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Between standing all day or working out, your feet can take a pretty heavy beating. And during the colder months, it's nice to slip into a good pair of slippers that provide instant relief and warmth as soon as you come home. A great option is one that's durable, stylish, and serves your particular needs. For anyone with foot pain or plantar fasciitis, for example, interior support is essential. Also, if you plan on wearing the slippers both inside and outdoors, a rubber sole provides great traction and a higher back offers support.
While style is absolutely important, don't overlook fit. "Correct sizing is one of the most important aspects of choosing a slipper," says Dr. Diana Rogers of Northern Illinois Foot and Ankle Specialists. "You need to make sure your heel and toes do not hang over the edge, which can cause increased pain."
To help you pick the right pair, editors at The Spruce spent over 100 hours testing 16 pairs of slippers and ranked factors like quality, comfort, durability, and design on a 1-5 scale. We then rounded up testers' insight and scores to find only the most supportive and comfortable slippers on the market.
Here, the best slippers of 2021.
Best Overall: HAFLINGER Unisex AT Wool Hard Sole Slippers
Material: Wool | Sole: Rubber | Care: Machine washable
Can be used indoors and outdoors
These slippers have molded arch support that helps with the fit and alignment of the foot. They're designed to keep your feet at the right temperature no matter what environment you’re in, and they will absorb moisture to help keep them dry, too. The brand claims that the rubber soles on the bottom make these slippers great to use inside or outdoors, and our tester confirmed this claim.
When road testing these slippers, our tester noted that she needed the first few days to break them in. Afterwards, she performed her usual chores in the house and reported no discomfort. She liked that the material was breathable, which is optimal for those with sweaty feet. The slippers feature a classic design and are more functional than plush or cozy, and yet, our tester couldn't stop raving about the comfort. Take note, the wool sheds a little at first, but it wasn't an alarming amount.
Best Budget: Bombas Gripper Slippers
Material: Acrylic, nylon, wool | Sole: Not listed | Care: Machine wash
Cute patchwork design
Covers entire foot like a sock
Can't be worn outdoors
You can think of this option from Bombas as a half slipper, half sock. It covers your entire foot, keeping you extra warm in the winter and features a cushioned sole with grippers on the bottom. A little packing bag comes with your purchase, which makes these slippers travel-friendly.
Our tester described these slippers as glorified socks rather than indoor shoes. She loved the lightweight feel, and the fact that the brushed lining felt soft and cozy without making her feel too warm. Since they wear similarly to socks, you can cozy up on your couch without having to remove them.
You can machine wash these slippers, but our tester said she could tell the material might start to pill a after a few washes. One complaint she had about the design: The insert shift between the inner and outer linings tends to shift when you take the slippers on and off, which can be annoying to constantly adjust.
Best Supportive: Vionic Women's Gemma Mule Slipper
Material: Polyester terrycloth | Sole: EVA | Care: Wipe clean
Easy on and off
Vionic is known for their podiatrist-designed, arch support shoe offerings, so we weren't surprised our tester gave it a perfect score for comfort. She claimed that the Gemma Mules gave her reportedly flat, achy feet a ton of support—in fact, they stopped aching nearly instantly after putting them on. The easy slip on, off style is convenient for moving about your home.
In terms of comfort, our tester liked that they gave her a good balance of warmth and breathability. She does however, wish that the lining felt a little more higher quality, even though it felt durable and well-made. The soles are thick and sturdy, so the slippers are technically fine to wear outside the house for some quick errands, just keep in mind that the terry material might attract debris.
Aesthetic is always subjective to the user, but our tester didn't care much for the clunky design of the shoe, costing the slippers some points. This aside, she says she's never worn slippers this supportive, and highly recommends them for runners looking for instant relief after a long day.
Best Memory Foam: L.L. Bean Wicked Good Moccasins
Material: Shearling | Sole: Rubber | Care: Spot clean
Can be worn indoors and outdoors
Available in wide width
Great traction on the soles
Lining can get matted
These classic-looking moccasins are durable and attractive, and will stand up to everything from morning walks with the dog to chasing kids around the living room.
Named "wicked good" for a reason, these slippers are made from sheepskin and have a soft shearling lining that's designed to wick away moisture. The memory foam footbed ensures a comfortable fit—even when you're wearing them for hours at a time—and the hard sole offers the perfect amount of support.
