Welcome to Counterpoint, a series in which we challenge commonly held ideas about well-known products. This time: house slippers.
Homes turned into offices when stay-at-home orders were enacted and the need to delineate between the two became evident. We scrambled to brace for impact, but also to accommodate for our new normals, eyeing everything around the home/office that needed to upgrade and to adapt. Suddenly, we realized our home decor was lacking desks and desk chairs. We didn’t know how to bake bread, let alone have the proper ingredients and tools to do so. While many still get dressed to go to the office (kitchen tables, as it turns out, are desk height), others remain steadfast pajama stans. If you’re like the many who’ve realized that their shoe lineup is missing a good pair of house slippers, you’ve probably pondered which pair to get. After all, you are at home all the time, now.
But you don’t need house slippers. I’m not saying that they aren’t cozy or comfortable or that they don’t keep your feet clean from dusty floors. But I am saying that they’re not versatile. And in our quarantined state, when the office is now the home, slippers just won’t do.
A good pair of non-slipper slippers are ones that can straddle between the two. They’re a hybrid between home and work, comfortable and at place in either setting. They can be sandals, they can be sneakers, they can be clogs. Hell, they can even be dress shoes. Whatever they are, they should be laceless. Laces are a necessary annoyance that comes with getting dressed, but the act of tying your shoes says something else. It doesn’t say “I’m chilling at home today,” rather, it ties a bow on the phrase, “I’m going out.”
Like a pair of house slippers, shoes without laces aren’t fussy to get into. You can slip into them easily without the ritual of tying up, a luxury when your body isn’t all the way ready to wake up. And they’re just as easy to slip out of when you decide you need just five more minutes under the covers.
But a major difference is that these shoes are equipped to take on the outside world if need be, and if that need is groceries. Whether it’s a pair of sneakers, loafers, moccasins or espadrilles, the right pair of laceless shoes have more support than your average house slipper. When you’ve got a sprightly golden retriever who’s batteries are overloaded, you’re better off keeping pace with some Vans than a traditional pair of slippers.
A solid pair of slip-ons knows when to chill but also when to get up and go. It can navigate work, play and relaxation, each at a moment’s notice or all at once. That might qualify it for the title of Master of None, but it’s still pretty damn good at all of them.
Classic Slip On by Vans $50
Lister Slip On Sneakers by Stepney Workers Club $75
Authentic Original by Sperry $95
Pablo Canvas Espadrilles by Castaner $135
Larson Weejuns by GH Bass & Co. $110
Cancun by Chamula $121
Boston by Birkenstock $145
Otzi Sandals by Unmarked $220
Beefroll Penny Loafer by Oak Street Bootmakers $328
Leisure Penny Loafer by Alden $583
Roos Bit Loafer by Gucci $585