Boot Sense: Alternatives to the UGG

By Jamee Dyches

Style Editor

Photos by Shawn Koga

I won’t ridicule you for wearing Uggs. In fact, you’ll probably see me wearing my brown Ugg knock-offs I got from Costco for $30 more than once on campus this winter. I will, however, ridicule you if you think Uggs are your only option for staying comfortable and dry while trudging to your 8:30 a.m. English class.

I knew there were students at Utah State who shared my love of non-Ugg boots, so I set out to find them.

One of the most popular style of boots I saw on campus is what I like to call a neo-combat boot. You’ve seen them around; they are usually worn with skinny jeans or tights, and they almost always look like they were plucked out of a Goodwill in a shady part of Brooklyn. They hold true to the old-school combat boot aesthetic, with their mid-calf height, long laces and toe caps, but the new version got a feminine makeover. The soles are thinner and the shafts are sleeker. The 2011 version probably won’t get you through any actual combat, but they will definitely get you from the shuttle to Old Main with comfort and ease. If I were you, I would get on this bandwagon now, because it’s on the verge of becoming a full-blown trend on campus. (Steve Madden’s Troopa boots in black were on my Christmas list this year.)

A lot of the girls I found were wearing a variation of the neo-combat boot, but there were also some forging their own path. One girl in particular appeared to be wearing simple dark gray boots with a buckle — I’d seen several of these, so I wasn’t inspired to stop her for a photo — but on further inspection, I found a bright red zipper in the back. Needless to say, I started running after her. Red Zipper Girl, whose real name is McKelle Ayotte, demonstrated one of the key concepts of personal style: it’s often the small details that set someone apart and take them from ordinary to extraordinary.

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