Uggs vs Bearpaw

I get it. A pair of winter boots can be a gigantic investment. Particularly if you want to pick up a trendy name brand like Ugg boots. So naturally you want to make sure you are getting the best value for your money, but also purchasing something that is going to last you more than one season. What’s a girl (or guy!) to do?

Thankfully you have me by your side. Because of course I have owned every type of boot known to humankind. I have some definite opinions about the pros and cons of Uggs versus Bearpaw boots.

Another option that no one talks about in these conversations is Skechers! I can’t think of the name of the style boot they make right now that looks like Uggs, but I owned a pair for a solid seven years or more, and I loved them. I’m only writing about them in past tense now because I put them in storage over one particularly humid summer, and ended up losing my Skechers winter boots to a nasty case of crawl space mold. I’m still pretty bitter about that. I got compliments on these boots all the time. They even had a little tag on the back that said “Skechers,” (where the Uggs label would normally be,) but everyone assumed they were Uggs. They were super comfortable and durable. I wore them all the time and they lasted really well. Plus they were a fraction of the cost of a new pair of Uggs. I love Skechers brand so much that I wrote a whole blog post about them, so check that out to get some idea of my love for their products. I digress though. All that just to say, if you’re comparing Ugg and Bearpaw, you might also want to consider a good pair of Skechers boots.

Anyway. A little bit of background info. All the Uggs I’ve owned have been second hand. They last forever, so if you don’t want to drop a ton of cash on a brand new pair, used is just fine. I just want to say, however, they tell you that socks are not necessary with Uggs (or Bearpaw either for that matter) and this is a lie! I have bought secondhand Uggs online only to find that they have a distinct “foot” odor in them already. Wear socks, people. Your feet are going to sweat all in these boots, and if you want them to last, as far as I’m concerned that includes not stinking. Just a friendly public service announcement!

Uggs are typically made from sheepskin, and a lot of animal rights activists get up in arms about this. That’s quite honestly another reason why I made it a point to purchase mine second-hand. Bearpaw boots are also known for being made out of sheepskin, however Bearpaw also offers animal-free options. So if you’re conscious of your environmental impact or animal rights, Bearpaw may be the way to go. (Or I think the Skechers version is all synthetic, actually! But don’t quote me on that – if you’re concerned about this, please double check for yourself!)

Another thing to note is that Ugg has been around a lot longer than Bearpaw. I love my Bearpaws and I wear them a lot, and I have never encountered a situation where I wore them out. To me they are all long lasting brands. However, over the course of a lifetime, Uggs are rated to last a lot longer and to be more durable. It depends how long you think you’re going to like the style and want to keep them, honestly. If it’s more than ten years, Uggs might be an investment worth making. However, anything less than that, and your Bearpaws or Skechers will last you just fine. Climate also plays a large part in this. Unless you live somewhere with absolutely no summer, these are seasonally worn boots. You’re not likely to wear your winter boots very often in summer. So any of these brands is likely to last a good long while, being worn only some of the year. I live in a climate where I typically bust mine out around October and put them away in March. But you do you, boo! 🙂

Ugg does have the upper hand in terms of more of a variety of colors and styles. It depends what you’re looking for. If you want something simple or classic, Skechers or Bearpaw might give you exactly what you’re looking for. If you want your boots to be a bit more unique, check out Uggs’ selection – just be prepared to shell out some dough for your trendy style.

Ugg is also rated to be more comfortable, but I’m not sure how I feel about that. I would not describe my Skechers or Bearpaws as anything less than comfortable. Uggs have more of a lining, but if you’re going to wear them barefoot, (which, don’t…) then the fur could get between your toes and feel rather annoying. I say that from experience. Uggs may be a little softer and more cushioned, but you are not going to be uncomfortable in any of these brands.

Ultimately, you’re not going to go wrong with any of these brands. It all comes down to your priorities in life. If fashion and style, brand recognition, or perhaps a bit of added warmth and durability, are factors that you are willing to pay extra for, then I would strongly consider a pair of Uggs. If you aren’t going to go out in the snow a lot, and budget is a factor, go for Bearpaw or Skechers instead. You’ll be just as comfortable and happy with them.

Cowboy Boots

Who doesn’t love a good old pair of cowboy boots? I will admit, I went through a phase where I would wear my cowboy boots with everything. Jeans? Of course. A fancy dress? Most definitely. Going out? Gotta wear my cowboy boots! Running errands? Let me slip on my trusty boots.

I know that cowboy boots can get really pricey. I have a girlfriend who will spend over $200 on just the right, cutest, most embellished pair. That’s not me, though! I got my cowboy boots from a thrift shop, and I’m not even a little ashamed to admit that. I know that some people can be weird about wearing other people’s shoes. Not me, though! I’m no germophobe, and I also happen to know that the thrift shops near me have strict requirements about disinfecting all the shoes that they get through their door anyway.

