Walk into any store which sells shoes and you will be absolutely spoiled for choice when it comes to slippers.
Slippers come in all shapes, sizes, colors and materials – in fact you’ll find that there’s a different slipper suitable for each season and occasion. Whether you want a cozy pair of sheepskin slippers for winter or an outlandish pair of dinosaur feet for Halloween, slipper designers have thought of them all.
Perhaps your trusty ol’ pair of slippers have finally reached the end of their lifespan. Or the changing season is prompting you to find something else to wear before your feet freeze or boil.
With this wide variety in slippers available to you, it can be hard to know which pair to choose. We’ve written this buying guide to help sort slippers into different categories for you - with pros and cons about each type listed. Let’s take a look at what slippers actually are and the benefits they provide for us.
Slippers are comfortable shoes generally worn indoors which you can slip easily onto your feet. They’re comfy and are ideal when you have just had a long day and wish to stretch out and relax. Outdoor shoes can get dirty so wearing slippers inside can help to keep your floors clean.
There are many different types of slippers for different uses. Cinderella wore her glass slippers to the ball. Most people prefer to wear slippers at home for their coziness and convenience. Some slippers are designed to look like all sorts of other things, like paws or claws and are a great addition to any costume.
A lot of people don’t wear slippers inside the home and instead choose to walk about barefoot or just in socks. That’s completely fine!
But the use of slippers has many advantages than just to decorate our feet! Listed below are some common beneficial uses of slippers.
This seems like the most obvious reason. For neat freaks and people extremely concerned about cleanliness and hygiene, this one is for you.
The floors and carpets are dirty. Even if you vacuum regularly, they’ll still be covered in dust. Walking around the house barefoot or in socks will cause your feet or socks to get dirty.
How annoying, when you’ve just had a shower and now the soles of your feet are black with dust. You’ll have to wash your feet again before going to bed. Or just shudder at washing those white socks. Black stains are a nightmare to wash off.
Woolen socks can keep your feet warm in winter. But walking across bare floorboards, you can still feel the cold from the floor seeping in under those thick woolly socks and chilling your feet. Slippers add an extra platform between your feet and the ground. This will prevent any chills seeping into your feet from the bottom.
Also, your feet will be wrapped in an extra layer of material, be it more wool, sheepskin, cotton or whatever your slippers are made of. This extra layer will help to keep your feet warm in the winter and also help prevent heat loss due to exposed feet. Bonus!
Slippers can help out when you need to walk outside briefly but can’t be bothered putting on a pair of shoes. Maybe the mail has just arrived. Or perhaps the neighbor’s pesky cat is in the garden again. You’re sitting on the couch and you don’t have a pair of shoes on.
It’s not pleasant walking barefoot to the letterbox after it has rained. Or onto the grass with all the mud squelching around between your toes.
What if you step on a worm?
It doesn’t get much better on a nice day. The sun has baked the concrete. Ouch, it burns! Time to do the awkward hop, skip, run to the letterbox and back. Slippers are so convenient to place on your feet. Just slip them on and you’re ready to go. No laces. No buckles. No excuse for walking around barefoot outside.
Slippers are the perfect way to keep your feet dry and safe from burning when you’re outside.
There are many dangerous objects around the household which can injure feet that aren’t protected by slippers. Mainly, thumbtacks and Legos. Those dread Lego blocks always seem to be everywhere. Neither are particularly comfortable to step on. Slippers act as armor around these hazardous objects.
If you step on a thumbtack, it’s no big deal. Thumbtacks are quite small and will likely embed into the sole of your slipper, without penetrating the upper layer of the sole thereby keeping your feet safe.
The feeling of those uncomfortable corners and ridges on Lego blocks will be less excruciating as there will be an extra inch or so of padding between your foot and the Lego blocks.
Wearing shower slippers when using a communal shower can help prevent getting bacterial or fungal infections such as athlete’s foot.
Fungi, algae and mold love living in damp environments like showers. In a communal shower, like at a gym or swimming pool, so many people have used them that they may have carried some fungi, algae or mold into the shower with them.
Furthermore, people wear their outside shoes into the locker rooms, which then lead to the showers. And who knows what those outside shoes have stepped in… Communal showers do get cleaned but how regularly and thoroughly varies between different establishments.
It is best to keep safe by wearing shower slippers so your feet do not come into contact with the shower floor, thus eliminating the possibility of contracting any type of foot infection.
