Editor's note: we're keeping this guide up to date with new house shoe information as it becomes available. Last update: April 22, 2020.
Congratulations, reader. If you're here because you're working from home this week, avoiding coronavirus or otherwise, enjoy the bliss. Put on those sweats, go shirtless, turn your bed into your workstation. Do whatever the hell you want, as long as your productivity doesn't dip without the internalized and externalized pressure of being surrounded by peers and superiors. As far as I'm concerned, there's only one rule: wear shoes.
Specifically, house shoes. I'm not going to go into some spiel about how covering your feet will make you feel more part of society and therefore more productive. This isn't even about work, really. If you're traipsing around home barefoot — or worse, in outside shoes — you're simply doing it wrong. And now that you're spending even more time inside your domicile, it's time to right that wrong you've done to your left and right. Your floors are dirty, even if you're diligent about sweeping and mopping, and there's simply no justifying accumulating all that filth on your pads before eventually going to bed (or going back to work). Also, house shoes are awesome. It's a whole new category of footwear to explore, and we're here to help you do it right.
To bring you to the light, we've put together a list of the best house shoes to pick up. Whatever your budget, there's a house shoe for you, and you'll be thanking us long after you have to return to a workplace proper for the 9 to 5.
The North Face Thermoball Eco Traction Bootie ($60)
I know people love house shoes, but I’ve always been of the firm belief that footwear should be saved for the outdoors. Clean or not. But, with the lockdown caused by COVID-19, I had a change of heart in recent weeks: Since I don’t have time to wear all the limited-edition sneakers in my closet, I needed something to wear on my feet inside my apartment. Now, instead of the socks-only aesthetic I had adopted since I can remember, you’ll find me wearing The North Face Thermoball Eco Traction Bootie shoes around my apartment. They’re definitely an upgrade to being barefoot or the cotton Supreme x Hanes socks I would traditionally rock, as they’re perfectly comfortably, warm, and cozy — all the essential elements for braving out the cold New York City mornings.
Along with being insulated and water resistant, what makes these TNF booties even better is that they have a 40 percent recycled-rubber sole and an upper that’s made out of 100 percent recycled plastic. Most importantly, perhaps, they are super easy to get on and off, a feature that should be a staple of any solid house shoe. What I also appreciate about them is that they’re not heavy or make your feet sweaty, which is obviously the last thing you or anyone in your self-quarantine bubble wants. For $60, there’s really not much more I could ask of the Thermoball Eco Traction Booties — except, maybe, who have I become that I’m suddenly into house shoes? How did that happen?
L.L. Bean Leather Double-Sole Slippers ($119)
Let's start with the classic, the prototypical dad choice recommended by our leader and confirmed IRL dad, Josh Topolsky. It's a timeless choice made with premium leather and lined with the great joy that is flannel. Treat yourself to the softness and warmth, and you'll be yelling at people to stop leaving the lights on in no time.
Needles Butterfly Embroidered Mules ($476)
Another possibility: skip a generation and invoke the sophisticated grandfather. That is, if your sophisticated grandfather shared the same favorite purveyor of track pants as your favorite rapper. These aren't made of velvet, instead, it's grain leather, but the royal purple still looks just as deserving of a smoking jacket to match. Even better, Needles' signature butterfly embroidery will have you looking like you're at the forefront of what's hip.
Acorn Unisex Slipper Sock ($33.34)
Look at this thing: it's an upgraded thicc sock. This recommendation comes courtesy of our Ryan Houlihan, who I assume spends his time at home near a fire, drinking exotic teas, and reading the classics. What else would one do in these puppies?
Subu Indoor Outdoor Slippers ($69)
These Japanese imports are having something of a moment, but fear not joining in for looking too trendy. They're simply practical, tasteful, and comfortable. The puffer-like construction provides just the right amount of warmth, and the soles are practical enough to wear out into the real world. But don't do that, unless you've got a pair for out there where it's gross and another for inside where it's considerably less so. Remember: house shoes.
The North Face Tent Mules ($45)
Similar to the Subus are these delightfully named Tent Mules, which are my personal choice for home. The Thermoball lining is a hug from the outdoorsman gods, otherwise feeling like you're walking barefoot. I don't want to be encumbered by a structured sole in my apartment, and there's still enough traction to make sure I don't fall on my ass.
Suicoke Mura-Mab ($260)
Suicoke is making the coolest sandals around right now, with silhouettes you'll want to proudly bear ankle in for the world to see. Unlike Suicoke's more elaborate strap options, this fuss-free construction is perfect for sliding on and off at home. The red bungee cords are a sharp detail, sure to appease those who appreciate the little things.