Anyway, when I found this pair, I knew they were perfect. They fit as if the previous owner was my long lost twin or something! The boots were just broken-in enough to be super comfortable, but still looked new enough that I could wear them and look a little fancy if I wanted to. And for about a year, I was really obsessed with these boots. I wore them anywhere and everywhere. I still wear them all the time, of course, but I’ve toned it down some. My cowboy boots are just part of my rotation, albeit a pretty big part. I also want to make sure that my Chucks and Skechers are getting their fair share of wear time. 🙂

Why spend money at the mall on multiple pairs of “fast fashion” juniors’ or ladies’ boots that will wear out after two seasons, or go out of style by next year? That’s not for me! Cowboy boots never go out of style, and they pair well with just about any outfit. Real, genuine cowboy boots like mine are built to last, too, so you can keep them pretty much for a lifetime. You could kick a cinder block wall while wearing them (ouch?!), or run over them with a truck, and they would probably not be all that much worse for wear. Not that I recommend doing those things. Take care of your boots, and all your shoes, and they will take care of you for a long time yet to come.

I was so fascinated by the cowboy boot phenomenon that I wanted to learn more about the origin of this timeless American classic. I did some research and found out that it was actually the Spanish vaqueros who brought cowboy boots to the united states — along with a lot of other clothing items that we still associate with cowboys today.

I also learned that originally, cowboy boots almost always had a squared off toe area. The pointy toed boots that we are familiar with today, actually didn’t appear until about the 1940’s. Tall cowboy boots are considered the original classics. If you see a shorter style that looks like a cowboy boot, those are known as roper boots. Personally I’m a fan of the classic style, myself.

If you don’t own a pair of cowboy boots, I highly encourage you to pick up a pair. You can get yourself a good pair made of genuine leather and they will really last just about forever. You can match them to any personality, because they come in a variety of colors, embellishments, designs; you can buy them just as flashy or as plain as you prefer. It doesn’t matter if you live in the city, or the suburbs, or in a town, or on a farm. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never ridden a horse. Cowboy boots are a style that will never become obsolete.

My Skechers Obsession

Ok, I admit it, I’m pretty into my Skechers. I got really spoiled around age 19 when I wore around a pair of their signature extra comfy skater shoes for about a year. My grandparents bought them for me as a thank-you gift for flying out to Utah and helping them shop around for outdoor RV storage for while they were traveling overseas. They let me pick any shoes I wanted (they know me so well), and at the time Skechers were just starting to catch on out there. Once I tried them on, I was hooked. I wore those shoes with everything. But now I like to say that was a phase and I don’t actually go around wearing skater shoes with every outfit anymore.

Fortunately however, Skechers brand has grown up a lot since then too! Not to sound like a bad infomercial (they are definitely not paying me to say any of this!) but did you know that Skechers makes everything from Ugg-style boots to ballet flats, and everything in between? I was pretty impressed when I started checking out their new selections. So I want to tell you about a couple of my absolute favorite pairs of Skechers shoes.

Cleo Ballet Flats
I’m blown away by the new line of ballet flats from Skechers. They’re shockingly comfortable – I’ve definitely owned ballet style flats that have given me some serious blisters, but never from my Cleo’s! I love the variety of colors, patterns, and styles. You can dress them up or down, and no one can tell how much comfort you’re walking around in. These shoes are completely amazing.

Yuma Boots
OK, can we just talk about how adorable these tall boots are? There’s a little chunk heel to give you a boost, but not too high. The buckle detail at the ankle and calf really make them look nice. They’re a very classic boot that you can wear with just about anything. But on the inside, yep, you guessed it, they feature the delightful level of comfort that is characteristic of Skechers brand shoes. You can get them in black or brown, so you can wear these boots with just about anything.

The best part is that no matter the style, Skechers are committed to being comfortable. I know I’m into shoes, but I’m definitely NOT into pain. Comfortable shoes are a must for me. That’s why I love all the new options from Skechers. They’re always super comfortable, but now they offer really cute and stylish choices as well. That’s the best of both worlds!

Converse All-Stars

Fresh out the box or old and worn in …. Who doesn’t love a classic pair of Chucks?!

I will admit it, I’m obsessed with my Converse All-Star sneakers. Just because I love shoes, that doesn’t mean I’m a high maintenance and fussy person all the time! They’re super comfy, you can wear them with just about anything, and they never go out of style.

