For bartenders that require more formal attire, these Oxfords are what you'll need!
With a decent level of arch support for a formal shoe, the thick rubber soles on this boy gives you all the slip resistance required for those slippery bar floors. Plus, if some heavy-handed lager lout comes along and spills his pint all over your newly, buffed-up leather shoes, they'll be easy to clean.
Waistcoat bartenders walk this way and collect your Oxfords.
To end our list of best shoes for bartenders, we've got a popular New Balance. These shoes are famed for their reliability and comfort, whilst providing a stylish element to your outfit.
Self-labelled 'unassuming' and 'unpretentious' by New Balance, they're the sort of shoes that'll do the job well. And that's all you really need.
The 574s will provide you with excellent arch support and perfect shock absorption when working. As a pair of work shoes, they are slip-resistance guaranteed too, making them an all-rounder and a 'safe pair of hands'.
As a little added extra, these shoes meet the New Balance green leaf standard. This is a standard they've set for themselves in an effort to meet green targets and make the company more environmentally conscious. This includes recycled content, responsible manufacturing and minimum levels of bio-based material within the shoe.
Save the rainforest one step (and cocktail) at a time with these New Balances.
The final verdict
It's a real big ask to choose our favourites from this list of 9. However, if we were to pick one pair of bartending shoes as and all-round winner, we'd choose the... Nike Air Force 1 ’07.
This list was written in no particular order, but the Nikes claim first position on this list and in our hearts. Taking everything into consideration, like comfort, durability, style and safety, we believe these are the best shoes for bartending. Moreover, these are also the best shoes for female bartenders. We compiled this list to accommodate everyone, so not to leave anyone out!
Whilst this was our final verdict, everyone is unique and has different needs. What's good for us may not be for you. So, choose wisely when buying your bar shoes!
Here, are some frequently asked questions about bartender shoes that should make the buying process that little bit easier.
What makes a good bartending shoe?
NOTE: Memory foam insole is a game changer but not a necessity.
How much do bartender shoes cost?
On average, bartender shoes cost anywhere between $50-$150.
What better way to test out these bartender shoes than in the bar as a fully qualified bartender? Learn more about our bartending courses in over 25 different schools worldwide...