If you need slippers for plantar fasciitis or just to soothe your tired feet at the end of a long day, these are for you.
A few months ago, I was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis, one of the most common causes of heel and arch pain, brought on—for me—by years of walking around in cute, cheap ballet flats. On my doctor's advice, I replaced all my sandals, flats, and boots with supportive options from brands like Dansko and Birkenstock.
My pain started to subside with PT, massage, and my upgraded shoe wardrobe, but didn't really go away until I realized that I'd neglected to trade up my slippers. When I'm home, I live in slippers. But my foam Acorns—worn down to the point that they were about as supportive as a pair of $2.50 Old Navy flip flops—were only aggravating my feet.
Some extensive Internet research later, I came across the brand Giesswein—an Austrian shoe company that makes boiled wool slippers, houseshoes, indoor/outdoor clogs, and sneakers. I ordered a pair of the moderate-support Georgie ($92, nordstrom.com) slippers for plantar fasciitis immediately. You might have just looked at that $92 price and thought, "No way." Giessweins start at about $84 for their Abend slippers and go as high as $160 for their indoor-outdoor shoes. But after months of wearing them, I'd pay $92 all over again.
Because I wasn't switching between supportive and not-at-all supportive shoes in the course of a day, I felt relief within a few days of tossing out my old slippers. I've noticed that over time, the slippers have molded to my particular arches, too. (The company says you can even remove their shoes' foot beds to insert your own orthotics, if you have them.)
Aside from keeping my arches comfortable, my Giessweins also never make my feet feel overheated. It sounds counter-intuitive, but boiled wool is actually breathable, odor-resistant, and moisture-wicking. When my apartment is hot, my feet are cool, and vice versa. When I feel like I've worn the slippers long enough, I can pop them in the washing machine, and they get softer.
Support and breathability aside, these slippers are just plain cozy. I wondered if Giessweins' wool might be itchy at first, but they arrived feeling like they'd already been completely broken in and soft. They're as blissful on my feet when I'm doing chores as they are when I'm curled up on the couch with a book.