In our advice column, Ask the Strategist, we take your most burning shopping questions and survey friends, call up experts, and draw on our own personal experience to answer them. As always, please email any online-shopping-related queries to email@example.com with the subject Ask the Strategist — we’re here to help.
What are some shearling-lined boots that are not Uggs?
We get it. You want your feet to be cozy, but for whatever reason, you can’t bring yourself to spring for a pair of those sheepskin-lined après-ski (technically, après-surf) boots that have stayed more or less au courant (and mind-bogglingly so) ever since Oprah put them on her “Favorite Things” list back in 2000. Maybe you think they’re too schlubby, or, quite honestly, fugly. And yet, every time you see those ubiquitous boots on an actress making a Starbucks run in 90-degree Southern California weather, you catch yourself thinking how nice it must be to slip your feet into something so plush before running out the door. Surely there are non-Uggs out there that will do the trick, you’ve thought. Turns out, there are. So, without further ado, here are a bunch of boots — 22, to be precise — that are shearling- or faux-shearling-lined and, we think, just as versatile and cute (if not more so) than Uggs.
Birkenstocks could be considered the Uggs of the sandal world, which makes these Birkenstock booties an appropriate alternative for the Ugg booties in question. They have the German company’s signature rubber sole and, if its slides are any indication, these will be just as comfortable as the Birkenstock Arizonas, only with more coverage. The booties have a leather upper and a lining made of genuine shearling that should keep your feet as snug as a bug in a rug. They seem an ideal choice if you’re looking for a pair that has all the elements of what make Uggs so beloved but comes packaged more like a real shoe.
For something that’s just as warm (but won’t have you looking like you stepped off the slopes of Vail), consider these Blundstone boots that are basically a winter-appropriate upgrade to the regular Blundstones that several members of the Strategist team own and love. With a sheepskin footbed and Thinsulate lining, they promise to keep your feet quite toasty, even in freezing weather. The Chelsea silhouette is also classic, meaning these aren’t just for wearing in inclement weather — they would be great everyday boots, too.
Maybe you want something that’s pretty close to Uggs without being from Ugg? If that’s the case, these booties from Patricia Green look straight out of an Ugg campaign starring Tom Brady. They have the same chubby silhouette as Uggs, along with a most inviting shearling footbed that practically beckons cold feet to slip inside (and, perhaps, never leave).
Running with the whole shearling-cuff thing, this pair of boots from Marc Fisher packs a bit more oomph thanks to the hefty block heel and lugged sole that contrast nicely with the softer shearling.
These luxurious-looking slippers come from Overland, a retailer where I recently bought a sheepskin rug. While I haven’t worn them, I think it’s safe to say that their genuine Australian Merino sheepskin will feel as fabulous on your feet as my Overland runner (made of similar material) feels on mine. Like the Patricia Green booties above, these also have that Ugg look — the roll-down shearling ankle cuff gets me every time — but this pair is actually less expensive than the real thing. Just know that the soft leather sole on these slippers means you shouldn’t wear them outside of the house. But, then again, you probably won’t want to leave the comfort of your home once they’re on your feet. (For something shorter, consider Overland’s Sophia slippers, which have lovely cross-front collar detailing.)
Here’s a pair of Ugg-like Overland boots you can wear outside, thanks to what the brand calls their “outdoor-ready” rubber sole.
Minnetonka is another one of those dependable (and comfortable) footwear brands that we’ve come to know and love over the years. These adorable, suede, shearling-lined boots (that are also waterproof!) have a one-inch rubber sole that the manufacturer says provides solid traction.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: L.L.Bean makes some of the best footwear — specifically cozy, durable slippers — you can get. The Wicked Good style is a kind of Ugg-moccasin hybrid: The shape, lambswool lining, and ankle height recall Ugg style, but the visible stitching takes them into moccasin territory (and only adds to their charm if you ask me). A note that these slippers also have a leather sole, so they’re best worn inside the house.
These lined L.L.Bean chukkas have the same comfortable elements of the Wicked Good slippers above but feature a durable rubber sole that makes them suitable for trips outdoors, too. While they’re laced, they seem just as easy to throw on. (If you seek more heavy-duty boots that are lined as luxuriously as Uggs, I should note that L.L.Bean makes both eight-inch and ten-inch shearling-lined winter boots; no less than three Strategist staffers, myself included, own the taller style.)
Though these offer less leg and ankle coverage than the proper boots (or booties) on this list, Hunter’s Sherpa Shoes appear to slip-on as easily as Uggs and, importantly, come lined in a fuzzy, vegan, shearling-like material that looks plenty cozy. They’re made of waterproof rubber and have a neoprene opening that’s supposed to be insulating — all details that convinced Strategist editor Alexis Swerdloff to order a pair as her own Ugg alternatives this season.
Hunter also makes a boot version of the Sherpa Shoe, for those who prefer more coverage.
Slightly less expensive than Hunter’s Sherpa Boots are these rubber Chelsea-style boots that are also lined in a faux-shearling material.
Teva’s Ember Mocs are another shorter alternative. They made our list of the most coveted gifts of 2020, according to trend forecasters, who told us the shearling-lined shoes have a collapsible heel that makes them a cinch to put on. These fall somewhere in between the rain-ready Hunters and indoor-only slippers on this list: Teva officially calls them “lounge-ready outdoor slippers,” meaning they can go from inside to outside on certain occasions, like walking the dog or grabbing a coffee from the café (which, these days, are probably the only reasons you’d wear them outside anyway).
Like our favorite Subu slippers, these Sanuk booties look like little puffer jackets for feet. They have a foam footbed and, like Uggs, are lined with (faux) shearling, so they’re surely comfy as all get out.
Here’s another L.L.Bean option that’s lined with faux-sherpa fleece on the inside and outside. They’re kind of like the boot version of a teddy coat.
Finally, one last pair of proper boots. The motorcycle-esque style of these makes them look a bit less “wintry” than any others on this list, but their genuine-shearling lining means they’ll be just as cozy (and snow-ready) as any other pair you might wear outside the house.
The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatments, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, natural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.