Do you ever wonder why Converse are called Chucks? It is because they were actually the first celebrity-endorsed shoe, named after Chuck Taylor when Taylor asked Converse to make a special basketball shoe for him. In fact, the lengths Taylor and Converse went to just to promote these shoes is pretty astounding. I found this article that tells the whole fascinating history of these iconic kicks.

My Chucks have gone with me to concerts, hiking, shopping, and pretty much everywhere I go. I remember one vacation that I took with my friends Jess, Kristen, AJ and Andy. We went to New York City, and we got caught in the rain. We ducked into a cafe and waited out the heaviest rain, but eventually, we needed to get back to our hotel, and the rain was not going to stop anytime soon. We scurried from awning to doorway, trying to stay as dry as possible. We walked three miles like this in the rain. It was a memorable adventure for sure. And yep, you guessed it, I was wearing my Converse the whole time. Thank goodness for shoes made of canvas and rubber! I aired them out back in our hotel using the hair dryer in our room, and sure enough, my Chucks turned out good as new.

I know people who have actually done this!

I’ve even seen people wear Converse to their own wedding! Full wedding dress and tux, and a comfy pair of Chucks to finish off the look. I’m not even kidding. That just proves how versatile and iconic these classic sneakers really are. I’m not married, and I have lots of more fancy styles of shoes that I really love, so I would definitely have to think carefully about what shoes I will wear to my own wedding if that day comes! But you have to admit, there is something eternally cool about a great pair of Converse All Stars.

Holy Sandals, Batman

Hi. My name is Kisumu, and I am a sandal-holic.

*not my actual sandal collection. But still.

I love sandals, y’all. I think it goes back to childhood when I would always run around outside barefoot. My feet just like to be free to breathe. As much as I love shoes, I also like to go barefoot, so to me sandals are like a compromise. They’re the best of both worlds.

If the weather is warm enough to wear sandals of any type, there’s a solid chance that’s what you’ll find me wearing. I don’t even care if my pedicure is fresh. I will go around with unapologetically naked toes, and if the sandals are cute, that’s all that matters to me.

Here are a few of my favorite summer styles. You can bet I’m getting the most wear out of them that I can while the weather is still nice enough to get away with it!

Gladiators
I love gladiator style sandals and I own several pair. Some of them are high and lace up and I feel extra dressed up and flashy when I wear those. Others are casual, flat heels, they zip or buckle. I even have a couple pair that I got in the kids’ department at the end of the season one year. Hey they were adorable, and no one can tell the difference. (Kids’ shoe sizes go up to about a women’s 7 or more, so that’s definitely something to consider for those who can get away with it! I’m all about saving a few bucks when I can!)

I had a pair of gold gladiator flats that I absolutely loved. The soles were a chocolate brown, and the gold strappy part was a subtle shade, not obnoxious at all, just low-key fun metallic. I wore them with literally everything, up until there was snow on the ground, for several years in a row. I wore them so much that the leather part began to separate. I still haven’t thrown them out, because they were my favorite thing, but I really need to. They are falling apart and not attractive anymore. I just can hardly bring myself to part with them though. I want to find another, similar pair that’s equally cute, and then maybe I can detach.

Flip Flops
I don’t know what you all call this style (thong sandals? Does anyone still use that term??) but to me they will always be flip-flops. I know that was based on the sound that the shoes make when you walk in them. I love this style. You can slip them easily on and off. They’re perfect for warm weather, and truly a summer icon as far as I’m concerned.

I will say, there are cheap plastic two dollar flip flops available from popular clothing retailers, and these CAN work just fine. But this is kind of a scenario where you get what you pay for. I have $20 flip flops, and while that might seem like a lot to spend on something this basic, they’re honestly worth it. Full disclosure, I make pretty decent money these days working for an air duct cleaning company. However, if you make a livable wage in whatever you do, some good “flops” are totally worth investing in. I’ll tell you why. First of all, the cheapo ones always give me blisters. Second, the $2 versions constantly break. Third, they tend to be super flat. Which can be OK for some people, but the older I get the more I need a bit of padding under my feet. I recommend Reef for really comfy flip flops. They have some excellent options.

Birkenstocks
I’m going to be real honest with you here. This is still a wish list item for me. I really love some of the new styles they’re coming out with lately. They’re pretty pricey, but from everything I’ve heard, they are worth it. One friend even told me that her Birks were the only thing that helped with her foot pain! (Including medical intervention!) I kind of like the Siena style right now. Although I noticed that Birkenstocks even makes boots and all kinds of different styles of shoes these days! I have a really hard time making up my mind, so that makes it difficult. Plus it’s not like I can just pick up every style they have – Birkenstocks are soooo expensive! I really like them though, and I want this to be my next sandal purchase for sure. From everything I have heard, it’s an investment worth making.