Are Kitchen Clogs Finally Entering the Fashion Circle?

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kitchen clogs collage
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When I worked in a professional kitchen, the footwear requirements were the bane of my existence. The shoe of choice for chefs has long been the clog, but not just any clog—a sensible clog. Your shoes need to be supportive, providing comfort and preventing injuries during long hours spent standing and running around on potentially slick surfaces. But over my dead body would someone outside the kitchen catch a glimpse of my Danskos or, worse, the unapologetically orthopedic plastic Super Birkis I switched to after rolling my ankle one too many times on the platform of said Danskos.

Imagine my surprise when, seven years later, I saw my most fashionable friend (objectively speaking—she worked in fashion) donning a pair of the same Super Birkis, in public, in broad daylight, with a pair of jeans and a sweatshirt. I was pissed. Why? Because she managed to make Birkenstock’s ugliest item look cool. I instantly regretted having thrown mine away.

And she’s not the only one reaching for kitchen clogs—I’ve been getting served ads for Dansko and Calzuro, catching TikTok influencers show off their Birkis in OOTDs and seeing people on the street wear Danskos like stilettos. Since when did the practical footwear become fashionable?

One could argue, as we did for Crocs in 2020, that the rise of the clog stems from the pandemic-driven need for comfort, or the popularity of normcore and athleisure in fashion, or the return of the ’70s aesthetic. But ask anyone who’s spent time in a professional kitchen, and they’ll tell you clogs have always been around. Call it the Bear effect—when chefs became cool, so did their sartorial choices.

Lucky for all of us, today’s kitchen clogs are more versatile, stylish and fun than ever. You’re not limited to the “anti-fatigue rocker bottom” of the timeless Dansko, and don’t even get us started on the color choices. Will I be hopping back on the bandwagon for this uglycore trend? Oui, chef—and if you’d like to join me, let the below kitchen clogs inspire your selection. (But when the line cook’s ill-fitting checkered pants creep into everyday life, count me out.)

4 Kitchen Clogs We Love

You can think of these rubber clogs as the chic, Italian version of the Croc. The brand originated as a solution to medical footwear, but now the slip-ons are a popular choice among cooks, too. The clogs are available in a rainbow of color choices and feature a slip-resistant sole and a slight heel to reduce foot, leg and back fatigue. They’re also fully machine washable, bleachable and dishwasher safe—heck, you can even throw them in an autoclave if you find yourself needing to disinfect your footwear. (You never know.)

If wearing these clogs wasn’t a statement enough, the colorblock details will certainly set you apart from the crowd. The brand’s signature “rocker bottom” sole is designed to promote forward foot motion as you move, thereby absorbing shock and promoting energy return. (Translation: They prevent your tootsies from getting tired.) The see-thru purple material is easy to wipe clean, but if purple isn’t your color, you also have plenty of other neutral options. Hot tip: You might want to size up in these clogs; in our own experience they run slightly small.

In the clog world, these molded mules are practically understated. Available in black or navy, the blocky shoe is heat resistant and washable, with the same comfy footbed as the classic Birkenstock Boston clog. In fact, some reviewers claim it’s helped their plantar fasciitis. The jury’s out on that one, but the TikTok fashion girlies certainly give them the chic stamp of approval.

These humble clogs have been slowly plotting their takeover in Brooklyn since last summer, and for good reason: They’re made from sustainable hemp plastic and are as recyclable as they are comfortable. The clogs sell out and restock quickly, so keep an eye out if your size isn’t available at the moment.

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Katherine Gillen is PureWow’s senior food editor. She’s a writer, recipe developer and food stylist with a degree in culinary arts and professional experience in New York City restaurants. She used to sling sugary desserts in a pastry kitchen, but now she’s an avid home cook and fanatic baker.


Senior Food Editor

Katherine Gillen is PureWow’s senior food editor. She’s a writer, recipe developer and food stylist with a degree in culinary arts and professional experience in New York City...