The Best Slippers

We recommend the $90 Haflinger AT slippers for keeping your feet warm and sweat-free when it’s cold out. After 40 hours of research and looking at 14 different slippers across two rounds of hands-on (or rather, feet-on) testing, we found the Haflingers had the best combination of comfort, warmth, support, and moisture wicking compared to top competitors. And they get better and better the more you wear them in. Made of breathable boiled wool, they’re soft but not stifling, super comfy, easy to keep clean, and, thanks to their latex hardsole, you can wear them for a quick jaunt outside to the corner store or the mailbox.

Last Updated: January 12, 2015
There's now a rubber-soled version of our runner-up, the Glerup Model B, but they're $135, making them an easy dismissal.
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January 6, 2015: After 40 hours of research and walking around in 14 different slippers, we’d recommend the $90 Haflinger AT to keep your feet warm and sweat-free. Not only are they more comfortable, warm, and supportive than competitors, but they actually get better and better the more you wear them in.
August 22, 2014: Added our long-term test notes after wearing the Haflinger ATs for the past six months.
These slippers are warm but not hot, soft yet supportive, very breathable, and have a hard rubber sole so you can go outside if you need to.

The Haflingers may not look like the soft, fluffy things you think of when you think slippers—soft, cloud-like piles of fleece, freshly shorn from a baby sheep. But we found that boiled wool is still warm, plus it’s a lot more breathable and easier to clean. Sure, in terms of pure warmth, you just can’t beat wool fleece, but for balancing warmth, sweat-wicking, and overall comfort, you want boiled wool—more specifically, you want Haflinger. If you’re sure you never want to wear them outside, you can save $20 and get the Haflinger AS, which is the same, breathable, supportive slipper, but with an exposed felt sole as opposed to a rubber-coated one.

Also Great

*At the time of publishing, the price was $95.

These look nicer and feel softer than the Haflingers due to their higher-quality wool, but aren’t as supportive and lack a rubber sole.

If the Haflingers are unavailable, or if you value looks over versatility, get Glerups Model B. While the German Haflingers are the best in terms of functionality, the Danish Glerups are simply delightful. They look great on men and women, are made of super soft wool that feels like kitten fur, and have a calfskin sole for added durability. Unfortunately, the calfskin sole, while handsome, is not good for outdoor use and provides no support, which keeps them from being a top pick. But unlike the Haflingers, they are available in “shoe” and taller “boot” versions that cover your heels and ankles (partially and fully, respectively) if that’s important to you. They’re now also available with a rubber sole, but at $135, it’s a hard sell considering the Haflingers are just $90.

Also Great
If you have particularly cold feet that aren’t prone to sweating, L.L.Bean’s Wicked Good slippers are deserving of their classic status.

But if you’re a diehard fluffy-slippers fan, you should be well-served by the L.L.Bean Wicked Good Moccasins, which cost $70 (women’s, men’s). They’re made of real sheepskin shearling that’s more breathable and stays fluffier for longer compared to their closest competitors. If you’re unsure of sizing, you’ll definitely want to go up (even a full size) in order to make room for socks when necessary. We like the moccasins because they provide good all-around coverage of your whole foot while still being easy to slip on and off without your hands, but if you want more warmth, the booties (for men and women) are also a good option.

Also Great

*At the time of publishing, the price was $25.

Artificial materials aren’t as durable, breathable, or warm as natural ones, but Dearfoams makes decent artificial slippers for not much money.

Finally, if you prefer something cheaper (though you’ll have to replace them at least annually) or if you’re a vegan, Dearfoams (for women and men) made from microsuede and EVA foam are decent for $20, but are not comparable to slippers made from natural materials. Artificial slippers in general tend to get smellier faster, breathe poorly, and are not as durable, but the Dearfoams are pretty comfortable if you’d rather not use animal products.

Table of contents

How we picked and tested

To narrow our contenders first from all slippers to our 24 finalists, then to our 12 testers, we looked at ratings and reviews from Amazon and Zappos in addition to blog articles and editorial roundups. By far the most exhaustive slipper overview can be found at Good Housekeeping. But beyond this, editorial is mostly based on style, not comfort, warmth, or sweatiness—and the latter details are what we wanted to measure most. So we had to do some work of our own.

After experiencing uniformly disappointing results, we dismissed (almost) anything with faux fur, microsuede, or microfiber.

We started with the basics: The point of a slipper is to keep your feet comfortable. That means insulation isn’t enough—a good slipper needs to be breathable too, which is why the best slippers are made from natural materials. I tested a few synthetic microfiber selections during my research for the back-to-school article, but after experiencing uniformly disappointing results, we dismissed (almost) anything with faux fur, microsuede, or microfiber. While they can be every bit as soft as their natural counterparts upon first touch, they breathe poorly in comparison and get sweaty and smelly much quicker. That said, we know that many people object to animal products of all types, so we looked into a few vegan options as well.

As far as which natural materials to look for, boiled wool and sheepskin shearling in particular are especially popular slipper materials because they excel in both breathability and warmth. They also wick moisture well and resist odors.

Boiled wool is made by shrinking knitted wool until it’s felted into a consistent toughness. This makes for a tight and dense material that is very warm, yet breathable.

