Uggs Vs. Emus: Which Sheepskin Boot is Better?

January 12, 2010 • By Erika

Uggs are the reigning sheepskin boot right now, but many brands are close on its heels ready to take the crown from them any day.

Out of all the sheepskin boot makers that have cropped up and have jumped in on the bandwagon, the closest rival that UGG Australia has right now is EMU Australia. Yes, both brands originate from the Land Down Under and although UGG has 15 years over EMU, they were both inspired by the same simple story of a surfer who just wanted to keep his feet warm in between surf sessions.

Image from EMUaustralia.net

So let’s see, which is better Uggs or Emus? Design-wise, they’re nearly identical so let’s take that out of the equation. The following are 5 other categories in which we can compare Uggs and Emus. You know the drill: the one who gets the most points out of 5 wins.

1. WARMTH AND COMFORT

This is a tricky category to start with because how warm and how comfortable a shoe is is pretty much based on opinion. We’ve read comments from people saying that Uggs are better, some saying that Emus are more comfortable, and still others who claim that you can’t really tell the difference.

Emus on the left, Uggs on the right

We did come across more than a few reports saying that the contoured heel on the Emus made them a tad bit easier to stand and balance in (see heels on Emus in the image above). That could’ve given Emus the win in this category, however, the thick plush fur in Ugg boots is hard to ignore. Who wouldn’t want their feet wrapped around in that warm furry goodness?

A close call but for Warmth and Comfort: UGGs +1 point.

2. QUALITY

Both Uggs and Emus are made of 100% Australian sheepskin. Both have the strong raised double-stitched seams. Both of them gradually mold to your feet, and the fur lining in them not only keeps feet warm but also wicks away moisture.

So what’s the difference?

Apparently, it’s in the wool. EMU Australia uses “a Border Lester/Merino cross sheepskin” to line their boots while UGG Australia only uses grade A sheepskin. And because the sheepskin in Uggs is pure, they don’t rub off or pull away from the inside of the boot.

Quality: UGGs +1 point.

3. PRICE

For the classic styles, Uggs average around $150.00 to $180.00 per pair. Emus are $90.00 to $100.00.

‘Nuff said.

Price: EMUs +1 point.

4. AVAILABILITY

By availability, we mean how easy they are to find and purchase.

Uggs might obviously be more available than Emus, but because there are so many counterfeiters out there, it’s hard to weed out the real sellers from the fake ones (to find out which ones are real and which one are not, check out our guide on How to Spot Fake Uggs: 9 Things to Check Before Buying). It can get really frustrating, especially if you’re searching for the genuine article and all you get are people’s rants on how they’ve been duped. Emus on the other hand, might have lesser retailers, but they have lesser fake websites and scammers than Uggs.

So for this category, we’re giving it to Emus.

Availability: EMUs +1 point.

5. DURABILITY AND LONGEVITY

This is another opinion-based category or rather, a usage-based category. How a person uses his or her sheepskin boots will determine how long they will last.

Both the classic Uggs and Emus aren’t really designed to be worn in wet snow; the water will immediately seep into them and possibly stain the leather/suede uppers. Even if you protect them with waterproof spray, that still isn’t enough to actually walk in ankle-deep snow.

So which is more durable? Emus have reportedly only lasted through one winter season for some owners. But is the 200-dollar price tag on Uggs hindering some people from really getting the full use out of them and are instead reserving them for indoor occasions?

We have to trust the real Uggs and Emus owners on this one: some Ugg owners have even said that they were able to pass down their Ugg boots to their younger siblings. So for this final category:

Durability and Longevity: UGGs +1 point.

The tally: UGGs – 3 points, EMUs – 2 points.

Uggs win in our Boots4You face-off!

We have to say that this little contest is based only on the classic UGG and EMU styles. EMU has a more expensive line of sheepskin boots which some people say are indistinguishable from Uggs (they have the same grade A wool and the same high price!). That will be reserved for another face-off.

Of course, you’re free to find out for yourself:

Purchase the high-end EMU Stinger Hi-Boot, $158.99

Purchase the UGG Classic Tall Boot, $179.95