Australian surfer Brian Smith moved to Southern California in 1978 and founded UGG to import and distribute the traditional ugg boot style--worn by both men and women in his native country--to consumers in the U.S. Armed with $20,000 invested by his friends and family, Smith grew his business slowly but steadily. The boots had become a staple in California beach towns by the mid-1980s, and the style started to pop up in various ski areas during the winters. Around the turn of the 21st century, various celebrities started to wear and endorse UGG as a casual style. In 2000, the company became a household name when Oprah name UGG boots as one of her "Favorite Things."
UGG really became a staple of the American fashion scene in the early 2000s and was seen as a symbol of the casual, luxurious lifestyle. The brand's popularity soon spread internationally to Europe and Asia. UGG was acquired by Deckers Outdoor Corporation in 1995, and it has consistently been one of the parent company's most profitable divisions (with annual sales exceeding $1 billion every year since 2011). Deckers continues the longstanding tradition of sourcing most of the sheepskin used to make UGG boots from Australia.
While boots continue to dominate the UGG catalog, they are available in a very wide array of styles for men, women, and children. Kids sizes start small and include boots and booties for infants. The brand divides its children's shoes into categories for toddlers (1-5 years), kids (6-10 years), and youth (10+ years). Classic UGG boots are calf-height and feature Twinface sheepskin with suede on the outside and wool on the inside. Other options include knit boots, lace-up boots, booties, and snow boots. In shoes, you can find moccasins and chukkas. The brand makes several different cold weather accessories to complement its footwear, including hats, gloves, mittens, and earmuffs.
UGG's collection for women features many of the same boot styles enjoyed by kids, as well as a few unique products like riding boots, fringe boots, ankle boots, and rain boots. Other popular shoes include sneakers, flip-flops, mule slippers, and wedges. Beyond footwear, UGG makes different apparel options for women. Products include sweaters, cardigans, hoodies, vests, jackets, ponchos, henleys, lounge pants, and robes. You can also find plenty of cold weather gear and accessories like handbags and wallets. The brand's home collection features bedding sets, throw pillows, blankets, rugs, and more.
While UGG boots have become something of a fashion staple today, they originally rose to prominence because of their reputation for comfort. Between their high-quality sheepskin and their supportive insoles and outsoles, these boots are great to wear in practically any type of weather. UGG is a luxury brand, so its footwear doesn't come cheap. Still, the manufacturer's shoes and boots are held to impeccably high standards, and you will often find success buying a pre-owned pair because they are built to last. We give UGG 4.5 stars out of 5.