No lie, I am sitting here writing this blog post wearing a pair of Ugg boots. It’s chilly in my apartment and nothing keeps my feet toastier than my Classic Talls in Chestnut. I should also point out that the classic Ugg boots, the ones we all know best…you know, the ones that make your delicate feet look like Shrek’s, but feel like you’ve put them up a sheep’s ass, are technically houseslippers. Yes, Australians laugh at us for wearing them outdoors. When I got word that Ugg Boots are going out of style I had to laugh.
The History of Ugg Boots
So, how did the the Ugg houseslipper become such a phenomenon in the United States, so much so that average soccer moms in the fly-over states now wear them to carpool? Well let me give you a little history, which is important to cover before we get into the news that Ugg boots are on their way to possible extinction.
Years before you could find a pair of imitation Uggs for five dollars in a bargain bin at Walgreens, Uggs were worn by Australian surfers to warm up their feet after surfing; which explains why the trend evolved to people (celebrities first) wearing them in the summer with shorts, particularly in California, another big surfing location. Next, tweens and teens, who often live vicariously through celebrities, confused us all when they were seen prancing around in Uggs and shorts in 90 degree weather. And, so it began…like many trends.
I resisted the Ugg trend for years. Even though it’s a rare day for you not to see them on my feet once the weather gets cold, I still don’t think they are particularly attractive. Yet, it’s hard not to become a convert once you stick your feet in a pair. I can only compare it to the first time you do heroin (not that I ever have) and you’re an addict from that moment on.
My Ugg convert moment was during a friend’s wedding at Lake Placid during the month of February when she insisted her entire wedding party take photos at an outdoor attraction called The Ice Castles between her ceremony and reception. While we were all expected to tromp around in the snow and ice in our gowns and faux fur wraps, we changed from our strappy heels into black Uggs before exiting the limo into the Tundra-like conditions. I slipped my foot into a borrowed pair and thought, “Oh GOD, I don’t want to know this feeling!” My frigid feet were not only warm but they were comfortable, too comfortable. It wasn’t long after that I bought my own pair. Now, once the weather gets cold, the only way you’ll get my Uggs off my feet would be to pry them off my cold, dead body.
Uggs, to me, are like the equivalent of Reebok trend of the 80′s. Remember that classic hightop pair that had the double velcro across the ankles…that we didn’t fasten? Quite a few sneaker companiess knocked off that classic style yet, as a kid, I remember you were only cool if your sneakers were an authentic pair. This style was my introduction into the importance we put on labels. Like those Reebok sneakers, while many tried to knock off the Ugg boot, all it took was one glance at someone’s heel to know if they were wearing Uggs or Fuggs (Fake Uggs). Ugg, knowing how important labels are to us (even those to those who don’t consider themselves shallow or much of a fashionista), could get away with jacking up the price or never offering them on sale. It was a classic case of supply and demand…and the demand remained high!
So, now we find out that Ugg boots are finally losing their foothold. Deckers Outdoor Corp., the makers of Uggs, tumbled 16 percent Friday to a three-year low and its third-quarter profit dropped 31 percent. Sam Poser, an analyst at Sterne Agee, said that “the worst is yet to come” indicating that the “boots may have fallen out of fashion.”
Yes, every trend eventually dies, but I am wondering if Uggs will ever go extinct completely. I do believe the trend of wearing them in July with skirts and shorts is long over and I also know that once you can get a hot trend for a buck-ninety-nine at the dollar store means that that trend is on its last legs. Yet, I still wonder if the Ugg diehards out there, who bought them less for fashion or trend but more for function and warmth, or those who have found Ugg boots to be the perfect example of how casual and lazy we have gotten with the way we dress in America, will let go so easily, especially now that Uggs announced that they will be lowering their prices in the U.S..
Uggs are convenient, they’re warm and despite their ugliness, the havoc they’ve wreaked on the ankles of many, many of us still grab them, knowing darn well we look ridiculous in them. Personally, until I can find a shoe style that I can wear indoors when I am cold, that keep my feet warm when it is 13 degrees outside as a replacement for my Ugg boots, I just don’t know how ready I am to give them up.