over- As many Americans started working from home last year and began lowering style standards, fashion and shoe brands from Nike to Gucci began selling attractive sliding shoes. Many were unique open-back models. These “no need to lift heels” mules may fit into a sloppy home shuffle life. But is there something stylish enough to wear outside? Men’s fashion editor Jacob Gallagher and sports columnist Jason Gay are discussing this issue.
Share your thoughts
Is it comfortable to wear slippers outside? Share your experience. Join the conversation below.
Jason: Can you talk about slippers? Sweatpants and hoodies were the mainstream for spring quarantine chic, but now it’s winter and slippers are everything. Slippers are new sweatpants. Discuss.
Jacob: Slippers keep you warm. It’s a practical justification, but here’s the truth: we’re all lazy. Do you tie your shoelaces? It’s a chore. And no one goes anywhere in the fantasy. So slippers carry the day. Shuffle them into the store. No one judges you.
Jason: Slippers are a blissful lazy option. And I was able to be completely lazy before the pandemic — I was lazy before it cooled down. But for me, slippers are strictly a stay-at-home order. You can wear slides outside, but slippers are paved footwear that you never touch. When slippers go out, it’s ruined. Jacob, are you wandering around the supermarket wearing slippers?
Jacob: It’s by no means a real slipper, but in the summer I wore pool slides on the inside and outside. Since then, I have moved to the open-back rubber Birkenstock with closed toes. They are attractively lazy, but if your eyesight is bad enough, they look a bit like loafers. At least that’s what I tell myself. Where does such a mule fall?
Jason: Mir’s Man — It sounds like a new Monty Python movie. I was surprised when I saw the open-back sneakers. I want to know who in Adidas thought it was a good idea to make a mule from Stan Smith. Recent ones like Nike Offline work better — they are designed to be mules rather than some mutants. GQ calls them one of the best sneakers of 2020. I haven’t tried it yet, but it comes with a “massage” insert offline. This is the perfect lazy man’s shoe for 2021.
Jacob: I think that is the borderline here. Shoes are intended to make the wearer feel lazy, but the design should not. I think New Balance’s Backless 990, Converse’s shaved Chuck Taylor, and even Gucci’s front-only loafers are as bad as Ho-Hum’s severed Stan Smith. If you’re just cutting off half of your shoes, that’s not fun. However, Nike’s Offline and Reebok’s retro Beatnik are the right tweaks for sloths and creativity.
Jason: I must say that I recently became a fashion prey and bought slippers. Instagram arrived at me, Jacob, and I went to buy fuzzy white Allbirds slippers. They look like baby sheep on my feet. For three days, they were my favorite shoes, untouched. I forgot to go outside and step into the rough paved roads of New York City … well, Jacob, I don’t lie. I wore fuzzy slippers and walked to the liquor store. If it doesn’t shout 2021, I don’t know what to do.
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Should you wear a mule outside the house?
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