Please Buy Yourself a Pair of House Shoes

Please Buy Yourself a Pair of House Shoes
Screenshot: (Uniqlo)

What other people chose to do inside their own homes is frankly, none of my business; what they chose to do in my home most certainly is. In my house, outside shoes are left at the door, in an untidy pile near the dining room table, and house shoes—a beautiful sort of shoe—continue on. This is a civilized way of living and an effective way of keeping the floors clean and your little tootsies warm. If I were running for president (thank god, I am not), this is my platform: everyone needs house shoes, whether they like it or not.

I have sworn fealty to the house shoe thanks to my mother, who is Taiwanese and has a never-ending supply of slippers for guests. Shoes are discarded at the front door, placed on a shoe rack, and from the depths of a closet, emerge a pair of slippers. Put the slippers on and go to the kitchen for a snack. Your feet are warm and the floors are clean. Everybody wins. My passion for the house shoe has driven me to evangelize to the staff of Jezebel about what house shoes are the best. Exhausted by my rantings and driven to irritation by my tirades of unrequested, unwarranted advice, I have been urged to share my findings with a larger audience.

House shoe preference, like many things, depends on the person. But a good house shoe is the sort that keeps your feet the temperature you desire and is at least marginally comfortable. Slippers are nice house shoes because that is their intended purpose. Crocs, my problematic love, also work, but the temptation to wear them outside the house is high, thus defeating the purpose of a house shoe. The point of the thing is to keep your floors clean, so if you wear your three-block radius shoes in the house and then outside of the house, well, look at what you’ve done. Get the mop, sweep the dust, and buy yourself some indoor shoes at once.

My preferred indoor shoe of choice is the simple sort of slippers found at your local Chinatown or Asian grocery store, usually seen lashed together with rubber bands in colorful stacks. They are but a thin layer of protection for your feet and prevent the nasty floor from touching the ground upon which you walk. My favorite pair, which have been worn to shreds and discarded, were purple with yellow hearts; my current iteration has a bamboo sole and a natty pinstriped upper. When I cannot find them, I am despondent.

My search for a more widely-available pair of house shoes has led me to Uniqlo, where I discovered a waffle-knit version of my beloved, pictured above. They share the same silhouette as the ones I currently wear, with an essential feature that I feel all house shoes must have: an open toe. These slippers easily accommodate a sock, if you like socks, and will also work nicely in the summer, when foot sweat reigns. They are like the suggestion of a shoe—a whisper—and while you will find yourself shuffling around the house to keep them on your feet, I assure you, that is part of the fun.

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