UGGs Can Be Terrible for Your Feet—Here Are 7 Pairs That Are Nearly Identical and Have a Podiatrist’s Approval
It’s cozy season, which means sandals are out and plush shearling and soft suede boots and slippers are in. If you’re like us and have a life-long love for UGG (seriously, we still have a pair from high school that we refuse to let go of) but need something with more arch support, you can still get that iconic winter shoe vibe but with more orthotics-worthy soles via a well-constructed UGG dupe.
For snuggly and comfortable vibes this winter, we tapped Lalitha McSorley, a physical therapist who specializes in foot injuries and function at Brentwood Physio for her expertise on UGG dupes. Find her tips for finding supportive UGG dupes, plus our top picks, ahead.
The Best UGG Dupes, at a Glance
- Overall Best: Sanuk, Cozy Vibe Surf Check ($120)
- Best Shearling Slipper: Birkenstock, Zermatt Premium Shearling ($180)
- Best Ankle Boot: Aerosoles, Swallow Boot ($165)
- Best for Cold Weather: Naot, Vail Boot ($249.95)
- Best Slouchy Boot: Aerosoles, Simple Boot ($180)
- Best Budget: Sketchers, Relaxed Fit: Easy Going ($85)
- Coziest: OrthoFeet Florence Boots ($150)
How to Find UGG Dupes With Support
The plush shearling of an UGG dupe might add to the shoes overall toastiness, but, according to McSorley, the added cushion doesn’t cut it when it comes to excellent foot support. “The forces that go through your foot when you are walking are really significant—usually 2-3 times your body weight,” McSorley explains. “Only ridged or touch materials will withstand these forces,” she adds.
With this in mind, McSorley says it’s vital to inspect your UGG dupes to ensure they will give you enough support, since shearling isn’t going to cut it. When examining an UGG dupe (or any shoe for that matter), McSoreley says to look at the sole of the shoe. “It should be quite stiff in the middle and more flexible near the toes,” she explains. To test for this, she says you can simply grab the heel of the shoe, then push the toe part of the shoe into the ground. “If the shoe collapses, it does not have enough support,” she notes.
No matter if a shoe features good arch support or not, McSorley says the addition of insoles and orthotics can make your UGG and your UGG dupes all the more supportive. And, there’s good news: She says you don’t necessarily need custom orthotics. Instead, she recommends purchasing a pair of SOLE Active Thick Shoe Insoles, $55 (which she recommends to all of her patients) and slipping them into the shoe. “They will help by controlling the alignment of your foot, preventing abnormal motion by changing where the pressure is distributed.”
The 7 Best UGG Dupes That Give Tons of Support for Your Soles
Available In: Women’s sizes 5-11 in whole sizes.
You can find an incredible UGG Classic Short Boot dupe in the Sanuk Cozy Vibe Surf Check. Apart from their looks—which have the silhouette of a classic UGG boot but with nice details like the leather heel detail and toggle—these boots have excellent support, thanks to their lightweight outsole constructed from high-cushioned EVA. What’s more: This UGG dupe is the ultimate eco-friendly option, as it’s crafted from materials such as hemp, cotton, sugarcane, recycled wool, and recycled polyester as well as Leather Working Group certified leather and suede.
Best Shearling Slipper
Available In: Women’s sizes 4-12.5 in half sizes, men’s sizes 6-17.5 in half sizes and two widths: regular/wide and medium/narrow.
The Birkenstock Boston Clog might be getting all the love right now, but if you’re looking for a clog shoe that closely resembles a pair of UGG slippers with even better support, the Zermatt Premium Shearling style comes recommended by McSorley. The unisex shoe is constructed from fuzzy shearling and buttery soft suede with a classic Birkenstock anatomically shaped cork-latex footbed to provide incredible arch support. On top of that, the outer sole is crafted from natural rubber, which keeps your sole (and yourself) safe from slips, thanks to the added traction that comes with a true rubber sole.
Best Ankle Boot
Originally $165, now $83
Available In: Women’s sizes 5-12 in half sizes in two widths: medium and wide.
One of the best things about UGG boots—or UGG dupes, for that matter—is the shearling material. And, we particularly love styles that bring the fuzzy material to the outer design for a more winter wonderland-worthy design. If you love styles like the Sunburst Mini but are looking for a more affordable option with excellent support, the Swallow Boot from Aerosoles is our top pick. This UGG dupe comes in two widths, making it even easier to level up on comfort, and is designed with Aerosoles special Diamond Flex Sole technology, which disperses friction and improves grip when walking.
Best for Cold Weather
Available In: Women’s sizes 5-11 in whole sizes.
Make a statement in the Vail Boot from Naot. The UGG snowboot dupe is designed with an anatomic cork and latex footbed that boasts lots of support, but is also removable so you can easily slip your own insoles in the boot. On top of that, the rubber sole is ultra-grippy and even has little stainless steel studs so you can easily walk over icy areas without the fear of going down. In addition to its supportive design, the boots are also made from waterproof material that can keep soles warm in -4 degrees Fahrenheit.
Best Slouchy Boot
Originally $180, now $91
Available In: Women’s sizes 6-12 in half sizes.
For an UGG Romely Cuffable dupe, look no further than the Simple Boot from Aerosoles. This mid-calf boot style is the perfect everyday boot for fall and winter with its simple (hence the name) design and comfortable Diamond Flex Sole, which disperses friction when stomping around town. We also love this UGG dupe because it has a chunky lug sole that feels trendy yet also functional, as it provides enough traction in more slippery conditions.
Available In: Women’s sizes 6-11 in half sizes and two widths: medium and wide.
Sketchers is home to some of the most comfortable and supportive shoes—and the brand’s more budget-friendly price tag makes it possible to find a good UGG dupe for less. For a style that feels reminiscent of UGG booties, we love the Relaxed Fit: Easy Going style. These dupes are available in five colors and patterns (including funkier options like olive leopard), two widths, and are designed with air-cooled memory foam for extra cushion and arch support. They also have a rubber outsole that is flexible yet sturdy with enough traction to keep you grounded in winter conditions.
Originally $150, now $120
Available In: Women’s sizes 5-12 in half sizes and three widths: standard, wide, and extra wide.
Another fantastic UGG bootie dupe, the Florence Boots from OrthoFeet is like a super-supportive sneaker disguised as a winter boot. These boots have insoles designed for heel pain relief and adjustable arch support, so you can find a fit that feels more custom-made. The UGG dupe also comes in three widths, including an extra wide option that gives feet enough room to move without feeling squished, which is essential to good support. If you have concerns like bunions, hammertoes, heel spurs, arthritis, and even knee pain, this style was made for you.
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