Shepherd, Surfer, Starlet: Who's to thank (or blame) for uggs?

5 PLAYS

By: Staff

5 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

Uggs -- fleece-lined sheepskin boots -- got their name for being perhaps more functional than aesthetic. An unlikely haute couture trend of the 1990s spawned from handmade surfer wear, uggs have since been adopted by people of all ages all over the world. But how much do you know about uggs' history -- and can you tell the difference between an UGG, an ugg and a fake UGG?

What's up with the caps lock term "UGG"?

UGG is the trademarked name of ugg boots made by UGG Australia, a brand owned by Deckers Outdoor Corp.

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In what country did ugg boots first become popular?

Australians have been manufacturing -- and wearing -- ugg boots for decades. Until about 15 years ago, most people wore them around the house, kind of like slippers.

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Which celebrity helped make UGG Australia's boots popular in the U.S.?

In the early 2000s, actress and PETA activist Pamela Anderson helped turn UGG boots into a hot commodity in the U.S., but disavowed them in 2007 after realizing they were made of sheepskin (not just fleece).

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Who was the first U.S. spokesperson for UGG Australia?

Right wing radio host Rush Limbaugh served as UGG Australia's first U.S. spokesperson.

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What is a "classic" UGG Australia boot?

The "classic" UGG is a throwback to the ugg boot's original design -- a mid-calf sheepskin boot the color of weak, milky tea (pictured here).

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Which talk show host caused a stir when she bought 350 pairs of UGG boots for her staff?

In 2000, Oprah Winfrey bought 350 UGG boots for her staff, and then introduced UGGs during one of her Favorite Things episodes.

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Who wore some of the earliest recorded sheepskin boots?

Records dating from the 1800s indicate shepherds were among the first to wear crude sheepskin boots. They used leather straps to secure sheepskin and fleece to their feet.

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Counterfeit UGGs are often made from what material?

Fake UGGs presented as brand-name UGGs often have a cowhide exterior with fleece or synthetics glued in. Authentic UGG Australia boots (and many of the brand's legitimate competitors) are made from sheepskin with the fleece still attached.

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What's the best way to keep uggs clean?

Before wearing your uggs for the first time, coat them with a waterproof spray and allow it to dry thoroughly. This will help protect them from moisture and make them easier to clean.

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In what way is sheepskin different from synthetic materials?

Most synthetic materials don't allow air to circulate and can't absorb moisture the way sheepskin can, which can lead to extra sweaty, stinky feet.

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Why do some health professionals contend that ugg boots are bad for wearers' feet?

Roomy UGG and ugg-style boots allow the foot to slide and don't provide arch support, which may damage the toes, flatten the arch and create back and joint issues over time. If you have foot or joint problems, consult your doctor about the best kinds of shoes to wear.

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True or False: If your uggs get dirty, just can just toss them in the washing machine.

False. Putting sheepskin boots in the washer will affect their appearance, and possibly the length of their useful life. Instead, spot clean them with mild detergent and cold water.

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What do surfers have to do with uggs?

In the 1970s, surfers in Australia (and, later, the United States) wore uggs to keep their feet warm while they were hanging out on the beach. They helped popularize the style and created a cult-like following for the sheepskin boots.

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Who trademarked the first ugg-related terms?

It was a surfer, Shane Stedman, who first trademarked "ugh-boot" and "ugh."

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Before buying a fledgling ugg-style boot company from a surfer in 1995, what was Deckers Outdoor Corp. known for?

Deckers Outdoor Corp. was known for its Teva all-terrain sandals.

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In 2010, how much of Deckers Outdoor Corp.'s revenue was garnered from the UGG brand?

Although many people initially considered making footwear out of pricey fleece too risky, it paid off. By 2010, 87 percent of Deckers Outdoor Corp.'s total revenue came from its UGG Australia brand.

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What are two other generic terms for ugg boots?

Throughout history, ugg boots have been known as ugg, ug or ugh boots.

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In how many countries does Deckers Outdoor Corp. own the trademark to the word "ugg"?

In more than 100 countries, the rights to make boots that use the name "ugg" are owned by Deckers Outdoor Corp., the parent company of UGG Australia.

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UGG Australia uses mostly Australian sheepskin for its boots, but where are the boots made?

UGG Australia boots are assembled in China.

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The UGGs you just ordered online arrived at your doorstep. What's the first sign that they're authentic?

Authentic UGG Australia shoeboxes have a reflective sticker with a sun logo that changes color from black to white when it's held at a 90-degree angle.

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