Sheepskin shearling1 is made by removing both the skin and fleece of a shorn sheep, then tanning and sueding the skin with the wool still attached. It is then trimmed to a consistent height. This means the fleece is naturally attached to the leather. This is preferable to fleece slippers, which attach sheep’s wool to the outer layer—usually some kind of leather or faux suede—using a netted webbing. Fleece will have many of the same wicking powers as sheepskin, but we found that the vast majority of fleece-only slippers fluffed up the fur with synthetic fibers, which just don’t have the same breathability.

Beyond warmth and breathability, a comfortable slipper should be supportive. A little arch support goes a long way when it comes to slippers because a lot of them have none. This wasn’t easy to evaluate based off of product descriptions and spec sheets, but differences in quality were glaringly obvious once we had them on our feet. Some, like the Cabela’s slippers, were made of a hard, unbending rubber that was hard to walk on. Others, like our well-loved Minnetonka slippers, had a softer, more pliable rubber sole that bent with your feet and made walking comfortable.

Our main picks from left to right: L.L.Bean Wicked Good Moccasin (women’s), Haflinger AT, Glerups Model B

Our main picks from left to right: L.L.Bean Wicked Good Moccasin (women’s), Haflinger AT, Glerups Model B.

Additionally, we narrowed down to pairs of slippers that are easy-on, easy-off, like clogs, mules, and moccasins. They’re easier to put on quickly when you have to run to the door or the bathroom in the middle of the night, and they do a better job of balancing ease of use with warmth. Booties with cuffs are warmer, but if your house is so cold that you need ankle coverage, you might do better to spend a bit more on heating than slippers.

So with that in mind, we set out to figure out which slippers fit our criteria. After sifting through dozens of slippers and reading user reviews, we settled on a sweet spot for pricing of around $60-$100. There’s no need to pay $110 for a pair of slippers when you can get high-quality materials and construction for less than $100. Similarly, you don’t want to go too cheap: Drop too far below $60, and you’ll get slippers lacking in support with synthetics mixed in, which can make them flimsy or hot.

We had two testers (one male, one female) try on all of the slippers in our final list. After eliminating the ones that had obvious flaws—very flimsy, quick to overheat, or terribly sized—we were left with six brands for more serious consideration: the Haflingers, the Giesswein Ammerns, the Ugg men’s Scuffs and women’s Scuffette II, the Minnetonka Mules for women and Moccasins for men, the L.L.Bean Wicked Goods, and the Acorn Ewe Collar for women and Romeo II for men.

After narrowing down the field, both testers wore each pick on both bare and sock-covered feet for at least a week—often longer, for our top picks. While doing so, we noted fit issues, whether they stayed on our feet while walking up and down stairs, how warm they were both indoors and out, whether we experienced any unusual pain or discomfort, and if they showed any signs of wear and tear.

Not much changed in the year since we first looked into slippers, and that includes our longterm test pair of Haflingers, which have held up remarkably well. In a subsequent round of testing in late fall 2014, we added Glerups into the mix upon commenter request, and checked out L.L.Bean’s updated Women’s Camp Moccasin, which forgoes the fluffy collar for a more subdued look.

Our pick

These slippers are warm but not hot, soft yet supportive, very breathable, and have a hard rubber sole so you can go outside if you need to.

In our testing, the Haflingers outshone all their competitors by being good at first and getting better over time. While the initial lack of fluffiness is a turn-off, the benefits of these boiled wool beauties ultimately made them the favorite of everyone from the cold-footed to the sweaty. They’ll keep your feet warm without causing a puddle of sweat; they fit great (go off of your Euro size or size up if you want to wear thick socks), offer supple support to keep you comfy while standing, and break in super comfortably over time; they’re simple to clean and don’t trap dirt and dust; and they have a grippy, durable sole that’s hard enough for a quick jaunt outdoors.

What sets the Haflingers apart from most slippers is that they’re made of boiled wool—also often called felted wool or just felt. We admit that it’s a far cry from the fluffy fleece the word “slippers” might call to mind, but ultimately, we found boiled wool a far superior slipper material. While fluffy fleece feels better at first touch, the boiled wool feels more comfortable when worn for extended periods of time due to its superior breathability, and stays nicer for longer thanks to its odor and dirt hiding ability. It’s also softer than it looks, especially after a little breaking in. Indeed, there’s very little downside as renowned crafter Maddy Cranley explains at MaddyCraft.com (PDF warning!), “Felt is a warm, windproof fabric that despite its matted texture remains remarkably lightweight and soft to the touch.”

This pair of Haflingers is about 1 year old and shows few signs of wear.

This pair of Haflingers is about 1 year old and shows few signs of wear.

I found that I could comfortably go outside in frigid weather amidst one of NYC’s many snowstorms this winter with ten toasty toes and no cold spots.

I was a bit skeptical at first as to whether these slippers would be warm enough due to the lack of fleece, but these concerns dissipated early in testing. I found that I could comfortably go outside in frigid weather amidst one of NYC’s many snowstorms this winter with ten toasty toes and no cold spots. And when my landlady cranked up our radiators to an ungodly, hellish temperature, I barely sweat (and what little I did was quickly swept away—no uncomfortable lingering wetness). That’s a big departure from fleece slippers, which caused uncomfortable sweatiness in even the best ones. In these, my feet breathed easily.

