If you’ve never relaxed in a quality pair of slippers, have you ever truly relaxed at all? We’re going to go out on a sweatpant-clad limb here and say no.
Adding a pair of these dangerously comfortable slide-on shufflers into your loungewear rotation is a surefire way to take your Sunday afternoon couch-potato game up a notch. Here’s everything you need to know about picking the right pair to suit your individual requirements.
Slipper Types: A Spotter’s Guide
Just because slippers are for walking around inside as opposed to out, that doesn’t mean your options are limited. Much the same as with any other type of shoe, the simple slipper has been reshaped and remixed in myriad ways. Here are the key styles to keep an eye out for.
For those who like to keep things classic, a moccasin is the perfect choice. This timeless design is to slippers what the Derby shoe is to formal footwear. The only difference being that a fleecy lining wouldn’t be at all unusual where the former is concerned.
Like all moccasins, this type of slipper features a pronounced stitch running around the edge of the toe, often accompanied by a small decorative lace, a slight tongue and a closed heel for extra toastiness.
For the extra-slothful, this refers to a certain type of slipper with a backless design that leaves the heel exposed. If you’re looking for the perfect winter warmers to get you through snow days on the sofa, this style may not be your best option. However, if your only requirements are comfort and the ability to be kicked off with ease then look no further.
When it comes to tackling the darkest depths of winter, crank the toast-O-meter up to 11 and treat yourself to a pair of slippers that go the extra mile. Or at least a few inches up your ankle.
These mid-length marvels are ideal for providing some added warmth and can be particularly useful if any of your cohabitants like to play the evil dictator with the thermostat. In other words, no more need to banish your cuffed joggers to the back of the wardrobe for fear of frozen ankles.
We know what you’re thinking: how can something your grandad shuffles down to the paper shop in every morning be “technical”. Well, it may shock you to learn that OAPs and couch potatoes aren’t the only people in need of comfortable footwear. Adventurers, mountaineers and sportspeople use them too.
This has resulted in some surprising advancements in the world of slippers, including adjustable ankle openings, grippy treads and even down insulation.
Thought you’d get thrown out of an upscale cocktail party for turning up on slippers? Think again. Provided they’re of the dress variety and not the novelty bear-claw type.
Dress slippers aren’t the kind we’re focusing on in this article but they’re like loafers and offer a stylish, relaxed alternative to a more formal shoe and work brilliantly with fitted tailoring and a cropped-leg trouser. They’re sleek, simple and offer a foolproof way to send your style credentials soaring.
The Best Brands For Men’s Slippers
Derek Rose does for loungewear what Egyptian cotton does for bedsheets. It’s seriously luxurious. Crafted by a British company run by the same family for three generations, the slippers are as desirable as the pyjamas. Think shearling linings, paw-able suede and a level of comfort you’ll want to take with you on the commute. Try to resist.
If you think of slippers as stuffy pensionerwear, you’ve obviously never slipped into a pair from Versace. The baroque-worshipping brand stays true to form with a lot of gold and Renaissance patterns that may or may not feature a Medusa head. Add to that some similarly opulent cushioning and these are less for sitting about in a crusty old armchair and more about swanning about your neo-classic villa.
Marks & Spencer
Regardless of what you might think, shopping for slippers at M&S won’t automatically put you on the fast track for a Saga Magazine subscription and one of those little boxes to organise your pills. In fact, the British high-street mainstay makes some of the finest fleecy footwear for every age. If it’s good enough for David Gandy, it’s good enough for us. Plus, there’s something rather wholesome about buying your slippers from the same place as your grandparents. Don’t you think?
The once-naff brand best known for its sandals has recently surfed the 90s revival all the way to the bank with streetwear street cred and collabs aplenty. It also does an extensive line of slippers, many that keep the distinctive cork footbed and buckled straps, but adds a soft shearling lining for extra comfort. Not to mention some cosy mule styles in wool and felt.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be a Blackberry-wielding, pumpkin spiced latte-drinking teenage girl from 2014 to rock a pair of UGG’s. Well, provided you do it behind closed doors, that is. The Aussie label rose to prominence off the back of its hugely popular insulated boots. Very comfy, but admittedly not the kind of thing any self-respecting menswear aficionado would be seen dead in. Thankfully, however, you can now enjoy the feeling of soft faux sheepskin under your feet without having to wave goodbye to your style credentials. Just look to the brand’s super-comfy slippers for proof.
The North Face
After a three day trek through the foothills of the Himalayas, the last thing you want to be doing is schlepping around Everest base camp in the same stiff, unforgiving hiking boots that carried you there. Californian mountaineering brand The North Face has the perfect solution. The Nuptse down jacket is one of the label’s signature pieces, but did you know it’s also available in slipper form? The Nuptse slippers are a breakthrough in comfort – think of them as little sleeping bags for your feet. Equally useful for resting tired toes after a tough day of navigating deadly ridges, or just kicking back with a beer in front of Netflix on a Sunday afternoon. Far be it from us to pass judgement.
Obviously, the slipper’s spiritual home is propped up on a cold winter’s evening, in front of a roaring fire in the living room of a rural farmhouse. Everyone knows that. And what brand encapsulates that particular image more fittingly than the undisputed king of countryside attire, Barbour? When they’re not hard at work hand stitching waxed-cotton and quilted jackets, the skilled workers at Barbour can be found crafting some rather good-looking slippers. Expect fleecy linings, tartan detail and plenty of rural charm.
There are very few footwear brands that can comfortably cater for your needs all the way through life, from playschool to nursing home, but Clarks is most certainly one of them. If it’s a hard-working pair of slippers with plenty of British character and an equal dose of comfort you’re after them the heritage mainstay is armed to the teeth with everything you need. Whether you’re 25 or 85, you’ll be hard pushed not to find a set of Sunday afternoon stompers that don’t fit with your current sense of style.
Plush styling and materials at accessible prices is one of the things that marks out Ted Baker as one of the mavericks of the high street. Its slippers are no different, with moccasins and mules in deep chocolate and navy colourways that are what Sunday mornings are all about.
Catalogue shopping may be nothing more than a bloated corpse bobbing limply in the water of modern retail, but that doesn’t mean you should rule Next out when selecting affordable wardrobe essentials. Slippers included. There’s life in the old girl yet, and while the days of thumbing through that big of’ book of delights may be long gone, the brand’s online and in-store offerings still have you covered when it comes to your chilling footwear needs. Expect simple, classic styles and fair prices.