Like Crocs, ugg boots have divided families and friendships. Originally from Australia, people either love them or think they’re…ugh. What is the history behind uggs though? Are there certain events that are more appropriate for wearing them? Most importantly, are uggs business casual, and can they be worn to work?
A History Of Uggs
The original branded UGG boots first came onto the fashion scene in 1978 when Australian surfer Brian Smith moved to Southern California. He wanted footwear that was comfortable and offered support but was also warm. Soon after, the Classic Boot was born.
The term “ugg” generally refers to a sheepskin boot from Australia or New Zealand. Ugg boots, or boots made out of sheepskin, were utilitarian footwear worn for their warmth in the 1960s. In the 1970s, they were introduced into the surf culture of the United Kingdom and the United States.
By the 1990s and early 2000s, ugg/UGG boots became a worldwide trend, with celebrities wearing them while out and about.
Who Owns The Ugg Boots?
There are many kinds of ugg boots, but UGG boots are by far the most popular. The branded name of UGG was trademarked, but after a trademark hearing, it was determined that the terms “ugg boots”, “ug boots” and “ugh boots” were generic and could be used by anyone in Australia to refer to sheepskin boots.
Technically no one owns ugg boots, but the brand, UGG, is trademarked by Deckers Corporation. There are other Australian and New Zealand brands such as EMU Australia, Uggs-N-Rugs, and Ugg Australia.
Where Are Uggs Manufactured?
Ugg boots are manufactured all over the world, but Australia and New Zealand were the first places to create them. UGG boots, however, are manufactured in China. They had previously branded themselves as UGG Australia but changed to UGG after an investigation said it was misleading to include Australia in the name.
It’s generally thought that uggs made in Australia and New Zealand are the “original” and might be of better quality, but that’s just an assumption. However, if a consumer is concerned about this, they can check the label and see if it says “Made in Australia.”
What Are Uggs Made Of?
When ugg boots were first made, they were comprised of sheepskin and the inside had shearling (skin with the fleece still attached). On the UGG website, they say that their boots are made with “ethically-sourced sheepskin, leathers, suede, wool, down, cotton, and hemp.”
Most high-quality ugg boots will use the same materials, but other versions use fake leather or faux fur lining. PETA notes that there are several vegan options available for those that are concerned about animal cruelty.
So Are Uggs Business Casual?
Uggs were originally made for outdoor adventuring and later became the footwear of surfers. Does this mean they are not appropriate for the office?
According to Business Insider, ugg boots are not considered business casual and are just “casual.” Uggs were called “glorified slippers” and were cited as being fine for casual outings but not for a corporate environment.
One thing to consider is to have a pair of business casual shoes in the office that you can change into. You can wear your ugg boots during your commute and then switch once you reach your desk.
Ugg boots are warm and comfortable, but sadly, that’s only true when the weather is clear and cold or mild.
Are Uggs Waterproof?
Uggs are not waterproof. They are water resistant, which means that a little water is fine, but if it’s pouring, then you will likely find yourself with wet feet. The same for snow. Ugg boots might be OK for a short trek through the drier powdery snow, but slushy wet snow will be very uncomfortable. Water can damage the sheepskin and causes staining.
How Do I Make Uggs Waterproof/Weatherproof?
The best way to waterproof your ugg boots is to use a waterproofing spray that’s safe for suede and leather. Before doing that though, you will need to clean the boots and make sure it’s free of dirt and grime.
After cleaning your ugg boots and letting them dry off proceed to spray the boot with waterproofing spray. Use the spray while holding the boots at least six inches away. Let everything settle and dry over 24 hours and then your ugg boots will be good to go!
How To Clean My Uggs
Besides weatherproofing your ugg boots, you will also need to clean them to keep the sheepskin soft and supple. This will also prolong the life of your uggs.
Use a suede brush to wipe off the boots and afterward, use a damp cloth to gently rub the ugg boot. Next, use a specialized ugg boot cleaner by using it all over the surface. You can find the cleaner online or UGG even sells their own bottles. Let it dry completely. After all that is done, then you can proceed to spray the boot with waterproofing spray.
- First, use a gentle soft bristle brush to brush away any dirt and grime. Pet brushes or lint brushes work great for this.
- Get a cloth and add some of the special ugg boot cleaner onto it. You do not need a lot of it; a capful should do the trick.
- Dampen the cloth and work the cleanser into it. Then gently clean the surface of the ugg boot using circular motions. The boot should start to darken in color. Be sure not to add too much water and this can damage the leather.
- Stuff the boots with towels or paper towels to help them retain their shape.
- Leave the ugg boots in a place with direct sunlight and let them dry overnight. Do not use a hair dryer or space heater to dry them as this will cause the leather to become brittle.
Now that the outside is taken care of, what about the inside of the ugg boots?
Taking Care Of The Inside Of Your Uggs
Cleaning the inside of your ugg boots is very important because the moisture from sweat or water can cause bacteria to grow which in turn can create some odors. The best options are to use a disinfectant wipe and antifungal spray. Do not use anything with bleach in it as this will cause the sheepskin to stiffen.
When it comes to odors, the easiest thing you can do is to pour half a cup of baking soda into each boot. Let it sit overnight. Pour it out the next morning and vacuum up any that’s still left in the uggs.
How To Make The Inside Fluffy Again
One of the best things about ugg boots is the fluffy soft inside, but after wearing them for a while, the shearling can become flat. What’s the best solution for bringing the fluffiness back?
The answer is to use a pet brush. Just lightly dab the inside of your uggs with a clean wet towel. Brush the shearling as if it was normal hair on your pet. Once it starts fluffing up again, use a hair dryer to set everything.
How Often Should Ugg Boots Be Cleaned?
Ugg boots should be cleaned after every few wears, but if you wore them while it was wet or snowy, they should be cleaned when you get home. This is because water can damage your uggs so you want to make sure you address the issue right away.