Slippers are light footwear that are easy to put on and off and are intended to be worn indoors, particularly at home.[1]


The recorded history of slippers can be traced back to the 12th century when the Vietnamese had been wearing slippers. But in the West, the record can only be traced to 1478.[2][3]


The following is a partial list of types of slippers:

  • Open-heel slippers - usually made with a fabric upper layer that encloses the top of the foot and the toes, but leaves the heel open. These are often distributed in expensive hotels, included with the cost of the room.
  • Closed slippers - slippers with a heel guard that prevents the foot from sliding out.
  • Slipper boots - slippers meant to look like boots. Often favored by women, they are typically furry boots with a fleece or soft lining, and a soft rubber sole. Modeled after sheepskin boots, they may be worn outside.
  • Sandal slippers - cushioned sandals with soft rubber or fabric soles, similar to Birkenstock's cushioned sandals.
  • Evening slipper, also known as the "Prince Albert" slipper in reference to Albert, Prince Consort. It is made of velvet with leather soles and features a grosgrain bow or the wearer’s initials embroidered in gold.

Some slippers are made to resemble something other than a slipper and are sold as a novelty item. The slippers are usually made from soft and colorful materials and may come in the shapes of animals, animal paws, vehicles, cartoon characters, etc.

Not all shoes with a soft fluffy interior are slippers. Any shoe with a rubber sole and laces is a normal outdoor shoe. In India, rubber chappals (flip-flops) are worn as indoor shoes.[4]

The fictional character Cinderella is said to have worn glass slippers; in modern parlance, they would probably be called glass high heels. This motif was introduced in Charles Perrault's 1697 version of the tale, "Cendrillon ou la petite pantoufle de verre" ("Cinderella, or The Little Glass Slipper"). For some years it was debated that this detail was a mistranslation and the slippers in the story were instead made of fur (French: vair), but this interpretation has since been discredited by folklorists.[5]

Derek "The Slipper Man" Fan holds the Guinness World Records record for wearing a pair of dress slippers for 23 years straight as of June 30, 2007.[6]

A pair of ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz sold at Christie's in June 1988 for $165,000. The same pair was resold in May 2000 for $666,000. On both occasions they were the most expensive shoes from a film to be sold at auction.[7]

Grandpa's Slippers is an award-winning book by Joy Watson.[8]

In Hawaii and many islands of The Caribbean, slippers, or "slippahs" is used for describing flip-flops.

The term 'house shoes' (elided into how-shuze) is common in the American South.[9]

See also


  1. Definition of slipper Retrieved 2017-09-12
  2. "History of the Slipper".
  3. "SLIPPER HISTORY". iinuu.
  4. Khanna, Parul (3 October 2009). "Hawai chappal the new fashion accessory!". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 19 June 2016.
  5. Tatar, Maria. The Annotated Classic Fairy Tales. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2002.
  6. "Free slippers for elderly city residents". Daily Echo. 2010-01-20. Retrieved 2014-01-31.
  7. "Most expensive shoes from a film sold at auction". Retrieved 2018-12-09.
  8. "Watson, Joy". Retrieved 2014-01-31.
  9. Cassidy, Frederic Gomes, and Joan Houston Hall (eds). (2002) Dictionary of American Regional English. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
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