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Sandal vs. Slipper: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Updated on November 11, 2023
Sandals are open-toed footwear with straps, designed for outdoor use, while slippers are soft, closed or open-toed footwear, typically worn indoors for comfort.

Key Differences

Sandals are a type of open-toed footwear characterized by straps or bands that secure the sole to the foot, often leaving most of the foot exposed. Slippers, in contrast, are lightweight, comfortable footwear usually worn indoors, often designed to provide warmth and ease.
The design of sandals typically includes a sturdy sole, suitable for outdoor activities and warmer climates. Slippers, however, are designed for indoor use, emphasizing comfort and ease, often made with soft, plush materials.
Sandals often have a more robust construction and may have features like arch support for prolonged outdoor wear. Slippers tend to prioritize comfort over support, offering minimal foot protection and cushioning for short-term, casual use.
Sandals are commonly used in casual outdoor settings, beachwear, or summer activities. Slippers are often associated with relaxation and leisure, primarily worn at home or in cozy indoor environments.
The aesthetic appeal of sandals can vary widely, from fashionable designs to practical outdoor styles. Slippers typically have a more homely, comforting design, sometimes featuring playful elements like animal shapes or thematic designs.

Comparison Chart


Open-toed footwear with straps
Soft, comfortable indoor footwear

Primary Use

Outdoor activities, casual wear
Indoor, home use for comfort and warmth

Design Features

Sturdy soles, straps for secure fit
Soft materials, often with minimal soles

Common Materials

Leather, rubber, synthetic materials
Plush, fleece, soft fabrics

Style Variations

Ranges from casual to fashionable
Typically homely, sometimes playful designs

Sandal and Slipper Definitions


A sandal is an open-toed, strapped shoe often worn in warm weather.
She wore her new sandals to the beach.


A slipper is a soft, comfortable shoe typically worn indoors.
He put on his slippers after a long day at work.


Sandals expose most of the foot, having a sole held by straps.
These leather sandals are perfect for summer outings.


Slippers are designed for ease of wear, often slip-on style.
She loves her new memory foam slippers for extra comfort.


Sandals are designed for comfort and airiness in outdoor settings.
He chose sandals over shoes for the outdoor party.


Slippers may feature playful or decorative designs for home wear.
His children gave him animal-shaped slippers for Father’s Day.


Sandals often feature adjustable straps for a secure fit.
His sandals have Velcro straps for easy adjustment.


Slippers often have a closed-toe design and are made for home use.
Her fluffy slippers keep her feet warm in winter.


Sandals can vary from rugged designs for hiking to elegant styles for social events.
She bought dressy sandals to wear at the wedding.


Slippers can be lightweight and provide minimal foot protection.
I prefer wearing slippers around the house for casual comfort.


A shoe consisting of a sole fastened to the foot by thongs or straps.


A low shoe that can be slipped on and off easily and is usually worn indoors.


A low-cut shoe fastened to the foot by an ankle strap.


A low soft shoe that can be slipped on and off easily.


A rubber overshoe cut very low and covering little more than the sole of the shoe.


Such a shoe intended for indoor use; a bedroom or house slipper.
Get out of bed, put on your slippers, and come downstairs.


A strap or band for fastening a low shoe or slipper on the foot.


A flip-flop (type of rubber sandal).




A type of open shoe made up of straps or bands holding a sole to the foot




A long narrow boat used on the Barbary coast.


Same as Sendal.
Sails of silk and ropes of sandal.




A kind of shoe consisting of a sole strapped to the foot; a protection for the foot, covering its lower surface, but not its upper.


A shoe consisting of a sole fastened by straps to the foot


What are slippers?

Slippers are soft, comfortable footwear primarily designed for indoor use.

Are slippers suitable for outdoor use?

Generally, slippers are not designed for outdoor use due to their soft construction.

Do sandals offer foot support?

Many sandals offer foot support and cushioning for comfortable walking.

What are sandals?

Sandals are open-toed footwear with straps, suitable for outdoor wear.

Can sandals be used for hiking?

Yes, there are specially designed sandals for outdoor activities like hiking.

Can slippers have hard soles?

Some slippers have harder soles for brief outdoor use or durability.

Are sandals appropriate for beach wear?

Sandals are a popular choice for beachwear due to their open design.

What materials are sandals made from?

Sandals are made from materials like leather, rubber, and synthetic fabrics.

What's the best way to clean slippers?

Cleaning methods vary, but gentle washing is usually recommended for slippers.

Can slippers keep feet warm?

Yes, slippers are often made with warm materials to keep feet cozy.

Are there formal types of sandals?

Yes, there are dressier sandals suitable for formal occasions.

Do slippers come in different sizes?

Yes, slippers come in various sizes to fit different foot sizes.

Do sandals have adjustable straps?

Many sandals have adjustable straps for a better fit.

Can slippers have arch support?

Some slippers are designed with arch support for added comfort.

Are slippers machine washable?

It depends on the material, but some slippers can be machine washed.

Are slippers a good gift choice?

Yes, slippers are a popular and practical gift, especially for home use.

Can sandals be worn in the rain?

While possible, it's not ideal as they can become slippery and less comfortable.

Can sandals be worn with socks?

While not typical, some people wear socks with sandals for comfort or style.

Are there waterproof sandals?

Yes, there are waterproof or water-resistant sandals for water activities.

Do slippers come in different styles?

Yes, slippers come in various styles, from simple to decorative designs.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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