Slippers. No, we’re not talking about the ruby-red ones Dorothy wore in The Wizard of Oz. But rather the warm, comfy slip-ons for relaxing indoors. Somehow, the idea of house shoes has fallen out of favor. Okay, the name may have something to do with it. Retailer JD Williams reported to The Guardian that their slipper sales have plummeted by a whopping 72 percent since last year. But it turns out walking around barefoot or in only socks, is a bad idea for your feet, and can harm your overall health.
Here’s why: Our feet evolved to walk on softer surfaces, like dirt and sand. With all of the tile, hardwood, and marble now in our homes, going shoeless means we’re spending too much time on unforgiving surfaces. Instead of the ground contouring to your feet, you contour to the ground. And that’s bad because “[it] causes our foot to collapse, which can lead to a tremendous amount of stress, not only to the foot, but to the rest of the body, too,” explains podiatrist Miguel Cunha with Gotham Footcare in New York City. The cushioned support of slippers prevents this, helping you avoid bunions, tendonitis, and pain in your knees and back.
More good reasons to embrace slippers
So why not just wear shoes indoors? Well, it’s a dirty world, even inside your house. Keep out as many harmful germs as you can by trading your outside shoes for slippers as soon as you get home. Consider: “If you wear shoes for more than a month, 93 percent will have fecal bacteria on the bottom of them,” microbiologist Charles Gerba tells Today. Dubious credit goes to public restrooms and pets.
Added bonus alert! Slippers can actually help you get to sleep by keeping your feet toasty warm before bedtime. Per the National Sleep Foundation, “Heating cold feet causes vasodilation — dilation of the blood vessels — which may tell the brain that it is bedtime.” Apparently, when those blood vessels open up, heat is redistributed throughout your body and puts it in sleep mode.
So, whether you opt for giant, fluffy bunnies for your feet, or a more mature (boring) option, you’ve now got a great excuse to go slipper shopping.
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