What do you look for in the best cold-weather boot? Is it the material, comfort, durability, or the brand? We compare Bearpaw boots vs Uggs to get a better understanding of the ideal winter boots, and help you make an informed choice.
We go through each of the companies to learn about their history and unique qualities, then look at the similarities and differences.
Bearpaw boots differ from Uggs in the following areas:
History of Bearpaw Boots
The Bearpaw brand of footwear dates back to 2001. Its founder, Tom Romeo, aimed to make a snug and stylish, sheepskin boot for men, women, and children. Bearpaw quickly gained recognition and trust among customers because of its quality production and affordability.
Since the first collection of winter boots, the Bearpaw company diversified its products to include things like slippers, slip-ons, moccasins, high heel boots, motorcycle boots, you name it.
About Bearpaw Boots
Bearpaw manufacturers use suede cow leather for the exterior, sheepskin lining inside, and a rubber sole. This makes them soft, warm, and comfortable for the feet during winter. They have a sturdy build and hold a straight, upright posture that could help shield your feet against injuries.
These boots come in a wide variety of colors including dark brown, beige, pink, black, tan, green, white, and blue. You can wear them with corduroy pants, jeans, tights, or leggings. Save for the visible stitching, Bearpaw boots look great and have a wide range of designs to match the personalities of customers.
They’re durable and should last you around 1.5 to 2 years if you wear them on the regular.
History of Uggs
The UGG brand came into existence in 1978 under the stewardship of Brian Smith (an Australian surfer). The sheepskin Ugg boot hit the market almost immediately. Its original design resembled a similar shoe used by surfers in Australia and New Zealand in the 1960s.
Today, UGG has a trademark in the US and distributes its footwear in more than 130 countries. Also included is outerwear and bags, among other products. The parent company, Decker Brands, has its headquarters in California.
About Ugg Boots
Ugg manufacturers use sheepskin, and line the inside with wool fur to provide warmth. The sole comes from a rubberized foam material which works perfectly for cushioning, support, and helps the boot to retain its shape. It has a smooth and invisible stitching that gives the boot a clean finish.
The different colors available include green, gray, brown, blue, black, neon, neutral, and chestnut. Whichever one is your favorite, you can match your boots with various outfits and pull off some amazing looks in winter.
Given the sturdy materials used in this footwear, your Ugg boots should last you between 2 and 2.5 years of use.
Bearpaw Boots vs Uggs
Even though they’re different brands, Bearpaws and Uggs share many similarities. For one, both of them are cold-weather boots. Their look and design makes it even more challenging to tell them apart.
This makes for a delicate issue, so much so that it was the subject of a lawsuit in 2010.
Decker Brands (owner of the Ugg boots) accused Bearpaw of copying Ugg, while producing low-quality products using inferior materials and craftsmanship.
There are a few subtle ways to distinguish between the two brands though:
The superior quality sheepskin, fleece, and foam sole of the Ugg boots give these products a slight edge over the Bearpaw brand when it comes to comfort. Overall, they’re softer, lighter, and warmer.
This isn’t to say that Bearpaw boots are uncomfortable. Both of them offer a cozy feel, but Ugg is better in this category and the coziness will hold up for longer than it will with Bearpaw.
Additionally, Bearpaws have sturdier soles which makes the boot heavier. Uggs, on the other hand, have softer, lighter heels.
The materials, style, and other technologies used to make these two popular brands of winter boots are part of the reason for the price differential.
Ugg boots use natural materials and they cost between $120 and $180, while Bearpaw boots are more synthetic and have an average price range of $70 to $180. You’ll see some overlap here, depending on the model you choose, but overall Bearpaw is a cheaper boot.
In this category, Bearpaw wins because the company offers a wider variety of boots for their large customer base. Designs, colors and prices with Bearpaw provide more to choose from, where Ugg is more niche.
Ugg takes an award for durability, offering an average lifespan that’s around 6 months to 1 year longer than Bearpaw. If you live in a cold weather climate most of the year or have especially tough winters, this factor might send you shopping for Uggs.
Uggs may last up to 3 years maximum if you use them sparingly, though, whereas Bearpaw could come in at 2 to 2.5 years for the same amount of wear.
The following bits of information might help you hone in on your boot of choice:
- Uggs are unisex: If you share the same shoe size with family or friends you can exchange your boots with ease.
- Loyalty: Uggs come with a loyal fan base, if that’s important to you.
- Availability: Uggs are mainly found in high-end stores. As for Bearpaws, you can get them in a wider variety of places like discount shops.
Bearpaw Boots vs Uggs: Who Wins?
Even though Uggs have an advantage over Bearpaws, they’re awfully similar. The answer to this question boils down to consumer’s preference and lifestyle.
Is affordability the most important factor for you? Opt for Bearpaw.
If durability and comfort take the cake, then you’ll be better off with a pair of Uggs.
Caring for Your Bearpaw and Ugg Boots
Most boots with either line aren’t for machine washing. This will stretch and or shrink the boot, ruining the materials. It’s best if you invest in a cleaning kit instead.
Here’s the best cleaning kit for Bearpaw boots as an example.
Generally, you won’t need more than the following items to clean your sheepskin boots:
- Cold water.
- Suede brush.
- Clean cotton cloth.
- Boot cleaner.
A stain and water repellant spray is a great idea, too. This product helps protect your boots from stains, mud, dirt and other debris, keeping them looking better for longer.
Never apply a cleaner directly on your boot. You’ll always want to use a soft brush or something similar during application, as this will help distribute the liquid evenly and avoid spots.
Frequently Asked Questions
To round out our comparison, we’ve gathered some of the most frequently asked questions from customers online about these two brands.
Are Bearpaw and Uggs the Same Company?
No, they’re not. Bearpaw started operating in 2001 under the ownership of Tom Romeo. The Ugg company dates back to 1978 when Brian Smith decided to start making quality high-end winter boots. Ugg is now under the leadership of Decker Brands.
What Are the Ugg Boots Alternatives?
Apart from Bearpaw boots, there are other reliable alternatives you can check out. Here are just a few options:
Kamik Greenbay 4 Winter Boot: This 600 denier nylon, waterproof boot will keep your feet warm, even when temperatures drop as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Holly Triplet Snow Boots: In addition to the fur lining on the inside that keeps your feet warm, this boot has a thick synthetic sole that’s highly durable.
Are Bearpaw and Ugg Boots Hard on Your Feet?
As soft and cozy as both branded boots appear, they don’t offer any arch support. For those that walk long distances or for anyone who struggles with pain in this area of your foot, you might want to add an insole in your boots.
Are There Any Vegan Uggs?
Almost all of the material used in Ugg boots is animal sourced. If it’s not sheepskin, then it’s most likely leather or fur. Check back in the future because Ugg might offer a vegan style boot eventually.
Bearpaw vs Ugg in Conclusion
So, Bearpaw vs Ugg? Both brands offer boots that are comfortable, stylish, and durable. They’ll keep your feet snug and warm throughout winter and you can pair them with many outfits depending on what you need.
Bearpaw is the more affordable brand overall, and features boots in a wide price range that most individuals could afford. Ugg, however, comes out on top where durability and materials matter.
Neither brand offers much arch support, though, and both boots, while cozy, still demand that you wear a fresh pair of socks. This will help you avoid bacteria from building up as a result of sweaty feet.
For more information about other snow boots, check out our article on Timberlands.