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What Are UGG® Boots?

By Rachael Cullins
Updated May 21, 2024
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UGG® boots are a popular style of casual, flat-soled boots featuring a sheepskin, suede-like exterior and a soft fleece interior. The most popular style of UGG®s reach the mid-ankle or lower calf. The boots are primarily worn by women, and their design has been copied by many other knock-off brands.

This style of boot gained popularity in the mid- to late 2000s, as female celebrities and many teenagers began wearing them with everything from tucked-in skinny jeans to dresses and denim miniskirts. It is uncertain from which country UGG® boots originated, as Australia and New Zealand each claim responsibility for the trend. The original concept for the boots may date back to the 1930s, and surfers commonly wore them for warmth in 1960s between trips into the ocean. There is also controversy over the origins of the term “ugg.”

The popularity of the boots greatly increased in the late 2000s as female American celebrities began to wear them. True UGG® boots are manufactured by the Deckers Outdoor Corporation, which reported boot sales of more than $680 million United States Dollars (USD) in 2008. The boots are no longer considered stylish in the United States but are still commonly worn by many women, especially during cold months. There are many knockoff, less expensive versions of UGG®s sold by numerous retailers. Some people choose off-brand, non-sheepskin versions of the boots in order to avoid wearing animal products.

Since the rise in popularity of UGG® boots, the UGG® Company has produced many different styles of the basic boot. The style that first rose in popularity was plain dark brown or tan in a basic sheepskin exterior. Today, UGG® manufactures boots in varying heights and exteriors. The boots can be found in short ankle-length, tall calf-covering length, or the traditional high-ankle height. Decker also produces men’s versions of the boots, often worn in leather or another more rugged material.

UGG® boots are available in a wide range of colors and exterior fabrics. Knit UGG®s are a popular style, featuring a chunky, sweater-like cable knit on the exterior of the shoe. Both knit and sheepskin UGG® boots are sold in a variety of colors, from basic tans and browns to gray, green, and purple. Some UGG® styles feature buttons or puffy fleece decorating the exterior of the shoe. Denim and leather versions of the boots are also available, and the Decker Corporation produces slippers and other footwear that resemble their boots with soft fleece interiors.

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Discussion Comments

By StarJo — On May 20, 2012

@lighth0se33 - I saw some pink UGG boots just the other day in the mall. I think they are a really popular item for kids, because the shoe department that I was in had several boxes of them.

The exterior is bright pink, and the fuzzy part that comes over the edge is also pink. These even came with a pink button on the side.

They only rose to just above the ankle, which is actually a good size for kids. You really don’t see too many young children walking around in tall UGG boots, anyway.

By lighth0se33 — On May 19, 2012

Does anyone know if I will be able to find some authentic UGG boots for kids that are pink? I would love to get my seven-year-old niece some for her birthday, but I want to make sure that they are the real thing, because even at such a young age, she is really into fashion.

Pink is currently her favorite color, and her mother told me that she has been asking for some UGG boots. I want to be her favorite aunt, so I have volunteered to buy them.

I know she probably would not be thrilled with brown or black ones. Pink UGGs would be the ultimate gift for her.

By OeKc05 — On May 19, 2012

I remember a trend at my college back in the mid-2000s that involved either cheap knock-offs or real UGG boots. Girls were wearing this warm and fuzzy footwear with shorts and t-shirts!

Since not all the girls were rich, I imagine that several of them wore different brands that were less expensive, but they all looked the same. It was so strange to see a bunch of girls in really short shorts and t-shirts in warm weather walking around in what is probably one of the warmest types of shoes out there.

I never jumped on the bandwagon. I wore my UGGs only on the coldest winter days, when it made sense.

By Oceana — On May 18, 2012

I love the UGG sweater boots. They go well with actual sweaters, and they are so comfortable. There’s nothing like being able to wear sweater material on your legs in the cold weather.

I have a pair of gray sweater boots with buttons up the side. The top of the boot has a sweater cuff that actually makes the boot look a bit like a sock, because it folds down.

I can unbutton the boots as far as I choose and fold the top down further. I usually just leave them buttoned, because I like the classic look of tall UGG boots.

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