What's So Different About These New Uggs?

Photo: Courtesy of Ugg.
Based on looks alone, you won't be able to distinguish this Ugg boot from the ones you're already accustomed to seeing trotted around town — or, you know, the pair sitting in the back of your closet, reserved for lazy, stay-very-local days. But the California company purports to have its "biggest relaunch in its 38-year history" on the books. What's so monumental about it? The Classic II, as it's called, is a reissuing of the company's most iconic shoe that's getting a sole-traction upgrade and hitting store shelves having already been treated for water- and stain-resistance. The brand is so into the big launch, this new-and-improved style will soon be the only version of the Classic that you can get your hands on.

Anyone who's ever owned a pair of classic Ugg boots (hey, most of us probably have at some point) knows that maintenance can be a bit involved. There are web pages, video tutorials, even (quite profitable) cleaning services dedicated to keeping your Uggs spick and span, especially during the winter. So, following feedback from customers, the brand took that step out of the equation by pre-treating the sheepskin and suede that comprise the boots' exterior. As a result, the boots are resistant to water and other liquid spills.

However, this treatment doesn't offer a permanent fix to the issue — it only works for six months. Ugg still tells customers to blot away any moisture immediately after spillage, and recommends that its care kit be reapplied every six to eight months. And, because the shoes are not waterproof, rain and snow can still seep through — so, it's still probably not a good idea to go jumping in puddles in your precious, brand-spankin'-new Uggs.

Check out our demo of the new-and-improved boots, below:
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Aesthetically, there are virtually no differences between the Classic and the Classic II — save for the logo. (Ugg dropped "Australia" from its official name last year.) "As a global icon, it was paramount to maintain the aesthetic of the original," an Ugg representative told Refinery29. Instead, the brand focused on innovating is existing look. So, on top of the pre-treated outer, the revamped Classic features a new Treadlite sole for more traction. These changes stemmed from loyal customers' need to have their boots evolve with their lifestyle, Jennifer Somer, vice president of Ugg Women’s and Lifestyle divisions, explained. The new features "can handle the elements [our customer] faces throughout her day, while our new family of silhouettes offers her more styling options than ever before," Somer said.

The relaunch touches three specific silhouettes: the Classic Mini, the Classic Short, and the Classic Tall. There will also be a slight price increase of $5 for each of these styles. That means the Classic II Mini will be $140 (compared to $135), the Classic II Short will retail for $160 (as opposed to $155), and the Classic II Tall will cost $200 (versus $195). Eventually, though, all the OG styles will be phased out to make way for the pre-treated boots, per Footwear News. (Pro-tip: The first generation is currently on sale on Ugg's website, if you want to scoop 'em up at a discount.)

Uggs have been kind of controversial over the years. Despite enjoying trendiness highs and lows, they slid into "basic" territory in the mid-2000s. They still remain a guilty pleasure for many. The boots' ubiquity has meant the company has occasionally had to ward off copycats, too. But the numbers don't lie: The brand's net sales for Q4 of 2015 were up 13.3% from the year prior, totaling $245.6 million (compared to $216.8 million from 2014), according to parent company Deckers Brands most recent financial report.

The Classic II isn't a massive overhaul, especially compared to the slimmer silhouette the company ushered in recently as part of a rebranding effort. However, Uggs — and, specifically, its refusal to ditch its signature aesthetic despite its unpopular reputation — have been a consistent subject of fascination over the years. So naysayers beware: The Classic redux might be nigh. Fans include the Jenner siblings, Rachel Zoe, Rihanna, and even Jon Snow. Even Victoria Beckham has succumbed to the comfort of Uggs (thanks to a twist of the arm from Eva Longoria). Still, the now more convenient pre-treatment might not change the game for anyone who's staunchly anti-Ugg, but it'll surely please the existing, very loyal fan base.
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