Quarantine takes a toll on each of us in a special way, but it’s a special kind of trial for the shoe-obsessed. But there is a solution! A fantastic pair of slippers.
Slippers don’t have to be the shearling-lined moccasins your brain might automatically picture (although the right pair of those is fantastic). Aesthetics are also paramount around here, and slipper design runs the gamut from the sporty sneaker-inspired, to cozy couch potato-wear, all the way to something befitting a Victorian gentleman at home. The commonality—and most important aspect, of course—is comfort, and with options at all price points and styles, plenty might even integrate well into life after we’re all back wearing our normal shoes and boots.
Here are our 18 favorites.
[Ed Note: while we never choose anything specifically because of this, some of these recommendations contain affiliate links—the price is the same for you, but Stitchdown gets a small commission if you make a purchase. It’s essential to keeping the site alive, so we really, really appreciate it.]
Let’s start with the archetypes. At it since 1946, Minnetonka’s hard-sole moccasin is everything you’d want out of a classic slipper: a sheepskin lining for warmth, a suede upper and rawhide laces for that rough-hewn classic look, and best of all, a sole that will hold up to those all-too-brief excursions outside.
Though many have interpreted this design (even in this story), few look quite so good as the one’s from Maine’s own Rancourt. Maybe it’s the pull-up cowhide from Red Wing’s S.B. Foot Tannery or, the shearling lambswool lining. Handmade in Rancourt’s small factory, just like everything else they make.
Essentially a high-top slipper, Quoddy’s handsewn Dorm Boot was originally worn by students far too cold to go out and get into hijinks at Maine’s prep schools. Quoddy improved on this age-old design by adding a leather collar and an air-injected Vibram sole, but stayed true to the old-school production methods, as it does with all its products (learn a ton more about Quoddy’s history and construction techniques here).
While we’ve recommended L.L. Bean’s ever-funky-but-somehow-just-right Bean Boot before in our Best Boots Under $300 roundup, and always will, Bean’s double-soled Bison slipper has all the quintessential hand-sewn moc slipper details: the rawhide laces, the hand-sewn stitching, and of course, a shearling lining. The pattern is pretty slipper-perfect—this may be the best looking-shoe Bean makes.
Ok, we had to throw these in from Bean as well…largely because my dad is obsessed with them. L.L. Bean is quite proud indeed of these sheepskin, shearling-lined slippers and touts their 14,000 5-star reviews. I guess 13,999 dads agree with mine! Are they the most handsome slippers ever? No! But slippers are, at thier core, in the comfort game—and these deliver.
Maine Mountain Moccasin customers had been wanting a slipper for a while and they finally got one. These Maine-made moccasins are hand-sewn from Maine tannery Tasman’s buffalo leather and while they lack the classic shearling, the double vamp sole and full sock liner provide serious comfort and three whole layers between your feet and the too-cold ground.
I firmly believe that everyone should own a pair of Birkenstocks, and because I’m not especially keen on forcing the world to view my toes, I’m specifically a fan of their Boston clog, which still provides Birks’ legendary arch support. Their honestly pretty darn nice suede is paired with a luscious shearling lining that will make you the envy of your local hipsters, who only have the unlined version (oh, unfortunate hipsters).
A very European slipper indeed. Produced in Germany for 50 years, these boiled wool slippers are not only cozy, they’re also exceptionally easy to get on and off, thanks to the open back, which also allows air to circulate—a crucial feature, especially if you’re planning to wear them for months at a time. A cushioned footbed and a double-felted and latex lined sole will cushion your feet on those long treks to wherever you left your phone last.
And after the Muk Luks, let’s crank up the classy dial a bit. Rudel’s trademark shearling-lined pattern is just good—it’s even got a heel! There’s no wool like English wool, and the speckled grey upper of Rudels’ Classic Slippers captures that refined, professorial look of the classic tweed blazer, even if you’re just on your couch slamming Hot Cheetos (wash your hands before you touch these beauties).
Rudels also makes for Saville Row brand Derek Rose, who styles their version more like the elegant velvet house-slippers you’ll see some great examples of below. Their shearling will just swallow your feet, and the rich navy hue certainly makes them pop.
My editor/Stitchdown head shoe-man Ben made me put these in here. He can’t stop talking about them. He loves them. I tend to agree.
Ok so these are totally shoes. But damn are they nice ones. Baudoin & Lange’s intended-for-socklessness slippers use their very own Asteria suede, which is tanned from goat hides in Cyprus. A slow, natural tannage gives the suede a beautiful luster and these are unlined—which isn’t shearling, but is seriously comfortable nonetheless.
Before we get into the true house slippers, we gotta hit Viberg, one of the most believed-in brands of Stitchdown (even though these wholecuts are Goodyear welted). With all the comfort of a great house shoe, but the looks and construction of something far more luxe, the Canadian stalwart’s slippers will serve you well in quarantine, but they’ll perform just as well out in the real world. Their latest iteration is done in a just wonderfully ghostly C.F. Stead storm suede (see other colors here), they’re built on Viberg’s 2010 last—take a half or maybe even full size down from your 2030 last size.
If you’ve been thinking about a pair of Viberg’s new mules, there doesn’t seem to be a better excuse than our current housebound reality. Their backless design makes them even easier to slip on and off than the slippers, and they’re just a perfect combination of Viberg build and fashiony funk. Again, more leather options here.
The real grabber on these loafers from bespoke-gone-ready-to-wear British icon George Cleverly is the waxed corduroy upper, which has all the soft texture we associate with a slipper, but a construction and rubber outsole that can stand up to the rigors of quarantine’s infrequent outside trips. Just a really cool shoe.
A loafer by name, but a slipper by nature, 2120 Handcrafted’s take on this classic piece of footwear is pared down just enough to play with the other slippers. Goodyear-welted onto a sturdy leather outsole just like the Vibergs, the supportive midsole and malleable suede upper will easily translate to life outside quarantine. While they only have two smooth leathers on the site, if you’re willing to wait on a custom order, you can have these made in any leather of your choosing, and their supple suedes will undoubtedly work best—at home or even after social distancing is over.
Enjoying an extra drink or two in quarantine? Then why not just say fuck it and get these Scotch slippers from Stubbs & Wootton, who made a name taking the classic embroidered British house slipper and embroidering…let’s say, more freely. They’re definitely a statement piece, but right now, why not just go and make that statement? Plenty of other statements of all kinds are available—check out their full range.
Quite possibly the kings of all slippers. Dating back to the Victorian era, the Albert slipper is named for the stylish prince of the same name. These particular slippers, from untouchable British uber-shoemaker Edward Green, certainly seem princely enough to justify their name, especially with their sleek kid suede and leather outsoles. While many Brit makers outsource their slipper production, these are crafted in EG’s Northampton workshop, on their 389 last. Just fabulous stuff.