OVER THE past year, as many Americans began working from home—and letting their style standards dip—fashion and footwear brands from Nike to Gucci began pumping out inviting, slide-on shoes. Many were peculiar, backless models. These “you don’t even need to lift your heel” mules might suit a life of slovenly at-home shuffling. But are any stylish enough to wear outside? Men’s fashion editor Jacob Gallagher and sports columnist Jason Gay debate the issue.
Jason: Can we talk about slippers? Sweatpants and hoodies dominated spring quarantine-chic, but now that it’s winter, it’s all about slippers. Slippers are the new sweatpants. Discuss.
Jacob: Slippers keep you warm. That’s the practical justification but here’s the truth: We’ve all become lazy. Tying laces? That’s a chore. And no one’s going anywhere fancy. So slippers carry the day. Shuffle out in them to the store. No one will judge you.
Jason: Slippers are a blissfully lazy option. And I was perfectly capable of being lazy before the pandemic—I was lazy before it was cool. However, to me, a slipper is strictly a stay-at-home option. You can wear slides outside, but a slipper is never-touches-pavement footwear. Once a slipper goes outside, it’s ruined. Jacob, are you wandering around the supermarket in slippers?
Jacob: Never in true slippers, but in summer I did wear pool slides inside and out. I’ve since moved on to closed-toed, backless rubber Birkenstocks, which have proved warmer. They’re enticingly lazy, but if your vision is bad enough they kinda look like loafers. At least, that’s what I tell myself. Where do you fall on mules like that?