Best Slippers for Men of 2020
We came to love the overall design of the Sorel Falcon Ridge. Its best attribute is also the best example of compromise working as designed. The heel height on the Sorel is almost exactly halfway between the low and "normal" options out there. With this mid-height heel cup, you get slip-on convenience and walking security. Why aren't all slippers like this? Beyond that, the Sorel fits as advertised, comes in whole number shoe sizes, and has a sticky, rubber outsole.
The primary drawbacks of the Sorel are related. They're expensive, and at their price point in other slippers, you can get real sheepskin lining, which is more comfortable than the faux fur lining of the Falcon Ridge. For extended, against-the-skin wear, real sheepskin is better at managing perspiration and temperature compared to synthetic fibers. We don't expect budget products to have sheepskin, but at this price point, others are delivering real sheepskin.
The RockDove Men's Two-Tone slippers are truly slip-on and available at a very reasonable price. If you just need slippers for short shuffles through the house, these will do the job. The lining is smooth for even easy on and off. The insole, when new, offers nearly the most squishy cushioning in the entire review. Only one had a softer initial feel.
That soft initial padding will pack down with time and "mileage". Further, the outsole of the RockDove is the least grippy of any in our test. In side-by-side testing (literally, different models on different feet), these had the poorest traction on carpet, linoleum, and wet outside deck boards. We recommend taking care when walking on these surfaces.
We love the Ugg Ascot as an extended, all-climate, work from home option, and it's easy to justify the expense of these top of the line shoes. The natural sheepskin portion of the lining, covering most of your foot, moderates temperature and wicks moisture better than synthetic options. Over hours of wear, you will surely notice the advantages. In testing head-to-head for hours and days, we appreciated the natural sheepskin.
Choose your size carefully. We found our test pair to be a bit small, but that might differ with the natural variances in the sheepskin lining. These are also very expensive slippers. Finally, unless you size them way up (somewhat negating many of the benefits), you will have to use a hand or two to get them on. For many, this is a dealbreaker for a slipper, especially when there are competitive alternatives that don't require bending down.
The Amazon Essentials Men's Leather Moccasins offer an excellent value for their above-average walking performance. The full-heel design stays on your foot better than low-heel options but it's harder to get on. The faux fur lining is forgiving and smooth against a barefoot or sock. The outsole is a little grippier than average.
These slippers are low on insulation, not machine washable, and will require a hand for most people to get them on. None of these should be "dealbreakers" if you want budget slippers for extended wear around the house.
If you spend a lot of time walking around in your house slippers, we recommend the Isotoner Men's Whipstitch Gel Infused slippers. These offer a spectacular amount of cushion and support underfoot; in fact, more than any other model we tested. They're nearly as supportive as basic street shoes. The insole is contoured with basic arch support and a ridge "toe rest". Sized properly, you should be able to slip them on without a hand, but they're not as easy to get on and off as kick style slippers.
These Isotoners are expensive, and after walking around the neighborhood, we noticed the beginning of a failure on a significant seam. No other pair in our fleet experienced such a dramatic failure. This particular failure is small, but it shouldn't show up so early in use. If you need the foot support, you'll likely overlook such construction deficiencies.
The Woolen slippers from HomeIdeas are simple, slip-on house footwear. The model name is curious because there is nothing woolen about them. Aside from the rubber sole and some sort of foam hidden within, they are made entirely of synthetic fleece. The fleece is smooth and kicks on and off from bare or socked feet. Instructions indicate that you can machine wash these slippers. We like that.
Like any kick style slipper, the HomeIdeas entry isn't made for extensive movement up and about. Their best use is for things like short trips to the bathroom or to keep your toes warm beneath your desk. In terms of warmth, the two layers of fleece are insulating, but the bare heel lets cold air circulate freely.
One tester summed up virtually everyone's first impression of the Zigzagger Men's Fuzzy Microsuede with the observation that "they feel like walking on a pillow". These have the softest, squishiest insole. It's made with fleece and foam and will certainly compress with time and use, but enjoy the luxurious padding in the meantime.
We wish these were better for walking. The full heel coverage suggests that they should walk okay, but that heel slips right off while striding. This is sort of the worst of both worlds — the heel requires a hand to get them on but they don't stay on while walking. On the other hand, the heel cup does provide some insulation while at rest. Overall, we like the layout and wouldn't suggest that these slippers lose the heel cup.
The Acorn Moc scores very well in other reviews, and we can back up these claims. We only include excellent products in our fleet and the Acorn is a superb and aesthetically pleasing model. It's warm, easy to get on, and made with robust materials and tight tolerances.
On the other hand, the interior of the Acorn Moc felt lumpier than any other model we tested. Beneath your heel, an Acorn logo unfortunately interrupts an otherwise smooth and cushy footbed. Just behind each big toe is a prominent seam that you can feel distinctly without socks on. With socks on, both of these annoyances are lessened, but not gone altogether.
The NDB Memory Foam Slipper is the only low-heel model in our test that has a slightly "hardened" outer. This outer layer is imitation suede that sheds grass and leaves better than the fleece outers on the other budget and slip-on models in the test. If your slipper needs to include minimal walking, a price that is friendly on the wallet, and a need to occasionally go out in the yard, this is a good choice.
The overall quality is pretty low, with missing stitches and stray threads visible right out of the package. The insole is foamy, but not nearly as cushioning as other options available. In head-to-head traction testing, the outsole tied with two other models for the least traction in our entire test.
