Fleece-lined sheepskin boots called uggs have been popular since at least World War I, when Australian fighter pilots wore the comfy footwear while flying with their British counterparts in Europe and the Middle East. In the 1930s, Australian sheep shearers favored uggs, and by the 1960s Australian surfers had discovered the rough-and-tumble boots (uggs, some say, is short for “ugly”) as the perfect antidote to cold toes after a bracing bout in the waves.

All of which made it more than a bit galling to Australian ugg-makers such as Blue Mountains, Mortel’s, and Uggs-N-Rugs when, in 2003, they received a cease-and-desist warning from a U.S. manufacturer that claimed ownership of the ugg brand. Three years later, a court ruled that the U.S. firm could, indeed, do business as UGG Australia, but that Australian boot-makers could continue to call their sheepskin boots uggs, as they had been doing for decades.

The first uggs were soft-soled, formed of two pieces of sheepskin sewn together down the center of the boot. In the 1970s, Uggs-N-Rugs added a hard sole to the shoe and a molded stitched-in heel. This is the version that is most prevalent today.

Pamela Anderson upped the ugg’s profile in the United States when she took to wearing the leg-warming footwear between takes of the television show “Baywatch.” Kate Hudson and Sienna Miller are just a few of the other actresses who have made what had been a casual man’s boot into a must-have fashion accessory for women.

In no small part, UGG Australia gets the credit for the boot’s popularization among women. One of its hottest styles is a version whose Pepto-Bismol pink New Zealand shearling fur is exposed on the boot’s exterior, with soft flannel inside to keep the feet warm.

Other examples feature elaborate, “girly” embroidery on the outsides of the boots; tall, above-the-calf versions in chocolate, tomato, or black; and horizontally striped boots made of cable-knit fabric, which look a lot like socks with rubber souls.

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

All About Shoes

All About Shoes

From Canada's Bata Shoe Museum comes a visually impressive exhibit focusing on the history of the shoe from traditi… [read review or visit site]

Virtual Shoe Museum

Virtual Shoe Museum

This virtual museum from Shoe Icons Publishing showcases over 800 pairs of shoes and related reference information.… [read review or visit site]

Most watched eBay auctions    

Ugg Australia Women's Brown Leather Boots S/n 1958 Size 9Chestnut Brown Valentina Ugg Boots Size 8New Ugg Rue Knee High Suede 1012546 Women's Zipper Boots Black Size 6 $200Ugg Cailyn Espresso Size 9 3182Ugg Women's Quincy Chestnut Water-resistant Ankle Boots Size Us 9 1012359 *new*New Ugg Australia Classic Dylan Women's Size 6 Short Brown Winter BootsUgg Women's Classic Tall Boots, Chestnut, Size 6. NibWoman's Ugg Boots Kristin Size 9. *new* Grey 1012497 - With BoxAuthentic Ugg Australia Red Dakota Suede Sheepskin Moccasins W Bow Womens 9Ugg I Heart Kisses Short Pink Sequin Skulls Womens Size 10 *new* With BoxNew Ugg Kids Triple Bailey Bow Boot Black Size 3100% Authentic Men's Ugg Byron Sheepskin Leather Loafers Men's Size 12 NewNew Ugg Adirondack Ii Boots Waterproof Leather Gray Women Size8Ugg Woman's Kitlyn Water Resistance 1015042 Chestnut Size 11 With BoxUgg Women's Cozy Double Diamond Slippers Freshwater Pearl 6Ugg Australia Ascot Men's Us Sz 11m Grey Wool Lined Slippers House Shoes Ts-330Ugg Australia Classic Candy TallUggs - Womens Size 7 - Blue - Brand NewChanging Sequin Ugg BootsNew Ugg Toddlers Bailey Bow Suede Boot Chestnut Size 12New Ugg Toddlers Bailey Bow Suede Boot Hot Pink Size 9New Mens Ugg Romeo Scuff Slipper Suede Espresso Size 9New Ugg Kids Bailey Bow Suede Boot Black Size 4New Womens Ugg Classic Short Neon Chestnut Suede Boot Size 8Ugg Boots Men's Size 10, Slightly Worn, Pre Owned, Light Chocolate ColorUgg Australia $100 Women's Ansley Moccasin Slippers Size 7 Mahogany Suede 3312Ugg Australia Women's Taya Canvas Navy Sneakers Size Us 9, Eu 40Ugg Ansley Women's Size 7 Gray Suede Fleece Lined Slippers Shoes X3-958*Womens Ugg Boots Classic Short Navy Size 9 ExcellentWomen's Ugg Australia Brown Suede Leather Mini Boots Size 8 UsUgg Soft Boots Size: 10 Women's Genuine Leather Sheepskin Suede Winter F19010eUgg Boots I Love Heart Ugg Skull Crossbone Size 8Men's Ugg Australia Shoes Loafers Brown Suede Tobin Slip On Size 13 NewUgg Australia Mens Sz.11 Ascot 5379 Leather Moccasin Slippers Shoes Excellent!$169 Ugg Australia Cambridge Uggpure Lined Knit Boot Chestnut Size 8 NwdNew Ugg Briella Cork Wedge Heel Sandals, Black Leather, Sz. 8 M, $110Ugg Boots Girls Comic Pow Size 13 Kids/childrensNew Nwob Ugg Melinda Wedge Heel Sandals, White Leather, Sz. 7.5 M, $150Uggs Women's Classic Cuff TallUgg Girls' Size 4 Maddi Buckle Boot - Chocolate - 1001520Ugg Mens Size 11 "ascot" Shearling Lined Gray Suede Slippers ~very CleanUgg Australia Girl's Ariana Pink 3 Youth - NewUgg Australia Kids Butte Ii Brown Leather Snow Winter Boots Shoes Sz 2 Y Zf-1176Women's Ugg Tania Boots Chestnut Brown Size 7 New In BoxUgg Australia Purple Beige Slip On Slipper Booties Size 8Ugg Australia $100 Women's Ansley Moccasin Slippers Size 8 Mahogany Suede 3312Ugg Brown Leather Sheepskin Buckle Pull On Mid Calf Boots Size 8Nwob Ugg Australia Black Mireya Slip On Sandal Size 10wUgg Tasman Chestnut Suede Sheepskin Slippers Us 7/8 MensPurple Uggs Size 6New In Box Ugg Baby Girl Boots - Princess Pink With Bow Sz Xs/0-6 Months ($55)Ugg Women's Suede Boots Size 9Womens Genuine Ugg BootsWomens Uggs Black Size 9. Only Worn Twice Mens Ugg Slippers Size 12 Nwot Box$99 Ugg Australia Kammi Uggpure Lined Skimmer Flat Black Size 5 Ugg Australia $100 Women's Ansley Moccasin Slippers Size 6 Mahogany Suede 3312Ugg Australia $100 Women's Ansley Moccasin Slippers Size 9 Mahogany Suede 3312Mens Ugg Sandals Slides Brown Leather 10 M * * * * Nice!Nib Ugg Sienna Rainboot Size 9