Can Office Slippers Make You More Productive?
In an age of employee health initiatives, it’s time to take a stand for the humble worker’s foot comfort.
A study sponsored by the National Institutes of Health found that approximately 28 percent of Americans suffer from chronic foot pain, and even more endure occasional discomfort from ill-fitting or impractical shoes. Many have grown accustomed to the distracting dull ache that accompanies “office appropriate” footwear.
Abraham Lincoln, a hard-to-fit size 14, struggled privately with foot pain and remarked, “When my feet hurt, I can’t think.” In addition to that familiar throbbing, wearing uncomfortable shoes can lead to long-term ailments ranging from hammertoes and bunions to knee and lower back pain.
There hasn’t been much research on the effects of slipper wearing at work, but it’s safe to say that happy employees are productive employees. Stretching breaks, ergonomic workstations and a broader acceptance of athleisure wear are paving the way for slippers in the modern workplace. Having pain-free feet is just another piece of the puzzle.
We’ve partnered with L.B. Evans and Tempur-Pedic to introduce some ultra comfortable, and surprisingly professional, alternatives to Oxfords and high heels.
With over 200 years of experience crafting leisure footwear, L.B. Evans has perfected the “gentleman’s slipper.” Premium leathers and timeless silhouettes put these slippers on par with moccasins and classic loafers.
Designing comfortable footwear isn’t necessarily rocket science, but the folks at Tempur-Pedic are proud of their aeronautics roots. Created to cushion astronauts during takeoff, Tempur® material has found terrestrial use in everything from mattresses to form-fitting insoles.
Whether you stash a pair under your desk for a quick switch upon arrival or opt for an indoor/outdoor variety, L.B. Evans and Tempur-Pedic have got a pair of slippers to suit your mood.
For many, wearing slippers in the daytime calls to mind spa treatments, winter vacations, and pop culture icons like the late Playboy founder, Hugh Hefner. Satin pajamas might be pushing the limits at any office, though workplaces across the country are beginning to embrace a head-to-toe approach to employee health.
One San Francisco marketing professional we spoke to trades in his motorcycle boots for a comfy pair of “corporate slips,” as he calls them, after an hour-long commute. Lots of guys in the office have followed suit, apparently. Now there’s a whole crew of coworkers rocking slippers behind their desks.
In a company that champions employee wellness, they haven’t gotten much pushback from upper management. Permitting comfortable footwear wasn’t much of a stretch for an employer who already supports stand-up desks, workout balls and spontaneous outbreaks of planking.
If your office hasn’t yet embraced West Coast casual, a loafer-like slipper such as the Darren or Vernan from L.B. Evans is a discreet solution. Both styles feature a street-ready, rubber outsole and genuine suede construction. With lines like an Italian driving shoe, the padded footbed and cozy lining can be your little secret. Duke and Aristocrat, heelless scruff styles, present fashion-forward options in luxe black leather.
For the progressive workplace, we suggest exercising your rights in the heather gray fleece Flinn or choosing between the moccasin-inspired Therman and its faux fur trimmed counterpart, Laurin. All three styles utilize Tempur® technology to relieve pressure points and custom fit to the contours of your foot. Tempur-Pedic knows that no two bodies (and no two feet) are alike; using adaptive materials personalizes each slipper for a bespoke fit.
Having healthy feet is the foundation of whole body wellness. They propel us, support us and ask little in return. Leonardo da Vinci recognized that “the human foot is a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art.” Perhaps its time to give them a little love.
Slippers in a corporate environment may not be commonplace just yet, but the tide seems to be turning. From combating digital eye strain and poor desk posture to building on-campus health centers, companies are investing in preventive medicine and fringe benefits to lure the best candidates and keep them satisfied.
If you get a chance to bend your boss’ ear, feel free to mention that loosening the dress code is cheaper than installing an on-site gym or hiring a private chef.