When talking about premium quality sheepskin footwear, one of the first brands to pop up in our heads is UGG. The brand has been serving classy, and comfortable shoes since its inception.
But, when Koolaburra by UGG made its debut, it spurred a lot of confusion and curiosity. Some even termed them knockoff UGGs or cheaper UGGs. But are they actually fake UGGs as people call them? What are the differences between Koolaburra vs Ugg boots? Uggs have better quality, more durable, whereas Koolabura are affordable
Let’s find out in today’s face-off between Koolaburra and UGG boots and which is the better option.
Introduction & History Of Ugg & Koolaburra Boots
What Is Ugg Boots?
Uggs were first named Ugg Australia, but later on, they got the name Ugg. Now Ugg is a popular footwear brand, especially their winter boots are impressive.
UGG was born in 1978 in California when two young Australian surfers – Brian Smith and Doug Jensen realized that no one in America was aware of sheepskin footwear!
They went on to import 6 pairs from Australia and tried to sell them to footwear stores along the California coastline. To Smith’s dismay, no one really wanted to buy them because they thought sheepskin shoes were hot and prickly.
“What I didn’t know was that Americans didn’t understand sheepskin like Aussies do” Smith revealed in a later interview.
In order to put off the rising inferno in his heart of finding his passion, Smith refused to give up and started advertising Pro Surfers wearing the UGG shoes, and soon, sales picked up. Fast-forward 17 years, the company was acquired by Deckers Outdoor Corporation and rebranded in 1995.
Sales spiked further in 2003 when Oprah Winfrey included the UGG boots in her show and they gained mass popularity in pop culture and then UGG was an International name!
Editor’s Choice: UGG Classic Mini II Women’s Winter Boot
UGG Winter Boot Classic Mini II is a top-class women’s shoe arsenal. It is designed for comfort and warmth in the wintertime. This mid-calf Ugg boot provides elegant fashion.
The upper part of the boot uses twin-face sheepskin with water repellent treatment. There is also a 17 mm interior sheepskin lining for cushioning sockliner.
14 inches large boot opening around makes it easier to wear on and off the boot. So, don’t miss this popular Uggs pair.
what is Koolaburra by Ugg Boots?
Koolaburra is an inheritance brand by Ugg but affordable. Koolaburra by Ugg blends their main features denoted by 3 Cs – comfortable, casual, and carefree.
Koolaburra came into being in 1991 as a competing brand to UGG. Later, when UGG, being on the higher end market began facing tough competition from slightly cheaper brands, Deckers brands decided to buy Koolaburra in order to combat the rising competition.
Koolaburra was finally bought in 2015 and rebranded as Koolaburra by UGG selling high quality, classy footwear, but at a cheaper price. Today, both brands not only sell footwear, but also handbags, clothing, hats, and even home products.
Koolaburra says that their products are “Made for the Modern Family”, so they have a more youth-centric take on their products. The brand believes in blending craftsmanship, quality, and comfort to deliver lifestyle essentials for the entire family.
Here is a good pair of Koolaburra by Ugg boots suggestions for you.
Editor’s Choice: Koolaburra By UGG Women’s Koola Short Boot
Koola Ugg Boot is a must-have girl’s shoe arsenal. This mid-calf boot will give you elegant fashion. The boot is designed durably and comfortably to use year-round.
The upper part of the boot is made from soft suede. Interior has sheepskin with faux fur that provides cushioning sock liner. And sole uses durable and molded EVA materials.
Koolaburra boot is a right fit for kids to adults, even seniors can wear the Uggs for comfort. This is undoubtedly a wardrobe essential.
Similarities between Koolaburra and Ugg Boots
Well, thanks to the very similar footwear that the two brands offered, people instantly began questioning the difference between Koolaburra and UGG boots!
However, the fact remains that both UGG and Koolaburra are daughter companies of Deckers Brands, and being sisters, the two do share similar features.
