My favourite footwear

Since the recent approval for the post My new fluffy gown, I felt compelled to share more wardrobe secrets with you. After considering my favourite warm jumper, and being unable to decide which of my many outdoor coats to feature, I settled on slippers.

There are lots of different types of bedroom, or house slippers. The flat towelling kind, often given free in hotels, are good for warmer weather, or navigating from the shower across to the bed. They have limitations though, so they will not be the stars of this post. There are the traditional mens’ slippers, often tartan in design. They sometimes have a fleece-lined interior, and are easy to get on and off. Younger men might prefer the sports-themed, modern slipper. These can often be confused with sandals or beachwear, but avoid the connotation of being for older wearers, who need to keep their feet warm. Also ubiquitous are the ‘mule’ styles, where the whole foot is covered except for the heel, which is left off. You have to walk carefully in these, to avoid stepping out of them.

There are a wide range of slippers that can be secured to your feet. Moccasin-style variants are very popular. They are often available in many colours, and have a choice of linings, from nothing at all, up to fur and sheepskin. They are secured by leather laces that run around the sides, and tie like a normal shoe. For many years, they were my slipper of choice. For those of advancing years, or unable to tie laces any longer, velcro fastening has become increasingly common. Large flap-over designs, or slippers that split in half to put on, are very popular with the elderly and infirm. Many mass-market slippers have small v-shaped elastic inserts at the instep, which help keep them secure on your feet.

Since moving to the countryside, I have less need of solid footwear. When I go out, I tend to wear wellington boots, or heavy walking shoes, both of which are unsuitable for keeping on after I return home. As I socialise less, my large collection of smart shoes, including my beloved tassel-loafers, are normally to be found in a box in the loft. I need something that is warm and comfy inside, to protect my feet from cold floor tiles, and keep them warm as I sit for hours at this keyboard. But they must be dual-purpose, able to survive a trip outside to collect a parcel, put something in the bins, or get some more logs from the store cupboard. This meant that they would have to come with a good sole, lightweight yet sturdy. And ideally, they should serve their purpose all year round, and not be uncomfortably hot in the summer months.

Research would need to be done, and it was. Real sheepskin seemed to be the right choice. Warm in winter, cool when it’s hot. Best worn without socks, for the full effect, everything I read assured me that I could not go wrong with this natural product. I decided to get some, and remembered a visit to the Cotswolds, where I had seen the sort of thing I had in mind in a shop there. Luckily, they are online, and I was able to get exactly the sort I wanted. The price was hefty, and a bit of a shock too. I remembered advice from my youth, that has always stood me in good stead. ‘You get what you pay for.’ I hit the ‘Buy now’ button, and waited.

When they arrived, they exceeded my wildest dreams. Bootee-style, covering the ankles, and with a solid rubber base, they were crafted with deliciously comfortable real sheepskin. So much wool was inside, I could hardly squeeze my feet in. Once on, they gave Julie cause for alarm. She thought that they looked strange, and she didn’t really approve of them. I grant that they do resemble the sort of footwear popular in the Middle Ages. Simply made, with a centre seam, they are hardly a design classic. But it is in the wearing that they excel, and the appearance is by-the-by. They were worn every day without fail since. From getting out of bed, until returning to the same, they were hardly off my feet, in all seasons. Despite the price tag approaching £70, that is very good value, at an hourly rate.

Towards the end of 2014, they were beginning to look a little shabby, which was only to be expected. The ankle parts had turned down, resembling the ears of a Spaniel. The wool inside was first trampled flat, then started to disappear, until there was little to be seen. But I couldn’t bear to part with them. They still felt ‘just right’, albeit rather loose. I ignored the random stains on the exterior sheepskin, and the fact that the ridges on the soles had worn away. They still went on every morning, and stayed on until bedtime, coming off only when I had to go outside the confines of the house and garden.

On Christmas Day, I received a new pair, as a gift from Julie. Exactly the same, from the same shop. I couldn’t have been happier. I still have the old ones though. I am keeping the new pair for ‘best.’

I know that you want to see what I am on about. Here’s a link. http://cotswoldsheepskin.com/communities/2/000/001/034/042//images/1853071.png

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29 thoughts on “My favourite footwear

  1. Well, well, well . . I guess I have to be the only one courageous enough to say, what the hell is going on here? SLIPPERS? Excuse me but anyone under eighty years old should not be thinking about let alone be seen in, slippers!! You folks had better start re-appraising your lives . . I understand that some of you live in harsh conditions, Norfolk swampland (the boggy part of England), forty degree desert wasteland etc., etc., and that I live in temperate London which although it might drop to around twenty/twenty one degrees in winter months still never warrants me wearing slippers (the word is even hard for me to utter). No, its bare feet or fine leather, hand made shoes for me and I pay £700 for mine not the paltry £70 that Pete spends on the S word foot ware!!

    Please folks . . forever young.

