UGGS: Everything you need to know about them!
Uggs are not only the most loved but also the most controversial boots on the market. What makes them so loved and so hated at the same time? This article will answer both those questions:
UGGS: The Beginnings
The UGGS fashion company is world renowned for their sheepskin boots. It surprises many to learn that Uggs did not invent the style though. The boots are actually traditional Australian sheepskin boots that have been in use for centuries!
What UGGS did was bring them out of their native Australia and introduce them to the world!
It was in the late 1970’s that Brian Smith emigrated from Australia to California. Among his most precious belongings were a bag full of sheepskin boots. Smith knew that once the Californian surfers realized just what these boots were they would latch on. Latch on they did!
In no time Smith had a waiting list for way more boots than he could handle! Ugg boots took off!
A least that is the way Ugg boots tells it. There is some controversy over when and where the “Ugg” style boots originated. As well as who was really the first to introduce them to the world. There was a bitter trademark and copyright dispute in the past since the term “Ugg” is used by most Australians to refer to the style of boot (not the company). There are reportedly over 70 trademarks out there that include the word “Ugg” in them.
Why Surfers (& Others) Love Uggs Boots
As mentioned Ugg boots are the term that refers to Australian sheep-skin boots. They are made from sheepskin with the original wool sheared but still attached to the skin. The leather is tanned on one side and the wool treated on the other.
This makes for very comfortable boots. There is something about sheep’s wool under and around your feet that is indescribable. Not only does it feel great, it is very temperate. From the winter cold to the summer heat, uggs boots keep your feet comfortable.
Australian surfers were the first ones to realize the comfort of putting on Uggs instead of flip flops after coming out of cold water. This is what made Uggs first take off in California too.
The attachment that results to the boots once you’ve broken them in resembles more the feeling of being in love than anything else. Once you wear them regularly it will be hard to put on another shoe or boot!
What is Shearling Wool?
Shearling sheep wool is basically sheepskin leather that never had the wool taken off of it. That is why the outside of Uggs boots are soft sheepskin and the inside is real wool. A synthetic product simply cannot duplicate the comfort and the temperature regulation of natural shearling sheepskin.
If you prefer vegan boots there are plenty out there that give the same look. However, none of them can come close to the comfort and temperature control of real sheepskin boots. The natural characteristics of sheepskin is the main reason that the boots became popular in the first place.
Why do Activists Oppose Uggs Boots?
There has been a lot of controversy over Sheepskin boots (also known as shearling boots). The basic reason is that they come from animals. Somehow it escapes some people’s attention that leather comes from animals as does wool. So, yes Uggs boots, just like Timberland boots, just like Doc Martens boots, come from animals.
Many activists argue that boot companies kill the sheep just for their skin. This is not true! The law regulates this very closely. The sheep skins that boot companies use are byproducts (results) of the food industry. Contrary to the gruesome details that activists seem to enjoy divulging: Boot companies do not skin sheep alive either.
If a sheep farmer is going to survive he needs to either sell the wool or the meat from his sheep. That is, in effect, the only reason to shepherd sheep. it is far too time consuming to be a hobby.
This reality is this: people eat sheep, cows, chickens, pigs, etc. It would be ridiculous to throw away the skins of animals that were already killed for food. Tanners prepare the skins to to be use them as leather in all sorts of products.
To throw out the skins would be a waste and a disrespect to the animal in my opinion. Honestly, if you want to attack Ugg boots, then you need to attack every leather boot manufacturer, every meat processor, every restaurant or grocery store out there because they kill animals. I hope you can see the irony in this!
What Company Produces the Best Sheepskin Boots?
This question is debatable and at the end comes down to opinion more than anything else. There are many manufacturers of sheepskin boots out there. Many of these manufacturers offer high quality.
Ozalia: is considered by many to be superior to the competition. The main reason being that they use plush, extra thick lining inside their boots. Ozalia puts a lot of weight on the quality of their products and definitely deserve their place at the top of our list.
Emu: is another excellent and well known brand. They too offer very high quality boots. Emu puts more attention into their soles. They offer removable soles and also better foot support.
UGGS: are the most famous Australian sheepskin boots out there! They have been able to maintain a high quality standard even throughput their growth. Their boots are great in all-round quality. We put them third on our list since they don’t really stand out in any one aspect.
BearPaw: is the American version of sheepskin style boots. While the quality is somewhat lower than the others on the list they still make very good boots. Their use of “neverwet” treatment make their boots even more weather resistant. Most of their boots use real shearling sheepskin and therefore have all of the benefits!
Are Uggs Boots Good in the Snow?
Classic Uggs boots, as explained above, are sheepskin suede. This material is not waterproof. Of course you should treat them with weather proof treatment. However, this will only make them water resistant, not water proof.
If you wear them in wet snow they will not hold out for long. Whereas the temperature should not be a problem when dry, wet Uggs are not very warm.
This of course applies to the classic Ugg style. The UGG boot company makes different style boots that are made specifically for the snow, ones with top-grain leather that resist the rain and snow. However, we do not recommend using the traditional Australian sheepskin boots in the snow.