Ugg boots have a certain cachet -- they've been featured in runway shows in Milan and Paris, and Oprah has deemed them one of her "favorite things to wear." The sheepskin boots, created by a California surfer who came to the States with a bag full of sheepskin, come with a hefty price tag though. Due to their popularity, knock-off boots abound. Don't be fooled into buying a counterfeit boot.
Research the retailer before you buy the Ugg boots it is selling. Online retailers are more likely to be selling fakes, but the fake boots can show up anywhere. Looks at the reviews others have given the sellers and closely look at the photos and descriptions provided. The fake boot seller may use authentic pictures, but never mention the maker, Deckers, in the description. The seller may also claim to have hundred of boots available, which is unlikely.
Look for a shiny authenticating sticker attached to the boots. Deckers introduced the stickers in fall 2010 to combat counterfeiting. Some carryover shoes may not have the sticker.
Look at the price of the boots. Ugg boots aren't cheap. If you see some for cheap, be careful as these are more likely to be fake.
Take a close look at the tags on the boots. Real Ugg boots are made by an American company called Deckers that manufactures them in China. Boots that say made in Australia are fake. The tag should say "Ugg Australia, Made in China."
Look closely at the fur that lines the boots. Authentic Uggs are made with real sheepskin, which has a distinct texture and color. Real sheep skin fur is not white or nearly white. The real boots will have fur that is close to a medium shade of tan. The fur will be even, without lots of longer hairs sticking out, and will be extremely soft. Fake fur boots claiming to be Uggs are nearly white, uneven and not as soft as it should be.
Look at the care booklet provided with the boots. There is a subtle difference in the printing used. Real Ugg boots come with a care guide that has raised printing on the title, where as the printing for fake boots is not raised. The printing on fake boots will be less sharp.
Look at the stitching on the boots. Authentic boots will have high quality, even stitching.
Take a whiff. New Ugg boots (ones that have never been worn) should not have any chemical smells, paticularly a smell of paint.
Look at the sole of the boot. Real boots will have a one piece sole. The heal section on fakes will have a distinct line that separates the heal area from the rest of the sole. Next look to where is says Ugg on the sole of the boot. A real boot will have a circled R next to it. Fakes likely will not. If you are buying black Uggs their soles will be black if they are real, not tan. Real boots have a sole that is a half-inch thick.
Look at the size and shape of the boots. Fake boots are taller and don't run a size bigger like real boots. Real Uggs have a rounder finish on their front.
- UGG Australia: A Look Back at 25 Years of Sheepskin
- UGG Australia: Counterfeit Education: How to Protect Yourself