Consider for a moment Hugh Hefner, founder of the Playboy empire. The man made a living lounging around his house, working from bed, while wearing a smoking jacket or a silk robe.
The epitome, some would say, of an American success story, and is it even possible that he did it while wearing a set of white crew socks over his feet? Artifice! Nor did he do it barefoot, because Hef knew, above all, that feet are weird looking and walking around with them unclothed was to slide back into the days of prehistory, when humankind was afraid of the moon and worshipped fire.
Today’s man is civilized, refusing to track the filth of the outside world into his domain, and requiring warmth and comfort that also hides his strange, hairy lower knuckles. He puts on slippers, proving his civility.
In picking a set of slippers, it’s common to make the mistake of buying cheap, ill-fitting items off the discount rack.
They don’t breathe well enough, or they don’t warm sufficiently, slide when you move, fall apart in a stiff breeze, and cause back issues when you wear them while attending to your winter steak grilling sessions. If you’re going to do something, do it right.
Get a serious set of slippers that will last, allow you to check your mail, and walk your home in true comfort. Here’s how to slipper properly.
Baffin Cush sounds like the finest strain of Washington weed you could ever hope to find, which is appropriate given that any friend of the hookah will find these amazing. Massive cushioning all around with a nylon top and micro-suede bottom, these booties were made for sliding around on hardwood. Purchase: $28
You’re going to need to get a little artsy and craftsy to get these put together, since they arrive in a single piece of felt that you weave into a slipper using your own two hands. Made from a single piece of felt with a burly leather sole on the outside, if these don’t work for you, blame the construction team. Purchase: ~$30
Montane Prism Bootie
Crushable camping slippers with a quilted exterior to keep all the insulation in place, a sleeping bag drawstring at the top holds these in place, with bright colors to prevent them from disappearing into the dirt. More than merely comfortable, the body is windproof and tough to tear, then coated with DWR (Durable Water Repellent) so your toes can stay dry and fight off foot funk from long hours in hiking boots. Purchase: $39
Tamarac by Slippers International Scuffy Clog
Those who have long scorned the open-backed slipper as too easy to lose when descending a staircase will find the slight lip on the rear of these to give you the best of both worlds. Easy to put on and take off, yet also sufficiently secure to stay in place, the longevity of these is impressive for the price, and the choice of colors with fuzzy or flannel insides will suit any slipper fanatic. Purchase: $40
L.L.Bean Fleece Slipper Scuffs
Fuzzy slipper fans who prefer fleece to wool and don’t want a bunch of tickling tendrils around their tootsies will find the clog style and polyester build, as well as gentle price to be manna from heaven woven into slipshoe form. Purchase: $40
Fog Linen slippers take the ancient Japanese slipper design and craft it entirely out of Lithuanian linen that begins a little stiff, then gradually molds to your foot softening with each use until you’ll wonder why they didn’t come pre-installed at the end of your legs. Quick on and quick off they pair nicely with a scotch to end hard days with high notes. Purchase: $46
Acorn Digby Gore Mule
Big and clunky in the best possible way, anyone who longs for a bit of chunk to their slippers will find the appropriately titled “Gore Mule” much to their liking. Bad for running, but ideal for keeping all your toes when the heat goes out. Purchase: $55
Minnetonka Twin Gore Sheepskin
An all-American moccasin maker since 1946, Minnetonka uses suede on the outside and sheepskin on the inside to give you good looks and moisture wicking in a simple package. Sierra outsoles let you go for miles if need be, proving the R&D tests performed in the great white north aren’t just for show. Purchase: $68
Boiled wool gives the soft-soled AS a balanced build that wicks away moisture, allows for ventilation, and still holds in enough warmth that you’ll never need to mix them with socks. The end result is one of the tightest engineering feats ever seen in clothing meant to keep your feet cozy. Purchase: $75
The Danes know more than just melancholy, they also know how to blend Gotland and magical merino wool into a breathable, wicking upper that stitches into a tanned leather sole for an incomparable combination. Once they finish shedding and have conformed to your foot, you’ll feel somehow wrong walking along without them. Purchase: $95
A convertible house shoe that goes from indoor to outdoor action in a snap, the back of these slippers folds down for when you’re kicking around the house, but can be snapped up should you need to hit the store or the drive-thru. Breathable uppers and a detachable sole complete the package in a masterful “Go Anywhere” way. Purchase: $98
Nike Air Moc Bomber
Comfort and convenience beneath a leather upper with a lockable rear drawstring tightener, the waffles on the bottom give you traction in any weather conditions, while the fluffy interior screams winter comfort and hearth-level warmth whenever you need it. These truly blur the line between what constitutes a slipper, and what’s just a really soft shoe. Purchase: $140
UGG Australia Byron
UGG has forgotten more about comfort than most footwear companies will ever learn. The Byron slippers are evidence of that, with their wool lining and full leather design. Outfitted with a rubber sole and leather laces, you can pick any of the 4 impressive colors, dripping with machismo. Purchase: $140
Borsen Mahabis Luxe
A leather choice of the standard Mahabis slipper, the Luxe option is suave enough you could wear it on most any casual Friday, but still has the same removable sole and collapsing heel for kicking around the house. They even have several sole upgrade options from top designers that let you customize the look and feel for more action. Purchase: $184
Derek Rose Closed-Back
Lasted by hand, those who seek an archaic nighttime slipper made in the English tradition out of contemporary materials should go to the best in the business: Derek Rose. Suede on the outside and sheepskin under the hood, it’s time to let anyone in your home marvel at your good taste. Purchase: $195