Are You Smart Enough and Man Enough to Wear Ugg Brand Boots?

Back in the late ’70s I saw my first pair of ugg brand boots on a surfing trip to Mexico with some buddies of mine. Five of us were just a year out of high school when we headed down to a surf break called Quattro Casas, which is a couple hours south of Ensenada. The bumpy rough road made for a sweaty trip down but we finally arrived at the surf break that sported a quick wave that peeled to the right off a point. We surfed on and off until nightfall when everyone finally got out of the water.

At this point we removed our wetsuits and started getting comfortable and that’s when I noticed the ugliest footwear I’d seen since the disco influenced platform boot. My friend Robert was sporting these… things on his feet. “What the hell are those supposed to be?” I exclaimed. The other guys now hearing my distress turned and started cracking up once they set their eyes on the Australian sheep skin boots. “They’re called Ugg Boots and I got them at Hanifin’s Surf Shop in Newport,” Robert said as he proudly displayed the stupid looking booties. “They are made of 100% sheep skin. Lots of the surfers in Australia wear them,” he said pulling one off and showing us the fluffy insides. Our quick to judge immaturely got the better of us as we all fell about the place in throes of laughter. Immediately as was typical of the time period we started in on Robert with verbal bashing and gay innuendo. “Those are some pretty poofy looking boots you got there Robert,” Chuck commented with a sneer. “Dude, is there something else you are going to tell us? Are you coming out? Oh, I really wasn’t prepared for this. Should I have brought flowers, perhaps a card or something?” Phil said with a slightly serious undertone of concern in his homophobic voice. “Does this mean you won’t drink beer with us anymore? You know, we bought a lot. I’m not going back to town to get you Chardonnay my fruity friend.” We thought we were all too funny as we busted Robert’s chops and laughed at the ugly ugg boots that for all we knew Robert might have made himself.

After a ten minute verbal beating on Robert with him bravely defending his sexually, surfing ability and ugg boots from Australia, we finally settled down. Robert continued to boldly wear his boots the rest of the trip and didn’t let us bother him. In fact I think he ended up surfing better than the rest of us on that trip. Maybe our hacking on him and his silly boots made him emotionally stronger? Or maybe he just drank less beer? Or maybe his feet didn’t get so chewed up like some of us?

See Robert ended up with the last laugh because by the trip’s end, we all wished we had some classic ugg boots ourselves. The rest of us had worn sandals, which didn’t keep our feet protected or warm at night. We slept on the bluff above the surf break and my feet as well as the other guys got cold at night. It made sleeping difficult. Robert wore his boots all-night and slept quite comfortably. He made sure we knew this because he rubbed it in our faces each morning. But that was only half of it. Robert didn’t get attacked on the feet and ankles by angry velvet ants or bloodthirsty assassin beetles. The mauling from these insects was so bad that one side of my foot looked like flesh colored bubble wrap because of so many bites and stings on it. It really hurt too. Yeah, by trip’s end I think we all would have rather suffered the humiliation of wearing the ugly looking boots rather than deal with the pain and suffering we did.

It is funny how function will beat out appearance when it comes down to being comfortable. Now twenty some odd years later I have a pair of ugg brand boots and I think the ugly things are one of the best purchases I’ve ever made. I only wish I had been smart enough and man enough to buy them earlier.