Style & Design
The first striking similarity is definitely the style and design. Although Koolaburra claims to be a little more fashion-forward, they are actually inspired by the classic UGG boots. Here is a great way of putting this – Koolaburra boots are just UGG boots, just more affordable!
Also Read: Style with over-the-knee boots
Comfort & Warmth
The second likeness is comfort and warmth. Although Koolaburra and UGG boots are made from different materials, both brands provide excellent comfort and warmth.
Also Read: Comfortable hiking boots
Another similarity is that both Koolaburra boots and UGG boots need care and maintenance to keep them going in the long term since both Sheepskin and suede are slightly sensitive materials.
Also Read: How Blundstone 500 boot differs from 550?
Difference Between Koolaburra Vs UGG Boots
Have you wondered what’s the difference between UGG and Koolaburra? Well, here I’ll break down the main distinctive features of these boots brands.
UGG is hands down, pricier than most brands because of the high-quality material used. If I talk specifically about boots, UGG will cost you more than $150 and sometimes UGG boots can cost even more than $300! Koolaburra boots on the other hand can range from $79.95 to $129.95.
Read Also: LL Bean vs Ugg
Materials & Quality
Koolaburra and Uggs are two footwear brands, thus there will be some quality difference for sure.
UGG shoes are normally made from full Sheepskin. Sheepskin is usually tanned with the fleece or the wool intact, which gives you extraordinary comfort and warmth.
Koolaburra uses a combination of calf suede, Sheepskin, and faux fur to make equally comfortable and warm footwear. The choice of materials is what accounts for the price difference between the two brands.
When comparing Koolaburra and Ugg brand boots in terms of quality, Uggs will stand out better than Koolaburra boots. But if you compare Koolaburra with other sheepskin leather, Koolaburra will be a better choice
Also Read: Blundstone vs Doc Martens Chelsea boots
Both Koolaburra and Uggs have quality fur to serve their purposes. But the amount of sheepskin wool that is fur is quite different.
Koolaburra by Uggs use enough fur, but they are less compared to Ugg footwear. So, Ugg boots win here.
Generally, suede leather tends to be more durable in nature, giving Koolaburra an edge in terms of durability. That being said, with proper care and maintenance, sheepskin Ugg boots can also last you a lot of years while retaining their softness.
The true fact is that the durability of these two boots brands are almost similar still Uggs are better than Koolaburra in this case.
Also Read: Timberland alternative boots
Things You Might Like Or Dislike Of UGGs & Koolaburra Boots
Pros & Cons of UGG Shoes
- Comfortable: Let’s just say that if you want to attain happy feet, UGG is the way! Users all around the world agree that the
- Great Warmth: Did you know that sheepskin was initially used during World War II to keep soldiers warm? In fact, that’s how it gained its popularity. Sheepskin is naturally thermostatic and therefore provides great warmth, even in the coldest of weather.
- Durable: If not as much as some other types of leathers, Sheepskin is still highly durable with proper care. Also, they are among a few of the leather types that do not bear dents from bending.
- Great Traction: UGG boots feature a VIBRAM grip, giving them excellent traction even on snowy surfaces.
- Variety: Although initially famous for their boots, UGG now offers a variety of footwear. And you have a lot of designs and colors to choose from, which only makes it better!
- Not Very Attractive: Let’s face it, UGG boots are not exactly handsome, in fact, some say UGG is a short form for ugly! So, these shoes, unfortunately, lack big time on the beauty segment!
- Inadequate Arch support: Users report that the boots do not provide sufficient arch support, which makes their feet more prone to blisters, corns, and soreness. Although with proper arch support inserts, they seem to do just fine
- Not Breathable: Despite the warmth, comfort, and durability provided by Sheepskin, the material is not breathable, making them an unwise option for hotter weather.
- Not Waterproof: One of the downsides of UGG boots is that they are not waterproof and so are not really recommended during rain or snow.
