A good pair of slippers should act as a cozy foot warmer while you're at home, and also should be durable enough to withstand a quick walk outside to take out the trash or grab the mail. But beyond their warmth and convenience, slippers serve an important purpose: To minimize the stress of walking barefoot on hard surfaces, said Dr. Miguel Cunha, a podiatrist at Gotham Footcare in New York City. The right pair of slippers supports your heels and arches, and provides a cushioned place for your feet to rest while walking around or standing for long periods of time.
“The most important part of a building is the foundation, and in terms of your body, that foundation is your feet,” Cunha said. “If your feet lack proper support in a slipper, it can translate upwards and affect your ankles, knees or back.”
SKIP AHEAD Best unisex slippers | Best mens’ slippers | Best women’s slippers
To help you purchase slippers that are equal parts cozy and functional, we talked to podiatrists about what we should look for when shopping. We also rounded up slippers for men and women across price ranges and styles.
The best slippers to wear at home
When shopping for slippers, think function over fashion, said Dr. Michael Trepal, a podiatrist and professor at the New York College of Podiatric Medicine’s Department of Surgery. But you should also like how they look, so it’s best to strike a balance between the two.
Experts recommend prioritizing slippers made from a material that’s soft against your skin and that have a grippy bottom to create traction between the shoe and the floor. Adequate arch and heel support is also important when buying slippers. But since everyone’s feet are different, you may have to try different pairs to figure out what feels best for you.
Additionally, experts recommended looking for slippers with the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) Seal of Acceptance/Approval. When you see that seal, it means the brand submitted data and other materials to the APMA and the organization determined that the product promotes foot health. This does not mean that slippers without the APMA Seal are bad for your feet — it may just mean that brands have not submitted their products for the APMA to review.
Below, we rounded up slippers for men and women with this expert guidance in mind. We grouped slippers according to what sizes they’re sold in (men’s, women or unisex) and we noted if options earned the APMA Seal. We also included a few slippers recommended by Select staff. Before making a purchase, experts said you should talk to a doctor if you have questions, are experiencing foot pain or have podiatric concerns like bunions, blisters and hammertoes.
Best unisex slippers
The below slippers are available in unisex sizes or are offered in men’s and women’s sizes.
Ugg Tasman slippers — which come in men’s and women’s sizes — have been my go-to for over a decade (and after sitting on a month’s long waitlist, I finally got my hands on the brand’s popular, often out-of-stock Taz platform slipper). The Tasman slippers are lined with sheepskin and wool, providing a plush home for your feet. They also have a durable, grippy outsole made of either rubber or the brand’s SugarSole material (derived from sugarcane), making them suitable for indoor and outdoor wear. While the Ugg Tasman has a slip-on design, I’ve found that the heel area cups your foot enough to ensure that the slippers don’t slip off while you’re walking. You can purchase the Ugg Tasman in colors like Chestnut, Naval Blue, Dark Grey and Black.
Parachute Waffle Bootie
Updates editor Mili Godio said the Parachute Waffle Booties are the ideal warm, cozy slippers to wear at home. “I love that they offer the support of a boot but are still easy to slip on and off,” she explained. The booties are made from 100% long-staple Turkish cotton, Parachute says, plus a slip-resistant rubber outsole. You can purchase the bootie-style slippers in Tan, Terra and Grey colors and choose from unisex extra small to extra large sizes.
OOFOS Oocoozie Mule Shoe
Cunha said OOFOS makes highly supportive slippers that help reduce stress on your feet, knees and ankles while increasing stability. It’s made with the OOFOS proprietary OOfoam, which the brand says cushions feet and absorbs impact while you’re walking. The slide-on slippers are designed with a vega sherpa upper that you can machine-wash, according to the brand. You can purchase them in men's and women’s sizes in colors like Black, Light Grey, Tawny and Beige.
North Face ThermoBall Traction Mules V
Shari Uyehara, Select’s manager of editorial operations, recommended these thermal slippers from North Face that are made with insulated materials to help your feet retain warmth. They also have a fleece collar lining, plus a water-resistant upper and rubber outsole so you can wear the shoes indoors or outdoors. North Face says the heel collapses to help you easily put the slippers on or take them off. The slippers are available in men’s and women’s sizes and you can purchase them in colors like Lavender Fog, TNF Black, Wasabi and more.
Best men’s slippers
Ugg Ascot Slipper
CNBC Select editor James Ellis said his Ugg Ascot Slippers feel like they’re hugging his feet when he slips them on every morning. The loafer-style slipper has a rubber sole so you can wear them indoors and outdoors, and they’re lined with wool. The slippers are made with a foam footbed to support feet. They come in colors like Chestnut, Black, Sand and Grey, and you can purchase them in standard or wide widths.
Muk Luks Men’s Abbott Slipper
Muk Luks’ Abbott Slipper makes a great gift for brothers, in my experience. They’re lined with wool and faux fur and have a rubber sole that protects feet indoors and outdoors. The slide-on slipper’s upper is made from 100% cow suede, according to the brand. You can purchase a pair in Camel, Mahogany and Ebony colors.
Spenco Men’s Supreme Slippers
- APMA Seal of Acceptance/Approval
Spenco’s Men’s Supreme Slipper has a leather upper and is lined with faux fur. The brand says its food bed offers orthotic-grade arch support and is designed to cup the heel. The shoe’s non-slip outsole creates traction on indoor and outdoor surfaces. You can purchase the shoes in Chocolate, Black and Bison colors.