While we originally tested these in the cold of winter, we’ve since had a chance to use them in summer and found them to be quite pleasant. I haven’t had any complaints in terms of heat retention or loss, and they don’t feel sweaty or clammy. On the other hand, L.L.Bean’s sheepskin slippers, despite being more breathable than other sheepskin competitors, still get uncomfortably warm in no time at all.

The Haflingers fit well out of the box and only get better over time.

As far as fit goes, the Haflingers fit well out of the box and only get better over time. Due to the nature of the boiled wool they’re made from, they stretched and adjusted to fit my feet. At first there was a little squeezing to contend with, but after about a week, they’re form-fit. I can slip them on easily while blind in the middle of the night and head at a rapid clip towards the bathroom. And don’t think that just because the wool isn’t fluffy they won’t be comfortable; sure, they’re not fleece, but the insides are soft and never irritating—even against bare feet.

If you wear your slippers every time you’re home, you’ll wear them a lot, which is why it’s crucial for them to be supportive and ergonomically friendly. The Haflinger AT ranks highly in this regard thanks to its molded latex footbed, which has arch support. The Plantar Fasciitis Resource calls the Haflinger AT the best slipper with arch support for women (though they’re actually unisex). In the review, they write that the Haflingers  “may not have the health industry notoriety or name brand that companies like Vionic has, but it offers plenty of support to those who have given them a ride… especially for the plantar fasciitis crowd. The insole comes fitted with a molded arch support to help adjust for proper alignment.” Basically, you’re getting a slipper that’s comparable to orthopedic slippers in terms of support, but without the dorky styling.

The good fit translates into good walking mechanics too. They don’t really flop around compared to lighter, looser-fitting scuffs (like Dearfoams), nor have they ever slipped off my feet unintentionally in a year of use. They do make a bit of noise with each step due to the rubber sole, but far less than other hard-soled slippers. That’s because the flexible latex outer sole is much softer than the thick, solid rubber soles found on more shoe-like slippers like L.L.Bean’s Wicked Good Moccasins.

Also Great

*At the time of publishing, the price was $67.

The Haflinger AS has many of the same benefits of the AT, including a supportive molded insole, but the outer sole is felt so you won't want to wear them outside.
The Haflinger’s waterproof soles mean that you don’t have to trade shoes just to get the paper.

We don’t necessarily recommend wearing slippers outside (such a good way to track in dirt) but the Haflinger’s waterproof soles mean that you don’t have to trade shoes just to get the paper.  But if you don’t foresee a need for waterproof latex soles, you can save $20 by getting the $70 Haflinger AS. These have many of the same benefits as the AT, including a supportive, molded insole, but the uncoated felt sole can’t be taken outside.

The boiled-wool Haflingers are also easier to clean compared to fluffier competition. Unlike fluffy slippers, the Haflingers didn’t have the obnoxious problem of dirt getting trapped between fibers deep in the fleece pile (because, of course, there’s no pile to speak of).

The Haflingers (left) feature durable rubber soles unlike the Glerups (right).

The Haflingers (left) feature durable rubber soles unlike the Glerups (right).

Granted, if you’re using your inside shoes properly, your bare feet should never touch the ground—but let’s be realistic. Accidents happen. Removing dust, dirt, and liquid stains from these is miles easier than it is with piled fur. Since the exterior is also made from boiled wool, it’s simple to clean. Unlike delicate sueded sheepskin slippers, the ATs are completely machine washable, which means you can easily and deeply clean them even if disaster strikes, like cat puke or spilled ketchup. According to the Haflinger website, you should wash them in warm water with mild detergent on gentle cycle for five minutes. To dry, stuff them with newspaper overnight and air dry. You can touch up with a hair dryer to finish if need be.

Associate editor Michael Zhao bought these at our recommendation and had nothing but good things to say about them: “I was skeptical at the $90 price tag at first because I’ve never been a big slipper person—not that I haven’t had them—they tend to make my feet too sweaty. For the first time in my life, I actually prefer wearing slippers to being barefoot. They’ve quickly become one of my most-loved possessions.”

Online reviewers are also big fans. At Zappos, 77 percent of their 128 reviewers gave the Haflinger AT five stars. At Amazon, it has 4.5 stars with 191 reviews. And Angie at You Look Fab says most slippers “either stretch out, lack support, tear, make my feet perspire or feel slippery. Haflinger has found the formula that is perfect for me.”

Flaws but not dealbreakers

Depending on where you buy them, the ATs might cost you a pretty penny. At $90, they’re definitely on the higher end of the price scale. But we think they’re worth it—too much cheaper and you run into dealbreaker after dealbreaker.

Pick your size based on your European size if you know it because conversions can vary from store to store and company to company.

We also found some reviewers complaining they aren’t snug enough—and it’s true, they do break in to fit your feet and have a roomy toe box to begin with. For us, that made them more comfortable, but if you want them super-duper snug, either size down or wear socks with your slippers (which isn’t a bad idea either way). Also, pick your size based on your European size if you know it because conversions can vary from store to store and company to company.

It would also be nice if Haflinger had a version that provided full foot coverage, including the heel. While we never had issues with slipping out accidentally, additional coverage would make for a warmer slipper. For now, if you want that, you should look into our runner-up pick.

