About fUGGin’ time

By Sophia Coleman

Sorry sorority girls, but I’ve heard glorious news: The era of UGG boots may finally be coming to an end.

The company reported Oct. 25 that sales are down 31 percent and it plans to slash prices. A pair of the sheepskin atrocities currently costs between $135–$200, a hefty price for marshmallow-shaped feet soaked in winter slush.

“The worst is yet to come,” Sam Poser, an analyst at brokerage firm Sterne Agee, told the Huffington Post Oct. 26. “Weaker UGGs sales might not just be due to [mild] weather, but may indicate that their boots have fallen out of fashion.”

Well, my mind is blown. The moment UGGs first hit the market, I thought they were simply the epitome of high fashion: perfect structure and absolute, dignified grace.  I hope you sense my sarcasm.

Deckers Outdoor Corp., which owns UGGs, blamed two years of price increases for shoppers’ disinterest with the boots. This time of year normally sends sales skyrocketing, but consumers are finally coming to their senses. The boots aren’t facing extinction because they’re overpriced, but because they’re simply the ugliest and most useless footwear on the planet.

The Michelin Man-inspired shoes are also harmful. Many podiatrists warn that because the boot lacks support, it can lead to ankle, knee, hip and back problems. Neither attractive nor utilitarian, the shoes’ wool interior tricks wearers into thinking their feet are taking a break, when really they’re breaking their feet.

UGG boots have long strayed from their original purpose. In Australia and New Zealand, where the term “ugg” was coined, the footwear is known as a unisex style of sheepskin boot worn by surfers. Then along came SoCal surfer and style-squasher Brian Smith, who founded the UGG brand in the mid ’80s.  According to the brand’s website, Smith “landed in Southern California with a bag of sheepskin boots and hope” and he “fell in love with the sheepskin experience, convinced the world would one day share this love.” The world fell hard for the brand in the early 2000s and subsequently spiraled into fashion hell.

It’s likely that UGG knew of its own demise before the public did, because the brand has tried to be edgy and forward with ad campaigns starring André Leon Talley and Jessica Simpson. Some of the new styles even strayed from the original squishy shape to become tennis shoes, flats and—it pains me to say—heels, all of which are equally horrid. I’m elated to know such efforts were in vain.

UGGs are one of the many reasons I wear Jeffrey Campbell platforms year-round Yes, you’ll see me trudging through the snow in them. Judge me. Wearing 5-inch heels may one day lead to foot surgery, but I’d much rather let my feet fall apart in style. Hopefully, UGGs will soon phase out and become a distant, painful memory of what popular footwear once was.

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