Finding a Replacement for My UGGs


Boots above

Moms. Two words. School drop-off. Mehhhhhh. Ours is early and comes in like a freight train every morning. This is definitely the toughest part of transitioning from preschool to kindergarten — for me at least. Whew. I really just want to roll out of bed and wear my PJ’s to drop off….BUT, since we actually have to park and walk our cute little offspring into the classroom, I just can’t. I vowed to myself a few years back that I would never wear PJ’s in public.

But here’s the thing…I still want to wear things that feel like I’m wearing my PJ’s, because even this denim lover can’t be bothered to put on jeans that early in the morning. NO. BUT, my criteria does include a fully lined shoe, because who has time for socks that early? Not this mama. Although I’m not here to hate on the UGG lovers at all (because UGGs are so freaking comfy), I wanted to find a cozy shoe that doesn’t scream “I’m wearing my slippers to drop-off!” So, my search for a cozy, lined shoe began.

Cozy Sneaker Options

At first I thought I’d really love to find a lined sneaker I can just slip on and wear out the door. I’m a sneaker gal for sure. Here are the options I tried out…


Tretorn Cams – These. I LOVE these. Look how pretty they are. But, they are so impractical for a muddy, rainy climate like Portland’s. Sadness. However, if you’re in a drier climate, please do me a favor and get this perfect combination of cloudy softness and sneaker. You won’t be disappointed. Oh, and they do come in black, too. I forgot. But I think for rainy, I need a full shoe instead of a mule. TTS.


Vans SK8 Hi Reissue Laceless – These are just well…I mean, I LOVE Vans…but no. They’re too wide and give you duck feet, and aren’t flattering on my short legs at all. The bottom sole also wasn’t fleece-lined. While the lining at the ankle was comfy, I was looking for even comfier.


Blondo Glade Waterproof – These are waterproof (awesome) and that top lining and the wedge were great…but they were overall just kinda weird. The footbed was also unlined, so that would require me to find socks to be super cozy. Nope. TTS.


Toms Suede Paxton – These looked amazing online. I like Toms as a company and that they give back, so I was really hoping these would work, but sadly, they’re an unflattering flat sneaker-boot shape like the Vans above. They’re better than the Vans for sure, and if you’ve got longer legs or thinner legs they might be just fine on you. PS – the lining is super cozy. TTS. *Well, dang. It’s clear some people liked these because the gray is going quick. They come in an pretty light taupe, too though, that is well-stocked. And they’re here in even more colors, but still low on the gray.

Cozy Boot Options


UGG Mini Waterproof version – So, yeah, I know, but I had to try out a pair of UGGs for comparison. I thought I’d try a black waterproof pair that were very different from my tan, broken-in UGG minis I wear around the house. But alas, these still felt too slipper-like to me, and that’s just not what I’m going for. These are super-cozy of course, and I like that they’re waterproof. Shana made a good point that the black show salt all winter though, so if you’re somewhere snowy or icy, something to consider. That wouldn’t be much of an issue here, for the most part. I like to size down in my original UGGs because they stretch a lot. I’m not sure with the waterproof pair whether that is the case. I would say TTS.

UGG Palomar – This is a newer style from UGG and they’re pretty rad. They came in as a solid second choice for me. They’re a little moonboot-esque, but I like them. I love the color (they also come in a few other shades (tan, gray and black)). They have a soft interior, not like the UGG slippers, but still cozy, and a great, bouncy sole. TTS. These are a great choice.


Sorel Kinetic Short – These are quite similar to the UGGs above, but have a bit smaller profile overall. They feel a little less moonboot-like, and the ankle bit is a little narrower. They are super-cozy inside. I’d say if you really love the look of your classic UGG minis then you’ll like these. They have a similar vibe and the same great tan color, but with a sneaker sole that proves to be a nice update. That little tag there says “impermeable,” so they should be great in winter weather.

Sorel Kinetic Short Lace-Up Booties – These were the winners for me. They are so cute in a mountaineer sort of way — I‘ll admit I’m a sucker for mountaineer-chic, always — and they are so so comfy. The sole is cushiony and the lining is nice and soft. It’s not the sherpa of the UGGs, but one can easily put these on without socks, and that was my goal. They’re the perfect combo between slipper and shoe, and I love them. I did have to size up to an 8.5 (typically I wear an 8) but my toes came right to the end without socks on. Again, these have the “impermeable” tag, so I’m gonna go out on a limb and say they’ll be good for winter, too.

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Shop More Cozy Drop-Off Shoes


Have you run across any favorites shoes that would fit the bill here? There seem to be so many options, but it’s tough to find something fashionable AND cozy, it seems. Here’s a fist bump to get ya through the next cold, early drop-off. We got this.


Be sure to follow me on Instagram @elletrain to see daily outfits, what I’m currently whipping up in the kitchen, and of course, Sienna’s dance moves. And don’t forget about LikeToKnow.It for easy peasy shopping of the looks I’m wearing!


  1. You can also buy shearling, fleece, or wool insoles and put them in almost anything, so long as it is roomy enough. I have wool insoles in my (ancient) penny loafers and my three pairs of rainboots.

