Slip-on shoes, or sneakers that have no shoestrings or metal clasps, are easy to put on and take off. They are also comfortable to wear and walk in. As there are many varieties of colors, patterns and materials, a pair of them can effectively accentuate your wardrobe.
Recently, these shoes have become more prominent in the world of fashion. Particularly, rubber-soled shoes with elastic darts stitched into their uppers are getting popular this autumn.
The women's shoe section at Seibu department store's Shibuya branch in Tokyo carries about 100 types of slip-ons. As various sporty outfits were introduced at collections in Paris and New York last year, the section has dramatically increased the variety of such shoes for sale this autumn.
They include solid-colour styles and ones in patterns such as check, leopard and printed lace. Some have studs for ornaments.
The materials for the shoes are mainly leather, synthetic leather or cloth. Tweed and corduroy give a warm impression and are therefore suited for autumn. Some have pointed toes, while some others have thick soles with heels as high as five centimeters.
They are priced mainly in the ¥16,000 ($186) to ¥25,000 range.
"Slip-ons wrap the feet, so their wearers feel stable and also feel comfortable when walking," said Kiyohito Takahashi, a shoe buyer for the department store. "They are popular among people of various ages."
Takahashi said that feminine clothing accentuated with sporty slip-ons is popular this autumn.
"I'd recommend you wear a calf-length flared skirt or dress with slip-ons," he said.
Piche Abahouse, a store specialising in shoes and miscellaneous goods of Abahouse International Co., also sells slip-on shoes.
At the store, high-cut, ankle-length slip-ons bearing zebra stripes sell for ¥15,800, excluding tax. They come in three sizes. The store is also selling products with a snakeskin pattern or made of glossy silver materials this month. They sell for ¥13,800, excluding tax.
Slip-ons are relatively easy to coordinate with existing wardrobe items for many people, according to Saaya Kawamura, manager of Piche Abahouse's outlet in Lumine's Yurakucho branch in Tokyo.
"Slip-ons that make an impression with animal patterns such as zebra stripes make your way of dressing look more fashionable. If you wear slip-ons in low-profile colors, they are suited to outfits for going to work," Kawamura said.
"If you wear slip-ons with a skirt and socks, it looks well-balanced and cute," Kawamura added. "When you buy them, I recommend you choose a size that is large enough for feet wearing tights or socks for the season to come." She also said regular use of waterproofing spray on these shoes can prevent fading and stains.