As a chef, you rarely get a chance to sit down and rest. And – last time I checked – there aren’t many commercial kitchens that even have a chair for chefs to have a moment off their feet. You’re literally standing or on the move the whole time you’re working! While I often find chefs discussing the best shoes to wear to work, I rarely hear chefs discussing the virtues of a particular sock. But, socks are integral to keeping your feet and legs pain free, and preventing varicose and spider veins.
Today we’re listing our top socks for chefs. These socks feature two key qualities: graduated compression and temperature-control fabric.
Compression: Why would a chef need to wear compression socks? When you’re standing all day in the kitchen, gravity has an enormous effect on the circulation of your blood. As you probably remember from anatomy, blood pumps from your heart into arteries, which carries the fresh, oxygenated blood to all of your extremities. Veins are then supposed to bring the blood back to your heart for fresh oxygen. When we stand, our veins have to work a great deal harder to pump that blood from our feet back to our heart. So, as the day wears on, our feet and ankles start to swell and our legs begin to feel tired, heavy and sometimes achy. You feel this way because all of the blood isn’t making it back up to your heart – instead it’s pooling at your ankles (thus the swelling). Graduated compression socks help those veins push blood back up to your heart. These socks gently encourage blood back up the leg, increasing blood circulation and reducing pressure on your veins. It may sound foreign to many chefs to put on compression socks (something we associate with the elderly), but nurses have been wearing them for years.
Temperature Control: Kitchens can be HOT. With people running every direction and all the ovens on in one room, you’re probably breaking out in a sweat. Are you socks helping to cool you down? They should be. When shopping for socks for work, chefs should consider fabrics that wick away sweat and keep legs and feet cool. Merino wool, microfiber and cotton are great moisture-wicking fabrics. Additionally, if you tend to have smelly feet issues, you should only consider socks that have silver and copper woven into the fabric. These metals kill the bacteria that cause odor on our feet, so at the end of your shift there’s no embarrassing smell when you take those socks off.
Here’s our list of recommended socks for chefs:
Sigvaris Merino Wool Performance Socks – For men & women, these socks are made with soft, thermo-regulating merino wool and feature a cushioned foot bed for maximum comfort.
Allegro Athletic Copper Support Socks – For both men & women, these socks are infused with copper to kill 99.9% of bacteria on your foot. They also feature a heavily padded foot bed and CoolMax polyester to keep feet and legs cool.
Jobst Active – Guaranteed to provide 360 degree comfort on your feet, these socks are made with Dri-Release yarn to keep feet cool and come in wide-calf sizes to fit any leg.
Sigvaris Cushioned Cotton Socks – These cotton socks will not only keep your legs cool, but are also great for sensitive skin. They contain built in arch support to ensure your feet are pain free by the end of the day.
Are you a chef? What socks do you wear regularly to keep your feet and legs feeling energized?