The North Face
Thermoball Mule II Puffy Slipper Review
We’ve all got plenty of trail shoes, racing flats, trainers, mud shoes, and normal work shoes. I was looking for something uber comfortable and stumbled across these pair of North Face Thermoball Mule IIs at the big race a few weeks ago. Going forward, there’ll be referred to as what my wife and kids call them: Eric’s puffy slippers.
Note: If you’re looking for a pair of slippers but have zero budget, I’d urge you to check out my DIY/Review of the Hoka Clifton Slippers from 2014.
Puffy Slippers Raw data:
My size 12s weight 9.5 oz each (Turns out this is the optimal weight in which they’re heavy enough to stay put when I jam my foot into them in the morning, but they don’t feel like cinder blocks.)
Build: Thermoball insulation (the stuff that’s in puffy jackets) with recycled rubber outsole.
Price: Fifty bucks. Expensive for slippers…but these are all purpose!
More info on The North Face site.
First, it’s tough to call these slippers. To me, slippers are meant for 95% indoor use with the occasional running-outside-to-get-the-paper-in-the-driveway use, but most certainly not something with a real sole.
The suckers are puffy and roomy with zero arch support, they’re made for pure comfort with or without socks, and they have a real sole. The heel smashes down well to make more of a traditional mule shoe, increasing ease of putting on, but decreasing the chance they’ll pass as “acceptable” footwear.
Puffy Slipper Fit:
I wear a 12, sometimes a 12.5. These fit, but they’re on the smaller size. If you’ve got an average width foot (my feet are narrow), I’d consider going up one size.
Really can’t get any more comfortable than this. Soft, warm, and able to traverse outside…sold!
With active kids (5 and 7) I do my share of running both indoors and out, and these perform fine. I wouldn’t put 5 miles on them in a single run, but chasing kids around hasn’t caused any problems and i haven’t noticed any discomfort. One exception is skipping: My son Van learned to skip a few weeks ago and he uses that method of movement wherever he goes, often imploring me to skip along with him. The Thermoballs are not secure enough for that activity, and I often skip right out of them.
My puffy slippers are fantastic for cruising around the house on a cold morning, with one complaint. The rubber sole makes noise on our hardwood when I’m trying to creep down the hallway and not wake the kids up.
I’ve worn these shopping, I’ve worn them to drop the kids off at school, for yard work, and I slip them on right after a run while my wet and muddy shoes dry off in the back of my car. They’re also water resistant, so I’m not worried about rain or wet leaves leaving me with cold feet.
To be sure, my wife has called me out on numerous occasions that slippers are not appropriate, to which I point to mens clogs. Looks pretty similar to me, right? Her argument that clogs aren’t appropriate is legitimate, but it falls on this reviewer’s deaf ears.
Make fun of them all you want. I’ve got puffy slippers on, they’re warm and they’re awesome.
Puffy Slipper Purchase Options:
If you’re interested in these, please consider using this link for your purchase. It’s an affiliate link thru Amazon and will drop a few nickels into the URP budget. Thank You!