It’s starting to get cold, the evenings are drawing in and the kids are well and the half-term holiday is nearly here already. We must be well into slipper season.
There really is nothing like those long summer evenings, of course, and we will miss them until they come around again, but slipper season has its benefits too. Who doesn’t love the cosiness of returning to a warm house after being out in cold, wet autumn and winter weather?
Best of all, slipper season is the time to treat yourself to a new pair of really good, really comfortable slippers.
It is very important to wear high quality, comfortable slippers at home, not simply so that you can breeze around your house looking good, but because there are real, bona fide health reasons. Who knew? We’ll be honest, we didn’t at first. We were not particularly thinking about health when we set out to make lovely slippers. The real inspiration behind Shaffay slippers was the desire to look elegant at home. We wanted slippers that look great. It was only when we got going on the process of creating our luxury slippers that we learned just how important it is to wear slippers – for several reasons – and that made us all the more determined to make slippers that were high quality as well as elegant.
So what are those reasons? Most obviously, high-quality slippers protect your feet. There is nothing worse than stubbing your toe (well, it certainly feels that way for the minute and a half of absolute agony that follows impact). There are a lot of nerves in our toes and very little fat to cushion any blow to them. That intensifies the pain and means that toes are relatively easily bruised and injured. A good pair of slippers will provide a protective barrier between toe and table leg.
Slippers protect your feet
A pair of supportive slippers will also protect your feet from hard surfaces underfoot. If you spend a lot of time walking barefoot on harder surfaces around your house, you will likely find that your feet are aching or sore by the end of the day. This is not particularly surprising given we evolved to walk barefoot on much more forgiving surfaces than wooden floors. Wearing slippers that provide good structure, ideally with a little lift in the sole and heel to give your arches a little support, and a soft insole to absorb impact, will protect your feet from aches and pains.
Slippers prevent…slippage! Properly fitting and supportive slippers with a strong and non-slip sole can help prevent accidents in the home. Cheap, ill-fitting slippers that fall off your feet cannot. In fact, they can be rather dangerous if you try dashing up and down the stairs in them.
Slippers can help ward off colds and flu
Having cold feet is not only uncomfortable, it also puts us at greater risk of catching colds. Again, who knew? Keeping our feet warm actually helps us to ward off colds and flu. According to Dr Ron Eccles, Director of Cardiff University’s Common Cold Centre (ah! he knew, clearly) lots of us carry cold and flu viruses in our noses without it causing us any harm most of the time. However, when the temperature of our feet drops, that causes a systemic change which makes our noses cold. That in turn makes it more likely that a virus will develop into a cold. When your feet are cold, the blood vessels in the nose constrict in order to slow the loss of heat from the body in an attempt to keep you warm. Your skin, and the inside of your nose and throat, all go white, and blood flow to the nose is reduced. Less blood flow in the nose means fewer white cells to fight a virus. Cold also slows the movement of the hairs in the nose that filter dirt and germs, which makes it easier for the virus to enter the body.
Slippers can help your circulation too. Good quality, well-fitting and supportive slippers can help encourage blood flow to your feet and reduce swelling.
Wearing slippers makes you more productive..?
We are great believers in dressing right for the occasion and that includes working from home. Dressing properly for work is important even when you work from home. It puts you in a much more productive frame of mind than sitting around in your pyjamas and dressing gown. That said, studies have shown that we are more productive when we are relaxed. Shaffay slippers are made to work on both fronts: they are wonderfully comfortable but look smart so that you feel properly dressed in your own home. Comfortable and relaxed, you will be much more likely to focus on the tasks in hand.
Slippers help keep your house clean
The soles of our outdoor shoes are often dirty and dusty and can also be a breeding ground for bacteria. Avoid transferring all these to carpets and floors by changing into slippers when you come home – and by providing slippers for guests. There is always debate about whether or not one should ask guests to remove their outdoor shoes, you can read our article on shoes on vs off in the home here. Having some lovely slippers ready for guests will encourage them to wear them and make the whole “would you mind…” conversation a lot less awkward.
Slippers = relaxation
Perhaps best of all, putting on a pair of good slippers is an instant way to relax. That wonderful feeling of coming home and easing your feet into some lovely comfortable slippers after a long and busy day is pretty much unbeatable.
Buying slippers – what to look out for
Of course, not all slippers are created equal. You will have seen that, in all our comments above, we talk about the benefits of good quality slippers. Cheap, insubstantial slippers will not confer the same benefits and buying them is usually a false economy. So, what should you look for? We think these are the key things:
- Good Materials – make sure that your slippers are made of high-quality materials that are soft and just a little stretchable. Slippers that are made with high-quality materials will last much longer, as well as providing the comfort and support that your feet really need.
- Fit – Your slippers should fit properly with enough room at the toe and secure around the heel to ensure that they will not slip off too easily.
- Support – Make sure that your foot feels supported. Ideally with a soft but supportive inner sole.
- Non-slip sole – Avoid slippery slippers! Those with suede or fabric soles can become extremely slippery with wear. Flexible rubber soles are best.
- Heel Height – A little lift helps support the feet and protect them from hard surfaces. Look for no more than 2.5cm or an inch of height.
Shaffay slippers have been created for all these and to look elegant too. Shaffays are crafted from extremely soft Nappa (lamb) leather which is strong but has a little give, so that they are both instantly comfortable and mould beautifully to your feet over time. The Nappa leather upper is lined with furry fabric for warmth and comfort. The mule shape comes up high on the front of the foot and graduates down towards the heel. That means that the foot is well supported and will not fall out of the slipper while still making it easy to slip on and off. It also gives an elegant, clean line to the design. Your foot nestles into a sumptuous memory foam inner sole and the outer sole is a light, strong, flexible, non-slip rubber. To top all this, our first, Signature, collection comes in four lovely colourways. The overall look is elegant and understated. As we said, not all slippers are created equal. Shaffays are a cut above. Slipper season is just the time to treat yourself to a pair.