Comfortable, thick, and extraordinary, ugg boots are as much utilitarian apparel as they are a fashion statement. Today, models walk the runway in them, and shoe brands continue to produce similar versions.
Image courtesy of Houser Shoes
Made of sheepskin, a fleece lining, and synthetic sole, the tan-colored unisex ugg boots originated in Australia and New Zealand, where they were worn by surfers in the 1960s to keep warm. But earlier versions were supposedly made and used in World War I by Australian pilots who relied on them to avoid frostbite in flights that reached altitudes of up to 40,000 feet. Frank Mortel, who emigrated from his native Netherlands to Australia in the mid-1950s, where he set up a shoemaking company that makes ugg boots, claims he named the footwear ugg because his wife Rita thought they were ugly.
When the international surfing community caught on to the trend of wearing uggs, the boots took the world by storm, turning into a style staple among the young, who paired the boots with everything from jeans and dresses to short shorts.
Image courtesy of KicksUSA
Although ugg boots are made from the skin of sheep not killed specifically for this purpose (sheep skin for the boots is sourced from sheep slaughtered for human consumption), this didn’t stop animal rights groups from calling for a boycott of the boots and suggesting manufacturers use alternative (and animal-free) materials instead.
Ugg boots are made by countless shoe manufacturers all over the world. In 2018, Glenn Martens’ Parisian brand, Y/Project debuted a pair of thigh-high boots on the runway. In an interview with Vogue, Martens explained how the brand came up with the idea.
“Putting on uggs is like putting your foot in a warm pot of butter, and I thought why not elevate that and immerse your full legs!” Martens said. “So we decided to design an ugg boot that climbs up to the crotch and covers the whole leg.”
The controversial runway show angered a lot of people.
The ugliest UGG boots have appeared at fashion shows in #Paris, and everyone is cringing – besides the fact that they are made of murderous real fur and leather, would you wear them? Designed by Belgian Glenn Martens pic.twitter.com/hKEqUSTyxk
— Sidonie Sawyer (@sidoniesawyer) January 19, 2018
For STAIL PH, ugg boots are comfortable and useful during the cold.
But the shoes have little to no style and the materials are often made of animal fur.
Ugg boots? FLOP.