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About the brand
Given UGG’s laid-back, relaxed but stylish look, it’s perhaps not too surprising that its origins lie in Australia and South California.
Way back in 1978, an Australian surfer came upon the idea of combining the natural, versatile sheepskin products from his homeland with chilled-out, comfortable and elegant California coastal style. When he did. The UGGs brand stayed in the West Coast area for a couple of decades before becoming known to a much wider audience.
It wasn’t until the early noughties that the iconic boots leapt to worldwide fame, and UGG stores spread to New York, London, Tokyo and, most recently, Paris.
The name “Ugg” has been the subject of much controversy and legal action in the recent past, with some in Australia claiming that the term “ugg” is just the way of referring to flat sheepskin boots (and can’t be patented any more than the term Wellington boots).
The brand UGG is now owned by Decker’s Brands, who have trademarked the term UGG and defend it against unauthorised use. As well as the classic UGG boot, the company sell a range of other casual footwear including sandals and slippers, and even pyjamas and other casual leisurewear.
The company recently launched its Twinsole product – convertible footwear with both standard and sheepskin insoles, offering extra comfort for chilly days. For most people, though, it’s all about the sheepskin boots!
Does UGG have an outlet?
The UGG Emporium is the UGG brand’s outlet, offering up to 50% off the usual retail price. You can find a wide range of casual footwear here, from sandals, including some stylish wedges, to some very un-granny-like slippers. There are some actual boots, too, but not the standard styles. At the moment, there are some amazing sequinned UGGs at half price.
Where are Uggs made?
It’s a common misconception that UGGs are made in Australia. The materials UGGs are made from – certainly those from natural materials, such as the classic sheepskin items – are sourced from carefully-selected suppliers with good standards of animal welfare (see below). However, like most footwear and clothing in general, it is actually assembled in low-wage economies such as China and Vietnam.
How to clean Ugg boots
Never stick your UGGs in the washing machine.
The classic model is made of suede, and water will do them no good at all – they’ll end up stained and out of shape.
So how to keep your new UGGs looking as good as on the day of purchase? The best plan is to arm yourself with some suede and a suede brush.
First of all, brush well to get rid of any surface dirt. Then scrub with the suede cleaner and brush.
Finally, stuff your boots with newspaper to help them keep their shape, and leave them to dry thoroughly in a well-ventilated spot for around 24 hours (don’t stick them on the radiator, that makes leather and suede wrinkle).
If you’ve really got into the Californian spirit and had a good beach walk, you need to beware of salt stains – a dry cleaner should be able to help get rid of those.
What are UGG boots made of?
UGG boots are made of some seriously premium material – hence the relatively high price. There’s no doubt that this is an astonishingly comfortable shoe.
The sheepskin used is specially selected “Twinface” material, chosen for the uniformity of its grain and the fullness/”stand-up” ability of the wool on the other side.
Any particular piece of sheepskin has to meet certain measurements and standards in six different places so that it can be approved to make a pair of UGG boots. UGGpure ™ is a natural wool used to make UGG boots – it has special moisture-wicking, cooling properties to make sure your feet stay toasty but don’t overheat.
Going deeper into the shoe, UGGs boast EnerG comfort insoles which feature micropods for the ultimate in cushioning. The synthetic soles, Treadlite™, make each step comfortable, also giving plenty of traction in the snow or on sand!
Does Ugg use sheepskin in their products?
The UGG brand takes animal welfare seriously, and are keen to emphasise that the sheepskin they use is a by-product of the meat industry.
They don’t use sheepskin from animals that were raised purely for their skin, and they don’t use skin from farmers who “mules” their sheep, that is, who remove the skin from the hindquarters of living sheep (a practice which is just as inhumane as it sounds).
They buy their sheepskin from tanneries, and only from animals raised in Australia, the UK, the US, Spain and Ireland, where there are strict rules about the treatment of animals being kept for their meat.
This isn’t likely to be much comfort for vegetarians, although there are plenty of styles in the range from the UGG brand that don’t use sheepskin or other animal products.
At the point of writing, however, there are no certified vegan UGGs available.
Are UGGs waterproof?
Some styles of UGG boots, such as those specifically made for skiing or similar, are indeed waterproof, but the classic sheepskin ones are not.
Unless you live in Southern California, and perhaps even if you do, it’s a good idea to protect your investment by waterproofing your suede UGGs, otherwise they will stain and mark at the first drop of rain.
You can buy special kits from UGG themselves, as well as from any decent shoe shop or online. It’s absolutely worth the effort of waterproofing your UGs before wearing them for the first time, otherwise they will look distinctly lived-in from the outset.
Are UGG slippers true to size?
UGG slippers are generally true to size, and UGG themselves recommend going down a size if you’re between sizes.
UGG shoes don’t come in half sizes in the UK, but do bear in mind that the sheepskin styles will stretch to some extent – so, in general, treat their sizing as generous.
It’s the same with their boots, by the way – they are known for running large.
Do they make UGGs for men?
The UGG brand has a full range of shoes for men, focussing in particular on sturdy boots. The classic Baywatch-style sheepskin surfer boot comes in a slightly shorter style for men.
Perhaps with generously proportioned surfers in mind, the classic short boot for gents goes right up to a size 17.
How to spot a fake UGG
For quite some time, UGGs were one of the most frequently counterfeited footwear brands around.
Whilst this is past its peak now, it’s still worth being on your guard and aware of some tips and tricks. UGG has gone hi-tech with its security, check online for the latest measures, but here are a few quick ways to make sure your UGG product is the real deal.
- One in common use is a sunshine hologram that changes from black to white when rotated 90 degrees.
- UGG have started using a QR code you can scan with a smartphone. This then takes you to their website, where you can verify your product’s authenticity.
- Look out, too, for classic giveaways such as poor stitching, which you just don’t see on the real deal.
- Check the fur quality – it should be creamy in colour and very soft to the touch. Pieces shouldn’t come off when you rub it (this is a sign of fake fur).
- The sole should be flexible, not rigid, and the opening should be generous enough that you can roll the boot over or tuck your jeans in.
- Fakes are often made to run much smaller (Real UGGs are generously sized).
- Shop the trust outlets. Every retailer and outlet on Love the Sales is 100% verified retailer, shop with peace of mind that you are getting the real deal at a great price.