Sunday 21 January 2018

Ugg! It's time for sheepskin footwear to take a hike

Bryony Gordon

Not only do Ugg boots make wearers look both bow-legged and flat-footed, it turns out that this might literally be the case, writes Bryony Gordon.

I don't get fashion. It's actually a relief to say that, given all the years I've spent flicking through magazines and pretending to admire the directional hessian sack worn by some emaciated model. I lack the edge, the commitment or the body shape to get fashion. Very, very rarely, a friend who does get fashion (and probably lives in a converted warehouse in the east end of London) will turn to me and say "the gold zip on your bag is really on trend" or, "the way you have brushed your hair today is really on trend ". But I don't want to be accidentally on trend because being on trend means that within moments I could be off trend and subject to intense ridicule.

Despite my inability to get fashion, I think I manage to get dressed without looking like a demented harpy. I have a few rules I adhere to, some things I refuse to wear in public. They are: hair curlers, face masks, stockings and suspenders (not without anything covering them, anyway), tracksuit bottoms, pyjamas (I am with Tesco on this one) and, finally, Ugg boots.

Actually, I wouldn't even wear the latter in private. Ugg boots are so darn awful that the very sight of them makes my toes curl. They are, in many ways, anti-fashion, due to their stubborn refusal to go out of fashion – ever since Sienna Miller strolled into view in a pair of them in 2004 they have been everywhere – and for this at least I should admire them. But wear them? Never.

They cost about £150. I'll say that again: £150! That's a lot of money for some boots that look like hooves. Anyway, against all the aesthetic odds, the Ugg boot has spawned a trillion replicas, and now the sheepskin bootie (or the imitation sheepskin bootie) reigns supreme.

They are not waterproof, and yet for the duration of this miserable, godforsaken winter, women have stumbled around in them, like hunchback eskimos, feet sodden and no doubt a bit smelly, too. "But they are so comfortable!" is the standard defence of the wearer. Yes, but so are slippers, and they never leave your bedroom.

They make wearers look both bow-legged and flat-footed, and now it turns out that this might literally be the case. Dr Ian Drysdale, head of the British College of Osteopathic Medicine, has this week warned that cheap replicas of the Ugg may be crippling a generation of young women. "Because these boots are warm and soft," he said, "young girls think they are giving their feet a break. In fact, they are literally breaking their feet."

I'd like to think that his warning, coupled with the onset of spring (oh please say it's here), will finally kill off this interminable "fashion" for sheepskin boots. My only fear is that as the sun starts to shine, the Ugg will be replaced by something even worse: flip-flops as office wear.

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