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Equipment & Gear: GelPro Mat
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Cooking For Engineers



Joined: 10 May 2005
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2008 7:54 am    Post subject: Equipment & Gear: GelPro Mat Reply with quote

I spend a lot of time in the kitchen when I'm preparing a recipe for Cooking For Engineers. Sometimes, after a while, my feet, knees, hip, or lower back can start to hurt. I don't like wearing shoes inside the house, so my feet really aren't getting the support that they are supposed to have especially if I'm on them for a few hours. Enter the GelPro Mat - a soft but supportive floor mat that absorbs shock and spreads out the weight across the whole foot. I've been using the Mat in my kitchen for the last six months, and I can definitely say that it works!

According to the GelPro website, pain, discomfort, and fatigue comes about due to the tightening and constricting of muscles from standing on hard surfaces for a long time. The constriction reduces blood flow causing aches and leads to muscle spasms and pain.

All I know is that when I stand for a long time on my laminate wood floor in my kitchen, the heels of my feet start to hurt (from the pressure of the hard surface) and some of my muscles start to ache. When I stand on the GelPro Mat, I can feel that the pressure is spread out and there are no "hot spots" on the bottom of my feet where there is more pressure.



Also, when I step around on the mat while I work, the impact of my foot coming down on the ground is absorbed remarkably well without the floor mat feeling squishy or weird. The density of the gel is just right to absorb the force without feeling like I'm stepping into some soft or gooey.

Since most of my time is spent photographing the preparation of recipes, I usually keep a 20-in. by 36-in. mat in front of my prep area. The mats also come in a 20-in. by 72-in. version as well as a plethora of colors and textures.


The mat I have shown in these photos is a basketweave GelPro Mat in chestnut color. It cleans really easily, usually I just wipe it off with a paper towel and if there's something on sticky on there a damp paper towel takes care of it. So far I've needed to use a little dishwashing detergent (the hand use kind, not the machine kind) just once. I wiped it on with the damp paper towel, rubbed off the greasy spot, and wiped it dry - the mat returned to it's original look.

I highly recommend getting one or two of these mats (one in front of the stove and one in front of where you prepare you ingredients) for your kitchen especially if your kitchen flooring is hard (which it probably is - I can't imagine a carpeted kitchen). The easiest way to get them is to order them direct from the company by going to GelPro Pad's Product Page. At the time of the writing of this article, the basic 3-ft. wide mats are $99 and the 6-ft. wide mats are $199. It makes a wonderful gift for yourself or for the one who cooks in your household (or the one who does laundry).

GelPro Mats


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2008 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used to have this problem until I started wearing Crocs around the house, especially while cooking. They're ugly, but they're very comfortable and a lot cheaper than these mats-- plus they work everywhere in the kitchen (and house), not just a small work area.
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1620
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2008 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anonymous wrote:
I used to have this problem until I started wearing Crocs around the house, especially while cooking. They're ugly, but they're very comfortable and a lot cheaper than these mats-- plus they work everywhere in the kitchen (and house), not just a small work area.

Definitely wearing a good pair of supportive shoes will solve the problem everywhere - but I really don't like wearing shoes inside the house for some reason. Maybe it's because my feet feel trapped all day or warm because they are encased...
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2008 6:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My father works in a factory and stands on concrete floors all day. It's amazing how hard a concrete floor is on your body. He's just got a small piece of plywood and he says you wouldn't believe how much better even the plywood is over the concrete floor.

When I'm at work standing for a while, I'll even throw down a flattened cardboard box, and it works great.

Even though those are MacGyver solutions and horribly ugly, I can appreciate what a mat like that would do...and you say you've used it for 6 months, so it seems pretty reliable...seems worth it!
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dinane
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2008 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, just so you know, the link to the gelpro site is missing a colon.

If I'm spending large amounts of time in my kitchen (Christmas cookies, Thanksgiving pies, what have you), my solution is usually to borrow (i.e. take without asking) my husband's temperpedic slippers. But I totally understand the no shoes inside thing; after a while, my feet seem to get too warm.

