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UGG Since 1974 - Australian Made Ugg Boots

Home > Gold Coast > Snow | Shopping | Fashion
by Maureen Durney (subscribe)
I think Iíve got this retirement thing figured out: sleep; wake; write; repeat. I love it! You can follow my journey at Life is Good
Published March 23rd 2017
Warmer than thongs and just as comfortable
Over the years, we have seen everyone from models to movie stars caught on celluloid in their comfy ugg boots. From Kate Upton to Cameron Diaz, Taylor Swift to Beyonce, flashing their uggs either formally or informally, while attending functions or just shopping downtown. And which country do most people associate with ugg boots? Australia! But sadly, not all Australian ugg boots are, 'All Australian'. The following information will focus on an Australian company that has become a leader in the production and distribution of ugg boots that are 100% Australian made.

These would look good on anyone


According to American fashion designer Rachel Zoe, the humble ugg boot is making a remarkable fashion come-back. And who are we to argue with fashion magazine, Vogue, who also recently flagged the return of the Ugg as fashion-worthy news?

In the 2014 Huffington Post article "Why Ugg Boots Will Never Go Away", writer Kim Bhasan describes ugg boots as 'the winter flip-flop' (thongs, in Aussie-speak).

While planning a trip to the UK and US during a recent Australian heatwave and the start of the northern hemisphere's winter, my mind turned to footwear - not in terms of fashion - but comfort and warmth. I had my favourite uggs - a classy pair of blue moccasins with pink fur lining, and while they kept my toes toasty warm in our winter, I knew they would be no match for the snowy fields I'd find myself in on the other side of the equator. So, there was nothing else to do but buy a new pair of serious ugg boots - the long ones that keep your toes and half your leg warm, no matter how cold it is. I'm using the word 'boot' in a broad sense because uggs come in a lot more varieties than just the classic boot shape. But for some reason the words 'ugg' and 'boot' have always seemed synonymous and roll off the tongue much easier than 'ugg shoe', or 'ugg slipper', so you'll need to indulge me a little when I cover all ugg's with the generic 'boot' label.

Rather than spending a day looking for stores that stock the boots I had in mind, I went straight to the place where the Aussie-made UGG Boot started in 1974 - the Gold Coast. Being a local pays off when you know where the factory store is on Christine Avenue (it's at the Miami/Burleigh end). Armed with an image of a sleek but classic boot in mind, I sauntered down to do what I'd been wanting to do for a very long time - check out the store and hopefully see how the famous boots are made - since the sign outside suggested that factory tours are available (at no cost).

The lovely Steph was a great help with the decision making process

The store isn't huge, but certainly big enough to adequately display boots of all sizes, colours and shapes. After looking around for a few minutes, I was greeted by a young sales assistant (Steph) who offered to help me in my decision-making if I needed any help - and I did! There were just too many choices.

So many choices!

What I thought would be a relatively easy task ended up being an education in the design and manufacture of the iconic Aussie ugg boot. After a tour of the factory and seeing how the iconic Aussie uggs are made, I could make a more informed decision. And I can assure you that every part of the process is made right there in the factory.

Is bling your thing?

Background Information

Now here's where I will digress a little to clear up the questions that are forming in your mind about the origins of the ugg boot, and the legalities around the word 'ugg', since there has been some publicity about these issues. The Macquarie dictionary cites the term as meaning a 'fleece-lined boot with an untanned upper'. Whether 'ugg' is accepted as a generic term and technically can't be registered as a brand-name is still a contentious issue. Brian Smith, an Australian surfer living in California in the late 1970's, registered UGG as his trademark. Deckers bought the name from Smith and currently owns the trademark in 120 countries outside Australia and New Zealand. The debate over the name might be ongoing but it is widely accepted that the surfers on Australian beaches cornered the early market for the ugg boot, often selling them from the back of their vans. And ugg boots are still widely regarded as Australian, regardless of whether anyone owns the name, or not.

Surprisingly, having made their public debut on Australian beaches in the 60's (they'd apparently been worn in shearing sheds before then), uggs eventually found their way to the winter snowfields and became as popular there as they had been on the beach. It seems that the unique characteristics of the sheepskin cater for both seasons, equally well.

Ugg Boot Heaven

...Back to the store

The original founder of the company, Arthur Springthorpe, was a wool classer in the 1950's, honing his skills as he moved between the shearing sheds of New South Wales. Arthur's knowledge of and connections with the sheepskin industry developed as he travelled the vast country that Australians call home. In the 1960's, Arthur established Kangaroo Fur and Sheepskins Pty Ltd in Sydney, for the wholesale supply of fur and sheepskin products.

