But consumers may not be heeding the message about correct footwear, with global searches for Crocs up 32 per cent and fur slides up by 62 per cent, according to global fashion search platform Lyst. In Australia, search traffic has also spiked for “utility slides”, which are open-toed shoes with straps across the top of the foot, not dissimilar to a Birkenstock.
Online retailer The Iconic said in April slipper sales were up by 1500 per cent, year on year, with the most popular brands being Ugg, Hush Puppies and Vionic.
Johnston says if she had to choose, she’d favour a Birkenstock (“they’re very well made”) over other types of slippers or slides.
“Wearing Birkenstocks around the house is a far better option than a pair of fur slides than Ugg boots,” Johnston says. “I would rather people be barefoot than have a pair of slides or Crocs on.
“Slippers should only be used around bedtime, not when working, cooking, cleaning or chasing kids around the house.”
Foot injuries, which can also result in referred pain elsewhere, are often caused by the “clawing” action required to wear them for any length of time.
“Our feet have to work overtime to keep them on or the shoe falls off,” Johnston says. “Subconsciously, our feet are working harder with every step … and that repetitive motion starts to add up.”
Johnston says slippers present a huge fall risk, especially in people 60 and older. “We see so many people in hospital with hip fractures from having a fall around the house in a pair of slippers,” she says.