All slippers are unique and different, with different materials, patterns, textures and fastening and with all this to choose from, it can get confusing. The most confusing part of it all is the soles. What do half of them mean? With so many varieties of soles from injected to vulcanised, do you really know what you’re buying? Well that’s where we come in to help…
There are 6 main types of soles; A PVC sole, TPR sole, injected, vulcanised, rubber, leather and textile covered. While they do share some similarities, overall they are very different and can suit certain needs perfectly.
A vulcanised sole is where the rubber has been made stronger and more durable essentially to make a better sole. This process consists of the upper and rubber sole being moulded together and then a band of rubber being pressed in place, heated, then allowed to cool ensured it is securely positioned. With a vulcanised rubber sole, the slippers would be suitable for light outdoor use however it wouldn't be as durable as an injected or PVC sole.
The rubber sole is up there as one of the most popular soles both with slippers and everyday shoes. Perfect for a long lasting pair of slippers, they provide endless durability and grip so feet stay steady on the ground. The sole is generally waterproof making them ideal for some light outdoor use such as around the garden. As well as being highly practical, this kind of sole is comfortable too, taking the impact of feet when they hit the ground.
As you would most likely expect, a textile sole is be highly flexible allowing you to move your feet as you wish and also comfortable however not as durable as some other synthetic options, making a textile sole perfect for slippers as they are worn indoors. Similar to a leather sole, they aren't ideal for outdoor use however when walking around and relaxing in the house, they provide the highest amount of comfort.
Whilst the leather sole is not the most durable or slip resistant, its the most luxurious and elegant. Ideal for indoor use such as on slippers, leather soles are perfect for allowing your feet to breathe whilst allowing them full flexibility. Not one of the most popular uses for a sole, there is a small section of luxurious slippers with a leather sole which both look and feel amazing. Whilst it wouldn't be very practical to go outdoors in a pair of slippers with a leather sole, they're perfect to wear around the house all day, looking glamorous.
An injected sole is highly, possibly the most, durable. Created by a soft plastic substance being poured into a mould that is shaped as the sole then being pressed into by the upper which then quickly hardens, making it a permanent bond between the sole and upper. Having a pair of slippers made in this way, they would be of a high quality and would most likely last for a lot longer than a pair of slippers made with a textile or PVC sole making them highly sustainable and a worth while investment.
PVC stands for poly vinyl chloride; a type of plastic. After rubber, this is one of the most common soles as it tends to be extremely durable, hard wearing and slip resistant. This makes them particularly ideal in slippers for people who need some stability and are at risk from wet floors etc. Not only are they perfect for use indoors, but with such high durability, they are perfect for wearing outdoors for light use too.
This is a thermos plastic rubber sole. Created using rubber granules of solid raw material, they get moulded and formed together. TPR soles tend to have extremely good grip and are lightweight so they don’t weigh feet down. If a main feature in slippers for you is flexibility then this kind of sole may not be the ideal one for you and maybe a textile sole could be more beneficial. Similar to the PVC sole, these kid of slippers are perfect for not only use around the house, but also light outdoor use as the sole is highly durable.