Australian Uggs

When Ugg boots became fashionable in London Mum wasn’t instantly convinced. Admittedly it was their coupling with skinny jeans that caused me the most concern. However, over the years Uggs have grown on me and since living in Sydney I am truly sold on the warmth and comfort benefits. There’s also the fact that in and around Sydney it’s hard to walk a few paces without passing an Ugg shop.

I have written before about the harshness of Sydney winter and how Australian homes aren’t designed to keep the warmth in. When I recently purchased my first pair of Uggs I did so with home comfort in mind. I wasn’t buying my boots as a fashion statement; warmth is the primary objective, at home and on the soccer pitch once the sun has gone down and we’re waiting for training to end.

Sheepskin items are also a great Aussie gift to send to family and friends elsewhere in the world, but if you’re sending to the fashion conscious you’ll need to make sure they’re authentic.

Are your Ugg boots genuine?

We have been on several Ugg hunts with visitors from the UK and have quickly learnt that all is not what it seems when purchasing Ugg boots, at least not if you care about fashion.

For the record, Mum isn’t THAT fashion conscious. My Australian made Uggs cost $150 from a local shopping mall. They’re warm and comfortable, and look fine. I’m happy.

What is an authentic Ugg boot?

Many Ugg and souvenir stores in Australia display the history of Ugg boots for visitors to read. We’re sure the information appeases tourists wanting to know whether the Ugg boots on sale are authentic. So, what is an authentic Ugg boot? That’s a debate in itself.

When deciding what type of Uggs to buy there appear to be three options;

  1. Various brands of Ugg boots made in Australia, from Australian materials.
  2. “UGG Australia” boots – “Ugg Australia” is an American brand, they’re the producers of the fashionable Uggs sold worldwide.
  3. Ugg style shoes and boots made outside Australia.

Australian made Uggs

Sheepskin and souvenir shops in Sydney typically sell Australian made Uggs. To Australians the word Ugg is used to describe the style of shoe or boot, it has nothing to do with a particular brand (as it often does in the UK \ USA). Uggs are simply a type of sheepskin footwear that has been worn and loved by Aussies for years.

Signs in souvenir shops often say “genuine Australian Uggs”. To obtain the “made in Australia” sign – the green kangaroo, products need to be made in Australia and\or materials need to be sourced here.

If you’re looking for good quality, and an authentic Australian souvenir, you should look for the “Product of Australia” and “Australian made” logos attached to price labels on Ugg boots and slippers.

“Ugg Australia” boots

Those concerned with having the most fashionable brand of Ugg will want boots produced by “Ugg Australia”. The history of this brand is explained on their website.

The story covers how surfer Brian Smith brought Uggs back to California in the USA from Byron Bay in Australia and gradually introduced them to his friends. The boots’ popularity grew until the first “Ugg Australia” store opened in New York in the early 2000s, from this moment the fashion brand went global.

The “Ugg Australia” logo is on their website; they even have a page dedicated to identifying genuine “Ugg Australia” boots and counterfeit versions.

Boots from the “Ugg Australia” brand are usually the most expensive; from $300 in Mum’s experience and often much more. The Ugg Australia website has a list of stockists including online stores. We consulted this website when we helped our first UK visitors source what they called “genuine” Ugg boots – we didn’t realise that this isn’t the same as what your average Aussie would call “authentic” Uggs.

Also sold in Australia

Ugg-style shoes and boots made outside Australia

The third and final option you will find in Australia, and elsewhere in the world, are Ugg-style shoes and boots from a variety of brands – materials may not be from Australia and they probably aren’t made here. Materials may be synthetic rather than natural sheepskin. These Uggs will be the cheapest version available and quality will vary. We’ve seen shelves of cheap and cheerful Uggs at stores like K-Mart, Target and Big W (from $30).

Uggs – how do you wear yours?

Whether you want the “genuine” global brand, the “authentic” locally made version, or don’t care where they come from and what label they display; the fact is Uggs are comfortable and practical. Mum is an Ugg boot convert and during the cold snap of recent weeks I’ve been finding it hard to take mine off.

When I first saw surfers in their board shorts and Uggs I thought it was an interesting look but when something is this comfortable and warm appearances don’t matter. My Ugg boots are going to see me through many Sydney winters; I’ve been wearing mine so often outside of the house I’m off to buy a separate pair for indoor use.

Do you have a pair or pairs of Ugg boots or slippers? Where did you buy yours? Are you an Australian-made shopper, a lover of the global fashion brand or not concerned where they come from? We’d love to hear your thoughts, thank you.

Related articles:

Don’t miss critical information about your move to Australia: Join Mum’s Facebook page to receive regular updates. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter to have a wrap-up of articles, tips and recommendations delivered straight to your Inbox.