This mat thing is an idea that would be so much easier to consider if the price tag wasn't so frightening, but I still might think about it. My kitchen is small enough I could get one mat that covers both the area in front of my stove and my prep area!
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1620
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2008 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dinane wrote:
Hey, just so you know, the link to the gelpro site is missing a colon.

Thanks! I fixed the links.
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ChefMom
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 6:59 pm    Post subject: Gel Pro Mats Reply with quote

I've had this mat for about two years. It is comfortable but I have a complaint that the edges curl up after some time, maybe a year. The mats are now sold at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. The full price is the same but you can probably use one of those coupons for 20% off.
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1620
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 8:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Gel Pro Mats Reply with quote

ChefMom wrote:
I've had this mat for about two years. It is comfortable but I have a complaint that the edges curl up after some time, maybe a year. The mats are now sold at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. The full price is the same but you can probably use one of those coupons for 20% off.

The 20% off coupon at Bed Bath and Beyond is a great tip. I'll let you all know if and when my edges begin to curl.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2008 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your feet were perfected over millions of years of evolution to do just that. Stand on them. Shoes harm your feet, they don't help them.
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1620
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2008 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anonymous wrote:
Your feet were perfected over millions of years of evolution to do just that. Stand on them. Shoes harm your feet, they don't help them.

Your feet were perfected over millions of years, but during the last several centuries we invented hard flooring which evolution hasn't adapted for yet. Good shoes do not harm your feet and actually protect them from the damage of standing, walking, and running on hard surfaces.
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anon
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 4:11 pm    Post subject: GelPro Mats Reply with quote

Coming late to the party ...

I am a chef, so I already stand on my feet a lot and can't stress the importance of supportive footwear on hard, slippery floors!! I can understand not wanting to wear outside shoes in the house, but if I'm working or standing a lot in the house, I have to wear shoes. I have a pair of SuperBirki's I use for the kitchen and wear Crocs if I'm doing other stuff. Why two pairs?? The Crocs are comfy, but will not protect my feet if I splash boiling water or drop something heavy or sharp. Granted, this has never happened, either at home or work, but I'm sure I would the moment I wasn't wearing protective footwear. Wink Besides, stepping on something wet or icky while wearing socks is the worst feeling ever!! Shock
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sirpaul484



Joined: 18 Jul 2006
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 4:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm. That does look like it would be quite comfortable to work with. My only problem is, with my weight (260 pounds), I would be afraid of creating too much wear on it. Does yours seem to be a little worn where you normally stand, or is it still as good as new?
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
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Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 7:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sirpaul484 wrote:
Hmm. That does look like it would be quite comfortable to work with. My only problem is, with my weight (260 pounds), I would be afraid of creating too much wear on it. Does yours seem to be a little worn where you normally stand, or is it still as good as new?

It seems to look and feel like new. I weigh 150-155 lbs..
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Perry
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 10:49 pm    Post subject: mats Reply with quote

Bought several of these mats for my husband's shop tool stations. He probably weighs between 240-260, and standing on a concrete floor for hours messes up what is supposed to be enjoyable time. The mats really help.

I don't need them in the kitchen myself. Shoes are necessary for me to be in a frame of mind to work. I don't take mine off until I get to sit down for a longish break. That's just me though.

I would caution against working in the kitchen barefoot or in socks without proper footwear. Drop a knife once and you could change your whole future! I am teaching my son the ins and outs of food prep, safety with the tools, and sanitary practices. I wouldn't be without shoes while he is assisting.
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Suzette
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 5:05 am    Post subject: Mats Reply with quote

We bought a GelPro mat a little over a year ago. Oh boy, it was great when we first got it. However, eventually the edges start to curl up, and now ours is full of little holes and slits. There are only 2 in our household. I cannot stand on it in bare feet or I get little cuts. Somehow I think if you buy an "industrial" mat for a hundred bucks -- and you do not happen to be a "commercial" kitchen -- the darned thing should last almost forever. I'm pretty disgusted and disappointed!

http://thenakedfork.blogspot.com
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