Women, cold feet and sexing up the slipper

Image of the mahabi slipper with outdoor soles

How I used to snigger when my gorgeous parents came to stay and brought their slippers with them. By contrast my partner and I padded around the house in bare or ‘stocking feet’ (in our socks for the non-British) and flip-flops in the garden. Gradually our feet have got colder. In part it’s due to all the draughty Victorian houses we’ve lived in, but a greater part is that we both feel the cold more as we’ve aged. So commenced a search for ‘cool’ slippers. I might be in midlife but I am still a designer – let me define from the outset that the slipper in question has to be warm (this is its prime function) but very, very stylish.

I sorted the problem for my other half quite quickly and you can see in the picture below that his black Ugg slippers, now in their seventh winter, are holding up very well. They look a bit battered now but I think this actually improves them and they still look pretty good despite our miniature Schnauzer having a taste for the sheepskin lining.  The thick robust sole means they’re also up to a bit of outdoor use and so strike the perfect balance between slipper style and function.

But Uggs are not warm enough for me!My feet are so much colder than his.

The slip-on nature of mules mean that they inevitably slip-off and when I curl up on the sofa my feet leave them behind. Sometimes when I get into bed my feet are so icy that I need to wear socks until the first of my hot flushes warms me up. I think body temperature in midlife is a rollercoaster for women. Menopause makes our blood boil (well that’s how it feels to me) while our extremities freeze. It’s literally as if our thermostat is broken.

There is some science behind this. Skin is kept at a comfortable temperature by blood vessels distributing oxygen-rich blood throughout the body. When it gets colder sensory receptors alert the brain to constrict the blood flow to extremities in order to conserve warmth in the core of the body where all the important organs are. This process is called vasoconstriction but some people are more sensitive to temperature changes than others, especially women, in part due to their fluctuating levels of estrogen, a hormone that plays a big role in regulating body temperature. The joys of menopause – if its not a hot flush – it’s cold feet*!

Male and female designer slippers

My Mahabis on the left without their outdoor sole. Andrew’s well worn Uggs.

Slipper heaven

After many a pair of moccasins, bootees, rubber-soled chunky knit socks and fleecy lined fabric pumps I have finally found my Perfect Slipper. High on my christmas list this year was a pair of Mahabis. The styling is super cool with a fleecy lining and a hard wearing felt fabric finish currently available in two shades of grey. The backs are foam neoprene and are designed to fold down so you can wear them both as mules and cosy full slippers. The elasticated foam back keeps the slippers on your feet – no matter what! They also come with a detachable outdoor rubber sole in a choice of colours. Though the website says they’re based here in London they’re not available in stores, only online, so size might be an issue – luckily they fitted me fine in my normal shoe size. I love them so much I’ve written this post about them – and no doubt I will now be packing them when I next go visiting.

Avril x

*Cold feet can be a symptom of other medical conditions such as Raynaud’s disease, in which extremities – usually just fingers and toes but sometimes also nose and ears—may turn white or blue and go numb. Depending on how bad your symptoms are, treatment may range from wearing extra gloves and socks to taking prescription medication to widen blood vessels. They can also be a symptom of other conditions, such as hypothyroidism, lupus, diabetes, or an iron or vitamin B12 deficiency. If it’s a serious problem see your doctor who can perform tests and prescribe medication.