Think Twice about Wearing Uggs


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Girls-wearing-UGGs.jpg

As the colder winter months draw near, the women of the campus break out their fuzzy and warm sheepskin Uggs. They're warm and comfortable, which makes the boots feel like a treat on your feet. What many girls don't know are the damaging effects that these fashion staples leave.

                Dr. Ian Drysdale, the head of the British College of Osteopathic Medicine, finds the shoes to leave lasting foot problems. The foot slips around on the inside and the force falls towards the inside of the foot with each step. This endangers the arch because with repeated abuse it will drop leaving problems with the ankle and potentially the heel. Although there are many Ugg imitators, Dr. Jim Christina, a podiatrist and the Director of Scientific Affairs for the American Podiatric Medical Association states that neither imitators nor Uggs offer any better support. Dr. Christina stresses that damage from wearing Uggs can manifest itself as pain in the arch and heel and lower leg muscles.

                Another problem with Uggs is their warmth. When people wear the boots all day, they sweat in them more than a normal shoe. Dermatologists have examined this issue and find it is best to wear socks while wearing the boots. People who don't wear socks are more likely to build up bacteria and fungus.

Would you be willing to give up your precious Uggs for well-arched feet? Do you find yourself having foot pain after a day with Uggs on?

9 Comments

I frequently notice girls wearing Uggs and walking on the inner sides of the boots. I figured that though they provide warmth, they don't provide enough support. So when I finally got my first pair of Uggs, last winter I decided to look up tips on how to wear them. The first thing I did was buy supportive insoles to support my arches and align my feet. I also read that just like high heels aren't designed to be worn for long periods of time, or while doing a strenuous activity, UGG boots shouldn't be worn for extended periods of time either. To protect your feet, you should only wear them for short periods of casual walking.
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As an UGG faithful, I must point out that UGGs were meant to be worn to regulate the body temperature, keeping you a nice 70 degrees. It is said be able to be worn all year round, but I see nothing that said anything about while do all activities. As mos athletes should know, the shoes are affected by the context. Therefore, when you go running, where running shoes because it provides the best support for the positions of your body weight, as well as tenis shoes while playing tennis. Also, as a marketing falacy, the shoes need to be changed when the bottom of the heel looses traction, so as not to lose more support. Quite possibly, as your heading says, "Think twice" before wearing your UGGs in certain contexts.

As a girl who is constantly wearing UGG boots around whether it be to class, to my friends' apartments, or even just around my own apartment, I found this blog particularly interesting. I like the fact that you found background information and supported the idea that UGGs have little to no arch support and could potentially cause damage to your feet. I too have noticed girls walking around wearing UGGs and the inner side of the boot is pressed in noticeably more than the left. I decided to further research this "con" of UGG boots to further explore this topic and see if this is a nationwide problem with UGG wearers.
Are women paying a price more than the $140 price tag when wearing UGG boots? According to a NBC news article (one given in link), this is a common occurrence for most women sporting UGGs. This article even states that these boots lack so much support that its not even just your arch or feet that could be harmed, but also your knees and potentially your back! The article talks about a typical mother, Karina Morris, who wore UGGs for two months and soon realized that she had to stop wearing them due to the pain they were causing her. "When flat-footed people slog around in a loose-fitting boot like UGGs, their ankles roll inward and their arches and tendons collapse outward with every step."
These consequences of UGG boots are becoming more of a serious problem because UGGs are now targeting boots and shoes to young children, toddlers, and babies! If these kids start wearing UGGs a lot at such a young age, it could cause significant problems as they grow older and end up harming them in the long run. Is the comfort really worth it? We all know that these are not the most fashionable looking boots so maybe we can give up the plush boot for a more suitable shoe.

I think that this is a very interesting topic. Most girls who are willing to pay upwards of 100$ for a simple pair of boots often do not look at the medical consequences of the shoe. I think that if you polled girls who wear uggs at penn state ( probably upwards of 80%) most would say that they do not think the shoe has any consequences on the foot. The show is also very deceiving. As everyone above me has stated uggs are often worn around everywhere because of the fact that they are so comfortable and not just fashionable. When something such as these boots feels so good all the time many probably do not think that they are actually bad for you. I also think that it would be very easy to test how bad these boots are for your foot. A group of scientists could have tow groups of girls and regulate them by having some wear uggs and others use different brands of shoes. I think that it would be interesting if you did a follow up blog that shows if there are any other similarities in different brands of shoes. For all i know the nike running shoes that i wear every day may actually be bad for my foot and not help at all.

