The media has been awash with controversy over the popularity of sheepskin boots and more specifically those produced by UGG. Those seeking to protect animal rights are naturally offended by the use of their skins to provide footwear for the masses. Meanwhile the manufacturers and fans of the boots argue that the skins are a by-product of the meat industry and that the animals are not raised for their pelts.
Personally I try to avoid fur fashions as I am not comfortable with the breeding of animals for their coats and I don’t like cruelty to animals but here’s the thing. I do eat lamb chops and roast lamb and lamb samosas at the local Indian and so any objection to sheepskin would be somewhat ridiculous. I can’t stand sheepskin boots but my aversion has nothing to do with an emotional attachment to sheep.
My issue is that these boots are hideous. They are clumpy, ungainly and make your feet look enormous. Having spent most of my life with borderline paranoia over the size of my feet the last thing I want is boots that only serve to make them look bigger. My emotional fragility on the subject is the result of my mother constantly insisting that I inherited boats for feet from my father. I spent years labouring under the misapprehension that my extremities were freakish. In later years I came to realise that my feet are actually average in size but the fear of large feet is too firmly ingrained to shake off.
Fashionable Cool (Or Hot)
In any case in I don’t understand the necessity for these things. In the developed world we don’t live in igloos and we don’t have to trek across frozen wastelands very often. Even if we did there are many more attractive and practical options than sheepskin boots. I am astonished at the number of people I see in these things in the height of summer. Talk about slaves to fashion! Someone somewhere has decreed that these things are the height of fashion and so they must be worn even when the temperatures are tropical.
Slippers and Sex Appeal
I understand that UGG boots were originally supposed to be slippers and they really should stay indoors. They do nothing to flatter any legs or feet and are best sported behind closed doors. Research has shown that men don’t find the boots attractive on women particularly when worn with dresses and skirts and I am not all surprised to hear that.
The Right Place
I like sheep and I like sheepskin but there is the right place for everything. I am very fond of my bedroom sheepskin rug but I don’t want to wear it on my feet with a strappy dress in the height of summer. In years to come these boots will surely be viewed in the same light as shoulder pads, shell suits and socks with sandals. Sheepskin boots are a disastrous fashion faux pas and the arguments about them should surround their appearance not rights for sheep.
Article by Sally Stacey