If you have ever spent time surfing in cold winter waters such as those found around the coasts of South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia, you will know all too well the feeling of frozen feet and hands when you leave the water.
So,Why Do Surfers Wear Uggs?
Founded by Australian surfers, Ugg boots quickly spread through the local surf scene in California as they are comfortable, incredibly warm, and easy to put on after an icy cold surf session, which makes them convenient and relaxing.
Let’s take a deeper look into Ugg’s, their origins, why they became so popular among surfers, and if, as a surfer, it is worth getting yourself a pair.
Why Do Surfers Wear Ugg Boots?
Ugg boots have become famous footwear among surfers, especially up and down the coast of California.
Here are some of the reasons surfers have adopted these unique shoes:
Likely the main reason for the popularity of Uggs is their warmth.
The oceans of California can become icy cold in winter and can sometimes be as low as 51*F (10.5*C), which will leave your feet so cold that it feels as though they’ve fallen off.
Because of the wool inside Uggs, they quickly warm up your frozen feet, making it easier to walk, drive, or feel your toes.
Although they may look strange, Ugg boots are incredibly comfortable, which suits the surfing lifestyle perfectly.
Putting on tightly laced sneakers after a relaxing (but cold) surf doesn’t seem the same as slipping into Uggs.
Uggs are soft and comfortable, which is perfect for the relaxing surf lifestyle that so many of us follow.
Just as thongs are the perfect footwear for summer because they are easy to put on and off and suit the weather, so are Ugg boots perfect for winter.
Without laces, they are easy to put on and off, light because of the wool, and easily packed into a bag when needed.
Although many soul surfers around the world surf purely for the connection to the ocean, the joy of riding a wave, and the serenity created by being surrounded by nature, many surfers follow the surf “lifestyle” to create the desired image for themselves.
As Uggs became popular around the mid-1980s, they quickly spread around the U.S as surfers’ shoes.
The more surfers wore Uggs, the more the image stuck and was followed by younger surfing consumers.
Just as Billabong and Roxy have been associated with surfing, so were Uggs in their early days.
Where Did Ugg Boots Originate?
Founded in 1978 by two Australian surfers, Brian Smith and Doug Jensen, the Ugg brand was created on the southern shores of California.
The brand had a slow start, but it quickly became popular along with California’s costs. By the mid-’80s, it was an iconic symbol of relaxation and popular footwear among surfers.
Although the brand was created in 1978, Uggs are a recreation of a similarly styled boot used by native sheep shearers from Australia and New Zealand at the start of the 1920s.
What Are Ugg Boots Made From?
As mentioned before, Uggs were originally created with sheepskin, and for the most part, they still are.
Most of the Ugg boots available on the market are made with much of the same idea as the traditional boot, simply with a stylish twist.
This means that Ugg boots still make use of real sheepskin, and or wool.
Although not all Uggs are made with sheepskin, their boots still make use of wool and are therefore not vegan.
That being said, some companies make similarly styled boots using synthetic and animal cruelty-free products.
Are Uggs Worth Buying?
If you are considering buying yourself a pair of Ugg boots you should consider several things first.
By doing this you will save yourself from wasting money or constantly needing to return boots that are not right for you.
Climate and Water Temperature
You wouldn’t go out and spend your money on a 6mm wetsuit when you live in the tropics, just as wearing Ugg boots in 40*C weather is less than a genius idea.
The reason Ugg boots were created was to keep your feet warm, and should therefore only be bought if you need them for this purpose.
If you live in a hot climate, the wool in your Uggs will make your feet sweat and become too uncomfortable to wear, thus making the boots a waste of money.
Simply put, consider whether Uggs will benefit your life, if your answer is yes, then you can further consider your purchase.
As always, our budget always needs to be considered before buying new things.
Although Uggs are popular, warm, and high quality, they also come with a hefty price tag.
Because of their popularity among Hollywood stars, Uggs have become more than just surfing shoes, and are now a global fashion statement.
Classic Uggs typically go for between US$150 – US$200 but some of the higher ranges reach prices of US$400 and above.
If this is out of your budget (which for many of us it is) then you could consider a different brand with the same style of shoe, or wear slippers to warm your feet after a surf instead.
Ugg boots come in different shapes and styles.
Before you go shopping for new Uggs it would be helpful to have an idea of the type of boot you are looking for.
Although surfers originally made the “Classic Ugg” popular, there are other styles such as casual boots, lace-up boots, snow boots, and more.
Assuming you are looking at the Classic Ugg boots (as you are a surfer after all) you will also need to choose between ankle cuts such as mini, short boots, and a tall ankle cut.
Lastly, you will need to decide whether you want laces, straps, clips, or simply slip your boots on.
Deciding these before will make your shopping process a whole lot faster.
If none of the available styles suit you, then buying Uggs may not be worth it.
For functionality reasons, surfers wear Uggs because they are comfortable, easy to carry around, convenient to put on and take off, and most importantly, a great way to warm their frozen feet after a winter’s surf.
For reasons apart from their usefulness, Uggs have become an iconic image for surfers around California, as well as various areas of the world, as it represents a relaxed lifestyle, similar to that often associated with surfing.