You remember Uggs, right? The boots with the fur once worn by the tragically unstylish? You might think GQ endorsing Uggs for men is fake news, but we’re here to report that the famously ugly shoes are back (gasp!) and frankly, our feet are glad. How did we get here?
Like many iconic brands, Ugg didn’t set out to be a fashion behemoth, let alone stylish. Before Ugg was Ugg, they were simply uggs, a style of boot most recognized for its pragmatic warm, shearling uppers. Their exact origins remain disputed, but the shoes gained popularity in Australia in the 1960s not as winter boots, but as beach shoes—the luscious sheepskin boots kept surfers warm pre- and post-shred. They made their way to America in the 1970s when Australian surfer Brian Smith moved to Southern California and brought the style with him, founding the company we know today as Ugg.
Their supreme comfort made Ugg’s boots and slippers a hit among other athletes throughout the ’90s, especially as house shoes, before gaining both popularity (and derision) for their design throughout the 2000s. The shoes were reviled in style circles throughout the aughts and considered grossly inappropriate outside the context of one’s own home. But after enduring a gauntlet of fashion ridicule—alongside the even uglier Crocs—Ugg has not only survived, it’s now experiencing a second wind.
Thanks to a revival of Y2K and SoCal style and collaborations with of-the-moment designers like Telfar and Bape, Ugg has reentered the zeitgeist. While Drake and Adam Sandler have worn Uggs at their coziest, other celebs like Pharrell, Evan Mock and Justin Bieber are elevating Ugg to obscene levels of drip. The range that Ugg has lies in its simplicity. Compared to Crocs, Ugg’s Classic boot is remarkably plain. That’s a good thing, because it allows the boots to navigate a ton of different outfits. Wear them with jeans and a flannel, use them to subvert the office suit, or pull ’em on to kick back in sweatpants at home. Lord knows you deserve a little extra comfort right now.
And even if you’re still iffy about all this, you should know that Ugg has expanded far beyond its Classic boot. From preppy duck boots to streetwise sneakers, beefy work boots to luxe sandals, there’s a pair of men’s Uggs boots that will fit your taste. For all of the GQ-approved Uggs for men, check out these 14 pairs below.
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