Tell us: What are some of the ugliest shoes in the world? Chances are you’re probably thinking Crocs, Uggs, or Birkenstocks. Strangely enough, designers have been embracing some of these reviled footwear brands by creating runway-worthy versions of their own (just take a look at Christopher Kane’s bejeweled rubber sandals). At one point, we thought no other shoe collaborations could surprise us anymore—that is until three boxes arrived at Allure HQ. Now, prepare yourselves. Here comes the most reviled footwear breed of them all: Ugg x Teva.
RELATED: Crocs and Uggs: Fashion’s Ugly Shoes Are Making a Comeback
The shoes, which come in a sandal and a boot version, combine Teva’s sole with Ugg’s signature sheepskin lining. The collaboration doesn’t have an official name, but it does come with a slogan: “Suspend your disbelief.” Easier said than done. When our editors tried on the shoes for the first time, their responses were “they’re so comfortable” and “I feel like I’m not wearing shoes at all.” Comfort aside, we had to ask ourselves: Could we possibly wear shoes that look like a walking cast? Three Allure editors tested out the shoes over the weekend. Here, they recount their experiences:
Digital Copy & Research Editor, 33
Friday: It was quite the experience wearing the Ugg x Teva boots over the weekend. As someone who abhors sneakers and can effortlessly maneuver through the streets of New York City in heels, sporting these interesting numbers did evoke strange, surprised, and even sympathetic reactions.
As I wore them on my commute home on the C train with a pink, floral maxi dress (which I’d initially worn to the Allure office with metallic sandals), I got stares, some grimaces. One woman even looked at my feet and said, “Are you OK?” She echoed the sentiments of my fellow Allure editors, several of whom likened the look of the shoes to the boot you wear while recovering from a foot surgery.
I was wearing a size 10, a bit big for my size 9 feet, so the shoes were a bit clunky and had lots of room in the toe area. However, the fur in the middle of the shoes made them feel like I was wearing bedroom slippers at work. The furry part didn’t leave my feet sweaty and was quite comfy—so much so that I forgot how the shoes actually looked. However, I couldn’t wait to kick them off when I got home. Again, I’m a girly girl, and the shoes are a bit more orthopedic and masculine for my taste.
Saturday: I wore these shoes out on a date in the evening. The guy, someone I’ve known for a while, looked down at my feet and said, “You can’t be serious,” and laughed hysterically for a good three minutes (If this was a first date, I would have slammed the door in his face and ended the night before it began, but since this was a guy who is used to seeing me in heels or super-feminine footwear, his reaction was excused). I explained to him what the shoes were and why I was wearing them, but he couldn’t stop laughing.
I tried to convince him about the comfort factor, but he said, “These are worse than those ballet flats you girls wear. We don’t want to see those. Stilettos or sneakers are sexy. Those. NO.”
Sunday: I could still hear my date’s hysterical laugh when I texted my mother and sister a photo of the shoes to get their opinions—my sister is actually a big fan of Uggs and Birkenstocks. My mother and sister sent the crying laugh emojis with messages that read, “OMG! NO!” and “What season are those for?” I told them that though the shoes weren’t the most fashionable, they were comfortable because of the sole and the fur lining, and that a lighter color version might look a bit better with cargo pants and a slouchy top.
They also might have been ideal during my trip to Ghana this past summer, especially for a trek across the canopy bridge in Kakum National Park. The day I visited the park was quite breezy and cooler than I’d expected. I only packed strappy sandals and one pair of metallic canvas flats. I climbed up rocky, rough terrain to get to the canopy bridge. I think the combination of the airy open toe, the warm fur, and the durability of the sole would have made these sandals the the perfect footwear option for that trip.
Then my mother came up with an awesome idea: “I think your granny might like those. Looks like she could use them in the garden.” Merry Christmas, granny!