Best women’s slippers
Vionic Lynez Slipper
- APMA Seal of Acceptance/Approval
To reduce stress on the feet, Vionic designed this slipper’s foot bed to hug the sole and cushion the ball of your foot. It also offers arch support and has a deep heel cup, according to the brand. The slippers are lined with faux fur and have a rubber outsole for indoor or outdoor wear. You can purchase them in a variety of colors and styles, like Blue Plaid, Cloud Pink, Light Grey Suede and more.
Revitalign Spruce Shearling Slipper
- APMA Seal of Acceptance/Approval
Experts told us open-toe slippers like these may be beneficial if your feet tend to get hot while wearing shoes. Revitalign’s slippers have an orthotic-grade footbed that’s wrapped with blended wool to be comfortable against the feet, according to the brand. They’re designed with a sheepskin suede upper and a shearling lining. The slippers also come with a textured rubber outsole for indoor or outdoor wear. You can purchase the slippers in Light Grey, Black and Tan colors.
L.L. Bean Women’s Wicked Good Camp Moccasins
“I have had these moccasins for years and each winter, I fall more in love with them,” said editor Christina Colizza. “They're warm without being too hot or stuffy and their rubber bottom keeps me from slipping. Over time they've definitely shown their age, but a quick trip to the dry cleaners keeps them looking clean and fresh, if not a little lived-in.” The slippers are made from sheepskin and are fur-lined, plus have a contoured memory-foam footbed to support feet. The slippers' durable rubber outsole also makes them suitable to wear indoors and outdoors.
Minnetonka Sheepskin Ankle Boot
I bought these boot-style slippers from Minnetonka because they cover my ankles and keep them warm, which I especially appreciate during the colder months. The slippers are made from leather and have a sheepskin lining, plus a cushioned footbed. You can fold the collar up or down, and wear the slippers indoors and outdoors since they have a solid rubber outsole. You can purchase the slippers in standard and wide widths and Grey Suede, Black and Golden Tan colors.
How to shop for slippers
Instead of reaching for the first pair of slippers that catch your eye, experts suggest considering the following factors to help narrow down your options.
The American Podiatric Medical Association Seal of Acceptance/Approval
Brands can submit their podiatric products like shoes, socks and insoles to APMA and a group of APMA podiatrists will evaluate them. The APMA then gives out its Seal of Acceptance/Approval to products it deems to promote foot health and allow for normal foot function when used. This is similar to how the American Dental Association gives certain dental products its seal of acceptance, like toothpaste, toothbrushes and floss.
Cunha recommended looking for the APMA Seal of Acceptance/Approval when shopping for slippers. He said the seal provides an extra layer of assurance that the shoes support your feet and have been reviewed by medical professionals. However, this does not mean that slippers without the APMA Seal are ineffective — it just means brands may have not submitted their products for the organization to review.
Heel and arch support
Cunha recommends buying slippers that fully enclose your heel, as they’re — they’re the most supportive and secure. The second best option is a slipper with a heel strap, which does not fully enclose your heel, but does prevent the shoe from slipping off while you’re walking around.
Backless slippers are the least secure option and can easily slip off, potentially causing injury, Cunha said. However, some slippers with the APMA Seal are backless, and slippers with an enclosed heel are usually harder to put on and take off, Trepal said. If someone’s mobility is limited, they might prefer a backless slipper, which is easier to put on.
Additionally, you want a slipper that’s well-padded and cushioned and hugs your arches, Cunha said. Slippers should also be semi-rigid, meaning they’re not flimsy in the middle. “They shouldn't bend in half because then you don’t have any arch support, which defeats the purpose of the slipper,” he explained.
Like any shoes you wear, slippers must fit properly. Footwear that’s too tight can lead to pain or rub against your skin and create cuts or blisters, while footwear that’s too large often causes people to overgrip their toes to keep it on. “That repetitive toe gripping can lead to fatigue, muscle spasms and plantar fasciitis, as well as the formation of hammertoes,” Cunha said.
If you’re unsure about your shoe size or are between sizes, Cunha recommends trying slippers on at the end of the day, when your feet are their most swollen. “Fluid retention in your feet is most prominent at the end of the day, so trying slippers on when your feet are the most swollen will allow you to buy the most comfortable pair,” he said. “If they feel comfortable at the end of the day, they're most likely going to feel comfortable at the beginning of and during the day.”
Open-toe versus closed-toe slippers
Opting for open-toes versus closed-toe slippers is largely a personal preference, experts told us. But if your feet tend to get hot or sweaty, open-toed slippers may be beneficial. It’s important to keep in mind that if you’re wearing an open-toed slipper, your toes are not protected if you stub them or drop something on them, Trepal said.
Should you wear slippers at home?
Experts told us that wearing slippers at home is a good idea, so long as they fit properly. Slippers support feet and eliminate the stress of walking barefoot on hard surfaces. Trepal said they can also protect you from picking up infections, bacteria or fungi that may be on the floor — as well as cutting your feet on splinters, glass or other sharp objects — specifically if you’re walking around communal spaces and high-traffic areas, like the hallways in an apartment building or dorm.
Slippers are designed to increase friction between your feet and the floor, Trepal said. This added traction is especially important when you’re walking on slippery surfaces, as well as if you have an unsteady gait.
Meet our experts
At Select, we work with experts who have specialized knowledge and authority based on relevant training and/or experience. We also take steps to ensure that all expert advice and recommendations are made independently and with no undisclosed financial conflicts of interest.
- Dr. Miguel Cunha is a podiatrist at Gotham Footcare in New York City.
- Dr. Michael Trepal is a professor in the Department of Surgery and serves as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean at the New York College of Podiatric Medicine. He maintains a private practice in Brooklyn Heights.
Catch up on Select's in-depth coverage of personal finance, tech and tools, wellness and more, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to stay up to date.