I found this post pretty interesting, although I could not help but think the entire time that Ugg boots are not the only perpetrators when it comes to bad feet. There are so many different shoes in general that do not provide enough arch support. Think of Chuck Taylors, Toms, flats, or any other casual shoe you might wear on a daily basis. Not many provide adequate arch support. In fact, the only pair of shoes that I own that have arch support are my running shoes. There are even some activists that believe that shoes in general are bad for our feet because they alter the way our feet naturally are shaped (like this article for example).
One other extremely popular form of footwear in the summer (you could almost say the summer version of Uggs) are also supposedly terrible for your feet. According to this article, flip-flops cause persistent foot and ankle pain by altering the way you walk.

I find it interesting that wearing Uggs has this effect because when you think of them you just think about how girls love and cherish them; not what are the downsides to wearing them.

It makes total sense how the main issue with them is the excess space. I would think for a different reason though; perhaps because every time you take a step your foot can end up in multiple different positions. It also makes sense what Dr. Christina says about how neither Uggs nor their imitators are good to wear. This being because if a company wants to match the sales of their competitors they will try to at least make their products equivalent, with a slightly better feature. Therefore the Ugg imitators are likely to be spacious as well; in which case the same effect would occur.

This Ugg issue is similar to that of flip flops. With flip flops if one wears them too often ankle problems may occur. This happened to my aunt, who was like addicted to wearing flip flops. She assumed that the ankle problems that she experienced were due to her flip flops not having enough support for her ankles.

I think that it is important that you included (as you did) that “repeated abuse” of wearing Uggs is what can lead to foot problems. If you did not say this I would say that a third variable like how often one wears Uggs could be causal to having foot problems; not necessarily just wearing the Uggs in general.

When I saw this blog, it made me think of other shoes that can potentially be damaging for us. Obviously, I immediately thought of high-heeled shoes. Often times women wear these shoes for work or just to go out at night, but it was interesting to see just exactly how bad these shoes are for us. I found an article that discusses a study done on heel-wearers. Sonograms showed that the women who commonly wore heels and complained of pain had achilles tendons that were stiffer which made it more difficult for their calf muscles to stretch. The researchers say that women should do stretches to avoid this problem and to not wear the high heels as often if not necessary. I think that I would still wear Uggs more than heels because the damage seems to be less severe.

I love your blog! I have really high arches which has caused some problems with my feet and my pediatrist always says to kick off the uggs! I was so surprised to know the shoes that keep my feet nice and toasty in the winter were actually harming them. Although I still own many pairs of the shoes and although its less frequent, continue to wear them I was shocked that the damage that shoes cause our feet. Heals are dangerous, flats such as uggs are also dangerous but, what surprised me most is the dangers of sneakers! With the new craze of "barefoot running" sneaker companies are making shoes thiner and thiner which are visibly appealing to shoppers but in the end harmful. These shoes offer much less support and while working out this can be really dangerous for our feet and joints. Jenny Sanders DPM said that these shoes cause fractures that involve the metatarsal bases or the calcaneus. These are more server than typical stress fractures and usually require immobilization to heal.

Ugg boots are actually really comfy. I'm guilty of owning a pair, and only one pair that has been with me for four years now. Surprisingly, they're in excellent condition, despite the fact that I wear them a lot in the colder months. I also have high arches in my feet, and I have not noticed a difference in how my feet feel or how I walk after wearing them. I also think that because my boots are much snugger than the average Ugg (they're slimmer with a zipper on the back of them), my feet do not move around as much, which would cause more harm than good to my feet.

This blog did cause me to think. Are Ugg really that bad for us? What about the other shoes that Ugg Australia puts out? Are their moccasins, sneakers, flip flops, wedges, etc. just as bad for us as their boots? Also, what about the Vibram five-finger shoes? Even though it is like walking barefoot in them, are they causing just as much harm to our feet as Uggs, flip flops, etc. do? Are rain boots, much like the Hunter boots just as bad as Uggs as well, since for me, [my] feet move around more in them?

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