The word slipper apparently comes from an Old English word “sliper” or “slipor” which referred to a “slip-shoe”—a lightweight and low-cut shoes that you could easily slip on and off. Today’s slippers are still lightweight, while keeping your toes warm and your feet comfortable. Here’s what to look for in a pair of slippers.


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First things first, they might be called slippers, but while you want to slip them on, the last thing you want is to go slip sliding around your house. Slippers can be a particular hazard on stairs, so whatever style you’re after, if you want to be super safe, look for a proper rubber sole that will grip whether you’ve got wooden floors or deep pile carpet.


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If you’re going to be doing a lot of standing around or walking in your slippers, make sure they’re giving your arches the support that they need, otherwise you could end up with foot pain. Look for a moulded sole with arch support, or if you can’t find one in the model that you like, think about buying a low profile insole to put inside. Of course, if all you’re doing is sitting on the sofa with your feet up, it won’t matter nearly so much!


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There’s a huge variety of materials out there, all promising to keep feet snugger than a bug in a rug. While synthetic fleeces generally mean a less expensive end product, they can also make feet sweat and are not as good at wicking away moisture, so slippers can turn stinky quickly. On the other hand, while natural materials such as sheepskin and wool will keep feet toasty and do a good job of wicking away sweat, they do make for a pricier product.