If someone does not wear leather shoes, just slippers, sneakers, or sports shoes, is a brocha “sheoso li kol ttzorkei” nevertheless recited on wearing them?
The Rama and the Gra have opposite opinions.
Thank you for your question.
According to many poskim and the widely accepted minhag is to make the bracha, even if the person is not even wearing leather shoes. The reason for this is because the bracha, like the rest of birkas hashachar are mainly considered a birkas hashevach, (a bracha of praise on the fact that the world has this pleasure), and not specifically a birkas nehenin, (a bracha made when receiving pleasure). Therefore, the minhag is to say this bracha even when wearing spiller sneakers etc.
The Gr”a is in Maaseh Rav 9, it is also due to the opinion of the Arizal (regarding T’isha B’av). However, see Mammar Mordichai 46-10, that the Arizal only said his point regarding Yom Kippur and T’isha B’av when it is forbidden to wear shoes, however on days that it is permitted, even if one isn’t wearing shoes, he makes the bracha. Additionally, he says that if the person is wearing sneakers or slippers, he would say the bracha even on Tisha B’av. This is all in addition to the fact that the minhag haolam is to do like the Rema, M:B 46-25, and most poskim.