What were Cinderella’s slippers made of? Why, glass of course. Everyone knows that. Everyone knows that the Fairy Godmother magics up elegant slippers and packs Cinders off to the ball in them. Cinders dances so gracefully in these sparklers that Prince Charming is instantly and utterly smitten. At midnight, she dashes (yes, dashes) away from the ball in the beautiful slippers in such a panic that one falls off and she dare not stop to retrieve it. A delicate glass slipper that Prince Charming then carts around the entire kingdom and crams onto the foot of every last woman in the land until he finds his lady. So, our girl manages to dance in these slippers without injury, drop them without smashing them and then the lost slipper gets back to her intact after being dragged around the whole country by horses and tried on feet of all shapes and sizes.
Nonsense, of course. But what does that matter? Fairy tales are supposed to be nonsense. We simply enjoy the idea that these slippers are beautiful and completely impossible. They are magic, for goodness sake! There is no need to think about how uncomfortable glass slippers would be. Agony, actually. One couldn’t walk in them, let alone dance. And imagine the nasty injuries that poor old Cinders could have suffered if someone heavy had stepped on her toe…
But there is a theory that the original story was mistranslated from the French, and Cinderella’s slippers were not made of glass at all, but squirrel fur. The theory arises from the similarity of the sounds of the words for “glass” and “squirrel fur” in French: “verre” and “vair”.
Squirrel fur was a luxurious and exclusive material in ye olde France – only the poshest of persons were permitted to wear it – so it’s quite possible that the Fairy Godmother (classy lady that she no doubt would have been) might have selected it as the uber luxe material for Cinders’ super special slippers.
Even if the mistranslation theory is true (and who knows, really?) squirrel fur ladies slippers sound rather more Wilma Flintstone than Cinderella. They really do not quite go with the image of a nearly-princess in a beautiful, sparkly ballgown. No! She needs some beautiful, sparkly slippers to go with all that. Glass it is.