Slippers are sometimes referred to as ‘house shoes’. This is still true in Asia, where shoes are always taken off and left at the door before entering as a mark of respect. The word slipper comes from the verb ‘to slip’. References to slippers go back to the 12th century, with a dynasty officer describing types of footwear he had seen in Vietnam. Slippers were being worn Europe in the 14oos in a thong, mule style made with leather. By the 16th century slippers were worn by the wealthy in Europe using decadent materials such as velvet, leather and silk. The ‘Price Albert slipper’ took its name from Queen Victoria’s husband. This was a velvet slipper with leather sole, worn by the upper classes often during formal gatherings.
Slippers today are not just for the aristocracy. They have become a staple part of our footwear collection. The choice of slipper is immense; moccasins, mules, boots, slip ons, made from different types of materials; suede, wool, leather. Often outsoles are made from rubber or EVA. The most expensive slippers ever bought are those worn by Judy Garland in ‘The Wizard of Oz’, which fetched $2 million at auction in May 2001.