No matter who you are, where you live, or what you do, I think it’s safe to say no one’s life is the same as a few months ago. While footwear is nowhere near the most important subject on our collective radar these days, it’s still a meaningful part of our everyday lives (ask anyone who’s spent a long day in painful shoes). But here too, things have changed. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s noticed entire categories of shoes in my closet that have gone unworn for months. It doesn’t take more than an informal poll to learn that no matter what someone’s pre-pandemic shoe wardrobe looked like, these days casual comfort is key. So now seems like an especially good time to feature some of our favorite shoes that are comfortable enough to wear all day around the house, but style-wise are a step up from typical house slippers. Our picks easily multitask between the home office, errands, and backyard meetups, keeping you comfortable all the way.
Let’s start with a shoe I recently tried for the first time, and it was love at first step. I was suffering from knee, hip and plantar fasciitis pain when I slipped on my new pair of Oofos slides, and quickly came to understand why Oofos calls their shoes “recovery footwear.” The relief was immediate. Oofos’ proprietary OOfoam technology absorbs 37% percent more impact than traditional footwear materials, reducing pressure on feet and joints. And their patented footbed both cradles and supports arches to significantly reduce exertion in the ankles. They feel great. I have the slide sandal, but for a more refined look (or cooler temps), Oofos makes shoes, closed-toe clogs and cozy boots. Oofos also makes sandals and shoes for men. Available from Oofos.com, Zappos, and Amazon, $60-up.
For many folks, this year’s summer footwear wardrobe can be summed up in one shoe: Birkenstock sandals. If this describes you, and you’re facing the uncertainty of what to wear when autumn comes around, we’ve found a great option – the Birkenstock Buckley clog. Online reviewers rave about the cute retro styling of this moc-toe clog, which also incorporates classic Birkenstock comfort features like a cushioned and contoured leather-lined footbed and a shock-absorbing cork midsole. The look is slightly upscale from the Birkenstock clogs you may have seen in the past, making the Buckley a perfect go-anywhere style for fall. The Birkenstock Buckley is also available in a cozy shearling-lined version to keep your feet toasty all winter. Available at Zappos and Nordstrom, $140-$170. Please note: the Birkenstock Narrow width accommodates both traditional narrow and medium widths.
When we first started thinking about this category of super-comfortable-but-nicer-than-slippers shoes, Olukai was one of the first brands that came to mind. Part of the reason is the brand’s unique and much-loved Drop-In Heel feature, meaning the shoes have a collapsible back which can either be worn up like a traditional shoe, or flipped down, transitioning the shoe into an easy on/off slide. How practical both around the house and out and about! Olukai shoes feature dual-density anatomical PU footbeds with a moisture-wicking lining, a removable, washable footbed, and good arch support. We love the casual-but-sophisticated styling of the Olukai Pehuea line, which seems tailor-made to transition between professional and casual looks. We lost count of how many times the phrase “super cute” came up in online reviews of this shoe, and we agree! The Olukai Pehuea is available with an airy perforated vamp, in a solid leather version, or in a number of other variations including a lace-up style, the Pehuea Li. Available from Olukai.com and Zappos for $85-$100.
Crocs clogs and shoes have long been a comfortable, affordable footwear staple for anyone, including folks dealing with Morton’s Neuroma, bunions, plantar fasciitis, and many other foot and leg issues. We featured Crocs in this post earlier this year as a great option for those spending more time at home. Right now we’re loving this lined version to keep feet comfy and cozy in cool weather. The Crocs Classic Lined clog is available in unisex sizing and a wide range of colors, including a fun, trendy tie-dye option. $49.95 at Crocs.com and Zappos.
If you have feet with special needs and haven’t heard of Spenco footwear, it’s a brand you should learn about. Accepted by the American Podiatric Medical Association, all Spenco shoes are based on the design of their highly successful, biomechanically accurate insoles with orthotic-grade arch support, deep heel cup, metatarsal dome, and cushioned forefoot. The Spenco Siesta Slide Arizona is a perfect cross between slippers and shoes, with all the above features plus a roomy toe box and cute style details. Available in medium and wide widths for $79.95 at Zappos and Amazon. Spenco makes a wide variety of sandals, shoes and slippers for both men and women. Check out the entire selection here.
Sorel has a new line of in and outdoor footwear. The styles of these cute slipper-shoes are each named for somewhere we might go in them – Mail Run, Errand Run, Coffee Run, and Bodega Run. These are perfect for at-home wear, but as the names imply, they’re also great for when you need to step outside but don’t want to put on “real” shoes. Sorel Go slippers feature cushioned EVA footbeds, soft linings for sockless comfort, and durable rubber outsoles designed for indoor/outdoor use. See the full line, available for $75-$85 at Sorel.com and Zappos.
I’ll finish this roundup by mentioning one of Kirsten’s favorite newly-discovered brands, Hey Dude shoes. She happily wore the Hey Dude Lexi slide all summer long and is looking forward to trying the Hey Dude Wendy as weather cools. See her full review here.
Is there a comfort-casual shoe we missed that you love for indoor/outdoor wear? Please leave a comment – some of our best recommendations come from our readers, so we’d love to hear from you!