From the first day I saw Cameron Diaz in a magazine walking around 75 degree LA in shorts and Uggs boots, I’ve been anxiously awaiting the demise of this unfortunate trend. The Uggs boot, it’s safe to say, is ugly. Bulky, blah, flat, and merely functional, the Uggs boot added nothing to the world of fashion and made a worldwide group of cute, thin, hip young women look like they should be tuning up the dogsled. And I knew the trend would end, just as the Manolo Timberland trend tapered out when you could find cheap replicas in every Kmart.
I read in US Weekly recently that Demi Moore had walked into a hip store wearing Uggs and was laughed at by the workers behind the counter who couldn’t believe she didn’t know that she was hopelessly out of date. When the people who really have their fingers on the pulse of fashion, the retail workers, think you’re fashion road kill, you have to accept it. The trend is over. Hooray!
Sadly, the boots I see replacing the Uggs are hardly a huge step forward. They’re not so bulky. They don’t look like you’re wearing 6 inch-thick socks inside them. They’re taller, usually over the calf, and usually form fitting. This is a big improvement. But that’s where the improvement ends.
Some have fur. Some are slouchy, which is a big trend in boots in general. Some have fringe. They’re just as flat as Uggs and still sheepskin/suede. They have rounded or even squared toes that make one look slightly platypus-y. And they have straps recklessly strewn around them in some sort of homage to back-woods bondage. Basically we’ve gone from dogsleds to bear hunting. These boots would not be out of place in “Last of the Mohicans?” or “Clan of the Cave Bear.”
The bottom line is, sadly, that while the Uggs, even cheap Uggs, is plodding off into the sunset, its slightly less pudgy stepsister is taking its place. The good news is—they’re still comfortable with no heels and soft suede. The bad news is, that’s the only real selling point. You won’t win a beauty contest in this trend and I guarantee it’s got about the same shelf life as the Uggs. But enjoy them if you will. I recommend you wait a few months until they’re available at Kmart for $15.95.
Alyssa Wodtke has been a writer since the age of 12. Her shoe fixation started sometime later, after passing through the years of ugly high-top sneakers—and then of Birkenstocks. Now her website Style With Substance attracts a bevy of loyal readers, who come for her deep love of shoes as well as movie, music, and book reviews; commentaries on life; and short fiction. She has worked as a freelance editor for the past 6 years, editing Web sites, novels, and technical books. And she owns at least 50 pairs of shoes.