UGG updated its popular Classic Mini Boot this fall with an even shorter shaft (just 3.75″ to the Mini II’s 5″ shaft) and called it the “Ultra Mini.” As a longtime Ugg enthusiast, I couldn’t resist ordering a pair of the new style, which is really just a cross between slippers and classic UGG boots, to try.
And now that I have been wearing them like house shoes for a few weeks, I think the time is ripe for a review. If you are in the market for new winter slippers that you might also wear outside after the pandemic, read on for the full review.
It’s not controversial that UGGs aren’t the most attractive shoes (though the “Ultra Mini” is arguably the fairest of the classic UGG boots); but what they lack in style points, they make up for in exceptional comfort. Wearing boots with thick fluffy lining resembles walking barefoot on a sheepskin rug.
The classic UGG shearling boots are not snow shoes¹ and are best suited for cold but dry conditions. There are few traction patterns on the outsole so these boots are not designed for icy surfaces. In non-pandemic times, these boots are great for running errands, like going grocery shopping or doing other casual activities in controlled environments. These days, I have been wearing them primarily as indoor shoes.
UGG classic boots, including the Ultra Mini, have real shearling/leather uppers that are treated for water-repellence and stain-resistance, but the footbeds are lined² in a material called UGGplush that’s 80% wool and 20% lyocell³. The lining, which measures 17mm, is quite plush and warm.
My favorite detail on the Ultra Mini (which you will also find on the Classic Mini but not on the taller styles) is the rear pull tabs, which facilitate the on/off process.
The Ugg classic boot is easily identified by the tonal stitching on the exterior and UGG labels at the heel. They are generally well made and, based on my experience, last between five to eight seasons; I generally only retire them when the lining starts to thin from (overzealously) cleaning the insoles.
It’s not a shoe without flaws, of course: The flat rubber outsole⁴ offers no arch support and also, as noted earlier, has no gripping lugs or traction pattern.
UGG classic boots are only offered in whole sizes⁵ and they have a forgiving round toe, so I would recommend sizing down if you are in between sizes and plan to wear these boots sockless. But if you have wide feet and/or plan to wear winter socks with your Uggs, then I would suggest ordering your normal size (or the next size up if you wear a half size).
Alternatives to the Ugg Ultra Mini
These slipper-boots are quite spendy at $139.95, but they are supposed to last several seasons, so the cost-per-wear may end up seeming reasonable. And the Ultra Mini has already proved popular, so there’s probably no reason to wait for a sale if you have an immediate use for them.
Buy the UGG Classic Ultra Mini Ankle Boot (currently available in three solid colorways: gray, black, and chestnut) at Amazon, ASOS, Dillard’s, FARFETCH, Nordstrom, Shoes.com, UGG, Urban Outfitters, and Zappos.
I initially planned to review all three short-form Ugg boots in the same post but that format proved confusing, so I decided to review them individually. I’ll be posting a review of the Classic Mini II Shearling Lined Boots later this month.
¹ Try the Ugg Adirondack III if you want something for harsher conditions and rougher terrains.
² The lining in Ugg classic boots is not removable.
³ Lyocell is a form of rayon.
⁴ The outsole is technically called “Treadlite by UGG™,” and is supposed to provide traction and cushioning, but this feature still doesn’t make this shoe suitable for icy surfaces.
⁵ Some fit guides suggest that these boots run half a size large, but I feel the fit differential is closer to a quarter of a size. If you are in between sizes but have slightly wider feet, ordering the next size up might be more comfortable than the alternative.