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Working from home? Ditch the slippers!

So many people now work from home for a portion, or all, of their week. They may spend only one day in the office for meetings, for example, and remain almost housebound for the rest of the week.

Whilst this is great on so many fronts: little, if any, commuting, a more relaxed working routine, flexibility for a better work/life balance, a more welcoming workplace…however, there’s probably one downside you won’t have thought of.

Working from home may not be good for your feet.

If you spend the majority of your time in slippers or other forms of unsupportive footwear, you risk fallen arches, plantar fasciitis and more. Though we recently described the journey of one man who has been barefoot for an entire year, it’s not something we’d recommend. His feet and lower limbs eventually compensated for his lack of footwear as he traversed rocks, sand and stone, turning them thicker and more calloused—however, all that would happen from a year of slipper-wearing would be aches and pains, and discomfort when you do wear shoes.

pair of comfy grey slippers on soft white bedding.

Supporting your feet, soles and ankles is important. Every step you make causes tiny ripples of shock through your body; this is why manufacturers apply sturdy soles to walking boots and memory foam trainers worn by sportspeople—this is to absorb shock and protect your feet.

It’s also easy to shuffle when wearing slippers. When you walk in shoes, you will pick your feet up more—to account for pavements, steps and the unevenness of surfaces more than anything else. Given that your home will not have these same hurdles, you probably wouldn’t even notice the difference, but your feet will eventually get used to shuffling around, and it may then feel unnatural to walk in shoes, which could invite an accident.

The lack of grip on the underside of most styles of slippers may not seem an issue when you’re at home; however, if you step outside on a wet or icy day—to the bin, to retrieve a parcel, to nip out to the car, for example—you may find yourself on your back!

According to a study by RoSPA (the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) eleven times more accidents were experienced by individuals wearing slippers than those wearing high heels.

ROSPA also say that common tasks could be made more hazardous by the wearing of slippers. Say you’re taking a break from work, it’s a lovely day and you see a few weeds in your flower bed. It may only take ten minutes to do…certainly not worth a change of footwear…but if you aren’t careful with your garden fork, you could end up having a nasty accident, as a pair of slippers won’t offer much protection if accidentally speared.

The novelty of novelty slippers

Then there’s the wearing of novelty slippers. It may have brought a smile to your lips to receive outsized bunny slippers with dangly ears from your kids on your last birthday, but this type of footwear is not meant to be worn for long periods of time. Some novelty slippers can see you walking like Herman Munster around the house—forget shuffling, you have to pick your feet up knee-high to clear each step!

woman resting with injured foot glowing orange to signify pain.

Then there’s the danger of walking up and down stairs with slippers on. Even wearing ‘normal’, and not outsized, slippers offer up all manner of risks. Mules, particularly, are dangerous in such a scenario, as there’s no back to slippers of this style and your foot could easily come out of them as you’re descending.

Another drawback from wearing mule-style slippers is that your feet have to work to keep them on; you may not even be aware you’re doing it, but your toes subconsciously grip mule slippers from the inside, like claws, to keep them from falling off as you raise your foot to take a step. Prolonged wearing of mule-style slippers, therefore, could cause your toes to become misshapen and claw-like, and you may experience trouble/pain when you subsequently wear shoes.

Though it may seem odd or unnatural to regularly wear your shoes inside when working from home, it will stop your feet from collapsing or turning claw-like.


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