Our homes say a lot about who we are. The furniture and decor are clues that reveal the mystery of our lives away from work. They're how we choose to relax, the meals we like to cook. Aside from a room's feng shui or the art that's hung, how a person chooses to shuffle around their home also says something. House shoes are an active personal choice. Now that our work has come into the home for millions of us, house shoes have moved from second fiddle to first chair. Who makes the best house shoe? We asked a few people.
Who makes the best house shoe? "Love this question but not sure if you’ll love the answer," graphic designer Daniel Sheridan says. "I wear crocs at home almost 100 percent of the time. And these days I’m home a lot." He likes the goofy shoes for their versatility, comfort and ease of use. With or without socks, Sheridan not only wears them in his home but even takes them out into his yard. Before he owned a pair, Sheridan says he used to be an avid Crocs-hater. "Now I tell people if these ones break I am immediately buying another pair. Would choose over Birkenstock’s any day."
At odds with Sheridan, UK-based artist Ethan Caflisch chooses Birkenstock. "I think it’s because I like wearing socks up until I climb into bed; so they’re almost like a sock protector," he says. This answer resonated with me as my go-to indoor shoes for years have also been Birkenstocks. "But actually," he says, "it’s because I already owned them as studio shoes and they’ve been molded to my foot. Nothing better than that." Caflisch cycles between a fresh pair for his studio and his well-worn pair for when he's at home. "There’s something nice about having a paint-clad, worn in house shoe. It’s almost like they did their duty and now they can retire at home." Because his beloved Bostons have seen a few seasons, Caflisch considers them not so precious. Like Sheridan, he also takes them into his garden. "Home isn’t just for lounging," he says.
Rory Fortune's handled a lot of shoes at his shoe repair shop, Goods & Services. Having Frankenstein'd his way through more shoes than most people see in their lifetime, he knows a good shoe when he sees one. But when he's not operating on a pair of well-worn sneakers at his shop, he's at home wearing a familiar shoe. "Around the house I usually wear Birkenstock’s," he says. Another tally for Birkenstock. But Fortune says that's what he normally wears in the summertime when he pops into his backyard. For the chillier seasons, he opts for the Industry of All Nations Cabrales shoe, a cozy loafer with wool uppers and rubber soles. "They’re nice," he says, "but recently I made a pair myself with a leather sole that was based on those." If your cordwaining skills need some polishing, you can always go straight to the source instead.
As the owner of Humble House, a vintage furniture store in Brooklyn, Kalyn McClutcheon knows how to turn a house into a home. Her house (or rather home) slippers of choice? Sorel. "They are cozy enough to wear indoors as slippers but durable enough to take the dogs around the block," she says. The Sorel Coffee Runs are plush and warm enough to keep anyone at home. But the textured rubber sole means its prepared to head out the door, too. McClutcheon says, "We do a ton of driving for our line of work so a cozy driving shoe is always a plus too!"
Kirby Allison knows the ins and outs of a well-tailored wardrobe. His shop sells some of the finest goods for keeping your clothes in tip-top shape, from pig-bristle shoe brushes to premium cedar hangers. But when he's not taking care of his own wardrobe, how does he take care of himself when he's at home? "My favorite shoes for around the house is a simple pair of Belgian loafers," he says. "House shoes shouldn’t look like 'house shoes,'" he says. "They shouldn’t be some old worn out pair of backless flip flops." Though some of the other picks on this list might not be in the Allison household any time soon, he does agree that house shoes should be comfortable and able to worn inside and outside. Of his preferred house shoes, Allison says, "The soft leather outsoles are perfect for inside, but are also durable enough to be worn outside for quick trips to the grocery store or mailbox."
After a full day of scaling buildings, dropping from 30-foot ledges and general feats of urban acrobatics, professional parkour athlete Elias Zimakoff subs his Asics for something more comfortable once he's back home. "To be honest, I don't wear house shoes," he says. "I just have socks on." What could be more comfortable than just letting the dogs off leash to just breathe? As for what kind of socks, Zimakoff shrugged it off and said he simply wears cheap tennis socks.