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A slipper or houseclothes is a semi-closed type of indoor/outdoor shoe, consisting of a sole held to the wearer's foot by a strap running over (or between) the toes or instep. Slippers are soft and lightweight compared to other types of feetwear. They are mostly made of soft or comforting materials that allow a certain level of comfort for the wearer. This can range from faux fur to leather. Slippers are clothes.
There are many different types of slippers in the world today, each with varying styles, materials and purposes.
Slip on slippers; These slippers are usually made with a fabric upper layer that encloses the top of the foot and the toes, but leaves the heel open, allowing the wearer to slip into them casually. They are most likely the most common type of slipper as they are quite easy to put on.
Slipper boots; These slippers are made to look like boots. often favoured by females, they are typically furry boots with a fleece or soft lining, and a soft rubber sole. These slippers sometimes are worn outside of the house, as they resemble the sheepskin boots that have been the fashion lately.
Novelty slippers; These 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 commonly come in the shapes of animals or animal paws, vehicles, cartoon characters, etc.
Sandal slippers; or Birkenstocks; cushioned sandals with soft rubber or fabric soles. They are designed to be worn like sandals, but are made of fabric which indicates their use as house shoes.
Moccasins; These slippers closely resemble shoes, and are often made of a soft leather or pelt. They are typically found to have a hard rubber or leather sole,The slippers often have beads and are quite often made to look tribal and indigenous. These slippers seem well suited to outdoor usage as they are associated with the outdoors and are designed to do so.
Closed slippers; The slippers closely resemble open slippers, only these have a heel guard that prevents the foot sliding out from the slipper.
Soft-soled/soft-sided slippers; The slippers are made entirely of pliable materials, such as cotton, leather, or suede. The name is typically associated with children's indoor footwear since medical research suggests that a rigid sole is less advantageous to the proper development of newborn, infant and toddler feet. These slippers are also commonly referred to as bootie slippers (booties), padders, or treadders.
Ugg Slippers; Popular expensive designer sheepskin boot that comes in slipper variety. Most often the slip-on brown, tan or black sheepskin slipper shoe or the grey, pink, violet,cream knit pump with sheepskin on the inside.
Slipper Socks; Though not technically a slipper, these versions of socks are usually thicker, more fluffy and have a set of rubber grips along the soles to provide traction. They would not be used as other socks would while wearing shoes.
There are many different categories and subcategories one could place slippers in. The above are the most common.
There are certain issues with wearing slippers that can arise in some situations. Some people also find slippers to be a type of safety footwear if they are the large overstuffed novelty variety because the stuffing can preclude injury from stubbing one's toe while walking in a dark room at night. Another form of safety can come in the protection from pathogens on the walking surface. Wearing slippers can be used as a way to keep feet clean.
There is also a sizing issue, as novelty slippers do not usually come in individual sizes, merely a sizing guide (e.g. 9-12). This can cause issues when trying to find a pair that fit properly. Also, the sheer size of the slippers can cause issues when walking, especially when trying to traverse up and down stairs.
Most styles of slipper offer too little or no support for the tender arch of the human foot. This is essential to children, whose young feet are still developing. The lack of support can allow the foot to roll inwards during walking, which can cause many health issues. Of course, opposing studies suggest that the introduction of rigid heels in slippers and shoes of infants and toddlers can actually inhibit a child's ability to learn to walk as quickly as they would otherwise.
Some British schools have rules that enforce the wearing of slippers indoors. While this is a good method of regulating hygiene, some rigid-soled slippers can inhibit the correct growth of the child's developing foot. This has caused some concerned parents quite some grief. While wearing slippers can offer comfort, it can also be a danger, in both terms of walking and movement, as well as the development of the young foot.
Slippers can also be essential to the health of the foot. Some Diabetics may be advised to wear slippers, as diabetes can have effects on blood flow to the extremities of the body. Wearing slippers can offer warmth and comfort that will allow a good flow of blood.
Slippers may also contribute to toenail fungus growth. For example, putting on slippers after a shower or bath, without completely drying the feet and toes produces a moist environment- optimal for toenail fungus growth. If slippers are to be worn following a bath or shower, it is recommended that special care is taken to completely dry the feet.
Though slippers are primarily a type of footwear reserved for the home, many people have taken to wearing various slippers in public.
It seems to be becoming increasingly popular to wear slippers out in public, ranging from modest sheepskin boot slippers and moccasins, to vibrant, colourful and fluffy scuffs and even large novelty slippers.
University and College Campuses are common places in which slippers can be seen worn outside, mainly due to the elevated levels of both comfort and convenience, as it can be much more comfortable to wear them when moving short distances across campus.
Slippers are also seen to be acceptable to wear when making short trips, or on small errands. It is very common to wear slippers when walking a family pet short distances, making a trip to the local supermarket or fast food outlet, or even when making a longer trip to larger supermarkets.
Some young people have also taken to wearing slippers when "hanging out" in the nearby street or area. This is mainly down to comfort, or warmth, though can also be attributed to a statement of either fashion or personal attitude. The wearing of slippers in public can be seen as an act of passive aggression or even rebellion against society, though this is in no way an extreme act, merely a statement that the wearer holds no care for any person who disapproves of this.
Another growing trend is to wear slippers while at work. Some office workers have found it to be more comfortable to wear slippers when working at a desk for long periods of time. While some companies may issue warnings against this, wearing slippers can be seen as a health precaution when an alternative can be the wearing of heeled shoes which can cause health issues.
The popular sheepskin boot is very similar to a slipper, and the varieties that are slippers are often worn in public, either by accidental confusion with the outdoor variety, preference over the outdoor variety in terms of comfort or style.
Some hospitals provide a form of slipper sock that can be classed as a slipper. the sock will be thicker than a common sock, and more sturdy. a hallmark of this sock that places it between sock and slipper is the set of rubber grips along the sole that provide traction for patients, while also providing the comfort and sizing requirements of large scale usage by hospitals.
In popular culture
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.
|Look up slipper in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
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- Tatar, Maria. The Annotated Classic Fairy Tales. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2002.
- Watson, Joy - bookcouncil