The design is also nothing to write home about. While the AS model without rubber soles is available in a number of fun designs (including a number of cat-themed pairs), the more practical AT is relegated to mostly boring neutral tones and just a couple of other solid color schemes.

And finally, as previously touched upon, the boiled wool isn’t as instantly soft and comfy as sheepskin fleece. For the first couple wears, the shoes might feel a little rough against bare feet—similar to quality short pile carpeting— but we’ve found that stops quickly once you start wearing them in.

Long-term test notes

The Haflinger ATs have held up well over the past year. Winter is well on its way and I’ve been making good use of my ATs for warmth in the winter and for short jaunts to the mail, trash, and garden plot in the warmer months. The Haflingers remained sturdy and strong, and I found myself preferring them over sheepskin slippers because they just get less dirty.

Runner-up

Also Great

*At the time of publishing, the price was $95.

These look nicer and feel softer than the Haflingers due to their higher-quality wool, but aren’t as supportive and lack a rubber sole.

Glerups were recommended to us by a reader, and after testing the Glerups Model B, we are recommending them to you (if the Haflingers are unavailable). At $95 a pair, they’re not cheap, but you can feel the quality of materials and workmanship when you take them out of the box. While the Haflingers use a very sturdy wool, Glerups opted for a softer, thicker blend. It sheds a bit in the beginning, but once it settles down, these slippers combine all the good characteristics of boiled wool with the softness of sheepskin fleece.

Overall, there are few quantifiable or technical reasons to get them over the Haflingers—they’re not as supportive or versatile—but they just make us smile in the same way a cup of perfectly prepared hot cocoa does, and that’s worth something.

It is completely silent on hardwood floors, which might appeal to parents of small children.

Unfortunately the calfskin sole isn’t on the same level as the Haflinger in terms of support or durability—though it is completely silent on hardwood floors, which might appeal to parents of small children. Whereas the Haflingers have a separate sole and upper construction, the Glerups are more like a thick, inflexible sock with a leather patch on the bottom. That’s why the Haflingers remain our overall top pick. But if you can live with these shortcomings, your feet will love the Glerups.

The Glerups’ leather sole is handsome, but not waterproof.

The Glerups are also a good choice for people who want whole foot coverage from their slippers. We think slip-ons are better for most people because they’re easier to get in and out of, and you can always add socks for colder days. But if you’re willing to sacrifice convenience for warmth, Glerups are available in “shoe” for the same price, as well as a taller “boot” version that adds ankle coverage for $10 more.

The Glerups are now also available with a rubber sole for outdoor use, but they cost $135, which is simply too expensive. Besides, the black rubber dominates the once-playful aesthetic, which is a big part of the appeal of these slippers in the first place.

A fluffy sheepskin pick

Also Great
If you have particularly cold feet that aren’t prone to sweating, L.L.Bean’s Wicked Good slippers are deserving of their classic status.

If you’re a diehard fluffy-slippers fan, we have a pick for you: the L.L.Bean Wicked Good Moccasins, which cost $70 (women’s, men’s). There’s also a new Camp version for women that does away with the fluffy collar if you prefer a more subdued look. However, in testing, we found that it is a bit narrower in the toe than the normal, fluffy-collar moccasin, so size up if you have wider feet.

05slippers

The Women’s Wicked Good Moccasin (left) has a fluffy collar and detailing while the new Camp Moccasin (right) does not. The Camp version is a bit narrower in the toe though.

Of all the sheepskin slippers we tested, we found these were comfortable, super soft, warm, and not terribly sweaty. That’s because they are made from genuine shorn sheepskin shearling, as opposed to the fleece-lined-leather commonly found in this price range. Shearling is a 100 percent natural material whereas the fleece-lined-leather uses synthetic fibers to increase fluffiness and insulation. But the L.L.Beans also stand out when compared to other genuine shearling slippers. For example, Minnetonka is another popular shearling slipper brand, but they quickly lost their fluffiness after a week or two whereas the L.L.Beans remained fluffy throughout several weeks of testing.

It’s a trade-off between this and the Haflingers: These are indeed warmer, but that warmth comes at a price. Even though they were the least clammy of all the slippers we tried, they still weren’t nearly as breathable as the Haflingers.

If your feet get crazy cold in the winter and you don’t tend to sweat a lot, these might be a better pick.

So if your feet get crazy cold in the winter and you don’t tend to sweat a lot, these might be a better pick. (And if your feet get freezing, even cold to the touch, consider upgrading to L.L.Bean’s Wicked Good booties [women’s, men’s], which provide just too much overall coverage for most people, but will do an exceptional job of keeping the coldest feet warm.) But be warned: Our sweaty-footed male tester found the moccasins just barely more tolerable than the rest of the fleece slippers tested (which he uniformly disliked).

The sheepskin shearling is soft without being over-processed—it still feels and looks like natural wool fleece, unlike, say, Uggs.

Wearing the L.L.Beans feels like a warm hug for your feet. The sheepskin shearling is soft without being over-processed—it still feels and looks like natural wool fleece, unlike, say, Uggs, which feel almost artificial. They’re comfortable, soft, and fluffy—in short, they feel just like a slipper should feel—and the fleece beats all other materials out there (including boiled wool) in terms of pure warmth.

