Love them or hate them, UGG boots are here to stay. Despite being mocked as one of the ugliest footwear in the market, their ability to give warmth and comfort to your feet are second to none. They are so popular that almost everyone—from little kids to Hollywood A-listers—have at least a pair of outdoor UGG boots to parade around during winter or the rainy season.
The Winter Equivalent of Flip Flops
The unisex sheepskin boots have been around since the 1960s, with both Australia and New Zealand claiming to be their original roots. These boots initially found a niche market with surfers, before they slowly crept into the hearts and minds of fashion setters in the 1970s. While customers in other countries are clamouring to get a pair for fashion, Aussies have the luxury of using UGG boots like slippers. Despite being often associated with bogan culture, UGGs are loved by quirky and fun-loving Aussies because of the warm, toasty feeling that they can bring to your feet. Their versatile style and various designs make it easy to pair them with a variety of outfits. Regardless of your gender, you can still be fashionable without sacrificing your comfort.
How long can a pair of UGG boots last?
A pair of UGGs can last a long time, depending on the amount of TLC you give them. In fact, a pair of UGG scuff can last up to 10 years, if used indoors. Even when used outdoors, you can still get the most out of your UGGs by following some simple care regimen.
Factors that can affect the lifespan of your UGG boots
Although sheepskin boots are stretchable, they can only do so up to half a size. This little titbit is especially important for parents who are thinking of purchasing either a kid’s UGG boots or UGG baby, but are worried that their kid might grow out of them too soon. This information is also useful to adults, as feet size can change over time, depending on various circumstances. It should be noted that while sheepskin does stretch, you still might have to buy another pair if the boots can’t take the pressure around your legs and feet anymore.
Wear and tear
Most UGG boots for men are often subjected to inner sole wear (when the inner soles of your shoes go flat with constant pressure from your feet). Fortunately, you don’t need to purchase a new pair of boots when this happens. All you need is a new pair of UGG innersoles and your boots will be as good as new. Technically, Aussies are more used to wearing UGG boots at home than outdoors. However, as more and more people overseas fall in love with sheepskin boots, Aussies are also now seeing UGG boots as fashionable footwear that can be worn on any occasion.
While the sheepskin boots are well-known as winter shoes, it is not advisable to trudge around in wet, muddy, and snowy terrain while wearing UGGs. It might sound contradictory (not being to wear winter shoes on a snowy day), but wearing sheepskin during bad or wet weather can lead to severe discolouration and ultimately, ruin your boots. This is not to say that you would need to predict the weather every time you wear a pair. You just need to purchase and apply a specialised UGG boots waterproof spray to protect them from getting wet.
Basic Guideline to UGG Boots’ Care and Maintenance
The lifespan of your UGG boots wholly depends on the amount of care and maintenance you put on them. Women’s UGG boots are particularly hard to maintain, as girls have the tendency to wear them as a fashion statement. Here are some common problems that girls (and sometimes, boys) face when they wear UGGs outdoors.
This is quite common, especially during the rainy season. However, unlike ordinary boots, you cannot just let your water-stained UGG boots dry without cleaning them first. Fortunately, removing water stains from sheepskin is relatively easy. Use a sponge or a clean cloth dipped in cold water to rub your boots all over until it is evenly wet. Stuff the damp boot with a rolled towel (preferably white to avoid dye or colour transference) and let it air-dry. Caution: Never soak your boots in water when cleaning nor use a hair dryer directly on the boots. Both activities can lead to irreparable damage on the sheepskin.
Oil or Grease Stains
To remove stubborn grease or oil stains, all you need is to apply a layer of ordinary talcum (baby) powder or corn flour over the stain and let it sit for 48 hours. Brush away the powder using an old toothbrush. If the stain is still there or is only partially removed, just repeat the procedure until you can get all the oil or grease stain off your boots. Caution: Applying heat on your oil-stained boots would only make the stain more difficult to remove. Just let the cleaned boots air dry under the sun.
Winter Salt Stains
As UGG boots are primarily winter shoes, winter salt stains cannot be avoided. Removing them is not much different from removing water spots. You need to use a water and distilled white vinegar mixture (1 cup water: 1 tablespoon vinegar). Use a white cloth or cotton ball to rub the mixture on the stained part to dissolve the winter salt. When the stain is removed, you can proceed to the water stain removal procedure to clean your boots.
