A plush pair of socks or fuzzy slippers are self-care 101 in terms of at-home footwear. But after months of quarantine and perhaps one too many days spent in well-worn slides, the elevated furry slipper trend is here to revive indoor style for winter. These fleecy, ultra-comfy, so-warm shoes constructed in shearling, alpaca, faux-fur, and fluffy sheepskin are like a hug for the foot, and a dressed-up footwear choice to accompany your loungewear, work-from-home looks, and party-at-home attire. But while traditional soft slip-ons may be reserved for the house only, these new iterations are cool enough to carry into outside life.
Even before quarantine, playfully plush shoes were synonymous with brands like Ugg and Birkenstock. Albeit polarizing to some, the shearling-lined Arizona sandal (often paired with socks) and Ugg’s colorful assortment of Fluff Yeah slingbacks hit cult status among celebs and trendsetters alike. These labels, and many others, saw a demand for cozy-chic shoes that go beyond traditional slippers. And so began the ushering in of stylish yet appropriate indoor footwear such as shearling-covered flats, easy on-and-off silhouettes with considered details, and cozily-lined styles with soles that hold up outdoors.
Sales surged earlier this year for Margaux’s so-sweet ballerina-inspired slipper. “Alexa and I both needed and wanted to expand our selection of at-home styles,” Sarah Pierson, a cofounder of the direct-to-consumer line, tells TZR. The duo has since launched two new designs — a soft wool-cashmere mule and faux-fur slides — riffing off a couple of their best-selling silhouettes. “The Slide Slipper, a riff on our best-selling mule,” Pierson explains. “Our new faux-fur Cozy Slipper was more spontaneous: When visiting a fabric supplier on my last trip to Spain in February, I spotted this fabulous faux fur and knew we had to spin it into something.”
Similarly, the ethical luxury shoe label, Nomasei, witnessed a customer craving for comfy yet versatile shoes, like the brand’s hotel-inspired slides. “Throughout the pandemic, we have seen the rise of cozy transitional dressing ideal for indoor-outdoor living,” cofounder Marine Braquet tells TZR. “We wanted the Hotel des Alpes slides to bring people a sense of comfort, relaxation, and overall wellness during these difficult times.” David Tourniaire-Beauciel, Clergerie’s creative director, considered foot support, durability, and ease of wear with the label’s new shearling-covered mules, establishing practicality within the trend's cozy allure. “I chose a masculine shape and outsole and added an anatomic insole in the back of the shoe for comfort to keep the idea of a home mule that you can slip on and off very easily,” Tourniaire-Beauciel explains.
The cozy shoe movement boasts more than comfort — for holiday occasions, be it an intimate, quarantine pod hang or a FaceTime session with family — it’s the ultimate finale to party-at-home outfits, from leisure-inspired to luxe. “As someone who is usually in heels, I think this is a fun way to wear slippers and still feel stylish and put together,” Veronica Swanson Beard, a cofounder of Veronica Beard, says of the label’s new shearling slides. “You can wear them with cute socks and jeans or sweats — they’re perfect for cold winter nights by the fire or just lounging around the house during the holidays.”
From the fleeciest flats to sumptuous slip-ons and fluffy and festive slides — even a couple of wee heels! — discover three major cozy-chic shoe trends ahead. Whether you’re ready to buy a new pair or browsing for gift ideas, take note of the edit to shop, as well as designer inspirations and styling tips from Pierson, Braquet, Swanson Beard, Tourniaire-Beauciel, and more.
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The Cozy Shoe Trend: All-Over Shearling
“We chose to offer the High Throat Ballerina in Shearling this season to add texture to the collection and a little bit of novelty,” shoe designer Emme Parsons tells TZR of her newly-launched flat. “I love the idea of wearing them with knitwear and wide-leg pants or leggings to feel refined yet cozy.”
“When creating the warm ballet flats, we found inspiration in sentimental memories from our Soviet past,” the brand’s co-owner Kate Zubareva explained in a press release. “There’s hardly any child in our country who didn’t experience wearing a shearling hat with pom-poms on the strings’ ends, that their parents helped them to tie up.”
“The question I had to answer for this season was ‘What would a cozy Clergerie shoe look like?” Tourniaire-Beauciel explains. “I decided to create a hybrid that included all the characteristics of a Clergerie shoe, along with the comfort of a slipper.”
Kim Kardashian-West is backing the cozy-chic shoe trend with the just-released super soft, super plush, faux fur slides by Skims, made for at-home style and coziness.
“I love the ease of our leather slippers that I wear daily but wanted a cozier version,” Caroline Belhumeur, Vince’s creative director, says of the brand’s new shearling slip-ons. “While the Caela is most suited for indoor, with or without socks, one of the luxuries of living in California is the weather, and you could easily wear them outside, especially with the rubber sole.”
“I wanted to design shoes so cozy and luxe, you’d never want to take them off,” says designer Jenni Kayne. “Our shearling moc clogs and mules can be worn with absolutely everything, dressed up or down. These days, I’m pairing them with a slip dress or a casual knit for all-day, elevated comfort.”
