Y2K or Y2tacky: is the Ugg boot returning?

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By Emma Love, Third Year, Politics and Sociology

The Croft Magazine // Emma assures us that UGG boots are back in vogue and here to stay.

About one month ago, the news broke that, god forbid, the Ugg boot was back.

Just get through the end of 2020, they said. 2021 will bring better days, they said. But here we are, two months into the new year, almost a year into the pandemic, and the Ugg boot has appeared, yet again, risen from the dead - an omen.

Sorry, not sure what came over me there – I must have been possessed by the spirit of a boring, closed-minded ghost, or something. Uggs are back, and I’ve appointed myself as their Bristolian spokesperson.

At the age of 10, I had my very own (off-brand) pair of Ugg boots, I loved them to pieces. I didn’t particularly care what they looked like, all I knew was that they were the most comfortable boot I’d ever worn, and warm too. Around 2012, it suddenly seemed that no one liked Uggs any more. In fact, it seemed like everybody hated them instead, and I never quite worked out why. I decided to ditch my pair, but only because my feet had grown, not because I had leapt onto the hate-train, which appeared to be hurtling along at lightning speed.

As early as last September, images began to surface of celebrities sporting Ugg boots. The pair of choice was the Ugg Ultra Mini – first seen on Emily Ratajkowski, then Irina Shayk, soon followed by the likes of Kaia Gerber, Sarah Hyland, and Kendall Jenner. Headlines conveyed shock and horror – ‘There is nothing more 2020 than the return of Ugg boots’, Vogue’s Alice Cary despaired; ‘Love them or hate them, Uggs are back’ said the Metro and the Guardian.

So what explains the comeback of the controversial shoe? With the onset of the pandemic, blouses and cigarette trousers were swapped for hoodies and jogging bottoms as non-essential workers were transplanted to their bedrooms. Comfort was king more than ever before – enter the Ugg. Slippers? Too informal. Trainers? Not really suited to the sofa. Ugg boots? Just the right combination of comfort and style.

Suddenly, it was the early 2000s again, and wearing a pair of Uggs was a bold fashion statement. This might explain exactly why they went out of style in the first place – the boots became so popular that it seemed everyone was wearing them. That was the problem. Around 2012, they were condemned as ‘basic’, with magazines declaring the ‘death of the Ugg boot’.

I, for one, am glad to see the return of the boot. I can throw them on with jogging bottoms and a sweatshirt for a Zoom seminar at 10, but still look presentable if I need to make a trip to shops at 12. Personally, I think they look stylish, but I admit that they’re the ultimate marmite shoe – you either love it or loathe it.

Classic Ultra Mini Boot in Magnolia, £125 | UGG

In my wardrobe, they’re here to stay – whether they fall out of favour in 6 months, or 6 years. Cooped up in lockdown with only a few familiar people, the judgement of the public seems to matter less and less in our fashion choices, a change I’m happy to see. Who cares whether Uggs are bold or basic? If they’re comfortable, if you like them, just wear them. Go on, you know you want to.

Sportswear for a practical yet fashionable workout
Staying warm in style

Featured image: Epigram/Morgan Collins


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