By now, who doesn’t have an old ratty pair of UGGS boots with worn and lopsided soles, black scuff marks, and which also doubles as a floor pillow in the dog days of summer (get it?)…
Wait…what? Why are they even still out in the summertime, you ask?
Good question. Because we UGGS fans can be afflicted with something called “seasonal blurred lines” syndrome. The irony for me, especially, is rich, considering years ago I declared these boots the ugliest things I’d laid eyes on when I first noticed women plodding up and down the streets in them like suburban Yetis. Then one day in Nordstrom out of sheer boredom (I must have been waiting for the line at the MAC counter to die down) I strolled over to the shoe department, picked up a pair, and scoffed at the price tag. They must be out of their minds, I laughed to myself. Just for kicks, I tried them on.
These boots are the easiest things to slip on and off (no socks needed!), which means – to address my earlier point – they tend to stay parked by the front door well past their seasonal expiration date. (They are also good to put on when you think you heard mice in the basement laundry room, and need to go investigate without fear of one leaping out of the shadows onto your exposed shins. Or so I’ve heard.)
That said, if winter is a distant memory and yet you’re still using your UGGS to run out to the car real quick to search for lost glasses, check your mailbox or race behind the trash truck because you thought it was Wednesday when it was really Thursday, then like me…you may have a problem.
We don’t have to live like this, though. There’s help for us all in making the seasonal transition, and it looks like this:
If you hadn’t heard, UGGS is way more than clunky boots. They also have a full-season shoe line. Their Delmar sandal wedge was the hero of my Montreal honeymoon recently. In hindsight, I don’t even know why I bothered wasting space in my suitcase packing other shoes. Aside from the strappy black heels I (reluctantly) put on for a fancy dinner one night, these wedges never left my feet.
How comfortable are they?
So comfortable, that I wore them to hike up Parc du Mont Royal, which the locals in Montreal simply call “the mountain.” Designed by American landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead (the same guy who designed NYC’s Central Park), its scenic overlook at the very top provides breathtaking views of the entire city.
It’s also 764 feet. Or, as my husband-slash-keeper-and-master-over-all-things-data told me: “From Saint-Viateur d’Outremont Church to the Kondiaronk Belvedere scenic overlook is 2.7 kilometers @ 1,320 steps/km = 3,588.3 steps with an elevation gain of 180 meters, or almost two football fields.”
That’s great, honey. But all I want to know is: how many calories did I burn?
He went back to his little formula thingie and started typing in more stuff. Tap, tap, tap.
“Around 400 calories,” he replied.
Win. (I had planned on ordering a crepe later. With extra chocolate sauce.) Keep in mind that number didn’t even count the long-a** walk across town, round trip, to Janet’s condo. Doesn’t matter, though. In those wedges I could have hiked a thousand miles. After that day, I rarely took them off and walked all across Montreal and Quebec City in them, with nary a sign of foot pain. Words cannot describe how sublime they feel on my feet, and they’ve been my go-to summer shoes ever since. And how cute are they, with the sexy little ribbon tie thingie in the back? (Which you’d think would feel annoying, but it doesn’t.) No matter what you pair them with – shorts, skirts, sundresses, capris, boyfriend jeans – they look great, and go with everything. I probably would have worn them under my wedding dress if I thought I could get away with it.
I’ll tell you right now they are not cheap (around $80), but I’ve come to understand there’s a reason why they cost that much. After spending my teen and young adult years squeezing my now-bunioned feet into cute but very cheap bargain-basement shoes, I’ve learned my lesson the hard and painful way. Also, I don’t mind paying money for shoes that meet my 80/20 criteria. (Meaning, 20% of what you own, you wear 80% of the time.) In the spirit of minimalist living, I’ll happily throw out or donate four other shoes costing $20 each, and just wear these.
(Sorry. That last part was a lie. Nobody’s throwing out any shoes.)
So if you need to retire those UGG boots for the summer, look no further for its offseason replacement. And how nice will it be to free up all that space in your summer vacation luggage? These, a pair of dressy heels, and maybe some flip-flops for the pool or beach (or nasty hostel floors, for all you wanderlust twenty-somethings), and you’re done.
And leave the sneakers at home. I personally haven’t tried it, but I bet you could do an hour on the hotel treadmill in these things, no problem. You know who else says so?
The 764 elevated feet that is Parc du Mont Royal (“the mountain”), that’s who.
(Just pretend, my fellow grammar geeks. I hear you hyperventilating out there.)
The lesson(s) in all this?
1. Maintaining good health is ours for the taking, anytime, anywhere (yes, even on a honeymoon), just by walking outside and taking advantage of the natural (read:free) resources in front of us. It’s our birthright. Human beings managed to develop vigor and strength centuries before there was ever such a thing as a “gym.” For a change of pace, skip the stationary spin bike or elliptical with its gazillion computerized settings, and go climb a hill.
2. Invest in good quality shoes that are versatile and which love – as opposed to punish – your feet, even if that means you only own three pair. (Sexy and functional don’t have to be mutually-exclusive criteria.)
3. Don’t let your puppy get in the habit of sleeping on your UGGS. You’ll never pry them apart.
A la vie!
P.S. There’ll be plenty of time to get back on track with green smoothies after you return home from vacation. Leave a little room in life for the occasional crepe with extra chocolate sauce. You can bet I did. (Big shoutout to all my new Canadian friends, especially the fine folks at Creperie Chez Suzette in Old Montreal!)