Monday Miscellany: House Shoes & How To Help

Toni Pons dog slippers. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Warming Up To House Shoes

When we visited Japan a few years ago, it was standard practice (in homes, temples, and even some restaurants) to remove street shoes once inside, and slip into a pair of indoor-only shoes. It not only reduces the amount of dirt tracked in, but noise on hard floors as well.

Lately, I’ve been warming up to the idea of “house shoes,” something meant for indoor wear, but slightly more sturdy than a slipper. I went searching for some options yesterday, and found quite a few tempting styles.

Above, this style is available in several colors, and with designs for both dog and cat lovers.

Haflinger coffee slippers. Details and more "house shoes" at une femme d'un certain age.

These are currently in my shopping cart. 😉

Haflinger colorful cat house shoes. Details at une femme d'un certain age

And this colorful kitty is fun….

Taos Woolderness house slippers. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

These also have a fun Scandinavian vibe, and are well-reviewed (best for those without high arches).

Birdies brocade mule slipper. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

If you prefer something a little more elegant, these jacquard mules are nice. (Love that “smoking slipper” look…) Here’s the same style in a leopard print.

Sam Edelman woven leather mules. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Maybe a cloth house shoe just feels a little too “loungewear” for you. A light, soft leather mule can fulfill the same function (though you may be tempted to wear it outside…)

Vionic open-toe leopard print house shoes. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

But yes, the weather will be warming up, and you may find something with an open toe is more comfortable. I like that these have a little bit of a heel and some support. The top strap is also adjustable. (If leopard print isn’t your thing, it’s offered in solid colors too.) Adding: per your comments, these are great for those with plantar fasciitis.

Acorn spa slide in teal blue. Details and more house shoes at une femme d'un certain age.

These budget-friendly “spa slides” also have an adjustable strap, as well as a memory-foam footbed. Lots of color options for these too.

Do you switch from outdoor to indoor shoes when at home?

If you can donate…

A lot of kids who live in poverty may depend on subsidized school lunches for a regular meal. With so many schools closed for the duration of the pandemic, food banks and other organizations are expecting to see increases in demand. If you can donate to your local food bank, I’d urge you to do so. A small recurring monthly donation will help organizations like these plan and budget.

In addition here are a few organizations that are helping to feed the hungry…

Feeding America

No Kid Hungry

Mazon

Los Angeles Regional Food Bank

Stay in touch.

Affiliate links in posts may generate commissions for unefemme.net. See my complete disclosure policy here.

51 Comments

  1. Nancy
    March 23, 2020 / 4:13 am

    It was very challenging to find “slippers/house shoes” that. had a high level of support…finally chose to buy soft footbed Boston Birkenstocks in black..simple/supportive and works for me. At first I was put off by the cost for something I only wear at home and then realized 1. I don’t have any other options and 2. Looking at cost per wear and realized they were practically free ….

    • Roseanne
      March 23, 2020 / 5:52 am

      I’ve been wearing Birkenstocks as slippers for years. Keeps plantar fasciitis at bay. They are easy to wear with the socks I’ll wear outside. I try not to wear shoes in the house. It’s easy to transition between shoes and my Birk-slippers when I enter and exit.

      I also look at my spending as dollars per wear. It is an objective way to decide if a purchase is worth it.

  2. AppleEverAfter
    March 23, 2020 / 4:15 am

    Thank you for continuing to post. I would love to read more ideas and inspiration from you on how to ‘shop your wardrobe’ as I am not going to be shopping for clothes in person and not online either as I think delivery services generally are already under a lot of pressure (here in the UK) to get even basics like food, toiletries and medicines delivered to more vulnerable people.

    Thanks so much!

  3. Lisa
    March 23, 2020 / 4:21 am

    I’d like to see some enclosed options. As we get older we need something more enclosed to help prevent tripping and slip on styles become a real no no.. I don’t feel some of the styles shown would be considered safe to wear throughout the day.

    • Diana P
      March 23, 2020 / 6:07 am

      Agree—closed back options please

    • Margaret
      March 23, 2020 / 7:01 am

      I agree! I tend to wear my shoes in and out because I cannot wear loose back shoes or slippers. The slippers all tend to have no heel and my feet and legs cry out after a short time. Secure, closed back shoes are the only things my feet feel happy in!

    • Lagatta de Montréal
      March 23, 2020 / 6:03 pm

      That is true, and it is hard to find any of those with proper support that don’t look like you were interned in a geriatric ward.

