It’s slipper season again. I bought a new pair last week, and my husband teased me about my love for slippers. Something something about how many pairs I go through.
My feet get cold. What can I say?
I’ve had a lot of slippers through the years, and once I started working from home, they became as critical as underwear in my wardrobe. From October to March, I wear slippers from the moment I get out of bed to the moment I get back in it. I wear a single pair of slippers more than I wear any single pair of shoes (except maybe flip-flops), and certainly for longer stretches at 15 hours a day for six straight months.
The first pair of real slippers I remember was from high school, and it was a pair of leather-soled slipper-socks, probably from L.L. Bean. I loved how cozy and indoorsy they felt, especially if I was laying down reading a book or watching TV. I think they were of a wool that made me itch, though, and the sole wasn’t really fitted, so my feed slid off the edges; they weren’t great for walking around the house, which I need a slipper to be these days, so I haven’t bought such a slipper again.
Another memorable pair of slippers were my Acorns from our winter in Maine. They were fleece, structured, and they surrounded my whole foot. They were easy to slip in and out of, accommodated my thick (non-itchy) wool socks, and were perfect in every way except that they were heinously ugly. Bulky, boxy, really a travesty of fashion. I’m pretty sure I got them on some deal at REI, which meant that they were a goofy patterned fleece instead of just a basic color, and also, regardless of the fleece, the shape was not cute or stylish in any way. At all. I don’t remember what the sole was like; the place we lived was carpeted, so I guess the sole didn’t matter. I’ll get to that more in a minute.
I don’t remember what kind of slippers I wore during our three years in Minnesota, the coldest place I’ve ever lived. I know slippers were an extension of my feet; I wouldn’t be surprised if I wore them to bed. We didn’t have a basement, which meant that all that separated our floor from the frozen earth was a cement slab. Cold crept up through the floors into your bones if you didn’t put as much between your body and the earth as possible. So I am certain I wore slippers probably nine months out of the year instead of six, but I’ve blocked the details from my memory, so I can’t comment on those slippers.
Here in Virginia, I bought a new pair of Isotoner or Dearfoam scuff slippers every 1-2 years for probably the first eight years. I loved them because they allowed for a range of sock thicknesses (thin cotton in fall and spring, thick wool in winter), they slipped on and off with a poke of my toe (no hands!), and when we moved into our house, which has wood floors instead of carpet, the soles were relatively quiet. The down side of these slippers is that they’re pretty cheapo, which means they’re not great for standing or holding their shape for as hard as I wear slippers. Because they have no back, they were less efficient for insulating my feet; they required thick socks most of the slipper season because I lost so much heat from my heels. And also, they’ve got a little too much of a slapping around the house with rollers in my hair, wearing a sloppy house coat with a pack of cigarettes in the pocket kind of vibe.
My last pair of slippers, the Land’s End Suede Leather Moccasin, lasted two years, and they’re the closest to perfect of any slipper I’ve tried. Except. Except that their soles make a sticky noise when I walk on our wood floors, like I’ve stepped in spilled Coke and am tracking it around our house. This makes me sad because these slippers do everything else I want them to: they’re warm, can handle a range of sock thicknesses but rarely require thick wool socks because they are full-footed slippers, and despite being full-footed slippers, once I wore them in and stretched them out, I could slip them on and off without needing to pull them on with my finger. And, until the most recent slipper I purchased, they were relatively cute for a slipper.
Which takes me to the most recent slipper I purchased, which arrived day before yesterday and which win, hands down, for cuteness of any slipper I’ve ever seen or owned. I mean, these things are adorable. They’re the Toms India slipper (drizzle grey), and I bought them on a recommendation from a co-worker when a “What’s your favorite slipper?” post went up on an internal watercooler blog at work.
If you clicked and looked, aren’t they cute?!
I really want these slippers to be perfect because, I mean, look at them! Every time I look down at my feet these make me happy. However. As of three days in, they still have some proving to do. I wear a half-size in regular shoes, which is a struggle when choosing a slipper size. Do I go up a size to optimize for the thick wool socks? I go through this every time I buy slippers. For these Toms, I ultimately decided no. They should be warm enough that I won’t need to wear wool socks with them. And plus, the size up looked big and clunky on my feet. I opted to go down a size because that’s what the Tom’s site recommends if you’re a half-size, and I think I made the right choice. They fit perfectly once on, but I do have to use my finger to get them on. I figure it’s better to buy the size for the 15 hours I’ll be wearing them rather than the 5 seconds of putting them on (though I do resent that 5 seconds and the fact that it’s not hands-free).
The biggest downside of my new slippers, though, is that they have a sturdy sole. They’re more like an indoor shoe than a slipper. This shouldn’t be a downside, I realize, especially since I stand at my desk a few hours a day, but it means the sole isn’t silent when I slip out of bed and everyone else is sleeping. Thankfully, these don’t make a sticky noise like my previous slippers, but they do thunk against the oak floors.
All I want is something cute, toasty warm for sub-freezing temperatures, hands-free for slipping on and off, sturdy enough for standing and walking several hours a day, and silent as socks. Am I asking too much of a slipper? Maybe I am.