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What are Scuff Slippers?

By Sarah Valek
Updated May 21, 2024
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The term “scuff slippers” refers to slippers that are completely backless. Slippers are well-known casual footwear that are specifically made for relaxing at home. They truly are the ultimate in ease-of-use. Since these slippers are backless, the wearer can easily slide the slippers on and off the foot. These slippers make popular, practical house shoes. Though many slippers on the market feature a small lip that goes around the heel, true scuff slippers don’t have any type of closing around the back of the foot or heel.

Scuff slippers are made from a variety of fabrics and come in men's, women’s, children’s, and unisex styles. Some slippers even feature embroidered college or professional sports team logos. Commonly used fabrics include suede, cotton, sheepskin, faux fur, fleece, wool, memory foam, cashmere, and terry. Some slippers are made of soft, fluffy, plush materials and feature thick padding on the soles for a luxurious, comfortable fit. Other styles have hard soles that can be worn both inside and outside.

Both open-toe and closed-toe scuff slippers can be found. Styles also range from the completely casual slipper that’s strictly meant to be worn at home with pajamas, to slippers that can pass for clogs and be worn while running errands. Many styles can be worn year-round and will keep the wearer both warm and cool, depending on the season.

Slippers with an open back are called “scuff” due to the scuffing sound they make when walked in. Scuff slippers are sometimes called “slide” or “slide-on” slippers and there may not be much, if any, real difference between the names. All these different terms for slippers can be confusing, especially since manufacturers don’t follow any guidelines to determine which slipper is a “scuff” and which is to be labeled a “slide.” Even though the definition of what is and isn’t a scuff slipper may change from one manufacturer to the next, scuff slippers are generally characterized by their lack of closing on the back of the foot or heel.

Scuff slippers are not to be confused with mules or clogs, which most commonly refer to shoes, not slippers. Mules and clogs are either open- or closed-toe, backless shoes that can be easily slipped on. Clogs are traditionally made of wooden material and were originally worn by the working class. Mules, on the other hand, were created for aristocrats and today refer to backless shoes that feature a fancier heel.

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Discussion Comments
By anon943926 — On Apr 04, 2014

I like scuff slippers very nearly equally to closed back slippers. I usually wear closed back slippers, especially moccasins and opera slippers but sometimes also wear scuffs for a change when my feet get too warm because they are cooler slippers because of having no backs on them and therefore leaving the heel of the foot bare. Wearing scuffs is just like being half barefoot.

Opera slippers are actually scuffs with separate back pieces attached to them. I also like them. Closed toe scuffs could therefore be called backless opera slippers.

By anon355602 — On Nov 18, 2013

With three kids running around, it is always a struggle to keep your floors clean. Scuff slippers are an easy way to do this. The whole family are well trained and we switch to slippers when we get in.

By anon287344 — On Aug 25, 2012

My partner and I both wear scruff slippers. We don't wear shoes in the house, so we take our shoes off at the door and slide straight into our slippers. We even take them with us when visiting friends as it's standard practice here to take your shoes off at the door.

By anon286222 — On Aug 20, 2012

I have gout in both feet, which can be very uncomfortable at times. I live in an apartment building, and I wear my scuffs in the community room and outside, when I have to, Because I cannot wear shoes of any kind at certain times. So that is not acceptable?

By pleats — On Jan 11, 2011

Scuff slippers are wonderful, there's no doubt about that, but seriously people, wear them inside like you're supposed to!

I get so crazy whenever I see some person in front of me in the grocery line wearing their faux fleece scuff slippers that have obviously been worn so much that they've matted down and become one with the owner. That's not just sloppy, it sounds slightly unhygienic as well.

I am totally in love with my sheepskin scuff slippers, and wear them at home all the time -- but only at home. Any place other than that is inappropriate, in my mind. What about you all?

By closerfan12 — On Jan 09, 2011

Scuff slippers drive me insane, but my husband loves them.

He always insists on me getting him a pair of shearling scuff slippers for Christmas, which I do because I love him, but gosh do I loathe those things.

I'm not a huge fan of slippers to begin with -- what's wrong with socks, or normal shoes, if your feet are that cold? -- but I think that scuff slippers are the worst.

To me they just look sloppy and old fashioned, and when people wear them they just look so un put together. And don't even get me started on the annoying noise they make!

My husband says I'm too uptight and that I should just let go and join in the scuff slipper vibe myself, but that is so not happening.

Does anyone else out there share my hatred of these things, or am I truly the odd one out?

By rallenwriter — On Jan 07, 2011

To me, scuff slippers are the ultimate in comfort and relaxation. People laugh when I say that, but it's true!

I mean, where else can you find a shoe that looks nice, and is made of nice material (think of leather scuff slippers) but that you can literally step into and out of at a moment's notice?

They have a nice airflow because of the open back, yet are warm on your toes because they're closed in the front, and make a pleasant sliding sound when you walk.

I basically live in my Dearfoam scuff slippers from October to March, at least when I'm in the house -- its like the comfortability of bare feet, yet with the warmth of a nice sock, minus the slidey-ness.

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