Why I Think Everyone Should Own a Pair of House Shoes (Not Slippers)

House shoes > slippers.

<p>Viktoriya Skorikova/Getty Images</p>

Viktoriya Skorikova/Getty Images

There are shoes you wear outdoors—sneakers, heels, and flats—but there are also shoes that you should only wear indoors. That latter category includes house shoes, and ever since the first time I dabbled into this shoe category I’ve become a loyal fan. Comfort, durability, grip, and coziness—and none of the outdoor yuck making its way through my house? Sold.

Let’s talk about what house shoes are (and what they’re not) and what you should look for in a great pair. And if you’re in the market—or become convinced you need some—I’ve included my top picks, too.

What Are House Shoes?

As their name implies, house shoes are meant to be worn around the house. They’re typically super comfortable and cozy, but offer a nice amount of durability, traction, and support for your feet. This makes it easier to move about your home tackling chores, making food, or tending to whatever’s on your to-do list.

“House shoes are footwear that you wear exclusively at home so dirt, pebbles, and gunk from the day don’t get trekked through your peaceful oasis,” says Cindy Conroy, a celebrity stylist and fashion expert. “Their thin sole is typically crafted from soft rubber, or similar materials, and they’re renowned for their comfort and convenience.”

They’re also defined by their lightweight structure and ease of use. You can easily slip them on and off without much trouble thanks to few (or no) laces or zippers.

House Shoes vs. House Slippers

Though the two are similar in that you wear them exclusively inside versus outdoors, house slippers and house shoes aren’t quite the same. Slippers have one key priority: to ensure your comfort. As such, they’re usually supremely soft and cushy—featuring plush materials on the inside and out—and don’t have a rubber sole.

Benefits of Wearing House Shoes

Wearing house shoes comes with a ton of benefits. My favorite reasons for wearing them include the following:

  • They’re Warm and Comfy: House shoes provide some nice warmth and a cozy factor that socks (or bare feet) just can’t.

  • They’re Functional: Unless I’m lounging around on the couch or in bed, I’m usually on the move while at home. The enclosed heel and toe, rubber traction, and support make it easier to go about my business without worrying about slipping or sliding.

  • They’re More Sanitary For the House: When you keep your outdoor shoes out and your indoor shoes in, your home is just more clean. Wearing house shoes prevents you from trekking dirt, gunk, grime, and who-knows-what-else into your space.

  • They Keep My Feet Clean: Similarly, house shoes keep your feet clean and safe while moving about inside. Even if I’m staying on top of sweeping and mopping, I’ve noticed that the bottoms of my socks or feet get dirty if I’m not wearing shoes.

What to Look For in Great House Shoes

The most important factor to consider when buying house shoes is whether they fit you well, are functional, comfortable, and are a shoe you’re excited to wear. Anything else just isn’t worth the spend.

Conroy agrees, adding “A great house shoe also baths your feet in softness—like they are floating around your home on a cloud. Gravitate towards materials like shearling, microterry, upcycled wool, sheepskin or microfleece. They will give maximum cushiony comfort.”

The sole should also feel grippy enough on your floor so you don’t slip around, and your ankles should have at least some moderate support to keep them protected. From here, you can also think about fun details like the color, pattern, or shoe silhouette.

House Shoes Worth Your Money

Ready to trade in your socks or slippery slippers for a pair of high-quality house shoes? Here are some of my favorites.

1. Hari Mari Casita Shoe ($120)

Thanks to memory foam footbeds, and the real rubber outsoles make for great traction. The exterior is crafted from nubuck leather and feature a cute diamond pattern. The open heel makes them especially easy to take off and on.

2. Nootkas 'Victoria' Wool House Shoe with Rubber Sole ($94)

I love that these look like traditional slippers with their super cozy exterior (hello, genuine Merino wool), but that the soft suede outsole means real business when it comes to functionality. They're a closed heel shoe with a slight divot around the ankles, so they feel supportive without being too much. I'm partial to the bordeaux hue, but you do you. 

3. UGG Ansley Water Resistant Slipper ($99)

I’m here for a cute moccasin, and UGG always delivers. This classic house shoe is made from water-resistant suede, has a plush lining (made from wool, but crafted to feel like shearling), and a nice rubber sole.

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