New, new, new comfort in the kitchen: Mario Batali and Crocs want your feet to feel like a day at the beach

You know, cooking is pretty laborious stuff. Shlepping massive pots and scrubbing incredible stains and dealing with heat and knives and poor, aching feet.

But that’s about to change. Well, at least the poor, aching feet part, with brand new footwear designed specifically for the cook. And they're cheap, too!

Bistro Crocs
Later this summer, Crocs will introduce a new shoe just for the chef. Endorsed by Mario Batali and introduced at the National Restaurant Association Show, the Bistro is “... designed for restaurant and food service industry professionals.” But, hey, any cook can benefit from a shoe which, they say, offers “... comfort and features a special slip-resistant design."
“It’s not hard to see that I’m a supporter of Crocs, given that I wear them on a daily basis,” says Batali of “Molto Mario” and “Iron Chef America” as well as author of “Molto Italiano: 327 Simple Italian Recipes to Cook at Home” and a handful of additional cookbooks and owner of Babbo Ristorante e Enoteca and a host of other restaurants. The man, after all, owns nearly 50 pairs of the orange Beach model.

Here’s the scoop with these shoes. They have a “... thicker metatarsal area to help protect the top of the foot, as well as a supportive arch and foot bed circulation nubs ...” In other words, these are supposed to be safe and comfortable. And make your feet feel like they've just spent a day at the beach.

But how are they?
Well, I don’t know, because I could not get my hands on them. Alas, they are not available for sale just yet. But I did get my hands, erm feet, on a pair of Crocs Professional. And here’s my thinking.
  1. These are the ugliest pair of shoes I have ever owned. And I mean really ugly. As in, I have a pair of Uggs and the Crocs beat them hands, erm feet, down. Of course, part of that could be the color; sort of a my-tummy-is-off brown. Next time, I go a nice blue, perhaps.
  2. Despite the holes in the shoes (and these things are definitely first cousin to a nice Swiss cheese) they do get warm. I suspect it is because the shoe material, something the company calls “Croslite” which is just a fancy term for a closed-cell resin, doesn't feel like it breathes (hence the need for the holes). But it is not unbearable. In fact, the warmth is totally bearable. And, I suspect, barely noticeable if you wear them with socks. Which I did not (they are ugly enough already, for heaven's sake).
  3. The best part about these shoes are the nubs on the inner sole. I don’t know about circulation, but it does give my feet a bit of a massage which is quite welcome.
  4. Finally, as for comfort, my husband has a theory that the uglier the shoes are, the more comfortable they are. He is mostly right. Because if these did not press against one small part of my foot (the base of my large toe on the right foot) these would be very comfortable. But it is only a light press and they are supposed to conform to the shape of your foot, so I will continue to try these out in the kitchen. But if they start to annoy me, I’ll grab my Uggs. They might have no nubs, but they are incredibly soft. And soft is good. At least in shoes.

How to buy a Bistro

The Bistro Crocs sell for $39.99 and will be available in Mario Batali’s signature orange, as well as in black, chocolate, navy, red, and white in women’s sizes 6-12 and men’s sizes 4-13. But not until late summer. Which is why there were no shoes for me to try.

Free Batali recipes
And, while you are keeping an eye out for the shoes, if you like Italian food (and who doesn’t, I ask you?), you might want to keep an eye on the Crocs site because they have promised to post signature Batali recipes. No mention as to when. But soon, I hope. Real soon.