You can’t deny that UGGs took the world by storm in the mid-2000s, and we all had that friend who practically lived in them. But how are their feet doing? Everyone raves about comfort, but are they meant to be worn all day?
UGGs are not comfortable to walk in all day. While they’re initially comfortable, the longer you wear them on the go, the more uncomfortable they become. This is because they start to cause damage to your body, which is the main reason you shouldn’t wear UGGs to walk in all day.
While UGGs are comfortable, that doesn't mean they’re good walking shoes. Keep reading to learn why it isn’t good for your body to walk in UGGs all day and how prolonged wear may affect you.
At first glance, UGGs certainly look like comfortable shoes. When you put them on, you learn you were wrong; they’re, in fact, very comfortable. Ultimately, this is why they became so popular.
UGGs are lined with woolen sheepskin, which is soft to the touch and keeps your feet warm. Sheepskin is naturally a thermostatic material which means it regulates the temperature of your feet to keep them close to your natural body temperature, regardless of the weather outside. The UGG website claims it can keep your feet warm from -30F (-34.4C) and cool up to 80F (26.7C).
In addition, UGGs utilize their trademarked “Treadlite” sole technology to provide cushion and rebound for even more comfort.
While UGGs are comfortable when you put them on, they lack the structure needed to provide support and comfort for walking for long periods.
If you walk around in UGGs all day, not only will it be uncomfortable, but you’ll also end up doing physical damage to your body.
UGGs lack the structural arch support needed for walking. According to the podiatrists at Ford’s Foot And Ankle Care, without that arch support, your feet will flatten inward as you walk and change your gait (your pattern of walking). Feet First Clinic has identified several problems, from arch pain to planters fasciitis, that can arise when your walk isn’t normal.
Dr. Ian Drysdale, head of the British College of Osteopathic Medicine, explains that your feet sliding around in your shoe causes your feet to splay. In turn, this causes your arch to flatten and eventually drop, consequently causing notable damage to the feet, ankles, and hips.
Podiatric Surgeon Mike O'Neill also didn’t have good things to say about the shoe, stating, "As the foot slides around, you get wear and tear on the joints on the inside of the foot. The ankle is in the wrong position, the thigh bone also changes position, and you get an abnormal movement in the pelvis, which leads to back problems."
Another cause for concern is the spaciousness in the heel and ankle region. According to podiatrist Dr. Krista Archer, this can cause your ankles to roll inward or outward. This can be particularly prevalent for people with flat feet.
Aside from the lack of structural support in UGGs, another issue is the sheepskin lining inside the shoe. Yep, the very thing that makes them so comfortable can also be a source of discomfort, as it’s an ideal breeding ground for bacteria and foot fungus!
Uggs are designed to keep your feet warm, the downside is they’re good at trapping heat, so when your feet are extra hot and sweaty from walking around all day, it creates the perfect conditions for bacterial and fungal growth.
This can be even worse if you don’t wear socks, as the website recommends.
Orthotics Direct has outlined how wearing UGGs for prolonged periods while standing or walking can affect people with flat feet, normal arches, and high arches. Here’s what they had to say.
People with flat feet may not find UGG boots comfortable at all. If you belong to this category, you’re at greater risk of having your ankles roll inward as you walk, which can lead to other problems such as shin splints, tendon dysfunction, and plantar fasciitis, just to name a few.
For those with relatively normal arches, you may find UGGs to be very comfortable at first. However, the longer you walk around in them, the more uncomfortable your feet will become. Over time, your arches will begin to fall, which will cause discomfort and misalignment. If these conditions aren’t treated, they’ll worsen down the line.
For people with high arches, their feet will become tired and worn out very quickly after wearing a pair of UGGs for a prolonged amount of time. When lacking the necessary support, your arches will become stiff, and the muscles and tendons in your feet will ache.
UGG Australia has stated their boots are made for “comfort,” not “performance footwear,” leading us to believe that the shoes are perfect for lounging around the house but not great for walking around every day.
A significant factor in making your UGG boots better for walking is ensuring you get the much need arch support. You can achieve this by getting a pair of Dr. Scholl's Work Insoles (available on Amazon.com). There’s a variety, so make sure to find ones that suit your arch and shoe size.
To avoid bacterial and fungal growth in your shoes, spray them down periodically with Lysol Disinfectant Spray (available on Amazon.com).
UGGs are not made for walking.
They lack the structural support to protect yourself from causing damage to your feet, ankles, knees, hips, pelvis, and back. The absence of arch support causes excessive strain on your muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
If you plan on walking a lot, adding an insole can help prevent damage down the line.
However, if you’re looking for a comfortable shoe to keep your feet warm while you lounge around, UGGs may be the perfect fit! They even make UGG Cozy Women’s Slippers (available on Amazon.com), which you may prefer to stay in!