UPDATE (December 2017): After a year of pretty regular use, one of our slippers finally started cracking in the bottom. We went out and picked up a new pair.
We were pleasantly surprised to discover that the 2017 slippers are much better sized compared to the 2016 version — the 2016 version were undersized but these are just about right. They’re warm, comfortable, and don’t choke off the circulation in my feet.
Overall, they’re a marked improvement over last year’s version.
Original (2016) Review:
Royal Class is the Aldi men’s line. The name evokes all kinds of upscale fashion, but since it’s Aldi, we just figure it’s stuff for men to wear. Their wares are all Special Buys and include everything from shirts and shorts to wallets and even belts.
For the holidays, Royal Class is offering a line of men’s slippers for only $7. (Aldi also offers slippers for ladies under their Serra line.) With my own slippers beginning to age, I decided to see if Aldi had the goods to keep my feet warm this winter.
The answer is a bit of a mixed bag.
The day I went to pick up the slippers, my wife e-mailed me to tell me that she’d dropped by Aldi earlier in the day. She had a cautionary tale. “Aldi has slippers today,” she said, “but I’m going to recommend you look at them and slip one on yourself before buying. I tried on the women’s slippers and my usual size was very tight. Those combined sizes usually do run a bit small, but I thought these seemed smaller than normal.”
Later that afternoon, I went over to Aldi to check out their selection. The slippers, this year at least, come in three sizes: Medium (9-10), Large, (11-12), and Extra Large (13). The slippers certainly looked nice — they come in grey plaid or tan — but it didn’t take long for me to confirm my wife’s warnings. I wear size 9 men’s shoes (standard width), and trying on the size 9-10 men’s slippers was so hard I almost wished I had a shoehorn. They immediately put pressure down from above, and my toes were running right up to the end of the slipper, something I don’t usually experience. I wanted to pace around and see how they felt, but let’s be honest: Aldi isn’t a shoe store, and I’d feel a little ridiculous walking down the Special Buy aisle with one dress shoe and one slipper. The next size up, 11-12, felt more like what I was used to, and those are what I took home.
Even with a larger size, getting them to a place of comfort has taken some time. the top of the slipper feels tight on the foot at first, and the cuff of the slipper — the part of the slipper on top of the foot just below the ankle — feels particularly so, especially when sitting. This is the first time I’ve ever had foot circulation cut off by a new pair of slippers. Fortunately, after a few days of wear (and some more gentle pulling) they start to break in some, and they’re now more comfortable, so there’s hope. But this has definitely been more of a process than is typical with slippers.
On the positive side, they are warm and soft. Walking around the house, and even some outside, they do their job on the heels, thanks to a decent amount of memory foam underneath. They are also lined above and around the foot, so they keep the heat in pretty well.
Regarding durability, it’s still too early to tell, although I’ve noticed a few of the threads along the base of the foot are sticking out a little, so we’ll see what that means. I’ve purchased name-brand slippers that only lasted a year — sometimes it just happens — but we’ll see.
They’re warm, with nice insulation, and they have a nice bit of memory foam underneath. Be aware that they run small, though, so we strongly recommend trying one on before making a purchase. Also be aware that they took some breaking in to be comfortable, and we’re unsure about durability. We’ll leave it up to you to decide if they’re worth the cheap $7 price tag.