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Ugg! Are Those Shoes?!

Are they ugly boots or little drops of heaven? There's only one way to know: walk a mile in an Ugg-fiend's shoes.

From the beginning I, like so many other people, objected to the Uggs fad. That is, until a year ago when I tried on a pair.

They’re warm. They’re snuggly. They’re perfect for a chilly winter day. And even if you hate the way they make you look, you won’t be able to give a damn. Because wearing Uggs is like walking on cloud nine.

More than six years ago the Australian company Ugg went blockbuster in the American footwear market. The shoes were notoriously unattractive and not-at-all slimming and a sensation. First came the standard tan-colored ones, then the all-black pair, then ones with tassels and designs. Then the knockoffs. Just like that, everyone had a pair of Uggs or Ugg-like boots. And if your goal was to look like an alpaca herder, you had struck fashion gold.

As cold-weather boots, they were fine. Everyone packs on the layers—sometimes in clothes, sometimes in pounds—during the winter, so a bulky boot wasn’t glaringly obvious. But an Ugg intervention was needed when women began to wear their boots during the summer, with mini skirts and tank tops. Uggs are pricey ($150-200) for the average consumer, especially considering their intended limited seasonal use and that, with everyday use, the look gets tired quickly. Maybe the women who wore Uggs with short skirts were trying to make the most of their dollar. Maybe they genuinely thought it was a good look.

Of the woman I talked with for today’s column, there was a definite consensus: Uggs are for cold weather only. Thankfully, it’s rare now to spot the mini skirt and Uggs pairing.

I'm still abstaining from the Ugg boots fad. But two years ago, during one particularly cold week in the Bay Area, I did make the plunge and indulge in a pair of Ugg slippers. Two years later, I still look forward to putting them on.

A quick word to the wise: However deliciously comfortable it may be to wear Uggs barefoot, don’t. Put on a pair of socks and you’ll be floating away on shoes fit for an alpaca herder for years to come.

Rurik Schtaklef February 24, 2011 at 08:15 PM
I thought it was all about the 5 fingers now.. Guess Uggs are still cool
Analisa Harangozo February 24, 2011 at 08:46 PM
"And if your goal was to look like an alpaca herder, you had struck fashion gold." Ahahah...Love it!
Anna Hiatt February 25, 2011 at 06:40 AM
Uggs are way cool, though maybe not as stylish as Five Fingers. I secretly covet both those brands, but I'd be way too self-conscious to wear them in public. (Note to readers: Want to know what Rurik meant by Five Fingers? See: http://www.vibramfivefingers.com/index.htm. )

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