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“Furry” slippers: trend and style to face winter

From the origins to the current day, the evolution of slippers over time

slippers | shoestechnologies

The watchword for this winter season is undoubtedly comfort, and as we know, trends in the fashion world are ephemeral. This year, the trend of “furry” slippers has resurfaced, confirming that well-being and style can go hand in hand. Whether they are Uggs, Birkenstocks in winter version or Crocs covered in warm fur doesn’t matter, what is certain is that furry footwear has won the hearts of many. 

But let’s take a step back and see how slippers came to be.

Slippers have very ancient origins

slippers  | shoestechnologies
Babouches of the Middle East
Photo credit: Lynne Dahmen by Unsplash

The first slippers date back to prehistoric times, the oldest being nearly ten thousand years old and were found in 1938 in the state of Oregon. Among these, the ornamental babouches of the Middle East were decorated and pointed-shaped, used to enter places of worship. These are still used today in Morocco, making them a cultural symbol.

Even the Egyptians, six thousand years ago, invented thejewel flip-flops, with metallic details and gems. Also, very precious are the Chinese slippers that were shown off at court as early as 4700 BC, made with leather linings, cotton and woven rush coverings. In China, he used to use symbols of power such as dragons and mythological creatures to decorate slippers.

During the French Revolution, slippers – “mules” – became formal, initially used as chamber footwear, then began to evolve as formal shoes with a closed toe and open heel. It is also thought that slippers were used by French nobles as party shoes hidden under loose clothing.

And now we come to the modern slippers that we all know: who invented them?

slippers  | shoestechnologies
“Home” slippers
Photo credit: Van Samkov by Pexel

“Home” slippers date back to Japan’s Meiji period, from 1868 to 1912. The Japanese custom of taking off one’s shoes at the entrance of homes led to the introduction and development of today’s slippers.

slippers  | shoestechnologies
Prince Albert
Credit: The Royal Family

The Victorian era associated them with sophistication and embroidery and it is precisely in this period that the Prince Albert slipper was born, to be worn with elegant dresses or at home with silk dressing gowns, which became iconic in the old Hollywood aesthetic in the United States a century later.

slippers  | shoestechnologies
Venetian Furlane
Photo credit: Temy-calzature website

In Italy, the term “ciabatta” derives from the shoemaker’s profession that has been widespread since the Middle Ages. They were worn by peasants in the 15th century, but their most famous version was the Venetian furlane.

Moving on to the world of fashion, who was it that proposed the first slippers?

Among the extravagant Italian creations that derive from slippers we have the Venetian chopine with vertiginous platform, brought back by Salvatore Ferragamo in the thirties.

Today, there are slippers in a thousand shapes and colors and they have become a must-have of the summer season. Today, various brands offer models suitable not only for home use but  also for use, also extending their use in the winter months thanks to the addition of fur.

In 2015 Gucci introduced fur-covered leather slippers to its Fall-Winter collection, gaining great appreciation at that time. In the following years, other prestigious brands such as Balenciaga, Celine and Bottega Veneta presented slippers with fur inserts on their catwalks, transforming them over time into a trend.

slippers  | shoestechnologies
Photo credit: Gucci website

For winter, what are the furry slippers that are fashionable today?

After the return of popularity following the success of the film “Barbie“, as we can read in the previous article, Birkenstocks are experiencing a resurgence. In the past, they were considered shoes with an unattractive design and intended only for those with orthopedic problems, but today they have become an indispensable fashion accessory.

Perfect for summer with the Arizona model, and also suitable for winter with the Boston model, characterized by a furry interior that has recently conquered social media. At a time when loungewear has made comfort an essential requirement for clothing and accessories, Birkenstocks have become trendy winter slippers.

We cannot fail to mention the famous Uggs, cult winter boots of the 2000s that maintain their timelessness. The novelty of 2023 is reflected in the new models proposed, which are no longer limited to traditional boots.

On the contrary, we are witnessing lower and lighter Ugg proposals, real slippers, particularly appreciated by the new generations. Among the latest creations, the Tazz stand out, low and characterized by thick soles and soft sheepskin.

These models are conquering many celebrities, including Gigi Hadid, who sported them with a casual look, proving that these shoes are now indispensable.

slippers  | shoestechnologies
Gigi Hadid wears ugg tazz
Photo credit: Backgrid.usa

But it doesn’t end there.

Crocs are also back in fashion, always despised and defined as the ugly shoes of tourists, at the top of the shopping searches of many thanks to some collaborations designed by the brand.

In addition to the classic Colg model by crocs, covered with fur for the winter season, the brand has proposed an evolution with other winter models, such as the Stomp Lined Boot collection, of the and proper fur-covered boots, ideal on rainy days. Or the Furever Crush Shoe, a model for everyone padded with faux fur and a high platform, customizable with different charms that can be purchased in the brand’s channels.

The collaborations conceived and initiated by Crocs have contributed to the emergence of a new trend to be taken into great consideration.

For example, the collaboration with McDonald’s has led to the creation of a line of fur-covered rubber shoes, ideal for winter and characterized by the presence of the mascot, the cute monster Grimace.

slippers  | shoestechnologies
McDonald’s x Crocs Grimance Cozzzy Sandal
Photo credit: Crocs website

Or again, for Star Wars fans, an additional fur-lined model has been developed, which is also customizable. This trend has ensured considerable success for the brand, especially among members of Gen Z, who share content on social media offering advice on how to style these shoes.

The Crocs trend doesn’t seem to have an end

Those who despise these shoes will not be happy about it, but for Spring 2024 know that we can expect even elegant crocs.

This is confirmed by Simone Rocha who, after starting a co-lab with crocs, at London Fashion Week proposes these shoes covered with pearls, maxi-pearls and crystals, demonstrating how versatile they can be and endorses the theory of the wrong shoe, a term coined by the American stylist Allison Bornstein which simply consists of choosing the most unexpected shoe to complete the looks.

slippers  | shoestechnologies
Simone Rocha x Crocs, London Fashion Week
Photo credit: Simone Rocha website

A question that arises is:

Howdo you clean slippers with fur?

It’s not as complicated as you might think. Just avoid harsh detergents and  prefer natural products, such as a mixture of white vinegar and cold water to be applied with a microfiber cloth. For the most difficult parts to clean, you can use a damp toothbrush, taking care to make slow, circular movements to avoid damage to the footwear.

It is crucial to avoid washing your shoes with fur in the washing machine or tumble drying them. It is recommended to wash them by hand and let them dry in the open air.

By following these simple rules, you will be able to wash your slippers with fur without damaging them and maintaining their original appearance.

Do you already have furry slippers?

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