Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Good, The Bad and The Ugg-ly

Uggs are a trend that just won't die. I have to admit that when they first came out a few years ago, the idea of a slip on boot with a skirt or shorts kind of appealed to me, but the novelty quickly wore off. Since their rise Uggs have taken over as the winter boot of choice and never relinquished power. WWD even reported that they are the one shoe style that are keeping retailers afloat and sales have surpassed last years. In Toronto, a friend of mine reported they were sold out of her size every store she checked.

1. Uggs were originally developed as a surfer shoe, and meant to be worn sans socks on the beach, so they aren't actually designed for colder climates. Because they are sheepskin they are actually warm, but there are so many other options out there.

2. Uggs are not waterproof and they leak. Imagine a big wet cold soggy sock on your foot. Now imagine them covered in salt stains.

3. Once an item has made it to everybody and their mother's mother, no matter how hip she is, it becomes ordinary.

4. People say that they are comfortable but you will be paying for it in the long term. Uggs are actually detrimental to foot health. The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists via NY Mag state "the flat soles leave the arches limp and can cause painful tendon conditions, such as a plantar fasciitis. The flimsy sheepskin casing makes a weak ankle cushion."

So as I was talking my friend out of Uggs, here are some options for truly cold weather I discovered:
Sorel was founded in 1908 in Canada and has been associated with cold weather footwear ever since. Sorel was first in the world to the first to combine leather uppers, rubber bottoms and removable felt liners back in the 60s for total warmth. Today they use Thinsulate to keep your toes toasty. I like the Sura but just featured Joan of Artic as their item of the week (these are rated for temperatures upt to -40!!!).

La Canadienne, Montreal designed brand (Canadians know cold) has plenty of waterproof options that feature antibacterial microfibre linings to help your feet breathe easy and prevent funky odors. They also use environmentally-friendly dyes and protective agents as well as recycled materials for all packaging. I like the Chase, which is waterproof suede.

Last but not least, I think these Merrell Spirt Tibet High's are quite cute. They are waterproof and good for temperatures up to -20 Celsius (-4 Degrees Farenheit). Merrell is a performance oriented brand that's been creating gear for outdoors for over 20 years.

For less extreme cold needs check out Lani's previous article here.


Shelly said...

love this post! i'm so glad i had you to research for me and help me choose :)

Kim said...

I love Merrells. Good job pointing out that Uggs are not waterproof. Snow boots you can't wear in the snow...

Erin said...

Glad to be of service keeping your feet toasty & dry!

I actually don't own any really practical winter boots myself and next boot purchase I'm thinking of one of these types^^ Perhaps next year. Waterproof is a definate must, as I've learned the hard way!

LBJ said...

I grew up @ the beach, so I have a slightly diff take on Uggs...I think of them like slippers not, uh, "fashion footwear."

That said? I am about to eat crow and declare my desperate longing for these:

LBJ said...

...Rats, don't think link is formatting properly. It's the Ugg Classic Crochet Cardy boots. So cute.

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Anonymous said...

nice blog :-)

I own those Merrells--same color, grey--and let me tell you how they saved my feet! We had a snowstorm last week in DC and it kept my toesies warm while I shoveled out.

Highly recommended!!

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