When we first got wind of the fact that Teva and Ugg were collaborating on a hybrid shoe collection (as first reported by WWD), we thought it was a joke. Yes, both companies are known for their love-to-hate ugly shoes, and are owned by Deckers Brands, so a partnership wouldn't be too far-fetched. But the thought of a combination shoe — bringing together the Teva's hippie sandal silhouette and velcro straps with Ugg's sheepskin lining and over-the-ankle rise — simply didn't compute. Once we got a look at the final product IRL, though, we must admit: We kind of, sort of, love it.
In recent years, both labels have embarked on a rebranding mission, attempting to shed their guilty pleasure reputation and become recognized as on-trend lifestyle products: Teva has worked with Nasty Gal, Opening Ceremony, and Jhené Aiko in an effort to make flatforms cool again. (It even has Solange Knowles in its court); Ugg, on the other hand, is encouraging customers to wear its incredibly cozy boots outside of the house (and not exclusively when sipping on Pumpkin Spice Lattes) by signing on a motley crew that includes Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Hailey Baldwin, and Tom Brady. This collaboration — combining the most recognizable (if oft-mocked) elements of each signature shoe — is the next step.
"We wanted to fuse the most iconic and loved elements from both brands and deliver them in a contemporary collection for the modern consumer," Wendy Yang, president of the performance lifestyle group at Deckers Brands, said in a statement.
The two styles in this "Tugg" collaboration — a sporty sandal and a mid-calf, open-toed boot — won't come cheap (one retails for $175, the other for $225). They're offered in five colors (black, gray, white, navy, and olive), and are already available at both Teva and Ugg. By themselves, the shoes definitely have a campy element to them. And while the sandal isn't a far cry from the Teva original (only enhanced by the fuzziness of Ugg's lining), the boot is a harder sell, since the neoprene upper gives it an almost cast-like look.
On paper, this definitely isn't something we would ever think would work — that is, until our very own Connie Wang took a pair out for a spin. Here's what she had to say about the "Frankenshoe": "I know that these are objectively ugly, but they are ugly in a really aggressive way that brings them right back around to cool (at least for me). I love Tevas, unironically, and I’ve always wanted to wear Uggs, but couldn’t get past the Starbucks-girl connotations. But this hybrid is the worst/best of both worlds, and so hilariously foul that the contrarian in me HAS to love them. I’m not alone, either — 15 minutes after I posted this on my Instagram, I had 12 comments from friends who wanted to get a pair, too. Strength in numbers!"
In the collection's lookbook, models are seen in motion against a bright, patterned backdrop, which pairs well with the minimalist-inclined loose, neutral-hued layers of their clothing. It's something we've seen more of lately: Dion Lee and Tracy Reese chose Teva-like shoes to accompany their spring '17 collections this New York Fashion Week. (Thick-soled sandals-gone-chic are nothing new on the runway, after all.) But if Birkenstocks are so last season, and your beat-up Converse could use a rest, these chunky sandals are a fresh, normcore godsend for fans of ugly-cute footwear (though admittedly, they're probably not for everyone). Click on to see more.