    SuperGa makes (or made?) suede sneakers with a bit of fleece. I do need to untie them to get them on and off though.

    My current faves for getting to and from barre class in the cold are a pair of BearPaws that lace up the back. They are more weather-proof than Uggs, a little sleeker, and less expensive. Although Uggs were “over” quite a few years ago, it is still the most common choice for getting to and from studio classes in DC (not a fashion capital!).

  2. I was JUST thinking about something new this morning to replace my Uggs when I walk the kids to school. The temps are just now getting cool enough and I’m really tired of my Uggs. I won’t likely be able to spend the $ until after Christmas but I’m going to keep my eye out for one of these to go on sale.

  3. I love you guys, but is this really a post by a grown up lady about how hard it is to have to put on clothes in the morning? C’mon now.

  4. Haha! It is, but I’m a grownup who can totally relate to the feeling that getting myself dressed in the morning is sometimes just ONE DARN THING too many!

  5. I really dislike Uggs and their wooly cousins. Until it’s 5 am ( and cold outside) and my feet really,really don’t want to get out their slippers in order to get to hot yoga before the kids wake up.
    Then, every morning, I promise myself I will order some damn Uggs. So, thanks for some options. 🙂

  6. Looking for a review or photos of the Ugg Palomar. Stumbled across this post and ended up going with the Sorels based on your feedback. Ordered them from Dick’s – able to use a coupon and get 10% on Ebates! Winning!

  7. I second that. I get up early and go to an office job where I have to get dressed up, with my hair done, and wearing makeup every single day because that is called being an adult. Even on weekends I don’t leave my apartment without being dressed and wearing makeup unless I am running to the gym. Too hard to put on jeans and socks? Come on. Not to mention that is embarrassing for your child. Children notice these things and kids will tease other kids about how their parents look. Not to mention, is that how you want your child to remember you?

    I notice this a lot with my parents lately – dressing like slobs when they leave the house and using children as an excuse. It is really just laziness and I it has become an epidemic. Have some pride and get dressed!

  8. Even though we all have different lives, I do love how we model for others the things we perceive as most important. Although, I confess that I do NOT leave my house everyday in full makeup and fancy dress, I DO model the things that are important to me.

    I work 12 hour nights so I can be home for my four boys. I model that they are more important than sleep.
    I run, practice Vinyasa flow yoga, and constantly move so I can model for my boys that we can be strong and healthy in all kinds of ways ( and quite frankly, I like to rock my skinnies and OTK boots looking like a bad ass at the playground)
    I have a special needs son. I model patience and presence and (most importantly) trying to meet him where he is.
    I try to make healthy food choices for the whole family , including making most of our food at home (Yup- even making our own bread- our stove/oven is constantly on). I am trying to model that good food is real food.
    We don’t take fancy trips, and my kids have never been to Disney World. But, we camp a lot and spend most of our vacation time outside. We try to model that good times does not equal spending lots of money.

    I do this most of the time without any makeup and (sometimes) without thought to my attire. My boys give zero F’s as to my shoe wardrobe. My (rambling) point is that we all have different lives and come from different places. And some of those places need some Ugg boots.

  9. I hear that. But sometimes modeling things for your children includes modeling that adults (and kids) sometimes have to do things they don’t want to do – like get out of bed on time and get dressed. My point had little to do with fashion or values, but that the framing of it’s too early to do things like put on clothes (like virtually everyone in the world has to do) was odd. It’s chilly and you want cozy shoes? Sure. You want to be both stylish and comfortable? Go for it. It’s too early for jeans and socks? That’s weird.

    And I actually appreciated the styles in the post – I need those too! Just saying, if I was an editor, I might have suggested a different framing for the need for them. As written, it came off a little tone deaf and strange.

  10. Agree with this comment so much. I also felt the way the article was positioned felt extremely tone deaf. I know we all have different lives, schedules, etc but complaining about getting dressed to bring your kids to school? Come on. I happen to love the idea of an alternate to
    Uggs, my shoe choice when I’m waiting with my kiddos at the bus stop, but as a mom who needs to be fully dressed and ready to leave for work as soon as the bus leaves I found this premise ridiculous.

  11. Wow, it’s judgmental in here today! Luckily for me the only person I have to “model behaviors” for is my dog, but I loved the boot options here and I can absolutely relate to not wanting to put a whole “outfit” together early in the morning.

  12. If it’s not hard for you, awesome! If it is hard for some of us and a pair of shoes makes it easier, then yay! That’s an easy fix. And I think the whole point was that Laura was looking for an alternative to wearing slippers out in public, which it seems like most agree is a good thing.

    I wear my Uggs to drop off, but it’s the carpool line and nobody sees my feet. If I had to go indoors, I’d wear something more substantial and rain-proof. But as it is, I’m focused on getting the kids all dressed and bundled up, getting lunches packed, getting all the papers signed, etc. Since they go in at 7 AM, I can’t run any errands until later in the morning when the shops open so it’s literally just to school and back home or school then yoga.

    I thought this was a great roundup and a good idea for a post. It’s a fashion challenge I’ve mulled over many times. Just because it doesn’t apply to you doesn’t mean there’s an epidemic of laziness.

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