Need a finishing touch for any animal costume?
Now, slippers can be found for almost any type of animals’ feet, from elephants to cats to dinosaurs. All that has to be done is to purchase these animal feet slippers from the shop.
Animal feet slippers are also quite big and furry, so even outside of wearing them to a costume party, they make excellent foot warmers in the winter.
There are many different types of slipper designs to suit each person’s style when it comes to footwear. Different styles are suited for different uses so it’s important to know what you plan to do while wearing your slippers so you know which is the best one to choose.
Below are a few common ones with pros and cons about each.
Open heel slippers are your traditional house slippers. They do not come with a backing on the heel of the slipper, hence the name open heel. They may also be called slip on slippers. These are the easiest to slip on the feet but also the easiest to slip off, so they’re not as great for wearing if you plan on doing a bit of walking.
Open heel slippers tend to come with a hard sole, providing a little cushioning. They do not cover the heels but they still cover the toes so they provide a little support and protection.
This makes open heel slippers ideal in moderate temperatures. They don’t fully enclose your feet so your feet don’t sweat in summer. But they do not provide enough warmth for winter, so another style with insulation may be required.
Closed back slippers are sometimes called moccasins. They have a backing on the heel of the slipper. This holds the foot inside the shoe and prevents your foot from slipping out. These slippers are great as they come in all varieties with either a little or a lot of support for your foot. They can also come with either a hard or a soft sole depending on which you prefer.
If you plan to do a lot of walking around, closed back slippers with a hard sole and support is the ideal choice.
Slipper boots resemble boots and are typically made of sheepskin or fleece, providing lots of warmth and cushioning. They typically have a harder sole, making them good for walking in. Slipper boots are very good at preventing heat loss so are perfect for wearing outdoors in the winter.
However, due to the slipper boots ability to trap heat, most of them will also cause your feet to sweat.
Sandal slippers are similar to open heel slippers except they do not have the covering over the toes either. The feet are exposed to the outside, keeping them cool while still providing cushioning from the hard ground.
However, there is the least amount of support and protection for your feet, especially at the heel and the arch. Some sandal slippers resemble beach flip flops, with a strap between the two big toes. If this strap is too big, it can spread the toes too far and be uncomfortable.
Sandal slippers provide the least amount of warmth and are not ideal for winter.
Slippers are a luxury item and as such, they are made from all sorts of fanciful materials.
Since slippers are designed for the purpose of being worn indoors you won’t have to worry about getting them dirty outside so materials not common in outside shoes can be used to make slippers.
Sheepskin is the material of choice for winter slippers. The warm, fluffy sheepskin surrounds and insulates your feet from the bitter bite of winter.
The soft wool provides superior warmth and comfort, making sheepskin slippers perfect for relaxing in with a nice cup of tea after a long day of work.
The wool molds itself to your feet, providing a snug and comfortable feeling with every step you take. Sheepskin is a breathable material, meaning that your feet won’t feel sweaty or clammy while wearing sheepskin slippers. This is perfect way to keep your feet warm in slippers without worrying about gross sweaty feet.
Memory foam slippers compress and mold themselves to your feet when you wear them. Memory foam slippers are ideal if you are prone to getting sore feet, or any other related problems.
This is because when you walk in memory foam slippers, they cradle your feet and relieves any stress and pressure on them and helps to distribute your weight evenly across your slippers.
Take your memory foam slippers off and the slippers return to their original shape.
Extremely good at retaining warmth, memory foam slippers can keep your feet warm in winter but lead to sweaty feet.
Felt has been used to make clothing and shoes for a long time, the most notable of which are the Russian Valenki. Most felt slippers are made of wool felt.
Felt slippers can appear fuzzy due to the fibers and are quite thick as well, lending to a pair of slippers which provides support and warmth. Felt slippers are often quite hard and stiff in form, making them not very suited for comfort when you are just lounging around the house.
However, wool felt slippers are relatively stain and water resistant, so they’re okay for brief walks outside. The soles of felt slippers tend to wear out quite quickly, so unless the bottoms of the felt slippers are reinforced with some strong material, you may need to replace your felt slippers often.
Slippers are mainly worn in the comfort of your own home, away from the prying eyes of the public. There are plenty of wacky slipper designs to suit the tastes and interests of everyone.
Having trouble getting your toddler to keep their slippers on and keep their little feet warm?