We’ve found the best sheepskin slippers, like the L.L.Bean, manage to keep you warm while still wicking away most of the sweat. “Even though the wool felts down, there is still air space in the fiber mesh that allows for the free circulation of the air,” Rick Hege told us. Hege runs Shepherd’s Flock, which creates handcrafted sheepskin slippers, ear muffs, cat beds, and more. He compared these slippers to wool car covers, which are still comfortable and cool, even in the summer.

The L.L.Beans offer enough arch support to ensure your feet are comfortable, though not quite as much as the Haflingers. The bottoms are made of an indoor/outdoor, thick, waterproof rubber good for short outdoor excursions, and topped with a memory foam inner. That makes them super comfortable, though the thick rubber soles basically sound like outdoor shoes when walking on hardwood floors.

Like any sheepskin slippers, their suede outside requires very careful cleaning and dirt tends to get caught within the fibers (unless you’re especially cautious). The fur below your feet will get matted down over time, so don’t expect it to continue feeling quite as fluffy as it will right out of the box. And in terms of lifetime longevity, these shoes likely won’t last as long as the Haflingers: Over time, consistent usage of any sheepskin slippers will eventually cause fleece to rub off, creating holes in the fur. Luckily, user reports indicate L.L.Bean’s lifetime guarantee is as good as it sounds, and if your shoes do wear out, they’ll happily replace them.

Budget pick (and a good option for vegans)

Also Great

*At the time of publishing, the price was $25.

Artificial materials aren’t as durable, breathable, or warm as natural ones, but Dearfoams makes decent artificial slippers for not much money.

As we mentioned earlier, $90 might be a lot to spend on a pair of slippers—although I’d argue that the Haflingers are more than worth the price. But if you really don’t want to spend much on your slippers, we recommend Dearfoams Microsuede Clog Slippers for women, which cost around $20 (and apparently you can get them in-store at Costco for $10). Their DM634 slipper is the most similar men’s option, available on Amazon (although if you’re a man with small to medium feet, we’d recommend just going with the women’s shoes). Good Housekeeping rated Dearfoam’s Quilted Clogs (all the same except for the name and outer style) highly, applauding their indoor/outdoor sole, comfort, and ease of cleaning.

They’re made of microfiber and, like many of the other artificial slippers we tested previously, they got hot and sweaty quickly—although they were among the best at maintaining breathability. They also avoided the tendencies of artificial fabrics to stretch uncomfortably over time, still holding the same shape months after first use, unlike, say, the Minnetonka Cally, which started large and just got more misshapen and uncomfortable over time.

As a general rule, we don’t think artificial fabrics are the way to go for a slipper.

As a general rule, we don’t think artificial fabrics are the way to go for a slipper: They tend to run hot, don’t breathe well, and get dirtier quicker (although they are easier to clean). But if you must, or you’re looking for a cheaper option, Dearfoams is a good alternative.

Competition

For a long time we thought the Minnetonka Mules for women and Moccasins for men would be our winners: They rivaled the L.L.Beans for most breathable sheepskin and were incredibly soft and comfortable. Until just three weeks into our test, when the sheepskin wore through to the suede. Sure, sheepskin will do that, but it certainly shouldn’t that quickly.

The Ugg Scuffette IIs are extraordinarily soft and comfortable, and if we were picking a slipper for women who care exclusively about comfort, they would probably be the best. But the men’s Scuffs were rife with problems: First, the dye used on the outer suede rubbed off on our male tester’s feet. Then the cuff running along the upper foot irritated and rubbed the skin, making them incredibly uncomfortable to wear.

The Acorn Ewe Collar for women and Romeo II for men fit very snugly and never loosened up to fit our feet in the time we wore them. This still might not be a dealbreaker—after all, some people really like snug slippers—except that they ranked lowest among the sheepskin slippers in terms of breathability. Each time I wore them, I was soon plodding around in a puddle of sweat. No fun.

The Giesswein Ammerns are very similar to the Haflingers, and they share many of the same benefits that boiled wool provides. But they lack the ergonomic foot support and overall feel much flimsier. For only $3 in savings, it’s not worth downgrading the footbed so drastically.

Mahabis are another felted slipper that’s been gaining a lot of buzz this year in the design and product blog world due to their clean lines and removable rubber soles that come in different colors (they’ve even won some awards). But for $80, we would expect them to be made of real boiled wool felt as opposed to the artificial polyester felt used in these slippers. This means losing out on the natural odor resistance of wool. The insulating lining does contain 30 percent wool, but considering you can get all-wool Haflingers for just $10 more, or L.L.Beans for $10 less, this is not a great value.

We looked at the Cabela’s women’s and men’s shearling slippers and found the EVA soles to be stiff, unforgiving, and generally uncomfortable. The fur inside was also uncomfortable and a bit rough.

The Old Friend slipper we tested—the Ladies’ Scuff—had enough problems to convince me it wasn’t worth testing more. Despite my following sizing directions perfectly, it was so small that only my friend with a shoe size two smaller than mine could fit comfortably inside. In addition, the sheepskin quickly wore down and wasn’t nearly as soft or as comfortable as the L.L.Beans’—which makes sense, considering its low price, which indicates that some artificial fibers are threaded in somewhere.

The Sorel Nakiska slippers have quite the fan base, with a 4.6-star rating on Amazon with 381 reviews. We tested those alongside the equally beloved men’s Falcon Ridge slippers, and found their wool-acrylic blend lining too sweaty and stifling. For the price, they’re decently comfortable, but compared side-to-side with the L.L.Beans, there’s no competition. Plus, user reports of these shoes quickly falling apart make them a no-go.

