In case you haven’t had the pleasure yet, meet the Ugg.
The Australian-made sheepskin boots, shoes, sandals and slippers offer wearers luxurious comfort – and has proved to be mainstay footwear and not just another fashion trend.
Patch spoke to proud owners of the popular boot (and slippers) as well as retailers who say that the Ugg is here to stay.
“They are warm, easy to put on and I can wear them with anything – leggings, jeans, shorts. Being a mom of two active boys, I need something easy to slip on fast,” Fairfielder Stacey Bauer, 38, told Patch. “I think they are still popular for women of my age for these reasons. I think with the release of all the new styles of them each year they will continue to stay in fashion.”
This season, Ugg rolled out its sequined boots, the “Sparkles” – one of “Oprah’s Favorite Things” – in black, gold and silver priced at about $170. Not sure sequins are practical for wet weather conditions, but they definitely are an eye catcher.
Nancy Weisbard, a sales associate at the Darien Sport Shop, told Patch that the original chestnut color remains the most popular color in the original sheepskin boot, with black coming in at a close second. And this holiday season, the retailer saw a huge increase in its Ugg slipper sales.
“We were completely sold out of Ugg slippers by Christmas Eve,” Weisbard said. “People were grabbing any size they could. They make a great gift item.”
This season, the classic tall boot style has been most popular, she told Patch, with practically no age limit on the fashionable boot.
“It goes from the kids up through people in their 60s and 70s…people seem to go from their UGGs right into their flip flops,” Weisbard said. “The kids will wear them longer than adults. College students are still wearing them going into their flip flops come spring.”
Weisbard added that the sport shop sold a few Emu-brand boots, but consumers consistently remain attracted to the Ugg.
“I keep thinking, ‘this is it, this is it,’ every season. But they are still so popular because of their warmth and comfort,” Weisbard said.
The women’s classic short is one of Ugg’s most iconic silhouettes and features genuine Twinface sheepskin and the signature Ugg woven label. All boots in the classic collection feature a soft foam insole covered with genuine sheepskin and have a light and flexible molded EVA outsole designed for exceptional comfort. Colors now include the vibrant “orchid bloom” (purple) and the unique “aqua sea” (blue) and “artichoke” (green).
And of course every popular brand also has its counterpart: The Fake. There is a large contingency of women who opt to wear “Fuggs” – fake Uggs – mostly because they look so similar and cost less that the brand name.
Deb Karazin Owens of Fairfield told Patch she recently got a pair of “Fuggs” from her 11-year-old daughter for her birthday.
“I think Uggs are too expensive, especially for a young girl whose feet seem to grow a size every month. She can get the same look with the fake ones,” Owens said. “As for me, I wasn’t sure if I was too old to wear them but then decided they’re so comfy and super easy to put on … but I couldn’t bring myself to splurge on the real deal. I’d rather splurge on other things.”
Amanda Leo of Trumbull bought a generic pair of Ugg-style boots a year and a half ago and has appreciated the purchase ever since.
“They’re fur-lined and they keep your feet warm,” she said.
Stamford resident Kelly McGuire told Patch she is loyal to the Ugg brand because of its quality and ultra comfort.
“In college, I was a typical Northface-leggings-and-Uggs girl – strictly for popularity,” McGuire said. “But as I get older, I wear Uggs more for their warmth and comfort, rather than for the look of them, which I find less appealing as I get older.”
In considering switching to the fakes, McGuire said she will only stick with the genuine article.
“I don’t think the name has much to do with why I wear the authentic Uggs. It’s more for the fact that I would worry the quality of ‘Fuggs’ may not be up to par with the real thing.”
And with NFL star Tom Brady now the male spokesmodel for the popular boots, it proves Uggs are manly enough for men and boys to wear, too.
Alex Taylor of Trumbull said he wears Ugg slippers, and is considering moving up a notch to the boot style when he dresses casually.
“I will wear the slippers only, but I have contemplated a pair of boots for weekend wear,” he told Patch.
Southport resident Robyn Bilotta, mom of two boys ages 4 and 1, told Patch the idea of Uggs for men was recently a major topic of conversation in her circle of friends.
“For men, the general consensus is no,” Bilotta said. “But I got them for my boys… and they adore them. They are easy and warm.”