Why You Should Trust Us
We enlisted mountain guide and professional rest-day aficionado Jed Porter to lead the quarantined slipper testing charge. His attention to detail is matched only by his enthusiastic and authoritative belief that happy, healthy, and comfortable feet are the key to all the kinds of success.
We tested in the cold and blustery spring climate of Idaho's Teton Valley. As usual, our testing was objective, repeatable, and comparative between products purchased at retail prices. We balanced "real world" use and testing with a formalized investigation of each pair of slippers. We also tried to test beyond typical usage to bring out the subtle differences. Notably, we walked around the neighborhood outside to investigate both durability and walking support/comfort.
Analysis and Test Results
Our slipper review and testing cover a wide range of styles, prices, and applications. Whether you're new to the slipper world, just looking for something to wear during a temporary convalescence, or you're shopping for your tenth pair and looking to upgrade, our fleet offers a wide selection.
Note that we didn't score these products on fit, as doing so with slippers is especially challenging. When shopping for, comparing, and reviewing traditional footwear, you can usually rely on the marked size and make comparative fit generalizations. Some slippers are sized the same way as regular shoes, but some are not. About half of the slippers we tested are sold to fit a range of whole men's shoe sizes. Further, not all of them "break" sizes at the same point. We purchased all slippers to fit our lead test editor's feet that are size 8.5 to 9.
With the Isotoner Whipstitch, this meant buying a pair of size medium that's intended to cover a range from 8-9. On the other hand, the RockDove Two-Tone medium covers sizes 9-10. The Isotoners were a little tight, but the RockDoves were just right. Making direct comparisons of all the available size choices you have would be infinitely complicated. In short, if you have a choice, we generally recommend sizing up. Most people prefer loose slippers rather than tight ones.
Ease of On and Off
Easy on and easy off is what defines slippers. They aren't called "slippers" because you'll slip across the linoleum — though you might, in some cases. You certainly won't fuss with laces, and in some cases, you might absolutely need your slippers to go on and off without the use of your hands. All the models that we tested can be forced on without your hands, depending on your socks and the fit you end up with. However, models with a low heel slip on much more easily.
The NDB Memory Foam Slipper, Zigzagger Men's Fuzzy, and the RockDove Two-Tone are all heel-less slip-on models, and are definitely the easiest to get on and off. Close behind is the Sorel Falcon Ridge, which has a mid-height heel cup. You can readily slip it on and off, with only occasional readjustments to get your foot seated.
Next, in terms of the ease of getting them on and off, is the slippers with more rigid heel cups. The Ugg Ascot, Isotoner Whipstitch, and Amazon Essentials slippers all, if sized appropriately, have stiffened heel cups that stand up while you shove your foot in. Depending on your socks and such, you will often have to hold the heel back with a finger to get your foot inside.
The trickiest to get on and off are the soft-backed, full-heel slippers. This describes the HomeIdeas and ZigZagger options. The good news with these is that, for very short wear, you can simply step on the heel to press it forward and largely out of the way. Your footing will be a tiny bit lumpy, but the result is slippers that mimic heel-less slip-ons.
Sedentary comfort in your slippers is a function of their insulation and materials. Most people want their slippers to provide at least a little bit of insulation. All can do that, but some do it better. The all-fleece, heel-cupped, soft construction of the Acorn Moc and Zigzagger are the warmest. Next comes the real sheepskin of the Ugg Ascot. Sorel, befitting their winter boot pedigree, makes pretty warm slippers too. The rest, with either low heels or thinner materials, do not insulate as well as these.
Materials also influence moisture management. Essentially, natural fibers manage sweat and clammy feet better than synthetics. In our test, only the top dollar Ugg Ascot features natural sheepskin in its lining. It is definitely the most comfortable for extended, sock-free wear. Your feet won't sweat or gather moisture the same way in Uggs as they do in all the synthetic options.
Walking Security and Comfort
You shouldn't choose slippers for extended walking applications. That being said, any piece of footwear should offer at least some security and dexterity. You can shuffle around the house in any of these models, but there are some important differences. All three heel-less models are good for no more than short visits to the bathroom or something similar.
The mid-heel of the Sorel Falcon Ridge walks better than the slip-ons and better than even some of the full heel cup models. Among those with full heel cups, those with stiffer versions provide the most walking security. The Isotoner Men's Whipstitch Gel Infused earns its award for walking support and comfort. Its underfoot padding is the most robust in the test, and the upper can stay with your foot through hundreds of yards of walking.
Laundry and Care
You will want to deodorize your slippers at some point. Those that scored highest in this category include laundering instructions from the manufacturer. The RockDove, HomeIdeas, Zigzagger, and Isotoner all come with instructions for machine washing. We like this. The remainder include no manufacturer washing instructions. We'd also like to point out that the Ugg's use of natural wool sheepskin will reduce foot odors compared to synthetic linings.
Once you break in a pair of comfy slippers, you want them to last. All fleece construction seems to be the most flimsy, while real leather outers will usually last the longest. The Sorel and Ugg Ascot have real leather outers and are the most robust. They are also the most expensive. The Isotoner Whipstitch seems rugged at first, but we experienced a notable failure in some of the main stitching. The all-fleece options, like the Zigzagger and RockDove, will likely wear out faster than the rest. Thankfully slippers don't usually have to withstand abrasion or extensive abuse.
We dove deep to arm you with the best information on these top contenders before your purchase. There are plenty of excellent options here for you to consider. With slippers, we tried to balance competing demands and acknowledge the importance of value. The choice is now up to you.
— Jediah Porter