Origin of the charentaise slipper : the Middle Ages
La Pantoufle à Pépère is an old traditional French slipper called "charentaise", typical of the region of Charente, southwest of France. In the middle Ages, the farmers slipped the ancestor of the charentaise in their clogs to have more heat and comfort.
Then in the nice French castles in the XVII century
The actual charentaises was born during the reign of Louis XIV in the XVII century. But don't get misunderstood : the charentaises weren't worn by the châtelains but by... the domestif staff ! The lords and ladies asked their servants to wear charentaises with a two-fold objective.
First, the châtelains didn't want to be disturbed by the sound of their servants' footsteps. So with their charentaises the domestic staff walked around in a smooth and silent motion. At that time the second name of the charentaises was "les silencieuses".
Second, the châtelains expected their wonderful wooden floors to be polished by the repeated passage of the slippers on the floor. The sole of the charentaise is made of felt which is the ideal material to bring back gloss to the precious parquet floors of the castles.
Moral of the story :
Thinking about it, who were the more unlucky in those big, hard-to-heat castles?
The servants with warm, light and comfortable slippers?
Or the châtelains with cold, heavy, high-heeled shoes ?