  4. March 23, 2020 / 4:26 am

    Such a timely post! I’ve been hankering for a pair of Daybreak scuffs from LL Bean for a while, but every year when I’m back in the US, they’re sold out in the colours/animals I want. The coffee ones are even better! I also noticed the fox ones, of course. xx

  5. PatB
    March 23, 2020 / 4:59 am

    Although they are good looking and cosy, Many years ago I stopped wearing slippers at home. When I had a 3 story home they were dangerous. Now in my condo I have indoor Sketchers with a Birkenstock arch support. My feet love them and I do a Tv exercise program and walk around if I am on the phone. Helps during this Social Isolation.

  6. Jan
    March 23, 2020 / 5:54 am

    I have worn the Vionics for years. I love them & highly recommend. They are stiff at first, but they mold to your footbed quickly. If you need a supportive shoe, this is it!

    • Pat
      March 23, 2020 / 7:12 am

      I agree with using the slippers from Vionics if you have a need for more support. I have always switched shoes when coming inside and I look upon these as part of my shoe wardrobe.

    • March 23, 2020 / 7:29 am

      For anyone with Plantar Fasciitis, Vionics are the best! I am on my third pair of slippers now and pretty much only wear that brand in many different styles. I was unable to walk with PF for months; it’s now almost totally cured, but these shoes have been a life saver.

    • Leigh
      March 23, 2020 / 9:07 am

      Vionics have been my favorite for great arch support AND cushioned soles for those who stand on hardwood and tile flooring indoors. (Birkenstocks have great arch support but little to no cushion in the sole.). Vionics have cozy winter as well as open style slippers for warmer weather. They also have closed shoes and flip flops to suit other tastes. And reasonably priced!

  7. Elizabeth H
    March 23, 2020 / 6:25 am

    I LOVE Allbirds…..I wear their slippers in the house and have too many other lace up colors I wear with jeans or super casual pants. Best part is that they can be thrown in the washing machine to clean up. The price is reasonable and quick shipping. Super eco conscious. (Promise, I’m just a customer. )

  8. Elaine
    March 23, 2020 / 6:27 am

    I came to this same conclusion a few years ago when my cranky plantar fasciitis feet asked for full time support. I keep a pair of runners with good arch and heel support for house wear only. Comfortable and safe.
    I’m so thankful for the technology we have to keep in touch right now. The isolation is the hardest bit for me to cope with… thank you for continuing to post.

  9. Jill
    March 23, 2020 / 6:30 am

    I have been wearing Vionic house shoes after being diagnosed with plantar fasciitis. My podiatrist said no more walking barefoot. They are a life saver! I see the cute leopard ones are this brand. They may become my summer house shoes.
    I also have been in Japan staying in some small countryside inns during our hiking trip.I remember house shoes and even separate toilet shoes to wear in the bathroom.

    • March 23, 2020 / 7:32 am

      Jill: ANother brand for PF is Oofos. I swear by them : have the mules and flip flops. All rubber so great to wear outdoors in summer. My PF is really gone now, but these have helped,

  10. Kirst
    March 23, 2020 / 6:39 am

    I love my Ugg “slippers” with a solid sole. But a variety of choices would be nice, especially with so much extra time being spent at home.

    • Jeanne
      March 23, 2020 / 7:12 am

      I am living in my Ugh slippers as well. In the summer I wear Clark’s slides. I can’t be barefoot in the house —I’ve always been a tenderfoot.

      On another note re the Japanese tradition—the women must all wear cropped or ankle pants. Which seems right to what I imagine them
      wearing. Can you imagine this tradition taking root in the US and tripping over pants hemmed to wear with heels when you visit friends?

      • Jeanne
        March 23, 2020 / 7:19 am

        UGG not Ugh. Lol. I love them. On sale from
        Nordstrom

        • Lee Rosenthall
          March 23, 2020 / 2:00 pm

          I think UGH is more accurate, as least as far as their Coquette slipper goes! The heels of my last two pair have gone threadbare within a few weeks of daily use; within a year, the entire sole in each pair is nearly bereft of fur. I’ve also have had to keep sizing down with each new pair – currently wearing an 8 on my 9.5 foot, and I still need a sock to keep them on, especially now that so little fur is left. These are my fourth or fifth pair, and I love them otherwise for their warmth and lug soles, but at $115.00, the quality needs serious improvement!

  11. Val
    March 23, 2020 / 7:07 am

    We never wear outdoor shoes in the house. I used to wear slippers but my feet are always hot so I usually go barefoot inside. Occasionally I will wear fit flops. Keep up the posts. It’s the first think I look at in the morning.

