Friday, October 12, 2012

It's Fashion Friday!: Ugh The UGGer Disappointment

           Call it nesting. Call it instinct. Call me crazy. A couple of weeks ago I had an out of the blue, deep-seated urge to acquire waterproof winter boots. I realize that you may mistrust my “need” for more footwear, but it really was like a squirrel’s need to gather and bury acorns before winter. I asked the squirrels – we talked about it. They agreed. (What? You don’t talk to squirrels and chipmunks?) We both think that it’s going to be a pretty hard winter, especially given that last year we barely had winter. I just hope it doesn’t turn into one similar to a couple of years ago when there were three-feet-deep snow banks encasing the sidewalk for multiple months. If it does, however, I am now prepared.
Hunter OTK Boots -
Slippers for your legs.
J-41 Wedges -
For doing shoulder stands
on the sidewalk.
            I had boots, before this most recent purchase. I have a divine pair of over the knee shearling Hunter boots. They are supposedly waterproof and the sole is well textured (I don't really want to go running through mud and slush in them given their color). Over the knee just doesn’t work so well with pants. I also have a pair of J-41 ‘Pacific’ Wedge boots. These are cute, comfortable, and mostly waterproof. AND they’re almost a 3-inch wedge – because wearing 3-inch heels in ice and snow is a great idea, if you’re Barbarella. Coming from a function standpoint, the ultimate disappointment in my collection of podiatric accoutrements, however, would be the UGGS. Ugh.
            Last week I had a dream where I discussed the history of my UGG acquisition with a famous person, it might have been Jason Bateman (there’s also a very real possibility that I had this conversation with a REAL person and have forgotten who it was and now think it was a dream). I had UGGs before they were popular and before they were made like crap. Mine had an actual sole on the bottom – the kind you put on a real boot if you want to keep the water out, not something made out of a porous kickboard material. I bought them in 1998. Wait, let me rephrase that. My mom bought them for me in 1998 when I went to college, and they were less than $100. Stepping into them (without socks on, because you really don’t need to wear socks when you have on shearling shoes) was like allowing your feet to be hugged by Snuggle softened Muppets. It’s a good thing they’re that comfortable because your feet pretty much look like Muppet feet when you wear them. Easily the most comfortable shoes I ever owned, that pair lasted ten years. I wore them until they had holes where the shearling had creased from relaxing on the sides.
            I was the only person I knew with UGGs. The best part was how I had heard about them: from the ORIGINAL UGGs spokesperson, the man all the trendy UGG wearing girls of today owe their fashion habit to. Do you know to whom I’m referring? Wait for it…….. Rush Limbaugh. Bet you didn’t see that one coming. Yes, Rush advertised UGGs on his radio show. Depending on your point of view, that could either go as a strike for or against him. I’m undecided at this point… It is pretty funny to blame him for all of the mentally deranged girls we will start to see walking around in mini skirts and UGG boots as the season is upon us (the thermal contradiction that makes you wish people really could catch a cold from not wearing enough clothing). When my beloved boots wore out, I couldn’t find anything else that matched their level of comfort. I didn’t want to buy another pair because I was repulsed by their trendiness. I was also repulsed by their new price tag. My tootsies just seemed so forlorn when they dated other boots. “Where are the Muppet hugs?” they whimpered. “This sole is not soft like clouds!” the ball of my foot would scream and recoil in mistrust.
            Eventually I caved. I couldn’t take much more of this pathetic monologue from my feet. I found a pair of UGGs on sale and brought them home. This new pair felt just as good as the old pair. The sole was different, but given the near doubled price tag, I figured they must be just as good, right? WRONG. The first evidence of inferiority came when I took these UGGs out on some icy sidewalk. EVA foam bottom does not grip. No grip => Sarah slips. I’m clumsy enough as it is, I don’t need my footwear to increase the likelihood of me ending up on my ass. “Hey sky! How are you? Anything new since yesterday?” "Not so much feet, dumped some freezing rain last night." "Yeah, we noticed."
           My original UGGs must have been treated. They were waterproof. You expect snow boots to be waterproof, otherwise, what’s the point? I traipsed through some snow in my replacement snow boots and it was not long before a pinch of chill became a dot of chill became a quarter sized ball of chill became, “Hey my ankles are wet.” “WAH, we’re wet!” I hear. “Nonsense, skin can only sense temperature changes, not wet and dry,” I counter back at my feet. “We’re COLD, you fool! Why don’t you have socks on?!” they punch. I paid way too much money for these boots to be harassed like this by my feet. The disrespect does not end. As if wet ankles weren’t enough, after a few wears it seems this boot has become a full-on foot washing machine.
           I made the mistake of stepping on water. I did not jump in a puddle. I did not try and walk on a lake. I stepped on a wet spot on the road, not deep enough to be a puddle, but not dry enough to be, well, dry. “WHAT is THAT?” “Are we at the ocean?” “It’s the tide! It’s the tide!” “We’re going to drown!” I propose that there are few sensations worse to the feet than water leaking UP through the soles of your shoes. Like being in an earthquake, there is nowhere to escape to. Your feet will wish they could levitate inside their shoes. It doesn’t dry as you walk. It seems to stay wet forever. Soggy feet. Soggy, cold, angry, disillusioned feet.
Who the FUGG would wear this
with a wedding gown?!
          Ugh. UGGs. Comfortable when there is no sign of inclement weather. They have become a ridiculously priced slipper company. They’re not attractive (they never were) and you can’t wear them in the snow. I suppose, if you get the ones like my originals with the rubber outsole you can wear them in the snow, but they will set you back more than $200 and I find that to be preposterous, given the shoe still isn’t waterproof. Speaking of preposterous, UGG actually has a wedding shoe collection. I need a cocktail.

Five Waterproof, Practical, Not Super Ugly, Winter Boots 
Under $200 : Cheaper than UGGs, Drier than UGGs, Cuter
than UGGs, Smarter than UGGs, Better Quality than UGGs

From Top Left Moving Clockwise We have 1. The North Face Janey II Luxe $175 2. Sorel Tofino Canvas Boot $140 from  or in a Cornucopia of Colors at for $149.95 3. Helly Hansen Eir 3 $159.95 4. Merrell Barefoot Frost Glove $125 5. Merrell Nikita $164.95

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