I was recently contacted by a company called Whooga and asked to promote their boots, alternatives to the Ugg brand, in exchange for some cold, hard cash. I was contacted on account of my apparent status as a "fashion blogger". Now, I like money – especially the cold, hard kind of money – but I don’t like being called a blogger (I prefer the term Words Mystic) and I don’t like being identified as a fashion blogger because, well, I’m not.
Now, that’s not to say that I don’t like fashion. I do have a Style section on this site because fashion photography and design is interesting to me. Also: the models are pretty. Often scrawny, but they scrub up well. Anyway, where was I?
So, Whooga UK wanted me to promote their boots for money. I ignored it. They then offered more money. I politely declined. They then offered me a pair of boots for free to review. Free boots? Get in the good books with the wife? And get a good excuse to write something long and rambling on the site? I became suddenly interested and this post – nay, first ever boots review! – is the result.
What the hell are Uggs? Well, I think the dictionary defines them as "kinda like wellies, only soft, and with fur inside, and a bit weird-looking, okay, sometimes awful-looking, but you know, women seem to like them". I forget which dictionary that is. I’d never really paid much attention to the boots before and neither had my wife; she likes shoes and boots – she could open a museum in our house with her collection – but Ugg have never been on her hitlist. Getting a pair of Uggs from Whooga would be our first in-depth look at the boots.
The first surprise upon opening the box from China was just how light the boots were. It turns out that this is standard for Uggs and part of the comfort appeal to women just might be that wearing a pair of Uggs is better than strapping breeze blocks to your feet. Who knows? I certainly don’t. Fathoming the minds of women is a skill beyond me. Light, yes, but from first look the quality seemed very good. Whooga Uggs are made from merino sheepskin which, it turns out, is very fine and very soft. But don’t just take my word for it! – although you should because I have a very trustworthy face – go read up about it on that source of all truths Wikipedia: "Merinos are regarded as having some of the finest and softest wool of any sheep". See. Told you.
Right, so far we know that these boots from Whooga came from China, they’re made with fine, soft suede and wool, they’re well-made, and they’re light. But what we don’t know is what colour and what style they are. Unless we look at the photos of the boots accompanying this review. Then we know. They’re long and purple. I know a joke about something that’s long and purple but a review of boots is no place to hear about the amusing tale of Prince near a black hole’s event horizon.
My wife wanted the tall style, purple (violet) boots (these ones). She could have had her Ugg alternatives in chocolate, chestnut, black, sand, grey, or pink, and she could have chosen mini, short, metallic, or weave-style boots. But she didn’t. She’s a tall boots kind of boots-wearer and if I tried to list all the purple things she likes (no making up your own jokes there) we’d be here a long time. Maybe an article for another day.
So – for Ugg-style at least – the boots from Whooga looked good and felt nice to the touch but thus far into the proceedings we were only using our hands. A little-known fact about boots (shoes too) is that they’re designed to be worn on the feet. A little-known fact about these Whooga boots (and maybe this applies to other Ugg brand boots too) is that they’re designed to be worn without socks. We discovered this in the emailed guide to wearing the footwear sent by Whooga when we ordered online. This was a surprise and, according to my wife, seemed quite alien. Nevertheless, we read the instructions – lanolin in the leather, natural airflow in the thick woolly interior, keeps feet warm in cold temperatures, keeps feet cool in hot temperatures, moisturises your feet, nobody wants moist socks, so don’t wear any – and the missus (let’s call her "my beautiful foot model" from here on!) duly obliged.
According to my beautiful foot model (I’m doing it!) the Whooga boots felt very comfortable, very soft, and a little like wearing slippers. They also fit perfectly, something we were interested in finding out for certain as there had been a guide to measuring your feet properly on the Whooga website (Boot Sizing Guide) that we had followed when ordering. Good to know.
Keeping Your Feet Warm
What good are boots if you don’t wear them outside? Don’t bother thinking of an answer to that! I’m not interested! Let’s just cut to the chase and talk about our road test of the free Ugg alternatives from Whooga.
My beautiful foot model (this will get tiresome pretty quickly) and I went for a walk in the Whooga boots. A long walk. A very long walk. Google Maps says it was 8.3 miles and I’m not one to mess with the mileage calculations of Google Maps. Over eight miles in a pair of Ugg alternatives without socks (weird) and the comfort level was sustained throughout. Far more importantly, my beautiful foot model’s (sigh) feet were, in her words, "lovely and toasty" during the entire journey. This is quite incredible for two reasons: firstly, every other part of our bodies had solidified like ice blocks on account of the biting wind that accompanied us (I would estimate the wind chill factor at being one degree Kelvins but I’m not a scientist or a make-believe-scientist like a meteorologist and I didn’t have a thermometer so I might be off by one or two); secondly, even in a heat wave my beautiful foot model’s (grrr) feet usually act as emergency refrigeration units. I would describe any one of a number of occasions of screaming and shooting out of the bed as an icy toe grazed my calf in the middle of the night but I’d probably get in trouble for sharing something so intimate and amusing to her.
The point is: these Whooga boots really worked amazingly to keep feet warm. That is what you would call a glowing recommendation if you valued what I have to say. And you should.
As already mentioned, prior to receiving the boots from Whooga to review, neither I nor – here we go again – my beautiful foot model had paid any real attention to Uggs. Part of our long, cold walk which highlighted the comfort and quality of the boots also involved some stops in department stores and shoe shops to check out other alternatives to Ugg. It was fine for us to think that the Whooga boots were of good quality and deserving of a Victoria Cross for their gallant behaviour in single-handedly (or possibly double-footedly) fending off the Arctic conditions from toes and heels and soles and what-nots, but we couldn’t very well say they were definitely of good quality without some form of comparison.
Our findings with respect to comparing the Whooga Ugg with other Ugg-style boots can be summed up as follows: the Whooga Uggs are far superior to anything else we found. Far. Superior. We were pleasantly surprised and a little smug it has to be said.
Anyway, a bit more of an in-depth comparision analysis now. The soles of the various boots were pretty much comparable in terms of thickness, style, and the noise they made when you tapped your finger on them. I don’t know if that’s a genuine boots review-type criterion but that’s what happens when I review things. I tap them with my finger. The big difference was in the quality of the other materials that made up the boots. The Whooga Uggs’ suede was soft and smooth and the wool inside was soft, densely-packed, and thick; the other Ugg alternatives we found all suffered from lower standard leather (they felt rougher and looked cheaper) and the woollen innards of the boots was in some cases laughably poor. Some barely had any, most were quite sparse in coverage, none came close to the thickness level, and a few pairs felt scratchy.
We weren’t actually able to find any genuine Ugg brand boots so we cannot honestly compare the Whooga boots with them with respect to comfort and quality. On the other hand, Whooga sent us boots for free, so we can honestly say that in the little review chart in my mind that lists boots manufacturers in order of how we feel about them because they sent us things for free, Whooga comes out on top there too.
Whooga Uggs Review Conclusions
My beautiful foot model (last time, I swear) was very pleased with the Whooga Ugg alternative boots. She liked the colour, the quality, comfort, and feel. When compared to other brands’ Ugg boots she rated the Whooga boots as clear winners.
I was also very pleased with the boots and the chance to review them. I am available for other reviews should anyone feel the urge to shower me with freebies. Positive reviews not guaranteed, unless your product is actually good. Positive responses to enquiring emails unlikely if you refer to me as a blogger.