Whether one loves them, hates them, or just tolerates them, there is no doubt that the UGG brand has taken over the slipper market. So much so that most people can’t walk into a room without seeing at least one person wearing some form of them.
UGG began in the 1970s from an Australian surfer named Brian Smith. The company started marketing the shoes as a cozy beach boot in southern California. Today it is one of, if not, the most popular slipper/boot brand.
There is a large number of students who can be seen on USD’s campus wearing some form of the Australian footwear, or some other alternative slipper. Especially now, as the fur lined shoes are seemably more appealing to wearers with the decreased temperatures.
“I’ve seen them the most here at college,” said freshman Mara Lagge. “Everyone is wearing them I feel like.”
Despite the brand’s popularity, there has been discourse in the past about how the shoe brand is not only overpriced but also unattractive, with many people using the brand name “UGG” as a play-on for “UGG”ly. However, this belief regarding the brand has fizzled recently, as there seems to be a resurgence of popularity for the comfortable shoe.
“I think they’re worth every penny,” said freshman Luke Hunsberger. “They are made really well
and they are comfy.”
Most students find the slipper as a warm and stylish alternative to the traditional snow boot, as with some “preparation” the shoes can be fit to handle the difficult South Dakota weather.
“They are 100% worth the hype, they do keep your feet 10 times warmer than the average boot,” said USD student Dakota Menkel. “If you use the water protection (spray) they will last you forever, all you have to do is water protect them.”
The UGG Tasman slipper currently retails for $110, while other popular styles like the Classic Ultra Mini and Classic Mini II Boot range from $150 to $160. Due to the arguably high price, some students have found alternatives or in other terms “dupes” for the slipper.
“I definitely do think the dupes are comparable to the actual shoe,” said student Calli Connors. “Especially because I feel like people are mostly getting the dupes to save money, like more people get the dupe than the real UGGs.”
While some consider the UGG boot to be the “end-all and be-all” of the boot market, others believe that a boot is a boot and as long as it functions, that’s what matters.
“Boots during this time of the year are nice,” said student Grady Harrington. “A cheap pair of boots are fine. I don’t see a reason to buy an expensive pair of UGGs.”
Still, some find that the quality of the shoe justifies the price, and see the purchase of UGGs as an investment that will last them for years.
“I’ve had mine since freshman year of high school and I’m currently a sophomore in college,” said student Claire Emme. “They fit and feel as if they’re brand new.”
Despite past or modern criticism towards the price or look of the shoe, it is undeniable that UGGs have become extremely popularized amongst college aged students. The velocity in which they are seen speaks directly to the public opinion of them as a product. UGGS seem to be everywhere because most people find them either comfortable, cute, trendy or all of the above. Whether or not they last in the public zeitgeist, is ultimately up for the culture to decide.