“When we were designing this collection, we thought about pieces that were cozy but also versatile and fun,” Veronica Miele Beard tells TZR. “You can wear these shearling slides with jeans and a warm sweater for a date night at home or as everyday slippers with a silk PJ set.”
“It’s exciting to see cozy-chic footwear trending. Our Fall/Winter 2020 collection celebrates the fusion of comfort and style with the Wina mule in tan shearing,” Theresa Ebagua, designer of Chelsea Paris, explains. “It boasts a cozy aesthetic with a luxe feel to be paired with chic loungewear, neutral flirty dresses, or relaxed pants with an oversized sweater.”
The Cozy Shoe Trend: Shearling-Lined
Designer Tamara Mellon tells TZR, “I think we all could use a little extra comfort after the year we had, so I decided to bring back one of my best sellers, Roam, but line it with cozy shearling. They are easy to slip on and off, and I recommend pairing with cashmere socks during the cold winter months.”
“The Greg shoe is new for us this year but is on its way to becoming a signature Brother Vellies style,” Aurora James, creative director and founder of Brother Vellies, says of her increasingly popular flats. “It’s easy to slip on and off and can be paired with our beloved Cloud Socks for the coziest at-home feel. Pants are also optional.”
Luxury lovers, meet your perfect at-home boot by The Row. You’ll master indoor winter-chic by pairing them with an oversize sweater and slim cropped pants.
“Our Hotel des Alpes slides are a cozy winter version of our popular Hotel de la Plage slides, which were inspired by luxury hotels and spa slippers,” Nomasei co-founder Paule Tenaillon tells TZR. “In the design process, we started with a sporty twist on the traditional slipper and amped up the cozy factor by incorporating supple, shearling lining — making these the perfect slides for relaxing at home or pairing with a thick wool sock for a quick errand run.”
Isadora Versiani, director of design at Andre Assous, says, “I designed the Philipa, marrying comfort and design. This was pre-Covid when comfort was important but not a must. Now that we are mostly home, I haven’t taken them off this season. I grab them on the go and wear without socks. This weekend I wore them with rolled-up jeans and a nice cashmere sweater for a luxurious cozy look.”
Give these shearling-lined slides the cozy-minimalist treatment for a holiday dinner by pairing them with a slip dress and a roomy sweater over the top.
If you’re pained by the idea of a holiday ensemble sans heels, how about Acne Studios’ barely-there lift with plush lining to satiate?
New for 2020, Birkenstock delivers on festively cozy style with this time-honored plaid print.
The Cozy Shoe Trend: Fuzzy & Luxe
With party attire, there’s no better choice than Tibi’s rhinestone-adorned shearling slides.
“The Cozy Slipper is true to its name: a cocoon of soft-as-anything faux fur,” says Margaux cofounder, Sarah Pierson. “They deliver on our mission of creating shoes that make women feeling both beautiful and comfortable, in a form relevant to the way we are all living right now.”
“These mules were inspired by Hotel Vivier, our signature event that I conceptualize to present my collections,” Gherardo Felloni, Roger Vivier’s Creative Director, tells TZR. “When I first designed them, I was thinking of the fluffy slippers that you get at hotels. Of course, I reinterpreted that in the Vivier way! Will you wear them at home?”
“Our Fluff Yeah is bold, fashion, and quite cozy at the same time,” says Andrea O’Donnell, President, UGG & Koolaburra by UGG of Deckers Brands. “It’s been seen on the likes of Gigi Hadid and Kylie Jenner out and about; and also has proven to be a new stay-at-home, season-less WFH staple.”
“With Covid and people spending so much time at home, we started to think [about] how we could adapt to this new reality? Creating a super comfortable shoe that you can wear inside but outside and that you can immediately recognize as Alameda Turquesa was our goal,” Carolina dos Santos, founder of Alameda Turquesa, explains of her embellished slipper designs. “[I’ve forever loved rainbows], and my mum always told me there are no rainbows without clouds. We literally tried to get that spirit, combining clouds with rainbows in our super shearling slippers, with our signature handmade pearl and rainbow embroidery. These have a [sturdy] sole to be worn outside if you want. Stylish, cozy, and comfortable was our aim with our signature Alameda Turquesa twist.”
Instead of a stiletto with your New Year’s Eve attire, how about these plush and playful black slides by Rosetta Getty?
Lauren Manoogian’s so-soft alpaca slip-on sandals are the minimalist’s answer to cozy-chic footwear.
Live out your logo mania dreams in Fendi’s luxurious FF monogram shearling slides.
Victoria Toni, Schutz' head of marketing, merchandising, and retail, says, “With so much of life now happening from home, we wanted to design a shoe that provides a cozy-chic mood 24/7. Made from faux shearling, these crisscross slides will keep your at-home looks feeling refined.”
No cozy loafer is more iconic than Gucci’s shearling-lined Princetown.