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    1. If you wore slippers Ro, they would have to be hand made by Italian craftsmen in Milan, and disguised to look like something cool. I know that.
      I stand ashamed perhaps, but I stand comfy, in natural sheepskin!
      Anyway, you only have a year to go until you reach that age threshold you mention. I will send you the link then. x

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  2. I love flip flops for daily use outside and I got a pair each of Crocs, Skechers and a local brand called Tribu, they are all very useful and sturdy. We always use slippers here, there are some lovely ones made by Havaianas in wonderful shades and colors. I bought a pair of Crocs for Nate the other year and it’s one of his favorite pairs to wear.

    I use plain cloth slippers inside the house though.

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  3. In the summertime, I just wear socks or, more often, go barefoot around the house. But in the cooler months, I do wear slippers, and have a couple of inexpensive pairs. My warmest pair is made by Faded Glory, and can be seen here:

    I do make a point, though, of not wearing my slippers outside. For quick trips out the door, I wear a pair of rugged Ozark Trail sandals. They have adjustable straps. I’ve never cared much for Velcro.

    Your sheepskin slippers look and sound great, and are obviously very practical. I think you did a masterful job of addressing the subject of slippers. Not only did you describe the varieties of slippers available on the market as a matter of introduction, but you also made a strong case for your slippers of choice. Very well done, sir!

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    1. I’m not sure why sometimes a link is translated into an image on this blog. I certainly didn’t intend for the image to be so gargantuan! I inadvertently overshadowed your slippers! That is inexcusable, so I will now proceed to take my slippers and slap my ears with them! Ouch! Ouch!

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    2. Over here David, they would be regarded as outdoor casual shoes. far too rugged for the category of slippers!
      I am glad that you enjoyed this post. Slippers are deserving of more consideration than they generally receive…
      Best wishes, Pete.

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      1. Don’t worry about the image being large David. I have never worked out why it happens now and again, but I don’t mind it. My sheepskin shippers could never be overshadowed anyway, no matter how differential the images!
        I am just glad that you took the trouble to comment.
        Best wishes as always, Pete.

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      2. I think they probably are casual slip-on shoes, but they don’t seem sturdy enough to survive prolonged outdoor use, so I wear them like slippers. Believe me, I put them to the test here in the house with my running stomps in the staircase! ! also have two radically different pairs of Laguna “Foot Warmers” (one of which is a mass of blue fur that looks so ridiculous on me, I don’t wear it), as well as a pair of Sand N Sun “slippers” that are probably meant for the beach. I hope you get hundreds of “hits” on this blog post. Slippers (or pseudo-slippers) definitely get slighted in today’s mass media, so it’s great that you are calling attention to this gross oversight. “Save the Slipper!”

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    1. That is high praise indeed, and I am suitably grateful.
      I am pleased to have written something for you to enjoy, and I very much appreciate your kind comment, as I always do.
      Regards from Norfolk. Pete.

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  4. 😀 Very enjoyable reading, Pete! Looking forward to the coming “Lieblingsteile” of yours. Lieblingsteile are an important asset to wellbeing, thermal socks, so it shall be.
    Love, Dina xo

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  5. Hahaha, you are getting into your stride now Pete as a fashion editor! My ex used to wear this type of slipper in South Africa, he swore by them – I was always barefoot! I received some similar to these for Christmas a couple of years ago from my daughter, but mules. Lovely, lovely slippers and because of the hard sole useful for nipping out to the rubbish bin. Mules are difficult to keep on though, especially when living in a 3 storey house with lots of wooden stairs. I have often gone up leaving a slipper behind… I can’t wait to see what you come up with next. A scandi jumper?

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    1. I once heard about the twenty mule teams in Death Valley. Did that involve gold prospectors running a desert marathon in slippers, or hoofed animals pulling borax wagons? (Just kidding. I live only 85 miles, or 137 km, from Death Valley.)

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  6. Pete, lovely blog this morning… The slippers in the picture was just outstanding. I too had a pair of these years ago and completely adored them for as long as they lasted for me. (around ten years) Sadly, they found their way to the home of lost and found slippers after a move years ago and only one of the slippers made it to the new location.. Since, I’ve worn something similar, but just not the same..

    Congrats on being granted a brand new pair for Christmas, now head out in your outdoor shoes and buy Julie something equally as grand.. 🙂

    Take care and happy blogging to ya, from Laura ~ 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Pete, that’s good to hear about the nice jewellery and etc. My slippers lasted for so long I think because they were too hot for me in the summer, so they were only put to good use during the winter months,. thank you for your comments today..
        Take care and happy blogging to ya, from Laura ~

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  7. Well, you certainly like your creature comforts, Pete! I have to say, these look eminently sensible… I was interested to see that you gave date of demise, but not when you bought them…so, how long HAVE they lasted? BTW, I do subscribe to ‘you get what you pay for’ as a generality

    Liked by 1 person

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