The boot that plans a march into men's fashion

To the horror of many fashionistas, Ugg boots have become an unlikely high street phenomenon thanks in part to celebrity endorsement by the likes of Kate Moss, Uma Thurman and Sarah Jessica Parker.

But now the American firm behind the craze for sheepskin is setting out to convince the nation's men that there is an Ugg boot for them too, with Brad Pitt, Justin Timberlake, Harvey Keitel and Ronnie Wood, plus a selection of Chelsea footballers, reportedly blazing a trail that the less style-conscious might fear to tread.

If successful, it would take the boots full circle to their origins as the footwear of choice for that most manly of men, the Australian sheep-shearer. Uggs, said to be an abbreviation of ugly, were also used by early aviators to keep their feet warm before being adopted by Aussie surfers emerging shivering from a long day on the waves in the 1970s.

Connie Rishwain, president of the US-owned firm Ugg Australia, admitted that convincing men to wear them may take some doing, but insisted the boot had a universal appeal. "It's a feelgood brand," she said. "We're all about comfort and luxury. And at a time when people might not be able to remodel their house or buy a new car, they can buy a pair of boots."

She said a launch of Ugg in Covent Garden would be attended by Chelsea footballers and their apparent endorsement would help open up a whole new market. "I pinch myself every time I see a pair on someone famous," Ms Rishwain added. "It helps that they are such a recognisable item too: it's so obviously an Ugg boot in those pictures."

Stefan Lindemann, the shopping editor of Grazia, said he thought Uggs would ultimately prove popular with men, although it might take time for the trend to catch on, because "men aren't as fashion-savvy as women".

He plans to go to the new Westfield shopping mall in White City, west London, this week to buy a pair. He added: "The classic Ugg boots are fun for the home and the beach but not for the town. They should be worn for surfing but not for London's streets."

But Uggs remain as divisive as Crocs, the plastic Canadian clogs despised and loved in equal measure. The editor of a men's magazine, who declined to be named for fear of potentially losing advertising, said of Uggs: "They are a monstrosity. They are like glorified slippers. You may as well shuffle down the street in your pyjamas and a pair of incontinence pants."

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Recruitment Genius: Client Manager

    £27000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A growing, successful, friendly...

    Recruitment Genius: Property Negotiator - OTE £20,000+

    £16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This family owned, independent ...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Spanish Speaking

    £17000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - German Speaking

    £17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

    Day In a Page

    The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

    Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

    Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
    Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

    'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

    Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
    Compton Cricket Club

    Compton Cricket Club

    Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
    London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

    Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

    'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
    The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

    The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

    It helps a winner keep on winning
    Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

    Is this the future of flying?

    Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
    Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

    Isis are barbarians

    but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
    The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

    Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

    Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
    Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

    'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

    Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
    Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

    Call of the wild

    How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
    Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

    'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

    If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
    The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

    The science of swearing

    What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
    Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

    Africa on the menu

    Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
    Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

    Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

    The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'