Just when you think you really know your slippers, another amazing attribute is revealed about our idolised indoor shoes.
Yes, they’re comfy, practical, snuggly, even. But they also have an exciting secret life. And here are eight amazing slipper facts to prove it:
1. The history of the slipper is very sinister
The first slippers were worn by the concubines of a rich sultan in 12th Century Vietnam. Wearing slippers kept the concubines captive. Having only soft, slippery, thin-soled slippers on their feet meant the women could never survive escape through the rocky terrain outside the harem.
2. Wearing slippers outdoors is now considered high fashion
Slippers are no longer boring indoor shoes that only see daylight when you take the bins out. As early as 2008, The Urban Gent noticed men sporting velvet slippers “sockless with light colored denim jeans and button-ups”.
In fact, when it comes to taking dress slippers outside, the FashionBeans team are of the opinion that:
“this rakish footwear option is bold, brave and brilliant”.
Yes, you read it here – wearing slippers outside makes you look extremely fashionable. Just make sure they’re the right type of slippers (see fact 3).
3. The world’s most expensive shoes are diamond slippers
The most expensive shoes in the world are in fact a pair of two million dollar slippers made for America’s Got Talent host, Nick Cannon.
These dazzling slippers took Beverley Hills jeweller Jason Arasheben 2,000 hours of labour to create. Featuring more than 14,000 white diamonds set into white gold by hand, with a combined weight of 340 carats, they certainly are snazzy.
4. Converse All Stars fake it as slippers
Converse All Stars start life with a fine coating of felt-like material on their soles. While this usually wears off with heavy use, it means that, technically, All Stars can be classed as ‘indoor shoes’. It’s much cheaper to import indoor shoes, so this unobtrusive design feature helps canny Converse cut its costs considerably.
Take the poll!
5. Mystery of the monster slipper
In 2011 Tom Boddingham mistakenly received a 7-foot Monster slipper after misplacing a decimal point in his custom order. National papers including The Telegraph, The Times, and The Daily Mail all reported the story of the size 1,450 slipper.
6. How ‘Slipper Man’ got his name
How do you get a nickname like ‘Slipper Man’? Well, you’d have to prove a real commitment to slipper wearing. Derek Fan (AKA Slipper Man) entered the Guinness Book of World Records in 2007 for sporting the same pair of slippers for 23 years straight. That’s what we call dedication!
7. You have to wear special ‘toilet slippers’ in Japan
In Japan, everyone has one pair of slippers for roaming around the house, and another for trips to the toilet. Remembering to change out of your loo shoes once you have answered the call of nature is vital. According to Inside Japan:
“Accidentally forgetting to take off the toilet slippers after leaving the WC is pretty much the most mortifying thing you can do”.
8. Dorothy’s red slippers bought by angels
There are only four remaining pairs of the famous red slippers worn by Judy Garland in the Wizard of Oz. One of these pairs went to auction in 2011 with a guide price of $2-$3 million. When they weren’t sold, a group of angel donors – including Leonardo DiCaprio and Steven Spielberg – clubbed together to buy the slippers and donate them to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science.
A second pair were stolen in 2005 and a Wizard of Oz superfan has offered a $1million reward for information regarding their whereabouts.
So show some appreciation for the humble slipper
Slippers might be cosy and comfy, but they’ve had an exciting history. From trapping concubines to setting world records, these indoor shoes don’t do boring.
So the next time you buy a pair of men’s slippers, remember their exciting pedigree and smile.