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There’s a reason Australian sheep ranchers invented Ugg boots, and it wasn’t because they wanted to look like trendy white girls

woman in ugg sheepskin boots
Leather boots are no good when you have to wrestle sheep all day

Seriously, there’s a reason Ugg boots were made, and the clue is in the wool. Sheep wool contains lanolin, which is corrosive to leather, Australian shearers have been wearing sheepskin boots since the 1920’s. The term ‘ugg’ is in generic use in Australia and simply means sheepskin boots, in fact it was only in the 1980’s that the name “Ugh” was trademarked.

There’s a couple of theories put forward as to how the boots were named, ranging from an early manufacturer’s wife exclaiming that they were ugly, to being named after the Fug Boots worn by British Pilots during World War I.

I’ve got a different theory though, and it centres upon the social skills of Australian sheep shearers….

I wonder if the name pays homage to the communication skills of men who live hundreds of miles away from their nearest neighbor. Men can who wrestle a sheep in the crook of their right arm, whilst simultaneously shaving the beast with their left. 

“The whole thing was over within was over within twelve seconds and the only sound that came out of his mouth was “Ugh” – Australian Sheep

Wherever the name comes from, it was more recently that the boots became “cool”…

In the 1970s, ugg boots became popular among competitive surfers. After movie theatres in Sydney banned ugg boots and ripped jeans, the footwear became somewhat popular in the youth market as a sign of rebellion – Wikipedia

As well as the symbolic rebellion embodied in ugg boots, the surfers enjoyed the warmth of sheepskin after a day spent in the sea. The boots were tough and warm, and could stand being close to the fire on a cool evening on the beach.

We love sheepskins for the many of the same reasons, and I tend to think you will too (even if you don’t farm sheep).

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