A comfortable pair of slippers can make a world of difference standing and walking around at home, especially during mornings and evenings when hard floors get chilly. But when buying slippers, there's more to consider than just looking for the warmest and softest thing to wrap around your toes. Slippers should also be healthy for your feet, and that's why you should pay attention to the soles.
"It's optimal to find slippers with stiff or rigid soles," says New York City podiatrist Nelya Lobkova, DPM at Step Up Footcare. "This limits abnormal motion and pressure on the forefoot, which tends to get excessive pressure when walking barefoot." If you have heel problems, you should also look for slippers with cushioned rigid soles and elevation in the heel, which can minimize stress and strain on the calf and Achilles tendon. "The platform and elevated heel also ensure a smooth transition of weight from the heel to the ball of the foot," she says. After all, the last thing you want is to injure your feet while shuffling from the kitchen to the couch.
With that in mind, here are five hard-soled slippers Dr. Lobkova recommends to keep your feet warm, comfy, and supported, from toe to heel.
Best Hard-Soled Slippers
These slippers are as easy and comfy to slide on as your original Birks, but they have the added warmth of a wool upper with a closed-toe, and genuine shearling lining that will feel like a soft hug for your feet. With a contoured, cork latex footbed, they’re versatile enough to wear indoors or outdoors. And even though this slipper doesn’t have an elevated heel, it has an arch support and rigid sole, which offers a lot of support, says Dr. Lobkova.
Similar to the Birkenstock slipper, these wool clogs have a stiff cork sole, but in addition, they have an elevated heel for added stability, says Dr. Lobkova. The insole lining is a wool felt, and there’s a non-slip rubber sole to prevent sliding around on hard or slick floors.
After a hard workout or a long day, give your feet a break with these slippers. These recover slides “offer a stiff rocker sole with maximum cushioning,” says Dr. Lobkova, meaning they’re an ideal balance of support and comfort. They’re also lightweight and easy to clean, so you have one less thing to worry about.
If you’re looking for another lightweight option that has less cushioning than the Hokas, Dr. Lobkova recommends these clog slippers that have a rocker sole. The OOFoam footbed is designed to absorb 37 percent more impact than traditional footwear and helps reduce stress on your feet and joints.
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