Tuesday, 12 February 2013

A - Z of Australia - U is for Ugg boots

Ugg boots are quite a popular footwear item in Australia.
They are made of sheepskin with fleece on the inside and originally a tan colour on the outside and synthetic sole.  Nowadays there is a diversity of new colours and styles.
Various models of UGGj boots (photo from net)
Australian surfer Shane Stedman has stated that he invented the ugg boot in 1971, registering the trademark as UGH-Boots.
Both Australia and New Zealand claim the invention of this footwear style.
Although this type of footwear was used in rural Australia, no one knows when they were commercially manufactured under the UGG name.
Mortels Sheepskin Factory made the boots from the late 1950's, naming them "ugg boots" after the Mrs Mortel commented how "ugly" the first pair was.

They were originally worn for warmth and comfort as house slippers, but nowadays are used in summer and winter. The insulating properties of sheepskin means the boots will be warm in winter, but cool in summer.

In the 1960's they were adopted as beach footwear by surfers.
In the USA, they became popular, when in 1994, the U.S. Olympic team wore them for the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer (Norway).
Pamela Anderson in the then popular series "Baywatch" wore them to the beach when playing a surf live saver, and their popularity soared. Jennifer Lopez has also been seen wearing them...
I'm sure all this is good for business!

Even though these famous people wear them on the streets, I still cannot get used to the idea that this footwear is to me no more than house slippers, and I really struggle to see people wearing shorts and sheep skin boots in the heat of the Perth summer.

In Portugal this type of boot or back open slipper is also made and sold, you can usually buy these in "Serra da Estrela", the highest mountain in Portugal, that gets its peaks covered in snow in winter. I have a pair that I wear in winter only and I don't think I want to try covering my feet in sheepskin in summer...

In Portugal I had never ever seen anyone wearing these slippers or boots outside the confines of their home either, be it summer or winter...


  1. These are quite popular now. Well I've seen several people wearing them, but then they may not be Portuguese. I think they are a ugly...but then I'm strange!

  2. I agree with you Carole. I will need to send the fashion police to Portugal, lol.

  3. Sami, it's a it unAustralian of me...but I loathe them! I have never owned any and I see them as a pair of rather ugly slippers :)

  4. They do look warm and comfy, but I agree with you they look more like indoor slippers. The idea of wearing them in summer with a pair of shorts . . . well, people do all sorts of strange things fashion and clothing-wise. Seeing tall leather boots with miniskirts in the spring and summer look odd to me too.

    Then again, it keeps things interesting to see what other people do and wear!

  5. In the U.S., it's mostly the younger girls that wear these. I think they're hideous, like Crocs, but I'm sure they're comfortable!

  6. Muito usadas aqui também. :-)

  7. I agree Sami, I think indoors as slippers is the only place for these boots!

  8. I just can't get over their price. In the USA, you often see sorority girls wearing them. So not me!

  9. Lovely Light, Grace, JM, Hollie, Miss Footloose, Sharon
    -Not my cup of tea either, there are such attractive shoes, why are these boots so loved baffles me.

  10. Sandra - in the Netherlands I can understand that women would wear these to warm their feet, but not in the middle of the Australian summer...

    Laurie - I had no idea there were ugg purses.

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