Wearing slippers or any other footwear type for that matter that don’t fit properly can lead to a variety of foot conditions such as bunions, ingrown toenails, plantar fasciitis, and even circulatory issues. For some, it may be a little out of the ordinary to talk about how a slipper should fit – you’ve always known your foot size, so why would you need to know how slippers are supposed to fit? Wearing slippers might be a no-brainer, but finding the perfect fit is by no means ubiquitous. Read on to find out all you need to know about how your slippers should fit on your foot.
How should slippers fit? When you have your slippers on, there should be a half an inch of space between the slipper’s toe box end and your longest toe. This is especially true with slippers that have a pointy or tapered front end as opposed to more rounded ones. You should be able to fit your forefinger between your heel and that of the slipper. Your heel shouldn’t slip inside the slipper as you walk, nor should there be any uncomfortable pinching or rubbing.
The thickness of the socks you intend to wear the slippers is also an important factor to consider. Therefore, when you go slipper shopping, you will want to wear your chosen socks. As is the case with most people, you are likely to have asymmetrical feet, which means that one of your feet is slightly smaller or larger than the other. As a result, you will want to fit your slipper to your larger foot. The size of your feet tends to change even as an adult, so it is important that you measure your feet before buying slippers.
There is absolutely no reason why your slippers should not feel as good on your feet as they look. While your feet will let you know when the fit of a slipper is off, an inability to pinpoint exactly what your issues are can make purchasing them difficult.
How a slipper is supposed to fit
The length of the slipper
While you may be provided with in-depth information regarding the actual measurements on the sizing page where you are buying your slippers, there should always be a half an inch between the toe box of the slipper and your longest toe (which will likely be the second toe as opposed to the big toe in most cases) This is particularly important if the front end of the slipper is pointy or tapered, but the rule applies to rounded toe boxes as well.
The heel of the slipper
There are two ways to find out if the heel of your slipper syncs with your own:
- You can stick your forefinger between the heel of your slipper and the heel of your foot. If you find that your finger slides into the slipper with some space to spare, then you may want to go down half a size. However, if you smash your finger as you try to slide it in, then the slippers are too tight and you will need to go up half a size or a full size.
- Your heel does not slip inside the slipper as you are walking, nor will you experience uncomfortable pinching and rubbing.
Pay attention to your foot, not the salesperson
If you let a salesperson known that the slippers feel a little too snug on your feet and he/she tells you that they will stretch with time, do not listen. While leather softens and gives as time goes by, it is highly unlikely that it will stretch out enough without your interference to make a snug slipper fit properly. That being said, cobblers and some shoe retailers provide shoe stretching services, but this should only apply to a pair of slippers that you just can’t live without.
The thickness of the socks you wear is a significant consideration when it comes to how the slippers will fit. When you are trying on the slippers, ensure that you wear the type of socks that you plan to wear with the slippers you intend to purchase.
The width of the slipper
The width of the slipper is also important when trying to find the correct slipper fit. When you wear the slippers, the ball of your foot should fit comfortably in the widest section of the slipper. Some slippers, especially those made for women, are not designed to be adequately wide at this point, so you will want to be keen on how this particular area feels as you are test-walking the slippers.
The size of your feet
As often is the case with other parts of the body that come in pairs, you are likely to have a bit of irregularity or asymmetry, which means that one of your feet may be smaller or larger than the other. As a result, you always want to accommodate the larger feet when it comes to your slipper size.
Additionally, contrary to the popular belief that the size of your feet remains constant once you are an adult, the size of your feet changes as you continue to age. Consequently, you want to have your feet measured or measure them yourself before you purchase your slippers. The best time to take measurements of your feet is in the late afternoon or at the end when they are slightly swollen and at their largest.
The sizes and widths that are usually provided by slipper brands are meant to serve as guidelines rather than rules. Therefore, instead of relying on what is indicated on the box or stamped inside the slipper, go by how the slipper feels and fits on your foot.
How to measure your feet
Measuring your feet will help you determine what size slippers you should buy, especially if you are purchasing them online. Here are some guidelines on how you can measure your feet at home. You will need a ruler, a pen/pencil, tape, and a piece of paper.
- Start by taping the paper to the floor.
- Place your foot on the taped paper. If you are going to wear the slippers you plan to buy with socks, wear socks before measuring your feet.
- Make a mark behind the heel as well as in front of the big toe.
- Using a ruler, measure the distance between the two marks you just made in inches or centimeters. Do this for both feet and note the results down.
- Compare the measurements you get to the sizing provided on the website where you are shopping to get what matches your size.
- If you find that your resulting measurements fall between two slipper sizes on the chart, round up.
- Remember that there are different sizing charts for women and men, as well as for different countries, so be careful not to use the wrong chart.
Tips to keep in mind when choosing slippers
- Foot shape vs. slipper shape – When looking at slippers online, you will want to pay attention to their designs. Slippers that have a pointed or tapered front are typically smaller than their rounded toe box counterparts, so you may be better off going for a size above your own. If you have wide feet, you might want to avoid slipper designs that feature a seam on the area where your feet are the widest or pointed slippers in general.
- Half sizes – Sometimes when you measure your feet, you will discover that your feet are half-sized. In such cases, you will want to go for slipper brands that have half-sizes on their size charts.
- Seasonality – During the summer, you will notice that your feet are slightly more swollen than during colder seasons, so you will want to size up or down accordingly.
How to make your slipper fit
Sometimes, the fit of a pair of slippers is very close, but not exactly what you want. While it is always advisable to buy slippers that fit your feet comfortable, some slippers are simply too appealing or simply too good a deal to pass up. Here are some tips on how you can make some alterations to the slipper fit.
- Insoles – If your slippers feel a bit too big when you wear them, insert insoles on them. Insoles are available in most shoe stores and almost every drug store you will come across.
- Heel grippers – If you notice your slippers slip in the heel, try using a heel gripper. Grippy on one side and adhesive on the other, adhere a heel gripper to the center of the slipper heel.
- Stretchers – If you realize your slippers are too tight, use shoe stretching devices to stretch your slipper. There are stretchers available for adjusting both the length and width of slippers.
- Felt pads – If your slippers rub you the wrong way, you may want to invest in felt pads. A well-placed felt pad will reduce the friction that may result due to wearing slippers that are too tight.
Slippers should fit your feet without being too tight or too large. Making sure that your slippers fit properly will allow you to be comfortable when you wear them and allow you to preserve their quality for longer. On the other hand, an ill-fitting slipper could lead to a variety of foot conditions and affect its durability.