Toddler slippers come in a variety of animal, superhero or princess designs. Cuddly and adorable, toddler slippers are made of plush material to keep feet warm no matter the season. You will be sure to find a pair of slippers they will love to wear all the time.
Calling all cat lovers, there exist items called cat slippers! Plush cat slippers are slip on slippers decorated on the front with a massive cute cat head. Every breed and color of cat is available in slipper form.
Not very practical for outdoor use but perfect for relaxing and unwinding in. The plush slippers provide a decent amount of snuggly warmth, making cat slippers a great addition to your slipper collection for cuddling up on the couch with your cat.
Finally, there is an unlimited range of novelty slippers that don’t really fit into any particular category. Anything from your favorite popular cartoon character, shark slippers that eat your feet, to animal paws – if you can imagine it, a shoe manufacturer has probably made it.
These cool slippers all generally come in either a slip on style or a closed heel style, and most will be made from plush. While cool slippers do not provide much support for walking in and the soles are too soft to be practical for outdoor use, they will be sure to make friends laugh or to just brighten up your dreary winter day.
Keeping your feet warm in severe cold can prove to be very difficult. To help speed up the process of warming up your feet, we now have battery heated slippers. Battery heated slippers can be used both inside and outside the house. You can’t feel any odd bumps and lumps; they feel as natural as wearing standard slipper boots.
The heated slippers are powered by 2 small batteries, with the battery compartment located on the side of the slipper. The boots are even lined with fleece, for added warmth.
They can reach a toasty 110 – 135 degrees Fahrenheit (43 to 57 degrees Celsius) – not too hot to cause any burns or sweating.
The slippers can be used outside thanks to rubber soles and a nylon outer shell which is water-resistant. The slippers are not waterproof though, so you still have to be careful about wearing them in heavy rain. They’re even easy to wash. Just pop out the batteries and place the slippers into the washing machine. So, are these heated slippers worth buying?
Most definitely! They may be worth a bit more than standard slippers but heated slippers are guaranteed to keep your feet warm, inside and outside the house.
Personalized slippers are slippers with a person’s name or a short special message embroidered into the soles, top or sides. Personalized slippers make great gifts, especially in winter. It’s a wonderfully easy way to show someone you care that you have thought about their gift and have gone to the trouble of seeking out personalized slippers.
They’re also great for kids to wear to school. With your child’s name embroidered into the slippers, there’s no chance of getting them mixed up with others at school.
Flip flops are a type of sandal which has a flat sole with 2 straps that form a Y shape. The straps meet between the 2 big toes. Between slippers and flip flops, slippers probably come out to be the better option.
Slippers provide more warmth, support and protection to your feet as they can cover your whole foot. They’re great to wear in both winter and summer. Slippers also have added comfort for when you’re relaxing at home.
Flip flops leave your feet exposed to the elements – making them great for wearing in summer and at beaches. They do not provide much support, protection or warmth, making them a terrible choice for wearing in winter or just for walking in.
Furthermore, if the strap between the two toes is too big, wearing flip flops can be uncomfortable.
There are many familiar manufacturers who produce a variety of slippers. Here are a few common ones and the typical types of slippers they produce.
The most famous Ugg product is probably the Ugg boot, which are unisex slipper boots. Ugg slippers come in a variety of styles and are well-known to be made of sheepskin or fleece, for warmth and comfort.
Acorn slippers are crafted for comfort and are typically made with wool, fleece or polyester blend. Acorn produces slippers in the style of slip-ons, closed back slippers and slipper boots.
Isotoner produces a large variety of fashion slippers in vibrant colors. From fur boot, to nylon slip-ons, to suede moccasins, if you can picture the combination of material and slipper style, Isotoner probably has it in stock.
Minnetonka specializes in hand-crafting moccasins. Their moccasins typically have a suede upper and a plush inner lining made of sheepskin. These slippers are the epitome of comfy-ness.
Vionic has slippers of all styles, made with sheepskin and fleece and all have Orthaheel Technology. Orthotic slippers help your heels and protects your body against hard surfaces by providing a contoured arch.
If comfortable and supportive slippers are what you want, Vionic has you covered.
Now that you’re all up to date with the different types of slippers and their features, it’s time to start browsing stores for the ideal pair for you or look at our buying guide and find out more about great slippers.
Don’t forget to check out our best slippers buying guide for recommendations on a wide range of slippers designed for men and women.