  12. Kerrie
    March 23, 2020 / 7:41 am

    Hi Susan, it’s always wonderful to read your posts but in these trying times it especially welcomed. You take my mind off of the daily struggles – and that my friend is priceless! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  13. Amy
    March 23, 2020 / 7:44 am

    Interesting post and comments. We have not worn outdoor shoes in our house for over 10 years since my South Korean friend explained the custom. It is very logical for keeping the home clean and making flooring last longer. I only wear house shoes after dressing for bed. I have a pair of sneakers that I wear the rest of the time in the house. They provide great support, and they double as my in-home exercise shoes.

  14. Marcia
    March 23, 2020 / 7:55 am

    I have a pair of zebra-striped Toms I wear as house shoes. I sometimes wish I could wear them outside, but indoors they do give me a lift.

  15. Lyn
    March 23, 2020 / 8:02 am

    Slippers with arch support, a closed back, and warm lining are almost impossible to find. Even slippers that allow an orthotic would be great, but I haven’t found any with removable footbeds. I love Crocs Kaydee ballet shoes in the summer, but when I need to keep my toes warm, I’m stuck in regular shoes with wool socks. Hope someone has a solution that checks all the boxes. (On the other hand, yesterday’s posters were right — I really DO get more done when I have regular shoes on, even around the house.)

    • Wendy
      March 23, 2020 / 12:11 pm

      I also need good arch support and find Haflinger wool slippers very comfortable. They only have a couple of styles with a back to them, though. You might try Geisswien. They are also wool and being German-made, I think they will also have good arch support. They offer more styles that have a back. I really love the wool because it breathes and on really cold days I can wear them with socks.

    • Ainsivalavie
      March 23, 2020 / 8:29 pm

      Hey Crocs make a fleece lined slipper and I have a pair with removable fleece lining that can be washed. They are ugly as sin but so comfortable especially if you have a tiled kitchen floor and you stand a lot while baking or cooking. Unfortunately they have an open back unlike the traditional model with the back strap. I have those too for the warmer months but I have been sworn to only wear in the confines of the home…some public health authorities are suggesting we remove outdoor shoes to keep the virus out of the home, Crocs can be sanitized( nurses have autoclaved them for years) years ago while living in a 10th story condo our little cat got fleas! Our veterinarian said that in the fall we could bring in fleas on our shoes and it was best to remove shoes at the door, he had several indoor apartment dwelling cats that had fleas and this was his conclusion. We never wore shoes in the house again and provide slipper socks for visitors to wear. Never had fleas in subsequent years either.

  16. Lauren
    March 23, 2020 / 8:18 am

    “house shoes” can be any soft soled shoe…does not need to be a “slipper” The most important thing is to have shoes that you only wear in the house….so if you need supportive footwear so be it but buy shoes that support your foot and keep them for in the house. You can of course clean shoes that are rarely worn like an expensive party shoe in case sometime later when the virus scare is over you get invited to a party in someone’s home. If you have not done this until now COVID19 should inspire you to start. The “ick” on the shoes that you wear out there in the world has been studied extensively but the folks that create products to clean public spaces. If you want to scare yourself silly go read the studies (if you know enough cleaning product science to understand them). Mostly just start wearing shoes that are just for inside your home!

  17. Eileen
    March 23, 2020 / 8:32 am

    I have cold feet, so slippers aren’t my favorite shoes. I prefer a more supportive shoe, enclosed, with laces. The flip flop between your toes style may give a little more safety as your toes can grip a little more, but, I work as a personal trainer, and falling in loose slipper type shoes is common, and problematic, please be cautious. Falling is more trouble than dirt.

  18. Nancy Hall
    March 23, 2020 / 9:09 am

    My husband was in the Navy and we were stationed in Japan for three years and lived in a Japanese private rental – hence I started the habit of taking my shoes off whenever entering the house and still do. My “house shoes” now are slippers from L.L. Bean and not nearly as lovely as the “slippers” I wore in Japan.

  19. Spacegeek
    March 23, 2020 / 9:12 am

    Q about folks who have dogs that have dog doors–seems my floors aren’t the cleanest anyway, so wearing special in house shoes doesn’t seem to be reasonable. Tho I always take off my outdoor shoes because slippers are so much more comfortable. My Ugg slippers can have an insole added if one wants more support FWIW. I wear Ugg slides in the summer indoors.

  20. citizen spot
    March 23, 2020 / 9:31 am

    I love my Merrell Ice slides for around the house. They give me arch support and they have a bit of heel coverage that holds them on my feet better than I thought they would when I first bought them online. I keep a pair for in the house and one pair for farting around in the yard. They do get a bit warm though with the faux fur lining. For summer I am going to try out the vented Breeze version as soon as it warms up.