Pros & Cons of Koolaburra Boots
- Comfortable and Warm: With their suede exterior and faux fur or wool lining on Koolaburra shoes feel as comfortable, soft, and warm as UGG shoes.
- Pocket Friendly: So you get the comfort, warmth, style, and classiness of UGG but at a cheaper price? Isn’t that insane?
- Durable: The mix of different high-quality materials makes Koolaburra boots very durable, even more than UGG boots!
- Not waterproof: Koolaburra shoes are not waterproof either and in fact, using them in rain or snow can ruin the suede.
- Needs maintenance: Suede is a rather delicate material and is easily damaged by mud, water, grease. This is exactly why they need quite a deal of maintenance.
Koolaburra By Ugg Vs Ugg Original Comparison Table
|Calf suede, Sheepskin, and faux fur
|Better than Koolaburra
|Less fur compared to Ugg
|Not high as Ugg
|Better than Koolaburra
|Beautiful and fashion-forward
|Quite inferior to Koolaburra
For the visual learners, the following video will help you to clarify the debate between UGG Australia boots vs. Koolaburra by UGG boots.
Q: Is Koolaburra by UGG boots waterproof?
Answer: Unfortunately, they are not. Koolaburra shoes use suede, which is not a waterproof material and hence the shoes cannot withstand rain or snow for long.
Q: Koolaburra Vs UGG Australia sizes – Do they run true to their size?
Answer: In all honesty, Koolaburra Shoes run small, meaning you would want to opt for half an inch larger than your shoe size. UGG shoes are, however, true to their size. But, Sheepskin tends to mold to your feet over time and hence get roomier. So, you might also want to go down on your size.
Q: Where are UGG shoes made?
Answer: UGG shoes are manufactured in China and Vietnam, contrary to popular belief that they are made in Australia!
Q: Can you wear Koolaburra in the snow?
Answer: Yes, Ugg Koolaburra is perfect for snow, rain, and sleet.
Read Also: Can you wear Blundstone in snow?
Q: Bearpaw Vs Koolaburra – Which is better?
Answer: Now that’s one never-ending debate! Bearpaw, also an American Footwear, Apparel, and Accessories company, offers great boots at an affordable price range. In fact, their products are in a similar price range to that of Koolaburra.
Although known initially for using sheepskin and cow suede in their footwear, Bearpaw opted for an animal-friendly vegan boot in 2018. Despite the change in materials, they continue to serve comfortable shoes.
They are almost as durable as Koolaburra shoes. So, if you are looking for a cheaper alternative to UGGs, you can settle for a nice pair of Bearpaw or Koolaburra.
Also Read: Bearpaw vs Ugg boots
Q: Is Koolaburra as warm as Ugg?
Answer: Yes, Koolaburra is warm as Ugg even better due to faux fur and sheepskin in inside and soft suede in outside.
Q: Do I need to wear socks with Koolaburra by UGG boots?
Well, that sort of depends on why you want to pair your UGG with a sock. If it is for warmth, do not worry, your Koolaburra by UGG provides more than enough warmth. If it is for fit, once again, they provide a great fit, so I usually say a no to socks with UGGs.
Q: Can you wash Koolaburra UGGs?
Answer: It’s recommended to clean and wipe dust and moisture away from Koolaburra Uggs using a dry cloth. You can use the spray, but don’t submerge them in water.
Now that I have reached the end of our article, who do you think is the winner between Koolaburra by UGG vs UGGs? I think that the brands share more similarities than differences, except, of course, the huge difference in their prices. Both the brands provide high-quality boots that provide great comfort and style. Koolaburra boots just take the prize for catering to the mass market.
I feel both Koolaburra and UGG boots brands are great, but if you are a newbie in the footwear segment or want to experiment with different brands, you might as well want to start with a cheaper brand – and so, Koolaburra might come to your rescue!
Emily is an editor and co-founder of pickoutdoorgear.com. Being a mother, she wants to share her experience with other parents so they can grow their children properly. She also loves gardening and better living ideas.