About that time, the fashion for surfers on beaches from the Gold Coast to Sydney and along the West Coast of Australia had turned to distinctive sheepskin boots. As the Aussie surfers travelled the world in search of the best waves, they introduced the boots to their English and American counterparts. As the humble boot made of sheepskin became recognisable across the world, Arthur Springthorpe became interested enough to start manufacturing uggs in 1974.

The Production Manager of the Gold Coast factory, Todd, is the grandson of Arthur Springthorpe. Although the business is now owned by a friend of the founding family, knowledge and experience of the production of the ugg has been handed down. You are assured of buying a quality product from a company that has been manufacturing ugg boots for over forty years, employing local people and using quality Australian sheepskins. The skins and fleece used in the manufacture of ugg boots are a byproduct of the meat industry, meaning that sheep are not raised solely for the purpose of making uggs.

Only the best fleece is used

Quality A-grade Merino sheepskins are used, and a unique tracking number linking to the artisan who made the item is attached, ensuring the quality of each item.

And now, to the 'sole' of the matter

Ugg boots on display range from practical to bling, and everything in between. And if you can't find what you are looking for you can design your own, complete with Swarovski Crystals, if bling's your thing. The design motto of this company is:
If you can imagine it, we can create it - ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!
Even your old favourite Levi jeans could become your new favourite uggs. And if you think all sheepskin looks the same, think again. This company is one of the few ugg boot companies that offers a customise service and with manufacturing on the premises, you can expect the turnaround from design to the finished item to be fast.


... Plus This

And a bit of this....

Shiny metallic is just one of the variations that could adorn your feet this season

Comfort is assured all year round as the sheepskin lining breathes, keeping your feet naturally warm in winter and cool in summer. The best part is, these ugg boots made with genuine merino fleece, work best when worn without socks, meaning your feet will snuggle down into the fur lining while staying dry (no sweat!) and odour-free. But if you do wear your uggs for as many seasons as I usually do, the inner-sole is easily replaceable, so you'll always have that luxuriously soft feel, no matter how old your uggs are. They're good from surf to snow, which makes them the ideal travel buddy. A good spray of the special stain-repellant available from the store ensures the outer layer stays stain-free. Crisp white snow might look clean, but it quickly turns to mud when it starts to thaw. Your pre-treated uggs will shake it off and arrive home looking as good as when they left. Did I mention the 12 month warranty?

These are at the top of my Wish List!
(Photo from website)

And for a fashion statement, team your uggs with your favourite jeans or dress, or a fleecy hat to keep your ears warm. They really are the 'go anywhere' choice for any season. Don't take my word for it, just ask the celebrities who wear their uggs with casual and formal attire. And if the stars wear their ugg boots anywhere, then we can take the guilt of turning up in our uggs, right? So drop into the store or go online and order your next fashion statement - the one that will take you through more than just a few seasons.

Keep your ears warm too!

Oh, and if you visit one of the stores, you'd better have a camera with you because you just never know who you'll bump into. Click here to see some of the famous people who are now sporting some very trendy uggs, including Karmichael Hunt and Ronan Keating, to name just a few.

Order online, or drop into your nearest store

And as for my uggs in North America? They were super-soft, toasty-warm, comfortable and very trendy. I felt like a celebrity and had a few people comment on how good they looked. I know they'll be my favourite footwear over the coming season, well actually, quite a few seasons because they'll still be trendy years from now.

So get your ugg boots on and join the long list of celebrities who are at the height of fashion. You'll look great and your feet will thank you for it.

You can buy your Australian made ugg boots (or have them custom made) from:

  • The Factory Store at 23-25 Christine Ave Miami QLD - with bonus factory tour

  • 36 Orchid Ave Surfers Paradise QLD

  • Shop 3, 3171 Surfers Paradise Boulevard Surfers Paradise QLD

  • 107 Harrington Street The Rocks, Sydney NSW

    • See the website for contact details and opening hours.
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Why? Uggs are back in fashion and are a favourite with celebrities around the world.
When: 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday; 9am - 4pm Saturday; 10am - 3pm Sunday
Phone: 07-5520-4066
Where: 23-25 Christine Ave Miami QLD 4220;
Cost: Factory Tours are free - Ugg Boot prices vary but are affordable, and a great investment in comfort and style
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