  21. Rondi
    March 23, 2020 / 9:49 am

    It makes a lot of sense to not wear street shoes in the house. Heaven knows what we walk through on any given day. I wear Lands End mocassin slippers around the house. They have a rubber sole, stay on my narrow feet, and I can slip them on and off without having to tie anything. In Florida most of our floors are tile so wearing footwear indoors is necessary for me. I used to be a barefoot girl in the house. When the weather warms up I wear my Teva flip-flops around the house. I am now considering keeping a pair just for indoors.

  22. Cathy
    March 23, 2020 / 9:50 am

    I love my Uggs slippers and I also have a pair of very comfy slip on sneakers that I wear inside. Before social distancing started, I bought a pair of raffia mules at Target for only $25, and comfy. I’m not sure they’ll last for years, but they are trendy look anyway.

  23. Susan
    March 23, 2020 / 10:05 am

    For decades we have had a pile of shoes by all our exit doors. There sit the shoes with firm “ugly” grippy soles that we wear to run down to the mailbox, or down the hill to the garden, in all weathers. Street shoes from the closet are for when we’re getting in the car and going out into the world. Hubs and I are recently retired, so that isn’t as routine as it used to be. In the house, we either go barefoot or use a rotating assortment of washable slip-ons to keep feet warm (and kitchen crumbs from sticking to our feet).

  24. Elizabeth
    March 23, 2020 / 10:46 am

    Greetings from snowy ( 7 in. and it continues to fall ) Canada.
    I agree with so many of the comments above about needing indoor shoes that enclose the foot, have arch support and stay securely on the foot. I wear Fittflop that have removable insoles as well as a very unfeminine pair of Mephisto black leather lace ups that offer worlds of support. Now that we’re confined to the house, I’m running between 3 floors getting things done.
    Yes, since childhood, I have always switched into indoor shoes.

    • Lagatta de Montréal
      March 23, 2020 / 11:47 am

      No significant snow here now in Montréal, but it is true that due to the weather, it is true that in many parts of Canada it is the custom to change into slippers or house shoes. By the way, Hauschue means slipper in German, but they tend to be the sturdy kind, as in the Nordic countries.

      I love the colourful, celebratory black kitties in the first pair Susan features, but clicking on it, got a very expensive satin pair (Versace?) that would not be warm enough here most of the year, and don’t look supportive enough. The cat slippers in that photo seem to see the same brand as the kitten with the ball of red yarn (very much my colours).

      Throughout Asia and the Middle East, it is considered unhygienic to wear outdoor shoes in the house.

        • Lagatta de Montréal
          March 23, 2020 / 6:16 pm

          Thank you so much! That is my Livia, adorned in flowers and leaves! (she’s as sweet as your puppy, whom I hope is welll. Without Livia, not able to see human friends, I’d be raving mad by now.

      • Brenda
        March 23, 2020 / 6:26 pm

        Canadian here, too. I was surprised to discover that many Americans wear shoes in the house. That is something that you wouldn’t find in most Canadian homes – we grew up always taking our shoes off at the door. When you think about all the toxins and germs your shoes encounter (and then you sit on the floor with your kids and pets), it just makes sense.
        Another great brand for slippers/house shoes is glerups.com (have styles with backs and rubbers soles if you’re looking for that) and https://www.stegmannusa.com/collections/womens-clogs

        Thank you, Susan, for providing a very useful (and fun) distraction during trying times.

  25. Carol
    March 23, 2020 / 11:49 am

    I’ve lived and worked all over the world and I’m accustomed to removal of footwear at the door. I love Haflinger Slippers and I order two pair through Garnet Hill each year around Thanksgiving. My favorites are Halflinger Charisma Flower and Haflinger Shirley Dot-and-Stripe Slippers. Both have been comfortable for my feet, pre-bunionectomy and now five months post-bunionectomy. Yes, they are pricey, but supportive, comfortable and breathable. I have also given the slippers as gifts and the recipients have raved about them. I also bought the Halflinger Classic Boiled Wool Slippers but I did not find them to be supportive so I returned them.

  26. March 23, 2020 / 1:17 pm

    Those are very cute choices. I wear moccasins in the house since I’m always freezing. I’ve never worn shoes indoors. I always grab hotel slippers to offer guests.

