When it comes to slippers, clearly some are better than others.
The materials used, the fit, the type of sole; all factors that contribute to the quality and price of the finished item.
But some slippers stand out from the crowd. Here is our pick of the best slippers ever:
Best preserved slippers in the world
Photo: Armenia Now
They’ve been called shoes but to all intents they’re slippers – and at 5,500 years old, the oldest ever found to boot. These Armenian slippers have been described as incredibly modern in their construction and styling. Each one is constructed from a single piece of leather.
It’s thought the owner would have first worn them wet so the skins would could mould themselves to their feet. They’re a modern women’s size seven – but not enough is known about early Armenian feet to say whether they were ladies or mens slippers.
Best Ballet Slippers
When Margot Fonteyn first danced with Rudolph Nureyev, in 1962, she was already 42 years old and contemplating retirement. But such was the chemistry between the dancers that she delayed her exit from performance by another 17 years. It was one of the most remarkable partnerships ever to exist in the ballet world.
Fonteyn was 60 years old when she took to the stage for the last time, performing ‘Le Spectre de la Rose’ with Nureyev. When a pair of Margot’s ballet slippers went to auction last year, they were expected to raise £12,000 – proof positive of the enduring appeal of this most gifted of ballerinas.
Most Famous Slippers
The most famous slippers of the silver screen must surely be those worn by Judy Garland in the 1939 film, the Wizard of Oz. Made from red satin and covered in glittering red sequins, the centre bows were edged in red glass beads and crystals. The original screenplay featured silver slippers, but this was changed to red to make more of an on-screen splash.
Incidentally, in real life, the shoes are actually a wine coloured dark red – made that way by costume designer, Adrian Greenberg so that they’d appear bright scarlet in technicolor. British film buffs were recently treated to an opportunity to view the slippers as part of an exhibition at the V&A museum in London. The shoes, on loan from the Smithsonian in New York are one of only four pairs thought to have survived.
Best slippers for keeping your toes warm
The warmest slippers in the world are the mukluks worn by traditional Inuit communities of the far North. Clothes made from caribou skins are considered essential for winter sleigh rides.
We live in a society that often presumes that modern synthetic materials are best. However, under laboratory testing, caribou fur performed better than both expedition and military clothing for both warmth and comfort.
So what’s so special about caribou hair? It’s the original and best hollow fiber. If you’re planning to head North of the arctic circle, best get yourself some mukluks.
Most expensive slippers
Amazingly, the world’s most expensive slippers are the same ruby slippers that Judy Garland wore in the Wizard of Oz. Well – nearly. To mark the 50th anniversary of the release of MGM’s iconic movie, the slippers were remade by New York jewellers, Harry Winston’s.
But instead of sequins and glass beads, the slippers were covered with real rubies and edged with diamonds. They took two months to make and are worth a whopping $3 million.
For all their magnificence though, we suspect wearing these slippers would be a dead loss for watching TV. The glare would be blinding!
Most respected slippers
Britain’s greatest wartime leader didn’t usually get out of bed until most of us have finished our morning coffee. But Winston Churchill wasn’t napping. He’d wake at 7:30 am, consume a hearty breakfast, open his mail, read all the national papers and dictate letters. Then after a wallow in the bath, he’d dress, make himself a whisky soda and go to his study.
Churchill’s predilection for bed, bath and booze wouldn’t go down well in today’s high pressure political rat race, but considering his achievements, it obviously helped him think. As well as being an inspirational leader, Churchill was the 1953 winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature. The prize was awarded; “for his mastery of historical and biographical description as well as for brilliant oratory in defending exalted human values”.