From the Australian outback: joy or sorrow? Ugg boots are back – but not without controversy

Cool trend or aberration of taste? Hardly any shoe polarizes as much as the Ugg boot.

From the Australian outback: joy or sorrow? Ugg boots are back – but not without controversy

Cool trend or aberration of taste? Hardly any shoe polarizes as much as the Ugg boot. For years, fashion-conscious people have not been able to find common ground here. For some they are an indispensable item of clothing in winter, for others the kicks are a thorn in the side because of their aesthetics. The casual luxury brand is based in sunny California. However, the controversial footwear has its origins in Australia. The history of Ugg boots goes back several decades - long before the shoe encased the wizened feet of surfers. Originally worn by Australian sheepherders in the 19th century, they were considered ideal shoes for keeping feet warm in the harshest conditions. They were made of sheepskin, which warmed the feet in the cold and cooled them in the heat. Fur is still used in shoes today. That causes criticism.

Let's take a closer look at the fluffy footwear: The classic model "Ugg Classic Short" has an upper made of sheepskin, is lined with lambskin, the insole is made of wool, and the sole is made of plastic. The use of fur and leather in Ugg boots has raised ethical and environmental concerns. Some people object to Ugg boots due to animal welfare concerns or sustainability concerns. The company published information about the origin of the materials.

Ugg's website states: "It is fundamental to us that the materials we use of animal origin come from animals that have been bred in a dignified manner according to the principles of animal welfare[..]". It goes on to say: “We are against the exploitation and killing of animals just to preserve their fur[..]”. The use of skins from exotic animals and domestic or wild cats as well as dog, Angora rabbit or rabbit fur will be avoided, as will alpaca fur since autumn 2023. “Instead, we only use hides that are by-products of animal breeding for food production,” the company said.

In addition to animal welfare and environmental protection, the price tag could also deter you from buying. The quality of the materials and the brand contribute to a high price level. The “Ugg Classic Short II” model costs between 168 and 220 euros (depending on the provider). Nevertheless, the clothing phenomenon can be observed again on Germany's streets. Carriers are not deterred by all of this and trudge through city centers, supermarkets, and sit on buses and trains. Many averse people might now ask themselves: What do they like about this shoe?

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If you google “celebrities with Ugg boots” you will come across a number of well-known faces: Rihanna, Bella Hadid, Dua Lipa, Kendal Jenner and, and, and. A possible reason for the recurring hype: Ugg boots are known for their comfort. The soft sheepskin lining keeps feet warm and feels comfortable. The feet lie in a fluffy bed made of wool. The shoe also conveys a relaxed and casual look. The boots accompany wearers especially on carefree days - when shopping, walking, at Christmas markets

Additionally, Ugg boots are available in a variety of styles and colors, from classic and simple to eye-catching variations. And when you look at the outfits of many of the wearers, you notice the uninhibited approach to combinations. Miniskirts with nylon tights are represented here, as are jogging pants with baggy sweaters, dresses and jeans. There seems to be no limits to creativity. And everything below the calves disappears into a sea of ​​fur.

For those who have succumbed to the charms of Ugg boots, there are reasons for their affection. Here the comfort, the soft lining, the warmth - and certainly the luxury - are arguments at the top of the list. On the other side of the spectrum, there are those who strongly oppose Ugg boots. A common criticism is their aesthetics, another the use of animal materials. Which side you choose is up to you.

Sources: "Ugg", "Sueddeutsche"

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