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Why do Russians Wear Slippers at Home?

Why do Russians Wear Slippers at Home?

Every Russian foreigner, who visits Russia, and at least once has come to visit a Russian person at their home, is interested in the question: “Why do Russians wear slippers at home?”, as it is not a custom in most countries. You’ll find the answers to this question and many others in our article.

A request “Could you please put on slippers” in Russia seems shocking for any foreigner, as people hardly ever wear slippers at home in other countries. In Europe people walk around their houses barefoot, in America they can even wear their street shoes at home. Russian people are the only ones who take off their shoes in the hallway and put on slippers.

How slippers appear

How slippers appear

These are not Russians who invented footwear for home. Light footwear which resembles slippers was typical of many different nations. For example, traces of modern slippers can be found in ancient Egypt. Concubines from oriental harems were wearing soft slippers, as it was believed that they could not escape in this type of shoes.

In Russia, it was Tsar Peter I who first brought slippers. He liked to bring something interesting from other countries when he travelled. It was a custom to wear slippers when you were sitting beside the fireplace with your family. Slippers for women looked very special: they were decorated with embroidery, jewelry, or fur. It was also a custom to give these decorated slippers as a present. However, poor families used to wear very simple slippers.

“Worship of Slippers” in the USSR

"Worship of Slippers" in the USSR

In the postwar period in the USSR there was a worship of cleanliness of housing, and an unwritten rule appeared that stated that when you come home you should change your shoes.  If people had guests, there were always a few pairs of slippers for visitors. Later there was a deficit of slippers. Most likely, the older generation of people who were born in the Soviet Union time, still remember how they used to treat scarce things. Before you putting the foot on the carpet, some people took off even slippers, and was unthinkable to start walking in street shoes around the apartment. Now we live in different time. There are a lot of technologies which help us keep our apartments clean.

Russians Wear Slippers at Home

When Russians travelled abroad, many foreigners were also surprised when Russians stole slippers from hotels. Russian tourists always wanted to take something from their hotel as a souvenir: a comb, a glass, or a pair of slippers.

And yet the tradition of wearing slippers at home is also part of Russian national culture.

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