UGG steps into the extreme

The brand heads into the Icelandic sticks for the launch of their new, bracing collection.

Ugg has, in many different ways and various iterations, always been part of the landscape.

Go back to 2005 and head to most shopping centres or into any town during the winter months and see the spectrum of Ugg boots and wanna-be-Ugg boots traipsing around the shops, sometimes the heel buckling slightly at the side, sometimes dirty from daily usage both indoors and out, but always comfortable, the brand’s own chestnut colourway breaking through crowds everywhere you went. Enter into households all over the world and feet young, old, regardless of gender, will be snug in the California brand’s staple footwear. Then, of course, Ugg and celebrities have always found a sweet spot that reignites a ubiquitous love affair with the warmth that the brand allows. Cher, Beyoncé, Gigi Hadid, Bella Hadid, Hailey Bieber, Keke Palmer… the list of nonchalant envoys goes on. 


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But away from the commercial, Ugg has also started to bridge a needed gap between a less-mainstream-cool and comfort. There’s of course the string of astute collabs with Palace and the like which up the ante, but as you read this, you can guarantee someone in an A&R team at a record label somewhere in east London just lifted their feet onto a table during a meeting about recent TikTok finds, their black Ugg boots under a blanket of dark navy turn-up jeans, a couple of cigarette burns here and there on the sole. Down the street, someone gradually recovering from Unfold at the weekend slips on their-go-to shearling shoes to journey to the offy for something sweet, something salty, and a vape. They’re 31,000ft above you in the air, in economy, in business, in first. They’re tens of metres below you, on the Northern, Victoria, District, Central lines. Since its inception in 1978 designed to keep soaking wet surfers’ feet warm and dry, Ugg has gone from footwear to everywhere. 

But up to now, there’s often been an association that Ugg boots belong indoors, away from the wet weather and the autumn effluent lining the gutters. A misconception (now, anyway) would be that we wouldn’t want to ruin our boots. So a new landscape, a new horizon in which Ugg has now planted its flag goes beyond simply treading new ground in the outside world with ease and continued comfort, the brand has taken its essence and performance into the “extreme”.

Venturing out of the Californian warmth (Santa Barbara, to be exact), Ugg is expanding its definition of itself as a lifestyle brand to go beyond the cute and cosy shoes we know and love. Still in so many ways cute and cosy, but now also practical, heavy-duty yet light-fitting, and capable of withstanding the harshest temperatures down to 23.3 degrees, the new Ugg Extreme collection means that winter can be experienced at its highest level. The Adirondack Meridian Boot takes its evolution to the next level, echoing the silhouette of its trademark Adirondack design and reformulating it into a bulwark against extreme weather. Alongside the Shasta Tall Boot and the Shasta Mid Boot, the footwear features a waterproof upper, gusseted tongue, Gore-Tex interior, UggPlush upcycled wool blend inside, and a Vibram outsole with Icetrek for dialled up traction on any slippery surfaces. 

But it’s not all bottom-heavy. They do say that if your feet are warm then everything’s warm, but your best bet in the winterly weather is Ugg’s Shasta Down Puffer Jacket – essentially an Ugg boot for your torso. The brand’s newest Puffer combines technical features with the core comfort of Ugg, lined with shearling, shrouded in water-resistant nylon, and polar fleece to keep your hands warm (get some Ugg gloves, duh), and even an inside pocket for your phone to keep it sheltered from the elements.

Whilst style and enjoyment are once again transferred into new realms for the brand, it’s the performance of the products that rings out. And what better place to put cold weather gear to the test other than the sticks of Iceland. Descending on the Ion hotel, a stone’s throw from one of the country’s geothermal plants, the Ugg Extreme collection was tested across snow, rocks and ice, against the midnight cold whilst watching the Northern Lights, on the products’ ability to keep the wearer warm in biting winds but not overheat whilst perching next to a fire – in the face of Geysers, the Gulfoss waterfall and the tip of the Eurasian plate. The collection’s relation with its environment went beyond aesthetics too, with various culinary experiences that keep respect for land and nature at the heart of everything they do; think farms where everything you eat is the product of their own hands and a tomato vineyard where everything, including the ice cream, is built off the back of the humble tom.

It was all part and parcel of this new cyclical era for Ugg, once more part of the landscape, but, crucially, part of a new landscape. And not a foreign body simply entering into unknown territory because trends told it to. No, there’s an instantaneous understanding – through the comfort, the performance, and the utility – that Ugg belongs in that space, as part of the scenery, be it in a living room, on a train, or trekking across an ice desert. 

The Ugg Extreme collection is available to buy on the Ugg website.

WriterRy Gavin
ImageryCourtesy of UGG