Our tester found them extremely comfortable and warm, and praised the timeless moccasin design and non-slip grip. She just wished that they were a little less bulky, but noted it wasn't enough of a turnoff for her to dislike them.
Best Wool: L.L. Bean Glerups Wool Slippers
Material: Wool | Sole: Leather | Care: Not listed
Provides enough support
Great for gifting
Indoor use only
No instructions on how to clean
These slippers list premium felted wool and genuine leather for materials used, and our tester could attest to the luxe feel from wearing these slippers. She was first drawn to its chic and minimal look. Since they're made of wool, there isn't any added lining inside—but our tester claimed they were perfectly warm for chilly mornings and nights. She also enjoyed that the slippers wouldn't get too warm or feel heavy when walking.
The slippers are pricey at $100, but given the materials used, it seems like a fair price for comfy slippers. One downside? The slippers didn't come in our tester's exact shoe size 5, so the next size up felt a tad roomy. There also weren't any instructions on the site or box on how to clean the slippers.
Best Sheepskin: Old Friend Juliet Slipper
Material: Leather, shearling | Sole: Rubber | Care: Not machine washable
Can be worn outside
Doesn't get too warm
Not machine washable
For something ultra-cozy, these sheepskin slippers provide great support and a high quality feel, according to our tester. She loved the fur lining, which kept her feet at a comfortable temperature. The open back offers a slight twist to the traditional moccasin style, but it makes the slippers easy to both slip into and remove. Plus, the fur cuff adds more warmth at the ankle and makes for a cute touch!
While our tester didn't have any complaints about comfort, she did say she wished the sole could provide more cushion. The slippers also aren't machine washable, so you have to wipe them clean in case of any accidental spills. In the end, although they're a bit pricey, our tester said she could tell the Juliet slippers would most likely last for years.
Best Plush: Parachute Cozy Bootie
Material: Polyester sherpa | Sole: Rubber | Care: Machine was cold, tumble dry low
Still feel new every time you put them on
Sturdy sole doesn't really give in to the natural arch of your foot
Stay warm all day long—inside and outdoors— in these booties. The extra coverage around your ankles locks in more heat, and the strong, rubber sole allows for use on hardwood floors or concrete sidewalk.
The super soft sherpa feels amazingly soft when you pull these booties on. Our tester gave them a full five points for comfort, and she tested them with and without socks. She also gave the boots a fairly high score in terms of durability, but she expressed missing some curvature and having her feet feel like they could break into the slippers more. She also noted some pilling on the inside of the boots after nine days of wear.
Most Stylish: Sorel Nakiska Scuff Slippers
Material: Suede | Sole: Rubber | Care: Spot clean
Warm faux fur lining
If you're looking for a pair of slippers that will fit right in with your stylish athleisure, these Sorels are just the ticket. The exterior is made of felt and suede, which gives the slippers a look that manages to be both polished and cozy at the same time.
The bottom of the slipper is coated in grippy rubber, so you can grab the mail from outside or wear these out onto your deck without getting damp feet or frozen toes. The slipper is lined with faux fur and has a removable cushioned insole that reviewers say provides great arch support and makes these slippers comfortable enough to wear for hours at a time.
Our tester loved that her feet didn't overheat in these slippers, but she wished the lining was made of higher quality material, like wool or real fur, costing the slippers a point in quality. She recommends these slippers for those who want something cozy and non-slip to walk around in but don't necessarily need extra warmth.
Best for Sweaty Feet: Dearfoams Women's Sydney Shearling Scuff Slipper
Material: Sheepskin, shearling | Sole: Rubber | Care: Not listed
Great price point
No arch support
Not for daily heavy use
These Dearfoams slippers are on more of the affordable end in the slippers category, perfect for gifting to a few loved ones. They offer the best of both worlds, with sheepskin uppers and lining to keep you warm, but a backless style and moisture-wicking scuffs to prevent your feet from overheating and sweating.
Thanks to the sturdy rubber sole, you can wear these slippers outdoors too. However, our tester took off points for durability because even after a few days of wear, she could spot a few small cracks and pieces falling off. The sole is also pretty flat, which isn't ideal for someone who needs arch support.
In the end, the slippers are comfortable, lightweight, and are worth buying if you prioritize price and a sweat-free experience.