The EMU Australia women’s Jolie and men’s Bubba felt true to their low prices: The sole felt unforgiving and cheap, and the sheepskin felt artificial and not breathable.

We had the same problems with Tamarac’s women’s Fluff and men’s Clog—unbreathable, tough to walk in, and uncomfortable.

Wrapping it up

The absolute best slippers for almost everyone—especially the sweaty-footed everyone—are the Haflinger AT slippers, which cost $90 at Amazon. They’re warm enough for winter, breathable for summer, soft and comfortable, and wearable indoors or out. If they’re sold out, or if you prefer a softer fabric and sole, check out Glerups—these are warm but still breathable and nearly silent when walking indoors, but they’re not supportive, nor can they be worn outside. If you really want something fluffy, or your feet run cold, look towards L.L.Bean’s Wicked Good Moccasins (women’s, men’s), which were more breathable than any other sheepskin slipper. And for a budget pick (or if you don’t want any animal products in your slippers), the Dearfoams clog slippers are your best bet.

Footnotes:

1. Technically, shearling refers exclusively to lambskin that has only been shorn once. This is a very desirable, but expensive slipper material. Sheepskin, or sheepskin shearling can refer to sheepskin from an adult sheep that has been shorn several times. It’s like veal vs beef. Rick Hege, owner of boutique shearling manufacturer Shepherd’s Flock, has written in some detail on what the difference between shearling and sheepskin is here, but from researching different styles, manufacturers, models, etc., we found many manufacturers use the terms interchangeably for the same product. Hege explains that “Some are outright lying. Others are just too clueless to know.” But basically, unless your slippers are really expensive, you’re getting sheepskin shearling. Jump back.

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Sources

  1. Corrie Pikul, Slippers That Won't Slack Off (Until You Do), The Oprah Blog, January 27, 2012
  2. Maddy Cranley, MaddyCraft.com (PDF)
  3. Angie, The best slippers, You Look Fab, January 8, 2008

Originally published: January 6, 2015

  • Mike

    I work from home in New England, so I’m in slippers 8-9 months a year. I’ve tried many of these (that Haflinger top seam has always been uncomfortable), but my favorite isn’t listed. They’re called Glerups and are made in Denmark: https://www.glerups.dk/

    I’m still on my first pair, which I purchased over 4 years ago. They’re nearly perfect in terms of breathability, warmth, comfort, and odor resistance. The one downside is that they do shed a little during the first few weeks of wear, but this goes away quickly, and you’re left with one comfy pair of slippers. I like them so much, they are a go-to holiday gift for loved ones.

    • TheLievense

      I also work from home in New England and €80 (or almost $110USD) is a bit pricey. I’ve found that the LL Bean Wicked Good Slip-ons are by far the best bet (http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/19000?feat=503402-GN3&page=men-s-wicked-good-slip-ons) and at $69 are far more affordable. Plus they don’t look like slippers in the same way that the moccassins do and they actually have a back (which is ESSENTIAL when stepping out into light snow in New England).

    • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

      Yep they’re our runner-ups now!

  • Dad’s Knee

    Jamie, how did the Haflinger’s fair in terms of “slip?” I had a pair of slippers but found myself uncomfortably curling my toes when walking up stairs or on high friction surfaces in order to keep the the slippers from, er, slipping off. Do they conform and grip (correctly sized, of course) your foot enough to stay put? Thanks!

    • Jamie Wiebe

      That’s a fantastic question. I found myself slipping out of the Haflingers MUCH less often than any of the sheepskin slippers — anecdotally and without having specifically researched this, I find the sheepskin on the bottom of the slippers creates, well, a more slippery surface. :) There’s no back on the Haflingers (as with most slippers, of course!) so I can’t guarantee your feet will NEVER slip out but I can’t think of a single time mine did, even when I was sweaty. Meanwhile I’m falling out of the Uggs I’m wearing right now (just because they were closer to my bed) left and right and it’s very obnoxious.

      • Dad’s Knee

        Just what I needed to hear. Thanks, Jamie!

  • http://thinkweirdthoughts.blogspot.com Phira

    I’m a native New Englander and I’ve been wearing Haflinger clogs since I was 12 years old and got over the whole, “I don’t want to wear shoes without a back” business. I don’t have slippers, just clogs, but I wanted to chime in about the brand in general.

    My Haflinger clogs last a long time. My first pair lasted for 9 years, and I’ve had my current pair for about 5. They’re certainly showing wear and don’t look new by any means, but they’re still going strong. The felted wool is exactly as described; it keeps my feet warm but doesn’t make my feet sweaty at all. They’re also very comfortable; I have fallen arches, but these mold to my feet so they provide arch support without being painful (most shoes with arch support really push on my arches too much, and it’s very painful).

    I always wear my clogs with socks, and they never feel like they’ll fall off. I don’t know how the slippers are in that regard, but the clogs are definitely not slippery. The clogs are so-so as outdoor shoes; they have amazing treads, but felted wool is absolutely NOT waterproof. My mom destroyed her last pair by stepping into a puddle, and I was very upset about nearly ruining mine during a sudden and unexpected storm (they dried out fine, though, thank goodness).

