ISSUE 5  |  Small Space Living

10 Easy Pieces: The Great Slipper Debate

February 07, 2014 6:00 PM

BY Sarah Lonsdale

If you are Japanese, removing shoes when you enter a home is second nature. The entryway is clearly delineated by a step–a threshold that marks your transition from the outer world into the home, and this is where you take off your shoes. (Traditionally, the Japanese sat and slept on tatami flooring, so shoe removal made sense.) And after living in Japan for years, and diligently slipping off my shoes, it’s a custom I found hard to shake once I moved to California. Of late, I’ve been glad to see many more Westerners adopting the practice (if nothing else, it keeps the floors cleaner).

We suggest that if you’re asking unsuspecting guests to leave behind their shoes, stock a basket with slippers that will pass muster and have a chair on hand for easy shoe removal. Here’s our selection of slippers for the sartorially inclined. 

Above: Handmade leather slip-on Botines, made by and available at Beatrice Valenzuela for $210. Photograph by Alder & Co. Read up on the LA tastemaker in our recent Style Counsel post: A Cult Shoemaker in Echo Park.

Above: Designed by Naoto Fukasawa, the water-resistant, surprisingly soft Siwa Paper Slippers with padded soles are $90 at Mill Mercantile.

Above: Pia Wallen’s Unisex Felt Slippers are made of thick Swedish felt in black (shown) or gray; $84 from A + R Store.

Above: Unisex leather Babouches from Morocco are available in an assortment of colors; $34.99 on Ebay. For more Moroccan slippers, see our previous post on Babouches.

Above: From Danish company Glerups, the charcoal Women’s Model G Slippers, pure wool with a leather sole, are $90 from Amazon. The unisex slippers are also available directly from Glerups.


Above: Handcrafted in Oregon, the Thurlow Thurmocs American Deerskin Slippers are made from American deerskin; $109 from Sir Jack’s. 

Above: These unisex Oymyakon Wool Slippers are woven with handspun sheep’s wool in Siberia; €39.50 from This is Paper.

Above: These affordable Woven Straw Slippers make ideal guest slippers; $22.50 from Oriental Decor.


Above: Finnish Felt Slippers of lambswool with rubber soles; £55 from Baileys in the UK.

Above: Fog Linen Slippers in linen with padded leather sole are $42 from Steven Alan.

The perfect pajamas to pair with your slippers? See Editors’ Picks: 10 Best Pajamas for a Good Night’s Sleep.