Dirt and Scuff Marks
To remove surface dirt, brush it off using a suede brush. For scuff marks, you can use a suede eraser. If you do not have the budget to buy even the cheapest suede brush, you can use either a nail brush, a standard scrub brush, a pet brush, or a lint-remover brush. For the suede eraser, you can use an ordinary pencil eraser. Just make sure that the eraser is white to avoid colour transference. Caution: Some people use carbide strips (or super fine sandpaper) to pick up the dirt. However, this is not advisable as you might end up ruining the boot’s skin.
Fungus and odour
There’s a great divide between those who believe that wearing UGGs require socks and those who don’t. While some firmly believe that UGGs were made to be worn with bare feet, it is not advisable to do so. Fungal infection and foul odour might result when you refuse to wear socks with your UGGs, as most fungi and bacteria thrive on damp, warm places. As sheepskin is one of the few shoes that do not “breathe”, the sweat from your feet can serve as a delicious treat and breeding ground for fungi and bacteria. To get rid of the odour, you can sprinkle half a cup of bicarbonate soda in each boot and let them sit overnight to let the powder absorb the odour. To kill or prevent fungi growth, you can apply an anti-fungal spray.
General tips on keeping your UGGs in tip-top shape
Proper maintenance is also key to help prolong the life of your UGG boots. While it is true that nothing lasts forever, these tips can help you avoid purchasing a pair every season simply because your old ones had become too worn-out to show in public.
Protect your boots with waterproofing spray
Most new UGG wearers make a major mistake of assuming their boots are waterproofed. If you had just purchased a pair of UGGs, the first thing you need to do is spray some specialised protector to make the boots water resistant. This is important as you will never know if you need to walk your UGGs on wet, muddy ground. Re-apply the suede protector spray every now and then, especially when you had just finished cleaning your boots.
Avoid getting your UGGs wet
As much as possible, avoid walking on puddles or deep snow when you are wearing your sheepskin boots. Even when sprayed with suede protector, it is still possible that these activities can leave stains on your boots. Also, never soak your boots or leave it damp for too long because this would cause the adhesives to loosen up and the boots would likely misshape. In addition, never store your boots wet, as it will promote fungal growth. Allow the boots to dry for at least 24 hours using gentle heat to help evaporate the accumulated moisture.
Keep your pets away from your boots
You should also keep your pets, particularly dogs, away from your UGGs. Aside from the fact that it is difficult to remove fur from your boots, pets might end up chewing your beloved UGGs.
Never dry clean or use a washing machine to clean your boots
You might have heard some UGG users who claim that these boots can be sent to dry cleaning or washed using a machine. While there is some truth to it, it is not recommended that you do so, because it can cause some serious discolouration on the skin, not to mention that it can leave uneven wet patches on your boots.
Always brush, wipe, or clean your boots gently
To prevent dye migration and keep the boots in shape, you should always exercise great caution when cleaning your UGGs. Remember, sheepskin is quite sensitive to pressure. You might end up with some misshaped boot if you clean it too vigorously.
Keep your boots in shape – literally
You should always take time to stuff your boots with boot trees to keep them in shape before putting them away for storage. If you don’t have boot trees or the budget to buy one, you can use either a rolled clean white towel or socks instead.
Keep them out of the sun
Using artificial heat to dry your boots is a big no-no. However, leaving your boots under the direct sunlight will not be good either. Remember that excessive heat can affect the skin’s colour fastness, making your boots dull in the process. As much as possible, air-dry your cleaned boots by putting them in an open space where there is no sunlight.
Keep a pair of extra innersoles
The longer you use your UGGs, the more pressure you are putting on your inner soles, which in turn leaves your boots uncomfortably flat. Consider purchasing and keeping a fresh pair of insoles to enjoy your UGG boots a bit longer.
If you are purchasing cleaning shampoo and conditioner, consider testing it first
Aside from protective sprays, there are several brands of cleaning shampoo and conditioner that you can use to keep your UGGs looking brand new. Unfortunately, these products can also cause a chemical reaction that can alter your UGG’s original appearance (i.e. discolouration, rough texture). This is the reason it is always wise to first test the product before making a purchase. To see if a cleaning shampoo and conditioner will affect the boot’s appearance, spray some on the inner area of your boot and wait if there are any reactions that can cause physical changes before you make a purchase.
There are several reasons that UGG boots are one of the most popular shoes in the world. Not only do they provide comfort and warmth to your cold feet, they can also be stylish if paired with the right outfit. If you are looking to purchase a new pair of UGG boots for both outdoor and indoor use, check out Outbax. With Outbax, you are sure to find some great pairs of UGG boots at reasonable prices. Outbax has a wide array of great-looking boots that are appropriate for almost any occasion. It offers fast processing and shipping services with a 24-hour dispatch and a 60-day money-back guarantee. What are you waiting for? Shop now.