  • indolent83

    For anyone on the fence about these due to the price, check out Amazon. If you’re not picky on color, the brown version is $56 in many sizes. The navy speckle is $66.

    • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

      Good tips. Thanks!

  • Bryan Tarlowski

    Uniqlo house slippers. Can’t beat ‘em.

  • IanL

    i have now purchased two, and have a gripe that is probably not widely applicable — they seem too short for my foot. granted, i have thick feet (can’t wear boat shoes or loafers), but even after going from a 44 to a 45, trying to walk my kitchen for 10 minutes left my feet feeling a rush of blood when i finally took them back off. did your reviewers notice any give in the cuff? if not, i’m not certain i’ll be able to wear (sadly).

  • Peter

    I mailed Haflinger and unfortunately, the Haflinger AT is no longer being produced! :-( [“Das Model nennt sich “Haflinger ATB”, allerdings führen wir dieses Modell nur in der Farbe ocean. Auf Lager haben wir das Modell auch nur noch in der Größe 39. Da das Modell ein älteres ist können wir es leider nicht mehr nachbestellen.”]

    Do you have an idea, if there is a similar follow-up product?

    • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

      We’re on it!

      • Rachel Baker

        Hi! Are there any updates on this yet? I’d love to get some slippers for a holiday gift, and you really sold me on the Haflinger AT, so I’d appreciate learning if there is a substitute. Thanks!

        • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

          Not yet – but if you need to pull the trigger, you could do much worse. The Haflinger is still a valid choice – as are the other picks in this guide!

          • Rachel Baker

            Thank you for responding, Tony! I look forward to reading your picks in a future article.

          • Rachel Baker

            I did indeed purchase them–and the recipient absolutely loves them!

          • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

            Wonderful! They ended up being our top picks again too!

        • Michael Zhao

          After additional testing (and a year of long term testing), the top pick and sheepskin pick are both staying the same. Buy with confidence :)

  • Rod Butler

    I agree with the LL Bean slipper pick that has a rubber sole for short outdoor jaunts.
    They have been working great for me in the Northeast with cold floors.

  • UPB13

    I bought a pair of these on your recommendation about 3 months ago. Got them for about $20 less on Amazon. I am absolutely in love with them. So far it’s only been summer, but I wear them sometimes for hours and never sweat in them. I haven’t had a winter in them yet, but I can’t imagine they’ll be any different. **** review.

    • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

      Glad you like them!

  • Liquidretro

    What about something with a back? Wanting something that will stick to my foot a bit better. How is the arch support as well?

    • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

      Working on an update!

    • https://twitter.com/mhzhao Michael Zhao

      Arch support is decent and about on par with typical sneakers. They’re not orthopedic though.

    • https://twitter.com/mhzhao Michael Zhao

      The LL Beans are available with a back if that’s important to you.

  • Laura Walton

    Hi, in your picture with the caption “some of our favorites” what is the slipper on the far left? Thank you.

  • fruitpunch.ben

    “It would also be nice if Haflinger had a version that provided full foot coverage, including the heel.”

    They do! Not sure how you missed it… It’s called the ATB. It’s a lot less popular than the AT, and therefore harder to find, especially at a good price. But I had to order this one because I found my foot would slip out of the AT, and I love them. Just as comfortable as the AT, but with a firmer fit

    http://www.amazon.com/Haflinger-Womens-Atb-Slip-On-Loafer/dp/B003ICW424

    • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

      Thanks! Forwarded along

    • Liquidretro

      Do they have a men’s version?

  • Courteous D

    My main complaint with the Haflingers is that the rubber soles leave black scuff marks all over my floors. (I do clomp around, it’s true, and the marks wipe off easily, but it’s still a hassle). Mine are older, though, so this might be something they’ve already addressed?

    • https://twitter.com/mhzhao Michael Zhao

      I haven’t seen any scuff marks on my hardwood floors and it’s not a commonly noted issue in user reviews, so I think it’s probably been addressed.

      • http://www.kileydorton.com Kiley D

        I don’t think it’s been addressed. Been wearing mine every day for the past 3 weeks and even when I’m being careful there are a few scuff marks here and there. I’d recommend the no-sole option for those with wood floors.

  • Kari C

    I haven’t had good luck with the Haflingers and the company has horrible customer service. The soles on the AS style come apart as the stitching wears and the felt liners that covers the rubber insoles (both styles) come unglued and wear quickly. Next time I’ll try the Glerups.

    • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

      Haflinger has terrible customer service or Zappos does? Because IIRC Zappos has really decent customer service. Have you considered buying through them (or Amazon)?

      • Kari C

        I’m referring to Haflinger customer service regarding slippers I’ve already purchased. I won’t be purchasing their slippers again from any store.

        • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

          What I meant was which store did you buy them from. If you buy them from a merchant like Zappos or Amazon, they’ll replace things, send you new models, or give you a refund. Always nice to have a buffer company that does those things if you have a problem.

          Sorry you had a poor experience. I’ve not been able to find any other reports of them falling apart as you claimed, or having unsatisfactory customer service. Not saying that it didn’t happen – it’s just not a common issue apparently.

          The Glerups are great too! Hope you like them. I prefer the Minnetonka Moccasins personally. Best slipper/casual shoes I’ve ever owned.