  27. Janet D.
    March 23, 2020 / 2:11 pm

    Some of these are so much fun, & those embroidered slippers are just beautiful, but I’m a barefooter (socks with grippy soles in our Canadian winters). Going barefoot improves & maintains our balance & circulation, especially as we age. Walk across the room barefoot & you can feel every muscle & tendon in your foot flexing, which is not just sending “balance” messages to your brain & improving your foot & ankle strength, but is moving lymphatic fluid & blood that gravity has brought down into your feet back up your ankles & legs. Unfortunately, Western culture has convinced us we must wear shoes so we’ve lost touch with our own feet & we have an epidemic of older folk stumbling, tripping & falling. If you MUST wear shoes, kick them off for 10 minutes every day & walk around barefoot, then pick things up with your toes — pens, marbles, peppermints, little paper balls — to keep your ankles & feet flexible & healthy. And give yourself (or get someone else to give you) a foot massage daily. Our feet connect us to our world; we lose that connection at our peril 🙂

    • Lee Rosenthall
      March 23, 2020 / 2:42 pm

      UNLESS you have plantar fasciitis and/or fat pad atrophy! Barefoot is the WORST thing for those conditions, sadly.

    • Ainsivalavie
      March 23, 2020 / 8:45 pm

      Janet you are so correct. If anyone follows Miranda Esmond-White and her Essentrics program she has specific exercises and stretches to strengthen the feet. I have these silicone toe separators that I can wear inside my Crocs ( like the yoga toes but less bulky) rolling a golf ball under the arch and lots of stretching helped me get rid of the PF I haven’t had it for years. As a child, at my grandmother’s summer home on Georgian Bay we were encouraged to go barefoot over those granite rock faces. She felt it was healthy to cast off our shoes and increase our balance and ‘nimbleness’ as grandmother called it!
      There is a reason why we practice yoga in bare feet…balance.

  28. Lee Rosenthall
    March 23, 2020 / 2:31 pm

    So glad you’re still posting each day, Susan. Something to look forward to, and it’s much appreciated!

    I treated myself to a pair of those Haflinger felt scuffs a couple of Xmases ago, but they were just too short for my foot in a width that would stay snugly on my foot, so I regretfully returned them. They were called the “Jack” and featured a darling spotted terrier who looked just like my smooth fox terrier, so it was hard to let them go! In warm weather, I live indoors in FitFlop or Chaco flip-flops, which both provide excellent arch support, although the latest styles of the latter are now too wide for my thin feet – the story of my life!. The rest of the year I wear Ugg Coquettes, even though the quality of the sheepskin soles in the last few pair has been extremely disappointing, wearing out within weeks to months. Other than that, they are warm, provide good support, and have a terrific lug sole you won’t slip in, so until I find a suitable replacement, I will continue to buy and wear them.

  29. Susan D.
    March 23, 2020 / 6:23 pm

    My issue with house shoes is that I need a shoe that it not a slide and has a full back. I also want a sturdy sole so that I can take our dog outside in any weather. We are mostly at our farm in this time of the virus and sturdy house shoes are essential. I didn’t see quite the right ones here.

  30. March 23, 2020 / 7:18 pm

    Interesting topic, Susan! I think perhaps this is a regional thing. I grew up on the coast of British Columbia where it was and is still common for people to wear their shoes indoors. When I moved inland to the prairies, however, I quickly learned that people here take their shoes off at the door and wear either socks or slippers in house. Perhaps that comes from the fact that this is largely farming country and outdoor footwear might not be clean enough to wear in the house. The habit of taking our shoes off at the door definitely served us well when we lived in Japan for a year!

    On a slightly different note, I preferred wearing mules around the house until quite recently when I took a fall prevention workshop for seniors put on by our local health authority. One of the topics of discussion was footwear. It was after that that I began to notice that my slippers of choice weren’t very secure on the stairs, so I now wear a moccasin style slipper instead.

  31. Melolexx
    March 26, 2020 / 11:12 am

    Thanks for this post, inspired me to buy some nice Haflinger hard sole slippers so I’m not always in socks, which came next day From Zappos, and I now feel more “dressed” for work.

  32. March 28, 2020 / 10:31 am

    Cute indoor shoes. The idea of not wearing outdoor shoes inside makes sense. House shoes or slippers need to be completely enclosed to prevent twisted ankles. Otherwise, they move about (flip flops go sideways!) and are dangerous on stairs. Becomes very important as we age. However, the really big issue is finding house shoes or slippers that actually fit. I wear a 10.5M shoe (and a thin foot and heel) and my choices in slippers are either L (9-10) or XL (11-12), either too small/short or too large/long. Sigh…. Love your posts, Susan. You provide us with so many ideas. And, love to read all the comments and learn more.

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