The House Slipper Rules

Are you a barefoot OR slipper individual? Do you prefer walking around your home barefoot, or do you prefer the fuzzy house slipper? Are you the individual that would go to work barefoot if allowed? Do you keep a pair of house slippers by your bedside, slip them on first thing in the morning and dont take them off until you go back to sleep? Whichever you are, Im not sure you are doing your feet any favors. What do I mean?

We have talked in previous blogs about the risks of barefoot walking/running:

Foreign body



These risks are just as likely within your home. In fact, I would say your likelihood of stepping on something in your home is almost as high as if walking in your backyard. I wont rehash the risk of barefoot walking. Instead, lets take a look at your basic house slipper and try to determine if any risk might be involved.


Little to NO arch support

Minimal sole

Fluffy, warm, and quite frankly COMFY

Minimally to Moderately durable

o If you wear every week day AND all weekend, the life expectancy is low. Not bad if they are cheap.


NO support as we have mentioned in prior blogs, a perfect foot with perfect function is theoretical. Having said that, most people need a good supportive shoe. Without the support in the arch, the foot will collapse along the medial column (arch) and place excessive stress to the joints and tendons of the midfoot. Over time, joints may dislocate and tendons may become attenuated with possible tears. The most common tendon injured with collapse of the medial column is the Posterior Tibial (Major plantarflexor/invertor of the foot). If the Posterior Tibial Tendon is involved it can become extremely painful.

MINIMAL sole with very little material making up the sole, foreign objects have a less difficult time penetrating the shoe and then your foot.

COMFY yes, believe it or not there is a risk for being comfortable. If they are too comfy, youll never want to take them off. If you dont take them off, you wont wash your feet and then your feet will smell. I hope you realize this is the humorous portion of this blog. But you do run the risk of bacteria build up.

What to do? If you absolutely have to have a pair of house slippers here is what you should look for:

1. Good supportive structure. If you can bend the shoe in half and then proceed to tie into a bow, I would venture to guess that shoe has NO support.

2. Good thick sole.

3. Keep it comfy. Why wear a miserably uncomfortable shoe. You might as well be barefoot.

4. If you cant find a house slipper that meets these criteria, then I would recommend you use a good walking shoe (New Balance, Adidas, Reebok, etc).

If you have any foot or ankle related concerns, please contact Dr. Bowman at 713-467-8886 or visit

Photo Credit:Efraimstochter VIA

Category: Footwear

Tags: heel Pain, Slippers, support