          • Kari C

            If you read the critical comments on Amazon, others mention the same issues.

            Regarding Haflinger customer service, the only way to contact the company is through a web form. I inquired about purchasing replacement liners for the slippers I currently own (http://www.amazon.com/Haflinger-Womens-Doggy-Slipper-Earth/dp/B0042L3M3K/) and it took 7 weeks for an initial response and then another couple weeks of of back and forth with a rep (who was clearly not customer service-focused), to find out they only sell them to retailers in bulk. Then I spent additional time trying to locate a retailer near me that might have them, with no luck.

          • https://twitter.com/mhzhao Michael Zhao

            That sucks. I’m sorry to hear that. This doesn’t appear to be as prevalent of an issue with the AT though.

          • Kari C

            Interesting how many negative comments about wear on the AT model, even in the “positive” reviews (4 star and higher).

  • Chris VanDoren

    Got a pair of these for Christmas based on your recommendation here – and they are fabulous. I wore them all day long on Christmas day and they kept me warm without sweating at all. Amazing. I have worn them a bunch more days since with more joy.
    I know Sweethome gets credit when I order after clicking on your link (which I always try to do) but do you get credit if I follow your link and put something on my wishlist and it gets ordered later?

    • https://twitter.com/mhzhao Michael Zhao

      Unfortunately not, but don’t sweat it :)

  • aed

    Glerups now offers a slipper and shoe with a rubber sole, I’d be curious to hear your take on them. I am not crazy about the positive heel on the Haflingers (or on any footwear, for that matter). http://glerupsusa.com/collections/glerups-slip-on/products/bg-01-grey-slip-on

    • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

      Thanks! Forwarded along

  • Katharine

    Happy to see boiled wool winning out! However a word of warning about the felt-soled HaflingerAS. I had 2 pairs over the past 3 years and the toe stitching on each pair came apart drastically after regular winter use indoors. The stitching is right where the toe meets the floor, covered with thin rubber cement that wore through quickly. The ATs look like they won’t have this problem with their stitching wrapped up above the floor line plus threading into the sturdy rubber itself. For now, I’ve switched to Stegmann wool clogs with cork and rubber sole, great for something shoe-like!

    • smileman

      Same problem here. I love them but going to give the competing a try.

  • RBNYC2

    I conducted my own slipper test and firmly believe that the Acorn Sheepskin Bootie II is the most comfortable men’s slipper available. It is extremely soft all around the foot, and the bottom has a thick layer of memory foam that takes all the pressure off your feet. They are also very highly rated on all the popular sites.

    • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

      I personally LOVE the Minnetonka Moccasin, but you should really check out the Haflinger :)

  • Jake

    I bought a pair of Ugg Ascots, love them. Not sure why you would review the scuff but not the ascot. Their reviews were way better and a higher count than the scuff on zappos.

    • https://twitter.com/mhzhao Michael Zhao

      Ugg slippers are nice for people with cold feet, but they’re not as breathable as less-treated sheepskin, let alone boiled wool. Glad you’re happy with your purchase though!

  • Jason Carlin

    I bought the Halflinger AS slippers 4 months ago a based on this review, even though I had doubts about backless slippers. Sadly, those doubts were justified. They’re completely unusable without socks, and even with a thick pair, I still find them edging off my feet as I walk. Perhaps the AT model are better for some non-obvious reason, but I typically prefer slippers with soft soles. Maybe I bought a size too large. Either way, it’s pretty disappointing for an $80 slipper.

    • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

      You might want to return them and try something with a back like our LL Bean Wicked Good Moccasins pick. Very nice with no socks & a nice, sturdy/soft back :)

  • http://lehrblogger.com lehrblogger

    I’ve been wearing the Haflinger AT slippers for about a week, and they’ve been pilling quite a bit and leaving little balls of wool scattered on my carpet. Has anyone else had the same problem, or found a way to mitigate it?

  • Chris_irish

    Looking at your “budget” pick (not willing to spend $80 on slippers), but the women’s Dearfoams you link to are currently “Unavailable” on Amazon. I see a few dozen other Dearfoams for women on there, is there another you recommend? Is there a reason you picked that pair specifically?

  • ssvarc

    I bought these slippers based on the review and have been extremely disappointed. My feet do sweat in these. Enough that the felt liner on top of the insole detached, and less then three months after purchasing these I can smell them from quite some distance away.

    Having never had that sort of issue with my shoes, etc., I can only assume that sweating directly into wool is kind of different. Perhaps like wearing socks for months at a time?

    To sum up, if you have sweaty feet you want to avoid these.

    At the moment I don’t have a recommendation but I’m looking at leather open toed slippers on the theory that those will cut down on sweat (both created and absorbed).

  • Jason

    I bought a pair of these on the recommendation of the article; I’m pretty satisfied with them.

    Since I work from home, I’m wearing slippers at least 10-12 hours a day. My feet are prone to sweating, but I wear socks with these, and it works well. They are warm and comfortable. I got half a size smaller than normal, and while it was tight the first couple of days, the wool did stretch and now they fit perfectly.

    My only complaint: black scuff marks everywhere. EVERYWHERE. On my chair mat, on the linoleum in my kitchen, on the tile in my bathroom; short black streaks. They do wipe up easily enough, but it’s somewhat annoying.