Ask anyone who has a pair of UGG Boots and they'll tell you how incredibly comfortable they are. Cozy as they may be, their lack of arch support can wreak havoc on your feet. If you love your UGGs but don't love the foot pain that can come with them, there's an easy fix to your problem.
- UGG Boots are known and loved for their natural wool insulation, incredible comfort, and their lack of arch support.
- If you have flat feet, wearing loose fitting boots like UGGs can increase your chance of over pronation (ankle rolling inward) and cause your arches and tendons to collapse.
- If you have high or medium arches, UGG boots don't provide you enough support, which can lead to discomfort and misalignment.
- Physicians recommend adding insoles with firm arch support to UGG Boots to keep your feet comfortable. We recommend Tread Labs Ramble insoles and a set of our Shearling top covers for the ultimate boot bliss.
What You Need To Know ---
Are UGG Boots Comfortable?
UGG boots are made from natural wool shearling, which is incredibly warm and more comfortable than synthetic insulation. The sheepskin uppers breathe well, so your feet don't get sweaty. Most UGGs feature soft, flexible outsoles, which provide extra cushioning and insulate your feet from the cold ground. Few pieces of footwear feel so good to put on when your feet are cold.
Australian surfers started wearing this style of shearling boots long before they found their way to the States. The style’s popularity grew slowly in the surf and beach community of southern California during the '80s and '90s, then gained widespread popularity in the early ‘00s. Since then, UGG style boots have become a footwear staple.
More recently, new styles have been added that are quite different from the original shearling boots, including UGG slippers, slip-ons, sneakers and more. UGGs now range from insulated footwear for winter to lightweight styles for summer. Some are waterproof. Luckily, many still feature natural sheepskin as insulation.
Do UGG Boots Have Arch Support?
Despite the incredible warmth and initial comfort the boots provide on a cold winter day, they provide little support for your feet. In fact, traditional UGG boots have no arch support at all. They are fine for lounging around the house, but not so comfortable for walking or standing for longer periods.While the company says it has never had complaints of foot pain after nearly 30 years of quality craftsmanship, some physicians beg to differ.
Dr. Rock Positano, of the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, says that UGGs "may feel cushiony; [they] may feel comfortable, but it doesn't mean [people are] getting the necessary arch support that a foot needs to function effectively."
While UGG Boots don't provide structured arch support that keeps your feet comfortable and healthy, you can easily add arch support insoles to get the support you need. Whether you have flat feet or extra high arches, your feet require support.
Flat Feet and UGGs
The images below show the footprints of feet with different arch heights. The lack of arch support in UGG boots can decrease comfort for people with any of these arch heights. Podiatrists and physicians agree that lack of support can be especially worrisome for people with flat feet.
When you have flat feet, the entire bottom of your foot (the sole) touches the ground when you’re standing. Flat feet often occur when your arches don’t develop properly as you’re growing up or if you overpronate. They can also develop as you age or after a foot injury. For women, pregnancy can cause flat feet.
While having flat feet does not necessarily mean you will experience pain, some common consequences include:
- Pain in the heel (plantar fasciitis) or in the arch
- Swelling along the inside of your ankle
- Knee and hip problems
Flat-footed people need shoes that provide structure and support. Loose-fitting boots like UGGs can't stop your ankle from rolling inward (pronating). Moreover, the lack of support may exacerbate the tendency of your arches and tendons to collapse.
Set both your UGG boots on the ground. Look at them from behind. Do the boots look like they are bending inwards? If so, your feet are overpronating.
And, as Dr. Positano posits, a lack of support in your shoes leads to "overuse, meaning the muscles, the tendons, the ligaments, and the bones in the foot and the ankle overwork," he said. "A recent study just came out that showed the correlation between a flat arch, and problems with the knee, the hip, and the back."
For people with flat feet, the best insoles for UGG boots will fully support your arch and stabilize your heel to concentrate the fatty pad underneath your heel bone. This will both prevent overpronation and provide additional comfort. Typically, UGG Boot insoles for flat feet will have a low but supportive arch.
Some people with flat feet benefit from a higher level of arch support. Here is a way to determine whether you have flat feet or not. If you have medium or high arches, the lack of arch support in UGG boots is still a problem. It may take a little longer to develop foot pain, but without proper structure in the shoe, your arches will suffer, no matter your arch height.
What Are The Best UGG Insoles?
You don't need to swear off UGGs because you need more arch support than they provide. Most physicians will tell you that by adding over-the-counter inserts with strong arch support, you can continue to wear your UGGs without any problems.
Arch Support For UGGs With Removable Insoles
To ensure your feet are getting the support they deserve, find a pair of insoles that work for you and fit your UGGs appropriately. If your UGG boots have removable insoles, you'll want to follow these steps to add arch support:
- Reach inside your boots and carefully lift the existing insole away from the heel of the boot. Peel it upward and remove from the boot. If you have trouble, try using a butter knife or a nail file to give you a better grip and allow you to make the initial lift.
- Air out your boots. Especially if you like to wear them without socks. Podiatrist Rachel Verville of Fresno, TX recommends wearing your UGGs with socks: “Just a thin layer of sock inside the boots because if you sweat, moisture develops and athlete’s foot and that kind of thing can develop.” Sprinkling baking soda in the boots and letting them sit over night can help with any odors. Remember to dump out the used baking soda before putting in your new insoles.
- Insert your UGG insoles. Insert your new arch support insoles. Make sure you push the toe of the insole into the boot as far as it will go. Once the insole is in place, push the heel of the insole down and back with your fingertips.
- If you want the feeling of sheepskin on your feet, try Tread Labs Shearling Top Covers. They easily replace the fabric top covers that are standard on all Tread Labs insoles and will give you the ah-ha feeling that you got the first time you put on your UGGs.
Arch Support Insoles For UGG Boots Without Removable Insoles
If your UGGs do not have removable insoles and you want to add arch support, your best option is to get an arch support that doesn't take up space at the front of your foot and affect the fit of your boots. Look for short or 3/4 length insoles to give your arches the support they need, without crowding your toes.
When it comes to winter footwear, UGG Boots are at the top of the list. Adding firm arch support and the coziness of Shearling top covers will let you wear your UGGs comfortably all season long while keeping the warmth and softness that made them so popular in the first place.
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