When you walk past restaurants in the early morning, you may see the kitchen crew hauling big, thick, black rubber mats outdoors to scrub and hose them down. These fatigue mats cushion chefs’ feet and legs as they cook.
A number of years ago at the San Francisco Gourmet Housewares Show, I discovered a thick, gel fatigue mat from Let’s Gel. The woman in the company’s booth had her shoes off and invited me to do the same and step onto the Gel Pro mat. Love at first step.
I ordered a mat immediately after the show and have it in front of the sink where I spend the most time in the kitchen. It makes a huge difference. The mats are quite heavy but seemingly last and last. When punctured—maybe you drop a knife or a jar breaks—the gel doesn’t leak out.
You do need to pick the mat up and scrub it occasionally and crumbs accumulate underneath and on top. (Where don’t crumbs accumulate?!) But the comfort is well worth it. A number of companies now make gel kitchen mats, so an Internet search for gel fatigue mats (kitchen mats or chefs mats) would allow comparison shopping.