Best Indoor/Outdoor: Birkenstock Zermatt Shearling Slippers
Material: Shearling, wool | Sole: Latex | Care: Spot clean
Brand specializes in slippers
Comes in wide and narrow widths
Not the most cushy
Feet get sweaty
Birkenstock is a brand known for making quality slippers, and the Zermatt features their iconic cork latex footbed, which our tester noted gave them good walking support and the functionality of an outdoor shoe. The slippers are also shearling-lined and feature wool uppers, giving them the the classic Birkenstock feel with the added benefit of warmth.
At first, our tester found the slippers a bit stiff—plus, they made her feet feel a little too warm, which is why she took off a point and a half for comfort. However, she appreciated that they offered ample support and thinks she might need more of a break-in period. Overall, we don't think they're worth near $100, especially if they don't provide the most comfortable experience, but they're supportive, well-made, and come from a reputable brand.
Best Versatile: Parachute Classic Slippers
Material: Cotton | Sole: Rubber | Care: Machine washable
Easy to clean
No interior support
Threads can start to show with extended wear
A common complaint with some slippers is that the interior lining is too hot for the warmer months. Suede, faux fur, and shearling can cause feet to perspire, which can be uncomfortable when you're wearing them for long periods of time. For a more versatile pair of slippers, we recommend Parachute's Classic Slippers, which are made from 100 percent cotton terry. Cotton is known for being more breathable than other materials, but it's still able to insulate.
When asked to describe the slippers in three words, our tester chose "cozy, comfortable, and adaptable." She described them as pillowy-soft, and since they're not lined with sherpa, she could see them working in any season.
We took off one point off for durability since the slippers aren't super sturdy nor do they have a solid, strong footbed. Our tester is happy to recommend these slippers based on her positive experience, but she thinks that they're not really worth the $40 price tag.
What to Look for in a Pair of Slippers
When choosing slippers, one of the most important factors to consider is their material. Generally, you should opt for natural materials over synthetics. Wool and polyester materials can keep you warm in cold weather, but they aren't as breathable and can cause your feet to sweat. Sheepskin or shearling is great for providing warmth while preventing your feet from overheating.
"Generally, a rubber or synthetic sole is best for most surfaces as it provides the best shock absorption," says Dr. Bruce Pinker, a board-certified podiatrist and foot surgeon at Progressive Foot Care. Rubber is durable, waterproof, and provides good traction. Cork has the same benefits as rubber but is also naturally odor-resistant and moisture-wicking.
Backs vs. no backs
Though backless slippers are no doubt easier to put on, booties or fully-enclosed slippers offer cozy, uninterrupted comfort whether you're lounging on the couch or doing errands. But if you're someone who suffers from sweaty feet or prefer to keep dirt off the bed or couch, backless slippers are the better option.
What size slippers should you buy?
You can typically buy your normal shoe size when shopping for slippers. However, since some brands' sizes run small or large, always check their sizing chart to find the best fit. Also, if you plan to wear chunky socks for added warmth, it may be worth going up half a size.
How do you clean slippers?
It's always best to check the manufacturer's care label to determine the best way to clean your slippers. Some are easy to manage and can be thrown in the washing machine, and others, especially leather or suede, should be spot cleaned. Rogers suggests using an antibacterial spray once a week to prevent bacteria buildup, which can lead to odor.
Can you wear slippers outside?
Though many people solely wear slippers indoors, some are perfectly fine to be worn outside as well. A thick rubber sole provides great traction and a material like leather, suede, or shearling keeps your feet warm. Also, a slipper with a back provides more security and your feet are less likely to slip out as you're walking.
How We Tested
Our editors researched slippers from reputable brands, while still looking for slippers that accommodated all budgets and needs. We then ordered 16 pairs of slippers and distributed them out to testers with varied sizes and style preferences. Each tester had to rank the slippers on a 1-5 scale, evaluating factors like quality of the slippers, comfort, durability, and design.
After over 100 hours of testing, we rounded up the scores from our panel to find our top 11 picks and assigned "Best" category titles to the appropriate slippers, based on testers' insight and ratings.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This roundup was updated by Shanon Maglente who both has experience writing gift guides and best-of product roundups across categories like textiles, beauty, appliances, and home. To help guide the selection process, we spoke with two experts. Dr. Diana Rogers of Northern Illinois Foot and Ankle Specialists is a former collegiate athlete and is board certified in both foot and reconstructive rearfoot and ankle surgery. In addition, Dr. Bruce Pinker of Progressive Foot Care is a board-certified foot and ankle surgeon.